26 SEPTEMBER 2005
Bishops’ welcome IICD announcement on IRA decommissioning
The Catholic Bishops of Northern Ireland meeting this evening in Maynooth,
on the eve of the September General Meeting of the Irish Bishops’ Conference,
issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement of
complete decommissioning on the part of the IRA by the Independent
International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) and the two independent
witnesses, Rev Harold Good and Fr Alec Reid.
“We welcome the confirmation by the IICD and the two independent Church
witnesses that the IRA has honoured the commitments set out in its statement
of 28th July 2005. This represents an immensely significant confidence-building
measure in favour of a more peaceful and stable society in Northern Ireland.
Today’s announcement is a vindication of the efforts undertaken by all those
who have, over the years, courageously worked to replace violence with dialogue.
“We hope that all who exercise leadership will continue to affirm the political
process as the means to resolve any remaining issues in the search for peace.
We call on all other paramilitary groups to affirm their commitment to exclusively
peaceful and democratic means.
“We wish to congratulate General John de Chastelain and his colleagues for
their professionalism, thoroughness and patience. We wish also to commend
the judgement and integrity of Rev. Harold Good and Fr Alec Reid, two men
who have, for many years, consistently and generously committed themselves
to the resolution of conflict in our society.
“While we acknowledge today’s long awaited achievement, we are mindful of
all those who have suffered as a result of violence, and we keep them in
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Brenda Drumm Communications Officer (087 233 7797)