Saturday 3 December 2016

It's time we stopped ignoring the elephant with the Armalite

Suzanne Breen

Published 22/10/2015 | 02:30

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt believes the will just isn't there to address the issue of the IRA. He described yesterday's Stormont talks as
Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt believes the will just isn't there to address the issue of the IRA. He described yesterday's Stormont talks as "like the episode of 'Fawlty Towers' where everyone is told 'Don't mention the war'

The report into paramilitary activity pulled no punches. The IRA remains armed, it has an army council which IRA members believe controls Sinn Féin. It retains "regional command structures", presumably brigades in different areas.

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It has "departments" to run day-to-day business - in the past, these departments have been finance, security, intelligence, operations and so on. This is a titanic admission.

The IRA is still very much in business. The whole shebang, albeit it in a reduced form, remains up and running. So what actually did disappear when we were fed the line that the IRA had gone away? Not much, it now appears.

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