Sinn Fein sweep past unionist rivals again in N Ireland local elections

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By Amanda Ferguson

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You can't dispense with unionists, you can't dispense with the DUP.

The DUP dispensed with itself when it ignored the solid vote against Brexit in Northern Ireland, and threw PM Theresa May under a bus for the hardest of all Brexits, to put a physical border back on the island of Ireland.

In the 1960s the party's founder Ian Paisley's rabble-rousing hate speech, abetted by a series of false flag bomb attacks by British 'loyalists' on the region's infrastructure (blamed on a long-dormant IRA), radicalised working class Protestants to attack their Catholic neighbours, igniting what became known as The Troubles.

The DUP remains the second largest party through its old MO of fomenting unfounded fears. Sinn Féin, on the other hand have come a long way from bogeyman of Britain to embracing the whole community, being warm hosts-as-equals to King Charles in Belfast after his mother's death, and attending his Coronation.

Northern Ireland's Irish nationalist residents are no longer the second class citizen minority they were at the time of the Partition of Ireland in 1922. They are progressive, educated and inclusive. Demographically, they'll be an electoral majority in a few years time.

NI's people face a choice: continue centuries-old animosity in the poorest region of post-Brexit Britain, or enjoy peace and prosperity in a confident, pluralist New Ireland.

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