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A thing of the past?

The IRA made its decision after an internal debate prompted by Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams’ call to pursue its goals exclusively through politics.

During the NI Troubles, the IRA was blamed for about 1,800 murders.

A statement issued on Thursday said that this would take effect from 4pm that day

"All IRA units have been ordered to dump arms. All Volunteers have been instructed to assist the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means. Volunteers must not engage in any other activities whatsoever. The IRA leadership has also authorised our representative to engage with the IICD to complete the process to verifiably put its arms beyond use in a way which will further enhance public confidence and to conclude this as quickly as possible."

The statement said independent witnesses from Catholic and Protestant churches had been invited to see the decommissioning process.

Ulster Unionist Party Sir Reg Empey, told the BBC’s World at One it would take time to convince the people of Northern Ireland that this was more than just rhetoric.

He said: "People are so sceptical, having had… been burnt so many times before.

SDLP’s Alex Attwood said that "11 years after the first IRA ceasefire these are the words that we needed and wanted to hear." 

"We now hope that the other paramilitary organisations on the loyalist side do the same."

Denis Bradley, vice chairman of the Policing Board, said the statement was "saying the war was over" and people needed to acknowledge the clarity of it.

"This is enormous within the history of this island," Mr Bradley said. "Will Sinn Fein now take their responsibility and their place in policing and justice?" he asked.

When he made his appeal in April, Mr Adams said it was "a genuine attempt to drive the peace process forward".

Republicans had been under intense pressure to end IRA activity after the £26.5m Northern Bank raid in December and the murder of Belfast man Robert McCartney in January.

Political talks last year failed to restore devolution, which stalled amid claims of IRA intelligence gathering at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, in 2002.

The Provisional IRA’s campaign of violence was aimed at forcing an end to the British presence in Northern Ireland, leading to a united Ireland.

Short URL: http://www.canarianweekly.com/?p=287

Posted by on Jul 29 2005. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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