Believers in nationalist armed struggle caught in time-warp, says Mansergh

Former FF minister speaking at Famine walk in Tipperary


Former Fianna Fáil minister of state Dr Martin Mansergh has said that those who still believe in a nationalist armed struggle in the North are caught in a time-warp.

Dr Mansergh, who was a key adviser in the Northern peace talks under taoisigh Charles Haughey, Albert Reynolds and Bertie Ahern, said those involved in the current armed struggle had no chance of upsetting a peace settlement democratically endorsed North and South.

“It would help if all of us who have been involved in republican politics, including in some cases support for armed campaigns in the past, were to look self-critically at the shortcomings of previous approaches aimed at bringing the two parts of the island closer together.’’

Dr Mansergh, who was speaking following a Famine 1848 walk in Ballingarry, Co Tipperary, on Saturday, said the achievement of peace on the island removed a major impediment to national progress and facilitated a far more relaxed and normal relationship with our neighbour, both to the north and to the east.

Dr Mansergh said the Republic’s contribution over the next few years must be to re-establish credibility as a sovereign State within the EU and to help lead the way out of the euro zone crisis.

“While I am confident that we will not rush to repeat the mistakes of the recent past, we should avoid giving any impression that we are only waiting to revert to previous habits once we escape the leash.’’