Scottish independence stirring sectarian rifts in N. Ireland

Northern Ireland has been troubled with sectarian strife for many decades, with Republican Catholics viewing the presence of British governance in the region as an occupation of Ireland. Most protestants, on the other hand, remain loyal to the mainly protestant UK.

Scottish independence stirring sectarian rifts in N. Ireland

World Bulletin / News Desk

Later this year, Scotland is set to hold a referendum that could see them break free of rule from London for the first time since the United Kingdom was formed in 1707, becoming an independent state.

However, the issue of Scottish independence does not just affect Scotland. United Kingdom loyalists in Northern Ireland, who are mainly Protestant, fear that should Scotland become independent, dissedent Republican voices in its Catholic community may be reignited.

Northern Ireland has been troubled with sectarian strife for many decades, with Republican Catholics viewing the presence of British governance in the region as an occupation of Ireland. Most protestants, on the other hand, remain loyal to the mainly protestant UK.

Although paramilitary groups like the IRA declare ceasefires in the last decade, tensions remain with increasing incidences suggested that peace is still yet to settle in the region.

Already some loyalist politicians such as Ian Paisley Junior have warned that Scottish independence may encourage Republicans to dismantle the UK, while Ulster Unionist Party leader Tom Elliot suggested that Scottish independence was more dangerous than IRA violence.

One Republican and former Sinn Fein Party press officer, Danny Morrison, was quoted by Al Jazeera saying that loyalist protestants in Northern Ireland would also become divided among themselves, as "the majority Protestant community in the North is Presbyterian, not Anglican, and they identify their roots with dissenters from Scotland."

Northern Ireland has a population of almost two million and is evenly divided between Protestant and Catholic communities. 

Last Mod: 24 Şubat 2014, 17:48
Add Comment