“We were saying the armed struggle’s failed, it can’t win,” Quinn explains.
The jails are filling up, people are dying left, right and centre and the British are getting the better hand on us. Obviously we knew in our hearts that we were deeply, deeply infiltrated at a very high level. The armed struggle had to stop. We’d dump weapons, call the ceasefire, and then go into talks.
Quinn was then a senior member of the IRA’s East Tyrone brigade. In 1988 he had been caught in possession of a 1,000lb bomb and sentenced to 16 years in prison. That same year, the Sinn Féin leader, Gerry Adams, and his counterpart in the SDLP, John Hume, had begun talking ...
… The ceasefire was announced on August 31st, 1994, and he recalls being told the news. “Some of the people at, let’s say, the top table got very emotional, but most of the rest of us knew it was coming and accepted it and said yeah, it’s good. That’s fine.”
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