Soundings Soundings

What rough beast?

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 25 April 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1324
  1. Liam Farrell, general practitioner
  1. Crossmaglen, County Armagh

    I began this column in the BMJ almost four years ago; shortly after that, though it was almost certainly a coincidence, the IRA declared a ceasefire, and now another unthinkable and previously unbelievable advance is also imminent.

    As I write this it is 3 o'clock in the morning, and my friends and I are sitting by the radio, sharing a few beers and waiting for news of a successful conclusion to the peace talks, something apparently impossible, contradictory; a compromise between two aspirations which had almost seemed defined by their mutual enmity. But now at last, and beyond all hope, it is …

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