Sma' Talk Wi' T

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Protestants Disrupt Northern Ireland Talks

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The peaceful valleys and glens of Northern Ireland are back to their bitter fighting.

Protestant hard-liners disrupted a Belfast news conference Wednesday called to unveil — and sell to a skeptical public — the 18-month efforts of former Anglican Archbishop Robin Eames and former Catholic priest Denis Bradley.

As they prepared to speak, Protestant hard-liners jumped up from the crowd to hurl insults and condemnations — both at the two men and other audience members linked to the outlawed Irish Republican Army. The hecklers included men and women who lost relatives or were maimed in IRA attacks.

“My brother was an innocent man defending this whole community,” said one protester, Hazlett Lynch, whose policeman brother was killed in a 1977 IRA ambush. “When IRA men died while launching cowardly attacks on this community, they actually received justice. The families of those murderers should not be consoled with a single penny today.”

Their fury focused on an Eames-Bradley commitment to paying the nearest relatives of all 3,700 dead from the conflict about $17,000 each. The two former churchmen insisted that all families who lost loved ones deserve equal support — but once the anger had ebbed, Eames offered a qualified apology.

So much for “former” men of the cloth’s efforts to keep the peace. The centuries of generational anger and bitter hatred is not going to go away so easily.

Northern Ireland and Ireland need to be joined. The Brits need to leave the now Catholic-majority counties.

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Written by smalltalkwitht

January 28, 2009 at 10:27 pm

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