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10 January 2002 Edition

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IRA New Year Message

"The leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann sends New Year greetings to our Volunteers, imprisoned comrades and supporter at home and abroad.

At this time our thoughts are with the families of our dead comrades and we extend solidarity to them.

The IRA leadership thanks them all for their continued support.

We remain committed to our republican objectives and to the creation of an Irish Republic based on justice and equality.

The reunification of Ireland and the unity of its people are the cornerstones on which a durable peace will be established.

Since 1994, the IRA leadership has taken a number of initiatives to enhance the potential of the peace process.

2001 has been a difficult year. Those within sections of unionism and the British establishment who are opposed to change brought the peace process to the point of collapse.

On August 6 the IRA leadership agreed a scheme with the IICD. On October 23 we implemented it. We took this unprecedented step to save the peace process.

While our initiative undoubtedly saved the peace process, we understand and appreciate the great anxiety it has caused to Volunteers and our support base. Over the years we have faced many difficult challenges together, but through our commitment to republican objectives we have remained united and have grown in strength.

Making peace is a collective responsibility. At all times, the IRA leadership has acted in good faith. We have honoured any commitments that we have entered into. For our part, the leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann remains committed to the continuing search for a durable peace in Ireland. Others must do likewise.

A genuine peace process must deal with the causes of conflict and must be based on justice and equality for everyone.

The past year has seen the remilitarisation of nationalist and republican areas. There has also been a sustained pogrom against nationalist areas in the Six Counties and especially in North Belfast. The refusal of the British government to confront this loyalist violence, their refusal to bring about a new beginning to policing and their unwillingness to fulfil obligations entered into are the stark reminders of the tasks ahead.

These issues must be faced by the British government. It also must take the necessary steps to deliver real and meaningful change."

P O'Neill
Irish Republican Publicity Bureau, Dublin

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1