I wonder if the words speak for ALL the possible members of the IRA, or will another splinter group (post-provisionals?) appear who can continue threatening violence whilst the political process continues. Maybe that’s me being cynical.
And Twisty, I see your immediate reaction is ‘IRA do something, now Loyalists do something in return.’ I seems to make the statement just another move in the game. We did this, lets see what you can offer in return.
Besides, the IRA apologised before (for the Omagh bomb), and still continued the same path of violence. So how much can it really mean?
A step forward yes, but if truly felt also a massive swing in ideology away from initial positions. Their decommision of arms before radically moved from the “not an ounce, not a bullet” days, and this admission of mistakes takes the pendulum even further away from mainstream Republician thought, IMHO.
Can the direction the IRA ae headed umbrella all the dissidents, and keep them happy? I fear not.
I wonder if they might be horrified at the Palestinians’, ummm, “giving terrorism a bad name,” and want to distance themselves, in the world community? I know it’s an insane concept, like the pot apologizing for the kettle, but it did cross my mind.
As you have probably not been in West Belfast recently, Eve, the Palestine flag flies freely beside the Tricolour on nearly every lampost, as a sign of the solidarity with each other. (As the Israel flag flies beside the Union flag in East Belfast).
Maybe the IRA leadership do want the ‘ordinary’ people to discontinue the supposed relationship with Palestine, but I doubt that is the reason for the apology now.
There will always be a chance of splinter groups trying to push forward their hard core policies. The Real IRA is an example of this. They carried out Omagh not the IRA.
These dangers are on both sides and should not be allowed control events. The simple fact is that no party can speak for or control 100% of it’s constituents. I believe the Sinn Féin do want to go down the political route and would like all republicans to support them. Making political points about isolated incidents only achieves further instability in an already unstable environment.
Both sides have to accept that there are people going to continue “the struggle” against their perceived enemies. These people have to be marginalized by their peers to such a degree that their positions are continually weakened. Until then there is always a risk of isolated incidents becoming a full on conflict again. A situation that 99.99% of the population do not want.
On Preview : Eve I don’t think so. This is a natural progression of a peace process that has been going on for years.
I think it’s an extraordinary step, and though utterly inadequate compensation for the victims over the years, from the POV of the 'RA, it’s quite ‘brave’, given the viewpoint of more extreme Republican IRA supporters.
The RIRA is not the IRA (in fact, after Omagh an IRA man said on the radio that the RIRA were “dead men walking”). Norman Tebbit made the same mistake himself on the Beeb this morning.
A predictable reaction from Trimble, but then he has to keep his people happy too.
I hope so to.
Can you understand why the IRA is treated differently that the LVF, UFF, UDA, whoever…on the loyalist side?
Because the IRA are a highly organised political movement, with rules, (see Green Book), contacts, leaders and goals.
The ‘prods’ are, generally, fuckwit bullies with more interest in racketeering and money-making than political advancement. Common criminals, even if they do (did) demand political prisoner status. They are not in the same league, can’t even pretend to be. That’s why the onus is on the IRA.
On the RIRA / IRA thing, thats waht I meant - Can the IRA maintain enough control to avoid the creation of a further splinter group like the RIRA?
As a ‘prod’ myself, I’m charitably assuming by ‘prods’ you mean Loyalist terror groups.
I don’t think it’s a matter of control: they couldn’t prevent the INLA, CIRA or RIRA. I presume they’re playing ‘softly softly catchee monkey’ with their own people. Little steps, like they’re doing now.
I hope the method is similar on the other side too; the fact that the UUP are even talking to Sinn Féinn is promising.
It’s one more step along a long road. Personally, I’m inclined to view it as a positive mood. Unfortunately, the knee-jerk response from the UK tabloids has been pretty much unanimous scorn and derision (but what else could we expect from these bastions of journalism? - I think “bastions” is the right word, or close to it, anyway). A pity; if it had been taken seriously, that would encourage the hard-line Republicans, and put more pressure on the hard-line Loyalists to make some peace moves themselves (which needs to happen, if the peace process is to continue moving forward).
Let’s just hope the apology is taken more seriously by the people who matter.
Aro, I think you may guess my political affiliations
To an extent, we do feel included. We feel we helped with the Good Friday Agreement. We had a referendum to give up our Constitutional claim to the 6 counties, and, as you might guess, we feel that the events in Northern Ireland are very important to us.
I hope that you dont underestimate the level of organisation in the UVF or the UDA. They’re not all thickhead steroid bully boys, unfortunately.
I think the UK tabloids could play an enormously positive role in the process, but choose to plod on with the same retoric they were using in the early 70’s. Very sad indeed.
Aro well it’s part of my country why shouldn’t I be interested
Seriously I personally have a lot of interest in NI. It was always on the agenda in my house as my father was involved in the Civil Rights movement and also knew a lot of Republicans (both political and military). It doesn’t affect my everyday life at all. I think that there has been a big change in attitudes down here. 20 years ago it was all Tiocfaidh Ár Lá etc. now IMO we just want peace and then see what happens after that. We voted to remove the constitutional claim on the 6 counties by a very large majority.
It basically a case of the ball’s in their court and we’ll do what we can to help. There is still a low level nationalism under the surface but the old ways are going as the country continues to enter the post Celtic Tiger world.
Do you think the majority of people in the South would say “Enough” and take peace, if it meant NI remained NI and part of the UK? Would it be peace at any cost? If it went to an Ireland-wide vote tomorrow, would people be happy to drop any claim to the 6 counties for a lasting, real, peace?
Because I don’t think the loyalist community would drop their claim to NI for lasting peace.
Hey, It’s your country trying to be rid of my country.:eek:
I was born & raised in Northern Ireland, and regardless of my political affiliations or beliefs, I would effectively be country-less if a united Ireland came to pass. Not a nice thought.
Actually, is there any record in the modren era of a country that exists, dissolving and returning to ownership of a larger country? I usually seems that smaller factions re-create, with more countries being formed from inside larger ones (See USSR, Yugoslavia, Czech. Rep. etc…).
Just another aside in between trying to get some work done.