Saturday 24 February 2018

North's election results puncture SF myth of United Ireland's inevitability

Michelle Gildernew
Michelle Gildernew

Mick Fealty

I've lost count of the number of Northern Ireland media commentators who regularly and spontaneously burst into laughter at the mere mention of Peter Robinson's "graduated unionist response" promised over the parading stand off over the Ardoyne shops in North Belfast.

Flicking through the pages of Belfast newspapers on Saturday morning, there was little laughter and few explanations as to how, for example, Nigel Dodds managed to effect a full 7pc bounce in the Unionist vote.

Undoubtedly Sinn Féin's refusal (or inability, it is never quite clear which) to broker an accommodation to enable a very small number of Orangemen to walk home past the Ardoyne shops every 12th of July has acted as fuel to a Unionist electoral bonfire.

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