McGimpsey hits out at IRA criticism

Leading Ulster Unionist representative Michael McGimpsey has reiterated that Republicans were aware of the need for transparency in the weapons decommissioning process.

His comments follow a statement from the IRA in which it said it would not be involved in further decommissioning because of the breakdown of last week's agreement.

The South Belfast Assembly candidate said: "We have made the point over and over and over again for about five years that we are not up for an invisible process.

"We still don't have a sense of when this is all going to be over. They may say now that they do not understand. They may say others have not stuck to the bargain but they knew very well and Bertie Ahern knew there were problems over transparency.''

However, Sinn Féin's Gerry Kelly said there was anger amongst nationalists and republicans, "that once again it was republicans who delivered on their part of an agreement and once again others did not".

"The IRA played a key part in this agreement," the North Belfast Assembly candidate said. "They issued a statement, they engaged with the IICD and they put a large quantity of arms beyond use.

"It is remarkable that given the manner in which this agreement wasn't followed through on, that these comments are so measured. I believe that this is in line with the ongoing commitment of the IRA leadership to the peace process," he added.

In a statement on Wednesday, the IRA said it had honoured its commitments in an agreement and an agreed sequence. However, it hit out at the UUP for stalling the process "without a credible explanation" for doing so.


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

14 September 2021
New Private Tenancies Bill Moves To Second Stage In The Assembly
The new Private Tenancies Bill, which aims to improve protections for tenants living in the private rented sector, has moved to the second stage in the Assembly.
27 November 2019
Arrest Over New IRA Murder Bid On Police
Detectives investigating a police murder bid by the New IRA are conducting a number of searches in Strabane. A 28 year-old man was arrested in the Co Tyrone town after a mortar device was discovered aimed at a police station on Saturday 07 September.
18 April 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”.
07 September 2021
Other News In Brief
Schools Need Support To Remain Open Safely - Sheehan Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan has said Thursday's recall of the Assembly is an opportunity to make it clear to the Education Minister that schools need support to remain open safely.
06 May 2003
Empey challenges DUP to publish alternative proposals
Former Economy Minister Sir Reg Empey has challenged the DUP to publish their detailed proposals for ‘A Fair Deal’. In a statement, the UUP councillor said that now the Joint Declaration had been published - and with an IRA statement imminent - the time was right to see what alternatives the DUP could offer.