THE flying of the Union Flag over Belfast City Hall has been a main catalyst for the street protests of recent weeks, but there are other testing issues of concern that are creating unrest and anger within the wider unionist populace.
The very apparent one-sidedness towards a narrow republican/nationalist agenda of inquiries and reports into controversial incidents of the Troubles stands comparison with the virtual ignoring by state agencies of heinous IRA atrocities, some committed by people now occupying senior political positions at Stormont.
Republican propaganda about alleged security force ‘collusion’ is peddled on a constant drip-feed and a nervous government in London, apologetic about its arbitrary Direct Rule role over three decades, is pushed onto the back foot in a desire not to confront accusers.
The Provisional IRA was responsible for most deaths during the Troubles, yet Sinn Fein and fellow travellers are never prepared to pore over, admit to or fully investigate the awful cruel crimes of republicans that horribly stained humanity and decency in this Province.
East Belfast Presbyterian minister the Rev Mervyn Gibson cites the “endless” list of republican-driven inquiries as part of unionist apprehension about the direction of the current political and peace processes and the PSNI’s attempted prosecution of soldiers over the Bloody Sunday incidents in Londonderry in 1972, while completely ignoring IRA involvement on that day, is the latest crass development.
These and other mantras, like the bizarre decision-making of the Parades Commission, undermine unionist confidence that a just, equitable society can emerge 15 years on from the Belfast Agreement.