I liked the tone of this letter taken from the Newsletter...it concerns the conviction of IRA selected "independent" witness Reverend Harold Good that the authenticity of IRA decommissioning is virtually an article of faith, for him.
I was very interested to hear the Rev Harold Good express that he is "certain, totally certain" that Provisional IRA arms have been destroyed. He will undoubtedly forgive those of us who are less certain. The decommissioning issue is one that has always been shrouded in mystery, intrigue and uncertainty. Along with Roman Catholic priest, Alex Reid, Harold Good was taken to a place or places unknown to meet people unknown to oversee the disposal of armaments, quantity and quality unknown.I have no doubt that Mr Good believes what he says, but I should remind him of other certainties. There is absolutely no guarantee that the arms he saw decommissioned represents the total armoury of the IRA.There are absolutely no guarantees that all units of the IRA even participated in the decommissioning process. There are no guarantees that fresh arms have not been brought into the country before or since the decommissioning witnessed by Harold Good.
Bound by promises of an omerta like code of silence, all that Mr Good can offer his co-religionists is that he saw decommissioning of some weapons.He then asks that we trust the IRA that they have rid Ulster of all their arms. Not goodenough for me and, as I meet and talk to people from all walks of life on a daily basis, not good enough for the vast majority of people in Ulster.When Mr Good produces lists and inventories detailing what was decommissioned, I will study it and make a decision. Until then, he can forget about asking the widows and orphans of those weapons to trust their loved ones killers.Mr Good might trust them, but the words and assurances of assassins just isn't good enough for the rest of us.
Well said, Mr Finlay, I fully agree. I would also add that one must question why the IRA felt that Harold Good make make an ideal "Independent wtiness."? At the time that Good and Reid pronounced that the IRA had indeed fully decommissioned their illegal arsenal, I remember dismissing the entire episode as a farce, contrived between the Governments and the Provo's for maximum PR impact, and certified by two useful fools. I see things exactly the same now.