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Republicans now need to behave or face exclusion

Published 26/08/2015

Maybe unionists will give republicans one last chance following recent events, or maybe they will not.

However, one thing is certain, if there are further events attributed to republicans in the same vein then it is highly unlikely the Assembly will survive many more crises.

If there is a return to old ways and methods, then it is impossible to imagine any kind of harmony coming about.

The political vacuum at Stormont over welfare is not helping either and may be seen by some as a licence to start non-democratic practices.

At the end of the day it is all about credence and credibility and it is impossible to have that given the background of recent black events.

Republicans may face exclusion - something they have fought against for decades in getting their voices heard.

The political platform they have is legitimate, but it cannot be tainted with events that lie outside normality. It is not acceptable.

Republicans cannot expect unionists to tolerate such behaviour indefinitely without consequences, perhaps bringing down the axe on Stormont. They will only be able to put up with so much before they break.

To do so is both foolish, if not arrogant.

All republicans should be on their best behaviour from now on, whether they exist in an organised form or not.

Otherwise, they will be back to square one in a political wilderness.

Maurice Fitzgerald

Co Cork

Belfast Telegraph

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