Brian Feeney may have lost a bit of his dramatic edge since the IRA officially denied its alleged role in Europe’s biggest bank robbery in December last years. Nevertheless, he captures the significance of the probable outcome of this election, in the last paragraph of this week’s column in the Irish News.He sees an increasingly stringent division becoming deeper:
Unionists are quite happy with direct rule because its default position is unionism. For unionists change always means change for the worse. For their part, nationalists are quite happy to vote in increasing numbers for Sinn Féin in the full knowledge that for the foreseeable future no unionist will sit down at a table with SF to cut a deal and that no Irish government will expect them to do so. Whatever the election outcome the two communities here remain further apart than in April 1998.
So a veritable vacuum lies ahead? Something that nature (and journalism) deplores. We’re not so sure. Undoubtedly there will be more process ahead to some end. We wait to see what end precisely.
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