EVERYONE will welcome the assurance given by senior Sinn Féin member, Bobby Storey, that the IRA has stood down, is gone off the stage and is not coming back.
And yet… Given Sinn Féin’s lack of honesty, suspicions linger in the public mind. Besides describing the murderers of republicans Jock Davison and Kevin McGuigan as “criminals”, Mr Storey, northern chairman of the organisation, has called on anyone with information to give it to the police. Having been released unconditionally, he intends bringing legal proceedings against the police over his arrest, which nearly brought down the North’s tottering power-sharing administration.
Meanwhile, most people will welcome a timely call for the reinstatement of the International Monitoring Commission to provide clarification on the existence of the IRA. Significantly, this was backed by both Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan, and Arlene Foster, the North’s acting first minister. Mr Flanagan has cited clear evidence that ex-IRA men are engaged in criminality. But does that mean the IRA still exists in the shadows as a fundraiser?
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