Irish Primate Applauds IRA Disarmament

Archbishop Brady of Armagh Speaks on Vatican Radio

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ROME, OCT. 30, 2001 ( The Catholic Church in Ireland has greeted with hope the announcement that the Irish Republican Army is disarming.

The Church also applauded the British government´s parallel decision to dismantle some military barracks in the six counties of Ulster and grant amnesty to imprisoned Northern Ireland paramilitary members.

Archbishop Sean Brady of Armagh, primate of All Ireland, who spoke on Vatican Radio, expressed his happiness and that of the entire Irish episcopate at the developments, which allow for an end to an era of hatred.

«I think it is beautiful news that injects great hope in the peace process,» he said. «The British military authorities confirmed that the disarmament process has begun concretely, which means that the IRA is really determined to pursue peace.

«Now, the different parts and structures involved in this process can return to work in this respect. We hope that all this will lead to a better life.»

Archbishop Brady hopes that these events «will lead to the end of violence, at least in an initial phase.»

«It is true that a campaign of violence exists, that the paramilitary (members) still do not respect the cease-fire,» he added. «However, we hope that they will adjust rapidly because this will make possible a peace initiative on the basis of the 1998 Good Friday Agreements, which have cost so much work and so many negotiations.

«This is the only path to take: that all parts decide to collaborate for a return to normalcy in Northern Ireland. Our hope lies in this. This is what we have requested, what all religious leaders have always requested over the past years. The peace process now has a new opportunity.»

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