While the Good Friday Agreement halted the violence, known as the Troubles, it failed to address the underlying sectarian roots and struck a “delicate balance”, said Ms Hayward, who is a member of Britain and Ireland, the North and South. and depended on cooperation among the federalists. and nationalist.
“In all three aspects of the Good Friday Agreement, that balance, the thing that kept it, has been removed,” she said. “So everyone is feeling that particular degree of insecurity.”
Members of the Orange Order, a religious and political Protestant fraternal order, marched in the city – also known as Londonderry by the Unionists, who wanted the area to remain part of the United Kingdom – and to mark the military victory of William of Orange. Lead the celebration. Catholic King James II in 1690.
Many Catholic nationalists view traditions associated with such celebrations, such as the Orange Order March and bonfires, at which the tricolor flag of the Republic of Ireland is often lit as a form of incitement. Caoim Archibald, a local Sinn Fein politician – an Irish Republican Party – shared an image of a bonfire, depicted tricolor on twitter With the message: “This is not an expression of culture, it is an expression of hatred.”
But many Protestants consider it an important celebration of identity and heritage.
“It’s a culture I’ve been brought up in, it’s a culture I’m proud of,” said 59-year-old William Jackson, playing outside with his grandchildren at the Fountain Estate before the annual festival a day earlier. ” The neighborhood is surrounded by a high metal fence. British flags are duct tape to lamp posts wrapped in barbed wire.
Throughout Northern Ireland last weekend, bonfires were lit ahead of parades as towers of teetering palettes were set ablaze, casting a twinkling orange glow on the faces of spectators gathered for street parties.