IRA's message tempers threats with hope

DAVID MCKITTRICK

Ireland Correspondent

The IRA last night issued what was, by its own standards, an unexpectedly temperate Easter message, putting its hope for negotiations alongside a threat of the possibility of further violence.

The net effect will probably leave the outside world guessing about the intentions of the terrorist organisation, which last month called off its 17-month ceasefire.

After four bombing incidents in London the IRA has launched no follow- up attacks either in Britain or Northern Ireland.

The statement reasserted the organisation's right to take up arms, but also mentioned its hope for a "meaningful negotiation process".

It also claimed that the IRA had a mandate for violence, "deriving from Britain's denial of the fundamental right of the Irish people to national self-determination and sovereignty".

The statement went on: "The IRA, of course, remains ready to help in developing the conditions which will allow for a meaningful negotiations process, free from preconditions of any kind.

"The current position of the British, however, prevents all those in Ireland with a democratic mandate from sitting around the negotiating table. There remains only one place for all the representatives of the Irish people to go - and that is to the negotiating table."

The statement gave no clear clue about the organisation's long-term intentions, though it noticeably steered away from the belligerent tone of recent IRA statements.

Several weeks ago an IRA leader declared: "We sued for peace, the British wanted war. If that's what they want we will give them another 25 years of war."

Although yesterday's less aggressive tone could be construed as a hopeful sign, republican sources are openly gloomy about the prospects of an early reinstatement of the ceasefire.

All-party talks are due to open in Belfast on 10 June, but the ceasefire would have to be preceded by cast-iron assurances that the discussions would not stall as soon as they started on the issue of arms decommissioning, and would lead to genuine negotiations.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory