Belfast Telegraph

DUP welcomes moves by Republic to discuss failings over IRA

By Steven Alexander

The DUP has said the Irish deputy prime minister's suggestion that the Republic is ready to investigate whether it could have done more to combat the IRA is a positive move.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore told the British-Irish Association at the weekend that the Irish state needed to recognise unionist perceptions of its failure to thwart the IRA threat. Mr Gilmore said his government was willing to engage on the issue in the upcoming Haass talks, which will deal with how the legacy of the Troubles should be handled.

In a speech in Cambridge laden with overtures to improve Anglo-Irish relations, Mr Gilmore also said he hoped members of the Royal Family, the British Government and unionists would attend events to commemorate the Easter Rising in three years.

DUP minister Arlene Foster described the potential probe into how the Irish State dealt with the IRA as a "positive move".

"I would give the comments from Eamon Gilmore a cautious welcome as it represents progress from a point where no consideration was given to the role of the Irish government and a lack of action to combat the IRA.

"Mr Gilmore has at least moved some distance to acknowledge that those concerns are real, and will wait to see what is outlined to investigate this and finally acknowledge and accept it on the part of the Irish Government.

"Issues such as the Republic's record on the extradition of terrorist suspects are not mere opinion or conjecture but stand as facts.

"I would hope that thismove from the Irish government can help contribute to a positive step forward in recognising the impact which terrorism has had and the legacy for innocent victims."

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