BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: N Ireland  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 28 October, 2002, 18:52 GMT
'Positive note' from republicans
UUP leader David Trimble
Trimble said IRA disbandment would solve the crisis
The Sinn Fein president may be conditioning the IRA to stand down, the Ulster Unionist leader has suggested.

David Trimble was reacting to a speech Gerry Adams made at a Sinn Fein party meeting in the Irish Republic on Saturday.

In it he said he could "foresee a future without the IRA" provided politics was made to work.

Mr Trimble said the speech represented a different use of language by republicans and a favourable movement towards the end of paramilitarism.

"The significant thing is that he never said never. We didn't get any echo of the language that came from republicans on decommissioning in 98-99," he said.

Tony Blair - Prime Minister
Tony Blair called for an end to the IRA

"And you could take from this that part of what he said on Saturday was part of the conditioning of members of the IRA to make them realise, that yes, they are going to go away."

Mr Trimble was speaking after meeting with party MPs and assembly members on Monday to plan strategy and consider a response to Mr Adams' speech.

There has been uncertainty about how the political process will proceed following the suspension of devolution two weeks ago over a row over allegations of IRA activity, including intelligence gathering within the Northern Ireland Office.

Mr Trimble called for total disbandment of the IRA following the allegations and this was echoed Prime Minister Tony Blair when he visited the province after the suspension and called for an end to the IRA.

But at a news conference following his party meeting, Mr Trimble said he also wanted loyalist groups to stand down their paramilitary armies.

Loyalist liaison

"The Agreement does not say explicitly that there must be abolition of private armies but that is clearly the meaning of the Agreement."

Mr Trimble would not be drawn on how he believed the IRA and loyalists should stand down their paramilitary organisations.

But he announced that his personal adviser David McNarry had been appointed to liaise with loyalists and analyse the state of loyalism.

The Ulster Unionist leader said loyalist leaders would have to face up to questions about the existence of their own paramilitary groups.

"If we are in a situation where the threat of violence, actual violence and the existence of private armies has been removed from republicanism, we have to turn around and loyalists have got to be asked; what is the purpose of your existence given that those issues are being resolved?"

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams: "IRA will not respond to ultimatums"

SDLP leader Mark Durkan also welcomed Mr Adams' comments.

"The reality is that IRA activity is playing right into the hands of anti-Agreement unionists. And letting the nationalist community badly down," he said.

On Saturday, Gerry Adams told a conference of his party's elected representatives from Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic that the IRA would not disband in response to "ultimatums from the British Government or David Trimble".

However, the West Belfast MP added: "If you asked me do I envisage a future without the IRA?

"The answer is obvious. The answer is yes.

"And who can influence the IRA most? The British Government, the unionists, the Irish Government and us as well, of course.

"All of us have to make politics work. All of us have to strive to bring closure to all those issues in ways which are realistic and achievable.

"All of us have to make peace, to build justice."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
UUP leader David Trimble:
"This could be part of the conditioning of republicans that they will one day go away"

Key stories

Analysis

Hearts and Minds

Talking Point

AUDIO VIDEO
See also:

26 Oct 02 | N Ireland
17 Oct 02 | N Ireland
17 Oct 02 | N Ireland
17 Oct 02 | N Ireland
17 Oct 02 | N Ireland
14 Oct 02 | N Ireland
Internet links:


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

Links to more N Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more N Ireland stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes