The potential now exists to move the situation towards a democratic and peaceful settlement. I am satisfied that Irish nationalism, if properly mobilised and focused at home and abroad, now has sufficient political confidence, weight and support to bring about the changes which are essential to a just and lasting peace.
Does Mr Adams's democratic vision take account of the aspirations of his Unionist fellow citizens? If so, it was careless of him not to say so, considering the evident anxiety which Unionists now feel, and the threat to peace if their anxiety is not allayed.
Whatever the views of Sinn Fein may be, it is now incumbent on more moderate nationalists, the SDLP and the Irish government in particular, to state clearly that the only settlement which interests them is one that gives full respect to the Unionist as well as the nationalist tradition, and that they will do all they can in the following months to help find such a settlement.
30 AugustReuse content