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Provos Censor de Chastelain in Bid to Lie About Guns

Tom Luby • 2 October 2005

Provisional IRA chieftains withheld their approval of the statement IICD chairman General de Chastelain had prepared for last Monday's press conference announcing the completion of IRA decommissioning until he had removed a paragraph which asserted that the IRA had given him a personal assurance that all its weapons had been put permanently beyond use.

The General had intended to say in his statement given to the British and Irish governments and read out at last week's press conference in the Culloden Hotel that he had sought, and had been given an assurance from the IRA representative who liaises with the decommissioning body that every single one of the IRA's weapons had been given up to be put out of action.

According to sources familiar with the traffic between the international decommissioning body and the Provo leadership the IRA refused to accept the statement until this claim was dropped. The dispute with de Chastelain became heated and may have threatened the announcement of full decommissioning until the former Canadian General relented and agreed to the IRA demand.

However de Chastelain then used the press conference question and answer session to re-insert the assertion, a move which has, the sources say, angered the Provisionals' hierarchy.

In fact the General used the very first question he was asked, about whether the IRA may have retained weapons to defend Catholic areas from Loyalist attack to make the claim.

He said: "We put the question to the IRA, 'Are we getting everything?'. We did so because in the estimates that we received there was a range of items. We had to be sure for ourselves that what we got was what they had. They assured is that that was so."

The Provos' move to censor the head of the decommissioning body will strengthen suspicions that the IRA is once again attempting to employ deception in the decommissioning process.

One purpose may have been to give IRA leaders the room within which they could mislead their grassroots about the extent of decommissioning with an assurance that only a portion of the organisation's arsenal had been put beyond use. Another possible motive is that the IRA has in fact lied to de Chastelain about this matter and has not decommissioned every weapon in its possession - but did not want the lie to be put on record.

Disclosure of this dispute comes as Ian Paisley's DUP has declared itself to be less than satisfied that the IRA has fully decommissioned, although sources in the party are conceding that the testimony of the two clerical witnesses suggests a major act of decommissioning did in fact take place.

The dispute between the IRA and the General also takes place against a background replete with evidence of lies and deception surrounding decommissioning. After each of the previous three decommissioning acts, each described by de Chastelain as genuine, IRA leaders privately briefed their members that this was not so, saying either that it had not taken place at all, was of no significance or that IRA engineers had fooled the General by supplying him with fake weapons. The attempt to censor de Chastelain strongly suggests the same may happen again this time.

A statement issued by the IRA in the name of P O'Neill after de Chastelain's press conference supports this suspicion. It refers only to "arms" being decommissioned, not "all arms". It reads in full:

"The leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann announced on July 28th that we had authorised our representative to engage with the IICD to complete the process to verifiably put arms beyond use. The IRA leadership can now confirm that the process of putting our arms verifiably beyond use has been completed."
P O'Neill











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Index: Current Articles

6 October 2005

Other Articles From This Issue:

A Bleak Future
Anthony McIntyre

Provos Censor de Chastelain in Bid to Lie About Guns
Tom Luby

Taking Politics Out of the Gun
Brendan O'Neill

Sinn Fein - The Shark's Party
Mick Hall

Live From Hollywood: The IRA Disarms
Harry Browne

Show Us the Money
Dr John Coulter

Doris Dead
Anthony McIntyre

Whatever Happened to... 'er, You Know... Whatshisname?
Tom Luby

The Dirty War Goes On
George Young

Reject All British Institutions
Kevin Murphy

Capitalism Vs Socialism
Liam O Ruairc

Apology to Dr Dion Dennis and CTheory website
Carrie Twomey

27 September 2005

Analysis: Seconds Out — Round 2005
Anthony McIntyre

Reflections: British Victory at Culloden
Anthony McIntyre

Decommissioning Will Reveal Real Problem
Fr. Sean Mc Manus

Inclusive Republicanism
Maire Cullen

Wish List for Unionist Leadership
Dr John Coulter

Sunday World vs. Thugs
Mick Hall

Real and Relative Poverty
David Adams

How the Poor Live and Die
Fred A Wilcox

Poverty — Do You Get It?
Jan Lightfoottlane

Defending Multiculturalism
Anthony McIntyre



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