I have never been a fan of the IRA (unlike a certain female half-Irish acquaintance who is even more unreasonable on this issue than most). In fact in my first year at university in 1986, I discovered the Otago University Students’ Association was funding an IRA support group and I wrote letters to the NZ SIS and Mrs Thatcher informing them of this. I still have the replies somewhere 🙂
Since September 11, much US support for the IRA has disappeared. And then many were shocked when it was revealed that the IRA had pulled off a huge bank robbery, as the only thing you need that much money for is arms.
The final straw for many is their killing of an IRA supporter, botched offer to execute the killers, and not veiled threats to the victim’s sisters to be “very careful” with their criticism.
When you have even Senator Edward Kennedy cancelling talks with Gerry Adams, citing “the IRA’s ongoing criminal activity and contempt for the rule of law” you know they are in trouble.
Frankly it’s about time too.