Real IRA announces its disbandment

Sunday 20 October 2002 15.47
Real IRA announces its disbandment

The Real IRA has announced it is to disband.

A report in the Sunday Independent carries a copy of a statement issued on behalf of the prisoners in Portlaoise prison, saying it was time for the organisation to stand down.

There has been no statement confirming this from outside the prison.

In the statement, the organisation admits for the first time that it carried out the Omagh bombing with the help of another group.

The newspaper says the statement was drafted on Thursday, ahead of British Prime Minister Tony Blair's ultimatum to the Provisional IRA to disband.

The Taoiseach said "anyone disengaging from violence was a good thing".

Bertie Ahern added that the statement would have to be studied, as a lot could be read into it.

Meanwhile, the Ulster Unionist leader, David Trimble, has rejected yesterday's claim by the IRA that it poses no threat to the peace process.

Mr Trimble said he was disappointed by the statement, but not surprised.