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On Thursday night we once again returned to the bad old days of “The Troubles” here in Northern Ireland. A brave and fearless 29 year old journalist was shot as she was covering the rioting in Londonderry and later died of her wounds in Altnagelvin Hospital. This shocking event has brought home to us here at home and around the world just how fragile the peace is. This morning the PSNI have announced the arrests of two young men...just 18 and 19 years old. What saddens me is the fact that almost 35 years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, children who’s parents were only children in 1985 are still being drawn into the paramilitary cause of the “New IRA”. There can be no justification for them feeling the need to take guns onto the streets to shoot at the police, which is what their actual target was. Our police force is a non-sectarian force, it recruits from all sections of the community, and in fact carried out a reverse discrimination policy for a number of years after the Patten Report and the disbanding of the old RUC and the forming of the PSNI, specifically in order to redress the balance. These paramilitaries are a curse on all civilised and right-minded people, they prey on young people and peddle drugs as well as do punishment beatings and kneecapping to keep them in line in the nationalist areas they control. The police were doing raids in one of their strongholds, The Creggan, in Derry, looking for weapons and ammunition caches, this was ahead of a big Republican march to commemorate the Easter Rising of 1916 which was due to take place on Monday.

Lyra McKee has paid the price, for being at the forefront of bringing us the news, she bravely put herself in the line of fire to do so. She was also tireless in her campaign for LGBT rights here in Northern Ireland, that is another battle yet to be fully won here. She leaves a grieving partner and family, and will be sadly missed by the wider public who valued her journalistic talent.

Marionville 9 Apr 20

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A moving tribute, and well written .very sad.



On our news last night. Terrible news!’s just that...terrible!

@Marionville It never seems to end either.

@Lilac-Jade Sadly not.


Bigotry and power seeking, hiding under the guise of religion. Those at the top grow rich on the blood and suffering of those below them, and of the decent majority.
Their funding comes from abroad, and from crime, not from popular Irish sentiment. They are a despicable carbon copy of the mafia bosses, ruling areas through fear and patronage.


It was going to an obvious consequence of the Irish boarder issues of brexit that IRA would rise again, everyone in Ireland and Northern Ireland pointed this out at the time and the North voted overwhelmingly for remain in in the referenDUMB, much good it did them.
Now people are dying again.
People, especially English people, forget the UK is not one country, it is a federation of four countries, two of which voted heavily for remain, where as the two that voted leave did so by only a very narrow margin


It is good for us to have an unbiased ' reporter ' [like YOU] right in the middle of the troubles. Not so good for you though and your friends and relatives. Good too that you have brave young people ready to expose these futile way of getting attention. Is the trouble now related to Brexit?
I spent the first 19 years of my life in the Isle of Man and i well remember the annual arrival of the marches around where I lived .Marching season is coming up soon?

Has there been any study done that explains why these marches are SO important to the Irish. Do they do ANY good at all?

Brexit has been a catalyst for some elements on the nationalist side to call for a border poll, but I don’t know if you can say that this particular incident had any connection to it...probably not. These dissident republican groups have always been in disagreement with the mainstream nationalist opinion. They hated that the provos stopped their terror campaign and morphed into legitimate politicians in the form of Sinn Fein. They have been staging guerrilla style attacks on the police and prison officers, sporadically, ever since the Good Friday Agreement was signed. They have actually managed to kill a few police officers and two years ago a prison officer from my own town. It is completely pointless of course, as it is now enshrined in international law that when a majority wishes it, Northern Ireland will be reunited with the Republic....hence the current calls for a border poll. The marches are important to them as a marker of their nationality....the Orange Protestant tradition is fundamental to their Britishness, as it stems from the reason their ancestors came here from Scotland and England to settle on free land which was gifted to them by the British Crown at the time of the Plantations of Ireland, it was to quell the native Irish Catholics and be a ruling class. The Battle of The Boyne is what they are celebrating on 12th July, the battle which took place on that date in 1690 and at which William of Orange’s troops beat the deposed Catholic monarch James II’s troops. King William then granted land to any soldiers who fought for him. The Nationalists have their marches too, in their case to maintain their Irish identity whilst technically still being British subjects. It is a matter of identity, and it is so important to them that they would die defending it. Witness the DUP in the current Brexit talks, they don’t care about the border in Ireland coming’s the border that may be created down the Irish Sea that is of major concern to them....they already said that it is “a blood red line”. The Irish backstop, should it ever come into play would mean that there would be a barrier between the Island of Ireland and the island of Great Britain....they will never countenance that.


I read the news stories about it. We really don't get a lot of news about Northern Ireland over here. Not since the 'Troubles' were supposed to have ended. Are the old animosities heating back up? Or is this just an isolated occurrence?

There has always been a small republican element who wish to continue with violence who have continued, they keep changing their names because they are breakaways from the IRA who officially disbanded and decommissioned their weapons. The PSNI say these perpetrators are calling themselves the New IRA, but there are other dissident groups in other areas. The Creggan seems to be controlled by this New IRA lot. They are really just gangsters, and apart from terrorising their own community, they ambush and attack the police from time to time, and prison officers. There was a prison officer from my local town ambushed and killed a couple of years ago on his way to work. In the main things are peaceful, and I don’t feel under threat or feel there’s anywhere I can travel to. Obviously, I would never be travelling into certain parts of Derry or Belfast....but you could say that of most cities in any country, which have undesirable areas.

@Marionville We can only hope this doesn't cause the Protestant paramilitaries to re-form, thus adding fuel to the fire.

@davknight They never went away either, they too branched out into racketeering and drug distribution....they are mirror images of each other in some ways. They don’t go in for rioting and targeting the police, but are sill very dangerous.


They do not even have the excuse of 'no experience of peace' anymore... and we've no more colonies to ship the sociopathic to, though the Moon might do soon... Modern life lacks a role for what used to be tightly controlled and regimented cannon-fodder, though we can't seem to stop breeding them.

Yes...If you are unfortunate enough to be born in certain areas that the paramilitaries consider as their territory, it’s very hard to escape their clutches. Education of all children together instead of the segregation into Catholic or Protestant schools would be a good start.

@Marionville i actually believed they had done that, I'm sorry it didn't happen

@Allamanda There have been some integrated schools set up, but the majority are still state or catholic. I blame the Catholic Church for that, they insist on keeping their schools, even the teacher training colleges in Belfast are segregated...St.Mary’s for the RCs and Stranmillis for the state sector. Taxpayers pay for both, the RC Church doesn’t pay, but we have to shoulder the burden of running two institutions, two sets of schools, even in small’s duplication and separation.

@Marionville yes let them pay for their own if they want to perpetuate old grievances... and then aybe no-one would hire them either


I heard about her death - terrible that people can’t figure out how to live together.

It only takes a few to keep fomenting trouble.

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