To suggest that this latest Hillsborough accord is a final panacea is to tempt fortune. The British government must have learnt that nothing can be taken for granted in Northern Ireland. As Jonathan Freedland notes in today’s Guardian, this deal has delayed not decided.
'One of the most contentious issues – the regulation of parades – has not been resolved so much as contained and delayed, by the creation of a working group to review the current arrangements.'
The Traditional Unionist Voice’s Jim Allister articulated the rejectionist sentiments felt by many Ulsterman: “In football terms I see this as a five to one victory for Sinn Fein”. For every Allister there is a Real IRA or Continuity IRA gunslinger who sees the exact opposite. With Sinn Fein and the DUP increasingly loathed by their respective communities bloodshed is never far removed from the present. Caution does not diminish the achievement: the parties of Adams and ‘Dr No!’ have secured the peace to which neither used to be committed: but the road ahead remains precarious.