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Anti-partitionists? May 29, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Good point here from Noel Whelan in relation to how Varadkar and Coveney offer no path away from the (generally acknowledged) Dáil ‘logjam’. It is remarkable how static matters are – and one has to suspect that this suits almost everyone involved. There’s time to recuperate, marshal forces, and build for the future for the broad spectrum of Irish political groups and parties. Moreover as the campaigns dissipate as campaigns tend to do it offers a breathing space to work out what to do next.

Here’s an oddity that perhaps is suggestive of how the candidates attempt to carve out electoral ground in the Republic.

Northern Ireland gets more prominence in both documents then might have been expected. It illustrates the extent to which Brexit has transformed the context for Northern Ireland policy over the last year. Varadkar in his document talks of “preparing for the possibility that a United Ireland or shared sovereignty will occur in our lifetime”. He is not specific about those preparations merely saying that we “should explore how we can co-operate more fully on this island and between these islands”.
Coveney’s document goes even further. He says Fine Gael “should develop a positive economic and strategic case for the reunification of Ireland over time and within the EU”. He promises a White Paper on possible reunification to be published before November together with an All-Island Forum and a Dáil committee to explore possible options for the future of North-South relations. Both of them however have emphatically ruled out a Border poll “at this time”.

Who’d have thought it? And yet, and yet. An Sionnach Fionn has some measured thoughts on just how empty all this actually is.


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