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Solidarity with the North August 29, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Good to see the reference to, and quotations from, Brian Hanley’s excellent The Impact of the Troubles on the Republic 1968-79: Boiling Volcano? in Diarmaid Ferriter’s column in the IT at the weekend.The column itself asked the reasonable question:

The Irish government has continually referred to the “solidarity” of the EU with Ireland on the question of the Border in Ireland, but is solidarity closer to home really considered at all?

The slogans of 50 years ago do not fit the current circumstances, especially given the substantial growth of the numbers in the North who do not identify as either unionists or nationalists.

What does exist now, unfortunately, is a new version of Northern Ireland in limbo and a fundamental denial to its people of self-determination. It is a subject that requires a lot more honest and frank discourse and not just in London.

And on that topic an interesting and thought-provoking comment BTL:

David Roe

Excellent article by Diarmaid.
I’ve spent a lot of time recently talking to people about the prospects for Unity and the lack of empathy in the South with the people of Northern Ireland is deeply depressing. On the one hand, irredentist Republicans who voice contempt for the views and fears of nearly 1 million Protestants who may soon be joining the Republic. From many others, disdain for the other half of the population who were promised a peaceful democratic path to a United Ireland under the Good Friday agreement.
The notion, which I hear voiced everywhere that we might refuse to take on Northern Ireland seems callous and childish.
The slogans of 50 years ago do not fit the current circumstances. We need new thinking, and a new policy. Northern Ireland’s people are soon going to ask to be our people and we will have to navigate the tricky path between the fears of unionists and the expectations of Nationalists. They are equally valid. It is time, finally, for the Republic to grow up and accept that Nationhood and sovereignty means sometimes having to take on difficult, thankless tasks. Not to mention expensive ones.
Nobody else is going to solve this for us. Nobody else has to live with the consequences of getting it wrong. It is time for us to grow up.

That point re difficult thankless tasks is well made. And if sovereignty does mean anything it has to be exercised. Needless to say the above evinced a predictable response in the form of the following:

Reply to @DavidRoe: Still on the Catholic-Protestant-divide. There are lots of Protestants in the Republic. Never wanted to emigrate North.

I liked the following reply:

David Roe

Reply to @UliMarggraf: Not sure what your point is? I am one of those Prods. If you’re chiding me for dividing the population on religion rather than Nationalist/Unionist, it’s because, on these cultural and political questions, I think it’s more appropriate.
Maybe you meant something else.

But it kind of proves his original point. This is going to be difficult and thankless.


1. Joe - August 29, 2019

Yep. Difficult and thankless. Wonder could it be managed without too many people getting killed? Remember ’69-’99. Please God, never again.

Liked by 1 person

2. irishelectionliterature - August 29, 2019

In the middle of Ferriters book on The Border, like many things you think you knew all about it but there are a lot of things in it’s history that are interesting.

Liked by 1 person

3. EWI - August 30, 2019

the views and fears of nearly 1 million Protestants who may soon be joining the Republic

Based mostly on ignorance and prejudice, now as then (studies back this up). The greatest fear is that ‘Catholics’ will treat them the same way they ran NI.


4. roddy - August 30, 2019

For a start there are not 1 million protestants up here.This is a figure pulled out of the air and secondly unionism is concentrated in a fraction of the 6 counties.


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