Pseudo groups are locked into political fantasy world
Pseudo groups are locked into political fantasy world

By Jim Gibney (for Irish News)

Three very distinct and separate voices were heard across the Irish media last weekend.

Two of those voices were a product of the far-reaching changes that the people of this country have lived through as a result of the peace process over the last 15 years.

These particular voices, although miles apart in terms of origin and destination, were far-sighted, challenging and positive.

The third voice was disturbing, backward looking and degenerate.

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams launched what he described as a “National Conversation For a United Ireland”. Cardinal Sean Brady, in a bold initiative, met with the Ulster Political Research Group (UPRG), the political representatives of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA).

Meanwhile, for the second time since Easter pseudo republicans issued a death threat against joint First Minister Martin McGuinness.

This threat was preceded by attacks on the family home of Sinn Féin MLA Mitchel McLaughlin and on Sinn Féin offices in Derry and Belfast, believed to be the work of these pseudo groups.

The united Ireland meetings in this country will be followed up by three major conferences - two in the US, in New York and San Francisco, and the third in Britain.

The primary purpose behind these meetings is to put a focus on the issue of a united Ireland and to generate a debate as to what steps are needed to achieve that long-held republican objective.

The circumstances in which republicans continue to pursue a united Ireland have fundamentally changed as a result of the peace process.

For the first time in the history of republicanism armed force is no longer necessary to achieve a united Ireland.

That objective can be secured by those in favour of unity marshalling those forces on this island and across the Irish diaspora in the US and Britain to bring it about.

It is the responsibility of the Irish government, in particular the Taoiseach Brian Cowen, to use the resources of his government to convince the British government to adopt a disengagement strategy.

It is also the responsibility of Mark Durkan, the leader of the SDLP, to do likewise and it is the responsibility of all the leaders of nationalist parties on this island to convince unionists and Protestants of the merits of a united Ireland.

For the first time since partition, republicans have real political power and are using that power to advance the cause of reunification while they tackle a range of problems people are experiencing in their day-to-day lives.

Republicans are using the political institutions of the Good Friday Agreement to peacefully and democratically move towards independence.

The all-Ireland ministerial council, executive and assembly are being shaped by republicans to clear away the obstacles to unity.

Republicans are following a political engagement strategy which they have never used before. Hitherto armed force and pressurising society as a consequence to change were the tactics employed.

Republicans are using their considerable influence from inside society to bring about a united Ireland.

The meeting between the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and the UPRG was a welcome, although risky, initiative.

Welcome because it is important that loyalists also adopt an engagement strategy in order to open the political space for them to rebuild a political party for their constituency.

Risky because of the volatility of loyalism and in particular the UDA but they and the UVF showed remarkable discipline following the recent killings by the Real and Continuity IRA.

The issue of loyalist guns has yet to be satisfactorily addressed as has the widespread concern of involvement in drug-dealing and racketeering in working-class areas.

Cardinal Brady is aware of this. He was right to meet the UPRG; risk-taking has taken us out of armed conflict.

So far that message seems to be lost to the Real and Continuity IRA. They are locked into a political fantasy world which has perverted their logic to the point where they attack the homes of republicans, threaten their lives and destroy memorials to republican martyrs.

Those behind these incidents need to end their silence, justify their actions and tell us how this disgraceful and shameful behaviour will bring about a united Ireland.

Urgent Appeal

Despite increasing support for Irish freedom and unity, we need your help to overcome British and unionist intransigence. We can end the denial of our rights in relation to Brexit, the Irish language, a border poll and legacy issues, with your support.

Please support IRN now to help us continue reporting and campaigning for our national rights. Even one pound a month can make a big difference for us.

Your contribution can be made with a credit or debit card by clicking below. A continuing monthly donation of £2 or more will give you full access to this site. Thank you. Go raibh míle maith agat.

© 2009 Irish Republican News