Northern Ireland clashes reflect loyalists’ fear of marginalisation

Analysis: Brexit terms and handling of funeral seen as latest in a litany of perceived or real concessions

A Sinn Féin funeral was the spark but loyalists in Northern Ireland have been throwing petrol bombs and burning cars partly because they fear political marginalisation.

The union flag no longer flutters daily over Belfast city hall, a trade border separates the region from the rest of the UK and the police are allegedly beholden to Sinn Féin. Add to this a criminal gang’s resentment at recent arrests and you have the context for three consecutive nights of rioting in several towns that have left dozens of police officers injured, including five on Sunday night.

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