West Belfast Talks and elsewhere

At a West Belfast Festival debate Martin McGuinness repeated his May stance on the Army Council and the IMC:

“The IRA have clearly gone off the stage and have done so since 2005 but there’s still attempts being made by some people to drag them back on and I think that’s silly.”

While the DUP’s Nelson McCausland said he believed it still existed but its removal would be significant. As regards Loyalism, Dawn Purvis, after some confusion on whether there was a decommissioningt debate going on said:

“If we’re trying to build a normal, modern, democratic, European society, there is no excuse for holding onto weapons and I’ve already started that debate,”

Meanwhile in a DUP press statement Jeffrey Donaldson stated:

“The Unionist electorate want to see the complete and total disappearance of all paramilitary groups, both Loyalist and Republican. These groups have no place in Northern Ireland – they are a noose around the neck of the working-class communities in which they operate and their departure will be welcomed by all right-thinking people.”