Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Regrets at opportunities we have lost

The publication by the Belfast Telegraph of posters covering past events and of extracts from Gerry Fitt's biography remind us how the rejection of moderation and compromise led us into years of violence and extremism.

In 1974 unionists and loyalists were unwilling to share power with nationalists or accept the limited involvement of the Republic, proposed by the Sunningdale Agreement. As a result, the power-sharing Executive was brought down.

Republicans rejected Gerry Fitt's moderate nationalism and drove him out of the country.

In 1985, unionists said 'No' to the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

Now, after years of saying 'No' the DUP are expected to share power with Sinn Fein and there is a greater North-South involvement. If only there had been a willingness to compromise 30 years ago, how much violence and destruction and misery we would have been spared.

As Alf McCreary has so wisely written: "People long for peace but in the ballot box vote for confrontation."



MARGARET MARSHALL Belfast

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