From the Most Revd Alan Harper, OBE, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland:
I very much look forward to full confirmation of the complete decommissioning of all armaments held by loyalist paramilitaries. It will represent a further and extremely welcome step towards confidence building and the normalisation of society in Northern Ireland. I recognise that on the part of the leadership of the paramilitary groups full decommissioning has been a challenging outcome to deliver; therefore, I commend those within loyalism who have argued consistently for decommissioning over a considerable period. Now full energy and commitment can be devoted to community development and the enhancement of the lives of people in loyalist areas free from the dark shadow of the gun.
By the grace of God we are now one step closer to the replacement of swords with ploughshares and spears with pruning hooks in our society. God willing, we shall soon know the day when weapons are never again lifted by one group against another and come to know what it means to learn war no more.
Issued by: The Church of Ireland