Dessie O'Hare has made his first statement since being moved from Portlaoise prison last Sunday to a more open unit in Castlerea in County Roscommon.

O'Hare was jailed 14 years ago for the kidnapping of Dublin dentist, John O'Grady in 1987, when he cut off two of O'Grady's fingers.

While sentenced to 40 years in jail for the crime, O'Hare's membership of the INLA means he qualifies for early release under the Good Friday Agreement.

In his statement, O'Hare said his move was 'an act of good faith by the authorities' and that he hoped to lead a normal life some time in the near future.

He said his war was over and that he believed the conditions for armed struggle against British imperialism no longer existed. He added that he unequivocally accepted the INLA ceasefire.

'We are now in a time of understanding, of respect, of tolerance and of healing' he said. 'This is the moment for all Republicans to move away from the road of conflict making and onto the road of conflict resolution.'

O'Hare also accepted he inflicted pain in the past.

There is now the possibility that O'Hare may qualify for early release by next July.