INLA ends campaign of violence

Sunday 11 October 2009 21.25
Bray - INLA ends armed struggle
Bray - INLA ends armed struggle

The INLA has announced that it is to end its armed struggle.

In a statement read out at the commemoration of its founding member, a spokesperson said that it would continue its campaign for a 32 County Socialist Republic through peaceful and political means.

This afternoon in Bray, Co Wicklow, around 60 republicans and socialists gathered for their annual commemoration of Seamus Costello founded the Irish National Liberation Army 35 years ago.

After the traditional wreath-laying ceremony, a member of the Irish Republican Socialist Party, the political wing of the INLA, announced that the organisation had decided to end its armed struggle.

He said that the group had concluded that its objective of a 32 County Socialist Republic was best achieved through peaceful and political means.

The announcement brings to an end a 35 year campaign which has claimed around 150 lives.

After the IRA called its ceasefires in the 90s and eventually ended its campaign, the INLA remained in existence.

The INLA was notorious for the ruthless nature of its attacks and today's decision is both a significant and welcome development.

In recent years it was involved in several murders and has remained active in Derry, Strabane, parts of Belfast and in Dublin.

The PSNI and gardaí often linked it to racketeering and drugs related businesses.