Page last updated at 11:11 GMT, Thursday, 22 May 2008 12:11 UK

Woodward in new weapons appeal

Shaun Woodward
Shaun Woodward made new decommissioning call

All paramilitaries must get rid of their weapons, Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward has again said.

He said they should do so sooner rather than later, as the legal mechanism for doing so will not last indefinitely.

At the moment the Independent International Body on Decommissioning oversees the process.

However, Mr Woodward said Northern Ireland could only be a normal society when such a body no longer existed.

"Take very careful note of what I'm saying, these structures are now time-limited, they are not here forever," he said.

"This train is leaving the station, the question is whether these organisations are going to be on board or be left behind in the past

"Legal routes to decommissioning, sooner rather than later, will go."

Mr Woodward also said the assembly should set a date for the devolution of policing and justice.

He was speaking at Queen's University in Belfast where former premiers Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern have been given honorary doctorates.

Mr Woodward was speaking at Queen's University in Belfast where former premiers Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern have been given honorary doctorates.


SEE ALSO
UDA faction 'weapons destroyed'
02 Nov 07 |  Northern Ireland
UVF considers weapons body move
31 Aug 06 |  Northern Ireland
IRA arms witness receives award
09 Dec 07 |  Northern Ireland

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