Considering that the Eames / Bradley Consultative Group on the Past commenced its work by suggesting that the Troubles constituted a “war” and hinting that amnesties might be given to those involved in terror if they were to come forward and tell the truth about their crimes, it is hard to present the group as deeply antithetical to republicanism. Nevertheless it seems that although the police, MI5 and even the UVF have been prepared to appear before the group, the IRA will not follow suit.
This will intensify suspicion amongst non-republicans that the search for truth which republican representatives pay lip-service to is very much conceived by them as a one way process. There is little or no appetite in republican circles, and certainly from those who were directly involved in violence, to acknowledge their own actions or to accept responsiblity for the consequences which sprang from those actions. Instead history remains a battleground on which the republican movement must seek to impose its own version of events to the exclusion of all others.
Imposing a partial historical narrative with a range of convenient excisions is not a search for truth, nor is it a recipe for reconciliation. The IRA is simply adding to the many-layered cake of republican irony whereby they demand one thing from everyone else and refuse to reciprocate in kind.