The Rubicon has been crossed!

I have to be honest and say that I didn't even hear about the killing of British soldiers until late this morning.

I was in work and myself and a work colleague were heading over to Mass and he informed me about it.

I'm also going to be brutally honest and say that I have mixed feelings on this issue.

I supported the IRA's recent campaign against the British; I also supported their decision to enter the political process. None the less I supported the IRA carrying out similar actions to that which happened in Antrim at the weekend.

More over they were not even Police men, they were members of the British Army, a foreign army of occupation that has no place in Ireland.

While I regret any loss of life I can not stand by and be a hypocrite.

I also feel I should not just go with my gut reaction because that is not looking at the bigger picture.

Gerry Adams sort of sums it up for me. You can also tell by his statement that this is not an easy issue for Republicans

"Last night's attack was an attack on the peace process. It was wrong and counter productive. Those responsible have no support, no strategy to achieve a United Ireland. Their intention is to bring British soldiers back onto the streets. They want to destroy the progress of recent times and to plunge Ireland back into conflict. Irish republicans and democrats have a duty to oppose this and to defend the peace process. There should be an end to actions like the one in Antrim last night. Sinn Fein has a responsibility to be consistent. The logic of this is that we support the police in the apprehension of those involved in last night's attack"

When I do look at the bigger picture I see things quite clearly.

The people involved in this attack have no support; at least no more than one could fill in a phone box.

The Irish people, North and South have voted overwhelmingly for peace. They have voted to unite this country through the ballot box as opposed to the armalite.

The only reaction that these people will get from this attack is for the British army to once again be on our streets and lanes. That is totally unacceptable!

I would like to make it clear that I am not opposed to armed struggle as a general rule.

I will however oppose it when it stands no chance of achieving the objective and when it will only result in more of Ireland's son's and daughters going to jail and the grave.

This is a difficult issue for Republicans but we must face it with maturity and with both eyes set on the bigger picture.

Hearts will not win a political struggle, only the head will.

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