Irish Republican News · October 29, 2003
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Blair claims he received arms info

The British Prime Minister Mr Blair has failed to clear up confusion over his claimed source of information on recent moves by the IRA to put arms beyond use.

Speaking in the British parliament, he repeated his assertion that the Irish and British governments were given ``certain information'' not made public, about the most recent IRA decommissioning move.

Mr Blair said he ``stood entirely'' by claims he had information from the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) that would persuade the public.

``As both myself and the Irish Prime Minister have said, there was certain information given to us by General de Chastelain and I had hoped very much it would have been possible to provide the full information to everybody''.

General de Chastelain, head of the IICD, repeated recently that the British Prime Minister had received ``no more details'' than the public.

Earlier, during the session of Six-County questions immediately before Mr Blair spoke, Norther Secretary MPaul Murphy insisted: ``Both the Taoiseach and the Prime Minister met the General in Hillsborough Castle for something approaching an hour to discuss the issues regarding decommissioning.

``The written public statement from General de Chastelain was very short.

``It is obvious, is it not, that someone who spends that amount of time dealing with an issue is going to form an opinion about what happened that is very different from the bare statement that appeared afterwards?''

He accused the Tories of trying to score ``cheap party political points'' rather than making efforts to help the peace process.

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© 2003 Irish Republican News