Category: Archive

Echo Editorial: Mob rule in Belfast

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

As even the North’s unionist-dominated police force has admitted, the
violence came after a call to arms by the Orange Order and faithfully
executed by loyalist terrorist organizations. It was subsequently
justified by leading unionist politicians.
When U.S. Special Envoy to Ireland Mitchel Reiss said unionist
politicians had abdicated their responsibility, they retorted that he
had “no credibility”, describing him as “damaged goods.”
Ostensibly, the issue at stake was the “right” of the avowedly
anti-Catholic Orange Order to parade through nationalist areas. This
right, of course, does not exist any more than the right of
white-sheeted Ku Klux Klansmen to march through Harlem.
In fact, something more fundamental is at play. It appears Irish
unionism has failed to grasp that the equality at the core of the Good
Friday agreement applies to all. Unionists seem to believe instead
that the North can go on being “a Protestant state for a Protestant
The response from the British government has been worryingly weak.
They must make it clear that this sort of behavior results in one
thing alone; jail for the perpetrators.
The Irish government’s condemnation and any action it might take has
been undermined by the bizarre statement by the unionist-leaning
Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, who reacted to the
anti-Catholic riots by urging nationalists to “reach out” to
Both governments have spent the past year scapegoating nationalism for
the crisis in the peace process. It should be abundantly clear to them
today where the problem lies.
They must now act with speed and resolve to implement fully the Good
Friday agreement.

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese