The announcment of the weapons decommissioning was applauded by Sinn Fein President and the IRA’s political ally, Gerry Adams:“This was a very brave and bold leap and all of us need to think beyond this moment.It’s not the leap itself but the place that it takes all of us that is important, and for this reason the IRA’s courageous decision was the right thing to do”
But while Adams also admitted the decommissioning would be difficult for many Republicans, his opposite number, the leader of the pro-British Unionists, Ian Paisley, was unconvinced by the IRA
“The decommissioning of arms must be transparent, verifiable and satisfactory to everyone “ he said, “But there have been no photos, no details, no inventory of the destruction of arms.To say that this was transparent would be the falsehood of the century.”
The reaction on the streets of Belfast has been mixed. While some see the move as a new dawn in the troubled province, others are waiting to see the response of the other paramilitary groups.