Queen raises doubts over sustainability of peace in Northern Ireland
As political and sectarian tensions continue to mount in Northern Ireland, the British monarch has seen fit to intervene with a view to containing the escalating crisis.
Queen Elizabeth II has released a message on the centenary of the foundation of the British-controlled territory, asserting that “reconciliation, equality and mutual understanding” in the north of Ireland “cannot be taken for granted.
Describing the British-led partition of Ireland as a “significant centenary”, the Queen claimed the occasion “reminds us of our complex history, and provides an opportunity to reflect on our togetherness and our diversity”.
Describing the 23 years since the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 as “political progress”, the Queen claimed this process was guided by a “generation of leaders who had the vision and courage to put reconciliation before division”.
The inference is clear: according to the Queen, today’s generation of leaders lack the “vision and courage” of their predecessors.
The Queen’s intervention comes on the heels of the implosion of the main pro-British party in Northern Ireland – the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) – following the ouster of their leader Arlene Foster.
The monarch’s message also comes against the backdrop of steadily intensifying violence across the British-controlled territory as demonstrated by 12 days of consecutive rioting by loyalist gangs.
British-controlled Northern Ireland was artificially created 100 years ago when the Government of Ireland Act came into effect thereby partitioning the island of Ireland.