Irish echo logo 750x550

Small bore again

Being allowed to parade down one street as opposed to the next, or another street, would appear to be well down the list of fundamentals.

Not, apparently, as far as the Democratic Unionist Party is concerned.

What we have witnessed these past few days has been the entirely unhelpful and potentially disastrous resurrection of Northern Ireland politics of the small bore variety.

Peter Robinson and his party has been attempting to secure the abolition of the Parades Commission, a body which was put in place in order to head off the kind of street clashes during parades that were once an all too familiar spectacle on Northern Ireland's streets, highways and, in the case of the Garvaghy Road for one, residential neighborhoods.

That policing and justice, critical to the future of governance in Northern Ireland, have been held hostage to such a demand is outrageous.

Contentious parades, and how to deal with them, would normally be within the remit of police and judicial authorities and indeed there is the possibility that the commission might in the future by replaced or superseded, but only as a result of decisions taken in Northern Ireland by locally empowered political, policing and legal authorities.

The DUP, if it is to be taken seriously at all as a party of government, has to look much farther into the distance than has been the case these past few weeks.

Is it capable of doing this?

Recent history would suggest the possibility, but recent days would suggest not only otherwise, but additionally raise a questions to whether or not the party, as currently constituted, is up to the task of everyday, normal governance.

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

 

Donate