DUP hold talks with 'decommissioning' clergy

The DUP has today been holding talks with the two churchmen who witnessed the recent final act of decommissioning by the IRA.

Former Methodist President Rev Harold Good and Catholic priest Father Alex Reid were invited by the party to Thursday's meeting after leader Ian Paisley said that both clergymen were "IRA nominated" and thus were in no way independent.

Details have yet to emerge from today's meeting however Dr Paisley and his party are believed to have pressed both men on how they were appointed and what they saw.

Meanwhile, North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds has rounded on Northern Ireland Secretary of State Peter Hain after he stated that the Government would not publish estimates of the number of weapons contained in the IRA arsenal.

Mr Dodds said he found it "somewhat startling" that the Secretary of State had refused to publish details of the number of weapons which the Government estimated were held by the republican group.

"At a time when the Government should be recognising that there is an obvious lack of confidence within the unionist community, they have yet again missed the opportunity to restore a measure of confidence within unionism," Mr Dodds said.

"The very fact that Peter Hain is refusing to publish these details has only served to heighten growing suspicions about this most recent act."

Mr Hain said he could not divulge such figures in light of national security.

"I am not going to risk the security of Northern Ireland, or national security in any way by compromising intelligence sources, therefore no, we will not publish those estimates," he told the BBC.


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

08 October 2018
NI Secretary Of State To Meet Stormont Parties
Northern Ireland Secretary of State Karen Bradley is to meet with the five main Stormont parties to discuss prospects for restoring devolution. Ms Bradley will also meet with church leaders and the Irish deputy prime minister in today's talks.
28 September 2018
Theresa May Defends Secretary Of State
Prime Minister Theresa May has spoke out in defence of Secretary of State Karen Bradley following her comments on Northern Ireland politics. In an interview with the Westminster's The House magazine earlier this month Mrs Bradley admitted that she was unaware that unionists and nationalists did not vote for each other.
17 August 2018
Presbyterian Church Leader To Attend State Reception For Pope
The head of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Reverend Charles McMullen, is to attend the State reception for Pope Francis in Dublin Castle next week. The Presbyterian Moderator has accepted an invitation from the Irish Government to attend the event on Saturday, 25 August.
16 January 2018
CNO Details Plans Of Initiatives To Increase Nursing Workforce
Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) Charlotte McArdle has announced the details of a series of initiatives to increase the nursing workforce in Northern Ireland.
16 September 2019
Other News In Brief
Scamwise Renew Warning Over Belfast Builder Scam Scamwiseni have renewed their call for vigilance regarding unsolicited correspondence after a suspected attempt to defraud a woman in Belfast. The target received an email purporting to be from a builder she was using with new bank account details and a request for payment.