View Full Version : Historic day in NI. IRA is finished.

26th Sep 2005, 12:04
Due to be announced shortly by Gen De Chastelain. The decommissioning will be confirmed by a Catholic and a Methodist priest.

A significant day whatever way you look at it.
But still a lot of work to do. Confidence is short on both sides and that will take time to build.

But hopefully, this is at least the begginning of better days to come.

26th Sep 2005, 12:30
Oneworld22, I hope you are right, but I recall some people were saying the same thing 7 years ago, after the Good Friday Agreement!

Interesting documentary on Channel 4 recently, covering the Northern Bank raid. Allegedly, none of the people in the Republic, who have been found with, or linked to the money stolen, have had any charges brought against them. Phil Flynn and Ted Cunningham will no doubt be consulting their lawyers! Michael McDowell, the justice minister, believes the IRA still has 80% of the £26m stolen at their disposal.

Send Clowns
26th Sep 2005, 12:49
This event is not quite what some of the news media would have you believe. If you read everything the IRA have actually said, rather than the BBC's and certain newspapers interpretations, then as far as I know they have still not said they would or have decommissioned all their weapons. Certainly the first announcement did not say so, nor did the quote on Radio 4 this morning of what would be said today, although the Today presenter assumed it said that. So how much weaponry do they have left?

The "end to violence" is just a confession that every time they said this before they were lying. Why do we believe they are not lying this time?

26th Sep 2005, 13:03
from official statement

decommissioning of IRA weapons "an accomplished fact"

Send Clowns
26th Sep 2005, 13:25
Yes. No mention of "all" or "remaining" or "the last". A glaring omission from an organisation that has in the past prided itself on the precision of the wording of its statements.

26th Sep 2005, 13:28

Too true !

If they hold up their end of the bargain(s) and concession after concession we have made in the name of peace. I think reconciliation is a long way off since the criminal activities of the paramilitaries are still a blight on Ireland and the intimidation of the people by well established cells will still continue sub surface.

Now let the Police do their job and put the criminals behind bars with no possible political excuse for their actions ready to hand.

I still believe that we gave too many concessions to terror especially since we are now apparently commending the IRA for not killing, or promising not to kill, innocents in bars, hotels and other public places any more. We shouldn't forget the murders in the name of that benighted "cause" of theirs, an anachronism if there ever was one.

Curious Pax
26th Sep 2005, 13:31
Direct quotes by de Chastelain taken from the Sky news website:

"We have observed and verified arms were put beyond use.

"Our inventory is constistent with estimates and it represents the totality of the IRA's arsenal."

Whilst I acknowledge that there will be doubts about it, it seems pretty unequivocal from de Chastelain's quotes that he believes that all IRA weapons have been dealt with.

26th Sep 2005, 13:53
In an historic announcement, General John de Chastelain said "very large quantities of arms, which we believe include all the arms in the IRA's possession", have been put beyond use. Speaking at a news conference outside Belfast, the general said he and his fellow members on the commission had been provided with estimates in 2004 by the British and Irish security forces on what the IRA arsenal was believed to be. An inventory of weapons decommissioned was "consistent with these estimates".

The general said: "We are satisfied the arms decommissioned represent the totality of the IRA's arsenal." He said it included ammunition, rifles, machine guns, mortars, missiles, handguns, explosive substances and other arms, including all the categories described in the estimates by the security forces, he said. He went on: "The Commission has determined the IRA has met its commitment to put all its arms beyond use in a manner called for by legislation."

He said it remained for the Commission to address the issue of loyalist arms and he asked everyone with influence to use it to that end.

The Reverend Harold Good, a former president of the Methodist church in Ireland and one of two churchmen who witnessed the process said he was utterly certain about the accuracy of General de Chastelain's report.

He said: "We have spent many long days watching the meticulous and painstaking way in which General de Chastelain went about his task of decommissioning huge amounts of explosives, arms and ammunition." He said witnessing the process on a minute-by-minute basis gave them clear and incontrovertible evidence "that beyond any shadow of doubt the arms of the IRA have now been decommissioned"........

26th Sep 2005, 14:08
Unfortunately for all peace processes and negotiations between parties, the past histories of the negotiators is a matter of concern and is considered.

In a number of ongoing processes at the moment there are unfortunate past histories of evasion, lies and duplicity. To mind come the past records of such participants as Iran/ongoing nuclear talks. N Korea/ongoing nuclear talks, IRA/ongoing decommissioning/peace talks.

All three of these examples have in the recent past had revelations and evidence of bad faith. It makes it harder and harder to accept their offerings and pledges, and understandably more detailed and secure demands from the othere side which then is taken as 'unacceptable demands!'

An example might also be the sad fact that had Iraq not persued their policy of deliberate non compliance and obstruction of inspections for WMD after the first Gulf War it is concievable that the present toppling of SH 'may' not have occurred at all.

The insistance of the IRA that to produce more compelling or incontravertible evidence of decommissioning was 'humiliating' has only hightened scepiticism from Loyalists,and possibly led them on a course of more agressive confrontation with the British Government because they see it has appeared to work for the IRA and resulted in concessions.
All of which does make for a slightly more judicious view of the importance of the present statements.

26th Sep 2005, 15:12
Personally I don't know why they bothered to do this at all. The Loyalists have not only failed to decomission, they are still at WAR.

And anyway - nothing the IRA ever do could satisfy the political wing of Loyalism. Whats the point in even trying?

26th Sep 2005, 16:01
Anyone that saw the press conference at 2pm (no doubt repeated ad nauseum tonight) could be in any doubt that they are satisfied that ALL IRA weapons are now gone. They knew what they were looking for (from British and Irish intelligence) and this was what they got. Furthermore the two additional observers left nobody in any doubt. The language was very clear and precise. So, in terms of decommissioning the IRA are now 'clean'. Sadly though, I've no doubt that Paisley and his lot will still find something wrong with this. People will say that photos would have helped ... maybe, but I still think Paisley would have found some reason to maintain his stance. Shame :(

Send Clowns
26th Sep 2005, 16:21

If intelligence was that good then the weapons would have been decomissioned by the RUC long ago. It is very clear from the quotes posted here that even the people you are supposed to be trusting only said that the amount disposed of was consistent with estimates from intelligence. That is very different from what you assume.

Everyone involved the process apart form the IRA has been misrepresening the IRA's previous statements about this latest decomissioning since the first such statement was made. They have been operating on the assumptions that all the weapons were going to be decomissioned, they see an amount "consistent" with intelligence. Everyone now assumes all weapons are decomissioned, without the IRA (the only ones who truly know, despite what observers might think) having said any such thing.

26th Sep 2005, 16:33
There is probably nothing the IRA could do to prove total decommisioning anyway.

How would a few photographs help? How could doing it in public help? It still wouldn't prove there weren't more arms hidden elsewhere.

So no matter what they do, many people will be sceptical.

tony draper
26th Sep 2005, 16:37
Said it before vast quantities of arms were completey unecessary for the kind of activity the IRA were involved in, puzzles me why they bothered filling wharehouses full of M16 s heavy machine guns anti tank weaponry and the like,that might be par for the course for the likes of some raggyarsed rebel army in Africa where you intend to take on the government forces directly face to face, more a propaganda excercise for the benifit of their fundraisers and backers,
"lookee what your money has bought chaps"I think.

Send Clowns
26th Sep 2005, 16:39
Less so V if their statements were not so carefully worded not to promise complete decomissioning while allowing that interpretation. The news media have largely taken that interpretation from IRA statements that say no such thing. If they make a statment that says "all" in the right place then I will join the cheer.

26th Sep 2005, 17:16
Hands up who, based on the experience of the last 3 years, believes in the credibility of intelligence estimates of weapons holdings? :hmm: :E

Bern Oulli
26th Sep 2005, 17:59
There's that word - "intelligence" again. Even if the estimates are 1000% more accurate than the "intelligence" about WMD, it will still be complete bull-droppings.

Ecstatic if true, but deeply cynical.

26th Sep 2005, 18:29
They should have been allowed to keep one round, with Paisleys name written on it.

Through his preachings of hate and bigotry, he is responsible for more death and destruction then all the weapons decomissioned today could ever have inflicted!!

tony draper
26th Sep 2005, 18:55
As I understand it autosync,nobody in either organisation was allowed to target the upper echelons of either organisation,they had a unwritten agreement about that.naturaly.
Personelly I think the Isreali have the right of it, target those at the top, chop the head off the snake.

Empty Cruise
26th Sep 2005, 19:00

I say we deal with NI in the good old fashioned way:

1) We state loudly they have not complied.

2) We find out they have complied, but then state loudly that they have not fully complied.

3) We station 200.000 troops in the nearest bordering desert contry (Wales), just to show we mean business

4) We discredit that French general publicly (OK, we know he's Canadian, but what does the public now - the name sounds french) & make sure he's made to look like a rosy-liberal-can't-make-the-call-all-grey-areas-bullshit wimp

5) We wait for the temperature in Wales to creep up to the point where we simply must admit to ourselves "OK, it's 15 deg. C and going at 17 - we cannot just have the troops sitting there over summer"

6) We ask the Danish navy to supply a submarine

7) We invade them, just to show we still mean business

8) We win the hearts and minds of the NI population

9) The NI population - surrendering their hearts & minds to us - shoot our a##es off.

10) We find no weapons - but still mean business.

Now, where have I heard that one before?.... :rolleyes:

Empty :mad:

tony draper
26th Sep 2005, 19:02
As I understand it autosync,nobody on either side was allowed to target the upper echelons of the other side,they had a unwritten agreement about that.naturaly.
Personelly I think the Isreali have the right of it, target those at the top, chop the head off the snake.

26th Sep 2005, 19:24
What can you expect when you have two tribes who
hate each other, and whose bigotry is founded on religion.

There are too many people in that good forsaken part of
Britain with vested interests in keeping the conflict going,
to ever allow little things like trust and goodwill to interrupt
their party time.

Sorry to be cynical but when various factions believe that
theirs is the only true way to God, the seeds of conflict
are already sown.

Anyway the fashions are pretty naff. One lot dressed
in balaclavas, and the other lot in bowler hats and orange
sashes. I wonder if they ever open their minds wide
enough to think what a ridiculous picture they present to the outside world in the 21st century. :bored:

26th Sep 2005, 19:33
I'm always very worried when someone uses a roundabout kind of wording instead of saying what they actually mean.

Here: ". . . has put all of its weapons beyond use . . ."

Beyond use ? What exactly does that mean ? Have they destroyed the damn things or not ?

If they have then why not simply say that they have destroyed all of their weapons ?

What's the reason for such an odd turn of phrase ?

26th Sep 2005, 20:45
Hurray, the IRA have put arms beyond use.
Well, I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them, but I'll give them a go.
Don't really have a choice, but there's the rub.


Oh aye Drapes, there was a shoot against Gerry Adams when he was seriously injured. Then was rescued by the UDR (locally recruited army).

26th Sep 2005, 23:40
Biggest con since;

Peace in our time.

"This morning I had another talk with the German Chancellor Herr Hitler and here is the paper which bears his name upon it as well as mine." (he holds paper up and waves it about, people cheer again). "Some of you perhaps have already heard what it contains, but I would just like to read it to you." (He Reads - 'We, the German Fuhrer and Chancellor and the British Prime Minister, have had a further meeting today and are agreed in recognising that the question of Anglo-German relations is of the first importance for the two countries, and for Europe. We regard the agreement signed last night and the Anglo-German naval agreement, as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again' (everyone cheers) 'We are resolved that the method of consultation shall be the method adopted' (lots of "hear hears".) 'to deal with any other questions that may concern our two countries, and we are determined to continue our efforts to remove possible sources of difference and thus to contribute to assure the peace of Europe.'" Everyone cheers and someone shouts "three cheers for Chamberlain" which they all do as he walks away and gets into the car. Everyone waves as he drives away.

Chamberlain announced it in Heston airport after his return from Munich. The Second World War would break out in less than a year.


"Power grows out of the barrel of a gun" - Chairman Mao Tse Tung



27th Sep 2005, 04:51
Well if Paisley's against it we must be doing something right...... :hmm:

Standard Noise
27th Sep 2005, 09:36
Some may call me a cynic, others on here have all but called me a loyalist sympathiser, but before you all get too excited, ask yourselves this, does the announcement by Gen De Chastelaine also include the various weapons handed out to IRA members and other assorted gangsters over the years which they have used, and indeed continue to use, to carry out armed robberies and punishment shootings?

Just a thought. :hmm:

Curious Pax
27th Sep 2005, 10:19
I've said it before and I'll say it again - what this does is (in theory at least) give the police a clearer run at any criminal activities that former terrorists may or may not be engaging in.

Up until now there may have been a risk that catching IRA members with arms would be a bit of a no-no for fear of messing up the peace process. However now that the IRA have declared that they have put their weapons beyond use then any arms that are found can't be for IRA activities, and therefore must be for criminal activities. As the IRA wouldn't engage in such things ;) then they would have no problem with the arrest and imprisonment of those caught with such items.

Remember that a significant part of the IRA make-up appears to be an almost Far Eastern concept of face. Imagine how much egg said face would have on it if they were caught out.

I appreciate the very valid reasons that the loyalists have for mistrusting the IRA, but sometimes a look at the bigger picture would help. And ultimately unless everyone is now going to sit around in limbo for 20 years to prove that there aren't any weapons stashed away, then there has to be a bit of a leap of faith by the government and loyalists. Unless some in the loyalist camp prefer the current situation to continue of course.

Mr Draper: compare and contrast the level of violent activity that the respective citizens of Israel and Northern Ireland endure now compared to 20 years ago. I know which approach to solving these problems I prefer......

27th Sep 2005, 10:39
...can't be for IRA activities, and therefore must be for criminal activities. So . . . the previous IRA activities involving the use of weapons were not criminal activities ? :confused:

27th Sep 2005, 10:46
Always fascinating the way so many people gloss over Loyalist paramilitaries and terrorists isn't it?

So after the IRA have decommissioned, will we see the loyalists doing the same? Will we at least see pressure on them to do the same? Will Paisley be calling on independant priests and photo's to confirm they comply? Will he heck...

And with regards to the Loyalists disarming, let me leave that to the loyalists themsleves...

One loyalist spokesman said loyalist paramilitaries would not be following the IRA's decommissioning move.

Sammy Duddy, a member of the Ulster Political Research Group - which advises the UDA, said: "The general has no chance of seeing that achieved. Should he live to be 208, he'll never see it."

People seem to be very selective in how they interpret the terrorists in NI.....

Curious Pax
27th Sep 2005, 10:53
As you well know I was drawing a distinction between terrorist and non-terrorist activities. Neither are acceptable, but if the overtly terrorist activities can be got out of the picture then sorting out the criminal side may be less of a minefield (no pun intended).

27th Sep 2005, 15:10
I'll believe it when Hans Blix confirms it.

We know what UK intelligence is like... :uhoh:

Burnt Fishtrousers
27th Sep 2005, 15:45
So lets look at what happened in reality

The IRA hand picked 2 members of the clergy as "witnesses" who wouldnt know a decommissioned Barrat Light 50 from a broomstick, they wouldnt say how many weapons they had to start with. They havent said how many weapons they have decommissioned and all this is surrounded by secrecy....and we are supposed to believe then.

Ive always has a healthy dislike of Ian Paisley but he is actually right what he says..

If they wanted to come clean they could have military experts from 2 Nato countries, disclose the locations, an invite all leading members of political parties to witness it..

What do we get .."Ah yes as de lords me witnuss Mr Hain, me and de other Fath'r saw dem weapons taken apart so we did"

Doesnt exactly instill confidence does it as Genral De Chastelain stand idly by and is happy to accept this..

There should be a handing in of weaponary across the political spectrum not just the IRA, so its no wonder they are being somewhat cagey with the proliferation of Loyalist weapons and skulduggery

27th Sep 2005, 16:11

No need for the ridiculous "Oirish" mockery.

The same question has to be asked to you then as it has been asked to many others. Are you accusing De Chastelain of lying? The process was clear and good enough for the independent witnesses to verify it. It's not rocket science.

Why would he lie? The decommissioned weapons, they had their firing mechanism rendered useless, tallied with all known intelligence. That's all we can go on. You can't turn around and claim it to be false based on a hunch!

What people don't realise is that Adams and co have now become the biggest nationalist party in NI overtaking the SDLP. Adams had shown the old boys that politics is the way forward. Look at all it's achieved; it's brought them in from the cold, from censorship, to a party making massive gains in the past number of elections. it's delivered more in this process then 30 years of violence ever did. It got rid of the RUC, the army is packing up and going and SF will form a government, with Unionists for NI.

The DUP and co are running out of excuses. They first say we won't sit with SF while the IRA still has weapons. When the first decommissioning happened they said not enough, the IRA still exists and there are still large caches of weapons. When that is done and the IRA have finally said it's over, here are our weapons, the goalposts are moved yet again by the DUP who are now accusing everyone of lying and that it could take years before we have joint power….The excuses are fast running out.

27th Sep 2005, 16:13
There has been some discussion that senior members of the IRA will be allowed to retain possesion of firearms for personal protection.

Could be difficult to explain why you're pulling a DshK behind you on a trailer.

The only published detail of any arms dumped recently were some mortar components dumped by the roadside.

One World
There has been a token decomissioning by Loyalist paramiltaries already, a very token one of some old rifles, I believe one of the rifles was a 1914 vintage. Bit of a joke, but a televised attempt to grab some headlines.
Also bear in mind that loyalist paramilitaries are being decomissioned by the PSNI at the minute, which is why there was the recent spate of violence.

I believe that terrorist and ordinary decent criminal activity, as it is referred to, are so closely related as to be indistinguishable. Fear of terror, fear of murder, mean that ODC is allowed to continue in respective communities, there is little or no evidence to be gathered from a forensically aware terrorist force/s or eye witness help from a terrified public.

One World
It shoulddn't be seen as an excuse for a politicl party to try and represent it's electorate and pursue it's mandate. Sinn Fein did it.
(edited for a another couple of lines)

27th Sep 2005, 17:29
If the IRA skiied naked down Everest with a rose up their arse it still wouldn't be enough to satisfy Paisley, or the other Loyalist terror sympathisers (including those on this board).

Why bother.

Curious Pax
27th Sep 2005, 18:20
with all due respect I think you are missing my point. The IRA now has no recourse to the excuse if caught with weaponry that it is all part of the armed struggle and thus a political action. As such it will allow the police, slowly I grant you, to reign in the lawlessness in the respective terrorist strongholds until eventually they are just like cities on the mainland and in the Republic. It won't be perfect, but surely you must acknowledge that this is progress compared to the carnage of 20 years ago.

There is no quick fix, but the further progress edges slowly forward the less and less likely becomes a return to terrorism.

I am sure that a poll among all the NI population on whether they expected to die a violent death in the next week would produce very different results now compared to say 1983. That is has to be an improvement.

27th Sep 2005, 20:53
Gotcha, I did see what you meant. Definately no argument that the less guns the better.


28th Sep 2005, 15:10
Standard Noise:-does the announcement by Gen De Chastelaine also include the various weapons handed out to IRA membersProbably most of them, yes. The way in which the IRA used to operate was that their quartermaster would only "issue" weapons for a particular job. These came from "his" arms dump wherever it was located. The weapons were delivered to the operatives immediately before the "job", delivered by someone else and were then either dumped (thrown in the Lagan or Lough Neagh or similar) or returned to the quartermaster. Dumping was disapproved of as at several stages of their history the IRA found it very hard to get hold of suitable weapons such a pistols. AK47's and RPG's they could get plenty of, but they're not really suitable for hiding under an anorak. The other reason for frowning on dumping of weapons was the possibility of them later being recovered and providing clues.

28th Sep 2005, 15:30
In the past there was a distinction between the IRA and the Provisional IRA. The latter does not seem to have been mentioned during this current deveopment. Is there any significance in this or can one assume that the Gen's statement included PIRA? And, for that matter, how about the Real IRA?


Burnt Fishtrousers
28th Sep 2005, 15:36
Jolly Green Giant

No need for the ridiculous "Oirish" mockery.

Bit thin skinned arent we....

No De Chastelain wasnt lying but he didnt seem to question the appointment, expertise and selection/Bias of the witnesses either....he only seemed to divulge this information from a Q and A session with Paisley

Firing mechanisms can be replaced..weapons sawn into little pieces and crushed cant....