Letter: March into crisis

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The Independent Culture
Sir: With the marching season now under way it is impossible to take David Trimble's position on decommissioning seriously.

The Unionists say they want the peace process to succeed but insist the IRA hand in their weapons as a precondition of Unionist participation. At the same time, they also insist on staging marches designed to provoke resentment in the nationalist community. How does this help the peace process?

They themselves could create the right climate for peace if they were prepared to support a cessation of those marches. They can hardly blame the IRA for dragging its heels in on decommissioning when every summer brings with it a new round of aggravation.

Until the marching issue is defused, the decommissioning impasse will be seen as no more than a devious plot to scupper the peace process in a way that allows Unionists to blame the other side.

The UK government will pick up the pieces if there is no agreement, so there is every justification to impose a ban on marches, if only to keep flashpoints to a minimum.

PATRICK TIERNEY

Hyde, Cheshire

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