Irish Republican News · July 30, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
What they said
A few nuggets from the carnival of reaction that greeted Thursday’s statement.


We have stretched out the hand of friendship to Tony Blair and he has accepted it. President Bush has also accepted our hand of friendship, the Taoiseach has accepted our hand of friendship, what we want to see now is Ian Paisley accept our hand of friendship,

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, speaking in Washington DC


This may be the day when finally, after all the false dawns and dashed hopes, peace replaces war, politics replaces terror on the island of Ireland.

British Prime Minister, Tony Blair


The war is over, the IRA’s armed campaign is over, paramilitarism is over, and I believe that we can look to the future of peace and prosperity based on mutual trust and reconciliation and a final end to violence.

26-County Taoiseach Bertie Ahern


If the words of the statement are borne out in actions over the coming weeks and months, they will be seen as an historic milestone in the turbulent and often painful history of Northern Ireland. There will be an undeniable responsibility on unionists to participate in Government with Sinn Féin.

British Direct Ruler Peter Hain


The President talked about the importance of moving forward with action

US President George Bush’s official spokesman Scott McClellan


The end of the IRA as a paramilitary organisation is the outcome the governments have been working towards.

Bertie Ahern


It will take weeks, maybe longer, for some people to absorb what’s happened. Maybe it’s a step too far for some republicans.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams


Since the IRA has killed thousands and injured thousands more, it is inexcusable that the statement claims that its ‘armed struggle was entirely legitimate’ but fails to express a single word of remorse.

UUP leader Reg Empey


The unionist community feels no obligation to cheer the words of P O’Neill. We will judge the IRA’s bona fides over the next months and years based on its behaviour and activity.

DUP leader Ian Paisley


The IRA is still an illegal organisation and it must go out of existence or change so that it is no longer illegal.

26-County Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell


This is not 1969. This is a post 9/11 world of suicide bombers in London. We cannot have terror in the current climate.

British Direct Ruler Peter Hain


The Provisionals should discard the trappings of the Republicanism they once served. Like Cumann na nGaedheal\Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Workers Party they have betrayed it. They are no longer Republicans.

Republican Sinn Féin President Ruairi O Bradaigh


If Provisional Sinn Féin and the Provisional IRA, who supported them at every turn, truly accepted the terms of the GFA, then today’s statement cannot be viewed by republicans as surrender but rather as the final act of a surrender that started many years ago.

32 County Sovereignty Committee spokesperson


I don’t think for one moment that any genuine, serious republican activist is going to join any of these other micro-groups . . . Yes it is a concern, but I would have a huge confidence in people’s good sense.

Gerry Adams


Ian Paisley’s DUP must put the past behind them, to end intolerance, bigotry and triumphalism, and to make peace with their Irish nationalist neighbours, North and South.

Martin McGuinness

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© 2005 Irish Republican News