22 July 1999 Edition
Years of blood, tears, hopes and prayers culminated in the overwhelming ratification of the Good Friday Agreement. Yet what do the democracy-starved voters of Ireland receive in return? The pathetic scene of an empty chair signalling the simultaneous creation and collapse of the new power-sharing Executive government.
Rather than facing up to not only his own word, the mandate of the populace but the inevitable future of Ireland, premature Nobel Peace Prize recipient and Orange Order member, First Minister David Trimble, avenges his unilateral albeit futile attempts to rewrite the agreement by refusing to wait a matter of days to test the republican commitment to peace and failing to take his elected seat.
Evident to the world now, the decommissioning of silent guns was not the contentious issue. Trimble and like-minded unionists are paralysed by the overwhelming fear of democratically sharing power with Catholics.
To proceed with devolution would lead to the inevitable next step: the implementation of the Agreement's equality agendas. Trimble just couldn't go there. How could one possibly reconcile holding the bigoted and sectarian values of the Orange Order in one hand while democracy in the other?
To thine own self be true!
Folowing the wonderful successes for Sinn Féin in the recent 26-County local government elections, areas have been left with huge financial debts. In most cases, these are cleared by the running of dances.
People from other areas have contacted me to obtain names and contact numbers for bands. I am in the process of compiling a list to address this need and it is my intention to circulate to all comhairle ceantair secretaries.
My concern is that I would omit some bands who have served us well.
May I, through the channel of your newspaper, request people to contact me with band names, phone numbers and contact persons to assist me in this task.
Secretary Monaghan Comhairle Ceantair,
21 Dublin Street,
Tel: 047 82917