Monday 24 April 2017

Martina Devlin: Peace didn't mean justice as a greater good was brought into play

The Funeral of former IRA Man Kevin McGuigan took place at St Mathew's Church on tuesday, Mr McGuigan, 53, was murdered at his home at Comber Court in the Short Strand area of east Belfast last Wednesday.
The Funeral of former IRA Man Kevin McGuigan took place at St Mathew's Church on tuesday, Mr McGuigan, 53, was murdered at his home at Comber Court in the Short Strand area of east Belfast last Wednesday.
Martina Devlin

Martina Devlin

Let's set aside the image of mistrustful politicians in Stormont for a moment, and consider what the peace process has meant for Ireland over the past two decades. A beauty - terrible in some ways - was born because peace came, but at a price.

In the Republic, the price tag wasn't much considered because the North was no longer on the radar, now that images of havoc were not transmitted daily on television screens.

But people in the North, and in the border region, knew that creative ambiguities had been allowed in the interests of nudging a settlement over the line. Among those ambivalences were the links between political and military activity. The political accountability of militant Republicanism was never insisted on in the interests of persuading its leaders to stay inside the tent.

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