OVER the Easter weekend, 41 policemen were injured in Northern Ireland, some of them with “career-changing” injuries, as there were seven consecutive nights of disturbances.

There are masked men marching, there are petrol bombs being thrown, there are reports of businesses being told to shut early or be targeted, there are political calls for the chief constable to step down.

This is not Myanmar. This is our own country.

There are many reasons for the violence, starting with successful police drug busts to the failure to prosecute leading Sinn Fein members for being among the 2,000 to attend a Republican funeral when Covid restrictions only allowed 30.

And, of course, there is Brexit – or the way Brexit has been implemented, with a border being placed down the Irish Sea, setting a course which Unionists fear will lead to unification of the island.

The British Government, led by a Prime Minister who once promised there would be no border down the Irish Sea, has been remarkably quiet on the latest troubles.

The violence is only minor compared to the past, but we are foolish if we think it doesn’t matter. A seemingly intractable problem has been created: Northern Ireland is in the EU single market but it is also part of the UK.

This weekend is a warning that the Government has to be involved with the Unionist community and with the police force to find a way to ease the fears and defuse the tensions. If Ulster is ignored in the hope it will go away, the danger is it could, one day, exploded into something far more deadly.