Posted by Niall O'Dowd at 5/23/2009 11:04 PM EDT
I see that dissidents in West Belfast this weekend attempted to destroy the car of Bobby Storey,a leading Republican figure, who played a key role in getting the Republican movement to take part in the peace process.
It is just the latest in a slew of attempts by dissidents to pressure leading Republicans. A similar attempt to intimidate senior Sinn Fein figure Mitchell McLoughlin recently took place and Martin McGuinness has been warned that his safety is at risk because of the dissident threat.
I don't take these actions lightly. Clearly there are a group of young thugs about the place determined to get their kicks by trying to restart The Troubles. While their attempts to draw Sinn Fein in have been laughable so far that is not to say they are not capable of much worse given the right set of circumstances.
They have only to be lucky once and as we saw from the dissidents in the killing of two British soldiers and a policeman recently, the tinder box that was once Northern Ireland could possibly be re-ignited unless cooler heads prevail.
That was certainly the case after those murders. Sinn Fein and Democratic Unionist politicians discovered they had far more in common than what separated them when it came to keeping the peace on track.
The fear is that some more recent Republican defectors, who have far more expertise than those young thugs who try to destroy cars and disturb the peace, may latch on to the dissident factions and create a new and more dangerous militant group.
The reality of any post-conflict situation is that resistance to the settlement will continue for many years in some form or fashion.
I have no doubt that the Tamil tigers,no matter how much the government in Sri Lanka is claiming victory will reorganize in some fashion. Rarely do revolutions die a quick death. That is why we must stay vigilant and committed to the process in Northern Ireland to continue to achieve through peaceful means .
Boredom and a sense that all has been achieved which spells complacency is our greatest enemy. The thugs who tried to destroy Storey's car this weekend have a message to deliver. It is up to all of us to ensure it does not spread.
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