LETTER:Common sense on Ireland

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The Independent Online
From Mr Peter Hughes

Sir: Sadly, Patricia Moynihan's thesis (letter, 30 December) on IRA and Sinn Fein nervousness is sentimental, to say the least. Since 1970, the IRA has operated a mafia-style rule of law which has netted it millions of pounds and could be likened to the "Roaring Twenties" in Chicago, with modern-day Al Capones ruling certain areas of Northern Ireland with an iron fist. Under no circumstances do these men wish to see peace return because with it will go their source of income.

The degree of trust Ms Moynihan espouses cannot occur because, even with the best will in the world, the "warlords" will only compromise on their terms, which require the gun. The people presently in control of the IRA are far removed from those involved in 1921, both in objectives and the means to obtain them.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Hughes

Shepshed, Leicestershire

30 December