7/24/2005

IRA statement, What will it mean for this Republican?

According to the BBC's security "expert" Brian Rowan the IRA statement is expected possibly within days.

When it comes what will it mean for me, your Joe average Republican from South Armagh?

Let me set out first what I expect to come out of it given the fact that I have no knowledge of what will be in it.

-The IRA will enter a new mode, not disband

I would be shocked if the IRA disbanded

-The issue of Republican arms will be sorted out once and hopefully for all

This is going to be problematic as friends who used to be volunteers have told me that nobody really knows how many guns there are. Semtex has roughly a 20-25 year life span, depending on how it is stored. That has basically sorted itself out.

-The issue of OTR's will be sorted out

-Sean Kelly will be released and the issue of the Castlereagh 5 will be looked at

Without this a lot of Republicans will be very upset and it may be hard to sell to the Volunteers.

-The statement will suffice the two governments but not the DUP

-Republicans are going to have to make very difficult decisions

This will be very true for younger Volunteers who have grown increasingly frustrated with the direction of the peace process and the constant crisis.

I do not wish the IRA to go back to war. There is no reason for it and there is no will for it from the vast majority of the Republican movement and the Nationalist and Republican community at large. I do not believe armed conflict will produce a United Ireland. I believe we can achieve that through political means. I have always supported and defended the IRA's war for the last 30 years because I know there was no other way but now there is.

It is going to be a difficult time ahead.

-Lastly the most difficult aspect of the future for Republicans, Policing

This is going to be very hard to sell to your average Nationalist never mind a Republican. Personally speaking even were Patton to be fully implemented I will never support a 6 county police force. I was brought up to resent and rebel against any form of British influence in Ireland and that is what 6 county policing is.

An extension of the British security force

We shall have to just wait and see

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