Page last updated at 13:40 GMT, Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Fears for 'scary times' returning

Concern is widespread about the peace process in Northern Ireland
The murder of a policeman in County Armagh, just 48 hours after two young soldiers were killed by dissident republicans in Antrim, has caused widespread concern across Northern Ireland.

BBC News went to Andersonstown, an area of republican west Belfast, and the nearby loyalist Shankill Road to gauge opinion.

At the Westwood shopping centre on the Andersonstown Road one woman, who gave her name as Eileen, said she was concerned that "we would start to see troops back and heavy-handed policing".

"The fear would be then that some more people may become sympathetic to the dissidents," she said.

"The security situation needs to be handled very carefully.

"We've seen from the past that heavy-handed policing has been counter-productive."

Kathleen Carville from Poleglass said it was "back to square one".

"It could be back to the bad old days. My 12-year-old can't get over it all, she was born after we thought all this was over."

Leanne and Jacqueline Davidson
There are fears of a return to "the scary times"

Sarah Strong from Finaghy said everyone she knew in west Belfast had been happy "getting on with their lives" as the peace process developed.

"Information should be given to the police on these attacks," she said.

"There'd be fears that, if they keep this up, then the other side would start up.

"We're supposed to be living in peace."

On the Shankill Road 22-year-old Leanne Davidson said her only memories of the Troubles were "having to be in early to go to bed - there were people running about the streets."

Her mother Jacqueline said it was "back to the scary times".

"It could start all over again, my fear would be that there could be retaliation if there were more attacks and tit-for-tat killings could start again."

Henry Fortune
Henry Fortune said loyalists need to "keep their heads"

Henry Fortune said he was "sickened" by the killings, and expressed fears of loyalist paramilitary retaliation.

"They need to keep their heads," he said.

"I blame the British government. They put murderers in Stormont, they were rewarded, loyalist paramilitaries too were rewarded to an extent."

James Adams, 60, who has lived all his life on the Shankill, said: "We're being plunged back into anarchy. We've had enough of that."

"I'd like to see the police do more, to go after them before it gets out of hand."

"Sinn Fein are hypocrites, when it came out last week that special forces were being brought in, they kicked up, but look at what happened."

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