Mr. Adams Goes to Downing Street

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LONDON: Back in 1991, the IRA tried to shell 10 Downing Street. Now their political representative is using a more conventional method to gain access: Walking in the front door. Following their controversial handshake in Belfast two months ago, Tony Blair invited Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams to pop round the Prime Minister's residence Thursday for a cup of tea. Talk about historic it's the first time since the partition of Ireland 76 years ago that any member of that party has been near Downing Street. Without a mortar bomb in hand, that is.

It requires a tough stomach to talk to Adams at a time when rumors of renewed IRA activity in Northern Ireland are rife. The London Daily Telegraph on Wednesday quoted "unidentified senior security sources" as saying the terrorist organization had resumed training, recruitment and weapons testing. Is Blair worried? Perhaps, but he says it's worth "taking a few risks" for peace. The Labor Prime Minister said he would tell Adams: "If you return to violence there will be no place for you at the negotiation table." No word on whether the Sinn Fein leader was asked to walk through a metal detector, just to be on the safe side.