The IRA may have destroyed all its weapons but the fact that there is no new video or inventory to go with the historic announcement means Northern Ireland is still a long way from peace.
Canadian General Jean de Chastelain a Catholic priest and a methodist minister witnessed the destruction process. “We have now reported to the British and Irish governments that 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 general told reporters. British Prime Minister Tony Blair hailed the announcement as a landmark event on the road to bringing back devolved government to the province. “We have made an important step in the transition from conflict to peace in Northern Ireland”, he said. The IRA was believed to have one of Europe’s largest illegal arsenals. Anxiousto avoid anything that looked like surrender the paramilitary group did not allow the destruction of its weaponry to be photograped.