Category: Archive

Jets cooled on IRA statement

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The Irish government had expected that a statement would be forthcoming before July 23 but has conceded that this date will now pass without movement from republicans.
Republican sources said at the weekend that they did not imagine an IRA statement would happen before late July. Government sources meanwhile suggested that sometime in August was a more realistic prospect.
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern met in his North Dublin constituency office with Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams Friday for an informal discussion on the state of the peace process.
Both men had been speaking at an event in Dublin’s Four Seasons Hotel. Sources described the meeting as “productive” but stressed that it was not designed to precede any dramatic movement in the coming days.
It is understood that Sinn Fein chief negotiator Martin McGuinness told Ahern the previous week, at the Ulster football final in Croke Park, that the IRA needed a few more weeks to finalize its plans.
The “consultation” process between the IRA leadership and grassroots members is thought to have concluded in the past two weeks but the organization is currently briefing members on what is to be said publicly.
Speaking to the media after his meeting with the Taoiseach, Adams said about the IRA: “Let’s give time to these people to sort out this matter.”
His comments were widely interpreted as a sign that the organization may still take some time in responding to his April call for it to embrace solely “peaceful and democratic” methods.
Adams said that he did not believe the IRA had not been blown off course in recent weeks — first by the London suicide attacks and then the serious rioting in the Ardoyne area of North Belfast last Tuesday.
However, it is thought that events on the ground in Belfast may have delayed an IRA statement. Hundreds of young nationalists were involved in clashes with PSNI officers following a decision by the Parades Commission to force an Orange Order march through the Ardoyne.
More seriously, the Continuity IRA claimed responsibility for throwing up to nine home-made blast bombs at PSNI lines. Several of the small devices caused injury with one journalist having to receive surgery for a serious leg wound.
Adams and senior Sinn Fein Assembly member Gerry Kelly were seen attempting to calm the situation but were unable to prevent the conflagration from escalating.
Adams has called for both the British and Irish governments to do their utmost to avoid a repeat of such violence at next month’s contentious Apprentice Boys march in Derry.
Some mainstream republicans have meanwhile expressed concern that last week?s events may act as a recruiting device for groups such as the Continuity IRA.
There has, for example, been a small upsurge in dissident republican activity in recent weeks in North Armagh.

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