Letter: Peace with Paisley

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I would love to have seen the IRA reaching out for compromise with even a token initial gesture of decommissioning. However, Sinn Fein is correct that prior decommissioning was not agreed and the demands now being made by Mr Trimble look depressingly like moving towards a rejection of peace.

Mr Trimble knows, like the majority of people in Ireland, that a return to war by the IRA is now hugely remote. There has essentially been peace since 1995 and the IRA's record in this respect cannot be denied. Violence on the streets of Ireland has for the most part been the responsibility of loyalists. Fear of their neighbours by the Catholic people is real.

The Unionists should bear this in mind whilst making up their minds on the peace proposals. They should also bear in mind that Sinn Fein has a real electoral mandate. The Democratic Unionist Party has this mandate too and whilst Unionists do not want to sit down with Sinn Fein they should consider how nationalists must feel about sitting with Ian Paisley.


London N2