Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams issues a statement supporting an end to violence.

Both the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and the British Prime Minister Tony Blair welcome the statement from Gerry Adams, in which the Sinn Féin President says the violence we have seen must become a thing of the past.

The statement comes less than forty eight hours before US President Bill Clinton is due to arrive in Ireland. It also comes in the wake of a statement from the Provisional IRA that there would be no decommissioning of their weapons. 

In the one and a half page statement, Gerry Adams unequivocally condemns the Omagh bombing of 15 August and says we have to work politically to make sure that the Omagh bombing is the last violent incident in our country. 

Sinn Féin believes the violence we have seen must be for all of us now a thing of the past, over, done with, and gone.

The statement goes on to say that Sinn Féin are committed to playing their part in striving for peace. 

It is hoped that the statement will lead to a face to face meeting between Gerry Adams and the unionist leader and First Minister David Trimble. 

Northern Secretary Mo Mowlam was one of the first to welcome the statement from the Sinn Féin leader. 

I think that the statement that Sinn Féin have made is a significant one. For them to say that violence is now a thing of the past, I think is important.

Deputy First Minister and Deputy Leader of the SDLP Seamus Mallon is hopeful that the statement will lead to much needed dialogue in the political process. 

Fine Gael leader John Bruton, while he welcomes the statement, wants confirmation that the IRA will never use violence again. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 1 September 1998. The reporter is Charlie Bird.