Sir, Those who are calling for Sinn Fein to condemn the killing of RUC officers should consider the following. As soon as Gerry Adams distances Sinn Fein from IRA activities, he will no longer represent militant republicans. He will have no power to negotiate on their behalf.

After a short political vacuum, during which time the killings will, no doubt, continue, a new IRA political spokesperson will emerge. This person will, in all probability, have less interest in a peaceful solution to Northern Ireland's problems than Mr Adams has. We will be back to the days of the Official/Provisional IRA split, when the newly formed, military minded Provos had no interest in talking to anybody, North or South.

If Mr Adams does succumb to Mr Bruton's demands to "remove himself from any connection with those carrying out these actions", he will be reduced to just another public representative, like Lord Alderdice, and the British and Irish governments would have to negotiate directly with the Provisional IRA.

This would be an absolute disaster for the peace process. - Yours, etc.,

Scholarstown Park,

Dublin 16.