Wednesday, June 26, 2002

As claim and counterclaim proliferate over collusion between security forces and loyalist paramilitaries, there is a first few tentative calls for something like a truth commission to bring the conflict to some kind of final rest.

Whilst Ulster does its usual summer trick of ritually beating itself up, there may be a thread of hope that no conflict can drag on forever. James Murray Brown speculates that:

“There is a hope that this summer could see the quietest Drumcree in years. On both sides of the sectarian divide, they are saying the same thing. “Before it was the road, the road, the road. Everybody wanted to know what was happening. But I think people feel the issue is dead and buried. You just don’t hear people talking about it,” says Orla Moloney of the Drumcree Peace and Justice Committee, a local nationalist community group.”

However he goes on to suggest that both populations have simply grown indifferent to one another because of the profound segregation of Catholics and Protestants over recent years. In Belfast, where the same process first began in earnest thirty years ago, the effects of demographic change have proved to have explosive long term effects.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty