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North Ireland. Gasoline bombs won’t demolish an Irish Sea border or turn the tide of Brexit | UK News

“Why do we still think gasoline bombs will solve the problem?”

It’s the kind of question that keeps an Irish correspondent awake at night.

He came in a message from a cousin in America: “The Scots want independence and they don’t drop gas bombs.

“There must be thousands of Brits who are not happy Brexit and they don’t drop gasoline bombs. Why do we still think gasoline bombs will solve the problem? “

By “we” she meant the Northern Irish. I can assure you that she has never thrown a gasoline bomb in her life.

Loyalist protesters set fire to the unrest on Belfast's Lanark Way earlier this month
Loyalist protesters set alight amid unrest on Lanark Way earlier this month

The gasoline bomb, or Molotov cocktail to use its proper name, has been the weapon of choice for rioters in Northern Ireland for generations.

A breakable bottle containing a flammable liquid, with a cloth rag protruding from the top to function as a wick, this is a crude incendiary device.

During the long, hot summer of 1997, I traveled to a town in Northern Ireland where 700 petrol bombs were thrown at police lines overnight.

A youngster throws a petrol bomb at some traffic lights on Springfield Road, during further unrest in Belfast.  Photo date: Thursday, April 8, 2021.
A youth throwing a gas bomb on Springfield Road

In recent weeks, they have emerged again when young loyalists and nationalists clashed at the ironically named “peace line,” an interface in West Belfast.

They were designed during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) but earned their name during the Winter War (1939-40).

In his propaganda broadcasts, Soviet Foreign Minister Vycheslav Molotov claimed that the bombing missions over Finland were airborne humanitarian aid missions.

The Finns decided to return the favor, complimenting the “Molotov bread baskets” with what has become the “Molotov cocktail”.

Often used in civil uprisings around the world, more for symbolism than substance as a weapon, they have been described as “the voice of the unheard of.”

Firefighter extinguishes fire at burnt out JCB excavator near Loyalist Nelson Drive Estate in County Londonderry

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This notice was published: 2021-04-23 11:34:00