LETTER : IRA ceasefire ends: who bears the blame? Can the peace process be revived?

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The Independent Online
From Mr Edmund Burke

Sir: The Docklands bomb blast has, if anything, advanced the long-term peace process. The Prime Minister's reference to "the urgent need to remove illegal arms from the equation" ("Major condemns 'appalling outrage' ", 10 February) is now a point of no return.

The UK is not at war with the Republic of Ireland, and the unlicensed possession of firearms is illegal in both countries. The proposals to "suspend" statutes concerning firearms would have inflicted far greater damage on public security than any terrorist attack. To have abrogated the law in response to armed force would have put the entire nation in peril.

If the people of Quebec had the right to determine their future by means of the ballot box, then so should the people of Northern Ireland. Intimidationmust not be allowed to triumph.

Your faithfully,

Edmund Burke

Kingston upon Thames, Surrey

10 February