Irish Republican News · April 24, 2006
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
DUP urged to move on

A government report is expected to again confirm that the Provisional IRA no longer poses a threat and has moved further in what is described as “ending criminality”.

The report is the latest from the so-called Independent Monitoring Commission, which analyses military and police intelligence briefings and provides support for actions by the Dublin and London governments. It has already been sent to the two governments and is due to be published next week.

The report covers the period from September 1 2005 to February 28 2006 and does not include the recent murder of double-agent Denis Donaldson.

According to reports, it is thought the latest briefing shows, for example, that the IRA is “moving along the right road” and the hope is this will build political confidence in the north.

British Direct Ruler Peter Hain recalled that the last IMC report made clear that the IRA “no longer poses a terrorist threat” and that allegations of illegal activity by former members were not linked to the IRA leadership.

“Indeed, it made clear that criminal operations have been closed down by the organisation,” Mr Hain said.

Referring the Donaldson murder and other allegations, Mr Hain said “let us see what the police say in their investigations”.

Meanwhile, a further IMC report is due in October, propitiously timed before the November Assembly deadline which the parties are facing in attempting to restore powersharing devolution.

It is expected to ensure Ian Paisley’s DUP cannot use continuing allegations of IRA activity as an excuse to refuse to share power with Sinn Féin.

Meanwhile, members of the DUP have been urged to use their appearance at an Anglo-Irish parliamentary body to advance peace efforts.

The appeal was made by Arthur Morgan, a Sinn Féin member of the Dublin parliament, ahead of the start of the British Irish Parliamentary Body, an organisation that draws is members from the parliaments and assemblies of both Ireland and Britain.

A DUP delegation including deputy leader Peter Robinson is due to address the group tomorrow in Killarney, County Kerry, with a presentation of its case.

However the DUP is insistent its decision to take part in the event is not a u-turn on its boycott of the Parliamentary Body which was formed in 1990 as a result of the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

Mr Morgan said: “Along with all of the other members of the Parliamentary Body, I welcome the decision of the DUP to attend this session in County Kerry.

“However the DUP need to use this platform to find common ground, to engage with political foes, to seek to build confidence amongst the vast majority of people who want to see the Agreement work and demonstrate that they are up for inclusive powersharing.

“If the DUP are simply going to travel the length of Ireland to grandstand for the media then an opportunity will have been lost.

“Time is pressing on and we are only a matter of weeks away from the reconvening of the [Belfast] Assembly on May 15th.

“The time for grandstanding from the DUP has long since passed.” The DUP has been given an absolute deadline of November 24th to form an inclusive powersharing government with Sinn Féin.

Initially when the Assembly is recalled on May 15th, they will be given six weeks to try and form a devolved government but are expected to be given one or two more tries before November 24th.

The Democratic Unionists, however, have insisted that any decision by them on whether they should go into a government which includes Sinn Féin at Stormont or not, will be determined not by deadlines imposed by Prime Minister Tony Blair and Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

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© 2006 Irish Republican News