The IRA Unravels

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This latest chapter in the strange unraveling of IRA credibility began in a bar in Central Belfast. An argument between a Catholic working man Robert McCartney and IRA toughs, led to McCartney’s grisly death, and then a threat from the IRA for every one of the dozens of witnesses to hold their tongue.

The trouble for the IRA came from Robert McCartney’s five sisters. They have refused to keep quiet about his death. They even went public with a quiet offer from the IRA to have their brother’s attackers killed. So now the credibility of the IRA is being questioned by the very Catholics of Northern Ireland they have sworn to protect.

The political wing of the IRA is in America this week for its annual St Patrick’s day fete, but doors in this country are being slammed on the Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams. Is this the moment when the IRA will have to disband?


Charlie Sennot, London Bureau Chief for the Boston Globe

Kevin Cullen, reporter for the Boston Globe.