IRA must disband before SF can enter Govt - Ahern


Republicans have to disband the IRA if Sinn Féin is to ever be considered as a possible partner in government, the Taoiseach, Mr Ahern said today.

Mr Ahern insists republicans still need to "go the whole way" down the democratic road.

With Sinn Féin celebrating five seats it has won so far in the Election, the Taoiseach said: "I have worked hard and my party has worked hard to bring Sinn Féin in out of the political wilderness and away from the path of IRA violence and into the democratic road.

"So naturally the fact that they are doing that makes me happy.

"But what we are saying is they have to go the whole way because I think in so far as making sure that we have peace in the north and the south on this island, Sinn Fein then has to go the rest of the way and we have to make sure there is no IRA.

"The argument that we have all the time stated is there cannot be ambiguity. You cannot have a position where you have some sort of allegiance, loyalty to a paramilitary army."