Page last updated at 19:56 GMT, Wednesday, 3 September 2008 20:56 UK

IMC report - political reaction

GORDON BROWN, PRIME MINISTER
This is an important and significant day for Northern Ireland - an independent report has told us that the (Provisional IRA) Army Council is no longer operational, is not functioning and is redundant.

Gordon Brown
I believe that this will provide reassurance and hope for everybody who wants to see this chapter of Northern Ireland's history closed.

It is now time for all the political parties to work together to complete the final stages of the peace process - to complete the devolution of policing and justice.

In the next few days, I will use all my efforts, working with the parties in Northern Ireland, to make sure that the devolution of policing and justice can go ahead and the final stages of the peace process will now be completed, to the better government of Northern Ireland and to the peace and prosperity of the people there.

PETER ROBINSON, NI FIRST MINISTER AND DUP LEADER

We welcome the IMC assessment that on our watch the "so-called military departments have ceased to function and have been disbanded" and that "the organisation's former terrorist capability has been lost".

Peter Robinson
Confirmation that the organisation is "being allowed to wither away", will be something that people across the province will regard as a welcome advancement.

While the IMC indicates that the Army Council is no longer operational or functional, an essential part of building confidence in the community is that the Army Council has moved from a body that is not meeting to one that will never meet again.

While it is marked progress that the IRA is no longer "doing business" the unionist community needs to be convinced by the republican leadership that the IRA is out of business for good.

GERRY ADAMS, SINN FÉIN PRESIDENT

Republicans are totally committed to purely peaceful and democratic means of pursuing our entirely legitimate democratic and republican objectives.

Gerry Adams
We are committed to making these institutions work in the interests of all our people and to the full implementation of all aspects of the Good Friday Agreement and the St Andrews Agreement.

So, the issue of the IRA has been dealt with definitively - all concerns have been met (and) this issue is gone.

We now have to work together to make this partnership government work and to deliver for people on the many bread-and-butter issues that concern them at this time.

SHAUN WOODWARD, NORTHERN IRELAND SECRETARY

This ground-breaking report by the IMC makes clear that the Army Council is now redundant.

Shaun Woodward
As the IMC made clear, "what matters is that the armed conflict is completely over and the leadership structures have definitely ceased to function in the way they did during the time of conflict".

Today's report confirms this has happened.

PIRA has met its commitment. It has abandoned all its terrorist structures, its recruitment and PIRA's so-called "military" departments have ceased to function and have been disbanded.

DERMOT AHERN, REPUBLIC OF IRELAND JUSTICE MINISTER

This report demonstrates not only that PIRA has gone away, but that it won't be coming back.

Dermot Ahern
The IMC could not have been more unequivocal in its conclusion that the provisional movement is now irreversibly locked into following the political path.

I welcome the IMC's findings of growing public support for the police in areas where this has historically been lacking. I hope that the political parties in the north can now complete the process of devolution by assuming responsibility for policing and justice powers.

Such a move would be clearly in the interests of the people they serve and, for my part, I look forward to co-operating fully with the new arrangements.

MARK DURKAN, SDLP LEADER

The real and active threat to police personnel, to peace and democracy, is coming from so-called dissident republicans - political uncertainty and threats of instability are grist to their vicious mill.

Mark Durkan
Parties in the assembly must not allow differences and difficulties around the devolution of justice and policing to be twisted and exploited for these groups' sinister purposes.

Rather than fixating on the standing down of an inert body, all parties should be uniting to stand up to those who are a clear and present threat to all of us.

The best way of marshalling the full mandate of all the parties in the assembly against the dissidents' twisted logic and violent agenda is to unite to secure the further devolution of justice and policing alongside our other democratic responsibilities.

DANNY KENNEDY, UUP DEPUTY LEADER

The community will need to be given time to absorb the conclusions of the IMC report and test those conclusions against the words and actions of Sinn Féin, both in Stormont and at a local level.

Danny Kennedy
That said, today's report does give grounds for believing that the Provisional IRA has permanently abandoned the ways of violence and that its terrorist structures and organisations have, in the words of the report, 'ceased to function'.

Ironically, however, none of this has any real relevance to the major issues surrounding the devolution of policing and justice - and any attempt by parties or governments to pretend otherwise is a betrayal of public confidence.

The Northern Ireland Executive - which has not met to conduct the normal business of government since June - is simply not yet fit-for-purpose for dealing with an issue as sensitive and important as policing and justice powers.

STEPHEN FARRY, ALLIANCE PARTY JUSTICE SPOKESMAN

This report delivers further reassurance that the IRA continues to pose no threat to the peace process and to wider society. There is now a step-change in the clarification that the Army Council is no longer operating or serving any purpose.

These conclusions should give confidence to further efforts to stabilise our political structures.

At the same time, we must not lose sight of the overarching imperative of the removal of all paramilitary organisations and structures from our society. They are not consistent with a normal, democratic society, which operates to the rule of law and respects human rights.

The rationales provided for the continuation of any element of the IRA must remain under constant challenge, and pressure must be maintained for the complete disappearance of not only that organisation but all other paramilitary groups.

PAULA DOBRIANSKY, US SPECIAL ENVOY TO N IRELAND

This report underscores the transformation that has taken place in today's Northern Ireland, and signals that all parties should move forward to create a fully-functioning political environment for the benefit of all the people there.

It is another indication that progress continues, which should lead to a more hopeful future for the people of Northern Ireland.



SEE ALSO
IRA no threat says prime minister
03 Sep 08 |  Northern Ireland
IRA council 'serves no function'
03 Sep 08 |  Northern Ireland
Stormont must meet warns Robinson
26 Aug 08 |  Northern Ireland
SF threatens to collapse assembly
24 Aug 08 |  Northern Ireland
Alliance role in stand-off talks
30 Aug 08 |  Northern Ireland
Scale of justice job 'daunting'
20 Aug 08 |  Northern Ireland

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific