RealNews

Ahern and Blair push Sinn Fein to prove IRA is winding up

Sinn Fein was under pressure to urge the IRA for a quantum leap to prove it is winding up for good, as Tony Blair and the Irish prime minister, Bertie Ahern, held talks with Northern Irish political leaders at Hillsborough Castle yesterday. While expectations of a breakthrough were low, the two premiers hoped they could ascertain what republicans could offer and what unionists could accept to restore power-sharing in the Stormont government. “There is no blueprint as yet,” said a government source. “It is more about checking we have all the pieces before we try to put them together.” Devolution broke down last October amid claims of an IRA spy ring. David Trimble, the Ulster Unionist leader and former first minister, wants the Provisionals to disband before re-joining a Sinn Fein coalition. Mr Trimble will have to sell any IRA gesture to his own hardliners to stave off Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionists in the assembly election. Full Story

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