7 April 2005 Edition
Seizing the initiative
Gerry Adams' appeal to the IRA on Wednesday is the latest in a series of initiatives undertaken by republicans to advance the peace process, the IRA cessation of 1994 being the most powerful example.
It is a determined effort to break the logjam in the peace process, which has not moved since last December.
As Adams points out, it is not in the interest of the majority of the people on this island, particularly republicans, that the vacuum in the peace process continues.
It is up to republicans to take back the initiative.
Some republicans may feel that this isn't the time for such an initiative. Some might think that at a time when republicanism is under attack we should keep our heads down and try to move on.
But we cannot prevail by being defensive.
We cannot move on without being strategic and seizing back the initiative. We can't move on without facing up to our responsibilities.
The IRA will no doubt carefully consider Gerry Adams' view of where the struggle is at.
Others also have a role in putting the peace process back on track.
As Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said in his reaction to the speech, it also deserves a positive response from the British and Irish governments and from the unionist parties. The Irish government in particular should use this opportunity to return the political process to the path of progress.