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Sunday, 28 October, 2001, 09:53 GMT
Primate welcomes arms move
The Catholic Primate of Ireland, Dr Sean Brady, has said those people who are sceptical about the IRA's decision to begin decommissioning have nothing to offer.

Speaking in Rome in an exclusive interview with the BBC, Dr Brady said he hoped the move would result in an end to all violence.

The IRA leadership confirmed on Tuesday that a scheme agreed with the decommissioning body in August to put weapons "completely and verifiably beyond use" had been implemented.

"Some people said it would never take place, others felt that it wasn't necessary, that it was enough that the arms should remain silent," said Dr Daly.

Dr Sean Brady
Dr Brady: "We must rejoice about this"

He also praised the people who made the IRA move possible.

"I am sure it took a long debate and there isn't, as far as I know, any tradition of decommissioning arms in our part of the world.

"But the important thing is it has taken place, that is what we must rejoice about."

The move has been welcomed by the Ulster Unionist Party, who have endorsed their party leader's decision to re-enter the power sharing executive.

On Saturday, David Trimble received the backing of the UUP executive to seek re-election as Northern Ireland First Minister.

Mr Trimble resigned his post in July following the failure of the IRA to disarm.

Significant

The move by the IRA to decommission some of its arms, was described by the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning as "significant".

However, the anti-Agreement Democratic Unionist Party have dismissed the move as "IRA rhetoric".

Speaking after a meeting with the head of the decommissioning body on Friday, DUP party leader Ian Paisley said there was no evidence that republicans had destroyed their weapons.

John de Chastelain: Head of the decommissioning body
John de Chastelain: Head of the decommissioning body

He said General John de Chastelain, was unable to tell him where the act had taken place, how many weapons were involved and whether it was part of a process of disarmament.

Meanwhile, the British Government responded to the decision by announcing immediate demilitarisation of four army installations in counties Armagh and Londonderry.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said that despite all the setbacks "the peace process was working".

He said while there would be difficulties in the future, it was now a process which would move forward.

Irish premier Bertie Ahern said there was "no doubting the significance and importance of this move".

SDLP leader John Hume said he regarded the IRA announcement as "very welcome".


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23 Oct 01 | Northern Ireland
IRA in arms breakthrough
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