Blair asked to Meet with IRA Army Council

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by KevinB, Mar 17, 2008.

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    Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was so determined
    to secure a Northern Ireland peace deal that he sought
    secret meetings with IRA leaders, his former chief of staff
    has said.

    Jonathan Powell said Mr Blair was convinced he could use
    talks to persuade the IRA's Army Council to give up their

    "Tony was always convinced of the powers of persuasion that
    he had to win people over," Mr Powell told Manchester's
    Guardian newspaper, which is serialising his book about the
    peace process.

    "About three or four times he suggested to Gerry Adams that
    he should meet the IRA Army Council. Adams said 'well I'm
    not really sure about that'. One time he said 'yes, maybe',
    but then it came to nothing."

    Mr Powell, who was one of Mr Blair's key advisers throughout
    his 10 years in Downing Street, was a key player in securing
    the Belfast Agreement.

    He defended the decision to concentrate on dealings with
    Sinn Féin and to offer concessions.

    "We certainly believed there was every chance that the IRA
    might go back to violence, just as they had with the Canary
    Wharf bomb [in 1996]," he said.
  2. Wanting to meet with the RA Army Council seems like it might be going a bit too far. And why did Blair ask Gerry Adams? Adams knows nothing about the RA...
  3. They must subscribe to the same services I do!