Irish Republican News · July 12, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Hostility grows to expected IRA statement

Speculation that a statement by the Provisional IRA on its future direction is expected within days are being discounted by some republican sources.

A statement had been expected within weeks, but the outcome of today’s Orange marches could delay any republican statement.

Last night, Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte called on the two governments to reject the expected statement from the IRA because of speculation that a convention of the IRA membership, which has the power to change the organisation’s constitution, would not be held.

He warned of “a weasel-worded fudge” and “another tactical presentation”.

“What is now apparently on offer, by way of a ‘new mode’ for the IRA, is to be so insubstantial that it will not involve a meeting of the IRA membership at all,” he declared.

“This can only mean that no change is proposed to the IRA’s constitution, which defines both its status and purpose and the means available to it to achieve its objectives.”

Following negative comments by unionists, Rebbitte’s comments raise fears that reaction to the statement by Sinn Féin’s political opponents on both sides of the border is likely to be strongly hostile and may be insufficient to remove obstacles in the peace process.

Sinn Féin Dáil Group Leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  TD has described this afternoon’s comments from Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte as ‘bizarre’ and ‘totally out of touch’.

“Pat Rabbitte’s vitriolic statement this afternoon is bizarre and shows how out of touch he is in terms of the peace process. 

“It now seems that his contribution is reduced to responding to wild speculation in the media.  Rather than assisting efforts to get the peace process back on track he seems to glory in the difficulties that exist and once again has no positive contribution to make.

“For the last six months the peace process has been in freefall.  On April 6th, Gerry Adams made an unprecedented appeal to the IRA to commit itself to purely peaceful and democratic methods. 

“It is clear that a positive response from the IRA would have an immediate and enormous impact on the political situation. It would restart the faltering peace process; remove from unionists their excuse for non-engagement and it would put enormous pressure on the DUP to come on board the peace process for the first time.”

“Surely, Pat Rabbitte should be supporting such efforts and not reverting to the bizarre anti-republican netherworld from which he first emerged.”

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© 2005 Irish Republican News