Thursday, July 28, 2005

'Provisional IRA Should Disband Completely'

'Provisional IRA Should Disband Completely'
Statement by Ruairí Ó Brádaigh President of Republican Sinn Féin

Today’s (July 28) statement from the Provisionals is the logical outcome of the change of direction they made in 1986 when they deserted the revolutionary road and started out on the constitutional path through the
partitionist institutions north and south.

It has been clear for many years that the Provisionals have abandoned the armed struggle against British occupation forces. They will now destroy the remainder of their arms, they say. As an army alleged to be without arms, the Provisional IRA should now disband completely.

But a rump will remain at local level to continue the harassment of faithful Republicans who fundraise for the prisoner’s dependents, distribute Easter lilies, sell the SAOIRSE newspaper or picket for political status for Republican prisoners.

This harassment can be expected to increase into persecution when the Provos finally don the enemy uniform and join the ranks of the British police force in Ireland. This will be a far cry from the heroic
strip-strike by the blanket men in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh.

The Provisional slogans of ‘No Unionist Veto’, ‘No Return to Stormont’ and ‘Not a Bullet, Not an Ounce’, ring very hollowly now. How on earth can British rule in Ireland be ended, as the Provos claim, by accepting and implementing that rule through Stormont and other partitionist institutions?

As Republican Sinn Féin has forecast they are being slowly and steadily absorbed into the English system in Ireland. Today’s statement may improve their chances of taking part in a coalition administration in Leinster House but will hardly help them towards a Stormont Executive.

Dr Paisley’s DUP will demand very humiliating conditions from the Provos before allowing them to participate. Eventually they will be unrecognisable.

The Provisionals should discard the trappings of the Republicanism they once served. Like Cumann na nGaedheal\Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Workers Party, they have betrayed it. They are no longer Republicans.



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