Diarmaid Ferriter: Farcical Covid strategy does not bode well for a ‘Shared Island’

Coronavirus restrictions are worth little if North and South continue on divergent paths

‘Coronavirus restrictions are worth little if North and South continue on divergent paths.’ File photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

‘Coronavirus restrictions are worth little if North and South continue on divergent paths.’ File photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

It was dispiriting last week to hear one of the most impressive politicians in Ireland speak of her despair about the rottenness of Northern Ireland’s political culture and the temptation to walk away from it.

Naomi Long, leader of the Alliance Party, and Minister for Justice in the Northern Ireland Executive, has long practice cutting through the self-serving pieties that emanate from the Executive. The brinkmanship on display over Covid public health regulations last week left Long “beyond despair . . . I think anyone with an ounce of sense or sanity or scruples will have questioned their participation in an executive which patently failed the people of Northern Ireland”.

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