The end of the debate on power-sharing?

It’s June, and across the north the 26 local government councils will be electing new civic office holders (Mayors/ Deputy Mayors), chairs/ vice-chairs of committees and membership of external organisations. With the DUP’s new leap into the ‘big’ power-sharing administration at Stormont, will the coming weeks signal a final acceptance of the need to share power on unionist-dominated councils across the north which have historically excluded nationalists, most prominently Sinn Fein?In Belfast, the UUP has already signalled its support for Sinn Fein’s Tierna Cunningham for the top post, a move unprecedented in the city for a unionist party and one likely to ensure the republican candidates’ election.

Yet in councils like Lisburn and Antrim, where Sinn Fein are the largest nationalist party, unionists have traditionally excluded republicans from civic posts- a practice notably absent on majority-nationalist councils in relation to minority unionist parties.

With the principle of power-sharing having now been embraced by all strands of unionism (apologies to the lunatic fringe) will there be a retreat protest at the grassroots level to the inevitably logical roll-out of power-sharing across the north?