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Irish Republican Army (IRA) Easter Statement, 19 April 2000

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Research: Fionnuala McKenna
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Easter Statement issued by the Irish Republican army (IRA), 19 April 2000

"The leadership of Óglaigh na ireann hÉireann extends fraternal greetings to republican activists, supporters and friends at home and abroad.

On this, the 84th anniversary of the Easter Rising, we commemorate all of those who have given their lives for Irish freedom. Without their efforts and sacrifice the present opportunity for a just resolution of the conflict would not exist. We extend our solidarity to the families of our fallen Volunteers.

We extend solidarity to our imprisoned comrades and their families.

We commend the steadfast commitment and discipline of the Volunteers of Óglaigh na ireann.hÉireann.

We reaffirm our commitment to our republican objectives.

The IRA wants to see a permanent peace in our country.

Over the past five years we have called and maintained cessations of military operations. We have contributed in a meaningful way to the creation of a climate which would facilitate the search for a durable peace settlement.

In November 1999, in yet another demonstration of our commitment in the search for a durable peace, the leadership of Óglaigh na ireann hÉireann took an initiative to break the political logjam that had existed for the previous 18 months. The subsequent actions of the Ulster Unionist Party in its imposition of a deadline and Peter Mandelson's accusation of betrayal were clear acts of bad faith.

Regrettably, the British government's war with republicans continues with ongoing British Intelligence covert surveillance operations, with the remilitarisation of South Armagh, Tyrone, Belfast and other areas of the Six Counties. The RUC continues with its recruiting of informers and the harassment of nationalists on a daily basis. Those who seek a military victory need to understand that this cannot and will not happen.

In addition to this, the British government's unilateral decision to collapse the political institutions in February highlights a lack of political will to bring about meaningful change.

The British government cannot hide behind or underwrite unionist intransigence, or those who seek a military victory over the IRA.

The challenge for everyone remains the removal of the causes of conflict in our country and the British government cannot shirk its responsibility in that challenge.

This conflict is caused by British involvement in Irish affairs, partition and the injustices which flow from that.

The British government must accept and deliver on its responsibilities in delivering the meaningful change required to create a durable peace."

P. O'Neill, Irish Republican Publicity Bureau, Dublin

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