2001-06-23 / Columnists

Failte by James Conway Sullivan

Failte by James Conway Sullivan

Now that the dust has settled, where exactly do we stand regarding the election results and future prospects for peace and justice in Northern (occupied) Ireland?

Well, the results are final and show the following:

1) Sinn Fein, the legal political arm of the IRA (Irish Republican Army) is the largest Catholic-Republican-Nationalist party in Northern Ireland.

2) The Democratic Unionist Party, (the bigoted Mr. Paisley’s party) is the winner in the Protestant-Unionist vote tallies, and is battling David Trimble’s Ulster Unionist party for the largest party in the north.

3) David Trimble, the first Minister (head) of the devolved Northern Ireland Assembly threatens to resign July 1 if the IRA has not totally disarmed and turned all its weapons in by that date, which would plunge the province into chaos.

Well, where do we go from here? If Trimble and his more moderate cohorts withdraw from the government, that leaves the two "Catholic" parties in the assembly with Paisley’s bigots. Their mottos are "No Surrender" and "Not an Inch;" this in regards to seeking peace and moderation with their Catholic neighbors!

The silent guns of the IRA are not the real problem. They have scrupulously observed their end of the bargain. Rather, Trimble’s losing ground to the radical anti-Catholic bigots led by Paisley presents a real political battle within the Unionist (Protestant) community. Trimble feels he must appear more hard-line or risk slow electoral extinction.

So, this is the new crossroads we are at—fueled by a feud within the Unionist community.

Only time will tell where this will all lead us. But the Catholic community, that slowly but surely, will be a majority in the next ten years, will not take a back seat and second-class citizenship again!

Let’s all pray and stay tuned!!!

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