29 September 2005 Edition
Unlocking the future
Unlocking the future
The root causes of IRA activity for the past three decades have been the unjust partition of Ireland, the physical, political and economic repression of the nationalist population of the occupied Six Counties, and the absence of any other credible or effective means of progress towards freedom and democracy.
The republican peace strategy, the confidence of nationalists in the North and the growing strength of the Sinn Féin mandate throughout Ireland have all altered the political landscape in recent years. There now exists a credible, alternative, peaceful strategy to attain the freedom of Ireland and to establish democracy and equality for all our people.
The intelligence, courage and flexibility of the leadership of Oglaigh na hÉireann has been a crucial factor in bringing about this sea change. At every step of the way the IRA has supported and sustained the Peace Process. On numerous occasions the IRA rescued the process from total collapse. The organisation has taken initiative after initiative to move the process forward. It had done so in the face of the worst type of political cynicism, lethargy and outright obstruction from enemies and opponents. For many republicans it seems it is the IRA which always has to jump first and without due reciprocation.
For some time now the opponents of the Peace Process have sat in the middle of the road and blocked political progress. Again it has been republicans, as those who seek maximum change, who have acted to clear the way forward. The latest IRA initiative in putting all of its arms beyond use is a brave act of faith in the republican and nationalist people to bring the freedom struggle forward to a successful conclusion.
British occupation, oppression, discrimination, sectarianism and partition are all remnants of the painful history of Ireland. They belong in the past and a strong, united Irish republican struggle will consign them to the past. A future based on freedom, democracy and equality beckons. In its latest, decisive move, the IRA has unlocked the future.