In an unprecedented move, the IRA has agreed to decommission up to 500 shillelaghs by the end of 2015. The shillelaghs, believed to have been a gift from Colonel Gaddafi in the 1980's, will be chopped up by a group of neutral Canadian lumberjacks, overseen by Gen. John de Chastelain. The wood will then be burned to prevent any later reconstruction.
The DUP has demanded photographic evidence to ensure that no effigies are placed on the fire in an act of symbolic defiance.
"If they were to place a dummy of our Dear Leader on the bonfire, then that would prove that they aren't really committed to this process and we would then have to boycott the suspended assembly. Anyway, Libyan Shillelaghs? Sounds like they're just getting rid of some dodgy sex toys," said self-important spokesman Jeffrey Donaldson.
An IRA statement, released through Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, and apparently not written in his own handwriting, today said:
"The DUP are yet again making untenable demands and it's not a 'bonfire', it's a Celtic Pyre. Anyway, they can see the blaze from the secret army observation post on hill 3, two miles east of the dump."
The shillelaghs have long been a thorny problem in the search for peace. "Not only are they a symbol of despicable 'Oirish' culture," said DUP spokesgoblin Jeffrey Donaldson, "but they are also, essentially, big f****** sticks for beating people with. It doesn't change the fact that this is empty symbolism. Sure there isn't a Nationalist house or pub in the country that doesn't have at least one of these nailed to a wall somewhere."
The Organisation Not Known As The RUC (TONKATRUC) said: "We remain sceptical about the motives behind this. Surveillance recently picked up an Internet order from P. O'Neil for 500 baseball bats. What makes us suspicious is that he didn't order any balls."
Sceptics believe that the IRA is merely trying to improve its public image while secretly upgrading its weaponry. One security expert told us: "These shillelaghs have been stashed in Waterford for years, they're rotten through. If you tried to kneecap a dealer with one, the worst you might do is get a splinter stuck in his trousers. Anyway, it's much easier to smuggle a gun into a bank."