leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann
has formally ordered an end to the armed campaign.
This will take effect from 4pm this afternoon. The
historic significance of this step is that the armed
struggle which ceased completely in 1994, and again
in 1997, has now also ended. This in turn leads
to the possibility that in the near future it may
stop, or even finish.
IRA units have been ordered to dump arms.
Volunteers have been instructed to assist the development
of purely political and democratic programmes through
ostensibly peaceful means. Volunteers
must not engage in any other activities whatsoever.
Not of course that we admit they were engaging in
any such activities before. This means that all
such activities will no longer be our fault.
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, as if it
were not sky high enough already, and to conclude
this as quickly as possible. We have invited two
independent witnesses, from the Protestant (tba)
and Catholic (Fr. Sean McManus) churches, to testify
to this. All parties will take our word for this
and we will hear no more about it.
Army Council took these decisions followed by an
unprecedented internal discussion and consultation
process with IRA units and Volunteers.
appreciate the honest and forthright way in which
the consultation process was carried out and the
depth and content of the submissions. Your views
are important to us. We regret that it is not possible
to reply to all the contributions we received. We
are proud of the comradely way in which this truly
historic discussion was conducted. No correspondence
will be entered into. The good news though is that
there will be medals. Tasteful
too. Robert Ballagh. No rubbish.
outcome of our consultations show very strong support
among IRA Volunteers for the Sinn Féin peace
strategy, indeed the party remains significantly
ahead of the SDLP in this key demographic. There
is also widespread concern about the failure of
the two governments and the unionists, indeed absolutely
everyone except us, to fully engage in the peace
process. This has created real difficulties. The
overwhelming majority of people in Ireland fully
support this process. Our feedback also tells us
that the same overwhelming majority in Ireland votes
Sinn Fein and reads the Daily Ireland. They
and friends of Irish unity throughout the world
want to see the full implementation of what we have
told them is in the Good Friday Agreement, and overwhelmingly
plan to get round to reading it some time.
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 and one which
we believe will prove every bit as successful as
the last one we tried.
is the responsibility of all Volunteers to show
leadership, determination and courage. Orders in
respect of other abstract nouns will follow in due
course. We are very mindful of the sacrifices of
our patriot dead, those who went to jail, especially
those who went to jail last week, Volunteers, their
families and the wider republican base. We reiterate
our view that the armed struggle was entirely legitimate
in spite of the extent of our suffering. We are
however, ending it as part of a wider management
strategy of abandoning unprofitable non-core activities.
Make no mistake, had it not been for the valiant
efforts of our Volunteers, Ireland would still be
partitioned to this day.
are conscious that many people suffered in the conflict.
There is a compelling imperative on all sides to
build a just and lasting peace. Victims and perpetrators
alike are, in our view, equally responsible.
issue of the defence of nationalist and republican
communities has been raised with us. There is a
responsibility on society to ensure that there is
no re-occurrence of the pogroms of 1969 and the
early 1970s, or the backchat and pint-spilling of
January 2005. There is also a universal responsibility
to tackle sectarianism in all its forms.
IRA is fully committed to the goals of Irish unity
and independence and to building the Republic outlined
in the 1916 Proclamation. Terms and Conditions apply.
call for maximum unity and effort by Irish republicans
everywhere. We are confident that by working together
Irish republicans can achieve our objectives and
possibly even some of theirs. Every Volunteer is
aware of the import of the decisions we have taken.
Nevertheless, all Óglaigh are compelled to
fully comply with these orders.
is now an unprecedented opportunity to utilise the
considerable energy, goodwill and, let's face it,
cash, which there is for the peace process. This
comprehensive series of unparalleled initiatives
is our contribution to this and to the continued
endeavours to bring about independence, and unity
for the people of Ireland and let's hear no more
about the Northern Bank shall we?
no statement from us would be complete without a
definite commitment and timetable for taking our
place within the new policing structures and declaring
unambiguously that all criminal activity will end.