IRA - Page 2

December 16th, 2004  
The DUP leader, the Rev Ian Paisley, has said he has information that the IRA may be about to decommission but without providing photographic verification.

Ahead of a meeting between the Taoiseach and British Prime Minister today, Dr Paisley made it clear that, if the IRA decommissioned under the original terms of the International Independent Commission on Decommissioning (IICD), it would be unacceptable to the DUP.

There must be visual proof of IRA disarmament, he insisted, after meeting the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Dermot Ahern, and the Northern Secretary, Mr Paul Murphy, at Hillsborough Castle yesterday to discuss the political logjam.

"There is an indication that the IRA may be considering proceeding to decommission its weapons under the original IICD scheme leaving out the additional elements relating to transparency," said Dr Paisley.

"We want to make it clear that if the IRA does not fulfil its obligations as envisaged in the comprehensive agreement then its refusal to meet these terms would have very serious consequences in respect of the DUP's attitude to other elements of the comprehensive agreement."

Mr Ahern, Mr Murphy and republican and IICD sources said they had no information to suggest IRA decommissioning was imminent.

Sinn Féin's response was dismissive. "Ian Paisley's remarks sound remarkably like an ultimatum to the IRA not to decommission," said a party spokesman.

Dr Paisley was adopting a position that most people would find "daft". Republicans were angered by his "sack cloth and ashes" and "humiliation" of republicans comments, but last night "in a lot of republican homes there would be a lot of laughter", the spokesman said.

"I think humour could be a way out of our problems. There can be a chance of resolution if we can laugh at each other, but I am not sure if that was Ian Paisley's intention."

Mr Ahern and Mr Murphy met the DUP, Sinn Féin, the Ulster Unionist Party, the SDLP, the Alliance Party, the Progressive Unionist Party and the UK Independence Party to trawl for ideas that might solve the issue of photographic verification of decommissioning.

President Bush's special envoy on Ireland, Dr Mitchell Reiss, was also in Hillsborough.

Mr Ahern said the governments still believed their blueprint for restoring devolution (which included the requirement for publication of pictures of IRA disarmament after devolution was restored) was a "fair and reasonable compromise".

He thanked the DUP for attending the meeting after the controversy over the Taoiseach's comments about the publication of photographs not being "workable".

Mr Ahern said that, besides addressing the photographs issue with the DUP and Sinn Féin, he made a particular point of seeking clarification that the deal must include an end to criminality.
December 16th, 2004  
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December 16th, 2004  
Italian Guy
IRA in Italian means ANGER.
January 15th, 2005  
The Northern Bank robbery would have been a "crossroads" in the relationship between Sinn Féin's political leadership and the IRA if the IRA had said they carried it out, Sinn Féin leader Mr Gerry Adams has said.