The latest loyalist sectarian attack on the people of the Short Strand illustrates the unchanging reality of life for large sections nationalist community in Belfast and throughout occupied Six Counties. Once again it is the nationalist people who must bear the brunt of loyalist mobs who have unleashed in order to further the political agenda of the unionist political establishment.
The present loyalist riots - ostensibly on the issue of the flying of the Union Jack flag over Belfast City Hall – have been encouraged and directed by an unholy alliance of the DUP and armed loyalist death squads such as the UVF and UDA. None of this is new; traditionally the Unionist establishment have used armed loyalism as a weapon in its arsenal, to be used either to exert pressure on the British Government or to terrorise the nationalist community. In this instance it is being cynically used to further the political ambitions of the DUP, as it seeks to regain the parliamentary seat it lost to the Alliance Party at the last British General Election.
The events in Belfast and other areas of the Six Counties over the past number of weeks simply underline the abnormality of the Six-County state. As Republican Sinn Féin warned in 1998, the Stormont Agreement has simply reinforced and institutionalised sectarianism in the Six Counties. Over the past 15 years it has served only to deepen the sectarian divide, thus condemning the people of the Six Counties to an ongoing cycle of sectarian conflict. This cycle of sectarianism can only be broken by the dismantling of the two partitionists states and the creation of a New Ireland. We believe that Éire Nua would allow all sections of the Irish people to come together in mutual trust and respect, making a reality of the aspiration of Theobald Wolfe Tone to unite Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter.