Thursday, July 28, 2005

Who'd'uh thunk it?!

This is historic. Or it might be. The IRA has ordered all units to dump all arms and cease the armed struggle and not to engage in any other activities whatever. So its 36-year-long armed struggle appears to be over.

More statements expected later today from various political leaders; I’ll keep you posted.

My immediate reaction is one of ‘I want to know more’ because as with everything here, context is very important. A lot of people here will feel that they need to know what will actually happen, in physical terms, to the weapons and explosives and ammo and whether it will be public or monitored. Politicians and most of the moderate, uninvolved population will start pressuring the unionist groups to follow suit.

It’s my opinion that last winter’s Northern Bank raid in Belfast was the final ‘The leadership will look away while you boys carry out one last big job before you stand down’ act after which the old-timers at the top of the IRA would seek to disarm it and retire from the Army Council.

Like I said, lots of developments — more later.

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