Sinn Féin chief negotiator Martin McGuinness has signalled there is the possibility of a breakthrough in the peace process after the elections and republicans are prepared to deal with the IRA issue.
Mr McGuinness said he was totally opposed to violence of any description and his party wants to move forward through exclusively and democratic methods.
This will be a key message to republicans this Easter with the Sinn Féin leadership emphasising that the peace process is vital and the huge investment put into it "must not be lost."
He was asked about the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's comments that Sinn Féin faces total exclusion in the United States unless the IRA disbands and ends criminality?
"The situation in the United States is one dominated this week by the visit of the McCartney family and Bridgeen, Robert McCartney's partner," he said.
"Sinn Féin support one hundred per cent the just demands of the McCartney family for truth and justice."
Mr McGuinness said the Taoiseach was well aware of the efforts made by Sinn Féin to bring about a situation where the IRA leadership were prepared to say prior to December they would put all their arms beyond use and move into a new mode.
"What we have to do is to get people to acknowledge that we are not going to be dealing with a single item agenda. Like all of the other efforts made to achieve a breakthrough it will have to be a comprehensive approach.
"That means contributions from the British government and from the unionists, as well as contributions from republicans," he said.
"So, we in the context of a good faith effort to try and restore the political institutions we will do everything in our power to ensure the republican contribution to this.
"Specifically quite apart from the political aspects of it which we have a huge interest in around demilitarisation, human rights, equality, policing and other matters we too are prepared to deal with others difficulty with what they consider to be the IRA.
"How that will pan out in the course of discussions and talks, it remains to be seen. I am very keen to see a situation where no armed group whatsoever is involved in any activities."
Significantly, Mr McGuinness stressed that given that he and others would play leading roles in any administration that is formed, he would obviously do that "in the sure knowledge that there are no armed groups involved in any activities whatsoever."
He was asked if the December offer from the IRA would come back onto the negotiating table?
"What we have to do is recognise that in the run-in to December a huge amount of good work was done. All of that work does not need a whole renegotiation
"I think very quickly if the will is there to get a breakthrough, then a breakthrough can be achieved. It will require contributions from everyone."