Friday, March 30, 2007

Peace for Northern Ireland

How wonderful that the first message on my new blog could be about peace in Northern Ireland!! However, it is wise to remember before enthsiasm overwhelms us that peace remains only a possibilility. To transform that possibility into reality will take hard work, commitment, and patience.

I've just returned from a book tour in Northern Ireland which happened to coincide with the election there. Therefore, politics was a frequent subject of conversation. There seemed to be general agreement among the politically savvy that the majority of Nationalist and Unionist voters would be really upset if the moment of peace was wasted. Most felt that this was the first such hopeful moment in the long and painful history of Irish relgious animosity.

There was, however, one other moment of opportunity that I know of. It occurred during the summer of 1830, almost 177 years ago. The leaders of the town of Newry called a meeting to declare religious peace. Speeches were made by the leaders of the Catholic, Presbyterian and Established churches asking their members to extend the "hand of friendship' to friends and neighbors of all religions. They expressed a fervent hope that the Newry Peace would spread throughout the country, that relgious hatred and intolerance would end in Ireland forever.
Sadly the peace movement was soon overwhelmed by events which the Newry leaders could not influence or control. The process by which this tragedy occurred are detailed in my book, Dwelling Place of Dragons. Hopefully this time, peace will prevail.

March 30, 2007

1 comment:

Bill Harshaw said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging.