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IRA Statement in Response to the 'Heads of Agreement' Document, 21 January 1998

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Research: Martin Melaugh
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Statement issued by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in response to the 'Heads of Agreement' Document, 21 January 1998

"The leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann do not regard the "propositions on Heads of Agreement" document as a basis for a lasting peace settlement.

It is a pro-unionist document and has created a crisis in the peace process.

We have pointed out repeatedly in the past that meaningful negotiations are crucial to the resolution of the conflict.

We have affirmed our willingness to facilitate such negotiations. We have matched this commitment with deeds in announcing and maintaining a cessation of military operations since July 20th last year.

The British government have, as yet, refused to face up to their responsibilities in this regard. They have continued with the remilitarisation policy of their predecessors in government. They have stalled on the implementation of any serious or meaningful confidence building measures.

Most significantly of all, in attempting to impose the "Heads of Agreement" document on the talks process, yet another British prime minister has succumbed to the Orange card.

This was against a background of the Unionist leadership refusing to meaningfully engage in the talks process and the continuing assassinations by loyalist death squads.

Instead of facing up to this pressure the British government has again yielded to it.

The responsibility for undoing the damage done to the prospects for a just and lasting peace settlement rests squarely with the British government."

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