N.Ireland Peace Process

In the quite recent past, the idea of Rev Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams coming together to share power in N.Ireland, sounded almost laughable. Yet the unthinkable has become a reality with both leaders of the N.Ireland's most extreme political parties agreeing to work for a better future.

Rev Ian Paisley

"We must not allow our justified loathing of the horrors and tragedies of the past to become a barrier to creating a better and more stable future.

"In looking to that future, we must never forget those who have suffered during the dark period from which we are, please God, emerging. We owe it to them to craft and build the best future possible and ensure there is genuine support for those who are still suffering.

"With hard work and a commitment to succeed, I believe we can lay the foundation for a better, peaceful and prosperous future for all our people."

Gerry Adams leader Sinn Fein

"I believe the agreement reached between Sinn Fein and the DUP, including the unequivocal commitment, made by their party executive and reiterated today, to the restoration of political institutions on 8 May, marks the beginning of a new era of politics on this island."

The relationships between the people of this island have been marred by centuries of discord, conflict, hurt and tragedy.

"In particular this has been the sad history of orange and green. Ach tá tus nua ann anois le cuidiú De [But there is a new start now, with the help of God].

"Sinn Fein is about building a new relationship between orange and green and all the other colours, where every citizen can share and have equality of ownership of a peaceful, prosperous and just future.

A driving force behind this significant peace development was the people of Northern Ireland's desire to move on from the suffering of the past. Interestingly the last election was dominated by the economy with both parties agreeing that improving the economic situation of N.Ireland was an important priority.

It is often said unemployment and poverty can breed political extremism, so if the economy can be effectively rebuilt there is a real chance for a lasting peace in N.Ireland.

The Hands of history

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