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But what did she mean? January 4, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Speaking of state records from the 1980s:

Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald responded by saying both police forces had an impossible border to watch. Mrs Thatcher agreed and said “Yes, we got it wrong in 1921.”

Am I alone in thinking that is open to any number of interpretations?


1. An Sionnach Fionn - January 4, 2017

I agree. A lot of commentators and headline writers seemed to interpret this as meaning that Thatcher was expressing regret about “partition” in the first place or the UK’s refusal to accept the pro-independence plebiscite elections of 1918-21.

More realistically – and matching previous opinions in private and public – she probably thought that the implementation of partition was a mistake and it should have included/excluded certain counties.

Including Donegal and Monaghan would have made for a more defensible “Northern Ireland” frontier. Or excluding parts of Derry, Tyrone, Fermanagh and Armagh would have made for an 80%+ unionist majority, with no sea of support for the republican fish to swim in.

This, after all, is the prime minister who horrified her own advisers with a cabinet discussion about a proposed mass expulsion of Catholics from the north-east, by reference to Oliver Cromwell.


2. Florrie O'Donoghue - January 4, 2017

I agree with ASF (and your) assessment.

I am not going to say I am surprised, but it is still worth remarking how little attention RTÉ gave to concerns regarding the UDR. They referred to it in one piece last week via a comment from Garrett Fitzgerald; how he would prefer that the RUC (!) accompany the UDR at all times. RTÉ provided no context as to why Fitzgerald may have had concerns about the UDR.

Here is a much more in-depth piece, courtesy of the northern-based Irish News:

“Turning to attitudes towards the regiment, Buxton admitted that “the UDR has become a symbol of sectarian division” though any hint that it did not have a lasting role would be regarded with “horror” by unionists.

“By contrast”, he told the secretary of state, “the regiment is mistrusted, even hated, in much of the Catholic community and by many Catholic politicians. Their attitude has been confirmed in the past year by the charging of several members with murder; in the case of two men from 2 UDR in Armagh, allegedly committed while on duty”.

Southern politicians, he added, “who do not have too many good words for the RUC, naturally abominate the UDR” while, more significantly, the regiment “is not held in the highest esteem by the RUC – including the chief constable (Sir Jack Hermon) who has spoken publicly of its ultimate demise”.”


Is mise srl.,


EWI - January 4, 2017

The UDR has, of course, been renamed as the ‘Royal Irish Regiment’ and under this new moniker has been snuck into a number of recent commemorative events in Dublin.


WorldbyStorm - January 4, 2017

Great point re UDR. Its as if it us completely forgotten just what the UDR was.

I’m glad you and ASF had the same concerns I did re Thatchers comment. Again the analyses appear to forget the times.


3. roddy - January 4, 2017

She probably regretted ditching the huge number of loyal subjects in places like Kingstown and Dublin 4!


oliverbohs - January 4, 2017

I wouldn’t expect RTE to be any other way as they rely to a degree on the areas mentioned above to provide future mediocrities to populate Montrose. Same as it ever was.

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