End of Road for Provos?

D OC donaloc at hotmail.com
Wed Jan 29 02:36:55 MST 2003


A chairde,

Just thought I'd quickly respond to the article predicting the imminent
demise of Oglaigh na hEireann (aka the IRA). The media here have been
flushed with stories like this - they are apparently being spun by British
Military Intelligence (and increasingly by elements of the Irish state) to
try and undermine the very serious negotiations which are currently in play
between the two Governments, Sinn Fein and the UUP.

A while back, there was a report of the IRA spying on Fianna Fail TDs,
apparently this was spun by elements in Special Branch to sabotage Fianna
Fail (i.e. the main 26 Co state party) support for the full implementation
of the GFA.

The negotiations currently underway are said to be as important as those
preceding the signing of the GFA. Complete implementation of the Agreement
would mean 'acts of completion' all around in terms of British Military
withdrawal, a serious reform to the RUC, complete transfer of powers to the
Northern Executive (i.e. the removal of areas coming under Westminster
control) and I guess they would be looking for something in return. In
effect, this would amount to a British disengagement of sorts - although I
for one won't be holding my breath on this outcome.

Meanwhile, the UUP are pushing for a postphonement of the Northern Assembly
elections in May - SF is set against this. It is likely that the UUP would
be decimated by Paisley's DUP in those elections with SF doing a similar job
to the mainstream nationalist SDLP. There are some indications that the DUP
might be interested in cutting a deal with SF at that stage - although this
may be rhetoric to reduce the DUP's hardline image and make them more
attractive to middle/upper-class Unionist voters.

As most people here agree, the next 3 months will be quite decisive and will
certainly tell if the GFA is worth the paper its written on.

Is mise,

D.

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