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IRA Ends 3 Decades Of Violence


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Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has said the IRA's commitment to laying down its arms is an "historic" moment.

Speaking at a press conference, he described it as a "truly momentous" and "defining point in the search for lasting peace".

Mr Adams said the UK government must now address demilitarisation, equality and the human rights agenda.

And he said that "national liberation struggles can have different phases".

"There is a time for war... there is also a time to engage, to reach out, to put war behind us all. This is that time. This is a time for peace... for justice..."

The IRA officially put down its arms and started to work "peacefully" at 4pm today.

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The long-awaited pledge instructed all IRA members to "assist the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means".

The British Prime Minister hailed the announcement as "a step of unparalleled magnitude in the history of Northern Ireland".

Tony Blair went on: "This may be the day when finally after all the false dawns and dashed hope, peace replaces war, politics replaces terror on the island of Ireland."

The IRA leadership said it will invite one witness each from the Protestant and Catholic churches to witness the disarmament.

As well as an end to violence, IRA volunteers were told not to "engage in any other activities whatsoever".

This was seen as a command not to spread into other criminal acts; the IRA was blamed for the Northern Bank robbery in Belfast last December in which more than £26m was stolen.

There was no apology from the IRA for some 30 years of violence. Instead, the statement said: "We reiterate our view that the armed struggle was entirely legitimate."

Nor was there any promise to disband, with the statement reaffirming its commitment to a unified Ireland.

There were strong words for the British and Irish governments and unionists.

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The statement said: "There is widespread concern about the failure of the two governments and the unionists to fully engage in the peace process. This has created real difficulties."

It brings about a day many people thought would never arrive. The Northern Ireland Troubles have killed around 3,500 people, with more than half of those put down to the IRA.

A spokesman for the Democratic Unionist Party said it would judge the IRA based on the movement's actions in the coming months and years.

Shadow Northern Ireland secretary David Lidington said: "The words are cause for some cautious optimism and hope, but we need to see a dismantling of the paramilitary structure."

In a statement from the White House, the US government said: "This IRA statement must now be followed by actions demonstrating the republican movement's unequivocal commitment to the rule of law and to the renunciation of all paramilitary and criminal activities.

"We understand that many, especially victims and their families, will be skeptical. They will want to be certain that this terrorism and criminality are indeed things of the past."

Source: Sky News

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good to hear, one step closer to peace :D

that Accuracy sniper rifle looks freakin awsome tho, always wanted one of those. wonder if the IRA would donate to the "nsane is bored as a mofo foundation" :P

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Always admired the Barratt .50 Cal myself :P

Can shoot over a mile with that beauty. The PSG-1 is good for silenced tho :D

Oh yea, looking forward to the peace process of course :D Hopefully this time it will be the last time we go down this road again :D

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