Republican News · Thursday 6 January 2000

[An Phoblacht]

A Time of Hope - Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President and West Belfast MP Gerry Adams, in a New Year message on behalf of Sinn Féin, extended sincere ``bliain faoi mhaise daoibh go léir''.

Adams said: ``For many families, this Christmas and New Year will be a time of sadness and reflection as we remember those family members, friends and colleagues who are no longer with us.

``It is also a time of momentous change and great hope as we look to a future that for the first time ever in the history of our small island holds out the promise of a better time, a happier time, a peaceful and more prosperous time for all our people.

``It won't be easy. there are those who fear change and who are doggedly opposed to equality and justice. None of us should underestimate the difficulties that lie ahead.

``Our collective task must be to face down the wreckers and to make change irreversible, to see human rights protected and equality for all citizens become a reality, and to build a political system that guarantees freedom and justice for all of the Irish people.

``As an Irish republican, I believe we can best achieve these goals in a free and independent Ireland. Our efforts of recent years, and particularly recent months, mean that the new century, the new millenium, opens with the real prospect of achieving our goals.

``In recent years and in other parts of the world, conflicts which were formerly deemed intractable have been resolved. The impossible is possible.

``We are into a new and final phase of the struggle that will allow us to put the legacy of division, occupation and conflict behind us. Patrick Galvin the poet put it well when he wrote:

``We dream here.
We dream that this land
Is our land.
That one day
Catholic and Protestant
Believer and non-believer
Will stand here
d dream as Irish men and women.''

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