“This is a good day for Ireland, a good day for all the people of this island… It is a day to be hopeful, to be sure that a new start is being made.”

Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein leader

 

Old enemies hail Northern Ireland’s new start

“Historic” does not even begin to describe this moment in time. About 80 years ago Neville Chamberlain prematurely, yet hopefully, announced “Peace in our time” after signing the Munich Agreement. War erupted shortly afterward.

Today, “Peace in our time” has been realized in Northern Ireland as 10 years of conciliation and work towards an end to sectarian violence have produced a power-sharing government with the promise of equality for all and an end to bigotry. Such great faith has been shown by both Unionists and Republicans in these efforts. A striking example is the fact that Sinn Fein will administer the department of education. For a long, long time schools in Northern Ireland have been segregated between Protestants and Catholics. To begin ending that segregation by sharing responsibility shows the faith the DUP and Ian Paisley have in the new government.

Tony Blair, who has been lambasted for his support of the Iraq war and forced out as Prime Minister, should be recognized and exalted for his efforts in bringing about an everlasting peace in Northern Ireland. So too should Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness who were once bitterly sworn enemies and now lead the new government as First Minister and Deputy First Minister respectively. Finally, all of the citizens of the Irish isle on both sides of the border should be commended for their commitment to peace and their courage to see it through. They have set an example to the nations and people of the world that differences can be resolved and peace realized.

Let this moment in time stand as a beacon of hope.

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