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Terrorism can only be defeated by will of people

It is a sad fact that Northern Ireland continues to be plagued by residual terrorism, notwithstanding official ceasefires following the Good Friday Agreement.

Regrettably, there are incidents of terror-related activity associated with letter bombs, pipe-bombs, petrol bombs, vicious sectarian attacks and savage parading violence.

Dare it be said: the good people in the south, though we be Irish, must thank our unionist brothers and sisters who have insisted that terrorism and its organisations leave the stage before political engagement.

We in the Republic do owe a debt of thanks to unionists who continue to the present day and beyond to make it clear that political violence is to be condemned and will have political consequences if there is a return.

Notably, the DUP still insists on disbandment (Jeffrey Donaldson in particular), notwithstanding decommissioning, which is a valid claim - if all are truly committed to democratic means.

Unionism was right to insist on the abolition of physical force politics and to demand that those who preferred military options should accept peaceful means.

It is unfortunate that terrorism has not gone completely away, as was signified by the Good Friday Agreement. That was an expression of the will of the people on this island to purely democratic approaches.

Terrorism must be abandoned and this can only be done by people continuing to insist on it.

Maurice Fitzgerald

Co Cork

Belfast Telegraph


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