Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 31 May 2016

US millionaire predicts new ceasefire

By Michael Devine and Mark Simpson

AN influential Irish- American who visited Belfast and Dublin this week

Published 23/02/1996

has predicted an re- instatement of the IRA's ceasefire.

has predicted an re- instatement of the IRA's ceasefire.

Bill Flynn, who has a fervent interest in the peace process, is upbeat about the chances of another truce.

Speaking on UTV's Counterpoint programme last night, the US multi- millionaire said: "I'm absolutely comfortable with the fact that we are going to see a re- instatement of the ceasefire and that we are going to see progress towards a peaceful resolution of these difficulties.

"The reason I'm such an optimist has to do with the fact that it is the utterly logical thing to do."

Over the last two years, Mr Flynn has met Sinn Fein and fringe loyalist politicians. He was involved in setting up Gerry Adams' controversial trip to the US in 1994 before the IRA ceasefire.

Most attention has been fixed on another American visitor this week _ former US Senator George Mitchell.

Mr Mitchell, who headed the international arms decommissioning body, met Irish government leaders in Dublin last night and today will have talks with John Major.

An Irish government source said that Senator Mitchell was regarded as a valuable resource who had a keen interest in the Northern Ireland problem, but that a specific role for him was not envisaged at this stage.

After meeting Taoiseach John Bruton and deputy Prime Minister Dick Spring, Senator Mitchell said the US Administration would not be taking over the process.

"We will not dictate. I am not an envoy, a mediator or an arbitrator," he said.

Senator Mitchell said he would not be meeting Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams during this visit.

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