In the UK?s most disputed region, Northern Ireland, the Unionist community has long been known for tenacity and even, say its critics, inflexibility in its determination to maintain links with Britain. Yet a new generation now seem less interested in the sectarian politics of their parents and grandparents. Born after the 1998 ?Good Friday? peace agreement that ended the IRA?s armed insurrection against British rule, many so-called Ceasefire Babies say they have different priorities, including jobs, mental health, LGBT+ rights and tackling climate change. Some refuse to be defined by either British or Irish identity and simply describe themselves as ?Northern Irish.? However, sectarian flags and threatening murals on ?peace walls? still define the urban landscape in some parts of Northern Ireland. And now, following Brexit, the Westminster government has agreed to a protocol which effectively puts a customs border in the Irish Sea ? angering other Unionists who say it means they are being separated from mainland Britain. For Assignment, Lucy Ash travels to Northern Ireland to find out if Unionism?s Ceasefire Babies can really escape the past.
Producer: Mike Gallagher
Editor: Bridget Harney
(Image: Young female loyalist band prepares to take part in the annual Relief of Derry march on August 14, 2021. Credit: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
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