7 APRIL 2005
STATEMENT FROM DR. SEÁN BRADY, ARCHBISHOP OF ARMAGH
ON THE ADDRESS BY MR. GERRY ADAMS MP, SINN FÉIN TO THE IRA
I welcome these helpful and very significant words from the President of Sinn
Féin. If acted upon convincingly and conclusively, they have the potential
to unlock a new and fresh hope in the possibility of a lasting peace in
I hope the IRA will respond quickly and generously. I plead with them to do
so. People are weary of the old ways of the past. They yearn for and they
deserve so much more. A new and a better way is possible. This is the way
of exclusively political and democratic activity, the way of patient dialogue
and understanding, the way of equality and integrity, with shared respectful
responsibility for our common future and success. That common future includes
a firm commitment to one, agreed system of justice, government and law and order.
It implies an end to all intimidation, subversive activity and violence.
Here in Rome, millions of people have gathered to celebrate the life of a
man who changed hearts and minds, and even political systems across the world.
He did so through honesty and truth, diplomacy and dialogue and through the
courage of his convictions. He did not apologise for anything he believed. He
was fearless and confident in making his case. Yet he always treated people
with courtesy, warmth and respect. He was a living example of how to make
peace in a global world, of how to achieve justice with dignity and equality
with generosity. On departing our shores in October 1978 he said, ‘I came to
ask all Ireland to lift up its heart to a new vision of hope.’ In this important
moment for Northern Ireland, created by the welcome initiative announced
yesterday, I pray that we might hear in death the words which he spoke with
such passion in his life, in his very first days as Pope: ‘The road to real
human progress is through cooperation among peoples and nations…. This path
alone affirms our human dignity. This path alone can truly set us free.’
Destiny did not allow Pope John Paul II to visit Northern Ireland as he had
wished. What a joy if instead our land were to be visited with lasting peace.
7th April 2005
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Brenda Drumm Communications Officer (087 233 7797)