Monday, January 29, 2007

Make that two good days(!)

It even was a good day in the Emerald Isle, long known for gloom and conflict in winter.

Thirty-five years ago Tuesday, l4 Irish Catholics lost their lives in the so-called Bloody Sunday massacre in Londonderry, northern Ireland. Their deaths came at the hands of the British army, called in to "keep order" after the implosion of the overwhelmingly Protestant police force in l969. No self-respecting Irish Catholic had any respect for, or trust in, the police service in those days because they served the interests of Protestants, who denied Catholics the basic civil rights every other resident of the United Kingdom enjoyed.

Today, just l4 years after the l993 cease-fire, Sinn Fein--the political arm of the Irish Republican Army-- expressed its overwhelming approval of northern Ireland's police force, which is now integrated and functioning in the post-Good Friday peace agreement regime. This represents maybe the most important step towards a full power-sharing agreement between Catholics and Protestants there, which is the only solution that will satisfy all interested parties.

Sinn Fein leader Martin McGuinness said that he wavered on the police agreement briefly when families of IRA volunteers killed by police read a statement of protest and walked out of one of the preliminary meetings. "My heart left the room with them," McGuinness admitted, but "my head stayed in the room." That quote says a lot about the entire peace process there.

Blessed are the peacemakers. Peace IS possible anywhere if it is becoming a reality in the land that introduced car bombs to the world.


Blogger Carol Gee said...

I find your post to be poignant and ironic. Thanks for some good & promising news. Let us hope that the process moves a bit faster in the mid-east than it took in Ireland. I am not holding my breath, however.

4:06 PM  

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