Taoiseach rejects report that IRA set for return to war

Irish Independent
1 Feb 2005

TAOISEACH Bertie Ahern yesterday denied that he has been briefed that
the Provisional IRA is preparing for a return to war.

Mr Ahern scotched the story yesterday after a meeting with the
International Monitoring Commission in Dublin.

A Sunday newspaper said the Taoiseach had been given reports by both
the Garda Siochana and the Army that the IRA was planning a limited
return to conflict.

Mr Ahern declared: "I have no such information. Obviously, I get
security briefings, but I have no such information as suggested in
those reports. What we have to try to do is find a solution to the
serious matters that have been raised in the recent past."

The contradiction by the Taoiseach came after it was claimed that a
new IRA recruiting campaign was under way on both sides of the

A further allegation was that details of IRA spying exercises were
contained in the dossier given to Mr Ahern.

Mr Ahern broke his usual rule of not commenting on the contents of
security reports to make clear that there was no intelligence to
suggest a resumption of hostilities on even a low-level basis.

The newspaper said two Sinn Fein leaders and "other members of the
IRA's Army Council" had already approved the IRA's effective return
to shooting and bombing.

It claimed a limited resumption by the IRA had been precipitated by
the threat of a split from the Republican movement by militants if
they did not get their way.

Senan Molony

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