United front against the ir­rec­on­cil­able trou­ble­mak­ers who would drag us back to the past is highly en­cour­ag­ing

Belfast Telegraph - - RE­VIEW -

THE dis­grace­ful vi­o­lence in Lon­don­derry has con­tin­ued for some six nights, and Chief Con­sta­ble Ge­orge Hamil­ton has warned that some­one will die if it doesn’t stop.

He blames the so-called New IRA for or­ches­trat­ing the at­tacks, though other dis­si­dents are doubt­less in­volved.

How­ever, what united these vi­o­lent peo­ple in Derry all week and in east Belfast on the Eleventh Night is the fact that they have noth­ing to of­fer us.

We are be­ing trans­ported in a macabre time ma­chine to the Seven­ties and Eight­ies, and only a hand­ful of blink­ered ir­rec­on­cil­ables want this.

It is en­cour­ag­ing to see so many par­ties con­demn­ing such out­ra­geous be­hav­iour, and SDLP leader Colum East­wood speaks elo­quently for every­one when he says: “Noth­ing ever has been achieved by at­tack­ing po­lice of­fi­cers who are do­ing their job to keep peo­ple safe.”

There is a huge cost to this in dam­age to prop­erty and ve­hi­cles, but also a price that can­not be cal­cu­lated in hard cash.

This is the emo­tional cost in­flicted on those peo­ple, many el­derly and in­firm, who are trapped in their homes and fear­ful that they might be burnt out.

There is also the cost to a brave city that has pulled it­self up by its boot­straps.

Derry has earned an en­vied rep­u­ta­tion as a cen­tre of tourism, and is about to stage the pres­ti­gious Clip­per Mar­itime Fes­ti­val.

It has also helped to lead the way in find­ing an on­go­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion be­tween na­tion­al­ists and the loyal or­ders.

This vi­o­lence is a re­minder of the ne­far­i­ous na­ture of the dis­si­dents.

They ex­ploit young peo­ple who do not re­alise that they are be­ing used.

How­ever, the united front in Derry, and the ex­am­ple of oth­ers else­where, will win through in the end, as it has done in the past.

In the mean­time, there is an ur­gent need for this vi­o­lence to be stopped be­fore some­one is killed.

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