Eve Merriam said, "I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, "Mother, what was war?"
These sentiments are difficult to read after the events of the last few days in Northern Ireland. In the last decade the majority have tossed aside the bondage of conflict, adapting to life in a peaceful land, albeit with tentative steps. Few wish to turn back their clocks to the bygone days of retribution, division and political paranoia, but three killings in as many days shows deepening cracks in the countries socio-political landscape.
At this point no group has taken responsibility for the killings, but 'The Real IRA' are strongly suspected of involvement. Republican leaders such as Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness have called for Nationalist/Republicans to pass on information to the police, an act traditionally held in disdain during 'The troubles,' and seen by many as acquiescing to British occupation. This eventuality seemed unthinkable a few years ago, and stands in testament to how far the political process has come, but is the house of cards going to stand up to the current storm?
These atrocities have a real danger of stoking old flames and hatreds that need little encouraging to ignite into something perilous for the future of the country. Loyalist paramilitary leaders called for calm in communities as graffiti calling for revenge was seen in various parts of the province.
What the future holds remains to be seen. The stability of the province stands on a precarious knife edge, one that people over the age of twenty will remember all too well, for they were the dark days of the countries history.
People now squint at the news in disbelief at the current situation, hoping and praying that history does not repeat itself.
Only time will tell.