18/12/2003

Prime Ministers announce review process plans

A review process to look at how to overcome the present impasse in Northern Ireland has been announced by the Prime Minister, Tony Blair and Irish Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern at a joint press conference in Downing Street.

Mr Blair said the review would also look at the way institutions worked saying they would be "short, sharp and focused".

"I think everybody in Northern Ireland wants to see devolved government back in the province," Mr Blair said. "The question is can we create the conditions in which that comes about.

"And it is our earnest desire and intention that it does come about and we will as ever do our very best, and work as hard as we possibly can to achieve it, and we'll be in a better position to tell you how likely it is we can be successful in that when we get the review process under way."

The Prime Minister confirmed that there would be a timetable to the review but added that that had not yet been set.

He also confirmed that he had met all the main local political parties and that it was "agreed it is important we try and find a way through" the current difficulties.

(MB)

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

13 January 2020
PM & Taoiseach To Visit Stormont
The Prime Minister and Taoiseach are set to visit Belfast to mark the restoration of devolved government to Northern Ireland. A new powersharing Executive was formed by Stormont's five parties on Saturday 11 January.
10 January 2020
SDLP Selects O'Toole As South Belfast MLA
A former Downing Street advisor has been selected as the SDLP MLA for south Belfast. Matthew O'Toole replaces Claire Hanna following her election to the House of Commons in December.
30 April 2003
Adams declares IRA will not 'undermine' peace process
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has today moved to clarify the IRA's intentions, saying that the paramilitary group would not engage in any activities that will "undermine the peace process". His statement was in response to questions posed by Prime Minister Tony Blair last Wednesday demanding clarification on the IRA's position.
26 June 2007
'Blair Chair' in Irish Studies marks retirement
A £5 million Tony Blair Chair in Irish Studies is to be established at the University of Liverpool. The announcement comes on the eve of the Prime Minister’s retirement.
28 April 2003
Blair calls for ‘straight answer’ over IRA's position
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said that a “straight answer” is needed from the IRA in order to break the deadlock in the Northern Ireland peace process. At a press conference held in London on this morning, Mr Blair said that while progress had been achieved there was some way to go. Mr Blair said: "We don't yet have the basis that we need.