Selling Northern Ireland’s features and benefits must be a difficult job for anyone trying to attract inward investment at the moment.
The nightly pictures of rioting have gained momentum right across the global media world and travelled from local news sources to international, giving a far from confident impression of the local environment.
Trying to persuade a multi-million pound potential investor to sign a deal with a business in Northern Ireland, or to set up a base here, is a difficult enough task in the current economic environment but it’s made doubly difficult if the only news they’re hearing from the region is negative.
Comparatively, we’ve had a relatively peaceful summer, and for that we should be thankful, but these violent outbursts only serve to dent the recovery of the Northern Ireland economy and do nothing for confidence.
Still, we’ve shrugged off much worse in the last few years and we can only hope that the last few nights have been nothing more than the exception that proves the rule, rather than something that will become a recurring theme.
If we’re to succeed both economically and socially, we need to work as one, rather than fight amongst each other.