It's Time for a Brainstorm; Cameron and Taoiseach Call Parties into Talks

The Mirror (London, England), September 4, 2015 | Go to article overview

It's Time for a Brainstorm; Cameron and Taoiseach Call Parties into Talks


Byline: MICHAEL MCHUGH and ED CARTY

NORTHERN Ireland's politicians are being called into talks next week to resolve the crisis over IRA activity.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Taoiseach Enda Kenny are taking action to break the deadlock at Stormont as security chiefs said they would support an independent assessment of paramilitary groups.

A Downing Street statement said devolved power-sharing is facing a real threat unless there is urgent progress.

It read: "As a result of these discussions the Government has concluded there is a clear need to convene urgent, intensive and focused cross party talks, involving the parties engaged in the negotiations that led to the Stormont House Agreement.

"It is vital for the sustainability of the devolved institutions all parties seize the opportunity for urgent talks to address these issues."

Mr Kenny said: "We envisage this process of talks should be short, focused and intensive and deal with full implementation of the Stormont House Agreement as well as the trust and confidence issues arising from the legacy of paramilitarism.

"If the sustainability of the devolved institutions is to be ensured, it is absolutely critical these talks are advanced with a sense of urgency and all parties constructively seize this opportunity." Mr Kenny and Mr Cameron spoke on the phone yesterday and agreed the initiative.

The talks are planned for next week at Stormont House with Secretary of State Theresa Villiers attending from London and Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan representing Dublin.

Downing Street said: "The purpose of the talks is to secure full implementation of the Agreement and to deal with issues arising from the impact of continued paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland."

The move came after the PSNI offered a new assessment of Provisional IRA activity stating aspects of the terror organisation have gone away.

The police also believe its active service units do not exist any more and what remains fulfils a radically different purpose than during the Troubles.

Both the Irish Government and the Democratic Unionists support a new form of paramilitary monitoring of the ceasefires.

The breakdown in relations at Stormont reached a new low after the brutal killing of former IRA father-of-nine Kevin McGuigan, allegedly by former terror associates.

The murder earlier caused political uproar after PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton said the IRA which was supposed to have gone away a decade ago still exists for peaceful purposes and the shooting was carried out by individual PIRA members but not sanctioned at a senior level. …

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