Sunday, March 08, 2009

Northern Ireland

I lived in Northern Ireland between 1981 and 1984 - it was a very troubled time, and today's news from North of Belfast has brought back lots of memories of that period for me.

Having been back on several occasions since 1984, I have always thought the relative peace in the country is one of the really unsung achievements of the Major (and subsequently Blair) government/s.

The last time I was in Northern Ireland, in Belfast itself to be precise, was in July 2005 when London was so horrifically bombed ... there was something quite surreal about sitting in a such a vibrant and safe Belfast (which it was not between 1981 and 1984) when London was under severe threat of further bombing.

Personally, I don't think today's actions indicate a return to the 1980's Belfast that I originally knew, but they certainly provide a terrible reminder that many still do not accept the current settlement in Northern Ireland.

7 comments:

Tom Brechney said...

Abdrew,
I agree with your sentiments wholeheartedly. I visit NI alot and have very close friends there and have an interest in the ongoing Irish situation. This episode is, as well as a tragedy for those involved, an unpleasant reminder of the Troubles. I also agree with you about the work of Major ( mostly ignored )and carried forward so well by Tony Blair. I would also say the leadership of the Republican movement, namely Adams and McGuiness have been crucial in the ending of the armed conflict. Lets hope these so called dissident Republicans have even less influence, than they do already and accept that the peace process is only way forward.

Tom

Andrew said...

Tom

Thanks for the comment - I was reassured earlier to see McGuiness on TV being completely unequivocal in his condemnation of these actions.

Andrew

Tom Brechney said...

Andrew,

Yes, he would be, as was Gerry Adams. Their commitment to the peace process is unequivocal.

Hopefully this an isolated action by a small minority dissident faction.

Tom

John Wallace said...

I also liked Peter Hain's speech in the Independent at the weekend.

John Wallace said...

The above comment should have been on .... Sorry.

Andrew said...

... just as I was about to say 'somewhat off-topic'

Anonymous said...

^^^^^

Wally! (_|_)