An interesting article appeared in the Irish News during the week which seems to have been ignored by the London and Dublin news outlets. The newspaper claimed that leading Irish Republican Bobby Storey has been appointed to head the Sinn Fein Party in Belfast. Which if true could be a clear signal that the PIRA are finally about to shut up shop for the last time, not least because Mr Storey has never been front of house politically.*
Storey is the type of individual whose name is spoken of in awe on the Streets of Belfast, a PIRA volunteer since his teenage years he was active throughout the troubles and is regarded by the security forces as having been one of the IRA’s deadliest operators. He spent countless years in jail and he is said to have played a leading role in organizing the 1983 mass breakout of PIRA prisoners from the Maze prison. He is the type of loyal Apparatchik that are the backbone of all military organizations. A former Belfast Provo once told me Bobby Storey could think up ten ingenious ways to kill you, but could not muster an independent thought in his head, not quite true but I understood the point he was making, i e Mr Storey is a command structure man to the core, no matter who heads it.
In recent years Bobby Storey is said to have been the Provos Director of Intelligence and thus many PIRA operations have been laid at his door. The more prominent were allegedly masterminding the Stormont spy ring, the raid on Special Branch offices at Castlereagh and the £26.5 million robbery at Belfast’s Northern Bank. Although some are beginning to wonder if the latter may have been an arrangement between the British Security Services the Bank and the PIRA, after the latter agreed to decommission its weaponry. Some found it strange that many of Belfast’s CCTV camera’s were down on the evening of the robbery and the investigation into this massive hoist appears to have been far from thorough and it increasingly looks like it has been kicked politically into the long grass.
After all in recent weeks we have witnessed the difficulties the loyalist para-military the UDA is having in arranging the collection of their redundancy pay, some say the Provos foresaw this and demanded cash up front before they agreed to decommission and be made redundant, who knows?