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Young voters' view of the Troubles on the island of Ireland.

  • 28-08-2022 12:04pm
    Registered Users Posts: 4,127 ✭✭✭political analyst

    In an article for the The Sunday Times today - entitled "This misty-eyed view of IRA violence risks rolling back the peace process" - Newton Emerson wrote that nationalists in Northern Ireland (NI) switched to Sinn Féin (SF) because of a belief in its policies, frustration with unionism, disappointment with the SDLP, or just the appeal of its electoral momentum, and didn't want to apologised for it.

    In his opinion, voters in the Republic who are attracted to SF by its housing policies or frustration with the government are drawn into accepting its line with the past and that those voters may begin to feel solidarity with the party when Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil attack it.

    He believes that the new nationalist view of the Troubles is unlikely to fall back with with the political pendulum when that pendulum is caused to swing back following SF's likely position in government in the Republic by a setback there which could carry into NI, where the party is not invincible. The last sentence of his article is:

    "A permanent obstacle to reconciliation has reared up on the political landscape."

    Surely, younger pro-SF voters on both sides of the border are aware of the horror of Troubles from hearing references to the conflict's legacy on the news. Do they really think that the deliberate killing of innocent people in a politically-motivated campaign of violence is justified? If anti-peace process republican groups perpetrate further mass-casualty attacks in the near future, would those voters be OK with such attacks?