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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 May 2006, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Ahern says progress is essential
Irish leader Bertie Ahern
Bertie Ahern said he would prefer an Executive within six days
It would "be a nonsense" for Northern Ireland not to have devolved government by the end of November, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern has said.

Mr Ahern said he believed there should be an Executive "within six days never mind six months".

He added, however, that he was prepared to go along with the November "compromise".

The taoiseach made his remarks on RTE radio on Sunday ahead of the return of the Stormont Assembly on Monday.

He said that waiting any longer than the end of November would "be unworkable".

If we can't do it in six months, then we're unlikely to do it this side of the next 20 years
Bertie Ahern
Irish Prime Minister

"To go any longer will just be a nonsense. It will be unworkable and will flake away," he said.

"If we can't do it in six months, then we're unlikely to do it this side of the next 20 years."

But the taoiseach also said he was hopeful and took heart from the "constructive" positions being adopted by both Sinn Fein and the DUP.

He said major issues like IRA criminality, paramilitarism and arms decommissioning were now resolved and should no longer block talks between republicans and unionists.

"It is a major achievement, I think, to get there and I'm very happy we're there," he said.

"For the first time since 2002, we've achieved the resolution of so many issues that have bedevilled us for 30 years or even for 130 years."


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