Editorial - No return to the past

Rising tensions within the republican community in Derry have the potential to create a very dangerous situation.

In recent years as the gap between mainstream republicans who are engaged in the peace process and those who are still wedded to violence has widened, the relationship has threatened to spiral out of control on a number of occasions.

The history of republicanism contains a litany of splits, often resulting in violent and at times deadly feuds.

Thankfully that scenario has been avoided in the city and it is something no-one wants to see.

Events of the past week have brought this danger to the fore once again, however, with threats being issued following an bar fight between different groups.

While it is far from Civil War-era clashes, it nevertheless highlights the dangers that exist within local communities.

No-one in this day and age should be subject to threats of violence or expulsion, regardless of the motivation.

Hopefully calm heads and wise counsel will prevail before this situation gets out of hand and more people are injured or perhaps even worse.

All of this illustrates the need to address tensions and disagreements within communities before they reach boiling point.

If the history of the peace process has taught us anything, it is that dialogue is the only way to achieve anything. The alternative - a return to the feuds and splits of the past - is too grim to even contemplate.