A lot at stake

It is more than unfortunate that Taoiseach Enda Kenny and British Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday morning felt they had no option but to leave the struggling Northern talks after the parties failed to agree a range of issues such as the past, flags and parades.

A lot at stake

Whether this gesture is intended as a reality check to the parties unable to reach agreement or a withdrawal from the process for the foreseeable future seems almost irrelevant.

What is most striking about the impasse is the inflexibility of all parties involved. It seems that the prize, a stable and ever more normalised society, is a prize worth making concessions to secure.

Maybe distance makes us see things through a different prism, maybe history has hardened those involved, but the development of a better, safer society seems a far more noble objective than curtailing the use of flags, even ones offensive to sections of the community.

It is easier said that done, but occasionally the future demands a complete break from the past. This may be one such occasion, one that requires courage and leadership.

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Saturday, April 10, 2021

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