Bookmark and Share
22/06/2001

REID MEETS PARTIES IN BID TO BREAK IMPASSE

IN a bid to break the current impasse in the peace process the leadership of Sinn Fein met the Northern Ireland Secretary of State and the Irish Foreign Affairs Minister in Hillsborough Castle.

Sinn Fein chief negotiator Martin McGuinness, Assembly Minister Bairbre de Brun, and Assembly Member Gerry Kelly met with Dr John Reid and Brian Cowan at Hillsborough Castle on Friday, June 22.

Following the meeting Martin McGuinness said: “It is time for the British government to get real and it is time for all our politicians who have dishonestly tried to state their position on the decommissioning section of the agreement to waken up and to recognise that there is a collective responsibility. I believe that the issue of getting armed groups to put weapons beyond use is one that can be resolved”.

However, earlier this week a senior IRA source indicated that decommissioning would not be commenced due to British pressure or to meet a unionist agenda.

In a surprise hour-long meeting with the Secretary of State Dr John Reid, SDLP Deputy Leader Seamus Mallon had detailed discussions on policing and said that he was looking forward to progress on this issue: “I hope that the British government will at last see sense on this issue and be able to do what they should have done from the beginning – that is to ensure that everything is done in accordance with the Patton recommendations.”

First Minister David Trimble again called for decommissioning following his meeting with the Ministers at Hillsborough castle.

Mr Trimble said that progress would still possible if republicans would only make a move on decommissioning: “There is a united front throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. All political parties and commentators are saying to the republicans: 'It is time for you to keep your promises'."

Mr McGuinness, however, hit out at both the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Deputy First Minister Seamus Mallon for attempting to manipulate the decommissioning issue. He said that republicans were tired of the issue of “silent guns” being raised.

Meetings were also scheduled to take place with the other main pro-agreement parties at Hillsborough on Friday. (SP)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

11 July 2001
STILL NO BREAKTHROUGH IN WESTON PARK TALKS
HOPES that a breakthrough in talks could be brokered were dampened on Wednesday with Northern Ireland’s political leaders offering grim summaries of the proceedings at Weston Park in Staffordshire.
29 June 2009
UVF Guns, Ammo And Bombs 'Beyond Use'
The haul of weapons decommissioned by the UVF and Red Hand Commandos included guns, ammunition and explosives, it has been revealed. However, independent observers - who described the cache as a "major decommissioning event" - have not said how many weapons were actually given up.
12 June 2001
DECOMMISSIONING IS NOT IMMINENT
RUC Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan has declared that there is no sign of the IRA moving towards imminent decommissioning. Speaking during an interview with the BBC, Sir Ronnie’s comments come at a crucial time for the arms decommissioning issue which is set to dominate the political agenda.
11 March 2004
Trimble attacks 'unworkable' DUP assembly plan
The Ulster Unionist leader has attacked the Democratic Unionist Party's plan for a corporate-style assembly model as "unworkable" and has called on the DUP to pull out of the Review.
22 October 2003
UUP leader calls halt in process over IRA arms
Northern Ireland's peace process was reawakened with aplomb yesterday and, with its carefully scripted exchanges, two premiers on standby for the lawn handshake and international press pack on call, it appeared to be a done deal – but for the issue of paramilitary weapons.
24 July 2001
DUP discuss solution package with NI Secretary of State
The Democratic Unionist Party met with the Secretary of State Dr John Reid on Tuesday July 24 to discuss the package drawn up by premiers Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern that could make or break the political future of Northern Ireland.
16 October 2001
Pressure builds on IRA to disarm
In the advent of an Ulster Unionist ministerial withdrawal en masse from Northern Ireland’s Executive, calls have been made emphasizing the need for decommissioning from the IRA to begin in order to save the institutions from collapse.
02 June 2003
Unionist in-fighting letting republicans off decommissioning hook
Senior Ulster Unionist Michael McGimpsey has warned that Ulster Unionist in-fighting is threatening to let the Republican movement off the hook. In a statement Mr McGimpsey said recent weeks had seen an enormous amount of pressure being applied to Republicans to stand down and decommission its weapons.
05 October 2001
Minister announces fishing boat decommissioning scheme
Agriculture Minister Bríd Rodgers has announced that she was making available £5 million to fund the Northern Ireland Fishing Vessel Decommissioning Scheme 2001.
04 December 2017
'DUP Will Not Accept Any Form Of Regulatory Divergence' - Foster
DUP Leader Arlene Foster has said the party "will not accept any form of regulatory divergence" which separates Northern Ireland from the UK post-Brexit.
29 November 2017
Serious Concerns Raised Over Nursing Shortage In NI
Serious concerns have been raised over the shortage of nurses in Northern Ireland. The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) has issued a notice after it identified a number of failings following inspections. SDLP leader Mark H Durkan called for the issue to be addressed as it will have an impact on care.
23 April 2003
Lawlor murder investigators issue photo-fit
Police investigating the murder of Catholic teenager Gerard Lawlor have issued a CD-fit of a man they are trying to identify in order to further their enquiries. Police are appealing for information on a man seen in a car at the entrance to Bellevue Zoo on the night of Mr Lawlor's murder.
07 August 2001
UUP dismiss IICD report and peace blueprint
Ulster Unionist Party leader David Trimble’s response to the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) report has been to again reiterate that the IRA must put its arms beyond use and must decommission its weapons.
29 November 2004
Historic meeting between Adams and Orde is 'useful'
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has described the first ever face-to-face meeting between the Sinn Féin leadership and the Chief Constable of the Police Service for Northern Ireland as "useful".
06 March 2002
Blair criticised over amnesties for wanted paramilitaries
Proposals by the British government to offer an amnesty to absconded terrorist suspects have been condemned by the Ulster Unionist Party leader David Trimble. Mr Trimble made his comments during Prime Minister's Question Time in Westminster following reports that the government were on the brink of making the amnesty offer.