A timely re­minder of the fragility of peace

Irish Independent - - Letters & Editorial Comment -

THE price of a set­back to the North­ern Ire­land peace process was set out in Omagh yes­ter­day. Twenty years ago, on Au­gust 15, 1998, the town in Co Ty­rone was turned into a war zone when a car bomb ex­ploded. Twenty-nine peo­ple were killed, in­clud­ing a woman who was preg­nant with twins, and more than 200 oth­ers were in­jured in the atroc­ity.

The vic­tims came from North­ern Ire­land, the Repub­lic of Ire­land, Eng­land and Spain.

In the wake of the great hope in­spired by the Good Fri­day Agree­ment ear­lier that year, it served as a re­minder of how swiftly the peace could be shat­tered.

Now, North­ern Ire­land stands at a cross­roads again with the un­cer­tainty around Brexit and the fu­ture of the de­volved in­sti­tu­tions. The hard-fought peace is be­ing taken for granted with the North­ern Ire­land As­sem­bly not sit­ting and the Ex­ec­u­tive show­ing no signs of get­ting back up and gov­ern­ing for the peo­ple it should be serv­ing.

The vac­uum is of con­cern.

Ev­ery ef­fort must be un­der­taken to en­sure there is no go­ing back to those dark days and the en­vi­ron­ment can­not ex­ist for dis­si­dents to op­er­ate.

It is quite clear the im­pli­ca­tions for North­ern Ire­land were not on the agenda in the Brexit ref­er­en­dum and those who want to leave the EU re­gard the Bor­der is­sue as an in­con­ve­nience which should be brushed aside.

There is too much at stake to merely pay the fu­ture of North­ern Ire­land such lip service.

In this news­pa­per to­day, the po­ten­tial con­se­quences of Brexit for pen­sion pay­ments for re­turned em­i­grants is out­lined. It’s an­other de­tail left un­ad­dressed by the Brex­i­teers. But there are even big­ger mat­ters at stake.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.