Friday, 12 September 2014

RIP Reverend Ian Paisley - from "Never" to Peace, and a long journey in between

The Reverend Ian Paisley is living proof that extreme views can change, sworn enemies can became friends and political opponents can then forge a peaceful way forward. Although many of his earlier views and pronouncements were unacceptable he clearly changed with time. And through his change, Northern Ireland changed.

Mr Paisley, who was 88 when he died, moved from the being the "Never Man" to become Northern Irelands First Minister in a power sharing arrangement with Sinn Fein.
This today from Marin McGuiness:
"Over a number of decades we were political opponents and held very different views on many, many issues but the one thing we were absolutely united on was the principle that our people were better able to govern themselves than any British government. I want to pay tribute to and comment on the work he did in the latter days of his political life in building agreement and leading unionism into a new accommodation with republicans and nationalists."

The lesson for all those in Gaza, Kashmir, and all the other conflicts around the world is that even the most difficult problems can be solved and that peace can be found, if there is a genuine will to forge a better way forward and a commitment to work together peacefully with former enemies.
The BBC reports on him as follows: