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A double decker bus hijacked, and water cannons unleashed on protestors for the first time in six years.
The disorder that has shaken parts of Northern Ireland over the last two weeks has highlighted the fragile peace that binds together the region's diverse community of loyalists and nationalists, more than 20 years after the Good Friday Agreement.
Loyalists want Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom, while nationalists would like to see Northern Ireland become part of the Republic of Ireland.
The riots spread to four other towns and cities in Northern Ireland, reaching fever pitch in west Belfast last Wednesday, when some 600 people from neighboring loyalist and nationalist communities clashed along a so-called peace wall separating the two areas.
But the anger is underscored by tensions around a key part of the Brexit agreement: The Northern Ireland Protocol, which creates a de facto trade border in the Irish Sea.
Loyalists believe the Protocol presents an existential threat to the future of the union, and could wreck the Good Friday Agreement -- the Northern Ireland peace deal that marked an end to the period of violent conflict known as the Troubles.
"But whether the young people on the streets in this rioting understand the ins and outs of those issues, I'm not sure."
But he stressed that the "majority ... don't want to see us returning to a time when things were really bad."
The peace project is "so fragile, it's built on sand," he added, explaining that it is neither mature enough nor embedded into society enough to deal with the pressures that Brexit, the Northern Ireland protocol, or a global pandemic present.
Byrne noted that, perhaps unsurprisingly, the areas where recent violence has erupted are those disproportionally affected by the conflict.
In the 2015 paper "Inequality and Segregation in Northern Ireland Schools" researchers Vani Borooah and Colin Knox found that 21% of 30-34 year olds had not completed post-primary education -- the highest rate in the UK.
"We have a history in Northern Ireland where people can turn violence on and turn violence off like a tap," said Byrne.
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