IRA orders end to armed campaign
Thursday, July 28, 2005
The Provisional Irish Republican Army, in a statement released earlier today (in one form as a DVD, with the statement being read by Séanna Breathnach), has declared that it intends to end its campaign of violence and decommission its weapons.
The move comes after international pressure to decommission weapons and cease all violent activity, particularly after allegations regarding the murder of Robert McCartney in Short Strand, Belfast, and a burglary of the Northern Bank in December of last year.
Members have been ordered to dump all arms and cease all paramilitary activity as of 16.00 BST (15.00 UTC) today, and the organisation's leadership states that it will pursue its aims through exclusively peaceful means. The statement reaffirms the IRA's view that its "armed struggle was entirely legitimate" as a means of pursuing the organisation's goal of a united Ireland, but states that many suffered during this conflict and that society is now compelled to build a lasting peace.
In its statement the IRA also appealed to the British government and Northern Irish Protestants to renew negotiations with them.
Reaction to the statement has been mixed.
- "I think it has all the clarity that people have looked for this past 12 months. Of course there are lots of other issues in the peace process, which we have to continue to build on and build confidence on" — Bertie Ahern, Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister)
- "This may be the day when finally, after all the false dawns and dashed hopes, peace replaced war, politics replaces terror on the island of Ireland. [...] It is what we have striven for and worked for throughout the eight years since the Good Friday Agreement." — Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
- "For the first time we have heard directly from the IRA not Sinn Fein that henceforward they are going to adopt peaceful means in seeking their political objectives" — Peter Mandelson, European Union Commissioner, former Northern Ireland Secretary
- "11 years after the first IRA ceasefire these are the words that we needed and wanted to hear." — Alex Attwood, SDLP
- "I know there have been some who have been sceptical about whether republicans, the IRA in particular, were really interested in this process. I think today's statement shows that they are. The IRA doesn't have to do this. It is only doing this to try and give some assurance to those who are nervous or who are genuinely concerned. The IRA is not just stretching itself. It is actually overstretching itself to try to bring about the restoration of the peace process." — Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein President
Text of the statement
- "Sinn Féin leaders believed to have left IRA Army Council" — Wikinews, July 27, 2005
- "IRA Says "Armed Campaign Over"" — , July 28, 2005
- "IRA to cease all armed activity: Sky TV" — , July 28, 2005
- "IRA statement in full" — , July 28, 2005
- "Full text of the IRA statement" — , July 28, 2005
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