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We must retrieve morals lost along road to freedom

In December 1969, the IRA army council decided to give token recognition to the Westminster, Dublin and Stormont parliaments. From the ensuing split emerged the Provos.

Their vile 1971 murder of three young, off-duty Scottish soldiers, lured into a Belfast honey trap, set the scene for an obscene campaign plumbing the depths of human depravity, with thousands murdered and maimed along the way.

Eventually, riddled from top to bottom by informers and double-agents, Provo leaders began putting out peace feelers.

When the British and Irish governments responded with an offer of a pension process disguised as a peace process - as opposed to fair justice - they grabbed it with both hands.

The Provo campaign was a setback for political freedom.

It also coincided with the Celtic Tiger, which encouraged individual pursuit of material wealth and enjoyment.

In all of this, Ireland seemed to lose its balanced sense of moral values and social justice.

For the common good, it is presently incumbent upon all aspiring to, or exercising, authority to prioritise, promote and strengthen these values.

BRIAN ROONEY

Downpatrick

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