Monday 21 August 2017

Did we really think the Provo hard men would just leave the stage?

Shane Coleman

Shane Coleman

There's a bitter irony about the fact that Kevin McGuigan's murder took place just a day shy of the 20th anniversary of Gerry Adams's infamous remark in Belfast that the "IRA hadn't gone away".

If the PSNI is to be believed, despite all the enormous progress in the intervening two decades, it still hasn't.

Shocking though the remarks of the PSNI's chief constable undoubtedly are, they're not hugely surprising. The idea that the hard men and women of the PIRA, and all its organisational infrastructure, were going to vanish entirely - leaving themselves and the IRA's considerable business empire vulnerable and the pitch open for dissidents and criminal organisations - was always a touch naive.

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