An open letter to Dr Harold Good who has called on the DUP and Sinn Féin to restore Stormont:
Indeed ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’, Harold, but deception is never blessed.
Which voters in the referendum on the Belfast Agreement in May 1998 knew that there were secret deals with the IRA about On The Run letters?
Which voter knew about secret deals with the IRA about freedom to ‘house clean’ — that is, murder anyone the IRA felt was a threat to the peace deal?
Which supporter of the Belfast Agreement knew that the IRA would engage in bank robbery, murder, cover-ups and lies after 1998?
Who knew that IRA members would continue to lie about their past activities in the IRA and that victims seeking the truth about the IRA’s murders would continue to be denied justice
Who knew that the IRA would lie about the ‘disappeared’?
Who knew that republicans had in the peace a ‘Trojan horse’ strategy to “break the bastards”?
Who was aware that the republican movement would engage in an immoral campaign of litigation against security force members while taking no steps about thousands of human rights atrocities committed by the IRA?
That the unelected IRA Army Council would continue to give directions to republicans?
Who knew that Gerry Adams would declare to republicans across Ireland that he still believed paramilitary violence was a legitimate method of achieving political aims?
Or that the IRA would continue to withhold truth forever?
Who could have predicted that the Stormont Assembly would be collapsed and the Irish language retrospectively weaponised, which most republican leaders and nearly all followers never bothered to learn and can’t speak fluently?
Who knew that the republican movement’s abstention policy would be applied to Stormont in perpetuity?
Finally, and for me most importantly, the fingerprint of Christian peacemakers on a peace process should point to some moral or ethical change in those formerly engaged in mass murder, but the IRA is brazenly teaching young people that the IRA campaign of murder was both legitimate and to be celebrated.
There are those who appear to be proud of the IRA murder campaign — there is no hint of shame, of remorse or repentance at all.
And the biggest lie is being perpetrated right now is that the IRA has gone away.
Is this as good as it gets for Christian peace-making, Harold?
• Shane Paul O’Doherty is a former IRA bomber who has since repudiated violence and is a Christian. He is the author of ‘The Volunteer — A Former IRA Man’s True Story’ (HarperCollins, 1993)