Friday, July 29, 2005

IRA Decision A Courageous Initiative

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams
The IRA decision to lay down its arms represents a courageous and confident initiative and is a momentous defining point in the search for lasting peace with justice, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said today. He said it presented an unparalleled challenge and opportunity for every nationalist and republican. Mr Adams said in Dublin: “There is an enormous responsibility on us to seize this moment and to make Irish freedom a reality. “I would urge all Irish nationalists and republicans, including those who have shown such commitment as volunteers of the IRA, to put their undoubted talents and energy into building a new Ireland.” Mr Adams said history would not be kind to any government which played politics with today's developments. He said the British government must urgently address demilitarisation, equality and human rights and the Irish Government must actively promote Irish unity. Unionists, he insisted, must end their ambivalence to the Good Friday Agreement and make peace with the rest of the people of Ireland. The IRA statement could help revive the peace process but he warned that, in the short term, initiatives by the IRA were unlikely to change the attitude of their opponents in London and Dublin and within unionism. The road map was clear and Sinn Féin was a party looking forward to an end to British rule. They had a vision of a new future and they had the spirit and confidence to work with others to achieve this. Republicans and nationalists were now in a new area of struggle and there was a rule for everyone in that situation. Nation-building was too important to leave entirely to politicians, he said. Mr Adams said: “National liberation struggles can have different phases. There is a time to resist, to stand up and to confront the enemy by arms if necessary. “In other words, there is a time for war. There is also a time to engage, to reach out, to put the war behind us all. “There is a time for peace. There is a time for justice. There is a time for rebuilding. This is that time. This is the era of the nation builders.”