The disturbances in Northern Ireland recall the early days of the Troubles, over half a century ago

Editorial: As the Good Friday Agreement nears its 23rd birthday, it’s a timely reminder that the peace that has mostly held in the province is no less fragile than it was in the 1990s

Friday 09 April 2021 10:10
comments
<p></p>

Social distancing and the “rule of six”, it is fair to say, were not much on the minds of those who took to the streets of Belfast to riot over the past week or so. Those involved were seized of more emotionally visceral feelings, young people apparently goaded on by paramilitary gangs.

The current disturbances have something of the feel of the early days during the last round of the Troubles, over half a century ago. A bus torched; missiles, fireworks and petrol bombs lobbed at the police; semi-spontaneous marching bands; a car driven into the euphemistically-named “peace wall” that divides Catholics and Protestants... and the same platitudinous condemnations of violence emanating from the politicians in Stormont, meeting in emergency session.

As the Good Friday Agreement nears its inauspicious 23rd birthday, it is a timely reminder that the peace that has mostly held in the province is no less fragile than it was when the politicians and the paramilitaries decided the stalemated war was over back in the 1990s.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments