Kenny: All IRA activity must end

08/02/2005 - 19:23:09

The Dáil was tonight urged to send a clear message to Sinn Féin that all IRA activity was unacceptable and must end.

As agreement was reached between Opposition parties and the Government on a motion calling for full IRA disarmament and an end to criminality, Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said paramilitary activity could not continue.

The Mayo TD welcomed comments from the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern today that his Government was not planning to release the IRA killers of a garda as part of any future peace process deal with Sinn Féin.

But following two IRA statements last week warning of problems in the peace process after the Provisionals were blamed for the £26.5m (€37.8m) Northern Bank raid in Belfast, Mr Kenny claimed Sinn Féin had enjoyed a disproportionate mandate because of its links to a gun.

“What I find disturbing is the republican movement’s version of democratic politics which appears to be one in which they hold sovereign governments to ransom and resort to threats and intimidation when they don’t get everything they want,” he said.

“They have yet to learn the true nature of their much vaunted electoral mandate. The Sinn Féin electoral mandate is for democratic politics and democratic politics requires negotiation and compromise, not threats and intimidation.

“The Fine Gael message to Sinn Féin and the IRA is a clear one. We want the republican movement to join the democratic process. We want them to end their criminality and criminal past.

“We want them to end punishment beatings and racketeering. We want them to back up their words of embracing democratic politics with actions to demonstrate that and not breaches of trust to undermine it.

“Only then will the Irish people have full confidence that all parties are pursuing their political objectives by the same means. Only then we will have confidence that our electoral process is not being corrupted by the proceeds of criminality.”

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