NI peace envoy a fitting role for Hillary Clinton

Posted by Kelly Fincham at 7/22/2009 4:55 PM EDT
 
I've just finished writing a story about a hopeful breakthrough for the Armstrong family in Northern Ireland. The story concerns a man called Charlie Armstrong who was abducted by the IRA and killed in 1981. His body has never been found although it is suspected to have been buried in County Monaghan.
 
There's a possibility that his family can now, as his daughter put it, "bring Daddy home for the last time."
 
I can't imagine what that poor family has gone through in the intervening years. And the other families of the disappeared. And the other families of the 3,000 people who were killed during the long dark years of the Troubles.
 
What a euphemism that is. "Troubles." Only the Irish could come up with it. It doesn't sound at all menacing. And that's what it was like then. Menacing.
 
Hillary Clinton was part of the new wave of thinking that helped Ireland emerge from that menace. It's fitting that she should now be the new U.S. peace envoy to the North. She did so much to make a new Ireland possible.
 
We've a student staying with us who wasn't even born in 1981. He has no idea how different - and difficult - Ireland was then. Long may it last.
 

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