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  • Writer's pictureFriends of Sinn Féin USA

For Peace Comes Dropping Slow.

Each week Ciarán Quinn sends a Letter from Ireland as part of the Friends of Sinn Féin Newsletter.

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a Chara, In his poem, "The Lake Isle of Innisfree", Yeats writes, “And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow”. I was reminded of that line this week. First, when I visited my hometown of Belfast and later when I watched an interview with Rep. Richard Neal. While I was in Belfast for a series of political meetings, I had the opportunity to tag along with Gerry Adams on a visit to a community project. Gerry had supported the project proposals 20 years ago when I first worked for him. 20 years on and the building work is nearing completion. The community had to campaign for years to secure investment from government agencies. The building will be an incredible asset for the community and a testament to all those who had campaigned for years. I was struck by how the Falls Road had changed over the last 25 years. Here was a landmark building preserved for community use. Across the road was Conway Mill, once derelict, now a thriving enterprise center. Further up is the newly rebuild Royal Victoria Hospital, an Irish medium high school, cultural centers and the James Connolly Visitors Centre. The road is physically different but retains the community spirit that has shaped generations. There is more to do combat poverty and redress inequality, but progress should be acknowledged. A community shaped by resistance to oppression became the builders of their own destiny. Long may it continue. Rep. Richard Neal, a longer-term friend of Ireland, was interviewed on local Belfast TV. He reminded us all of the transformative power of the Good Friday Agreement. Belfast and Ireland was a different place. Where once the North was an international symbol of intractable conflict it was now viewed as a place of peace and a symbol of hope. He reminded us that this should not be taken for granted and the Good Friday Agreement remained the will of the people in Ireland and the US. It is also the way to resolve current issues and shape our future through peaceful and democratic methods. Sometimes we miss the wood for the trees. It is good to be reminded things have changed and will change further. Peace and progress do come dropping slow. With patient determination, dedication and commitment, obstacles can be overcome, community centers built, and peace and progress delivered. Ciarán

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