Government publishes proposals…

THE NIO has published the proposals by the two governments here and the BBC has them here.

  • stephen nicholl

    “7. North-South Parliamentary Forum. The Northern Ireland Executive
    would encourage the parties in the Assembly to establish a North-South
    parliamentary forum bringing together equal numbers from the Oireachtas
    and the Assembly, and operating on an inclusive basis.
    8. Independent Consultative Forum. The Northern Ireland Executive would
    support the establishment of an independent North/South consultative forum
    appointed by the two Administrations and representative of civil society.”

    So the people who left the UUP for the DUP did so for this??????

  • Davros

    Noted that the IRA was only expected to end “paramilitary” activity.

    4. We are confident that steps will now be taken to provide for an immediate,full and permanent cessation of all paramilitary activity by the IRA.

    the IRA statement Appendix C wasn’t terribly convincing.

    all IRA volunteers have been given specific instructions not to engage in any activity which might thereby endanger the new agreement.

    As I recall IRA volunteers were given specific instruction not to harm Gardai.

  • James

    In ANNEX D of the pdf document I downloaded from the Irish Times, The IICD reported that P. O’Neil had agreed to the following:

    This looks to me that all the ducks were in a row and that everything was ready to sign. So what’s going on here?

  • Davros

    Gerry Adams bluff was called.

  • Mick Fealty

    That ‘seems’ to contradict Adams’ statement earlier this evening that he and McGuinness had opposed the photograph clause all the way through from Leeds Castle, right up to his public statement on the 17th November. Which is about the time Pete was warning the rest of us that it wasn’t going to fly!

  • Mick Fealty

    And, as James has already pointed out elsewhere, it also seems to contradict the good Doctor.

  • James

    The IICD document specifically states that at some time the IRA was on-line with the deal. So what queered it and when?

  • peteb

    James et al

    That section of the document was picked up on immediately by journalists at the press conference given by Blair and Ahern.

    Their explanation was along the following lines –

    The document represents proposals, including proposed statements by the various parties. That particular proposed statement by the IICD was NOT agreed. So, even though it states what it states, no IRA representative agreed nuthin’.

    I kinda get where they’re coming from – especially given the scrutiny such wording has come under in the past.. it’s still a bit suspicious IMO.. I mean.. their line was that this was a way of saying – ‘If you agree to this statement then you agree that this is what you have already agreed’

    But the position of the Governments was definitely that the proposed statment by the IICD had NOT been agreed. They went out of their way to insist that no one had shown any breach of faith.. where that leaves all the other ‘agreed’ sections is anyone’s guess.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII


    The paragraphs are elements of proposed statements which would be issued *if* the deal went ahead. The document you are reading represents the point that the governments were trying to get the parties to come to – NOT the point where the parties had already come to. The reason why the deal did not go ahead because the IRA would not go along with what the document specifies that the IICD should be able to say.

    According to SF that paragraph on photographs was added only relatively recently, they are claiming it was not discussed previously. There’s no way to know if they’re lying on that or not unless the governments decide to tell us.

    Mick, it’s worth remembering that the good doctor did not sign up to this either. Even if SF had agreed to go along with the photographs, there’s no basis to assume that it would have led immediately to the DUP’s assent. As I’ve pointed out on other threads, DUP spokespersons as well as people sharing their views on this group have consistently avoided providing any detail about what kind of images they expect the photographs to depict, and how many photographs they expect to see. A picture of a single armalite being cut up with an angle grinder is “photographic evidence of decommissioning”, but the DUP could quite easily claim that it is not sufficient evidence of the total decommissioning they expect. Without such clarity, how could anyone be sure that the DUP would stick to their word ?

  • peteb

    Sorry, Roger.. I nodded off at “According to SF…” you were saying? 😉

  • Impractical Observer


    I think the DUP line on this is that they didn’t ask for the photos – the governments did – and so they don’t have to provide any details. A nice get-out clause for them and a good spin.

    Unfortunately for them, given the deja-vu of today compared to so many other false dawns of the peace process, all anyone will remember by election time is the sackcloth and ashes soundbite.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    If the DUP had dumped their bigotry at the door and simply talked to SF and simply asked what about these photos? tthen the idea could have been cleared up. The DUP being infantile contributed to their own ignorance on this subject.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Peteb, cheeky bugger 🙂 I began typing my response before I’d seen yours.

    Impractical, Sinn Fein’s counter claim is that the paragraph on photographs appeared, and they objected to it. The governments retorted that the DUP had requested it, and that they would not proceed without it. I honestly don’t know who to believe for sure, but given that the verifiability of decommissioning was a central element of the DUP’s position I have a hard time believing that they never proposed it as a requirement.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Pat, I completely agree. SF and the DUP routinely deal with each other on councils, and they did in the past whilst on the executive, so I can’t see why they would refuse to speak to them when discussing a historic deal for NI – unless of course they intended to posture before and patronize their electorate.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    “5. In addition, the IRA representative has told us that the IRA will have photographs of the weapons and material involved taken by the IICD, in the presence of the independent observers. These photographs will be shown by the IICD to the two Governments and the parties at the time of the final report on IRA decommissioning and will be published at the time the Executive is established.”

    The Britsh representatives, Blair and Murphy have admitted that this was a wish list statement written by them hoping that it would be accepted. Murphy on Primetime admitted that they were told that photos weren’t acceptable but put in the statement hoping for the best.

    I think it is always best to get agreement before you make what appears to be a factual statement, especially when at a later stage you have to admit that it was a bit of a con.

    The British knew the photos were a non starter and if the DUP had behaved like adults then they would have got the message earlier.

    One of the most disturbing aspects of DUP behaviour was the revelation that the DUP leader even now refuses to shake hands with Bertie Ahern. A totally unreconstructed bigot.

  • Davros

    One of the most disturbing aspects of DUP behaviour was the revelation that the DUP leader even now refuses to shake hands with Bertie Ahern.

    How come you find this so disturbing ? The leopard and spots. Paisley is a boor. He has behaved boorishly all his career. Why the surpise ?

  • jonty

    so when do the proposals say the provos will disband?

  • Fraggle

    it has always puzzled me why anyone would want to shake Paisley’s hand.

  • Cahal

    Pat McLarnon

    “One of the most disturbing aspects of DUP behaviour was the revelation that the DUP leader even now refuses to shake hands with Bertie Ahern.”
    Ridiculous behavior!
    How did you hear about this Pat. Do you have any links to a story…..etc?

  • IJP

    Davros and Fraggle are spot on!

  • James

    “it’s still a bit suspicious IMO”

    It ain’t Kansas Totto.

    Take that ANNEX C from P. O’Neil in the document which, like ANNEX D, never happened, was never written and never was. Pray that Ahern and Blair are using the same Ouija Board to communicate with the other side.

    Blair has been spending Waaaaaay to much time with Bush.

    Come to think of it, Schwarzenegger is looking pretty smart now.

  • willowfield

    One of the DUP election pledges was not to go into power-sharing until the Provos had decommissioned and terrorist structures were removed.

    Where in this supposed deal does it promise an end to terrorist structures?

  • Moderate Unionist

    Impractical Observer

    all anyone will remember by election time is the sackcloth and ashes soundbite.

    Agreed. It defines Dr. Paisley and the DUP. Public statements using emotive language send a very powerful message to people. They also give the opposition the chance to get of the hook. A serious error of judgement (IMHO).

  • willowfield

    Only a serious error of judgement if they actually wanted a deal.

    Maybe they didn’t. Maybe they prefer there to be no deal and to retain their hardline posture.

    The DUP would rather win elections complaining as the Union fades away, than make compromises in order to save the Union.

    They’d rather remain “pure and steadfast” in a united Ireland, blaming everyone else, than take risks to prevent the united Ireland happening.

  • George

    it came out on RTE News last night when the reporter asked Bertie about why Paisley hadn’t shook his hand.

    Bertie just grimaced, refusing to comment on it, preferring instead to concentrate on what had been achieved.

  • Pat Mc Larnon


    sorry for not getting back but George is absolutely correct. In that context we can see how a balls up was made yet again.

  • Davros

    According to Tom Brady in the Irish Independent, also negotiated but kept under the counter

    * Agreement to sanction the early release of the killers of Det-Gda Jerry McCabe if the IRA signs up to an end to all paramilitary and criminal activity.
    * An effective amnesty for the group of on-the-run (OTR) terrorists who include two men on the wanted list for the McCabe murder.
    * A fast-tracking of reform of the Seanad to include a guarantee that some politicians from the Northern Assembly would automatically become members.

    Revealed: secret pledge on release of garda killers

    These secret deals destroy public confidence in the negotiating process.

  • willowfield

    We knew about two of those, but not the “OTRs”.

    Yet more evidence of the DUP’s brilliant negotiation skills.

    Imagine if these had resulted from negotiations involving the UUP – the DUP would be denouncing them from the rooftops!