Headline, May 01 2021/ ''' '' NORTHERN IRELAND NIGHTMARE '' '''



BREXIT AND COVID-19 STIR THE GHOSTS of a conflict that just so appeared to be acceptably settled.

ADDING TO THE WORLD'S SECTARIAN FLASH POINTS - the relative calm in the British territory of Northern Ireland has been punctured by violent rioting among groups that made peace 23 years ago.

The reasons for the breakdown are intertwined with Britain's exit from the European Union and the stresses of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But they have demonstrated the combustible potency of the old feuds between the largely Catholic side that wants the territory to be part of Ireland and a mostly Protestant side that wants to remain part of Britain.

For more than many weeks, protests have descended into mayhem in the streets of Belfast, the capital, and some other parts of Northern Ireland, leaving scores of police officers wounded.

Rioters as young as 13 have thrown gasoline bombs at the police and set buses afire. Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain and his Irish counterpart, Micheal Martin, have both expressed deep concerns.

''Bros Johnson is wrestling with a problem that is too close to home for comfort : the worst violence on the streets of Northern Ireland for many years,'' Mujtaba T Rahman, managing director Europe for the Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy, said in an email to clients.

The underlying causes, Mr. Rahman said, ''were unlikely to be resolved quickly.'' Here is a look at Northern Ireland and the issues behind its violent turn.


Northern Ireland is a 5,000-square-mile area of roughly two million people under British sovereignty in the northern part of the island of Ireland, bordered on the south and west by the Republic of Ireland and on the east by the Irish sea.


Ireland became self-governing almost 100 years ago after centuries of rule. But the treaty that established self-rule for most of the island, after several years of fierce struggle in the wake of World War 1, also contained an opt out for the area with the largest concentration of Protestants., whose leaders strongly opposed becoming part of a Catholic majority state.

This northern area remained part of Britain, with a police force and a local government dominated for decades by Protestants.


The division of Ireland became the source of one of the 20th century's most violent and enduring sectarian conflicts, pitting Catholics and groups opposed British rule, including the paramilitary Irish Republican Army, against Protestants and pro-British forces including loyalist militant groups.

Belfast, a onetime shipbuilding epicenter and birthplace of the TITANIC, became one of the ''four Bs'' -joining Beirut, Baghdad, and Bosnia in the pantheon of the world's most perilous places.

Roughly3,600 people died in the decades of strife in Northern Ireland known as ''The Troubles.''


Britain's exit from the European Union disturbed the political balance in Northern Ireland, threatening the underpinnings of the Good Friday Agreement.

Ireland remains a European Union member country, and Brexit raised the prospect of a new checks at its previously unrestricted land border with Northern Ireland that would impede the free flow of people and goods and anger those who would like to see the island unified.

But workarounds to keep that border open have created new problems in commerce between Northern and the rest of Britain, disrupting supplies to the territory's stores and upsetting those in Northern Ireland who see themselves as British.

Resentment in pro-British Protestant areas has swelled and contributed to the recent outbreaks of violence, raising fears of retaliation from Catholic communities.

A further source of tension was a recent police decision not to prosecute crowds of mourners who gathered at funeral last June for Bobby Storey, an Irish Republican Army commander, despite a ban on mass gatherings because of the pandemic.


While there are no expectations that the violence will escalate to levels seen during the years of the Troubles, when British forces were deployed to Northern Ireland, leaders on all sides fear a cycle of revenge attacks.

Northern Ireland's predicament has become an especially delicate issue for Mr. Johnson's government. He does not want to lose support from Protestants in Northern Ireland who say they feel betrayed and disenfranchised.

And any deepening of divisions between Northern Ireland and Ireland could galvanize support for Irish unification, which some polls suggest have already risen since Brexit.

For now, political leaders on all sides are emphasizing the need to honor the 1998 Belfast Agreement reminding Northern Ireland's young people / students how it has transformed their lives.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Global Flash points, Northern Ireland, Times and Future, continues. The World Students Society thanks authors Rick Gladstone and Peter Robins.

With respectful dedication to the people of Northern Ireland, Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers, and then the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World  Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com - for every subject in the world, and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

''' Turmoil & Tidings '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!