IRA releases statements
The IRA has issued a statement on the current impasse in the
peace process and has released the text of the statement passed
to the Irish and British government on April 13
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 Oglaigh na hEireann and the status
of our cessation.
- Our future intentions.
- Our attitude to re-engagement with the IICD and engagement in a
process of putting arms beyond use.
- A third act of putting arms beyond use to be verified under the
- 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
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
Despite this the President of Sinn Fein 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 and Sinn Fein.
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.
Irish Republican Publicity Bureau
Following is the complete text of the IRA statement provided to
the British and Irish governments on April 13:
The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann takes this opportunity to
give our view of the current phases of the peace process. In
particular we want to address unionist concerns.
The political responsibility for advancing the current situation
rests with the two governments, especially the British
Government, and the leaderships of the political parties.
Accordingly, the IRA leadership have assessed commitments from
the two governments and the UUP.
The IRA has a genuine interest in building an enduring political
process because we want to see the removal of the causes of the
conflict in our country.
Although the Irish Republican Army is not a party to the Good
Friday Agreement, we are disappointed that the Agreement has not
We are disappointed also that the commitments in the joint
declaration are conditional and protracted. Despite this we want
to give them a fair wind.
Oglaigh na hEireann supports the peace process. We want it to
work. We affirm that our cessation is intact.
We are resolved to see the complete and final closure of this
conflict. The IRA leadership is determined to ensure that our
activities, disciplines and strategies will be consistent with
Furthermore, the full and irreversible implementation of the
Agreement and other commitments will provide a context in which
the IRA can proceed to definitively set aside arms to further our
When there is such a context this decision can be taken only by a
General Army Convention representing all our volunteers.
We want to enhance the climate at all levels of society so that
unionists and loyalists, nationalists and republicans, free from
threats to their rights and safety, can engage together in
community, political and other areas of co- operation and work.
The IRA poses no threat to the unionist people or to the peace
The IRA leadership reiterates our commitment to resolving the
issue of arms. The commitments from the two governments,
including the ending of the suspension of the political
institutions, and the firm pledge by the leader of the Ulster
Unionist Party that he will actively support the sustained
working of the political institutions and other elements of the
Good Friday Agreement, enables us to do this.
We have authorised our representative to meet with the IICD with
a view to proceeding with the implementation of a process to put
arms beyond use at the earliest opportunity.
We have also authorised a third act of putting arms beyond use.
This will be verified under the agreed scheme.
These initiatives are part of our ongoing contribution to the
collective endeavour. The commitments made by the two governments
and the UUP are a necessary part of this.
We support genuine efforts to build a just and peaceful future
for all the people of this island. This is a collective task for
all sections of society. Unionist political leaders have a
special contribution to make.
We are Irish republicans. Our objective is a united Ireland. We
are not unionists or British and no one should expect us to to
set aside our political objectives or our republicanism.
We do not claim to fully understand unionist perceptions. But we
are prepared to listen and to learn. And we are committed to
playing our part in creating the conditions in which unionists,
nationalists and republicans can live together peacefully.
Building the collective trust to achieve this is a huge challenge
for everyone. Given the experience of nationalists and
republicans during the decades of conflict and before, this is a
particular challenge for us. It is also a challenge for unionists
and the British Government.
Much hurt has been inflicted by British Government policy, by
successive British Governments and by the old unionist regime.
Great pain has been caused by the British army, the RUC and
loyalist paramilitaries. Irish republicans and nationalists have
a proud and honourable record of resistance against these forces.
We know unionists do not see it like that.
We are also conscious that non-combatants were killed and injured
as a consequence of some of our actions. We offer our sincere
apologies and condolences to their families and friends.
The IRA is committed to supporting every effort to make conflict
a thing of the past. To this end the IRA leadership has
previously authorised a series of unprecedented initiatives to
enhance the search for a lasting peace.
On occasions these have been undervalued or dismissed. Despite
this, we are persisting in our endeavours. The initiatives
outlined in this statement involve further substantive and
additional contributions by the IRA.
Both governments - and unionists and republicans alike - have now
an opportunity which cannot and should not be wasted.
Irish Republican Army.