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October 5, 2015 The Partition of Ireland – THE TROUBLES ARE BACK


Londonderry, Northern Ireland ― It is widely assumed that the Northern Ireland conflict was settled in 1998 with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. The war was over and the good guys had won.

Yet the deal delivered by Senator Mitchell contained the seeds of its own destruction. In effect, the Good Friday Agreement assigned every person in Northern Ireland to either the Unionist or Nationalist camp, and the decision-making institutions it created, the Northern Ireland Assembly and its accompanying Executive, were designed to be balanced between the two camps. The plan was not to eliminate sectarianism, but to manage its manifestations.

No one in Northern Ireland doubts that the McGuigan killing was in retaliation for the murder three months earlier of a former Belfast commander of the Provisionals, or “Provos,” as the I.R.A. is commonly known. But the effect of this score-settling among Republicans has been incendiary.

Sectarian divisions were baked into Northern Ireland’s peace deal.

The fundamental problem is the sectarian basis of the Good Friday Agreement itself, which was originally negotiated between two moderate parties: the Ulster Unionist Party and the nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party. Their leaders, David Trimble and John Hume, were awarded the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize.

Source: The New York Times. Oct. 5, 2015.

Posted in: Northern Ireland

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