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Ira Peace Agreement

Although loyalists were the most militant of Protestant groups in the 1970s and 1980s, they were the ones who suffered the most from the fighting – and their decision to move from violence to political negotiation, such as that of the IRA, gave considerable impetus to the peace process. The first proof of this new direction was in the form of a split between the two main loyalist groups, the Ulster Defense Association, which remained committed to violence, and the Ulster Volunteer Force, which began to engage in negotiations. In the end, both groups declared a ceasefire shortly after the IRA armistice of 31 August 1994 and in subsequent years became a major interest group within the Protestant/union movement in difficult times of negotiations.42 In January 2017, Martin McGuinness resigned from his post in protest against a political scandal involving the new Prime Minister, Arlene Foster. He also referred to long-term issues where the DUP is not meeting the basic equality commitments set out in its agreements. The leadership of Glaigh na h`ireann officially ordered the end of the armed campaign. It will come into effect this afternoon from 4 p.m. All IRA units have been ordered to dispose of the weapons. All volunteers have been ordered to support the development of purely political and democratic programmes only through peaceful means. Volunteers should not be involved in any other activity. IRA leaders also authorized our representative to cooperate with IICD to complete the process so that it is proven that there are no weapons outside the operation in a way that builds public confidence and completes it as quickly as possible. We invited two independent witnesses from the Evangelical and Catholic Church to testify.

The Army Council made these decisions following an unprecedented internal discussion and consultation process with IRA units and volunteers. We appreciate the honest and frank manner in which the consultation process was conducted, as well as the depth and content of the submissions. We are proud of how we can agree with this truly historic discussion. The result of our consultations is a testament to strong support from IRA volunteers for Sinn Féin`s peace strategy. There are also widespread concerns about the inability of both governments and trade unionists to participate fully in the peace process. This has led to real difficulties. The vast majority of the Irish population fully supports this process. You and the friends of Irish unity around the world want the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

Despite these difficulties, our decisions were taken to advance our republican and democratic objectives, including our goal of a united Ireland. We believe that there is now another way to achieve this and to end British domination in our country. It is the responsibility of all volunteers to show leadership, determination and courage. We are very aware of the victims of our patriotic deaths, of those who went to prison, of the volunteers, of their families and of the wider Republican base. We reaffirm our view that armed struggle was entirely legitimate. We are aware that many people have suffered in this conflict. There is an imperative on all sides to achieve a just and lasting peace. The issue of defending the nationalist and republican communities has been addressed here. The company is responsible for the fact that the pogroms of 1969 and the early 1970s no longer breed. There is also a universal responsibility to address bigotry in all its forms. The IRA fully defends the objectives of Irish unity and independence, as well as the construction of the Republic, which was outlined in the 1916 proclamation.

We demand the unity and maximum effort of the Irish Republicans everywhere. We are confident that the Irish Republicans will be able to achieve our goals by working together. Every volunteer is aware of the importance of the decisions made by us, and all the “glaigh” are obliged to fulfill these orders fully.

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