The IRA had decided to lay down arms.
BELFAST, Northern Ireland – The Irish Republican Army renounced violence as a political weapon Thursday and said it will resume disarmament, taking a dramatic step designed to revive Northern Ireland peace efforts after a 35-year conflict that killed and maimed thousands.
Associated Press: IRA Ending Longtime ‘Armed Campaign’
A statement issued by the IRA begins:
All IRA units have been ordered to dump arms. All volunteers have been instructed to assist the development of purely political and democratic programs through exclusively peaceful means. Volunteers must not engage in any other activities whatsoever.
Associated Press: Text of IRA Statement