18/04/2003

Adams claims IRA response is ‘unparalleled’

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has told a meeting of party members that the IRA statement issued to the British and Irish governments contained elements that were “unparalleled” in republican history.

Mr Adams attending a meeting held in a Newry hotel maintained that the IRA statement was both “clear and unambiguous”.

He said that “rejectionist unionism, which dismissed republican words as meaningless,” could not be expected to provide the dictionary for the IRA.

The Irish and British prime ministers met briefly to discuss the political deadlock while attending the EU summit in Athens this week.

The vaunted blueprint document has been placed on hold as the premiers have sought to massage the final wording into an acceptable format in an effort to get the Northern Ireland peace process back on track.

The continuing suspension of the Northern Ireland assembly amid allegations of information gathering by Sinn Fein has led to flurry of meetings with government representatives and local pro-Agreement parties in the search for an acceptable deal to get the Assembly up and running again before the May 29 election deadline.

Sinn Féin want the blueprint document published, but Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble has branded the IRA statement as “far short” of what is required.

Mr Trimble said that the UUP had plans, but he declined to make them public at this stage.

The prime ministers had proposed to make the unveil the blueprint document on Thursday April 10, but this had to be abandoned at the last minute following apparent dissatisfaction at the wording of an earlier draft IRA response.

(SP)

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