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Old 07-28-2005, 07:51 AM   #1
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IRA says ceasing all armed activity in N.Ireland

Just read this on reuters.com:
I think that in the middle of terrible events of terrorism, this is one of the nicest news one could get!


IRA says ceasing all armed activity in N.Ireland
Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:57 AM ET


By Jodie Ginsberg
DUBLIN (Reuters) - The Irish Republican Army announced an end to its armed campaign against British rule in Northern Ireland on Thursday, in a move British leader Tony Blair said could mark the day "politics replaces terror" there.

But the province's main Protestant party poured cold water on the keenly awaited statement by the Catholic guerrilla group, saying it failed to forswear acts of crime or to inspire confidence that guns had been set aside for ever.

The IRA said in a statement it would cease all armed activity and pursue its aims through politics -- a crucial move to kick-start talks on a lasting political settlement in the violence-torn province. It said its units must "dump arms."

But it made no explicit reference to ending criminal activity -- a major stumbling block to the peace process -- nor did it promise to disband, a move the group that has fought for decades for a united Ireland sees as akin to surrender.

The statement read in part:

"The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann (IRA) has formally ordered an end to the armed campaign.

"This will take effect from 4 p.m. this afternoon. All IRA units have been ordered to dump arms. All volunteers have been instructed to assist the development of purely political and democratic programs through exclusively peaceful means."

The IRA said it would engage with an independent arms decommissioning body to verify it had put its massive arsenal of guns and explosives beyond use, but gave no date for completion.

"We have invited two independent witnesses, from the Protestant and Catholic churches, to testify to this," it added.

In London, Prime Minister Blair welcomed the statement as "a step of unparalleled magnitude," adding: "I welcome its clarity, I welcome the recognition that the only route to political change lies in exclusively peaceful and democratic means."

"This may be the day which finally after all these false dawns and dashed hopes peace replaced war, politics replaces terror on the island of Ireland," he told reporters. Continued ...

DUP SCEPTICAL

But Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which supports continued union with Britain, was far less enthusiastic.

"Even on the face of the statement, they have failed to explicitly declare an end to their multi-million-pound criminal activity and have failed to provide the level of transparency that would be necessary to truly build confidence that the guns had gone in their entirety," a statement said.

Talks on reviving an assembly, set up under the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement for Catholics and Protestants to run the province's affairs together, broke down in December after the DUP demanded photos of arms being destroyed. The IRA refused such "humiliation."

The group has allowed international monitors to witness three private acts of decommissioning but would not permit them to reveal any details about the weapons.

The IRA had been expected to outline plans for its future since April, when its political ally Sinn Fein called for the guerrillas to end armed struggle.

A high-profile robbery and murder blamed on the IRA fanned calls for it to disband and sparked harsh censure of Sinn Fein from traditional supporters, notably in the United States.

Earlier on Thursday, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams promised the statement would "challenge" all parties to the Northern Ireland conflict.

The DUP refuses to talk directly to Sinn Fein, still less sit in government with it, while it maintains links to the paramilitary organization.

The IRA arsenal, used to wage a 30-year campaign against British rule until a 1997 cease-fire, has long been the main obstacle to a political deal. Some 3,600 people died during Northern Ireland's "Troubles," half of them killed by the IRA.

Sinn Fein was to hold press conferences in Dublin and Washington at 1500 GMT and briefings in London and Brussels at the same time.
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Old 07-28-2005, 08:00 AM   #2
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Cautiously optimistic...undoubtedly good news.

Wonder what Bono has to say about it?
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Old 07-28-2005, 08:10 AM   #3
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Just saw that on CNN, very good to hear
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Old 07-28-2005, 08:24 AM   #4
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Gerry Adams was speaking in Gaelic, that was cool.
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Old 07-28-2005, 08:49 AM   #5
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That's good.

You'd think they would've done this in 97 or 98 when they had their "agreement" wouldn't you? whatever...

yeah, I have to wonder how Bono plans on incorporating this into a little song called Sunday Bloody Sunday, which they play every single night.

he was speaking gaelic?
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Old 07-28-2005, 08:50 AM   #6
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yeah...it was fascinating
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Old 07-28-2005, 10:59 AM   #7
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I hope and pray there will be real peace there one day, I love that country



The text of the Irish Republican Army statement published Thursday.

___

The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann (IRA; literally in Gaelic, "Soldiers of Ireland") has formally ordered an end to the armed campaign. This will take effect from 4 p.m. this afternoon.

All IRA units have been ordered to dump arms. All volunteers have been instructed to assist the development of purely political and democratic programs through exclusively peaceful means. Volunteers must not engage in any other activities whatsoever.

The IRA leadership has also authorized our representative to engage with the IICD (Independent International Commission on Decommissioning) 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.

We have invited two independent witnesses, from the Protestant and Catholic churches, to testify to this.

The Army Council took these decisions following an unprecedented internal discussion and consultation process with IRA units and volunteers.

We appreciate the honest and forthright way in which the consultation process was carried out and the depth and content of the submissions. We are proud of the comradely way in which this truly historic discussion was conducted.

The outcome of our consultations show very strong support among IRA volunteers for the Sinn Fein peace strategy. There is also widespread concern about the failure of the two governments and the (British Protestant) unionists to fully engage in the peace process. This has created real difficulties.

The overwhelming majority of people in Ireland fully support this process. They and friends of Irish unity throughout the world want to see the full implementation of the Good Friday agreement.

Notwithstanding these difficulties, our decisions have been taken to advance our republican and democratic objectives, including our goal of a united Ireland. We believe there is now an alternative way to achieve this and to end British rule in our country.

It is the responsibility of all volunteers to show leadership, determination and courage. We are very mindful of the sacrifices of our patriot dead, those who went to jail, volunteers, their families and the wider republican base. We reiterate our view that the armed struggle was entirely legitimate.

We are conscious that many people suffered in the conflict. There is a compelling imperative on all sides to build a just and lasting peace.

The issue of the defense of (Irish Catholic) nationalist and republican communities has been raised with us. There is a responsibility on society to ensure that there is no reoccurrence of the pogroms of 1969 and the early 1970s. There is also a universal responsibility to tackle sectarianism in all its forms.

The IRA is fully committed to the goals of Irish unity and independence and to building the (Irish) Republic outlined in the 1916 Proclamation.

We call for maximum unity and effort by Irish republicans everywhere.

We are confident that by working together Irish republicans can achieve our objectives. Every volunteer is aware of the import of the decisions we have taken and all oglaigh (soldiers) are compelled to fully comply with these orders.

There is now an unprecedented opportunity to utilize the considerable energy and goodwill which there is for the peace process. This comprehensive series of unparalleled initiatives is our contribution to this and to the continued endeavors to bring about independence and unity for the people of Ireland.
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Old 07-28-2005, 11:24 AM   #8
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Good news indeed .

I'm with you, MrsSpringsteen, on the peace thing-for Ireland, and for everywhere else in the world .

Angela
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Old 07-28-2005, 11:51 AM   #9
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Old 07-28-2005, 01:43 PM   #10
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hmm i am not terribly optimistic, all the former IRA members will retire oh so peacefully to the community watch groups.....your safe with us folks, keep your kids inside and we won't beat them up....Belfast is crawling with vigilante groups.....

...plus all the loyalist groups are not ending their war....they are still blowing the hell out of each other..UVF, LVF, UFF...ahh whoever have all been far more active terrorism, crminally wise than the provos have been in the past 10 years...Unionists will not tackle them because they just couldn't be bothered, thats the hypocrisy in them calling on the IRA to disband/disarm.....

...of course then we also have all the Republican splinter groups who are still very active, they may pick up a few extra recruits now because some members of the IRA will be pissed off at this disarmanent and will therefore defect.....

plus the DUP will never trust Sinn Fein no matter what, and Sinn Fein will continue to tighten their grasp around West Belfast they practically run the place.....there will not be much progression until the DUP and Sinn Fein collapse as viable parties...til then
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Old 07-28-2005, 02:13 PM   #11
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^that seems like a very frustrating situation. I was talking to this guy on another board from Belfast, who suggested that all the different paramilitaries be put in a large pit and "decomission" on each other.

hope it works out well for you all.
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Old 07-28-2005, 02:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by LJT

...plus all the loyalist groups are not ending their war
Good point.

Quote:
Originally posted by LJT

...of course then we also have all the Republican splinter groups who are still very active, they may pick up a few extra recruits now because some members of the IRA will be pissed off at this disarmanent and will therefore defect.....
My concerns exactly.

Quote:
Originally posted by LJT
plus the DUP will never trust Sinn Fein no matter what, and Sinn Fein will continue to tighten their grasp around West Belfast they practically run the place.....there will not be much progression until the DUP and Sinn Fein collapse as viable parties...til then
Look at the 18 MPs returned for NI at the last election, nearly all of them are the extremist parties as it were. How can a devolved parliament possibly function (if it ever returns) if the 'popular' parties are the ones who can't seem to work together under any circumstances?

But what do I know? I'm only English after all.

Still, I suppose it would be better to treat this statement as a positive step forward for now and time will tell whether or not it delivers all it promises.
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Old 07-28-2005, 02:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by VertigoGal
^that seems like a very frustrating situation. I was talking to this guy on another board from Belfast, who suggested that all the different paramilitaries be put in a large pit and "decomission" on each other.

hope it works out well for you all.


I would personally decomission Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley Ian Paisley thinksline dancing is evil...and he is the leader of the biggest party here
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Old 07-28-2005, 02:28 PM   #14
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Paisley's the unionist one right? I wouldn't worry too much about him, I saw him on TV earlier, and he looked like he was about to croak. seriously, how old is that guy?
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Old 07-28-2005, 02:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheQuiet1


Look at the 18 MPs returned for NI at the last election, nearly all of them are the extremist parties as it were. How can a devolved parliament possibly function (if it ever returns) if the 'popular' parties are the ones who can't seem to work together under any circumstances?

But what do I know? I'm only English after all.

Still, I suppose it would be better to treat this statement as a positive step forward for now and time will tell whether or not it delivers all it promises.
ahh see i have not really viewed IRA as an important factor in all this, even if they disarm etc their criminal activities will continue they just will not be carrying them out under the IRA name (and that can not be really prevented)...you have to see the IRA as much morelike the Mafia these days rather than a terrorist organisation...really most of them don't give shit about Irish unity more about lining their own pockets..hence the IRA nearly own all the bars in my area or take protection money from shop owners...and many of them are in these so called 'community watch groups'....

the IRA of the early 90s, 80s and 70s is not the same as the way it currently is......its not really as big as threat as the Real IRA and the loyalist groups terrorism wise, they are much more into making themselves fat and rich..i despise the provos but the Unionists have been using IRA activity as a scapegoat to not talk to Sinn Fein...

Its a positive step....just in the bigger scheme of things on this island even though people have billed it all as a 'historical event' (it is to an extent)...its not that actually big a step to solving the problems here....well at least in my view...
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