For Sinn Fein, armed violence and political work are not distinct and opposite, but parallel and complementary. To quote Mr McKittrick ('IRA signals a historic ceasefire', 26 August): 'Now the republicans believe their goals may be more productively pursued through politics than through violence.'
Sinn Fein are not dignifying failure, they are exploiting success. The real 'historic step' is not a 'dramatic' change in Fenian policy, but the creation of a new political alliance.
For the first time since 1931, Sinn Fein, with the willing help of John Hume, has consolidated Irish nationalists in Ireland and America into one bloc. They evidently believe that with this mass they can impose enough 'moral' pressure on British ministers and the North Irish Unionists to break the Union.
A. D. WHITE
30 AugustReuse content