Sir: David McKittrick's article "How the guns kept drugs out of Belfast" (21 December) states that everyone relaxes after a murder when it becomes clear that "the incident represents no threat to the ceasefires". In our experience, far from relaxing, everyone is greatly apprehensive after the recent murders, and few accept that they are not a breach of the ceasefire.
Mr McKittrick writes that "In the Republican districts, where drugs were taking hold, many people openly approved of this violence." A minority of people can be found to approve of the most dastardly deeds, but for everyone who approves there are three victims and their families who strongly disapprove.
Our view is that the IRA and its loyalist counterparts are guilty of the vilest human rights abuses, and the latest murders, leaving 10 children without fathers at Christmas, amount to an atrocity. To excuse these murders on social grounds is akin to arguing that the Nazis introduced law and order to a society that lacked it in the Thirties. The IRA would impose a similar regime here in Northern Ireland. We call on all right-thinking people to reject violence unequivocally.
Families Against Intimidation and Terror
22 DecemberReuse content