Wednesday 4 October 2006

Unique opportunity for all parties in Northern Ireland - PM

4 October 2006

Prime Minister Tony Blair Tony Blair has welcomed a report into paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland, declaring that the "IRA’s campaign is over."

The Independent Monitoring Commission found that the leadership of the IRA "does not consider a return to terrorism in any way a viable option" and that it "continues to direct its members not to engage in criminal activity."

The PM said the IRA had done what it had been asked to and that their campaign was over.

Mr Blair, who hopes the report will help efforts to restore devolution in the Province before the 24 November deadline, added that the "door is now open."

Devolved government at Stormont was suspended in October 2002 following allegations of spying.

Talks will take place in St Andrews next week aimed at finding a settlement.

In a statement from Number 10, the Prime Minister said:

"This will be a unique opportunity. I hope all the parties understand that and seize that opportunity to create a future for the people of Northern Ireland."

Earlier today the PM’s official spokesman said the IMC report "lays very firmly the basis for a final settlement." 

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