IRA's message tempers threats with hope
Belfast-born David McKittrick has been reporting on Northern Ireland since 1971, He has written for the East Antrim Times, the Irish Times and was The Independent's Irish correspondent for many years. He is the author of several books including Making Sense of the Troubles (2000) and Lost Lives (1999).
Thursday 04 April 1996
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.
- 1 Husband creates spreadsheet detailing wife's 'excuses' for turning down sex
- 2 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 3 Saneie Masilela, 9, marries Helen Shabangu, 53 years his senior, for the second time
- 4 Time runs out for Christian Iraq: Isis deadline passes with mass flight
- 5 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
Saneie Masilela, 9, marries Helen Shabangu, 53 years his senior, for the second time
Time runs out for Christian Iraq: Isis deadline passes with mass flight
Miley Cyrus death hoax: Fans distraught after Facebook scam goes viral and she doesn't tweet for three days
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: France and Germany accused of going soft on Putin as sanctions talks stall
Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash analysis: A tragic lesson of advanced weapons in the wrong hands
- < Previous
- Next >
£110 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We are urgently seeking a ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manage...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Training/Learning and Development Co...
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The successful applicant w...