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22 July 1999 Edition

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IRA outlines realities

Another of Tony Blair's deadlines was turned into a dead duck by David Trimble amid scenes worthy of a pantomime in Stormont last week. We had the irony of republicans and nationalists in Stormont participating in an Assembly which they never really wanted, while David Trimble boycotted the meeting.

These scenes came after Tony Blair framed last-minute legislation to placate David Trimble. In doing so, Blair effectively rewrote the Agreement, changing the role of the Decommissioning Commission and the decommissioning section of the Agreement. It was all to no avail as Trimble refused to nominate Ministers.

No David Trimble. No Executive. It was a shambles.

This is the context for the statement from the IRA carried in this week's An Phoblacht. The IRA outlines some stark realities, the most important being that by pandering to rejectionist unionism, Tony Blair can only serve to weaken the Good Friday Agreement. That is the clear aim of the rejectionists.

The IRA states that the Agreement has ``failed to deliver tangible progress and its potential for doing so has substantially diminished in recent months''. That diminution of its potential has surely accelerated in the past week.

The mood among the wider republican community is one of anger and frustration - not so much at yet another ``No'' from the unionists but at the fact that the British government has gone so far to indulge them. Trimble has followed the rejectionists in his party in the retreat from the Agreement he made last year. They have been allowed to turn the peace process into a decommissioning process.

The British government must ackowledge its overriding responsibility and assert its authority in this situation. It has to tell the unionists that they will no longer be allowed to determine the future of relationships between the people of Ireland and the people of Britain.

An Phoblacht
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