» Monday, September 4, 2006

Northern Ireland

Asked if anything would happen between now and November, the PMOS said that Northern Ireland would be a very important part of the agenda this autumn. We had seen over the summer some genuine progress. The parties had taken the preparations for government committee seriously. This was a committee where all the parties were represented as part of the preparations to meet the 24 November deadline. We now needed to take co-operation to a new phase and a very important part of that would be the two Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) reports. One would be on the normalisation process, which would come most likely before too long and the second, due in October, would be an update report on paramilitary activity.

We had approached this period in a methodical, patient and painstaking way and that had allowed a basis for moving forward, but it was for the parties to decide.  Asked if there were any scheduled meetings with the Taoiseach, the PMOS said that we, as always, remained in very close contact with the Irish government and we would have whatever meetings were necessary. People should be under no illusion this was one of the most important periods that we had seen for some time for Northern Ireland. This autumn would reflect that, as would the level of meetings both with the Irish government and the parties.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Search for related news

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