Friday, 2 July 2010

Norn Iron: it hasn't gone away, you know.

Next up is a natty young man with a very directional goatee.

Hold on a second: it's Chris, disguised by his new facial furniture. He's speaking on the challenge of dissident Republicans in northern Ireland - an inchoate set of groups with divergent aims who are not hugely well-understood, I don't think. They're split along ideological, regional, historical, strategic and personal lines, and they're massively penetrated by the security forces on both sides of the border. It's fascinating in so many ways, and it's unfolding - the CIRA appears to have split again just this month (and here).

He and Eamonn are experts on this, as I got to know when I helped them on a Northern Ireland politics conference they hosted. It took months for my liver to recover and the flashbacks still haven't stopped.

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