THURSDAY
February 10, 2000
volume 11, no. 29
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
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BISHOP OFFERS TO LOOK AFTER SURRENDERED IRA WEAPONS

    BELFAST (CWNews.com) - Bishop Seamus Hegarty of Derry has offered to personally accept arms from the Irish Republican Army in an attempt to end the deadlock over the decommissioning of weapons which has created a stumbling block in Northern Ireland's peace process.

    In a statement published in the Belfast-based Irish News newspaper, the bishop has said that he was ready to act as a guarantor and supervisor for the safekeeping of a quantity of weapons. Bishop Hegarty, 60, said he has taken the initiative "to allow time and space for the political process to develop."

    Acting with the agreement of the Primate of All-Ireland, Archbishop Sean Brady, Bishop Hegarty said he is willing to act as guarantor for the safekeeping of a quantity of weapons for a 12-month period, on the clear understanding that they would be put beyond use by the international decommissioning body headed by General de Chastelain. But he stresses he will not enter into political negotiations on the details or substance of the initiative.

    "I am prepared to act as guarantor and supervisor for the safekeeping of a quantity of weapons of war on the clear understanding that, under the auspices of General de Chastelain, they will put beyond use," he said. "I would do this for a 12-month period starting immediately."

          

February 10, 2000
volume 11, no. 29
NEWS & VIEWS

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