Reid urges Ulster groups to disarm

Labour conference: Northern Ireland
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John Reid, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, made a fresh plea to terrorist groups to breathe new life into the peace process by starting to put their weapons beyond use.

Linking the tense situation in Ulster to the aftermath of the suicide bombings in the United States, he said that maintaining a ceasefire was no longer adequate. "Ultimately we all face a stark choice – the ballot box or the bomb and the bullet. There is no mix-and-match agenda in democracy," Dr Reid said.

Northern Ireland could become an example to the world, but would need to "dig deep into its reserves of endurance over the coming months and years", he said. "Terrorism does not just appear in the desert carrying the Koran. It appears in the streets of Northern Ireland clasping the Bible. It has appeared on the back streets of Bologna preaching socialism and in Omagh or on the hills of Spain in the name of nationalism."