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Belfast riots show how ‘toxins of the past have not abated’

President Higgins
President Higgins in Haringey this morning

THE ongoing riots in Northern Ireland show  “how the toxins of the divisive past have not entirely abated,” President Michael D. Higgins has told members of Britain’s Irish community.

Speaking at the Haringey Irish Centre this morning, Ireland’s President roundly condemned the violent rioting of loyalists which he said was “simply unacceptable”.

He added that “much more work remains to be done” to eliminate “all forms of sectarianism” which he said should be “outrightly and unconditionally condemned”.

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Elaborating on his comments to journalists later, President Higgins said: “I think what people could see on their screens is simply unacceptable.”

The President added that “those who have influence in Northern Ireland must accept their responsibilities to forthrightly say what is simply not acceptable and call for leadership from those who believe in peace.

“Peace is much more than signatures on a piece of paper. It is about inter-community relations,” he added.

Commenting on the pipe bombs, blast bombs and petrol bombs that injured more than 70 to police officers, President Higgins added: “How can anyone justify so many policemen being injured in behaviour that would not be accepted at any time in any part of the world?”

Referring to leaders of the orange orders who called for the protests that led to the riots, the President said: “There are clearly questions to be answered. And the Government, no doubt, and the inter-governmental relationships will talk about that.”


Niall O Sullivan

Niall O’Sullivan is a reporter at The Irish Post. You can follow him on @Niall_IrishPost on Twitter

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One comment on “Belfast riots show how ‘toxins of the past have not abated’”

  1. Lonewarrior

    The riots, which generally happen every week during this time of year demonstrates that Northern Ireland is, has and never will be a viable state. There is no peace process because it is not a natural state, the peace process can only lead to a United Ireland which Protestants fear and see as coming closer by stealth, as the flag issue in December showed. For a person to believe in Northern Ireland, is too believe that Ireland is not a nation.

    The riots show how far away we are from a united Ireland however, there is simply no desire and never has been on behalf of Irish people to try and address fears of the loyalist community, they are simply seen as alien when in fact they have lived on the island for hundreds of years but just have a different understanding of what it means to be Irish.


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