‘Redoubling’ of peace efforts in Northern Ireland urged

By staff writers
March 10, 2009

The Archbishop of Ireland yesterday called for a redoubling of efforts for peace, as a police officer died following a shooting in Craigavan, County Armagh.

The latest incident is happened near Lismore High School at Brownlow when police came under attack while investigating suspicious activity near the school.

The attack followed the weekend murder of two soldiers outside an Army base in Antrim. The Real IRA said they were responsible.

“The lethal attack on Massereene Barracks leaving two people dead and four injured is deeply distressing and deplorable” Alan Harper, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland said in a statement. “I send my heartfelt sympathy to those who have been bereaved or injured.”

“It has been clear for some time that there are forces of evil intent on destabilising our community and returning to days of confrontation such as we knew in the past but have been steadily working to move beyond” he continued.

“Across our community, efforts must be redoubled to create a respectful and inclusive society that ensures that there is no place in our midst for agents of terror. We remember those affected by this incident as we continue to pray for a sustained peace.”

Speaking on BBC Radio 4 yesterday morning, Rev Joel Edwards, a former director of the Evangelical Alliance who is now International Director of anti-poverty initiative Micah Challenge, paid tribute to those who had got the Northern Ireland peace process so far.

He said that “remedial action” would be needed in the immediate situation, but in the long run “people of peace” working across political, religious and cultural divides would continue to need to make the process work.

Catholics and Protestants in the province are pledging to use this “wake up call” to renew efforts to build for change and to ensure that the small minority who wish to derail the settlement do not succeed.

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.