In matters of principle there can be no compromise.
Frequently, in discussion with Republicans of all persuasions, I am confronted with the question of "which is the true and rightful IRA?" Here
is one perspective on the issue from a non-aligned republican activist and author Liam O Comain.
O Comain comes to the conclusion that the Provos have forfeited their right to claim status as the Army of the Irish Republic. He also dismisses the Real IRA as a fracture of those same Provos.
Liam O Comain's left with one choice, the Continuity IRA. I agree with Mr O Comain on this subject. The Continuity IRA remain as the only group espousing the true ideals of the Oglaigh na hEireann.
Now comes the related and ever compelling debate of "Provisional
versus Republican Sinn Fein
?" This debate is repeated often on a Republican Forum that I frequent. This Forum is the IRBB
and is maintain by Na Fianna Eireann
Here is the general idea of the position I support and the reasons for this stance:
First of all, the Dail Eireann, the rightful government of the Irish Republic, directly delegated its authority to the Army Council of the Irish Republican Army. The remaining deputies of the Second Dail appointed the Army Council of the IRA the rightful governmental force in 1938. Later, after the Provisionals split in 1969/1970 this same power was place upon the Provisional Army Council by the remaining deputies of the Dail Eireann. In 1986, the same power was placed on the Continuity Army Council by the single remaining member of the second Dail's Executive, Tom Maguire. Thus completes the direct lineage of authority
Secondly, the vote carried out at the 1986 Sinn Fein Ard Fheis was in direct contradiction of an Army Council vote that happened previously. The Army Council decided in a vote of 6 members to 4 against recognising the Leinster House as a legitimate government.
Ruairi O Bradaigh and Daithi O Conaill were absolutely correct in their prediction that the recognition of the Leinster house would eventually lead to the revival of Stormont and Sinn Fein members sitting in that illegal institution.
In the end, I believe that O Bradaigh & Co. were correct to oppose the sell out of republican ideals. And they are still correct to continue doing so. Republican Sinn Fein is the only party in Ireland left that expresses ideals that remain true to the ideal of 1916.
"The justification for entering Leinster House has been, that the majority of the South see it as their legitimate parliament. If one accepts such a principle, then it is logical to advocate entry to a New Stormont and Westminster because the majority of the people in the Six Counties accept them as legitimate parliaments. Principled leadership cannot have it both ways; one cannot divide a principle." -Daithi O'Conaill, 1986