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Violence in Northern Ireland

DUBLIN Sunday Independent (centrist), July 16: Last week’s events [the reemergence of violence in Northern Ireland sparked by the Orange Order’s defiance of a ban of its parade through Catholic areas] demonstrate that the existence of a devolved government in Northern Ireland has made no difference to the way in which the annual circus at Drumcree brings the democratic process grinding to a halt. On the contrary, the heightened ferocity of the mobs is essentially the product of an unholy alliance between all those unionist politicians and paramilitaries alike who want to dislodge David Trimble as first minister.
—Ronan Fanning

LONDON The Guardian (liberal), July 6: It is always depressing when Northern Ireland appears to descend back into its bloody past. But the violence of the last few days at Drumcree has been particularly shocking. Violence, tension, and sectarianism are all back in Northern Ireland....This is not about the right to stage a march. Instead, this is yet another skirmish in the rejectionists’ war against the Good Friday Agreement in general and David Trimble’s acceptance of it in particular.

DUBLIN The Irish Times (centrist), July 8: The television images of Drumcree, however shocking, must not stop the rest of us from trying to understand the deeper emotions that underlie the protest. The hard-line Orange leader who compared the loyalist community to a “wounded lion” was probably a bit over the top, but he was close to the mark when he said that many of the ordinary, working-class Protestants at Portadown felt “abandoned.”
—Mary Holland

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