Belfast Telegraph

State papers: Taoiseach could deal with Provo guns: Molyneaux

Jim Molyneaux
Jim Molyneaux

Former Ulster Unionist leader Lord Jim Molyneaux suggested putting the onus on the Taoiseach to deal with the IRA's weapons.

He met then-Prime Minister Sir John Major in the weeks after the first ceasefire in 1994.

A Downing Street note from the Prime Minister's private secretary from October 1994 said: "Molyneaux wondered whether we could put the onus on the Taoiseach and the Republic of Ireland for dealing with the IRA's weapons."

Other files released showed that Sir John's officials considered including reference to a weapons "amnesty" in one of his speeches during a visit here in 1994.

An official from the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) interjected that the comment would be "premature" as more preparatory work was needed.

Lord Molyneaux told the Prime Minister he had heard from "sensitive sources" that the IRA were still targeting people.

Lord Molyneaux also passed on a suggestion from party colleague Ken Maginnis that officials should not "hasten unduly" to repair border roads closed during the Troubles. The official wrote: "He also seemed to be suggesting that repairing roads was not the highest priority for expenditure. I assume he had some hidden agenda."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph