Deadline in Northern Ireland

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The poet Seamus Heaney wrote three decades ago of his native Northern Ireland, “O land of password, handgrip, wink and nod; of open minds as open as a trap.”

Well, the trap has caught Northern Ireland once again. The Unionist leader David Trimble has resigned his post in the power-sharing government, citing the IRA’s refusal to put its arms “beyond use.” Republicans throw Trimble’s talk of un-kept promises back at Unionists and the British government, calling for police and military reforms. Northern Ireland is a province weary of weapons, of warriors, and sectarian tension, yet once again the passions fueled by decades of conflict threaten to consume the political process.

Marching season approaches, the time for parading Protestant and Catholic stripes, for playing out on the streets what’s not yet resolved in the government.
(Hosted by Dick Gordon)


Monica McWilliams, leader of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition

Padraig O’Malley, senior fellow at the McCormack Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Boston

and Boston Globe reporter Kevin Cullen.