In an article published today by An Phoblacht Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney MLA has said arguments over the past should not be allowed to hinder the process of reconciliation or impede the necessary conversation already underway about the constitutional future of the island.
Declan Kearney states:
“The past in Ireland is contested because the future, and what shape it will take, is itself contested.
“The truth is no reasonable person, republican or otherwise, would seek to glorify the consequences of themost recent period of violent conflict, or any previous phase of armed struggle.
“The violence of our collective past throughout Irish history caused massive hurt and suffering on all sides, and by all sides; including combatants and non-combatants, and all their families.
“Acts of war and violence cannot be romanticised.
“It would be wrongheaded not to acknowledge that much has happened in Ireland’s history, and about which there are things, and on all sides,to be deeply regretted.
“However, embracing that reality does not mean that we can or should forget the past.
“The peace process points us all towards the importance of dialogue about how to live with the past; and how we should remember and commemorate our family, friends and comrades, with respect and sensitivity – mindful always of the loss of others.”
Turning to the importance of building reconciliation, the Junior Minister in the northern power sharing executive, writes:
“This unfinished work of the peace process, underlines the need to open up a new phase, based upon reconciliation and healing.
“We all have a part to play in developing reconciliation as Irish society moves through this decade of centenaries, and particularly as new, deeply challenging centenaries approach.
“Constitutional change is in the air and the time has finally arrived to begin an inclusive, democratic discussion about managing a transition towards a new agreed constitutional settlement in Ireland. A new Ireland agreed by the people of Ireland.
“As 2020 draws to a close, Sinn Féin urges all sections of Irish civic and political opinion, both north and south, and beyond, to engage with each other on how such a dialogue can be progressed.”