Nationalists want to see the transition from violence to exclusively peaceful and democratic means fulfilled, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern claimed today.
In an address to the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation in Dublin Castle, involving politicians on both sides of the border, Mr Ahern said it was “insulting” to paint demands for an end to paramilitary activity as a unionist ultimatum.
“It is an error to believe that the demand for the rule of law and the probity due to democracy is an exclusively unionist ultimatum delivered to the IRA.
“For that is to suggest that nationalists in Northern Ireland set a threshold of acceptable behaviour to tolerate or accommodate punishment beatings and other unlawful activity associated with paramilitary activity.
“I believe that that is not only not true but insulting.
“There is no doubt in my mind that nationalists, no less than unionists, want to see the transition from violence to exclusively peaceful and democratic means being brought to completion and all paramilitary groups becoming a thing of the past.”