Saturday, March 31, 2007

old enemies make peace

Following up from, or adding to, my Northern-Ireland post of a few days ago...

Leaders of Northern Ireland's largest Protestant and Catholic parties stood in the same room for the first time and agreed to share power. Ian Paisley founded the pro-British Democratic Unionists in 1971, while Gerry Adams has been a key leader of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, since 1978--and in all that time, the two never met.

Paisley and Adams said they would govern jointly starting May 8. That would mean reimplementing the Good Friday accord of 1998, which provided for home rule for the British province of Northern Ireland, under an executive made up of both parties. "We must not allow our justified loathing for the horrors and tragedies of the past," Paisley said, "to become a barrier to creating a better and more stable future."

I wonder if Paisley and Adams are now on hit lists for more extreme groups within the Protestant and Catholic communities?