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Victims of Cluan Place
Peter Robinson MP.
Available at www.dup.org.uk/pdf/cluan.pdf
The day this review was written, there was a news
item on BBC News Northern Ireland about an outbreak of 'interface trouble' at
Cluan Place. The report simply
stated that both property and the police were attacked.
Each side was reported to have blamed the other.
Peter Robinson's booklet looks
behind such superficial media accounts and analyses what has really been
happening, who is instigating the trouble and what their motivation is.
The media generally portrays interface clashes as mindless sectarian
hooliganism, but the Democratic Unionist Party MP builds a convincing case that
in East Belfast at least, the violence is being instigated in pursuit of a
definite republican strategy.
Loyalists are enmeshed in this strategy by reacting to the republican
violence and launching tit for tat reprisals.
The victims are those on both sides being terrorised from their homes.
The only winners are the Republican Movement.
The booklet lists seven ways in which republicans gain advantage from this
violence. The authority of the
Police Service of Northern Ireland is undermined in nationalist areas. IRA volunteers are kept busy and are less likely to drift
away to join dissident groups. The
people of the Short Strand become new martyrs to continue the republican
mythology of victimhood. Republican territory and ultimately their electoral
representation is increased. The
nationalist community, seeking protection from loyalist retaliation, is forced
into the hands of the IRA. An
expansion of the Short Strand onto the Albert Bridge Road will make Orange
parades along that route 'contentious' and add fuel the anti-Orange element of
the republican gameplan. Finally
while their community is perceived as being under attack, the IRA can justify
retaining their arms.
This booklet is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand what is
going on in the Short Strand area. To
its credit, it doesn't try and portray loyalists as angels but makes it clear
that retaliation simply plays into republican hands.
The residents on both sides of the peace line are simply the pawns in a
cynical republican cold war strategy.
A THIRD WAY FOR ULSTER
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