Governments cannot ignore violence: Alliance

ALLIANCE Leader David Ford has said that Government inaction over continuing violence is undermining confidence in the political process.

Speaking ahead of a meeting with the Secretary of State this afternoon, Mr Ford said: “Three days ago there was a very serious incident in Castle Street, Belfast. On Saturday, the Chief Constable stated that he believed that the Provisional IRA was involved. If so, this is a clear breach of Paragraph 13 of last year’s Joint Declaration by the two Governments.

“Paragraph 13 set out the Governments’ definition of unacceptable activity, including actions directed by republicans against republicans and loyalists against loyalists.

“I am extremely concerned that neither Government took the opportunity to comment on this issue over the weekend. Mr Orde spoke on behalf of the PSNI, but we heard nothing from Mr Blair or Mr Murphy, Mr Ahern or Mr Cowen.

“Major problems were caused in the past when the Government had a very narrow definition of ‘ceasefire’, which ignored incidents such as that on Friday. I thought that the Joint Declaration, along with many other recent statements from the two Prime Ministers, had put an end to that.

“I will be telling the Secretary of State that unless the two Governments move swiftly to restore confidence in the political process, that confidence will ebb away even further. They can no longer get away with ignoring acts of violence.”

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