6 January 2005 Edition
IRA: Pandering to rejectionist unionists unacceptable
In its New Year message, the leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann outlines how the achievement of a comprehensive agreement to resolve "all outstanding issues" was prevented by a demand for humiliation.
The IRA leadership also rejects, outright, recent attempts to criminalise IRA Volunteers and the republican struggle.
"The leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann sends New Year greetings to our Volunteers and to our friends and supporters at home and abroad.
We extend solidarity to our imprisoned comrades and their families.
Time and again over the past ten years the IRA has demonstrated its commitment to the Peace Process. On occasion, our initiatives have stretched the discipline and patience of our Volunteers and the wider republican base. To their credit, they have remained steadfast.
We set out the contribution we are prepared to make to a comprehensive agreement to resolve all outstanding issues. This included moving into a new mode which reflects our determination to see the transition to a totally peaceful society and also concluding the process to completely and verifiably put all our arms beyond use.
All of this is being prevented by an unachievable demand for humiliation.
The rejection of our substantial contributions has created a deep anger within the republican and nationalist communities and indeed, it has generated significant frustration.
We want to see peace on the island of Ireland and among all the Irish people. But a just and lasting peace is only possible on the basis of equality. The days of inequality and of discrimination are over. There must be an end to bigotry, sectarianism and racism.
Pandering by the two governments, once again, to a rejectionist approach by a unionist leader, will not work. The IRA will not accept it.
We reject recent attempts to criminalise our Volunteers. Through two decades, central to Britain's policy in Ireland was the strategy of demonising and criminalising republicans. In prisons and on the streets, similar attempts and tactics were smashed, most notably by our comrades on hunger strike in 1981. Current attempts by those hostile to republicanism will also fail.
We commend our Volunteers and our support base. Their patience and discipline have been among our greatest strengths. We share a vision for the future.
This vision includes the unity and independence of Ireland.
While a Peace Process can produce an accommodation, and the IRA is prepared to assist this process, Irish unity and independence provides the best context for the people of this island to live together in harmony and prosperity.
We remain committed to our republican objectives."
Irish Republican Publicity Bureau,