Gerry O'Carroll: Murders in the North should be a wake-up call to electorate here
THE PSNI's arrest of top republican and Sinn Fein northern chairman Bobby Storey in connection with the murder of Kevin McGuigan has brought the north power-sharing executive to the brink of collapse.
All but one DUP Minister has resigned from the Assembly.
Two other leading republicans, Brian Gillan and Eddie Copeland were arrested along with Storey.
Their arrests have brought further controversy and threatens the long-term viability of Stormont.
The PSNI Chief Constable, George Hamilton, is on record as stating that the IRA still exists and some of its members were involved in the shooting of McGuigan outside his home.
Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan and the Government's assessment, on the other hand, do not accept PSNI intelligence reports and insist that the IRA organisation and structures no longer exist, and were not involved in the killing of Gerard 'Jock' Davison or Kevin McGuigan.
This stance by the Government and the commissioner to this current crisis is in my opinion wrong, misguided and downright dangerous.
Like the vast majority of people, I welcomed the signing of the Good Friday Agreement which heralded the end of 30 years of brutal and senseless bombings and killings.
The agreement has ushered in a new era of peace and stability on both sides of the border. The IRA terror campaign of mass murder, its bloodthirsty orgy of bombings and murders on an industrial scale, has mercifully ended.
Despite that, I have never really believed that the IRA - and its organisational structures - have ever been totally disbanded.
The army council is still operational and the organisation still has access to firearms and explosives.
At the same time a very significant section of the IRA have moved into criminal enterprises, especially in the border regions.
A lot of money has been generated for the IRA coffers from rackets such as diesel, cigarettes and money laundering.
IRA godfathers have grown rich from these lucrative ventures and still have power in the North.
In republican heartlands across the province ordinary decent people are still being harassed by IRA hardmen.
Young men like Robert McCartney from Belfast and Paul Quinn from Monaghan paid with their lives for crossing the IRA hierarchy.
Since its 'ceasefire' in the mid-90s the IRA have been linked to at least 45 vicious murders.
The latest killings in the North should be a wake-up call to the electorate down here about our freedom if Sinn Fein were ever to get their hands on the controls of this country.
Extra resources for gardai can't come soon enough to keep our city safe
There has been a massive upsurge in rural crime in our country.
Elderly people living in isolated and remote areas have been the main targets of travelling gangs of brutal thugs.
But I am sorry to report that the crime situation is not much better in our capital city.
The rising level incidents of unsocial behaviour resulting in serious injuries and deaths is totally unacceptable.
A glaring example was the brutal killing of the journalist Ed Moloney in an unprovoked attack.
The latest tragic victim of such an attack was a young man named Gareth O'Connor (left). Gareth was attacked in public on Cow's Lane in Temple Bar last Thursday evening.
He died the following day from his injuries in St James's Hospital.
We have to ask ourselves how someone could be killed in one of the city's busiest tourist areas in broad daylight.
The area would still have been packed with commuters who were making their way home from work who must have witnessed this event.
The gardai are doing their best but they simply do not have the manpower to deal with the high levels of crime.
Last week, Minister Frances Fitzgerald - when speaking at a passing-out parade in Templemore - promised an extra 500 gardai next year and millions of euro worth of extra resources to provide proper communications and transport.
Those resources can't come soon enough if the force is to stand any chance of protecting the life and property of the citizens of this State.
Smitten David and Bernie Garvey provided us with one of the most amazing love stories ever.
David, who sufferers from locked-in syndrome, and used eye-controlled technology to communicate his ‘I do’ to his fiancee, married his sweetheart less than a year after he was discharged from hospital.
We wish him and his loving wife all the best for the future.
Former president of the ECB Jean Claude Trichet for telling Ireland’s Finance Minister Michael Noonan to ditch his plans to burn investors in Anglo Irish Bank.
The move would have seen senior bondholders hit with €6 billion losses.
This pompous man has refused to appear before the Banking Inquiry and in my books will go down in history as the 21st Century version of Oliver Cromwell.