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Dithering, craven Executive flutters the white flag again

Máiría Cahill


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Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness. Picture by Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness. Picture by Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Belfast 2012. Picture by Paul Faith/PA Wire

Belfast 2012. Picture by Paul Faith/PA Wire

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Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness. Picture by Brian Lawless/PA Wire

You couldn’t throw a stone where I grew up and not hit a piece of graffiti or a wall mural with some message or another. “Brits out” screamed white capital letters on street corners, “Victory to the Blanketmen” on others — images of long-haired skinny men with ribs poking out, terrifying then, to this child who took them under her notice.

What’s the IRA, Mummy?” I asked one day, after seeing big green, white and orange letters, to the consternation of my mother. Spare a thought for my friend’s mum, though, who was even more perplexed when her six-year-old wanted to ask about graffiti on a wall she had seen, which stated; “Santa is a British Agent.” Nothing was sacred in west Belfast.


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