Are we really to believe all guns were handed in?

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor
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The book ‘The Accidental Spy’ by author Sean O’Driscoll relates an alleged remark that the Real IRA had taken so many weapons from Provo bunkers that mainstream republicans barely had any left which could be presented for decommissioning.

On September 26, 2005, Rev Ken Good and Fr Alec Reid jointly stated “at the end of the process it demonstrated to us; and would have demonstrated to anyone who might have been with us; that beyond a shadow of doubt the arms of the IRA have now been decommissioned”.

In support of this statement General John deChastelain, accompanied by the two churchmen told a news conference: “We are satisfied that the arms decommissioned represent the totality of the IRA’s arsenal. We have observed and verified events to put beyond use very large quantities of arms which we believe include all the arms in the IRA’s possession.”

He further added this: “They had handled every gun and made an inventory of the weapons, including a full range of ammunition, rifles, machine guns, mortars, missiles, handguns, explosives. explosive substances and other arms including all the categories described in the estimates provided by the UK and Irish security services.

“Our new inventory is consistent with these estimates. We are satisfied that the arms decommissioning represents the totality of the IRA’s arsenal.” Whilst Tony Blair added his two bits worth when he said: “IRA decommissioning had been finally accomplished”.

Were we all conned again (along with the two clerical observers) by the lies, deceit, and the cheats within the Blair government into believing that the Provos actually decommissioned all their weapons?

William Spence, Belfast BT13