Letter: Ulster guns must go

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Sir: As a solicitor from Northern Ireland now working in London, I view the murder of Rosemary Nelson with the utmost revulsion.

Mrs Nelson, like many solicitors in the province, defended clients from both communities. Her crime in the eyes of her murderers was to promote her own democratic and law-abiding brand of Irish nationalism through her work.

Unlike Frank Murphy (letter, 17 March) I draw the conclusion that Mrs Nelson's death should only emphasise the need for a speedy beginning to the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons. Only when the gun is removed from Ulster's political arena can individuals like Mrs Nelson promote their cause safe in the knowledge that their views will be regarded as part and parcel of life in a democracy.

Mr Murphy finds it "daft" that decommissioning should stop elected politicians taking part in the new Northern Ireland executive. Yet if democracy is to truly work, illegally held weapons must be removed. It is common knowledge within Unionist circles that even a token hand-over of weapons by Sinn Fein/IRA will allow First Minister Trimble to admit Messrs Adams and McGuinness into the Executive.


London SW15