UK News A Warning From Northern Ireland. Is Anyone Listening?

14:40  09 december  2019
14:40  09 december  2019 Source:   msn.com

NI braced for stinging -4°C Arctic blast this weekend - fog, frost and ice to form overnight

  NI braced for stinging -4°C Arctic blast this weekend - fog, frost and ice to form overnight A blast of Arctic air will see temperatures in some parts of Northern Ireland drop as low as -4°C this weekend.Temperatures in places like Strabane, Lisburn, Cookstown, Portadown and Lurgan will all drop below zero on Saturday.

Northern Ireland is a place not so much trapped by its history, but one that is living it every day. Here the question of which state it should belong to Irish Republican warnings that any new land-border checks would be targeted were held up in Dublin and London as reasons to avoid such infrastructure.

Northern Ireland is variously described as a country, province or region which is part of the United Kingdom. Located in the northeast of the island of Ireland

a man holding a sign: A man walks past Republican posters referring to Brexit in West Belfast, Northern Ireland. © Peter Morrison / AP A man walks past Republican posters referring to Brexit in West Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

BELFAST—I’m driving across Europe’s most divided city, where politics is existential and fear often only a few streets away.

We’re heading west toward the River Lagan from the largely Protestant east, the flags of illegal paramilitary groups hanging limply from lampposts. Sitting beside me in the car is someone who describes himself as “an active loyalist”—loyal to the British Crown and state and opposed to a united Ireland—but, like other unionists I spoke with, asked not to be identified for fear of retribution. He is a member of the city’s Protestant working class, which has united in anger at Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s prospective Brexit deal with the European Union, principally because of the de facto customs border that it proposes between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, in order to avoid one with the Republic of Ireland.

NI snow alert - up to two inches expected to fall across Northern Ireland next week

  NI snow alert - up to two inches expected to fall across Northern Ireland next week Northern Ireland could be under a blanket of snow next week, according to weather experts at WXCharts.It was in an weather forecast overview that WXCharts predicted snowfall across the Province next week.

The next Northern Ireland Assembly election is due to be held on or before Thursday, 5 May 2022 to elect 90 members to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

"I think the more that gets unpacked, the more opinion will move back and forward. Its not going to go just in one direction. Image caption Dr Nolan warns "If we got to the situation where people go into a polling booth and have to put the mark against a united Ireland , it's very hard for anyone to predict it.

Johnson called a general election seeking a mandate to deliver his deal. In loyalist parts of Belfast, they are determined to show he has no mandate from them.

a close up of a map: A map of the United Kingdom showing the location of Belfast. © Provided by The Atlantic A map of the United Kingdom showing the location of Belfast. To my passenger and every other Protestant unionist I met, in Belfast first and then in rural Fermanagh, near the Irish border, Johnson’s plan was a betrayal. Not just any betrayal, in fact, but a betrayal of the very issue most fundamental to them: the union between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, whose preservation had been the source of a decades-long civil war before the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement brought it to a close with an explicit recognition from all sides that Northern Ireland would stay in the United Kingdom as long as a majority of its people wanted it to. Again and again in my conversations here, I was told that Johnson’s Brexit deal amounted to a betrayal of this peace settlement—an “appeasement” of Irish Republicanism and its implicit threat of violence should any land-border controls be erected with the Republic of Ireland.

NI snow now due to arrive earlier than originally thought - severe gales and heavy rain on way too

  NI snow now due to arrive earlier than originally thought - severe gales and heavy rain on way too Snow is expected to fall in Northern Ireland next week is due to arrive earlier than originally thought, according to weather experts.Snow moving across Northern Ireland from the west is now due to arrive on Wednesday evening.

Anyone who has visited the Holocaust memorial in the centre of Berlin will have had the same Warnings of trouble on the horizon are not being sounded purely by alarmists and those who would Despite the fact that Northern Ireland has become the central focus of the Brexit showdown, with our

The rights of those in Northern Ireland to claim citizenship of either country has also been preserved in the Good Friday Agreement. In British law anyone born after January 1983 can only claim British citizenship if their parents are British or considered to be permanently settled at the time of the child's

This perceived betrayal goes to the heart of the sectarian fissure that continues to dominate Northern Ireland: between the mostly Protestant unionists, who largely identify as British, not Irish, and the largely Catholic nationalists, whose identity runs the other way and who would like to see Northern Ireland united with the Republic of Ireland. They are two communities in a zero-sum contest over which country to belong to. From the late ’60s to the mid-’90s, they were at war—the Irish Republican Army attempting to shoot and bomb their way to Irish unity; loyalist paramilitaries, fearful of British weakness (but whose leaders are now known to have colluded with British forces), responding with their own violence to stop such an outcome. While the IRA killed far more than any other group throughout the conflict, by the early ’90s, loyalist paramilitary organizations were carrying out more murders than they had in the past in an effort to terrorize the Republican community to end their campaign.

UK set to be battered by first named storm of the season

  UK set to be battered by first named storm of the season Storm Atiyah is expected to move from the west of the country across to the east late on Sunday going into Monday. The storm is the first of the season to be named and has triggered a Yellow national severe weather warning for wind for the west coast of Wales and the south west of England.The Met Office-issued warning is from 3pm on Sunday and currently runs through to 9am on Monday.The first named storm of the season #StormAtiyah has been named by @MetEireann Find our more in our news release https://t.co/N8kdo04elQ pic.twitter.

Northern Ireland is a popular place to go walking or do outdoor activities such as mountain biking, coasteering (climbing up rocks and jumping into the The best-known dish from Northern Ireland is the Ulster Fry, which is bacon, eggs, sausages and soda bread. Some versions include tomatoes

The Football Association of Ireland reveals that it has current liabilities of more than 55m euro. The South Eastern Trust is warning of afternoon outpatient department closures at its sites. 3m3 minutes ago. Northern Ireland .

While British policy ever since the Good Friday Agreement has been to support whichever outcome the majority of Northern Ireland’s population chooses, the Conservative Party—officially the Conservative and Unionist Party—has remained explicitly in favor of the union. And in Johnson, Northern Ireland’s unionists felt they had an ally, a man who became prime minister on a promise to protect the union, staking his political capital on being able to enact Brexit without internal economic barriers.

Yet in creating separate customs and regulatory rules for Northern Ireland compared with the rest of the U.K., necessary to ensure there are no controls on the border with the Republic of Ireland, the Johnson deal has reawakened Protestants’ primeval fears of betrayal and loss; that the union—and with it, their country—is being taken from them through a combination of British weakness and Republican menace. To the angry Protestant unionists I met, the law of the big stick is triumphing again: He who holds it, wins.

Watch: Brexit on the border (Sky News)

Travel disruption as Storm Atiyah hits UK and Ireland

  Travel disruption as Storm Atiyah hits UK and Ireland Storm Atiyah has hit Wales, southwest England and Ireland - sparking flight cancellations and diversions, and causing power outages in several areas. © Other Gusts of wind in Co Cork have reached 79mph. Pic: Karlis Dzjamko The first named storm of the season has brought gusts of wind of up to 79mph, which was recorded at 7pm on Sunday in Roche's Point, Co Cork, according to Ireland's meteorological service Met Eireann.It has also disrupted more than a dozen flights at Cork Airport, which were either cancelled or forced to divert to Dublin or Shannon.

United Ireland , also referred to as Irish reunification, is the proposition that all of Ireland should be a single sovereign state. At present, the island is divided politically

While the Northern Ireland minister, John Penrose, who spoke for the government, warned MPs that both potential changes would be fraught with complications, he Creasy’s amendment argued that abortion laws in Northern Ireland , where women seeking a termination can face life imprisonment

Like the Ulster mist, this existential fear is often imperceptible, but drenches everything. Nothing in Northern Ireland is understandable without first understanding this.

I had traveled to Northern Ireland to see what a Johnson victory—or defeat—in Britain’s general election on December 12 would mean for this part of the United Kingdom. What will emerge here, from the toxic combination of perceived betrayal and fear that has taken root in the unionist community? Most fundamentally of all, will a Conservative victory, and the subsequent imposition of Johnson’s deal, lead only to unionist disillusionment, or something more sinister?

The question has been given little serious scrutiny in London or internationally, but is focusing minds in Belfast and Dublin. Northern Ireland is once again playing almost no role in the U.K.’s national-election debate, despite being the central issue in the Brexit negotiations and almost derailing the country’s exit altogether. In England, the largest of the U.K.’s constituent nations, the politics of Brexit is a major issue in the polls, but sits alongside other questions—of health-care funding and police numbers, crime and immigration. Here in Northern Ireland, Brexit is the issue, feeding and amplifying the underlying source of tension that dominates all else: the constitutional question of sovereignty. Should Northern Ireland be British, Irish, or something in between?

North Belfast road traffic collision causing delays

  North Belfast road traffic collision causing delays Emergency services are at the scene Police and the Ambulance Service are currently at the scene on York Road close to Limestone Road.

UK. England. Northern Ireland . Scotland. Wales. From time to time everyone wonders if anyone ever listens to anything they are saying. Well that 's how Derry City Football Club stadium announcer Mark Patterson felt after spending almost 30 minutes reading out the registration of a car which was

In Northern Ireland , cultural symbols are an important part of identity and language is often used to imply what cannot be said. A flags and culture and identity commission is one proposal under consideration as part of the current round of talks, but Stormont has yet to decide on the Irish question.

East of the Lagan are Belfast’s more prosperous, and mostly Protestant, neighborhoods. On the other side of the river, loyalist and nationalist housing developments more obviously jut up against each other, kept apart by “peace walls.” Here lies the lower Shankill area, a loyalist stronghold in the constituency of North Belfast, which has become a lightning rod in the upcoming election.

Nigel Dodds, the leader in Westminster of the Democratic Unionist Party—the main unionist party in Northern Ireland, which has helped prop up the Conservative government since 2017—is facing a showdown against Sinn Fein, the main Irish Republican party. Sinn Fein’s candidate, John Finucane, is the son of Pat Finucane, a lawyer who defended members of the IRA and whose murder by loyalist paramilitaries at the height of the Troubles remains controversial, amid ongoing allegations of British state involvement.

a sign on a pole: Sinn Fein election posters featuring John Finucane are seen in Belfast. (CLODAGH KILCOYNE / REUTERS) © Provided by The Atlantic Sinn Fein election posters featuring John Finucane are seen in Belfast. (CLODAGH KILCOYNE / REUTERS)

Loyalists have erected posters listing the Finucane family’s links to armed Republicanism. The posters accuse the family of being “steeped in the blood of our innocents.” Sinn Fein, meanwhile, has allowed the convicted IRA terrorist Sean Kelly to campaign for Finucane in the constituency, even though it borders the area where Kelly killed nine people in a bombing in 1993. Like nowhere else in the United Kingdom, the past is alive in Northern Ireland.

At the Lower Shankill Community Association center, where I’m meeting leading loyalist figures from the area, I’m offered tea and a chat with three men who ask to remain anonymous. Their universal response was one of rage and a fierce loathing for turncoat Tories who had vowed to stick by the unionists, only to abandon them to secure a Brexit deal more favorable to euroskeptic England. Particular hatred was reserved for the hard-line Brexiteer caucus within the Conservative Party, which had formed a tight alliance with the DUP against Theresa May’s earlier Brexit deal, which also treated Northern Ireland differently from the rest of the country. At the last minute, however, these Tory hard-liners broke off their alliance with the DUP to back Johnson’s deal. The sense of betrayal was felt acutely by all those I spoke with in Belfast and Fermanagh. Yet there was something else, something more subtle—something close to hurt at what had happened and a fear of what it will mean for them in the future.

Northern Ireland weather warning in place

  Northern Ireland weather warning in place Oh dear

Women from Northern Ireland are currently charged about £900 for a termination if they travel to have the Campaigners in Northern Ireland have welcomed the decision, but warned that poorer women will Anyone travelling for an abortion will save a minimum of £330, thanks to today’s announcement.

Northern Ireland is part of the UK, but not Ireland . Ireland is sometimes incorrectly referred to as southern Ireland to distinguish it from Northern Ireland .

Many of the unionists I spoke with—all but one in fact—had supported Brexit, some in the hope that it would clarify Northern Ireland’s distinctness from the Republic of Ireland, but had watched in horror as the government in London, faced with a choice of a no-deal exit from the EU or distinct arrangements for Northern Ireland, chose the latter instead. The effect, unionists believe, has been to make Northern Ireland more distinct from Britain—the exact opposite of what they had hoped.

To many unionists, this is what hurts the most: the public rejection from those to whom you pledged your allegiance. As a result, unionist politicians in Northern Ireland are now asking their supporters to unite and rally to the age-old cause, the union, just when the government, its government, is perceived to have abandoned it.

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As we drove to the community center, the loyalist passenger sitting next to me admitted he was wrestling with this uncomfortable irony. “It’s like the mother who hammers her kids all the time,” he said. “She beats them, all that, but at the end of the day, the kids still love her.” I’ve heard variations of this metaphor on previous trips here, all seeking to encapsulate the conflicted nature of the relationship between Northern Ireland’s unionists and their apparently disloyal countrymen across the water. If your partner is forever unfaithful, the argument goes, why stick around?

The answer is complicated. At its heart, the unionist cause is not about customs-clearance forms or economic divergence as laid out in Johnson’s deal, but in the harder-to-define concepts of identity and belonging. It is tied up in history and inheritance, identity and nation, great-grandfathers killed for king and country at the Somme and fathers killed by the IRA half a century later; in the sense that what is being threatened is about more than which flag flies over Belfast City Hall, but a way of life, a culture and country that someone wants to take from you without your permission.

In North Belfast, the DUP is about to discover whether its working-class base will rally to the party because of the perceived threat to the union and all that it represents—or whether they will punish the party for failing to protect it in the first place. The party, after all, in its governing arrangement with the Conservatives, has held almost unprecedented influence in London. The charge the DUP faces is straightforward: If it could not defend the union, then what good is it?

Boris Johnson wearing a suit and tie: Boris Johnson speaks at the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) annual party conference in Belfast. (CLODAGH KILCOYNE / REUTERS) © Provided by The Atlantic Boris Johnson speaks at the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) annual party conference in Belfast. (CLODAGH KILCOYNE / REUTERS)

There’s also a more fundamental question: If the reality of Brexit (as opposed to its promise) threatens the union in the way the DUP says it does, why not drop its support for it? Here, the DUP finds itself in a worst-of-all-worlds dilemma. To do so would effectively mean supporting the main British party opposing Johnson’s deal, Labour, and even more problematically, its leader, Jeremy Corbyn—one of the most high-profile British supporters of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA throughout the Troubles.

The DUP says that it needs as many seats as possible to go back to London to continue the fight, and that Johnson might yet need the party’s support should he fail to win a majority, like May before him. According to those in the DUP who spoke with me, the party’s working-class base is up for the fight. It’s the middle-class Protestants they are worried about; those who voted, like Northern Ireland as a whole, to remain in the EU and who would just like the whole thing to go away. In the battle ahead, the question is which political drive will prove stronger: opposition to Brexit or tribal loyalty?

Northern Ireland is a place not so much trapped by its history, but one that is living it every day. Here the question of which state it should belong to remains contested, its people divided on the very basics of the symbols and structures of most ordinary societies.

Through luck and circumstance, its principal unionist party has for two years held the balance of power in London. Yet, should it not after December 12—should Johnson, instead, emerge with a Conservative majority to impose his deal on Northern Ireland—unionism will be politically powerless.

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What will unionists do then? The message from some in Belfast and Fermanagh, true or otherwise, was that political defeat in London would not be the end of the story, that protesters would take to the streets, that the Good Friday Agreement would be dead. Some older heads disagreed, arguing that unionism will eventually have to learn to live with the Johnson deal. Eventually, they would have little choice but to get on with their lives, betrayed or otherwise. The alternative would be to risk making the nationalist case for them: that Northern Ireland doesn’t work and would be better in a union with Ireland, not Britain. “We’re f****d,” as one of the older Shankill loyalists told me.

The more toxic concern, though, is the emerging sense of powerlessness coupled with age-old existential fear and the belief that what is happening is unjust. Irish Republican warnings that any new land-border checks would be targeted were held up in Dublin and London as reasons to avoid such infrastructure. What of unionist concerns? “If you’re sending a signal that the threat of violence gets you somewhere, that’s a really bad signal,” one of the loyalists at the Shankill center said. What lessons should loyalists take from this? another asked.

There is already talk, repeated back to me in Belfast and rural Fermanagh, of blockading the ports into Northern Ireland to make the new economic border checks unworkable. Other scenarios set out included disrupting trade with the Republic of Ireland. The threats, according to two senior political operatives in Northern Ireland, one DUP and one unaligned, are not as hollow as they might seem. Both pointed to a part of the Brexit deal that states, “If the application of this Protocol leads to serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties that are liable to persist … the United Kingdom may unilaterally take appropriate safeguard measures.” In effect, if there is sufficient turbulence, unionists could force London’s hand.

To the DUP’s Protestant critics, the very fact that suggestions of rioting and unrest are now so prevalent is a testament to unionism’s collective political failure. Such talk, they say, will prove hot air that should not be taken too seriously. Either way, in Northern Ireland, like the Belfast rain, feelings of betrayal, anger, and fear come and go, but never quite leave entirely. There’s a growing sense another downpour is coming.

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100mph winds set to bring disruption to UK on Tuesday .
Winds of up to 100mph are set to batter parts of the UK on Tuesday, forecasters have warned. © Imagebridge Waves crash against a lighthouse on the County Durham coast during Storm Atiyah It follows Storm Atiyah which brought winds of up to 70mph to the southwest of England and Wales and caused disruption to transport and power networks in Ireland.A severe yellow weather warning for wind is in place across northern England, North Wales, parts of Northern Ireland and much of Scotland, while a further yellow weather warning for rain covers western Scotland.

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