Silent but Still Deadly: Guns and the
Peace Process in Northern Ireland
Jeffrey A. Sluka
The gun of the IRA has been taken out of Irish politics. The weapons of the IRA are gone in a manner which has been witnessed and verified. (Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, September 26, 2005)
The gun has not gone out of Irish politics.
(DUP leader, Reverend Ian Paisley, September 26, 2005)
There is a political reality we do not have a name for. In Angola, I have heard people call it a time of “not-war-not-peace.” Essentially, it is a time when military actions occur that in and of themselves would be called “war” or “low-intensity warfare,” but are not so labeled because they are hidden by a peace process no one wants to admit is failing.
Figure 5.1 Loyalist paramilitary mural, Belfast, 2001. From Rolston 2003: 40.