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1 September 2015 Edition

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The war is over – the IRA is gone

Editorial • Eagarfhocal

It comes as no surprise that those in the media and politics opposed to Sinn Féin have sought to use the tragedy of these killings to progress their own agenda. The only place where the IRA is active is in their heads.

THE KILLING of Gerard 'Jock' Davison was wrong and was carried out by criminal elements. The killing of Kevin McGuigan was wrong and carried out by criminal elements.  These killings have nothing to do with republicanism.  Those involved must be brought before the courts and justice served. 

It is worth repeating – the war is over and the IRA is gone.

It has been more than 10 years since the IRA ended its campaign and put its weapons beyond use. 

Speaking about the decision of the IRA,  Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD told the National Hunger Strike Commemoration in Dundalk on 23 August:

 “That organisation, undefeated, took the momentous step in 2005 and ordered an end to its armed campaign. It instructed its representatives to ‘engage with the IICD [Independent International Commission on Decommissioning] to complete the process to verifiably put its arms beyond use’ and ordered its Volunteers to take part only in ‘purely political and democratic programmes’ and no ‘other activities whatsoever’.”

Over the past ten years, former IRA Volunteers have followed that order to promote the republican agenda, others have simply ‘got on with life’.

This fact has been recognised in republican communities across Ireland.

This reality runs contrary to the position advanced by the PSNI Chief Constable. It is a matter of record that Sinn Féin and republicans reject his assertion that the IRA continues to exist. 

While we disagree with the PSNI Chief Constable on this matter we will continue to stand with the PSNI to ensure that the criminals responsible for killing Jock Davison and Kevin McGuigan are brought to justice. 

It comes as no surprise that those in the media and politics opposed to Sinn Féin have sought to use the tragedy of these killings to progress their own agenda. The only place where the IRA is active is in their heads.

Elements within unionism have sought to use the issue to stall progress. Their words echo with hypocrisy when the Democratic Unionist Party and the Ulster Unionist Party stands shoulder to shoulder with the leaders of unionist paramilitary groups which are still active, organised and armed.

We also have the parties in the South, so keen to deflect from their own failures that they will jeopardise years of political progress for a cheap headline. 

Let us remind those who are seeking to exploit these deaths for party political ends. It is the people who support Sinn Féin and it is the people who elect Sinn Féin representatives into office across Ireland. The rights of these citizens and Sinn Féin's growing mandate for change cannot be undermined by other political parties.

Let An Phoblacht restate what Sinn Féin leaders have publicly said:

  • The killings of Jock Davison and Kevin McGuigan are the actions of criminals and not republicans;
  • Sinn Féin has called for the community to support the PSNI in bringing those responsible to justice;
  • Sinn Féin is in the institutions on the basis of its mandate and, like all other parties, that democratic mandate must be respected;
  • It is up to the people to determine Sinn Féin's role in government – not other political parties or bodies.
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An Phoblacht
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