It was a reminder of how far the peace process in Northern Ireland has come when former leaders of the IRA and its political twin, SinnÂ FÃ©in, condemned the murder of two British soldiers by the so-called Real IRA.
Politicians and communities from across the political divide united yesterday in condemnation of the attack. In a historic moment for Northern Ireland, Sinn FÃ©in’s Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness backed the police manhunt and denounced the attackers.
McGuinness, the deputy first minister, said: “I was a member of the IRA, but that war is over now. The people responsible for last night’s incident are clearly signalling that they want to resume or restart that war. Well, I deny their right to do that.”
He said: “IÂ will stand for all democrats against their attempts to plunge us back into conflict, to see soldiers on the streets, to see more checkpoints, to see houses being raided and to see people being dragged back to interrogation centres. Those days are over. They can never come back again.”
One day it will be the former leaders of Hamas and Hezbolla condemning suicide bombers in Israel. We’ll have to engage them first though.