Top 'o the Mornin' to Peace

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Top 'o the Mornin' to Peace

Lift a pint of 'o yer favorite lager and cheer the news. The New York Times reports:
The Irish Republican Army today declared an end to its campaign of violence against Britain that claimed more than 3,500 lives over 36 years in an effort to unify Northern Ireland with the Irish Republic.

... "This may be the day on which, finally, after all these false dawns and dashed hopes, peace replaced war, politics replaces terror on the island of Ireland," Prime Minister Tony Blair said in a televised statement in London.

The statement by the IRA said that its leadership had "formally ordered an end to the armed campaign," as the organization calls its military activities, which are described by supporters as armed struggle and by adversaries as terrorism.

The shift followed growing revulsion among its Catholic supporters, both here and in the United States, at the I.R.A.'s involvement in organized crime and, since Sept. 11, at global terrorism.

"Our decisions have been taken to advance our republican and democratic objectives, including our goal of a united Ireland. We believe there is now an alternative way to achieve this and to end British rule in our country," the statement said, apparently referring to the advances of its Sinn Fein political arm in both Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

"All I.R.A. units have been ordered to dump arms," said the (recorded) statement ... by a former I.R.A. prisoner, Seanna Walsh. The statement also pledged "to complete the process to verifiably put its arms beyond use" -- a reference to the I.R.A.'s reputedly vast hidden stockpiles of weapons.

The I.R.A. also invited two independent clerics, one Catholic, one Protestant, to "testify" to disarmament.
If that reference to beer bothered anyone who felt it played to ethnic stereotypes, please be reassured that I am well aware that the Irish have nothing over the British when it comes to guzzling beer.

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