Ceasefire: The British view

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The Independent Online
I now know he did not die in vain. I believe my son's death was the turning-point in bringing peace.

Colin Parry, father of Tim Parry, who died in the Warrington bombing.

I thank God I have lived to see the day.

Lord Callaghan, who sent British troops into Northern Ireland 25 years ago

Watch carefully and you will see the Government of your country consummate the betrayal of a section of its own citizens. It will be called 'making peace'.

Enoch Powell, Daily Mail.

. . . the IRA statement is a tacit admission of failure. For a movement steeped in the ancestral mythology and cathartic purity of the armed struggle, its importance can hardly be overestimated. But don't expect the IRA to grovel and say sorry.


This is not the time to be pessimistic or cynical. This is not the time to start crying 'Sell-out.' This not the time to quibble about words.

Daily Mirror

Closer ties with the Irish Republic should not diminish the values which those of us who adhere to the principles of the Glorious Revolution hold dear. It is time to stop harping on the acknowledged failures of the Northern Irish state and to start seeking ways of reforming the Irish Republic.

Tom Paulin, poet

Never Forget . . . Never Forgive

Title of the Sun's 8-page 'ceasefire special'

What will it profit the Government to find Sinn Fein a place at the negotiating table, if loyalists feel driven to take to the streets?

Daily Mail

Politically, the IRA (aka Sinn Fein) is in better shape than ever. The extraordinary cosiness of its relations with the Dublin government is attested by the charmingly convenient timing of this ceasefire announcement, from the point of view of Albert Reynolds and Dick Spring.

Conor Cruise O'Brien in the Independent

Nothing tribalises people so much as fear, or detribalises them so much as peace.

William Rees Mogg, Times columnist

Even 25 years of horror has not shaken the desire (of the Unionist leadership) to recreate the old Stormont with its anti-Catholic discrimination fully intact.

Ken Livingstone, Labour MP for Brent

Far from being marginalised, the men of violence are to be moved to centre stage. To say that the (Downing Street) Declaration was a great victory for the IRA is not rhetoric; it is hard, Gradgrind fact.