Breaking down the wall
TWO GROUPS of people were out protesting against the Hillsborough Agreement on its fourth anniversary, and there could not have been a greater contrast between them.
Along the border, communities got together to re-open their roads destroyed by the British Army and to break down the Hillsborough Wall which divides them. In other parts of the Six Counties, the `human chain' protest called by the unionist leadership turned out to be an embarrassing flop.
Orange Order leader Martin Smyth had predicted a turnout of 300,000 for the unionist demonstration. On the day, less than 1,000 people took part. Unionist leaders Ian Paisley and Jim Molyneaux didn't even bother to stay in the Six Counties for the protest.
Elsewhere, during the week when history was made with the breaking of the Berlin Wall, people on the borders of Derry and Donegal and Monaghan and Fermanagh gathered to re-open their roads which were destroyed by British forces. The destruction of roads, bridges and crossings right along the partitioned boundary has caused huge inconvenience to communities for over a decade and a half. It also symbolises the strengthening of partition which the Hillsborough Agreement represents.
Determined to keep up their Hillsborough Wall, the British Army and RUC, with the connivance of the Gardaí, undid the work of the communities and destroyed the crossings again.
Phoblacht, Thursday 16 November, 1989