Irish National Liberation Army ends militancy

The ‘Irish National Liberation Army‘ (INLA) group, responsible for more than 100 killings, including the murder of a Tory MP, has renounced its armed struggle.

“The Irish Republican Socialist Movement has been informed by the INLA that following a process of serious debate… it has concluded that the armed struggle is over,” Martin McMonagle from the group’s political wing said on Sunday.

He added that the paramilitary faction will now pursue its “objective of a 32-county socialist republic” through an “exclusively peaceful political struggle”.

The statement — made at a ceremony in Little Bray, south of Dublin — referred to the aim of creating a united Ireland, which would bring together counties in the British province of Northern Ireland.

The decision by the INLA was welcomed by Irish politicians. However, questions still remain on whether the group would decommission its weapons.

INLA, a splinter group of the main paramilitary Irish Republican Army (IRA), was responsible for some of the bloodiest actions in the Irish conflict after it came to prominence in 1975.

In one of its highest-profile attacks, the group killed British Conservative Party‘s Northern Ireland spokesman, Airey Neave in 1979, by planting a booby-trap bomb beneath his car at the House of Commons.

Neave was one of former prime minister, Margaret Thatcher‘s closest supporters.

Finally, in 1998, a peace accord brought to an end most of the violence which plagued Northern Ireland for three decades, leaving at least 3,500 people dead.

However during recent weeks, the Northern Ireland peace process has hit a stumbling block, following disputes between the main Protestant and Catholic parties.


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