And Irish nationalists are unhappy that Northern Ireland is being pulled from the European Union against the will of the majority who voted to stay in the bloc, she said.
While the Good Friday deal ended the violence, known as the Troubles, it failed to address the underlying sectarian roots and created a “fragile balance,” Ms. Hayward, who depended on cooperation between Britain and Ireland, north and south, and trade unionists. and nationalists.
“In all three parts of the Good Friday deal, that balance, what held it in place, has been removed,” she said. “So everyone feels this particular degree of insecurity. “
Members of the Orange Order, a religious and political Protestant fraternal order, march through the town – also called Londonderry by trade unionists who want the area to remain part of the UK – and lead the festivities marking the military victory by William of Orange on the Catholic King James II in 1690.
Many Catholic nationalists regard traditions associated with such celebrations, such as the Orange Order marches and bonfires, on which the tricolor of the Republic of Ireland is often burned, as a provocation. Caoimhe Archibald, a local politician from Sinn Fein – an Irish Republican Party – shared an image of one of the bonfires painted in the tricolor on Twitter with the message: “It is not an expression of culture, it is an expression of hate.
But many Protestants argue that it is a vital celebration of identity and heritage.
“It’s a culture I was brought up in, it’s a culture I’m proud of,” said William Jackson, 59, a day earlier as he played outside with his grandchildren in the Fountain area before the annual celebration. The neighborhood is surrounded by a high metal fence. British flags are taped to lampposts wrapped in barbed wire.