You come here at an important time in the affairs of this island, when the Irish and British governments are engaged in a serious common effort to find a way which would create progress toward lasting peace, stability and reconciliation in Ireland. This is a matter of fundamental significance to our people and, as we know, of great importance to the leaders and people of the United States. . . .

We in the Irish government know and appreciate how profoundly you and your colleagues in the leadership of the Congress, and particularly, of course, that great and distinguished statesman Speaker O'Neill, long for peace in Ireland. Your commitment, your support and your good offices have been and are invaluable. The work of American leaders in favor of Anglo-Irish efforts to find a way forward, your steadfast commitment to peace, your consistent and effective opposition to support for violence in our country have saved the lives of many innocent men, women and children in Ireland and will save many more. We would, of course, say that all of this is in the original Irish -- and thus the later Irish-American -- traditions of compassion, humanity and political activism, which have become part of the Irish contribution to American life.

It is regrettable that we cannot say the same for that tiny minority of Noraid supporters whose visit here has provided a focus, not for peace or reconciliation, but only for hatred and destruction. I am certain that I can speak for the overwhelming majority of nationalists and unionists when I say: "The people have suffered too much; too many are dead; too many are maimed; too many young people are in jail Do us all a favor and go home."