Hopes for peace in republican speech

IT IS to be hoped that a statement delivered by a spokesman for a dissident-linked group in Belfast during an Easter commemoration event will lead to a move away from violence by one of the organisations up until now engaged in attacks on police and members of the public.

At a Republican Network for Unity event in north Belfast a spokesman said the republican movement must "take heed of the wants and desires of the Irish people".

Later in the statement the spokesman said republicans "must act in a mature and realistic manner and act in accordance with the will of the people".

For some time now the will of the people has been made clear at the ballot box when in election after election parties and candidates opposed to the use of violence have been returned.

RNU is generally believed to have links with the military organisation known as Oglaigh na hÉireann, one of three main dissident republican groups.

If this statement is followed by a cessation of violence by that group it will still leave two other organisations ready to kill people but hopefully they too will realise the futility of their actions.

Too many people have been killed and injured already in a campaign which was against the will of the people.

Too many people have ruined their lives after joining these organisations and ending up in jail. It is to be hoped that this time next year all Easter commemorations will be about remembrance not about reiterating a violent intent which goes against the will of the people.