Even in Ireland the prospects have rarely seemed bleaker

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The Independent Online
Most Orangemen clearly believe that they won a great victory last week. Certainly their march got through. Nationalists were humiliated, and Unionism and Orangeism demonstrated real muscle.

But in the process the underlying instability of the state was exposed, the very fabric of society was ripped and damaged, and the most fundamental questions posed about the reformability of Northern Ireland.

It seems hardly credible that a province which last year had the hope of a bright new future could so swiftly be transformed into a political wasteland, its economic prospects dashed, its image defaced, its communal relations in ruins. Even in Ireland the pros-pects have rarely seemed bleaker.

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