Letter: IRA arms deadlock

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IRA arms deadlock

Sir: David McKittrick ("Trimble fights off rebellion", 17 February) reports Gerry Adams as rejecting demands for the decommissioning of IRA weapons with the argument that the transfer of powers is most likely to be the key to resolving the present impasse. Events leading up to the creation of the Assembly suggests that he is right.

Decommissioning was bypassed in the Good Friday agreement because it was evident that it was too difficult a question to resolve. The present peace talks have succeeded thus far only by by-passing the issue. Now they have returned to the main road where decommissioning still lurks and political reason appears to suggest that this is the moment for it to be faced.

The Taoiseach has taken this line and is attempting to bulldoze the matter through. A harder reality suggests however that it is Gerry Adams who is right. The probability is that he cannot deliver the IRA on decommissioning. If he and Martin McGuinness were to persist in trying to do so, they could well end up as Michael Collins did all those years ago.

We all need to recognise that tough as it may be for David Trimble in his fight against rebellion in his own ranks, his best chance is to argue this reality with them - to get the Assembly going across the whole spectrum of Northern Irish politics and trust that this will marginalise terrorism so that it withers on the vine.


Tonbridge, Kent