You may have heard of the IMC report released recently which announced that the IRA has changed radically and is not seeking a return to violence. The report's conclusions are an amazing coincidence considering that Blair and Peter Hain are getting impatient with the lack of a devolved government here- Blair must want to be seen to have "brogut peace" to the province before he stands down. In their view it's high time that the DUP stopped mucking around worrying about an armed terrorist organisation getting into government here. I mean, really, who do those elected representatives think they are?
In actual fact the IMC report isn't all rosy. What it does say is that the IRA is currently unable to mount a sustained campaign and that some of its command and control structures have been dismantled. It doesn't actually say that the IRA can't or won't mount a limited campaign of terrorist violence if they don't get their way. The IMC also can't say for sure that the IRA were responsible for the murder of a British spy recently but to them, and Blair's government, that doesn't seem to matter. A mere trifle.
The IMC do say that the IRA aren't "targeting, recruiting or training, or trying to procure weapons" at the moment. What they don't say is that the terrorist group are still armed- they appear to be getting what they want and they still have an unknown amount of weaponry so it doesn't surprise me that they aren't looking to buy new weapons right now. There's also no mention of the multi-million pound Northern Bank robbery which the IRA was apparently behind, but they're quick to allege that any IRA criminal activity (read, "organised crime") doesn't seem to be based on orders from above. Well, that's all right then- we've got a local mafia, still armed terrorists, questions about a major robbery (and what exactly the IRA needed all that money for) and an unsolved murder of a British agent. Not to mention the fact that security sources say that the IRA possesses the ability to go back to an armed campaign if it changes its mind.
Gee, now why would the DUP be worried about those sorts of people being involved in the government of Northern Ireland?