The Irish Republican Army has destroyed all of its weapons. Head of the independent decommissioning body, General John de Chastelain, made the announcement at a news conference in Belfast.
He was flanked by two churchmen, Father Alex Reid and the Reverend Harold Good, who witnessed the arms dump. They confirmed the IRA’s arms are out of use “beyond any shadow of doubt”.
General de Chastelain said: “We are satisfied that arms decommissioned represent the totality of the IRA’s arsenal. We have observed and verified events to put beyond use very large quantities of arms which we believe include all the arms in the IRA’s possession.”
The decommissioned weapons included ammunition, machine guns, rifles, explosives, missiles and handguns. It is believed to have been one of the largest illegal arsenals in Europe.
It was in July that the IRA announced an end to its 30-year armed campaignagainst British rule in Northern Ireland.
But talks on reviving the province’s power-sharing assembly are not expected to begin in earnest until after a fuller report into IRA activity in January.