They think it's all over, it is now!

I decided to wait a day or two before posting about the Ard Fheis in order to get a clear picture in my own head first. Now the decision on Sunday was as near to unanimous as you are likely to get at any Ard Fheis.

What will this mean to ordinary Republicans though, who are a little bit overwhelmed by the whole experience.

Well firstly the Ard Fheis motion states

"That this Ard Fheis endorses the Ard Chomhairle motion. That the Ard Chomhairle is mandated to implement this motion only when the power-sharing institutions are established and when the Ard Chomhairle is satisfied that the policing and justice powers will be transferred. Or if this does not happen within the St Andrews timeframe, only when acceptable new partnership arrangements to implement the Good Friday Agreement are in place. "

Which means that the Ard Chomhairle can not appoint anyone to Policing Boards until power-sharing is up and running and when they are satisfied that powers will be devolved.

If this does not happen by 2008 then they can only move when "acceptable new partnership arrangements" are in place.

Gerry Adams expanded on this today when he said that

"Further progress will happen either with the return of the power-sharing institutions on March 26th or in the context of new all-Ireland partnership arrangements"

Now today and yesterday Gerry has been busy calling on people to co-operate with the peelers and indeed calling on young Republicans to join the cops.

I have spoken to quite a few young Republicans this last few days and none of them will be joining anytime soon.

In relation to co-operating with the cops, Gerry is entitled to call for what ever he likes. I on the other hand will be making no such call.

The peelers must prove that they are competent, impartial, accountable and worthy of support before I would encourage anyone to work with or help them.

Gerry said it himself when he said that

"there is a huge onus on the PSNI to earn the trust and confidence, which at this point does not exist. "

Sunday has been described in all corners as truly historic and indeed it was. Some Republicans would argue that we are sell outs who have endorsed the apparatus of the state and as such have no right to call ourselves Republicans anymore.

Indeed many party members still have concerns about the decision.

Gerry spoke about this process being a bus journey to a United Ireland, a journey that will have a few stops along the way. At these stops he said that people will get off but many more will get on.

I was very sorry to hear that Sinn Féin Newry and Mourne Deputy Mayor Martin Connolly was one of those who got off the bus at this stop.

Martin is a sound bloke and a sound Republican, his input and opinion will be sadly missed. I can understand though why he felt that this was a step too far.

The elections have been called and it would seem that we are full steam ahead. The elections at least promise to be lively.

While I remain certain that I made the correct decision in supporting this initiative it doesn't stop me having a pain in the depths of my stomach over it.

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