In a major search operation across Northern Ireland five men have been arrested for questioning in connection with the murder of PSNI officer Ronan Kerr. UTV has an interesting response from Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness, MP, MLA.
Speaking in the wake of the arrests, and of a pipe bomb attack in his home city, the Deputy First Minister spoke out against what he called “the disgraceful ongoing activities of those people that believe the use of guns and bombs brings solutions to problems”. [added emphasis]
He declared that such people were “living in cloud cuckoo land” and added: “The sooner these people go away and recognise, not only are they not making a contribution to making life better for our people, they’re actually damaging it.”
Which might be a good point at which to re-quote Robin Wilson.
“Paramilitarism is now deemed more legitimate than when the [Good Friday] Agreement was promulgated. Evidence shows that nearly twice as many people now give credit to the reasons given by paramilitaries for their violence as in 1998, with support strongest among youth.
“This is because the alphabet soup of ‘republican’ and ‘loyalist’ organisations – responsible, along with state forces, for grievous crimes against international human rights and humanitarian law – have been legitimised after the fact as ‘ex-combatants’, reinventing themselves as peacemakers but pilloried as ‘traitors’ by their young challengers.” [added emphasis]