IRA Ready To Scrap Weapons In Days

MoD Oracle News Report dated 3 Sep 05

I haven't seen this news article on any other thread. Pse accept my apologies if someone's already covered it.

The IRA is to begin dismantling its weapons arsenal within days and decommissioning should be completed in weeks, sources close to the British and Irish governments said yesterday. The disarmament chief, retired Canadian general John de Chastelain, arrived in Ireland on Wednesday after a Finnish brigadier, Tauno Nieminen, was appointed to his three-man team in anticipation of the heavy workload over the next few weeks.

The British and Irish governments have been anxious for disarmament to begin since the IRA's statement in July that its armed struggle with Britain was over and all weapons would be "put beyond use ... as quickly as possible". When decommissioning showed no sign of starting last month, unionists grew irate over the government's disbandment of the home-based battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment, and what they saw as the audacious return of republican fugitives, the Colombia Three, to Ireland. When decommissioning begins, weapons will be neutralised in a series of separate decommissioning acts. Once these are complete and all weapons have been put beyond use, General de Chastelain will report to the governments. A source close to the British government said the general's report was expected "as soon as physically possible".

He is also expected to give the governments an inventory of arms that have been neutralised, but it is not clear when that could be published. The IRA's arms cache is thought to include M60 machine guns, Armalite rifles, AK-47s, handguns, explosives and timer devices stored at various locations. In its three previous acts of decommissioning, the IRA has demanded confidentiality. All sides are keen to avoid a repeat of the debacle of two years ago when General de Chastelain emerged from witnessing the secret act of decommissioning and, restricted by confidentiality, was unable to provide enough detail to satisfy the Ulster Unionists. David Trimble then pulled the plug on the process which was to lead to the restoration of a power-sharing Stormont assembly.

This time two clergymen, one Protestant and one Catholic, will be invited to witness the final disarmament process and afterwards state to the public they were there. But Ian Paisley's hardline Democratic Unionist party will not get the photographic evidence of decommissioning that it demanded. The Irish justice minister, Michael McDowell, said this week that he did not expect decommissioning would happen by "one single press of a button or by one single act of decommissioning, at one single place." Disarmament would involve a series of acts which would happen "in one sequence of events" and "in fairly rapid order", he said.

The next test for Northern Ireland's political process is a report next month by the ceasefire watchdog, the International Monitoring Commission, examining whether the IRA has stuck to its word not to engage in criminal activities or recruitment since it announced the war was over. But the government is under pressure to address the outstanding issue of whether loyalist paramilitaries, currently involved in a bloody feud, will also decommission their weapons. The Northern Ireland secretary, Peter Hain, has been urged to declare the that the Ulster Volunteer Force, which is attempting to wipe out the smaller splinter group, the Loyalist Volunteer Force, has broken its ceasefire. The SDLP leader, Mark Durkan, said he was concerned that the Northern Ireland Office was content to let the UVF get on with its "cleaning-up operation" in the hope it was a "prelude to something more positive."
I intend to be properly enthused about this when it happens and I'm convinced that it has happened. Until then, I'll be properly cynical about the motives of the most professionally organised group of evil gangsters in Western Europe.
Believe it when I see it.

Every year, the IRA/SF does its little 'Peace is breaking out all over' song and dance, and wins some concessions from HMG; every year, the IRA/SF either reneges on its side of the bargain or never carries it out in the first place.

It wasn't very long ago that the IRA announced it was withdrawing from the decommissioning process.

I was born in Armagh, NI. Was educated there and lived with the regular day to day terrorist threat of violence. My father during his regular army service spent nine years with the UDR. My brother served five himself.
Personally I will believe that the IRA will totally disarm when Gerry Adams flashes his ample a**e in full public view on national TV!

Gerry.......bite me!!!!!
Black_Rain said:
What about the Loyalist weapons.
You took the words right out of my mouth!

In fact, that's the question I've been asking since this whole farce began.

Oh too see a peaceful Ireland.
Talk Talk Talk the eternal Irish problem.
"dismantling its weapons arsenal within days and decommissioning should be completed in weeks"
Translate that for me.
I do not beleive the Republicans will become without arms, just as the Prods never will.
Blur will claim a victory for his policies, but we above all know what a lieing Barstward he is.
Not in my lifetime, I do regret.
Even if the scrap all the arms they have NI, what about the stockpiles in the Republic? The IRA will NEVER totally disarm. Its a farce...
Can't see it happening "in days" now.

It'll be at least a month before they'll get above the "wee, old woman who once fed David Healey's cat" in the headlines.
To all these people who think the IRA will not disarm in our lifetime - what do you think their plan is? to lull the British Army into leaving NI and then restart the war? what?

I reckon they will disarm... Sure - they are making a song and dance about it and dragging it out for as long as possible to earn as many concessions as possible... this endgame is boring and frustrating to watch but the outcome is decided - a peaceful NI...

To answer Phil306's point about stockpiles in the south... my understanding is that Gen John De Chastelain and the Decomissioning Body cover both NI and the south...

Depends by what is meant by 'dis-arm' will that include all the weapons in deep hides such as plug hides in probably more than one or two houses in some Nationalist areas! bet it wont!
Agree with you tricam on a peaceful NI,but what of PIRA/Sinn Fein's new activities,all those so called big hard men are not suddenly going to be nice to everyone and loose their 'respect'/hold on local communities,drugs being the main one!
3 PIRA members helping Columbian terrs in return for what? good supply of best Columbian marching powder perhaps.
We will see.
Oh come on, you truly believe the IRA is going to give up all of their arms to the Brits? Come on now. If you believe that, I have some beach front property in Arizona to sell you.

The IRA isn't going to give up everything, "just in case." No, I don't believe they will start the war up again, if the Brits pull out. However, how are they going to fund their activities? Lets be honest here, there are several members of the IRA who made big bucks over the "troubles." They are used to lavish lifestyles now. You think they are just going to go back to being simple farmers? Hell no. The robberies, drug deals, extortion, etc the IRA is famous for will continue. And to do that, they need weapons. They aint giving up jack...
I don't understand, I thought Arizona was land locked?

Phil306 - I didn't read your original post properly. I agree they won't completely 100% disarm but I do believe the vast majority of it, especially the hardcore stuff, will be decommisioned. I suppose in their language a 'significant' act of 'verifible' 'putting arms beyond use' will occur. As you say they will be just another criminal gang and I hope they will get defeated using conventional policing.


ps - was joking about the Arizona bit.
No I believe they will give up some weapons Phil . What will they exchange for Heroin and Cannabis with mainland UK drug gangs otherwise?
Ok, I can agree with that. I believe they will also give up SOME of their weapons. However, they will not completely disarm. Again, I don't know the answer to all of the problems there...Never fought there, although I have visited several times. Its a very complex, difficult situation. One which isn't going to be solved overnight. However, based upon my readings of history, etc the IRA is TOTALLY untrustworthy. I wouldn't take them at their word to anything.
"what do you think their plan is? to lull the British Army into leaving NI and then restart the war? what?"

Er yes ish , mean always have done later or sooner. A body that cannot be held to account.

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