In what has been described as an historic move, the IRA has ended its armed campaign.
From 4 o'clock on the afternoon of the 28 July 2005, the organisation finally ended its thirty five year paramilitary campaign. In a statement the organisation said that all IRA units have been ordered to dump their arms.
They have authorised their representative to re-engage with the decommissioning body. The statement goes on to say that volunteers have been instructed to use exclusively peaceful means, and not to engage in any other activities whatsoever.
All IRA units have been ordered to dump arms. All volunteers have been instructed to assist the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means. Volunteers must not engage in any other activities whatsoever.
The statement was read by Séanna Breathnach (Walsh) who became the first IRA member since 1972 to represent the organisation without wearing a mask.
At a press conference Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams stated
There's a time to resist, to stand up and to confront the enemy by arms if necessary, in other words unfortunately there's a time for war. There's also a time to engage, to reach out and put war behind us all. This is that time. This is a time for peace.
An RTÉ News report by Charlie Bird broadcast on 28 July 2005.