Mr. Speaker, the member for Saint John is a hard act to follow.
Today Irish everywhere, including those who wish they were Irish, celebrate the feast day of their patron saint, the evangelist of Ireland, St. Patrick.
As Ireland enters its 15th century of Christianity, Canada's six million Irish descendants can give thanks for the growing spirit of peace taking root in their homeland. The Good Friday agreement is a sign of hope in what has been a century of violence and bloodshed.
Today is also a day to recall how fragile is the current peace in a land riven by decades of sectarian hatred. Monday's brutal car bomb attack on Rosemary Nelson, an Irish human rights lawyer who died two hours after her legs were blown off, comes just two weeks before the Good Friday peace agreement turns a year old.
She is simply the latest victim of the enemies of peace. Terrorists on both sides have continued a murderous campaign to prevent this resolution taking root, from the bombing at Omagh to the daily beatings and shootings.
Terrorist intimidation must not be allowed to stand in the way of peace. Without that there is little hope of restoring the legacy of St. Patrick and the great civilization his message spawned in Ireland.