Stop, go again

The story of the peace process post Belfast Agreement seems to have been one of deadlines. Despite the apology from the IRA the UUP still intend to stick to theirs on 24th July.

But, in this ‘theatre-in-the-round’, nothing is as planned and predictable as it once was in Ulster, and the main players are more interdependent that than they would sometimes like.

Meanwhile, David McKittrick applauds the change in language and tone from the IRA, but goes on to point out what may be blindingly obvious, but is nevertheless worth repeating:

The fact is, though, that the Troubles did not end cleanly with victory for the IRA or the Unionists or Britain. The conflict was a messy one, and its aftermath is equally controversial, confused and uncertain. Political progress has been made, but there is as yet no real sense of friendship or partnership between the communities. Perhaps the fact that the Troubles lasted for so long means it will take decades to build better relationships.