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Northern Ireland: political leaders struggle to control new unrest

Catholic World News - September 05, 2012

After three days of violence in Belfast, political leaders in Northern Ireland have held meetings with representatives of the contending factions, and said that they hope for a restoration of calm.

“We are very encouraged by the determination of all who attended today’s meetings to work together to agree a way forward,” said Peter Robinson and Martin McGuiness—the first minister and deputy first minister, respectively—in a joint statement. “All agreed that there is no place for violence.”

The latest clashes--a reminder of the years of more serious bloodshed in Northern Ireland—erupted when a republican parade encountered angry protesters in a loyalist neighborhood. Dozens of police officers have been injured on crowd-control duties in three nights of unrest. The tensions of the “marching season” in Northern Ireland annually threaten the peace agreement that has ended years of bloodshed.

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