Sunday 28 May 2017

Mairia Cahill: Sinn Fein's hot air as Stormont train goes off the rails

The Stormont ‘crisis’ is just another case of Sinn Fein and its counterparts failing to engage in mature politics, says Mairia Cahill

Mairia Cahill
Mairia Cahill

Mairia Cahill

There was a brilliant remark by Gerry Adams on BBC's Good Morning Ulster on Friday morning when he likened the political manoeuvring in the Northern Ireland process on Thursday to something out of "Lanigan's Ball - He stepped out, she stepped in again". And that's exactly how it was.

The whole sense of "crisis" fizzled out like a damp squib, once people realised that it's back to listening to the dreaded endless coverage of "talks". To use that worn-out line, the reality is that NI's version of talks rarely deliver much, but is used as a ploy to buy more time, to bandage up any bad feeling, and to keep the process ongoing, until it lurches to the next crisis. Salaries are still paid to those who are tasked to deliver, and the real people who suffer are those on the ground, most notably victims, who still live in hope that justice will be delivered someday.     At some stage, those victims need to face the reality that justice in a court of law is never going to be delivered. If anyone wants any evidence of IRA or Loyalist continued action through convictions in a court of law, they'll be waiting a long time. The documented evidence points in the other direction. The majority of murders as a result of the conflict have actually been unsolved - that doesn't mean they were not committed. People are still dead. Including Jock Davison and Kevin McGuigan.

History tells us if there was IRA involvement, it's unlikely anyone will be held to account - people will be too afraid to give evidence, because that's always the way. If there was no IRA involvement in Kevin McGuigan's murder as Sinn Fein say - (at odds with the Secretary of State, the Chief Constable, the Taoiseach and most other people out there), then there will be no impediment to a court case with people in the dock. That is looking increasingly unlikely at present, despite 17 arrests.

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