Category: Archive

IRA statement links decommissioning to policing

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Andrew Bushe

DUBLIN — The IRA has said it is still prepared to put its arms beyond use but this will not happen until commitments given on policing and demilitarization are honored.

A statement issued on Tuesday, the organization said it was committed to discussions with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning head by General John de Chastelain.

It said the pace of disarmament would not be dictated by the British government or Unionists.

"A British military/securocrat agenda will not work and should have no part in a genuine peace process," the statement said.

Unusually, the IRA also briefed a small number of journalists as the statement was issued and said there was "huge anger and frustration" among activists and supporters about what they regard as the "intransigence" of the British government and what they claim is the failure to honor commitments made seven months ago.

Never miss an issue of The Irish Echo

Subscribe to one of our great value packages.

The reporters were also told there was widespread anger about First Minister David Trimble’s ban on Sinn Fein ministers taking part in cross-border ministerial meeting.

The IRA said promises on the Patten policing reforms, demilitarization, human rights, equality, justice and other issues linked to the peace process had not been delivered.

The statement came as the Republic’s foreign affairs minister, Brian Cowen, was meeting Northern Secretary Peter Mandelson in Dublin.

There are intensive behind-the-scenes discussions between Dublin, Belfast and London in advance of next week’s visit to Dublin and Belfast by President Clinton.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair will also be Belfast next week when Clinton will meet First Minister David Trimble his deputy, Seamus Mallon, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams and other political leaders.

The statement said the IRA remains "prepared to initiate a process which would completely and verifiably put IRA arms beyond use and to do so in a way to avoid risk to the public, misappropriation by others and ensure maximum public confidence."

An unspecified number of IRA arms dumps have been examined twice by government-appointed inspectors, the first last May and again in October

The statement insisted contacts with de Chastelain’s commission had not been broken off.

"The political responsibility for advancing the current situation clearly lies with Tony Blair, who must honor all commitments. The IRA has honored its commitments and will continue to do so."

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese