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Statement by Bertie Ahern on the on the publication of the Twelfth Report of the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC), (4 October 2006)

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Text: Bertie Ahern ... Page compiled: Brendan Lynn

Statement by Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), on the publication of the Twelfth Report of the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC), (4 October 2006)


"The Irish and British Governments have today published the 12th Report of the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC).

We are greatly encouraged and warmly welcome the Reportís conclusion that there is convincing evidence of the Provisional IRAís continuing commitment to an exclusively political path. The Report confirms that the IRA is not engaged in paramilitary activity - no terrorism, training, recruiting, targeting, procurement, intelligence gathering, engineering - and that it is not involved, and continues to direct its members not to engage, in criminal activity.

These positive and clear-cut findings are of the utmost importance and significance. They are evidence that the security landscape in Northern Ireland has been radically altered. It is now clearly apparent that the IRA has neither the intent nor the interest in restarting its paramilitary campaign.

Prime Minister Blair and I will meet the parties in Scotland next week for intensive discussions aimed at achieving the restoration of the devolved institutions by the 24 November deadline.

It is time to make decisions and for Northern Ireland to look to the future.

We genuinely believe that sustainable partnership government is achievable and that Northern Ireland can now move forward with confidence that the past has been left behind. The Governments will play their part but we expect the parties to shoulder their responsibilities and to come to Scotland ready to address the final obstacles and open to agreement. The context for political engagement has never been better.

We are mindful of the Reportís conclusions in relation to other groupings. We will continue to encourage those who are seeking to pursue a new peaceful direction. At the same time those intent on defying the will of the people and persisting in illegal activities will be met by the full force of the law."


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