Fallout from the Dublin riot…

HENRY McDonald thinks Saturday’s riot in Dublin will mean the postponement of the British monarch’s first visit to the Irish capital since partition, which could have happened this summer. Meanwhile, RTE reports that the Irish Justice Minister has just briefed Ministers that “gardaí had no reason to expect the violence that erupted in protest at Saturday’s Love Ulster march in Dublin”.

Michael McDowell will lead a special debate in the Irish parliament later this afternoon. Interestingly, when pointing the finger, a Daily Ireland editorial argues:

“Opposition parties have called for an inquiry into the apparent state of unreadiness of the gardaí, as if somehow the gardaí can be made to shoulder some of the blame. Nothing should be allowed to detract from the central truth — the blame lies with those who think they can bring violence to the streets of Dublin and get away with it.”

Could this possibly be the first time republicanism has blamed republicans for a riot instead of the police or “provocative” loyalists?! Colin O’Carroll sticks his neck out and says there should be a re-run of the loyalist parade in the same DI editorial, though without the involvement of loyalist paramilitaries.

Elsewhere, parade organiser Willie Frazer has blamed the Irish president and Fr Alec Reid – who both have compared unionists to Nazis – for demonising loyalists and thus creating the context for Saturday’s violence.

Meanwhile, Indymedia describes the riot as Ireland’s first ‘smartmob’ protest. It reckons live coverage of the riot on the internet beat the mainstream media hands down. I’m inclined to agree.

There’s more reaction here and here on two unionist blogs.

Unionists seem to be interpreting the riot as confirmation that their culture and beliefs – their “civil and religious liberties” – are still under attack, north and south. It strongly reinforces many loyalist and unionist fears about how they would be treated in a united Ireland, no matter what politicians say.

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