Derailing Peace in Northern Ireland

This post has been inspired by the conversation that was started by good friend Nathan Erskine.


The heinous murder of newly qualified Police Constable, Ronan Kerr in the last week has simply served to highlight that Northern Ireland’s history is anything but history in the minds of some people.  And, in the minds of those who are trying to keep the events of the past where they belong it simply recalls to memory some painful times in the legacy of this beautiful but complex piece of earth.

The way I see it is that there are a number of possible explanations of this attack.

– It is an attempt to derail the Peace Process in Northern Ireland

– Is it a way of subverting a perceived dominant and unwelcome force by a violent minority?

The death, tragic as it is, is not an isolated incident but it is an attempt at something much larger.  It is an attempt to create chaos and derail the peace process in Northern Ireland.  The murder was a chance to corrode the already tenuous relationship between government and peace.

The timing of this event is significant at election time.  The plan here was much deeper than misery for one family, unfortunately OC Ronan Kerr’s life was being used as a catalyst to spur a larger political crisis in Northern Ireland.  On the whole this objective was unsuccessful, many leaders stood in unity and faced, with dignity and courage the difficultly of leading a country through this terrorism, unfortunately however a few of the political parties showed narrow-mindedness and unwilling to move away from a political game and point scoring.

Is this the litmus test for Sinn Fein as peaceful leaders of the Republican movement?

Sinn Fein have been almost unanimous in their condemnation of this attack and similar attacks in the last few years.  This, however seems to be their chance to really step up to the plate and prove their mettle as peaceful leaders of a nationalist movement.


At the end of the day however, this attack is not simply affecting those in the political world.  Behind this carnage we must remember that Ronan Kerr was a real human bein, with hopes, aspirations and dreams.  It saddens me greatly that when we now talk about the ‘Omagh Bomb’ we will have to distinguish just what bombing we are referring to.



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