Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Good luck to Northern Ireland's latest 'nanny'

ANOTHER peace envoy from the United States, in the shape of Richard Haass, will attempt to solve the contentious flags issue and other outstanding problems.

Northern Ireland still hasn't the ability to solve its own problems, in spite of the fortune spent on Stormont and various ancillary institutions.

How pathetic that it still has to have a 'nanny' to mind it, as it tries to grow up, and find a better way than marking out territory with banners and flags.

Stormont does not seem to be able to clean up the mess of its conflict-torn past, with signs and symbols of division everywhere.

What will Northern Ireland's nanny achieve this time? Will he go home haggard and frustrated, with only frameworks agreed and nothing of substance?

Why is it that, in spite of all the hopes people had for Stormont, that it cannot solve outstanding matters?

The truth is that things in Northern Ireland have only improved marginally and there is a long way to go.

All-out, persistent and widespread bombing has been a thing of the past for a long while, which represents some progress, and the possibility that substantial change is possible. However, people outside Northern Ireland are still deeply critical of it and are full of disdain for what has become a hopeless situation.

Good luck to Northern Ireland's latest nanny. Maybe he can stop the children fighting.

MAURICE FITZGERALD

Shanbally, Co Cork

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