Murders are no justification for political shambles
To use the killing and murder committed by the IRA as some justification for the current shambles which passes for government in the north of Ireland is not only ridiculous, but also suggests an appalling ignorance of the history which long preceded 1969.
And even if it didn't, it would then demonstrate a complete lack of trust on that which the north of Ireland political parties have already signed up to in their agreement.
While the chief constable of the PSNI deserves respect for the difficult and dangerous post which he occupies and, indeed, for opinions which he may share with us, surely to link Sinn Fein with active members of the IRA should have required proof in law?
Furthermore, it would be strange if no former members of the IRA had acquaintance with members of Sinn Fein, which is now committed to non-violent progress and surely, since the ceasefires, unless such persons have become re-activated, communication between whoever of each cannot be illegal.
Why has there been no call to the PSNI and legal profession to produce the proof for what is being alleged, or assumed?
With regard to the reaction of unionist parties to all of this confusion and, in particular, to the health service distress which has been caused, we might ask whether, post the 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 wars, did any British politicians walk out of their responsibilities if the relevant employees were thought to have association with dissident members of the armed forces, unless the latter had been proven guilty of using their arms in order to achieve some purpose?
The current situation in the north of Ireland is a disgrace and reflects ever so badly on how the country intends to go forward.
Co-convenor, New Ireland Confederation