Category: Archive

Across a divide

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The people living most closely to the killings have expressed their feeling most loudly with their silence. All across the North there have been rallies, demonstrations and silent prayer vigils in support of peace and the kind of peaceful coexistence that has been more or less the norm in the Six Counties since the reaching of the Good Friday agreement and its subsequent endorsement in referenda on both sides of the border.
There have been other images too, more unsettling ones. And we are not just referring to the funeral of Constable Carroll, the kind of event that we had all hoped so strongly was now consigned to a troubled past.
There have been street protests, seemingly in response to arrests made in the aftermath of the shootings.
There was a time when rioting in Belfast and other parts of the North was a response by people to threats and assaults on their homes, families and neighborhoods, not infrequently by the security forces.
This is not the case today. What we have seen has been an ugly response to an agreed law, not law imposed in an unjust fashion by one part of society on another.
If the people in the North, indeed all who live on the island of Ireland, are to be faced with a new time of trial, it is more important than ever that the politicians in Northern Ireland stick to the pursuit of the better future promised by the Good Friday accord; it is more important than ever that they work together, efficiently, and with honest intentions, to better life for everyone in Northern Ireland, those who protest violence silently, and, yes, even those who loudly decry the application of law that the vast majority are now determined to see enforced.

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