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Irish primate applauds IRA disarmament

The Catholic Church in Ireland has welcomed the announcement that the Irish Republican Army is disarming.

The Church also applauded the British government's parallel decision to dismantle some military barracks in the six counties of Ulster and grant amnesty to imprisoned Northern Ireland paramilitary members.

Archbishop Sean Brady of Armagh, primate of All Ireland, who spoke on Vatican Radio, expressed his happiness and that of the entire Irish episcopate at the developments, which allow for an end to an era of hatred.

"I think it is beautiful news that injects great hope in the peace process," he said. "The British military authorities confirmed that the disarmament process has begun concretely, which means that the IRA is really determined to pursue peace.

"Now, the different parts and structures involved in this process can return to work in this respect. We hope that all this will lead to a better life."

"This is the only path to take: that all parts decide to collaborate for a return to normalcy in Northern Ireland. Our hope lies in this. This is what we have requested, what all religious leaders have always requested over the past years. The peace process now has a new opportunity."

French Catholic Bishops Conference