Monday 5 December 2016

Frightening men haven't gone away

The majority of people in Northern Ireland remain doubtful that the IRA Army Council has stood down, says Emer O'Kelly

Published 07/09/2008 | 00:00

Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Fein, was heard on Morning Ireland on Wednesday morning. His main purpose for being on air was to drop his "Republican colleague" Caoimhin O Caolain, TD, in the mire. O Caolain said recently that Sinn Fein/IRA would pull out of government in Northern Ireland if they didn't get their own sweet way, without checks or balances, when it came to the issue of devolving justice powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

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Adams was clearly petrified that this open threat might give the British and Irish governments pause, and cause them to reassess their wide-eyed acceptance of every unsubstantiated assurance of future good behaviour from the men and women who spent more than two generations murdering their fellow citizens in the name of democracy. Perish the thought! He and his fellow members of the IRA Army Council must have thought that the two governments might accept little Caoimhin's simple statement at its face value.

So it was clearly time for the "Republican leadership" in the form of the bould Gerry to get in there and do some more of the verbal twisting he's been getting away with since the abolition of Section 23 of the Broadcasting Act, which forbade the freedom of the airwaves to named subversive organisations. And, although he is not a Minister in the Northern Ireland government, Adams was able to assure Cathal Mac Coille that Sinn Fein/IRA had no intention of pulling out of that government; their aim and purpose was to look to sorting out the economy, in the Republic as well as in Northern Ireland. This, Adams said, would be what his colleague, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, would be concerned with when he and First Minister Peter Robinson and their party colleagues met to try to sort out the deadlock on the devolution of justice and policing powers. But pull out of government? No way.

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