Will Brexit spark new wave of IRA terrorism?

Police in Northern Ireland say that the car bomb attack in the city of Londonderry on Saturday could have been the work of the militant underground organisation the New IRA. Commentators discuss what impact the Brexit negotiations could have on peace in Ireland.

Open/close all quotes
Jyllands-Posten (DK) /

London giving terrorists new leeway

The explosion in Londonderry is a first sign that the unsuccessful Brexit talks could give terrorists more room for manoeuvre, Jyllands-Posten points out:

“Almost all Irish, in the north and in the south, are against violence and want to preserve what has been accomplished to date. Just as many Catholics as Protestants now live in Northern Ireland, which can help to promote peace in the future. But the amateurish, not to say catastrophic negotiations in London have fuelled fears and apparently given terrorists a certain free space. If Britain harms itself it's regrettable, but ultimately a domestic affair. But if it harmed a neighbour it would be unforgivable.”

Helsingin Sanomat (FI) /

Much more dangerous than a car bomb

Helsingin Sanomat also fears the repercussions the Brexit negotiations could have for peace in Ireland:

“Brexit is an even greater danger to peace in Ireland than the car bombs that residents on both sides of the border condemn. ... If there were suddenly a hard EU border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland without a clause in the Brexit deal that could mitigate its impact, the repercussions on people's daily lives would be drastic. The path to the peace agreement was paved during Ireland's and Britain's EU membership. ... All parties agree that Brexit must not jeopardise the achievements of the Northern Irish peace process. ... Brexit, however, is not taking Ireland's needs into account.”

The Irish Times (IE) /

Northern Irish essentially different

Writer Michael O'Loughlin explains in The Irish Times why a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland might not make that much difference at all:

“The crucial point is that borders are not just a line in the ground, it's the people and their culture. Since the 1920s Northern Ireland has been moving away, politically and culturally, from the Republic, and now its fate is still linked to Great Britain's. No matter what fudge the politicians come up with, ... in reality that divergence will grow, as we become more European and the UK becomes more ... well, as of yet, nobody knows quite what. … The men who founded this State thought that recognising the North's essential difference was a price worth paying for independence. It still is.”