no events posted in last week
Ukraine Buys Huge Amounts of Russian Fue... Fri Jan 20, 2023 08:34 | Antonia Kotseva
Turkey Has Sent Ukraine Cluster Munition... Thu Jan 12, 2023 00:26 | Jack Detsch
New Israeli Government Promises to Talk ... Tue Jan 10, 2023 21:13 | Al Majadeen
Russia Training Iranian Pilots Ahead of ... Tue Jan 10, 2023 15:19 | The Times of Israel
Lukashenko Abolishes Copyright Protectio... Tue Jan 10, 2023 15:05 | Nikki Main
A bird's eye view of the vineyard
Moveable Feast Cafe 2023/02/06 ? Open Thread Mon Feb 06, 2023 22:00 | cafe-uploader
2023/02/06 22:00:02Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of
Why Shinzo Abe Was Assassinated: Towards a ?United States of Europe? and a League of Nations Mon Feb 06, 2023 20:48 | The Saker
By Cynthia Chung for the Saker blog As already discussed in my paper ?Is Japan Willing to Cut its Own Throat in Sacrifice to the U.S. Pivot to Asia??, to
How can we stay in touch? (a repeat and summary) Mon Feb 06, 2023 17:25 | The Saker
Dear friends, The tsunami of emails expressing their support and understanding has not abated at all! Many also express sadness, which I very much share. For me the blog was
Ukrainian refugees are becoming a burden to the Baltic states Mon Feb 06, 2023 16:40 | The Saker
by Batko Milacic for the Saker blog Every conflict, including this one in Ukraine, always leads to refugees. Considering the size of Ukraine, it is not surprising that a large
Pontius Pilate in the White House: The US, the Ukraine, China, Russia and Russian Orthodox Prophecie... Sun Feb 05, 2023 21:54 | The Saker
By Batiushka for the Saker blog Foreword The second half of this essay replies to a commentator who has written: ?Batiushka, let us know how to read your prophecies?. Here
The Saker >>
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005
RTE in breach of its own editorial principles Anthony
Waiting for SIPO Anthony
Formal complaint against Robert Watt Anthony
RTE bias complaint Anthony
Fergus Finlay and the maternity hospital ‘gotcha’ trap Anthony
Public Inquiry >>
A Blog About Human Rights
UN human rights chief calls for priority action ahead of climate summit Sat Oct 30, 2021 17:18 | Human Rights
5 Year Anniversary Of Kem Ley?s Death Sun Jul 11, 2021 12:34 | Human Rights
Poor Living Conditions for Migrants in Southern Italy Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:14 | Human Rights
Right to Water Mon Aug 03, 2020 19:13 | Human Rights
Human Rights Fri Mar 20, 2020 16:33 | Human Rights
Human Rights in Ireland >>
Disrupting the road to stability
anti-war / imperialism |
Thursday March 12, 2009 09:53 by Deirdre Niamh Duffy - University of Nottingham duffythegreat at gmail dot com
the key to avoiding the abyss is to step around it
The recent events in Northern Ireland have brought back a whole host of dark memories. The attacks have placed a question mark over both the stability and success of the peace process. However, in many ways the attacks are very different from those during the Troubles. Unlike the violence in the past, these attacks are not really aimed at gaining public support or making a political point but at destabilising Northern Ireland in its transition from post-conflict zone to stable society.
The recent attacks on police officers and soldiers in Northern Ireland have brought back dark memories to most Irish people, North and South, of a time they would prefer to forget. Through the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, the subsequent decommissioning process and the success of power-sharing in Stormont, the people of Northern Ireland have made every effort to put the ‘dark days’ of the Troubles behind them and leave the violence – which seemed endless in the 1970s and ‘80s – in the past. And they have become very good at it. Rebuilding a community which at one point was losing approximately 300 of its members every year to political violence has not been an easy process and is still quite some way from completion. But, for many, the Northern Ireland of today seems worlds away from the Northern Ireland of the Troubles.
Hardly surprising then that the recent spate of attacks, which both in manner and brutality are frighteningly reminiscent of past violence, have been so troubling and have raised some simple – but terrifying – questions: what did we miss? What have we, as peace-builders, failed to take into account? Are the Troubles back? And above all: why now? It is this last question which is so troubling to people in Britain and Ireland and is probably the reason why the attacks have come as such a shock to politicians and the public alike.
However, it is the ‘why now?’ element of the current situation which has the potential to avoid the deconstruction of a peace that has been so built with such care. For all their rhetoric and claims of representing Northern Irish people, the Continuity IRA and the Real IRA seem distinctly out of place and out of touch with a contemporary Northern Ireland which is finally moving from ‘post-conflict society’ to stable community. Unlike the 1970s and ‘80s, there is relatively little malcontent in need of expression or division ripe for exploitation. The evidence of this is in the reaction to the recent killings. Rather than proclaiming tokenistic opposition to violence or refusing to comment on the issue, people from all sides of Northern Irish society have been both forceful and vocal in their condemnation of the attacks. If the CIRA or RIRA have a potential support base they are aiming to tap into, it is a very well hidden one.
Equally hidden are the attackers’ aims. Other than a rather generic call for the independence of Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom, the C/RIRA’s actions are seemingly random and do not belie a specific strategy. Additionally, Northern Ireland is currently in the midst of the process of devolution. Stormont now has the same administrative and legal clout as the Scottish Executive and it is not entirely unreasonable to expect more powers. In light of this, calls for freedom seem, at the very least, rather belated.
Looking at the actions of the C/RIRA in this way it appears their aim isn’t to unite a disenfranchised people or force the British government to give Stormont control of Northern Ireland. Rather their aim is to disrupt Northern Irish society and to resurrect old demons. If anything their actions are anarchic – unexpected acts which strive to undermine and unsettle. And like anarchists they should not be treated as part of a wider, representative, social movement in the way previous political radicals in Northern Ireland have been but as individuals who want to cause trouble.
If the present situation in Northern Ireland tells us anything, it is that violence is unwanted and out of place. Something which at one stage may have been sadly accepted as part of life has now been rejected wholesale by both the public and their political representatives. The people of Northern Ireland do not want to stand, as Dolores Kelly of the SDLP in Craigavon stated, staring into the abyss and the perpetrators of these attacks must know this. The test will be whether Northern Ireland continues along its path to a stable, peaceful society, undeterred by these random acts, or whether we stop and keep staring.