Reacting to the Prime Minister’s statement following his summit with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern today, Alliance Assembly member Seamus Close stated:
“So now we have it again from the Prime Minister for the umpteenth time – the IRA controls out future. Democrats are fools, because we must wait while murderers, liars and bank robbers decide of their own volition to change, because our Prime Minister will do absolutely nothing by way of persuasion through sanctions.
“The only thing that Blair seems willing to do is to continue to penalise democrats. Sometimes I wonder why we bother. We have no power. I can’t even get a grit box for my constituents.
“Blair repeats his vacuous phrases and emphasises once again that it’s the IRA that must change – even though he’s been saying it for 10 years without it getting us anywhere. He is a political wimp, a coward who is destroying democracy by telling democrats that they are effectively controlled by terrorists.
“The vast majority of decent people here are being held hostage by the few and our Prime Minister tells us that this will remain the case. Bravo, Mr Blair.”