After the fighting ends, as we have seen in South Africa, and lately, Liberia, a reconciliation needs to take place. In Ireland, this was glossed over in the peace accords. But many recognize the need to salve what has come before, and move on.
If the ending of violence is a prerequisite for political reconciliation in Northern Ireland, the project remains unfinished. The Northern Irish settlement is essentially a consociational scheme; it is not designed to facilitate the fostering of a common perception of citizenship among Northern Ireland's inhabitants. The Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin have agreed to shelve their differences about nationhood for the foreseeable future, but this means that their day-to-day cooperation will always be qualified by the absence of a shared patriotism. When another country's courts (the US, in this case) stirs up the past, there is no method to manage old wounds.