Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Former enemies sworn in as Northern Ireland's premiers...

Photo shows Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, arriving at Stormont Parliamentary Building in Belfast Northern Ireland earlier today. (Photo:Peter Morrison/Associated Press)
This was a truly historic event. Ian Paisley, 81, leader of the Pretestant Democratic Party, and Martin McGuinness, 56. deputy leader of Sinn Fein, were sworn in lead a 12-member cabinet to govern Northern Ireland in Peace.
With British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Ireland's Prime Minister Bertie Ahern to watch, Paisley was elected first minister, followed by McGuinness as deputy minister.
I remember the first time I visited Belfast in 1972. At that time it was a dangerous battle zone in the middle what was effectively a civil war. Northern Ireland has come a long way in the intervening years. Unfortunately more than 3000 individuals died in the conflict.