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Sinn Fein

Sinn Fein

Sinn Feinresearch paper due and don't know how to start it? How about like this?

In a surprise announcement on May 7th, 1998 leaders of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, have endorsed the Northern Ireland peace agreement and will recommend that the party's supporters approve it in a referendum.

A document drawn up by the Sinn Fein national executive to this effect was leaked to news organizations in Belfast on May 6, 1998. The IRA also was reported to have agreed to allow members of Sinn Fein to take seats in a proposed Northern Ireland assembly to be elected in June under terms of the peace agreement.

Sinn Fein members elected to the British Parliament always have refused to take their seats on the following grounds:

  1. Sinn Fein members will not swear allegiance to the British queen
  2. Sinn Fein previously they opposed participation in an Ulster assembly as legitimizing British rule over Northern Ireland

The two decisions represent a vote of confidence for the political strategy pursued by Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams. British Prime Minister Tony Blair is encouraged by the news and has urged voters to approve an end to 30 years of conflict that has caused 3,200 deaths and left more than 30,000 people injured.Hope of the movement towards peace has elated both sides of the issue.

Another important factor in finding a permanent solution to the tragedy of Northern Ireland is the positive attitude from the IRA and Sinn Fein as demonstrated in the actions at the end of July. The main warring factions seemed to have an intractable stance in the past that led to the many battles that took place. The new movement by the IRA and Sinn Fein should be nurtured by the government of Ireland and the United Kingdom. For years, mistakes by officials had exacerbated the animosity between the representatives of the Protestants and the IRA. One example of the governments getting off to a bad start takes place in 1920. "Nationalist Ireland was outraged when the island was divided by the 1920 Government of Ireland Act, but the attention of the Dáil, Sinn Fein and the IRA remained fixed resolutely on their struggle in the south. Before and during the treaty negotiations the question of partition was not taken seriously by the Irish leaders ". Actions by the governments contributed to the hatred that fueled the violence for so many years. "It was quite enough that the party could appeal to what John Dillon would later describe as 'the hatred and distrust of the British Government-a sentiment which is in the blood and marrow of all Irish men and women". Hopefully, the governments involved will build on the progress made by the commission led by Senator Mitchell and the positive steps made by the IRA on July 28, 2005.

A peaceful solution to the violence in Ireland needs strong leaders who will encourage and retain the optimism that Senator Mitchell fostered and held when he finished the work of his commission. Many of the stakeholders and the pundits seem to hold to the view that the problem is too complex and too ancient for any solution to hold. "The Northern Ireland conflict is much too complex and deep to have a simple solution--there is too much at stake for everyone involved in it and the roots go back for far too many generations". Konnikova discusses in this same article the numerous factions that exist. This article also brings some pessimism that any moves to disarm will not hold for previous attempts at disarmament did not prove fruitful in the past. The leaders, including official government leaders, must use effective practices to engender a hope that both sides can work together to provide a life of peace and prosperity to the people involved. These leaders must take dynamic, creative steps to find ways that the people of Northern Ireland can integrate the two separate societies into a unified nation. The children must mix in the neighborhoods and schools, so they will not perpetrate the divided society in which their parents matured. Measures such as those initiated in the United States to provide racially desegregated schools might work to foster understanding in Ireland. Most children live in neighborhoods with people of only one religion and go to schools in those same neighborhoods. Integrating the schools in a community might force the next generation to have contact with the children of the enemies of their parents. Hopefully this contact would foster tolerance and understanding.

The positive step that the IRA made on July 28, 2005 must be sustained. The stakeholders must find a way to build on this initiative with further positive measures. The people must find a way to forget the hostilities of the past, so that the children will not have to suffer the horrible violence that their parents lived with for so many years.

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