News of the IRA’s disarmament has been welcomed by London as an “important development” in the Northern Ireland peace process and as “momentous” by Dublin.British Prime Minister Tony Blair said: “This is the moment we have been waiting for for a very long time. It has taken years of patience and perseverance and often of disappointment. But we have tried to carry on with unquenchable optimism to give Northern Ireland a better future.” Irish premier Bertie Ahern, who has also been closely involved in the peace process, had this reaction: “Today is momentous for the people of this island, both north and south. Finally, after many false starts, the IRA has yielded to the will expressed in the Good Friday Agreement and is pursuing its objectives by purely peaceful means.”
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