Editorial - Creating the right space

In recent years great effort and even greater sums of money have been spent on promoting shared spaces and identities in the North.

While this is very admirable and ultimately essential if we are to truly move forward it is not without its difficulties.

Communities can only move towards a shared sense of shared society if they are confident in their own identity and, as events in recent months have shown, we are still far from that goal.

The compromises that came with the advances in the peace process moved most people , regardless of their cultural tradition or identity, towards a middle ground but it also drove others, unsure of their place in a newly emerging society, to the fringes.

Over the past few months republicans have made high profile public appeals to unionists and loyalists to engage in talks on healing the wounds of the past.

As expected, many within unionism have responded to this with wary scepticism and expressed doubts about the motivation behind the moves.

If such a process of comprehensive talks about the past are to get off the ground others need to get involved, it can’t just be left to politicians as their motives will always be questioned by ‘the other side.’

Churches, trade unions, human rights groups and others could play an important role in promoting and building confidence in such a process and ensuring that everyone can feel comfortable and make their voice heard.