28/02/2005

Inclusive Executive is ultimate goal of Government - Murphy

Secretary of State Paul Murphy has said that the ultimate goal of the Government is an inclusive Executive which includes Sinn Fein.

Speaking at the weekend Mr Murphy said the Government wanted to see an inclusive Executive formed which included Gerry Adams’ party, “but for that to happen the IRA must give up criminality”.

"Now if that isn't going to happen we would look for other solutions, but any solution involved in the creation of an Executive in Northern Ireland must embrace nationalism and unionism, so it's pointless actually restoring devolution until we've got some ideas whether it would actually work,” Mr Murphy said.

"But the thrust of all this though mustn't be forgotten. That the obstacle to this working is the fact that there is still criminal activity and paramilitary activity on the part of the Provisional IRA, and until and unless we can solve that then the inclusive Executive, which, after all, people voted for in the Good Friday Agreement, is impossible.

Referring to his recent statement on sanctions against Sinn Fein, Mr Murphy said: "We know what it is we have to achieve and that is the end to criminal activity, whether it's robbing banks, or whether it's so called punishment beatings, or whatever it might be. We just can't tolerate it anymore in Northern Ireland and the people of Northern Ireland themselves won't tolerate it.

The British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference is set to meet later this week in which members are likely to discuss the recent sanctions and IMC report which implicated republicans in the £26.5 million robbery at the Northern Bank in December.

(MB/SP)

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