Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Time for a bright and unified future

Easter is traditionally a time for family holidays, and also for reflection and renewal when people from all religious backgrounds mark one of the most significant periods in the yearly Christian calendar.

It is all the more shocking and depressing, therefore, that dissident republicans in Lurgan have chosen this time to launch another cowardly attack on the forces of law and order by placing a bomb in a dog-waste bin, and in broad daylight.

Dissident republican attacks have a particularly sinister purpose at this time because they relate to the upheaval of the Easter Rising nearly a century ago. However, nothing justifies the continued violence from those whose only contribution to our future is the bomb and the bullet.

It is shocking that these misguided dinosaurs continue to spew out their predictable bile from public platforms in our midst to commemorate past violence, and, although they command a minimal audience, there is no escaping their deadly intent.

Sinn Fein has strongly condemned such activists and rightly describe them as anti-peace process elements, but questions should also be asked about the wisdom of re-enacting the Easter Rising on the Falls Road in Belfast.

Some people continue to support the aims of the armed Easter Rising of long ago, while others from a different persuasion have paid tribute to the founders of the Ulster Covenant, but it is difficult to see how the continued glorification of past events can move all of us forward towards a future in which everyone can share.

Surely the time has come when people on all sides must take a hard look at the endless commemoration of events which are held dear by one side or the other, but which are ultimately divisive for all of us.

Once again the republican dissidents have shown this weekend – by their words and by their actions – that they have no part to play in shaping our future. Easter is a time to move forward with hope on those things which unite us, and not to hark back to a deadly past which can only lead to a dead-end future.

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