Monday, August 01, 2005


Pessimism and the Provos

Is it just me or has there been an increase in negativity in recent days with regard to the IRA's statement on Thursday?

While people weren't exactly swinging from the rooftops on Thursday, there did seem to be a mood of quiet and cautious optimism but it feels as if that mood has slowly disintegrated into a mood of cynicism and disenchantment.

People seem less and less interested in what the IRA did say and more and more interested in what the IRA didn't say.

I'm no fan of Kevin Myers but he puts his points across succintly and did so in his most
recent article criticising the IRA's statement. Here's what he had to say:

"Another useful function in any IRA statement is what is not there. So what was missing from the statement - and missing by design rather than oversight? First, no mention of support for the police - a key ingredient to participation in civilised government. Secondly, it did not specifically renounce all criminality, which is now the Provisional movement's bread and butter. Thirdly, it referred to "all volunteers", which clearly suggests that the IRA knows both the meaning of "all" and how to spell it. However, that precious word does not recur when it comes to the undertaking to destroy arms: the declaration does not say "all" arms, just "arms". In Provospeak, that merely means "some arms", and, even then, there is no timetable to what will clearly be merely the partial destruction of the IRA arsenal."

As I say, I'm no fan of Myers but he raises some interesting points. Anthony McIntyre was quite critical in a recent article also.

As well as that, we hear the news that in a poll for the Sunday Independent, 87 per cent of people do not believe the IRA has ended its criminal activities. So much pessimism!

I had heard speculation that the IRA were going to decommission a large amount of arms within 48 hours of their statement but this obviously did not take place. Perhaps it should have.

Despite Bertie Ahern proclaiming Thursday "a great day for Ireland" and Tony Blair describing the event as being of "unparalleled magnitude", it would appear alot of people are unconvinced. This is compounded by the reaction given to the statement by Unionism which remains deeply suspicious of the IRA and is motives.

Ultimately the onus is on the Provisionals to turn the negatives into positives, to turn the pessimism into optimism, and to deliver on the many promises given to the people.

The IRA should acknowledge that alot of people have doubts. And prove them wrong.


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