Letters: Old hatreds, new woes in Ireland

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Sir: Why does the IRA refuse to give up the bomb and the gun? A hypothesis suggests itself if we start from the question "What have they got to lose by giving democracy and peace a chance?"

The IRA leaders have devoted their entire lives to their war. They have climbed up through the ranks of their army to become important people with the power of life and death over their fellow men. If peace were to succeed, they would certainly lose their army, their positions, their livelihood and their power. Worse, it will have been proved that the way of violence had not succeeded. Their whole lives will have become meaningless and their future prospects bleak.

If the IRA's men are simply trapped by their need for power, which can only be justified by their continued use of it, we can still expect more of the same.


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