(CT) Church leaders in Ireland have welcomed the vote made on 22 May for peace, which endorsed the Good Friday agreement by more than 70 per cent in the North and more than 95 per cent in the Republic (see ACNS story 17 May 1998).
The Most Revd Dr Robin Eames, the Anglican Primate of All Ireland, said before the poll that, having agonised over every paragraph of the agreement, he himself would be voting Yes.
After the vote, he said:"The silent majority, which I have always believed would one day have a chance to speak, has spoken. The future under God is open to Catholic and Protestant, Nationalist and Unionist. May we move forward with new respect for each other."
Much remained to be done, the Archbishop said, but "a giant step has been taken. I pray we may never again have to face endless funerals and broken hearts."
The Most Revd Dr Walton Empey, the Anglican Archbishop of Dublin, said the vote showed that the people of the Irish Republic had reached a high level of maturity. Their vote challenged those still engaged in violence by making clear the "the people of this island want no more of it."