The Taoiseach has said that he and Tony Blair will be in a position to publish their plan for the restoration of a devolved government in Northern Ireland before the marching season this summer.

Mr Ahern was speaking after talks with the British Prime Minister at Downing Street this afternoon.

The Taoiseach also described today's report from the Independent Monitoring Commission as positive and said that the IRA had made a clear decision to stop violence.

The two governments had hoped to be in a position to outline their proposals today for restoration of devolved government.

But after an hour with Tony Blair, the Taoiseach left Downing Street saying it was 'still a work in progress'.

Mr Ahern, however, did confirm that the two governments would be publishing their proposals before the marching season this summer.

Sinn Féin and the SDLP want the British government to set a date for the assembly to resume, but the DUP favour a phased approach without deadlines for the re-establishment of the power-sharing executive.

This afternoon, Mr Ahern said the preferred option would be to get a fully-fledged power-sharing executive up and running by the end of this year.

Officials are now working out how that is to be achieved.

The Taoiseach and Mr Blair met only hours after the IMC published its report on progress towards demilitarisation and security normalisation.

The IMC said the Provisional IRA had 'taken a strategic decision to follow a political path' and that the organisation did not present a terrorist threat.

Mr Ahern said the report was positive and that the IRA's decision to stop violence was now a reality.

Downing Street sources have suggested this evening that Mr Ahern and Mr Blair could meet again before the end of this month to finalise their proposals.