Photo by Larry Feirerra
The photo above is the Antrim coast, it is volcanic and rugged. Immensely beautiful, and miles from the unrest.
Having lived and worked in Northern Ireland, I am devastated by the current civil unrest. Boys as young as eleven are being encouraged to throw petrol bombs at the police. They don’t understand why.
The reason children are being abused in this way is because Britain has put a border in the Irish Sea since Brexit happened. It means that British products are held up at Customs and Excise, while EU products flow through with ease.
The Unionists, those who want unity with Britain, are angry. They feel they have been sold a packet of lies. They are causing this violence, and using children in an attempt to avoid arrest and, I suspect, to teach another generation to hate the Catholic population.
There has been twenty years of peace. After a forty year period of intense violence and bloodshed. Murders in secret, the disappeared, the bomb blasts, the gunfire, the petrol bombs, all ended.
Neither side had moral victory or high ground. Both sides were full of hate and bitterness. Peace came after years of talks, talks before there were actual talks. John Major paved a way together with John Hume and others. Some want to claim it, but the real work was done by those who won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Now it is in jeopardy because of an oversight, quite knowingly, about where the border with the EU should be. It cannot be on the island of Ireland as that is what the conflict was all about. The Irish Sea is not a better option.
Historically, there has always been travel between the Republic of Ireland and the North. This resumed with the Good Friday Agreement. People cross it daily to do shopping, carry out business contracts and so much more. There is no need for a passport to be shown and no one to to whom to show it.
So why not unite the country as one on the island? This is the only logical thing to do. A united Ireland would solve so many issues. Of course, the Unionists would react. But, with time, everything would settle down. It is only the Unionist politicians who have an interest in keeping a division. The general population has lived in peace and a generation had grown without sectarian hatred. When I worked in bridging the two communities all the school kids wanted peace, wanted no hatred.
Any team sport in Ireland does not ask what faith it’s members are. No youth club asks for a declaration of faith. It isn’t hard. It is simply reverting to what once was.
I am for a united Ireland. I love the whole country. It is stunningly beautiful. I married it, and fell in love. My daughter is German and Irish.
Published in Grab A Slice with title Northern Ireland’s Unrest