Safety of residents is key issue
In an ideal world, discussions on the phased removal of the various peace walls which separate nationalist and loyalist districts in Belfast and elsewhere would now be at an advanced stage.
Sadly, in a disturbing development which we reported yesterday, a security gate on the Crumlin Road in the north of the city has instead needed to be closed for the first time in 20 years after a suspected sectarian attack on the home of a Catholic family.
It must be hoped that the measure is a temporary one, which is kept under review by community leaders, elected representatives and police officers.
However, the basic safety and well-being of residents on both sides of the divide must be of paramount concern in the decision making process