Thoughts on peace in Northern Ireland
On Saturday 8th August 1998, the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) declared that it's campaign of violence is totally and unequivocally over. I think that this is one of the most significant announcements since the IRA ceasefire. This announcement has, as of Friday 18th December 1998, been backed up with a "modest but significant" destruction of weapons. A total of nine weapons, along with assorted ammunition, were destroyed at an event to which the media was invited. This is the first time in the history of the Troubles that paramilitary weapons have been handed in to the authorities of the group's own free will. In my opinion, this also puts a lot of pressure on the IRA and other Republican organisations since the LVF was the last major Loyalist terror group still "active" so now that it has declared that it's campaign is over and so puts the ball firmly back in the Republican court, so to speak.