By December 5, 2017 Read More →

September 12, 2015 Peace Walls – Partition of Ireland

September 12, 2015 Partition of Ireland

Peace Walls


It was hailed around the world. Two of its architects won the Nobel Peace Prize. George Mitchell, the US senator who chaired the talks that led to its signing, shed “tears of exhaustion, tears of relief, tears of joy” when he had confirmation that it was acceptable to everyone.

Now the Good Friday Agreement, which brought peace to Northern Ireland, is in danger of unravelling as old animosities flare up. Power-sharing between Ulster unionists and Irish nationalists, the accord’s central plank, is in trouble. Eighteen years on, it seems, neither side still trusts the other.

That is the background of the latest political crisis to shake Northern Ireland. It illustrates again the failure of the region’s leaders to reap a peace dividend from the agreement.

The Community Relations Council, a nonsectarian activist group in Belfast, noted recently:

“The moral basis of the 1998 report has evaporated.

That is a bleak assessment, and not necessarily exaggerated. Nearly two decades after the end of the Troubles, as the 30 years of violence that scarred Northern Ireland and killed 3,500 people is known, the community remains divided along sectarian lines. There are said to be more “peace walls” ― barriers separating Catholic and Protestant neighbourhoods ― in Belfast today than in the 1990s.

Source: FTWeekend.

Posted in: Northern Ireland

Comments are closed.