Thursday 29 September 2016

Bewildering silence over IRA threat

Published 25/08/2015 | 02:30

Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan
Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan

Margaret Thatcher said that "when I am out of office I am going to run a business, it's going to be called rent a spine".

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Whatever else could be said about the Iron Lady - and there was a lot else to be said - you knew where she stood.

The same could be said for Fine Gael, historically "the party of law and order," a legend it wore proudly to garner votes.

That's why its faltering stance on the potential involvement of the IRA in cranking up its murder machine is so hard to understand.

The Good Friday Agreement was the key that opened the cage of history on this island.

We are still awaiting a response that reflects the destabilising political consequences that would follow should the PSNI assessment of the security situation be correct.

So far we have had a rocking chair response from the Government, a lot of back and forth but it still hasn't moved very far.

Yesterday, Environment Minister Alan Kelly gave the first meaningful reaction to the remarks by PSNI chief George Hamilton that the IRA could be back in business.

He appealed directly to Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams to assure the Irish public that the IRA no longer exists and demanded a further declaration from him that it "will never exist again".

This is not an unreasonable request given Mr Adams's penchant for speaking on behalf of the IRA, despite the fact that he is permanently at pains to insist that he was never a member.

Fianna Fáil leader Michéal Martin also believes the comments made by PSNI chief Mr Hamilton to be true. He has appealed to representatives of the Irish and British governments to meet as a matter of urgency.

So what exactly is the Government's position? This is an issue of national importance and the silence from the Taoiseach and Garda Commissioner is hard to fathom.

Irish Independent

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