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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

A Momentous, Historic, Courageous and Confident Statement


Jimmy Sands • 31 July 2005

The 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.

All IRA units have been ordered to dump arms.

All 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.

The 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.

The Army Council took these decisions followed by an unprecedented internal discussion and consultation process with IRA units and Volunteers.

We 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.

The 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.

Notwithstanding 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.

It 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.

We 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.

The 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.

The 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.

We 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.

There 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?

Finally, 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.

P Mo Thon




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

1 August 2005

Other Articles From This Issue:

An Open Letter to Gerry Adams
Dolours Price

The Inevitable
Anthony McIntyre

PIRA Statement 'Neither Surprising nor Historic'
32 County Sovereignty Movement

'Provisional IRA Should Disband Completely'
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh

A Momentous, Historic, Courageous and Confident Statement
Jimmy Sands

When History Was Made
Brian Mór

Roundup on the IRA Statement
Liam O Ruairc

The Way of the Apache and Lakota
Eoghan O'Suilleabhain

Strange Bedfellows?
Eamonn McCann

Rewriting the Past to Suit the Present
Mick Hall

Shoot to Kill: Getting Away with State Murder
Eamonn McCann

Parents of the World Unite
Fred A Wilcox

31 May 2005

Justice is the Right of All Our Victims
Gemma McCartney

Quis Separabit? The Short Strand/Markets UDA
Anthony McIntyre

Civil Law as an Instrument of Resistance
Peter Mason

A Salute to Comrades
Dolours Price

Behaviour of Young Gets Worse
David Adams

Recognising Similarities, Delivering for the People
Mick Hall

One Republican Party
Dr John Coulter

Venezuela: A Common Brotherhood
Tomas Gorman

May Day versus Loyalty Day
Mary La Rosa

One Eyed Morality
Anthony McIntyre

Lying in Wait for the Dutch Tsunami…After the French Earthquake

Michael Youlton



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