The IRA puts its arms beyond use in 2005 decommissioning process Fri 25 Sep 2015 08/12/2004: Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and British prime minister Tony Blair hold a news conference at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast. A major push to seal a political settlement stalled at the last moment over demands for photographic evidence of the IRA scrapping their arms. Photograph: Kieran Doherty/Reuters 27/7/2005: Martin McGuinness and Rita O'Hare arriving at Dublin Airport on their way to America in advance of an anticipated statement by the IRA. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times 28/07/2005: IRA releases a statement saying "The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann has formally ordered an end to the armed campaign. This will take effect from 4pm [1600 BST] this afternoon [Thursday 28 July 2005]. All IRA units have been ordered to dump arms. All Volunteers have been instructed to assist the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means. Volunteers must not engage in any other activities whatsoever." 01/08/2005: A British army handout photograph of a watchtower being dismantled by soldiers in Northern Ireland - (exact location unknown) Photograph: MoD/PA 01/08/2005: South Armagh as seen from a British Army Linx helicopter after Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain unveiled a two-year plan by the Brtish government to scale down security and change policing practices. Photograph: credit should read: Cathal McNaughton/PA 26/09/05: The Rev Harold Good and Fr Alec Reid at a press conference in Belfast confirming that they had witnessed the decommissioning of all IRA weapons and explosives. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times 26/9/05: “When they tell me, ‘That’s it’, and I have the evidence of my eyes that supports that contention I say I believe them” - Gen John de Chastelain, speaking at a press conference on the decommissioning of the IRA arms. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times One of the many heavy machine guns recovered by the security forces from the IRA. Photograph: PA The Weapons to be decommissioned included about 700 rifles, mostly Kalashnikovs but also some armalites, two or three tonnes of Semtex, about 50 machine guns, a couple of high-powered sniper rifles, hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition, rocket launchers, detonators, flame throwers, revolvers and at least one surface-to-air missile. 26/09/2005: Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams (centre) with chief negotiator Martin McGuinness (right) and Caitriona Ruane (left) arrive for a press conference at the Waterfront hall after it emerged the IRA had put all of its weapons beyond usePhotograph: Paul Faith/PA 26/09/2005: “This afternoon the people of Northern Ireland watched a programme which illustrates more than ever the duplicity and dishonesty of the two governments and the IRA. Instead of openness there was the cunning tactics of a cover-up and a complete failure from Gen John de Chastelain to deal with the numerics of decommissioning.” – DUP leader Ian Paisley at a press conference in the party’s Belfast office following the decommissioning statements. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times 26/09/2005: A man walks past a Republican mural in North Belfast after it emerged the IRA destroyed its weapons. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA ‘The gun of the IRA is out of Irish Politics’ - Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. Above: Mr Ahern, with Minister for Justice Michael McDowell (left) and Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern, at Government Buildings. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times 27/09/2005: The front page of The Irish Times announces the news.