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October 01, 2005

DUP Running From Reality

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DJ 10/01/05 DUP Running From Reality – McGuinness
NH 10/01/05 358 Attacks On Nationalists Since Start Of Year
BB 10/01/05 Witness 'Not Offended By Paisley'
BT 10/01/05 Sorry For Your Trouble, Ian
BB 10/01/05 IRA Arms Debate 'Now A Dodo'
BG 10/01/05 Opin: Gunmen No More
UN 10/01/05 The Killers Still In Our Our Midst
UN 10/01/05 The Provo Gun With A Terrible Power .


DUP Running From Reality - McGuinness Tells 'Journal'

Friday 30th September 2005

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness says the DUP is "running from
reality' by refusing to face up to the fact that the IRA
has put all its weapons beyond use.

The Mid-Ulster MP, speaking to the 'Journal' from
Washington DC, insisted the DUP's response to the IRA's
"seismic and historic" arms move had left Ian Paisley's
party "isolated in world opinion." "Make no mistake about
it, the DUP is isolated," he said. "World opinion isn't
with them.

"They are running away from the reality of the new
situation because they now have to make a big decision."

Acknowledging that the DUP should be given time to "get
their heads around" the actuality of IRA decommissioning,
Mr. McGuinness remains adamant Ian Paisley's party will
have to share power with republicans.

"Ian Paisley is on record as stating that, if the issue of
arms was dealt with, he would go into government with Sinn
Fein," said Sinn Fein's chief negotiator.

"General de Chastelain has said that he is finished dealing
with the IRA; that he is satisfied that full
decommissioning has taken place. That's the reality whether
Ian Paisley likes it or not. He can't hide behind the
excuse of the IRA any Mr. McGuinness is in no doubt that
the political spotlight is now firmly fixed on the DUP.

"Granted, we have to give Ian Paisley and the DUP space to
come to terms with the dramatic shift in the situation
here; but come to terms with it they will certainly have

He added: "After May's Westminster elections, I heard
Paisley, Robinson and Gregory Campbell telling us all that
unionism was no longer a lap dog; that they were confident
of their ability to meet all challenges facing the unionist

"Since then we have had ongoing attacks on Catholics in
Belfast and North Antrim, shots fired by unionist
paramilitaries at the PSNI and British Army and rioting on
the streets by people who call themselves loyalists.

"And last Monday we had General de Chastelain and his
colleagues telling the world the IRA had put weapons beyond
use. Two men of outstanding integrity also confirmed this.
In addition, the British, Irish and American governments
have accepted the bona fides of all concerned. But all we
have got from the DUP are attempts at the character
assassination of those involved.

"If this is the new confident brand of unionism talked
about by the DUP, then not only God help them, but God help
us all."


358 – That's The Number Of Attacks On Nationalists Living
In Interface Areas Since The Start Of The Year


Since the start of the year, community workers in North
Belfast have recorded 358 sectarian attacks on Nationalists
living in interface areas.

Nationalists have suffered 72 petrol bomb attacks, 45
incidents of intimidation, 20 assaults, 42 paint bombs, six
death threats and 50 attacks on vehicles according to the
Interface Mentoring Network (IMN) who collected details on
incidents from January to September.

As a result Sinn Féin MLA Kathy Stanton has made an urgent
appeal to the British and Irish governments to deal with
the social impact of such intense sectarianism.

"The time has now come for a genuine and open dialogue with
all political and community stakeholders to implement a
long-term strategy aimed at addressing the underlying
causes of conflict and division at interfaces ranging from
sectarianism, employment, education, housing and poverty
related issues," the MLA said.

The MLA spoke at a conference called to address the impact
of interfaces in Stormont this week alongside interface
workers Gerry O'Reilly and Rab McCallum.

North Belfast has over 25 interfaces and approximately 75
voluntary workers who are involved at the coal face.

According to the IMN, an umbrella organisation which deals
with interface violence and incidents, Nationalists have
suffered 358 sectarian attacks since the start of the year.

Gerry O'Reilly of the interface group said the onus was
upon the government to bring forward a viable policy to
address the impact of these attacks.

"Current approaches towards the resolution of conflict at
interface areas in North Belfast and throughout the North
of Ireland are not working or have been stalled by those
within the Unionist community who fail to engage on this
issue," Gerry O'Reilly said.

"This is further compounded by the shortsightedness of the
British and Irish governments' unwillingness to grasp the
bull by the horns once and for all and seek a long-term
viable solution."

The PSNI were able to comment only on sectarian attacks
recorded on their books in North Belfast since April of
this year.

According to their figures since April 1 until the end of
August, 170 sectarian incidents were recorded.

Co-ordinator of North Belfast Interface Network Rab
McCallum said voluntary workers in this field of work
needed a lot of support.

"These voluntary workers are involved in critical
interventions in times of civil strife and crisis," he

"These interventions are generally fraught with tensions
and confrontation. This work has become increasingly
demanding and is often thankless. The faint hearted rarely
throw themselves into this type of work. Yet with virtually
every interface incident comes a call from all quarters for
the community to do more."

Sinn Féin MLA for North Belfast Kathy Stanton said the
conference should put pressure on the British and Irish
governments to begin a wide-ranging process of

"This consultation process must produce a much needed
strategy and funding for this must follow for those who are
working day and daily on the ground to make improvements to
the lives of those living in interface communities."

October 1, 2005


Witness 'Not Offended By Paisley'

Remarks made by DUP leader Ian Paisley about the two church
witnesses to decommissioning were not hurtful, the
Protestant clergyman has said.

Mr Paisley said they were "IRA nominated", which had "put a
very big question over what has taken place".

Former Methodist president Rev Harold Good said he has
"never felt as right about anything as I felt about this".

He said he was "overwhelmed" by the positive response, some
from unionists and Orangemen, over Monday's statement.

Mr Good confirmed to BBC Radio Ulster's Inside Politics
that he was first approached late last year, and said he
was assured he would be acceptable to a wide range of

He said he was not being naive in taking on the role of
decommissioning witness, along with his Catholic
counterpart, Fr Alec Reid.

We didn't come out of the meeting having agreed on
everything, but there was a mutual understanding, and that
was important

Rev Harold Good

On his meeting with the DUP Most computers will open PDF
documents automatically, but you may need to download Adobe
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"I'm prepared, if it were ever proven to me that I had been
fooled in this... well, that's the risk one takes," he

"I don't believe I have been (naive), not for one moment,
but we have to be prepared to be fools for the sake of the
greater good."

The two church witnesses met a DUP delegation at Stormont
on Thursday, where the party raised their concerns about
the clergymen's nomination and the inventory of weapons

Ulster Unionist deputy leader Danny Kennedy had said Mr
Paisley was "wrong to question the honesty and integrity"
of the two church witnesses.

However, Mr Good said there were no hard feelings between
himself and the DUP at the meeting.

"It was amicable, it was good natured and frank. It
provided an opportunity for two-way clarification," he

"We didn't come out of the meeting having agreed on
everything, but there was a mutual understanding, and that
was important."

Mr Good added that he now wanted to get on with enjoying
his retirement.

Making his report on Monday, General De Chastelain said he
had handled every gun and made an inventory of the
ordnance, which was in line with estimates provided by the
UK and Irish security services.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/10/01 08:14:03 GMT


Sorry For Your Trouble, Ian

By Linda McKee
01 October 2005

SINN Fein last night condemned vandalism attacks on Ian
Paisley's main church building in Belfast - sparking an
unholy row with a sceptical DUP.

Fourteen windows in Martyrs Memorial Church on the
Ravenhill Road were smashed, possibly by bullets of some
description, on Thursday night or yesterday morning.

The damage, estimated at £1,000, follows on from an £11,000
attack on the building several months ago.

South Belfast Sinn Fein Assembly member Alex Maskey
condemned those responsible. "Whatever the motivation,
attacks on churches are unacceptable and unwanted in this
society," he said.

But while Dr Paisley's son, Ian Paisley jnr, described the
attack as despicable, the MLA and Policing Board member
said most unionists would probably take Mr Maskey's
"crocodile tears" with a pinch of salt.

IAN Paisley's church in east Belfast has come under attack
for the second time in recent months, with 14 windows

The latest vandalism on the Martyrs Memorial Church on the
Ravenhill Road was condemned by Sinn Fein, prompting a
sceptical response from the DUP.

The church - which is the headquarters of the Free
Presbyterian Church, and the place where the DUP leader
preaches every Sunday - were smashed, possibly by bullets
of some description.

The damage - estimated at £1,000 - is believed to have been
caused on Thursday night or yesterday morning.

Several months ago up to £11,000 worth of damage was caused
when windows in the building were shattered.

South Belfast Sinn Fein Assembly member Alex Maskey
condemned those responsible for the attack.

"Whatever the motivation, attacks on churches are
unacceptable and unwanted in this society," he said.

But while Dr Paisley's son Ian Paisley Jr described the
attack as despicable, he said most unionists would probably
take Mr Maskey's "crocodile tears" with a pinch of salt.

"I can understand why he's embarrassed by it and it's
embarrassing for community leaders when these sorts of
things happen," he said.

Last month Dr Paisley was criticised for his slow response
to attacks on Catholic families in Ahoghill, in his North
Antrim constituency.

Free Presbyterian Moderator and minister Dr Paisley said it
appeared some sort of gun had been used this time.

"We counted 14 windows shot through," he said.

"These attacks have now become a very serious matter. So
far the police have been totally unable to safeguard the
building or prevent these attacks."

A police spokeswoman confirmed a report of criminal damage
and appealed for anyone with information to contact them on
9065 0222.


IRA Arms Debate 'Now A Dodo'

By Mark Devenport
BBC Northern Ireland political editor

The last few days have been spent, inevitably, going over
the entrails of IRA decommissioning.

The DUP expressed doubts about who nominated the clerical
witnesses and how the two clergymen could be so sure that
all the IRA's guns had been destroyed.

The UUP defended the honour of the Methodist witness
Reverend Harold Good.

The secretary of state refused to reveal the confidential
security force estimates of the IRA arsenal which General
John de Chastelain had relied upon to carry out his work.

All very interesting, but a week on, the debate about IRA
decommissioning is already resembling a discussion of the
dodo's flying abilities.

Whether happy or unhappy about what occurred, all sides are
moving on to their own diverse concerns whilst they wait
for progress on the bigger political picture.

Ahead of talks at Downing Street next week, the DUP have
forwarded a 50-page document detailing confidence-building
measures to the government.

Its East Londonderry MP, Gregory Campbell, says talks
cannot be convened until the areas highlighted in the
document are addressed.

Some measures, such as the de-rating of Orange Halls, are
already agreed in principle and will be announced in due

Others, such as the appointment of a victims commissioner,
appear to be working their way through the system.

The DUP were unhappy about the appointment of both the
former Woman's Coalition MLA Monica McWilliams as human
rights commissioner and former RTE executive Bob Collins as
equality commissioner.

So the government is bending over backwards to keep them on
board with the victims job.

It is understood a candidate acceptable to the DUP, with
first-hand experience of what it is to be a victim, is
under consideration.

Other DUP demands, such as the reconstitution of the
Policing Board to give them more places, or the end of the
current 50/50 recruitment to the police, may take longer to

But they are all likely to be in the melting pot in the
months ahead.

Sinn Fein have already crossed some important items off
their shopping list, with the removal of border watchtowers
and the disbandment of the Royal Irish Regiment's home

They will now be looking forward to seeing the legislation
on "on-the-runs", which the secretary of state has promised
to put through parliament in the autumn.

They will also want to see, at least in draft form, the
government's plans for devolving policing and justice.

South of the border, they will continue to press for
speaking rights in the Dail for northern politicians.

Sinn Fein are also due into Downing Street next week.

The joke is that if the DUP walk in with a 50-page
document, then Sinn Fein will come carrying one 60 pages

Justice issues could keep republicans busy as they ponder
what price they might extract for signing up in the future
to the Policing Board.

Watch for continued debate about whether the state should
provide funding for community restorative justice projects
which have, so far, operated in republican or loyalist
areas without co-operating with the police.


There are also rumours about the possible "certification"
of past cases, a system which it is implied might block the
re-examination of "cold cases" which could cause
embarrassment either to security force assets or to former
paramilitaries now playing a leading role in the process.

On the loyalist side, there seems little chance of any
positive response to the secretary of state's demand that
the UVF and UDA should follow the IRA's example on

But at the time of writing, the UVF-LVF feud appears to
have abated, and it's possible the IRA move could provide
the LVF with a pretext to stand down.

This could in turn help bring the feud to an end.

So while the pace of progress on the wider front remains
glacial, there should still be plenty to talk about in
Downing Street next week, even if IRA decommissioning now
looks like a dodo.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/10/01 08:36:13 GMT


Gunmen No More

October 1, 2005

'TAKING THE gun out of Irish politics" -- a longstanding
hope in Northern Ireland -- almost certainly was achieved
this week. The Irish Republican Army's political party,
Sinn Fein, and its adversaries in the unionist movement
need to take steps specified in the Good Friday agreement
to strengthen the political structures that offer
nonviolent solutions to the sectarian division of the

The IRA arsenal, whose elimination was announced this week,
had its origins in the violence of the late 1960s, when
Catholics rightly believed that they could not rely on the
Protestant-dominated police force. Over the decades, the
IRA has become the enforcer of order in working-class
Catholic neighborhoods. The new nonsectarian Police Service
of Northern Ireland, formed four years ago, has had trouble
gaining trust.

The Police Service demonstrated its even-handedness this
month when it battled Protestant rioters in West Belfast.
Sinn Fein would bolster the police, and show its commitment
to the political process, if it joined the oversight boards
that are intended to provide legitimacy for the police in
all segments of Northern Irish society.

Had the IRA eliminated its arsenal three or four years ago,
the overwhelmingly Protestant Ulster Unionist Party would
probably still be the leading political organization in
Northern Ireland. In 2003, this party was supplanted by the
Democratic Unionists, led by Ian Paisley, enemy of Sinn
Fein and Irish nationalism in general.

Paisley worried this week that there weren't enough
guarantees that the IRA had given up its weapons. There
might be an odd rifle or handgun unaccounted for, but the
independent committee that oversees disarmament, assisted
by a Catholic priest and a Protestant minister, is
satisfied that the IRA has rendered inactive its major
weapons, including ground-to-air missiles and a
flamethrower. The key issue is not whether a few weapons
are unaccounted for but whether the IRA has any intention
of using them.

The International Monitoring Commission, another
independent panel, is watching the IRA to determine whether
it has stopped its vigilante and criminal activities, such
as the Northern Bank robbery last year. Assuming that the
IRA has ended all its violence, fulfilling an essential
objective of the Good Friday agreement, Paisley's party has
no reason to avoid forming a government with Sinn Fein.

Protestant paramilitary forces need to give up their guns
as well, but their crimes are more the stuff of gangsterism
than orchestrated political violence. Sinn Fein's Gerry
Adams and Martin McGuinness have shown great skill in
weaning their old IRA comrades from violence. Now they and
the other party leaders need to create an effective
political system atop the mountain of weapons rendered
harmless in the IRA arms dumps.

© Copyright 2005 Globe Newspaper Company.


FAREWELL TO ARMS 3 : The Killers Still In Our Our Midst

South Armagh bore witness to some of the most brutal
killings of the Troubles. Willie Dillon visits a community
surrounded by dark secrets and raw tragedy

On a quiet country road in South Armagh, William Frazer's
car slows to a halt beside a bare black cross partly
obscured by grass and nettles. In any other place, this
simple memorial might mark the site of an old traffic
fatality. But not here.

Ten Protestant men going home from work in a minibus were
lined up and shot dead at this spot in January 1976. An
eleventh man survived. The Kingsmill massacre was one of
the worst atrocities of all the Troubles.

"The bus was parked just there," says Mr Frazer, pointing
to the grass margin. "And the men who did it stood here,
maybe not five feet away. And they fired something like two
hundred rounds into them. Some of those who died were on
their knees praying. The killers were laughing and cheering
as they walked away."

He considers this for a moment. "Laughing and cheering,
after doing that. If you took ten dogs out and shot them,
you wouldn't be over the moon about it, would you?" It's
obviously a rhetorical question. "These were ten human

For William Frazer and many other South Armagh protestants,
the past hasn't gone away, you know. It lives on in the
memory of loved ones murdered by the IRA. Many of the
killers were never brought to justice, though their
identities were generally known in their neighbourhoods.
Worse, some are still walking around those same localities

He and others like him are deeply sceptical of IRA
decommissioning. Until the republican mindset is
decommissioned, he argues, normal life in his part of the
country will never return. "The reality is they still
believe they have the right to use violence in the name of
a united Ireland - maybe not at this particular minute, but
six months down the line, a year down the line . . .

"After every IRA campaign, arms were dumped. It's really no
different to what they did in the 20s, the 40s and the 60s.
But they always started another campaign within a few

Mr Frazer, who was born in nationalist Whitecross and once
played Gaelic football, is the full-time head of an
organisation called Families Acting For Innocent Relatives
(FAIR). He is well qualified. His father Bertie, a part-
time member of the Ulster Defence Regiment, was murdered by
the IRA. So were two of his uncles, two of his cousins and
five of his friends.

As we drive the pleasant nine miles between Whitecross and
Newtownhamilton, he casually points out the scenes of
brutal slayings long since forgotten by the rest of the
world. "There were thirty-something people killed on this

On an August evening in 1975, his father was gunned down at
the gate of a farm where he worked near Whitecross. One of
the two masked assassins told a man living nearby to get
indoors. The killer addressed the man - since deceased - by
his first name. "Joe knew the voice because it was a
neighbour from two or three fields away."

Another neighbour saw the killers - now with their masks
off - driving away in the murdered man's car. "One thing
you have to understand is that people who carried out
killings in this area didn't come from 40 miles away. They
were our neighbours and our friends."

As with many other killings, witnesses were too afraid to
go to the police. Mr Frazer sometimes sees the men he
believes killed his father. How does he feel when that
happens? "I feel worse now than I did a few years ago,
because then I always thought 'some day you're going to
answer for that, some day you're going to end up in court'.

"But," he laughs ruefully, "now I wonder what the heck it
was all about? What has the pain and suffering over the
last 30 years all been for? We see these people being
rewarded. We see them prospering. We see them walking about
with their families. There was nine of us in the family and
basically we were reared without a father."

In Newtownhamilton, we watch a police and army foot patrol
moving in tight formation, guns at the ready, close to the
heavily fortified police station. Even now, the threat of
armed attack still exists, Mr Frazer believes. "Do you
honestly believe the chief constable wouldn't have these
people out of here if he thought he could get away with it?
But the reality is he knows he can't pull them out.

"He tries to portray this image that everything is great -
policemen on the beat licking ice cream, walking about in
shirt sleeves and on push bikes. That's all well and good
in areas where there's been very little conflict in the
first place. But in areas like this one, we're still living
under that threat."

This reasoning is emphatically rebuffed by Terry Hearty, a
Sinn Fein councillor from Crossmaglen, nine miles south. He
says there has been no incident of any kind there in eleven

Normality of sorts has returned to this once notorious
border village. There is a palpable air of renewal and
regeneration. The area is attracting healthy commercial
investment and even tourists.

But despite the many improvements, enormous military
helicopters still roar in over the rooftops every day to
the huge fortified army base which towers above the centre
of Crossmaglen. They carry the armed police and soldiers
who still regularly go on street patrol there.

"The only way we can get back to normality," insists Cllr
Hearty, sitting beneath a row of large framed pictures of
the H-Block hunger strikers at the local Sinn Fein office,
"is by the full removal of the British war machine from the

Two military observation posts in the area are currently
being dismantled. But he insists that the "monstrosity" in
the village centre will eventually have to go too. Locals
fear the sophisticated electronic spying equipment at the
base has caused cancers in the area.

Tom McKay, PRO of Crossmaglen Rangers GAA club, whose pitch
adjoins the army base, says the level of helicopter
activity hasn't gone down at all. The club has 700 members,
ranging from under-eights to senior level. If a chopper
roars in during a game, players have long since learned not
to even look up.

Mr McKay, a retired civil servant, describes the base as
"the most sophisticated listening and watching device in
Europe". He says locals are careful about what they say,
even in their homes. They believe the army may be
eavesdropping. "This isn't peoples imagination," he

William Frazer says he doesn't see himself as a bitter man,
but admits he feels misunderstood. "There are no problems
between the ordinary Catholic and Protestant. There never
was. The problem lies between republicans and the
Protestant community. They keep talking about wanting the
British out of Ireland. That's where the problem lies. When
they talk about the British being put out, they're talking
about us.

"They say they're talking about the army and stuff. But
they're not. They talk about removing the British presence.
But in doing that, they'll have to remove us. And that's
the problem. We have no intention of going anywhere."


FAREWELL TO ARMS 4 : The Provo Gun With A Terrible Power .
. .
The rifles and Semtex may be gone, but, as Michael Mulqueen
explains, the threat posed by some weapons shaped the peace
process while others were virtually defunct

The Provisional IRA had only one type of rifle powerful
enough to penetrate the body armour protecting British
squaddie Stephen Restorick - and he was in its crosshairs.
Lorraine McElroy recalled how the young soldier smiled as
he handed her back her driver's licence. Moments later, he
slumped to the ground, mortally wounded after a single
bullet sliced through his body and grazed the skull of Mrs
McElroy, a Catholic mother.

The Barrett 'Light 50' long-range sniper rifle used to kill
Lance Bombardier Restorick (23) at a security checkpoint
near Bessbrook, south Armagh in February 1997 and up to
nine others in previous attacks, was not given up for
decommissioning. Instead, it was seized shortly after the
Bessbrook shooting in a high-risk security operation in
Crossmaglen. But, recalling the circumstances of this
killing now is important because it helps explain why the
decommissioning of some IRA weapons matters more than

A weapon-of-choice for US military snipers, the American-
manufactured 'Light 50' M82A1 semi-automatic was deployed
in the first Gulf War to take out radar and other heavy
Iraqi military targets.

In Northern Ireland, the 'snipers-at-work' in south Armagh
proved how the British Army's standard body armour could
not withstand its .50 Browning projectiles, which at ranges
of up to two kilometres impact at over twice the speed of
sound. In short, not only had the 'Light 50' the capacity
to cause terrible injury and death, it could also strike a
particular fear into the minds of soldiers and policemen
patrolling the ground.

But the value to the IRA of the 'Light 50' was not simply
that it offered a long-range sniping capability, which was
both difficult for their enemies in the security forces to
counter and psychologically unsettling for them. It also
held the potential for political clout.

The British and Irish Governments assumed that the Provos
retained at least one other identical weapon after the
Crossmaglen seizure. The discovery in 1999, as part of the
Florida gun-running affair, of a consignment of .50 calibre
Browning bullets hidden in a package in a Dublin postal
sorting office, suggested a real intention to carry out
more 'Light 50' attacks in the event of a return to war.
More deaths like Stephen Restorick's could follow.

In these circumstances, by simply maintaining the gun(s) in
the IRA arsenal for as long as possible, the Provisional
movement had, if they wished, a potent carrot to hold out
to both governments and unionists to further Sinn Fein's

Similarly, it appears that the IRA held in storage to the
very end of the decommissioning process quantities of the
infamous semtex explosive. Semtex offered the Provos the
capacity to carry out mass-casualty atrocities and it had a
psychological effect - although more so among ordinary
people, who saw its terrible power in the London Docklands
bombings and elsewhere. For as long as the IRA retained it,
semtex was available to strengthen Sinn Fein's negotiating

However, for all the hype surrounding the Provo arsenal,
other elements within it were almost valueless, both
militarily and politically. Take the Russian-made DShK
heavy machine-gun, which like the semtex was received from
Libya. By the 1997 ceasefire, the Provos reputedly had 17
'Dushkies', which theoretically could have shot down
military helicopters. But so big and heavy were these
trailer-carried, slow-firing weapons that they were a
liability for IRA active service units, which relied on
speed. Holding on to these guns hardly strengthened the
Provisional movement's position at the talks table.

Similarly, it is difficult to conceive of the governments
getting excited at the prospect of the Provos
decommissioning their stock of LPO-50 flamethrowers
(estimated to be seven strong), which they never used, or
the SA-7B 'Grail' surface-to-air missile. The latter was
widely believed to be beyond repair.

Handguns and the Romanian-made AK-47 derived assault rifles
(estimated at 600) could possibly have yielded greater
weight. An AK was used to kill Detective Garda Jerry McCabe
in 1996. So, among the Irish Government at least,
destruction of the AK stock was probably considered
imperative. But, it was known that a quantity of the IRA's
AKs were obscure versions, and so probably lacked suitable
ammunition to constitute 'bargaining chips'.

For some, seeing lethal weapons as negotiating tools like
this may not matter, because the main story of
decommissioning is that the guns that murdered Stephen
Restorick and so many others are gone for good. But that
misses a potentially bigger picture.

The Provisional movement held on and on to their armed
negotiating power until now. The secrecy of earlier
decommissioning helped them do so. No one else knew whether
the deadliest weapons, such as the 'Light 50' had been
destroyed and that stalled the peace process. In the
vacuum, the political middle ground imploded and with the
Armalite still in one hand, Sinn Fein became the most
powerful party of nationalism.

Michael Mulqueen is completing a PhD at the Dublin European
Institute, UCD School of Politics and International
Relations. His thesis assesses Irish national security
against terrorism, post 9/11.

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