This is just flat out wrong. Negotiating with the IRA was essential for the peace process in Northern Ireland to have any chance of succeeding. Also, how many years has it been since the IRA last attacked Britain? If you think the IRA is as influential and powerful as it was in the past say in the 80's and 90's you really need to get some better sources or spend some time in Northern Ireland. Far from being "just as powerful as ever" independent commissions set up by the British & Irish governments and criticised by some Republicans for being anti-Sinn Fein have consistently reported that the IRA has shown it is now committed to a political path, that it's activities have ceased and that its ruling council was no longer in operation. Here is their 2008 report... http://www.independentmonitoringcommission.org/documents/uploads/ACF1599.pdf Oh and in regards disarming once again the independent commission's have repeatedly verified this to be the case. Whether you believe it or not is your business but it's not a case of being gullible since the British & Irish governments and independent commissions all recognise this to be the case. Ex-members of the IRA may have gone on to become involved in drugs but the IRA certainly hasn't since firstly by all accounts it is not active anymore and secondly the IRA was (in)famous for it's intolerance of drug dealing. Drug dealers and the like were frequently targeted by the IRA for 'punishment beatings'. The Unionist militant organisations were/are the ones most heavily involved in the drug trade. Which statistics are these? I'd be interested in seeing them since they not only directly contradict my own experience but also contradict all the independent reports I'm aware of. Also, punishment beatings and criminal activity occurring does not necessarily mean the IRA is involved. Overall Fire-quan I get the distinct impression you know a lot less than you think you do about the situation in Northern Ireland and how important negotiating with the IRA was to the peace process.