It has emerged that Republicans who are on the run may be offered an amnesty under forthcoming British legislation this autumn.
Secretary of State Peter Hain said tonight the Irish and British Governments had promised to act on the issue in their Joint Declaration in 2003 once the IRA had moved to decommission.
Sinn Féin sent a list of OTRs to the British Government in 2002, which is believed to include up to 40 republicans who cannot return to Northern Ireland without facing the prospect of being jailed.
One of the highest profile is Sinn Féin`s US lobbyist Rita O`Hare, who jumped bail more than 30 years ago while awaiting trial for the attempted murder of British soldiers.
This is good news and is one of the issues that needs to be resolved before we can move on.