The Loyalist Communties Council- which includes mediators acting on behalf of the UVF, UDA and Red Hand Commando- has slammed the latest threat to peace emanating from Simon Coveney and the Irish Government, who used the threat of IRA bombs for political leverage which in turn lead to the imposition of the Northern Ireland Protocol which subjugates Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom.
Senior loyalist sources have consistently raised concerns about the precedent set by the Irish Government’s threats of IRA bombs which enraged many within the unionist and loyalist community. That the tactic was successful was even more concerning, leading many young loyalists to wonder why their peaceful demonstrations were of less currency than republican threats of violence.
As the marching season approaches, the tension in Northern Ireland continues to rise with a febrile situation on the ground in many loyalist communities due to the continued imposition of the Union-subjugating Protocol.
This tension has been further increased by the latest threat to peace by Simon Coveney, who warned the UK Government that they must continue with the subjugation of Northern Ireland or peace would be a risk. This was understood by many in loyalism to be a deliberate nod to the previous threats of IRA bombs which was used as political leverage by the Irish Government.
In response, the LCC issued the following statement:
“the Loyalist Communities Council comprehensively condemns the latest threats and inflammatory remarks from Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney.
“Yet again he raises the spectre of violence returning to Northern Ireland if any attempt is made by the UK Government to unilaterally reject the NI Protocol. What is his evidence for such a statement? Does he stop to think for even one second about the impact his words have on the loyalist community and the community leaders who are striving to ensure that violence does not play a part in the struggle to end this unjust and undemocratic Protocol.
“Simon Coveney would be better employed in recognising the misinformation and misrepresentation of the Belfast Agreement that he peddled throughout Europe during the Brexit negotiations. He disingenuity has breached the Irish Government’s role as co-guarantor of the Agreement.
“If he cares at all about the relationship-building that sustained the Agreement and its institutions over the past twenty years the he should give careful consideration as to whether he should now resign from his position. Every utterance from him is another nail being driven into the coffin of the Belfast Agreement.”