Letters: Peace in Ireland
Tuesday 13 April 1999
However, what is most certainly realistic is the notion of putting some weapons beyond use. There is no credible basis for any argument against passing control of some weaponry to the international decommissioning body. Removing a few pounds of Semtex from a hoard of several thousand pounds doesn't alter strategic military capability. Nor does it destabilise the equilibrium between various armed groups. Also, weapons cached two hundred miles south in Tipperary are completely redundant when defending Belfast ghettos.
Neither republicans nor loyalists should dismiss the importance of participating in a voluntary act of reconciliation. Republicans in particular have most to lose by walking away. Quite simply, the world in general, and the North American Irish diaspora in particular, will just not comprehend how republicans could even contemplate ignoring the expressed wishes of the Irish people.
It is not correct to describe an act of reconciliation as surrender. On the contrary, to freely proffer a token in the form of weapons is a sign of confidence and empowerment. It will be the most important gesture ever made in modern Irish politics, the defining moment which transforms the whole peace process from one formed between enemies to one sustained between nascent friends.
TV reviewBroadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair
Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere
TVThe Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'