Better out than in is what the English say when someone belches impolitely in company over food. So the IRA is still operational, and not only that the Army Council still meets, but it…
….oversees both the IRA and Sinn Féin with an overarching strategy, [and] it judges this has a “wholly political focus”.
[Ah, yer in the Army now boys and girls, and don’t you forget it Mary Lou. – Ed]
The BBC’s final main point crystallizes the main problem facing other democrats on the island, ie that “individual members of paramilitary groups still represent a threat to national security and are engaged in organised crime.”
But the real show stopper is paragraph 13 (which far exceeds the original analysis which kicked off this crisis):
Which leaves the DUP on difficult ground (surprise, surprise).
We should also note that if the report is accurate then almost every Sinn Fein politician who has spoken about the non presence of the IRA has been hiding the truth behind a polite (and meaningless) theatrical metaphor.
Of course people are entitled to ask Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
The answer to that pre the McGuigan murder was Sinn Fein (and others) via the Policing Board. Since then, the whole matter has escalated. Perhaps that will prove useful, if some of the players can be dragged out of a fairly constant state of denial.
As Micheal Martin noted on Sunday of past patterns, without some form of pressure, that remains unlikely:
…last month they also said that they could guarantee that the Provisional IRA didn’t exist because they know everything that happens in republican communities in the North.
Yet the people who savagely beat Robert McCartney to death in front of dozens of Sinn Fein member’s years after the peace settlement remain untouched. The people who covered up widespread child abuse continue to benefit from the silence of their movement.
Sinn Fein calls for people to cooperate with the authorities, but no one ever does.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty