Irish Republican News · March 26, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRA disbandment possible despite loyalist violence - SF

The IRA will cease to exist if there is an ``irreversible'' political process in the North, a Sinn Féin source has said.

It was reported that the source, who refused to allow his name be published, said that in that case, the IRA would come to an end ``whatever is happening within unionist paramilitaries''.

The source said that if the political process envisaged under the Good Friday Agreement had worked to its full potential since Good Friday 1998, then the IRA would not now be an issue. He added: ``The logic six years on as we approach Easter is that if this process had worked, these issues of the IRA, in my view, would not be an issue at this time.''

Sinn Féin has called on the two governments to implement the outstanding aspects of the Agreement and restore the power-sharing institutions at Stormont.

At yesterday's briefing at Sinn Féin headquarters on the Falls Road, the man briefing journalists said: ``The logic of conflict resolution is that the combatants cease to be.''

Yesterday's remarks by the Sinn Féin source came as efforts were made to restore momentum and hope into the talks process. The formal Review of the Agreement has floundered since a deal on IRA arms decommissioning did not succeed in ending Direct Rule from London.

The Irish and British Prime Ministers, who held talks earlier this week, could return to Belfast next month for further talks if there are indications of an end to IRA activity.


Sinn Féin held discussions with the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) at its Belfast offices yesterday.

The IMC was proposed in the Joint Declaration by the British and Irish governments earlier this year.

Its establishment was the only element of the Declaration put into effect. It is seen by nationalists as being outside the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

Sinn Féin said that the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) is little more than a smokescreen to be used by the British government to provide cover for any attempt to exclude the party.

It was the second time Sinn Féin had met the IMC.

Mr Kelly said that at their initial meeting in January party representatives informed the IMC that it was Sinn Féin's belief that it was not independent and operated outside the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

``The actions of the IMC in the weeks since vindicate completely this position and we told them this,'' he said.

``Nationalists and republicans hear little from the IMC or the British government about the ongoing campaign being conducted by unionist paramilitaries. We have heard little from them about the murder of a young Catholic man in Lisburn late last year.''

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© 2004 Irish Republican News