Irish Republican News · July 25, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Speculation over Provisional IRA statement

Republicans are working hard to enable the Provisional IRA to abandon its armed struggle, but others have their parts to play, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said tonight [Monday night].

Speculation has mounted that a historic statement from the IRA is imminent.

Speaking at a book launch, Mr Adams said: “Our focus is on a positive result and we are working very, very hard and I can tell you on behalf of the Sinn Féin leadership that we are totally and absolutely committed to moving this process ahead.

“One, but only one, part of this is the IRA conclusion to the internal consultation process and I repeat what I have said before they need the space to conclude that.”

The Sinn Féin leader also insisted that Unionists had a part to play in moving the peace process forward.

“The rest of us in the Sinn Féin party, and the other political parties, Unionism generally and the DUP in particular, and of course both governments need to be facing up to the challenge,” he said.

Behind-the-scenes talks have continued over the past week. Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness are understood to have held an unpublicised meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Monday.

Meanwhile, new UUP leader Sir Reg Empey has said the unionist community is “almost bored stiff” with statements from the IRA.

He was speaking after holding his first meeting with Mr Blair since taking over as leader of the UUP, now the second largest unionist party behind Ian Paisley’s hardline DUP.

“The only thing that is going to matter is what the republican movement actually do,” Empey said.

“Are they once and for all prepared to commit themselves and give the undertakings that should have been given and held to many years ago?” he asked, referring to the unimplemented 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

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