Following yesterday’s IRA declaration of an end to violence the British army has begun dismantling military installations in Northern Ireland. The removal of observation posts and army bases has been a long-standing demand of the Irish republican armed group. While the British government’s response has been criticised as premature by Protestant leaders, Gerry Adams of the IRA’s political ally, Sinn Fein, has welcomed it. He has urged his political rivals to re-enter negotiations and restart Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government. There is still no indication that Protestant paramilitaries are ready to follow the IRA’s example. Yesterday’s statement, in which the IRA instructed its members to dump their weapons, was greeted with a great deal of scepticism by many in Northern Ireland, particularly in the Protestant community. Pro-British unionists are insisting on proof that weapons have been destroyed before entering into government with Sinn Fein.