A little clarification over the arms that weren’t decommissioned:
We referred in our Eighth Report to our having received reports that not all PIRA’s weapons and ammunition had been handed over for decommissioning in September 2005. We did not say three months ago that the PIRA leadership had in any way given instructions to retain arms. Indeed, our present assessment is that such of the arms as were reported to us as having been retained, would have been withheld under local control despite the instructions of the leadership. We note that, as reported by the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD), the leadership claimed only to have decommissioned all the arms “under its control”8.
The relevant points are that the amount of un-surrendered material was not significant in comparison to what was decommissioned and that these reports do not cast doubt on the declared intention of the PIRA leadership to eschew terrorism and to follow the political path.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty