There is a new likelihood that the IRA will decommission its weapons.
Gerry Adams, president of Sinn Fein, asked the IRA for "a groundbreaking move on the arms issue." Sinn Fein is the political arm associated with the Irish Republican Army.
The prospective decommissioning, which would involve "putting weapons beyond use," would give new hope to the Irish peace process, so tenuous lately. A settlement was signed in 1998.
There have been some gruesome squabbles between Northern Irish sectarians recently.
The political dynamic has changed dramatically. (If this is good news come from bad, then so be it.) "After September 11th," as the saying goes worldwide. The IRA finds itself currying a lesser sympathy, receiving less money from Irish-Americans. Additionally, three men associated with the IRA are implicated in activities in aid of FARC, a violent and narcotrafficking group in Colombia. The dynamic has just changed.
Decommissioning weapons certainly may work quite in favor of republican-minded folksand now it's politically feasible.
(I just heard on the radio, 2 FM, that the IRA has implemented a plan for decommissioning.)