BBC (bits and bobs of crap)


Warning after dissident incident

Mr Blair said action will have to follow if the IRA are implicated

The alleged false imprisonment of a man in Belfast has prompted a warning to republicans from the Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
Mr Blair warned Sinn Fein and the IRA they could not be allowed to talk about human rights one day and then start "beating human rights out of people the next".

Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble said he would to pull out of the review of the Good Friday Agreement unless the government acted over the alleged incident.

Mr Trimble said the government's response was "rank moral cowardice".

"It is utterly unreasonable to expect us to remain in discussions with these people in these circumstances," he said.

"And I have to tell you that unless you can summon up the courage to act on this matter within the next few days then I and my colleagues will take steps next week to bring this process to an end."

Mr Blair's comments in the House of Commons on Wednesday follow the alleged false imprisonment of dissident republican Bobby Tohill in Belfast last Friday.

The prime minister said that if the IRA was implicated in the incident "action will have to follow".

Bertie Ahern is to meet a Sinn Fein delegation in Dublin

Meanwhile, the republican newspaper, An Phoblacht, said it had been told by a source speaking for the IRA leadership that the organisation did not authorise any action against Mr Tohill.

Four men have been charged in connection with the incident in Belfast.

The Irish Prime Minister, Bertie Ahern, has said he will be raising concerns about the incident with Sinn Fein when he meets a party delegation in Dublin on Wednesday.

Speaking in the Dail, Mr Ahern said he agreed with comments made by the Chief Constable, Hugh Orde, that the IRA was involved.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Paul Murphy said the alleged incident was "a serious breach of paragraph 13 of the joint declaration".

This part of the document, produced last year as an attempt by the British and Irish Governments to move the political process forward, demands an end to paramilitary activity.

Mr Murphy said the Independent Monitoring Commission, which monitors paramilitary activity in the province, had been asked to investigate the incident and would produce a report on 1 May.

The incident was discussed with political parties and Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen at Stormont.

Tuesday's talks had been intended to focus on north-south issues in the review of the Good Friday Agreement.

Speaking after a meeting with Mr Murphy on Monday, Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness criticised the chief constable's remarks, saying he should wait for the courts' verdict.

The political institutions in Northern Ireland were suspended in October 2002 amid allegations of IRA intelligence-gathering in the Stormont government.

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