Friday 9 December 2016

How the troubled hands of history can be grasped in bonds of friendship

Published 21/05/2015 | 02:30

'And I shall have some peace there for peace comes dropping slow.' More than 35 years after his beloved great-uncle was assassinated on holiday in Ireland, precisely the right notes of reconciliation, regret and, above all, empathy were struck by Prince Charles as he quoted that familiar line from WB Yeats.

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Peace was, indeed, a long time coming. Nor can it be taken for granted. With this in mind, I offer a sincere thanks to both Prince Charles and Gerry Adams for their handshake. The visit to Mullaghmore was about healing, but the handshake in Galway was intended to maintain the momentum of the peace process.

The deceptively simple gesture of two men extending a hand to one another acts as another hook tethering peace in place. We can't have too many such fasteners.

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