Soremount Castle, Northern Ireland, Monday 17 January - (Rioters) In a seminal landmark announcement, the Provisional IRA has finally agreed a multi-million ££££ deal to publish its controversial arms decommissioning photographs in Halo! magazine in a bold bid to break the deadlock in the Irish peace process.
The move follows months of intense negotiations with intermediaries including Belfast's Northern Bank which brokered the cash deal denominated in its own banknotes, as issued before December 1st 2004.
A statement publicising the breakthrough was issued this morning at 0900 hours and was immediately welcomed by No 10 Downing Street as 'ground-breaking'. "The Prime Minister welcomes this historic move and wishes all parties much luck and happiness in the ensuing spending spree that the publishing fees will doubtlessly bring", said a spokesman.
The exact value of this exclusive deal is not known, but Police Service of Northern Ireland's Commander Hugh Orde has suggested that it may be around the £26.5 million mark.
It is understood that additional front-end fees of approximately 10% on top of this sum may be payable to the US-based Riggs Bank following its worldwide success with other peace process luminaries such as General Pinochet, the conspirators of the Equatorial Guinea coup plot and various members of the Thatcher family. A cameo appearance in the Halo! twenty page four-colour spread by Riggs CEO Jonathan Bush is said to potentially greatly enhance the magaznine's future foreign publishing rights in other global peace process states such as North Korea and Cuba.
Commenting on the exclusive arrangement that the Provos have agreed, a PR negotiator said that both parties had gone to great lengths to avoid any common industry pitfalls such as being plagiarised or upstaged by the competition - a reference, no doubt, to rival magazines 'Hell!' and 'Heil!' which were threatening to scupper the move and publish their own satelitte-camera generated images ahead of Halo!'s deadline of tomorrow.
Movie rights to the historic move are also said to be in the pipebomb......pipeline, that is, and more announcements are expected later this week.
Rioters understands that Tony Blair has privately requested that the magazine's scheduled normal publishing date of Thursday 20 January is moved to the following day "in order not to confuse voters on either side of the Atlantic" as they book their ringside seats for the inauguration ceremonies of President George Bush Jr, whose uncle Jonathan is the Riggs CEO at the centre of the Halo! deal.
More details are expected to emerge tomorrow.