Page last updated at 18:09 GMT, Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Reaction to loyalist weapons move

Reaction to the announcement that the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) has said it has put its weapons beyond use.

SHAUN WOODWARD, SECRETARY OF STATE FOR NI

This is a major act of leadership by the UDA and further comprehensive evidence of the success of politics over violence in Northern Ireland. The road to decommissioning has not been easy. It has required people keep faith with demanding and exacting policy, supported by clear principles built on a total rejection of violence.

JEFFREY DONALDSON, DUP

The DUP welcomes the news that the UDA has decommissioned its illegally held weaponry will be welcomed throughout our country. The party has been working for a considerable time to remove all illegal weapons from the streets of Northern Ireland and to deliver universal support for policing and the rule of law.

IRISH PRIME MINISTER BRIAN COWEN

Taken together with the completion of decommissioning by the IRA and the UVF, it is a clear signal that Northern Ireland has moved on and that the democratic institutions established by the Good Friday Agreement are the means through which the entire community in Northern Ireland, and the people of these islands, can and will build lasting peace and prosperity.


SINN FEIN'S GERRY KELLY

Firstly if this statement by the UDA is verified by the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning then it is a substantial move forward. The nationalist and unionist populations will both be relieved that a substantial amount of guns are being taken off our streets and nationalist communities in particular would rest much easier as a result of that.

TUV LEADER JIM ALLISTER

With another paramilitary organisation having claimed complete decommissioning, now is the time to bring certainty and transparency to a subject mired in scepticism by publication of full inventories of all weaponry claimed to have been decommissioned by all such groups.

SDLP LEADER MARK DURKAN

The news that the UDA have decommissioned their weapons and IMC verification is very much to be welcomed. While they have put their guns beyond use, they must also desist from all criminal activity. Armed gangs and paramilitary terror has no place in our society, which is why there must not be any financial payoffs as there is no going rate for decommissioning. At this time it is important that we remember the victims of UDA violence.

FRED COBAIN, ULSTER UNIONIST PARTY

This is most welcome news in Northern Ireland and it allows society here to take one step closer to normalisation. I am pleased that the dissident threat posed by Real and Continuity IRA elements have not deterred the UDA from this action and I acknowledge the steps they have taken towards peace. This major act of decommissioning is a positive step in the peace process and is a step towards a better Northern Ireland.


STEPHEN FARRY, ALLIANCE PARTY

This is a welcome but long overdue action. At this time, we must remember the victims of UDA violence. There was never any legitimacy for the actions of the UDA. They were never the defenders of anyone, but terrorists.


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