More on IRA decommissioning

While the DUP's rejection was easily predictable, I was pleasantly surprised by the responses of the UUP's Reg Empey and Roy Garland. Perhaps they've finally learnt the lesson Trimble never did: that they can never out-DUP the DUP and that they have a lot more to gain by appealing to and cultivating moderate unionism.

I predict that over the next couple weeks we'll see a sharp increase in black propaganda from the likes of the Sindo and the Sunday World. Absolutely the last thing they can stand to see is republicans having the upper hand in the PR battle.
RTÉ has just reported that the guns have been decommissioned.

A lot of republicans will have mixed feelings about this. I'm one of them. But as I said back in July, it's a case of whether there is more to be gained by holding on to them or by giving them up, and I accept at this point it might be the latter.

It's important that any further stalling by the DUP is met with firm action by the Governments - up to and including the threat of joint authority. Republicans have made as many compromises as we can, and we have done so without losing many of our number to the dissidents, but that will become a danger if there is no reciprocation. It is important that we see a return on this initiative. And Fianna Fáil allowing the possibility of going into coalition with us isn't the kind of return I'm talking about.

Wait and see time, I suppose.
I've been terrible for updating lately. Combination of things: work pressures, illness, and just not being inspired. But today, after the march for Irish unity, I'm feeling incredibly inspired.

There were more people there than I ever imagined there would be. I don't know what the precise figure was - RTÉ reported four to five thousand, but that was only for the rally which followed the march. For the march itself, 98FM put it at 20,000 and I've heard estimates from our own people at 15-20. In any case it was a hell of a lot. Enough that the front of the march was already on its way back down Suffolk Street while the back was just crossing O'Connell Bridge. The geographic spread was wonderful too; I saw banners from cumainn all over the country, including places I never even knew we had any cumainn (take a bow, North Connemara SF!). It was the kind of turnout you just don't see on republican marches these days, and its effect on our spirits was tremendous.

Hopefully it might even encourage me to update this thing more regularly again :)
For the second Monday running, the Irish Times has quoted garda sources casting doubt on some of the allegations frequently levelled at republicans. Last week the head of the Garda National Drugs Unit said there was no evidence of IRA involvement in the drugs trade. And today, "senior garda sources" acknowledge that there is no proof that Sinn Féin are funded by IRA money - Michael McDowell and Pat Rabbitte's frequent bleating notwithstanding.

Republicans, of course, have been saying both these things for years. We have challenged anybody with evidence to bring it forward. Nobody has, and now even the Garda Síochána are acknowledging that nobody can. I doubt that it will stop certain of our opponents from repeating this nonsense, but at least now we have the testimony of their own allies to refute it.
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