Victim of a shabby trade-off
We can no longer allow our leaders to turn a blind eye to violence by the IRA and republicans must have more than words to offer, writes Alan Ruddock
Judging by the relatively muted media coverage of last weekend's brutal murder of Paul Quinn near the border with Northern Ireland, few people in the Republic actually care whether the IRA remains an active force on parts of this island and even fewer are prepared to hold Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein president, to account for its activities.
Sinn Fein, we were told by one Irish Times columnist last week, is now a normal political party and cannot be deemed responsible for the actions of its former foot soldiers. Words, however worn, however empty and however disingenuous, are enough.
Adams and his Sinn Fein colleagues were quick to condemn the murder and characterised Quinn's killers as criminals, not 'republicans'. They asked people with information about the murder to co-operate with the police forces on both side of the border. What more, you were left to wonder, could a normal political party do? Front page news for a couple of days, and then it started to fade away as our momentary outrage switched to pay increases, provisional licences and dodgy solicitors.