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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

IRA Set for '25 Years of War' If New Peace Plan Not Offered

BELFAST -- The Irish Republican Army told Britain on Wednesday it was ready for another quarter century of conflict unless the London and Dublin governments came up with a "new deal" for peace in Northern Ireland.


The message was spelled out in an article by Gerry Adams, head of the IRA's political wing Sinn Fein, after talks he held a week ago with the IRA Army Council to review the peace process pursued by Britain and the Republic of Ireland.


It did not rule out a renewal of an IRA cease-fire broken on Feb. 9 with a campaign of bombs in London, but suggested a hardening of IRA attitudes towards British attempts to disband the guerrillas by making them surrender their weapons.


The Adams article and an overnight IRA statement warning its pro-British Loyalist foes not to retaliate for the London bombings were seen by Irish officials as signs that the IRA is still considering whether to renew the truce or the war.


The article was made public as Britain and Ireland held preparatory talks with other Northern Ireland parties in the run-up to full-scale peace talks set for June 10, from which Sinn Fein will be excluded unless the IRA cease-fire is restored.


Adams quoted one senior member of the IRA as saying: "We sued for peace, the British wanted war. If that's what they want we will give them another 25 years of war."


He said the IRA leadership was prepared to renew its cease-fire, but only if Britain came up with a "viable" new peace plan.


This was not spelled out in full, but Adams said "a new deal is required" that would drop all preconditions.