For it is from there the BBC has been reporting in detail about the opening of the so called ‘Peace Bridge’ in Londonderry.
So it is we have had BBC Ireland correspondant Mark Simpson uttering comments such as this yesterday:
At a cost of £14.6m, the new ‘peace bridge’ in Londonderry/Derry is the latest attempt to bring Protestants and Catholics closer together.
At the moment, most Protestants live on the east bank of the River Foyle, most Catholics live on the west bank. Some are reluctant to cross to the other side.
The idea is to try to bridge the gap.
going on to add that:
In Londonderry/Derry – sometimes referred to as stroke city – the level of sectarianism is not as bad as it used to be.
The hope is that the new bridge will help to improve relations even further among its 100,000 residents.
Improve relations among Londonderry’s 100,000 residents? What Simpson has deliberately omitted from his meandering waffle is that thanks to murders, beatings and sectarian intimidation at the hands of republicans/nationalists, thousands of unionist protestants have fled their homes in the city. In fact in Londonderry there are now less than 500 protestants left. To put this into context the city used to be home to more than 15,000 protestants when the Troubles started. But now there is hardly any protestant community left with which to improve relations. The message as always is ‘all is well, there’s nothing to see here’. The reality as always is something rather different.
What compounds this bias by omission – and likely goes some way to explaining it given the origin of some funding the BBC receives – is the confirmation that the dead hand of the EU is all over this exercise in delusion, metaphoric and literal bridge building initiative:
Funding came from the EU’s Peace III programme under the Shared Space initiative which supports projects that bring together communities that have been formerly divided.
Given the EU’s track record of waste it is no surprise it thought spending £15m of our money on such propaganda was a good thing to do. If the EU wants to bring together communities that were formerly divided it will need to build a bridge that starts at the Foyle and goes a considerable number of miles to where the protestants who have fled Londonderry now reside.
This is not a peace bridge, it is a monument to the successful ethnic cleansing of the vast majority of the unionist population from Londonderry’s Cityside. One wonders how the BBC would be covering this story if it was Catholics and republicans who had been expelled from the city rather than the protestants BBC editors think of as an eccentric oddity who are of little consequence.