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The BBC's David Eades
"I think reaction will come pretty quickly"
 real 56k

BBC NI chief security correspondent, Brian Rowan
There is no advance on the IRA position in this statement - but its timing is signficant
 real 28k

Ulster Unionist arts minister Michael McGimpsey
The IRA statement appears to be an excuse for not delivering its promises
 real 28k

Sinn Fein Assembly member Gerry Kelly
"It's important the IRA re-iterates the commitments it made last May"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 5 December, 2000, 23:37 GMT
IRA statement in full
The following is the full text of the IRA statement:

The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann want to reiterate our commitment to the resolution of the issue of arms and our view that this is a necessary step in a genuine peace process.

We remain 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.

On May 6 in a considered statement we provided a clear and reasonable context in which this could take place.

It cannot and will not happen on terms dictated by the British government or the unionists.

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

In May we also gave a number of undertakings which were premised on the speedy and full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and other commitments made by the two governments.

The British government for its part committed itself to:

  • The implementation of Patten to progressively take all the necessary steps to demilitarise the situation
  • To deal with matters relating to human rights, equality and justice
  • To resolve issues which remain outstanding at this stage in the development of the peace process.

    The British government has not honoured these commitments.

    The IRA re-established contact with the IICD and put in place a confidence-building measure which entailed the inspection of a number of our arms dumps by agreed third parties.

    We have since facilitated a further inspection of these arms dumps. Immediately after this Cyril Ramaphosa and Martti Ahtisaari, the two agreed third parties, affirmed their conviction in the IRA's commitment to the peace process.

    After this re-inspection, attempts by the leadership of the Ulster Unionists, to set more preconditions on political progress has only served to compound the impasse.

    We have not broken off contact with the IICD and we remain committed to discussions with them on the basis we have set out.

    The British government's approach to demilitarisation and their refusal to address the Good Friday Agreement's requirements for a new beginning to policing and other matters represents a failure by them to honour their commitments.

    The political responsibility for advancing the current situation clearly lies with Tony Blair who must honour all commitments.

    The IRA has honoured its commitments and will continue to do so.

    P. O'Neill.

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    See also:

    05 Dec 00 | Northern Ireland
    Peace process waiting game
    02 Dec 00 | Northern Ireland
    Devolution's turbulent year
    05 Dec 00 | Northern Ireland
    IRA renews arms pledge
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