Category: Archive

South Pols see hope in IRA’s words

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said the statement paved the way for a “new era” for the Irish people.
“Today’s developments can herald a new era for all of the people on the island of Ireland,” he said.
“The end of the IRA as a paramilitary organization is the outcome the governments have been working towards since the cessation of military activities in 1994.
“If the IRA’s words are borne out by verified actions, it will be a momentous and historic development.
“Our focus now is on completing the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, which has brought such immense benefits to this country.”
President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, said the statement offered “a real opportunity to build the trust and mutual understanding on which a just, equitable and peaceful future will rest.
“I hope that, in the interest of generations to come, this opportunity will now be well and wisely used,” McAleese, a Belfast native, said.
“I would like to praise all those who have been working so hard to ensure an end to the tradition of armed struggle in Ireland and to promote a future in which there would be one tradition only and that is the tradition of democratic politics and peaceful persuasion.”
Former leader of the SDLP, John Hume, said he was confident that the statement would enable further progress to be made in the peace process.
“The real duty now, if we want to have a totally peaceful and stable country, is for all true democrats to implement the will of the people,” he said.
Fine Gael welcomed the news, but said that the Irish people needed proof that the IRA had gone away.
Former minister Richard Bruton said: “IRA statements on their own are no longer sufficient to convince people. Too often in the past seven years we have witnessed promising statements followed by false dawns.
“The sincerity of the Provisional movement will be judged by the actions it takes to implement this latest statement.”
Labor Party leader, Pat Rabbitte, warned that the IRA needed to follow through on its commitment to put weaponry beyond use and bring an end to all non-democratic activities.
“There is no doubt that today’s statement from the IRA is a hugely significant development that, if fully honored in relation to decommissioning and other matters, has the potential to herald a new era of peaceful and democratic politics in Northern Ireland,” he said.
Green Party leader, Trevor Sargent, said it was good news and an important moment.
“It is vital that the IRA deliver swiftly on these commitments,” he said.

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