Dennis Kennedy


The same dilemma remains for those in Northern Ireland today who genuinely want peace, reconciliation, and stability, but who at the same time see in what is termed the peace process, if not deceit, then much glossing over, a lot of ambiguity, and a deal of bad history. In 1921 the new institutions in Northern Ireland, the regional government and Parliament began life under the fiercest onslaught from Irish nationalism, both within its own boundaries and from the rest of the island. It was also critical of the early peace process under which John Hume of the SDLP had commenced dialogue with the representative of terrorism, Gerry Adams, and also under which democratic governments in London and Dublin were preparing to negotiate, or were already negotiating, with minority terrorist groups that they had long vowed to pursue relentlessly. The closing of nationalist ranks, including the Dublin Government, SDLP and Irish- America behind Sinn Fein in pressurising the British Government to accommodate Republican demands, meant the broader dialogue on a settlement in Northern Ireland was submerged in "conflict resolution" between a minority terrorist group and the British state.