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Irish Republican Army (IRA) Statement on the Peace Process, 6 May 2003



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Text of Irish Republican Army (IRA) Statement on the Peace Process, 6 May 2003

 

The IRA leadership is committed to making the peace process work.

That is why we called our cessation.

That is why we have maintained it.

That is why we have taken a series of significant initiatives.

That is why at the beginning of April we shared concepts and drafts with others. While that process was ongoing these concepts and drafts were mischievously leaked and misrepresented by the two governments. This was an abuse of trust.

Despite this on Sunday April 13 the IRA leadership closed on a statement setting out our view on recent developments in the peace process and on:

  • The current disposition of Óglaigh na hÉireann and the status of our cessation.
  • Our future intentions.
  • Our attitude to re-engagement with the IICD [Independent International Commission on Decommissioning] and engagement in a process of putting arms beyond use.
  • A third act of putting arms beyond use to be verified under the agreed scheme.
  • A willingness to address unionist concerns.
  • An apology to the families and friends of non-combatants killed as a consequence of our actions.

This statement, which contained significant proposals to move the process forward, was given to the two governments on April 13. They described it as positive, welcomed the obvious progress and said that the statement showed a clear desire to make the peace process work.

On April 23 the British Prime Minister [Tony Blair] in a clear breach of protocol publicly misquoted aspects of our statement and went on to pose three questions.

This and the subsequent word games have caused justifiable anger and annoyance.

Despite this the President of Sinn Féin [Gerry Adams] responded in a clear and unambiguous way. His answers accurately reflected our position.

There is no lack of clarity. Our statement and the commitments contained in it was dependent on agreement involving the two governments, the UUP [Ulster Unionist Party] and Sinn Féin.

With regard to putting arms beyond use our representative met, several times, with the IICD. In order, in particular, to facilitate the UUP and to enhance the process to achieve agreement we made preparations for a quantity of munitions to be put beyond use.

In the event of agreement we were prepared to act immediately and our preparations were at an advanced stage.

Regrettably the two governments and the UUP rejected our statement and our initiatives.

Our April 13 statement has now been overtaken by events. We are placing it on the public record so that people can judge for themselves the significance of our proposed initiatives to advance the peace process.

 

P O'Neill,
Irish Republican Publicity Bureau, Dublin.


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