29/11/2004

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".

Leaving the two-hour long meeting with Hugh Orde, which was attended by the Prime Minister, Mr Adams said that he had agreed to meet with the Chief Constable on the basis of the important issue of "demilitarisation of the republican heartlands".

Speaking after the meeting Mr Orde said that there had been a "step forward" and more talks were to follow. However, he told reporters that in his view his first duty was to ensure the safety and security of his officers: "In a normal situation you would not have the military doing normal policing".

At the monthly press meeting, Mr Blair was reticent to comment on the progress achieved during the meeting. He said that as the current talks were at an "intensive stage". The Prime Minister said he was fearful of raising hopes: "I think probably the best thing is for me to say very little. So many times before hopes have been raised and then dashed".

Earlier, DUP leader the Reverend Ian Paisley, who met with General John De Chastelain today, said that matters were at a "very delicate stage". He said that the decommissioning problem was "not solved at the present time". General de Chastelain, he said, had to talk to Tony Blair and the IRA.

As the latest intensive round of talks continues, the Rev Paisley is to meet Mr Blair tomorrow (Tuesday).

(SP)

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

17 December 2009
UDA Halts McGuinness Talks
Loyalist paramilitaries cancelled historic talks with Martin McGuiness yesterday, after details of the meeting were leaked to the media. According to reports in the Belfast Telegraph, a four-man delegation from the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) was due to meet the Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister at his Stormont offices.
03 May 2006
Orange Order to meet with Irish President's husband
Representatives form the Orange Order leadership are to travel to Dublin today to meet with the Irish President's husband Martin McAleese.
04 July 2007
Adams and Orde meet to discuss feud
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has today met with the chief constable to discuss the feud in the Ballymurphy area of west Belfast. During the meeting, Hugh Orde and Mr Adams shook hands publicly for the first time during their inaugural meeting at the Whiterock Community Centre.
19 February 2018
Sinn Féin To Meet With Taoiseach Following Talks Collapse
Sinn Féin is to meet with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar after talks to restore power-sharing in Northern Ireland collapsed. President Mary Lou McDonald and vice president Michelle O'Neill are also planning to travel to London to meet with Prime Minister Theresa May.
15 February 2018
Sinn Fein To Meet With Irish And UK Governments After Talks Fail
Sinn Fein is to meet with both the Irish and UK governments today, 15 February, after DUP leader Arlene Foster confirmed talks to restore power-sharing in NI had failed. Northern Ireland has been without an Executive since January 2017. Mr Foster said there was "no current prospect" of a deal.