At this year’s the British-Irish Association conference in Cambridge our lovely Secretary of State said
“This summer we have seen some depressing scenes in Northern Ireland. And the government takes them very seriously, as do our partners in the Republic of Ireland and the United States.”
Tonight our experienced Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore will say
“Dublin and London’s roles as co-guarantors of the Belfast Agreement must be reasserted, rather than leaving many hopes for progress primarily in the hands of Northern Irish politicians”.
Dublin’s is not happy with the progress made by Northern politician.
Mr Gilmore believes that many in the North want Dublin and London to be more directly involved again “People fear a return of sectarian violence.”
Leader Gerry Adams said:
“The Government must act on these matters with urgency.This includes the need for ongoing engagement between the Taoiseach and the British Prime Minister”.
Unionist parties have said nothing.
All this is on-going against a background of a threat allegedly made by Red Hand Defenders (loyalist paramilitaries) of military action
“Parents, pupils and staff who go to those schools are no longer welcome at the three schools,” their statement read. “Those three schools are in Protestant, unionist and loyalist areas, therefore [anything] to do with those schools will now be considered as legitimate targets.
“If the message is not taken on board by the community then trouble will commence on Monday morning and military action will also commence on Monday morning.”
The schools are Holy Cross Primary, Mercy Primary and Mercy College. We’ve been here before.
Those 7 and 8 year old girls are now 19 and 20. Their parents are approaching middle-age. They’ve all been there, done that, got the T-shirt and the message
Same old, same old
Richard Haass was sent in then too by US president, George Bush as a special Northern Ireland envoy.He’s coming back next week, sent by President Obama this time
Progressive Unionist Party member Billy Hutchinson,
whose party is linked to the Ulster Volunteer Force, later accepted he had helped inflame the tense situation at Holy Cross. He is now linked to the Loyalist Civil Rights camp at Twadell Avenue where he addressed supporters, flanked by representatives of the Orange Order .
Who will have the courage and strength to implement the only way out of the impasse?
The only strategy that has never been tried.
All the others have failed
PS What’s the British-Irish Association?
Founded in 1972 it is a registered educational charity (Number 265094) Its main aim is to promote mutual understanding between the peoples of our islands. In practice this has meant a focus on the resolution of conflict and the overcoming of divisions in the North of Ireland. It holds an annual conference over a weekend in September. The Irish and British governments host receptions on successive evenings and there are many opportunities for informal conversation. In the main, proceedings are conducted under the Chatham House Rule of non-attribution in order to encourage uninhibited discussion.