IN OTHER WORDS : Good news

The transformation of militant Irish Republicanism from terrorism to democratic politics over the past decade has been little short of remarkable — a welcome success story in troubled times.

This week’s highly positive report by an official monitoring commission confirmed the good news. It declared that the Irish Republican Army has fully renounced terrorism, dissociated itself from organised criminal activity and committed itself to following an exclusively political path, the very steps its critics have demanded for years. That calls for a similarly remarkable response from the harshest of those critics, the Democratic Unionist Party led by Rev. Ian Paisley.

The IRA’s shift from violence to politics was a matter of hardheaded calculation. An impressive array of political leaders — Irish, British, Roman Catholic and Protestant — has helped Northern Ireland get this far. These include Blair and Ahern, who did much of the coaxing, and Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein leader, who persuaded the IRA to give up its arms, its terror and its organised criminal activities.

Rev. Paisley now needs to join these other leaders in completing the job. With the threat of renewed IRA terror at last put to rest, Northern Ireland should be moving forward toward a self-governing future. — The New York Times