Added on 28/07/2005
In response to the IRA Statement Archbishop Robin Eames emphasises the moral issues involved in the current situation. Archbishop Eames said:
“Quite apart from the political debate which will follow this statement from the IRA there are moral issues which must be addressed.
Any moves which will remove the threat of terrorism and violence from the entire community must be welcomed. On this day my thoughts and prayers are for the many individuals and families who have lost loved ones through terrorism over the years. The victims of the past must never be forgotten.
The IRA statement could herald the beginning of a period of transition from violence to peaceful and democratic co-existence – but only if words lead to clear and unambiguous action. There is now a moral imperative for Republicanism to be seen to act. A community which has grown wary and weary of fine sentiments not linked to action will welcome this transition if it is genuine and clear.
Republicanism must understand that a majority of this community yearns for reassurance that words will be backed up by deeds. Unionism must recognise that given the history of Irish Republicanism the IRA statement is a significant development. It should not be dismissed easily – but its sincerity remains to be tested. All political parties must search out the possibilities of this new situation.
In dealing with this situation there is a need for government to recognise that if a period of stability and peaceful co-existence is to become a reality in Northern Ireland there is a moral imperative to be seen to act fairly and openly towards all communities and to accept that there are moral principles which should supersede political expediency.”
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