While former SF councillor, now Chief Executive of ATN Group, Mairtin O Muilleoir conducts a monologue in the Daily Ireland, Gene McKenna in the Irish Independent reports that Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has held three secret meetings with Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams “to spell out the Government’s demands for a definitive end to IRA criminality and violence”, and he is reported to be lining up a meeting with the DUP’s Ian Paisley. According to Gene McKenna’s report, the unofficial deadline for any statement is 10 July – “The Government now wants to hear a definitive response from the IRA within the next few weeks. If that doesn’t happen by the time the marching season begins in just over a month, alarm bells will start ringing that the IRA is not going to say ‘yes’ to winding up its campaign for good.”
He also quotes Taoiseach Bertie Ahern –
The Taoiseach told the Irish Independent: “We have told Sinn Fein that there must be no fudge, no ambiguity. There must be no messing. We must have clear answers. The ball is in the IRA court and I hope they won’t keep us waiting unduly.”
He added: “The sooner the IRA gets on with it, the sooner we can get the institutions up and running. I think the issue is clear. We need the answer back that we are going to get decommissioning and see the IRA move into a new mode, with the end of criminality in all its forms.”
And Gene McKenna writes –
There will not be another meeting with Sinn Fein until such time as Mr Adams is ready to deliver the answer to key questions posed by the Government about the Provisional movement’s intent.
Hmm.. Whether Bertie gets want he wants will be another matter. We wait to see what that eventual answer is.. and what the Taoiseach has to say about it when it comes..