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Sinn Féin has given up on a united Ireland A referendum isn't in the party's interests

The IRA's rallying cry has faded (Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images)

The IRA's rallying cry has faded (Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images)


November 17, 2022   4 mins

A false narrative about Northern Ireland is in danger of becoming the accepted wisdom. If you believe the headlines, the United Kingdom is on the verge of breaking up. Scotland is on the brink of another referendum; Wales is wobbling; Northern Ireland, embroiled in the insoluble tangle of the Protocol, is looking again at the logic of Irish unity. September’s census revealed that Catholic numbers have overtaken Protestants in Northern Ireland; Sinn Féin will soon be in power on both sides of the Irish border. A United Ireland is now inevitable.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Granted, opinion polls in Scotland show that voters there could favour independence in a referendum as early as autumn next year. However, Northern Ireland — geographically the furthest away of the UK’s wayward offspring — is likely to emerge from Britain’s ongoing political upheavals as the unloved child that clings with grim determination to its detached motherland.

Who, then, is to blame for this misleading narrative? Mary Lou McDonald, the leader of Sinn Féin, has called repeatedly for a border poll on the issue of a united Ireland. Tipped to be Ireland’s next Taoiseach, her success in the Republic of Ireland’s 2020 general election — in which her party won the popular vote — has brought the question of a referendum to the forefront of Irish politics.

Even so, a vote would be difficult to justify. Under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, a plebiscite can be called at the discretion of the Secretary of State when he or she believes that “a majority of those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland”. That day is unlikely to come soon: an overwhelming majority of opinion polls in Northern Ireland suggest that a referendum proposing a united Ireland today would be decisively defeated.

That there are now more Catholics than Protestants in the region won’t tip the balance. The old sectarian assumption that all Catholics would vote to end the border was discredited long ago: many Catholics are prospering in Northern Ireland and, for now, wish to retain the status quo. They may hold traditional, even tribal, views on the border, but the peace dividend — the improved economy — has benefited them.

McDonald senses hesitation from nationalists on both sides of the border, and has toned down her rhetoric as a result. After the 2020 election, she called for an urgent referendum from the British government. But her demands have since become more nuanced. At Sinn Féin’s recent Ard Fheis (annual conference) in Dublin earlier this month, she more modestly requested a “Citizens’ Assembly on Unity”. Now is the time, she bellowed, “to plan for constitutional change”. It was hardly a radical message: Citizens’ Assemblies are a handy way to delay decisions on politically-explosive issues. Her plan for the time being is to kick the holy grail down the road.

Not only is McDonald dampening republican ambitions, but her conference speech had none of the inflammatory language of the past. Speaking to an audience that included many IRA veterans, including her predecessor Gerry Adams, she was remarkably restrained. For the first time in recent history, she failed to invoke the names of republican war heroes like Adams himself or the late IRA chief-of-staff Martin McGuinness, a time-honoured device guaranteed to set the all-Ireland crowd alight. The IRA rallying cry, “Tiocfaidh ár lá” — (Our Day will come) was noticeably absent.

McDonald knows that her electoral successes, in both North and South, are not due to her championing the cause of a border poll. The border issue, while firing up true believers, spooks many citizens in both jurisdictions: no advocate has ever convincingly explained how the economy or the health service will benefit from a united Ireland. Instead, McDonald’s live televised speech at conference, pitched to the people of Ireland, emphasised the chronic housing needs of Ireland’s youth, the cost-of-living crisis, and the continued health crisis. Similarly, in May’s Northern Ireland election, there was a shift away from the republican battle cries about the border towards identical bread-and-butter topics.

This suits McDonald just fine. Today, she wants conversation, not conflict: which a border poll would inevitably bring. Her plan is to keep the issue on the boil, but not to force it to a premature finale; to persuade Sinn Féin’s republican base that they are marching on the road to paradise, but not enough to scare off potential supporters with other priorities. The border poll is political titillation with consummation postponed.

McDonald’s greatest achievement has been to rid Sinn Féin of its pariah status and bring it into the political mainstream. Her tireless populism has almost eliminated rival opposition parties in the Republic, while sidelining the other nationalist flag bearer — the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) — in Northern Ireland. Although she never wore a balaclava, McDonald’s endless lip service to the “armed struggle” and “the patriot dead” reassured the IRA veterans during her charm offensive on the South. She has managed to persuade an initially-sceptical southern electorate that she is a modern constitutional reformer without paramilitary baggage — all the while maintaining the trust of Sinn Féin’s northern hardliners, who see her as their best hope for a united Ireland.

McDonald is poised to gain power in both parts of Ireland; becoming Taoiseach is now almost a fait accompli. The next step is harder. She has understandably courted popularity by haranguing and harassing unionists and the British government, by skilfully painting them as intransigent villains of the piece. She picks her enemies carefully: convenient targets to unite her cocktail of followers.

However, McDonald, the master of the polemic, will soon be forced to adopt the politics of persuasion. Her victory in establishing Sinn Féin as the most powerful party on the entire island will be seen as an existential threat by those whom she has vilified. It will be hard for her suddenly to play the role of unifier: she is unlikely to be seen as a healing force.

With that in mind, expect the border poll to be mentioned frequently, but in a more muted voice. It will remain on the agenda: a useful symbol to dangle, a declaration of intent. But the reality is that few politicians holding significant political positions in Westminster or Leinster House want a border poll. It is a phantom political battleground. Far from providing a democratic decision, a referendum on the sectarian issue that has divided Northern Ireland since its foundation could mark the return of the old antagonists to the streets of Belfast and Derry; and to restore ebbing enmities in South Armagh and other border areas. No one wants that.


Shane Ross is a former minister for Transport, Tourism and Trade in the Irish Government and the author of Mary Lou McDonald: A Republican Riddle (Atlantic Books).

Ross_Shane1

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CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Is it any wonder that many Catholics in Northern Ireland are quite content with the status quo?

It is the enormous English subsidies that have made this possible.
If there is to be a referendum, it should be an English one, with three simple questions.
1: Do you wish to keep subsiding Northern Ireland?
2: Do you wish to keep subsidising Scotland?
3: Do you wish to keep subsidising Wales?

For far too long this triumvirate of greedy spongers have leached off England. It is time to end this grotesque farce.The ‘Union’ is an anachronism and NOW it is time to move on.
.

Mick Joyce
Mick Joyce
1 year ago

What about Cornwall?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Mick Joyce

Nope!
They really need the cash: fishing wrecked, mining finished, no ‘grockles’* for seventh months of the year, and unlike others they are NOT continually whining on about their exceptionalism!

(*Tourists)

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

“Whining about their exceptionalism”? Yer ‘havin’ larf maye init? The English and their puppet masters the Amerucans are the deluded who claim exceptionalism!

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Nice bit of whataboutery there.

Actually that’s not true, it was just desperate and embarrassing.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Nice bit of whataboutery there.

Actually that’s not true, it was just desperate and embarrassing.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
1 year ago

Haven’t they found Lithium in commercial quantity?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

Apparently yes, down in the south east.
Perhaps nature is finally going to ‘smile on Ireland’ having previously denied her both coal and iron?

Damian Grant
Damian Grant
1 year ago

But, Charles, Old Chap, Mother Nature has consistently smiled on Ireland – look at wonderful, all-year round,climate…

Damian Grant
Damian Grant
1 year ago

But, Charles, Old Chap, Mother Nature has consistently smiled on Ireland – look at wonderful, all-year round,climate…

Oliver Butt
Oliver Butt
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

Lithium is a very abundant metal. The question is the cost of extraction.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

Apparently yes, down in the south east.
Perhaps nature is finally going to ‘smile on Ireland’ having previously denied her both coal and iron?

Oliver Butt
Oliver Butt
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

Lithium is a very abundant metal. The question is the cost of extraction.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

“Whining about their exceptionalism”? Yer ‘havin’ larf maye init? The English and their puppet masters the Amerucans are the deluded who claim exceptionalism!

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
1 year ago

Haven’t they found Lithium in commercial quantity?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Mick Joyce

It will join the Federation of Celtic States ie Irl+NI+Scot+Wales: maybe Britany as well? All within the EU of course. Why not?

Michael Davis
Michael Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Because they have no money, any of them.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Davis

They all have resources, decent hardworking people and a generous spirit.. Iteland had nothing when it gained its independence in 1922 but look at us now! 2nd highest GDP pc on the planet! Few natural resources but, to quote a great Irishman Wilde: we have (nothing but) our genius (to declare).. with massive US and EU support (and huge compensation we will wring out of you guys) we will look after our Celtic bothers as well.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You had nothing till the EU money began to flow in the early to mid ’90s.

Kit Read
Kit Read
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It depends whether you use the CIA or UYMF to work out GDP per capita. Irelands high GDP per capita is predicted on large internet corporations like Apple pretending all their invoices for goods in Western Europe are based in Ireland. Where does the money then go to bearing in mind the Irish Gevernment is loath to tax the profits?

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

And extreme religious bigots still singing about slaughtering each other. They’ll never let it go.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You had nothing till the EU money began to flow in the early to mid ’90s.

Kit Read
Kit Read
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It depends whether you use the CIA or UYMF to work out GDP per capita. Irelands high GDP per capita is predicted on large internet corporations like Apple pretending all their invoices for goods in Western Europe are based in Ireland. Where does the money then go to bearing in mind the Irish Gevernment is loath to tax the profits?

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

And extreme religious bigots still singing about slaughtering each other. They’ll never let it go.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Davis

They all have resources, decent hardworking people and a generous spirit.. Iteland had nothing when it gained its independence in 1922 but look at us now! 2nd highest GDP pc on the planet! Few natural resources but, to quote a great Irishman Wilde: we have (nothing but) our genius (to declare).. with massive US and EU support (and huge compensation we will wring out of you guys) we will look after our Celtic bothers as well.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It won’t happen Liam. You are peddling a racist fantasy. Why on earth would any sane Breton or Welshman or Cornishman want an association with you just because you believe in some mystical unity of the celtic peoples?

Michael Davis
Michael Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Because they have no money, any of them.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It won’t happen Liam. You are peddling a racist fantasy. Why on earth would any sane Breton or Welshman or Cornishman want an association with you just because you believe in some mystical unity of the celtic peoples?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Mick Joyce

Nope!
They really need the cash: fishing wrecked, mining finished, no ‘grockles’* for seventh months of the year, and unlike others they are NOT continually whining on about their exceptionalism!

(*Tourists)

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Mick Joyce

It will join the Federation of Celtic States ie Irl+NI+Scot+Wales: maybe Britany as well? All within the EU of course. Why not?

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

Well said.
Much to my surprise, despite being a N Irish person from the pro united Ireland community, I keep agreeing with Charles. Even though there’s a good chance that he or one of his chums may have roughed me up at a checkpoint somewhere in times gone past. No hard feelings lol.   
I’ve long thought that the best way to bring everyone in NI to their senses is for both Dublin and London to very publicly wash their hands of the place and for both to say: “you’re on your own lads”. 
Until that happens, local politics in NI will remain mired in immaturity. 
NI politics always have a safety net – if they can’t agree, there’s always the option of passing the ball to the adults in London, America, Dublin, and letting them sort it out.
In that way, local NI politicians can indulge in purist posturing about trivial tribal issues until the cows come home, as they know they do not have ultimate responsibility. 
A joint declaration of non-interest by England and Ireland would be the best thing ever to happen the North of Ireland.  
And let’s face it folks, the majority of people in England and the S of Ireland couldn’t give a rat’s backside about the place anyway.  
And I say that as someone who was born in and who lives in NI.
Here is my solution for the place, my short blog on “Vennland”, make of it what you will:
“Do you consider that Unionism and Nationalism both are honourable and sincerely-held positions, equally worthy of respect? Take a bow if you do. I’ve met very few people who genuinely believe that. At best, they’ll pay lip-service to the notion of equality of aspiration, while secretly being (even slightly) contemptuous about one side or the other.  
The trick is to find a structure which accommodates Irish-ness and British-ness without degenerating into the usual winners and losers narrative. Predictably, there has been no creative thinking about this at all. Ever. And the winners and losers game continues to this day.”  
See blog: https://vennland.blogspot.com/2021/02/uladhnua.html

Last edited 1 year ago by Frank McCusker
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

I enjoyed your blog, it’s certainly thinking “outside the box” as the millennials and their ilk say today!

Might I suggest the quadrants on the flag should be green or at least two them should be.
I liked your quip about Donegal, even the masochistic Cistercians nearly gave it a miss! Although I gather Mr Adams is happy enough in Gortahork! Cashelnagor Station (closed 1932) is also to be recommended.
It might be tricky getting Dublin to agree to sharing power with Galway and the “Wild West” though.

My alternative would be to dump Northern Ireland on the EU as a completely independent Republic, possibly called it Hibernia. If it needed cash this would be administered by German Gauleiters on an equitable basis, and the EU could then grab all the credit for severing the Gordian knot that is forever Anglo-Irish politics.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

You may have a point.. pragmatism may defeat both of those two backward looking aspirations.. however, I believe those aspirations are largely boring to the younger generation.. they have more important things on their minds like living, loving, laughing and being happy! Good on them!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

I enjoyed your blog, it’s certainly thinking “outside the box” as the millennials and their ilk say today!

Might I suggest the quadrants on the flag should be green or at least two them should be.
I liked your quip about Donegal, even the masochistic Cistercians nearly gave it a miss! Although I gather Mr Adams is happy enough in Gortahork! Cashelnagor Station (closed 1932) is also to be recommended.
It might be tricky getting Dublin to agree to sharing power with Galway and the “Wild West” though.

My alternative would be to dump Northern Ireland on the EU as a completely independent Republic, possibly called it Hibernia. If it needed cash this would be administered by German Gauleiters on an equitable basis, and the EU could then grab all the credit for severing the Gordian knot that is forever Anglo-Irish politics.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

You may have a point.. pragmatism may defeat both of those two backward looking aspirations.. however, I believe those aspirations are largely boring to the younger generation.. they have more important things on their minds like living, loving, laughing and being happy! Good on them!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Having looted all 3 nations England now complains that it has to subsidise them! And even that is in question: the subsidies I mean. How they are calculated has a huge effect on the figures. The is a tendancy for income from the 3 states to be ‘British’ like North Sea oil.
NI’s new found prosperity is founded on its having both UK and EU status.. an option open to the entire UK but eschewed in the name of a mythical total “sovereignty”. Now GB is fast going down the economic tubes and it is that that will tip the scales in favour of independence in Scotland and Reunification in Ireland. The NI solution will involve federalism and indeed that Federation can include Scotland (and Wales?). Why not.. and let England rejoice in its complete freedom from all its burdens: the EU, Scotland, NI and Wales.. free at last to enjoy its economic superiority while its poor unfortunate neighbours try desperately to survive without mother England.
You can then set about expelling all immigrants and settle back into your deckchairs on the SS Britannic or its sister ship whichever fits the bill. Happy days ahead for WASP Blighty I’ll wager! It’ll be a ‘short’ though!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

“Having looted all 3 nations England now complains…”
Frankly that is nonsense, and what in fact was there to LOOT?

Why do you think the Romans couldn’t be bothered with Ireland or most of Scotland? They only subdued Wales because it was a strategic imperative to protect the Cheshire Plain and the lower Severn Valley.

Sadly “biting the hand that feeds them” seems to be Celtic obsession these days.

ps: I thought you were out in Lusitania in your camper van? Have you returned?

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Nope: but not yet in Lusitania: still in Hispañola en route as you Normans might say? Is parliament still opened using French?
The Romans lost an entire legion in Scotland – so much for their lack of interest in the place! They were too scared to try their luck in Ireland and too soft to survive the weather – hence their name for Ireland: Hibernia ie Winter! No grapes! ..except sour ones, clearly!
The indigenous population of England (Celtic Britons) were driven into Wales so what now constitutes the “English” is a mishmash of Germans, Danes and Frenchmen! It’s odd that you dislike your fellow countrymen so much and ptetend to be indigenous.
The Gaelic name for Wales translates to Little Britain and that for England translates to Saxony! All a bit confused I think..

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Yes all very confusing!

Surely you don’t believe all that tosh about the Picts or whatever they were called (definitely NOT the Scotch) destroying LEGIO IX HISPANA? The late Rosemary Sutcliffe wrote a wonderful book about it, but it was all fiction.

Actually, according to Juvenal the Romans did have a crack at Hibernia/Ireland. Scholarly opinion now thinks it was probably a ‘smash and grab ‘ raid rather like the one executed by the Northumbrian King Ecfrith in the 7th century.

I estimate you are now choosing the former Roman Province of Tarraconensis…you lucky chap! If perchance you are near Caceres, make sure visit the great Roman bridge across the Tagus, about 40 miles to the NW at ALCANTARA. It is the finest in existence and certainly worth ‘going to see and seeing’ unlike say the Giant’s Causeway.
From there you are almost on the Portuguese frontier, so cross country to Castelo Branco and thus the motorway system.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

What a stitch.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Yes all very confusing!

Surely you don’t believe all that tosh about the Picts or whatever they were called (definitely NOT the Scotch) destroying LEGIO IX HISPANA? The late Rosemary Sutcliffe wrote a wonderful book about it, but it was all fiction.

Actually, according to Juvenal the Romans did have a crack at Hibernia/Ireland. Scholarly opinion now thinks it was probably a ‘smash and grab ‘ raid rather like the one executed by the Northumbrian King Ecfrith in the 7th century.

I estimate you are now choosing the former Roman Province of Tarraconensis…you lucky chap! If perchance you are near Caceres, make sure visit the great Roman bridge across the Tagus, about 40 miles to the NW at ALCANTARA. It is the finest in existence and certainly worth ‘going to see and seeing’ unlike say the Giant’s Causeway.
From there you are almost on the Portuguese frontier, so cross country to Castelo Branco and thus the motorway system.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

What a stitch.

Patrick O’Driscoll
Patrick O’Driscoll
1 year ago

My father is from Skibbereen Cork and I’m American. Im of English ancestry on my mother’s side. A lot of Americans don’t acknowledge the United States darker history but I do.

Some English people love to tout how benevolent they are or were to the conquered and continue to be to still occupied areas of their former empire.

You seem to suggest that the Irish in particular are ingrates. They should only be grateful for the benevolent generosity of the English today.

You lament England’s “burden” in Ireland.

Fact is the English forget the history of how they brought about this state of affairs to begin with.

England treated all their colonial subjects like second class citizens in their home countries including their own in North America.

They ran oppressive regimes all over the world including in Ireland, which no one can deny.

This apartheid regime run in Ireland has much to do with the economic situation the Irish public faced upon independence.

The northern apartheid regime, sponsored by England, after 1922 had much to do with how things went there.

Had the British treated their colonial subjects decently there wouldn’t have been revolutions against them in North America, the Middle East, India, Africa etc.

The English broke all these places, mostly because of massive discrimination, Ireland is no exception, so talking about their benevolent rule is like white Southern Americans complaining about African American poverty.

The root of the problem in Ulster was a massive and brutal resettlement operation and discrimination campaign perpetrated by the English.

To say that those that object to English rule are “biting the hand that feeds them” dismisses all of this either on purpose or through ignorance.

The English should acknowledge they broke it and accept that they should be the ones to try and fix it by whatever means both sides will accept in N.I., not dismiss it as a Northern Irish problem they had nothing to do with creating.

I like English people very much but I’m always flabbergasted when they talk as if they don’t know this history at all.

Many of the “burdens” of those that had power are of their own making.

Last edited 1 year ago by Patrick O’Driscoll
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

What an astonishingly naive comment, where did you learn such tosh?
Let me guess……..USA?

Patrick O’Driscoll
Patrick O’Driscoll
1 year ago

Yes USA. We rebelled against English rule for good reason.

Why don’t you ask someone from India, South Africa, Pakistan, Australia even, and a host of other places about benevolent English colonialism.

Some English people acknowledge the truth.

You guys sound like you can’t.

Patrick O’Driscoll
Patrick O’Driscoll
1 year ago

Naive

England’s treating colonials like hell is so complex.

Patrick O’Driscoll
Patrick O’Driscoll
1 year ago

Yes USA. We rebelled against English rule for good reason.

Why don’t you ask someone from India, South Africa, Pakistan, Australia even, and a host of other places about benevolent English colonialism.

Some English people acknowledge the truth.

You guys sound like you can’t.

Patrick O’Driscoll
Patrick O’Driscoll
1 year ago

Naive

England’s treating colonials like hell is so complex.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

“I like English people very much but I’m always flabbergasted when they talk as if they don’t know this history at all.”
We are being lectured in our own history by a PlasticPaddy.
It may come as news to you, but my English peasant ancestors were treated no better than any other peasant – Glad to help

Last edited 1 year ago by polidori redux
Patrick O’Driscoll
Patrick O’Driscoll
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Thanks

My English peasant ancestors rebelled against being treated like crap over here.

Sorry, English government treating their own like crap doesn’t absolve them of treating others that.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

Look at it this way, the natives of North America can’t complain – because you lot of heroic rebels exterminated them.

Patrick O’Driscoll
Patrick O’Driscoll
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Fair enough

Patrick O’Driscoll
Patrick O’Driscoll
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Fair enough

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

Look at it this way, the natives of North America can’t complain – because you lot of heroic rebels exterminated them.

Patrick O’Driscoll
Patrick O’Driscoll
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Thanks

My English peasant ancestors rebelled against being treated like crap over here.

Sorry, English government treating their own like crap doesn’t absolve them of treating others that.

Kit Read
Kit Read
1 year ago

It really is strange that if the British Empire/Commonwealth was so awful why do all the former colonies sign upto the Commonwealth? Ex-colonies such as Namibia, Mocam-bique and Rwanda (former German and Portuguese colonies ) decided to join the Commonwealth.at the end of the 20th Century.
The only former colonies which did not join were Myanmar, Aden and South Yemen plus the WWI mandated territories (Iraq, Jordan & Palestine)

Patrick O’Driscoll
Patrick O’Driscoll
1 year ago
Reply to  Kit Read

Trade and military arrangements.

In fact it’s the basic relationship Britain had with the 13 American colonies before 1765. They were essentially independent dominions with allegiance and special trade and military arrangements with the UK.

The Stamp Act of 1765 changed all that.

Trade and military arrangements of essentially equal entities as stated in the Balfour declaration “in no way subordinate to each other” makes sense. Direct rule at any time was a no go.

Last edited 1 year ago by Patrick O’Driscoll
Patrick O’Driscoll
Patrick O’Driscoll
1 year ago

.

Last edited 1 year ago by Patrick O’Driscoll
Patrick O’Driscoll
Patrick O’Driscoll
1 year ago

.

Last edited 1 year ago by Patrick O’Driscoll
Patrick O’Driscoll
Patrick O’Driscoll
1 year ago
Reply to  Kit Read

So I would say the Empire and the Commonwealth are two totally different things.

If the Empire had expanded worldwide along the lines of the original relationship the UK had with the 13 colonies (a commonwealth relationship) the American Revolution and others wouldn’t have happened.

Patrick O’Driscoll
Patrick O’Driscoll
1 year ago
Reply to  Kit Read

Trade and military arrangements.

In fact it’s the basic relationship Britain had with the 13 American colonies before 1765. They were essentially independent dominions with allegiance and special trade and military arrangements with the UK.

The Stamp Act of 1765 changed all that.

Trade and military arrangements of essentially equal entities as stated in the Balfour declaration “in no way subordinate to each other” makes sense. Direct rule at any time was a no go.

Last edited 1 year ago by Patrick O’Driscoll
Patrick O’Driscoll
Patrick O’Driscoll
1 year ago
Reply to  Kit Read

So I would say the Empire and the Commonwealth are two totally different things.

If the Empire had expanded worldwide along the lines of the original relationship the UK had with the 13 colonies (a commonwealth relationship) the American Revolution and others wouldn’t have happened.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

What an astonishingly naive comment, where did you learn such tosh?
Let me guess……..USA?

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

“I like English people very much but I’m always flabbergasted when they talk as if they don’t know this history at all.”
We are being lectured in our own history by a PlasticPaddy.
It may come as news to you, but my English peasant ancestors were treated no better than any other peasant – Glad to help

Last edited 1 year ago by polidori redux
Kit Read
Kit Read
1 year ago

It really is strange that if the British Empire/Commonwealth was so awful why do all the former colonies sign upto the Commonwealth? Ex-colonies such as Namibia, Mocam-bique and Rwanda (former German and Portuguese colonies ) decided to join the Commonwealth.at the end of the 20th Century.
The only former colonies which did not join were Myanmar, Aden and South Yemen plus the WWI mandated territories (Iraq, Jordan & Palestine)

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Nope: but not yet in Lusitania: still in Hispañola en route as you Normans might say? Is parliament still opened using French?
The Romans lost an entire legion in Scotland – so much for their lack of interest in the place! They were too scared to try their luck in Ireland and too soft to survive the weather – hence their name for Ireland: Hibernia ie Winter! No grapes! ..except sour ones, clearly!
The indigenous population of England (Celtic Britons) were driven into Wales so what now constitutes the “English” is a mishmash of Germans, Danes and Frenchmen! It’s odd that you dislike your fellow countrymen so much and ptetend to be indigenous.
The Gaelic name for Wales translates to Little Britain and that for England translates to Saxony! All a bit confused I think..

Patrick O’Driscoll
Patrick O’Driscoll
1 year ago

My father is from Skibbereen Cork and I’m American. Im of English ancestry on my mother’s side. A lot of Americans don’t acknowledge the United States darker history but I do.

Some English people love to tout how benevolent they are or were to the conquered and continue to be to still occupied areas of their former empire.

You seem to suggest that the Irish in particular are ingrates. They should only be grateful for the benevolent generosity of the English today.

You lament England’s “burden” in Ireland.

Fact is the English forget the history of how they brought about this state of affairs to begin with.

England treated all their colonial subjects like second class citizens in their home countries including their own in North America.

They ran oppressive regimes all over the world including in Ireland, which no one can deny.

This apartheid regime run in Ireland has much to do with the economic situation the Irish public faced upon independence.

The northern apartheid regime, sponsored by England, after 1922 had much to do with how things went there.

Had the British treated their colonial subjects decently there wouldn’t have been revolutions against them in North America, the Middle East, India, Africa etc.

The English broke all these places, mostly because of massive discrimination, Ireland is no exception, so talking about their benevolent rule is like white Southern Americans complaining about African American poverty.

The root of the problem in Ulster was a massive and brutal resettlement operation and discrimination campaign perpetrated by the English.

To say that those that object to English rule are “biting the hand that feeds them” dismisses all of this either on purpose or through ignorance.

The English should acknowledge they broke it and accept that they should be the ones to try and fix it by whatever means both sides will accept in N.I., not dismiss it as a Northern Irish problem they had nothing to do with creating.

I like English people very much but I’m always flabbergasted when they talk as if they don’t know this history at all.

Many of the “burdens” of those that had power are of their own making.

Last edited 1 year ago by Patrick O’Driscoll
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

“Having looted all 3 nations England now complains…”
Frankly that is nonsense, and what in fact was there to LOOT?

Why do you think the Romans couldn’t be bothered with Ireland or most of Scotland? They only subdued Wales because it was a strategic imperative to protect the Cheshire Plain and the lower Severn Valley.

Sadly “biting the hand that feeds them” seems to be Celtic obsession these days.

ps: I thought you were out in Lusitania in your camper van? Have you returned?

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
David McKee
David McKee
1 year ago

Never mind Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. London and the South-East subsidises the rest of England. So – home rule for the Home Counties?
Mr. Stanhope is not alone in his way of looking at things. In fact, I would say he was a typical Englishman (and that’s not a compliment, in this context), who sees sovereignty and patriotism purely in terms of pounds and pence. Successful human relationships (and the nation-state is a form of human relationship) are not founded on purely mercenary terms. The rest of the world understands this. For Englishmen like Mr. Stanhope, this is still a deep mystery.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  David McKee

The only answer to that is what that great Imperialist Cecil Rhodes said:
“Remember that you are an Englishman, and have consequently won first prize in the lottery of life”.
Who can seriously dispute that?
Or alternatively this perhaps says it better: “This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.”

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Very few: only enlightened, educated, decent and intelligent folk! …and think how few in mumber they are!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Very few: only enlightened, educated, decent and intelligent folk! …and think how few in mumber they are!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  David McKee

I believe it stems from thinking himself Big… and Trying too had.. put together you get Big o’ try..

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  David McKee

The only answer to that is what that great Imperialist Cecil Rhodes said:
“Remember that you are an Englishman, and have consequently won first prize in the lottery of life”.
Who can seriously dispute that?
Or alternatively this perhaps says it better: “This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.”

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  David McKee

I believe it stems from thinking himself Big… and Trying too had.. put together you get Big o’ try..

Michael W
Michael W
1 year ago

Oh go away. England and Scotland’s most glorious days were both in union as Britain. Stop being divisive with your brethren over a bit of government spending. What is England anymore anyway? I have a lot more in common with the Scots and Irish than Muslims in Birmingham or blacks in London.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael W

I was simply replying to the grotesque racism and divisiveness of Sturgeon and her Scotch brethren. Look at the appalling business of University fees for English students for example, or have you NOT being paying attention?

As for your asinine remark, “what is England “ this is what it is:-
“This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle, This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, This other Eden, demi-paradise, This fortress built by Nature for herself Against infection and the hand of war, This happy breed of men, this little world, This precious stone set in the silver sea, Which serves it in the office of a wall Or as a moat defensive to a house, Against the envy of less happier lands,–This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.”

I must ask where did you go to school to make such a frankly puerile remark, or are you really ‘one of them’?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

12 hour delay imposed by the Censor to avoid controversy.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

12 hour delay imposed by the Censor to avoid controversy.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael W

I was simply replying to the grotesque racism and divisiveness of Sturgeon and her Scotch brethren. Look at the appalling business of University fees for English students for example, or have you NOT being paying attention?

As for your asinine remark, “what is England “ this is what it is:-
“This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle, This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, This other Eden, demi-paradise, This fortress built by Nature for herself Against infection and the hand of war, This happy breed of men, this little world, This precious stone set in the silver sea, Which serves it in the office of a wall Or as a moat defensive to a house, Against the envy of less happier lands,–This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.”

I must ask where did you go to school to make such a frankly puerile remark, or are you really ‘one of them’?

Mick Joyce
Mick Joyce
1 year ago

What about Cornwall?

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

Well said.
Much to my surprise, despite being a N Irish person from the pro united Ireland community, I keep agreeing with Charles. Even though there’s a good chance that he or one of his chums may have roughed me up at a checkpoint somewhere in times gone past. No hard feelings lol.   
I’ve long thought that the best way to bring everyone in NI to their senses is for both Dublin and London to very publicly wash their hands of the place and for both to say: “you’re on your own lads”. 
Until that happens, local politics in NI will remain mired in immaturity. 
NI politics always have a safety net – if they can’t agree, there’s always the option of passing the ball to the adults in London, America, Dublin, and letting them sort it out.
In that way, local NI politicians can indulge in purist posturing about trivial tribal issues until the cows come home, as they know they do not have ultimate responsibility. 
A joint declaration of non-interest by England and Ireland would be the best thing ever to happen the North of Ireland.  
And let’s face it folks, the majority of people in England and the S of Ireland couldn’t give a rat’s backside about the place anyway.  
And I say that as someone who was born in and who lives in NI.
Here is my solution for the place, my short blog on “Vennland”, make of it what you will:
“Do you consider that Unionism and Nationalism both are honourable and sincerely-held positions, equally worthy of respect? Take a bow if you do. I’ve met very few people who genuinely believe that. At best, they’ll pay lip-service to the notion of equality of aspiration, while secretly being (even slightly) contemptuous about one side or the other.  
The trick is to find a structure which accommodates Irish-ness and British-ness without degenerating into the usual winners and losers narrative. Predictably, there has been no creative thinking about this at all. Ever. And the winners and losers game continues to this day.”  
See blog: https://vennland.blogspot.com/2021/02/uladhnua.html

Last edited 1 year ago by Frank McCusker
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Having looted all 3 nations England now complains that it has to subsidise them! And even that is in question: the subsidies I mean. How they are calculated has a huge effect on the figures. The is a tendancy for income from the 3 states to be ‘British’ like North Sea oil.
NI’s new found prosperity is founded on its having both UK and EU status.. an option open to the entire UK but eschewed in the name of a mythical total “sovereignty”. Now GB is fast going down the economic tubes and it is that that will tip the scales in favour of independence in Scotland and Reunification in Ireland. The NI solution will involve federalism and indeed that Federation can include Scotland (and Wales?). Why not.. and let England rejoice in its complete freedom from all its burdens: the EU, Scotland, NI and Wales.. free at last to enjoy its economic superiority while its poor unfortunate neighbours try desperately to survive without mother England.
You can then set about expelling all immigrants and settle back into your deckchairs on the SS Britannic or its sister ship whichever fits the bill. Happy days ahead for WASP Blighty I’ll wager! It’ll be a ‘short’ though!

David McKee
David McKee
1 year ago

Never mind Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. London and the South-East subsidises the rest of England. So – home rule for the Home Counties?
Mr. Stanhope is not alone in his way of looking at things. In fact, I would say he was a typical Englishman (and that’s not a compliment, in this context), who sees sovereignty and patriotism purely in terms of pounds and pence. Successful human relationships (and the nation-state is a form of human relationship) are not founded on purely mercenary terms. The rest of the world understands this. For Englishmen like Mr. Stanhope, this is still a deep mystery.

Michael W
Michael W
1 year ago

Oh go away. England and Scotland’s most glorious days were both in union as Britain. Stop being divisive with your brethren over a bit of government spending. What is England anymore anyway? I have a lot more in common with the Scots and Irish than Muslims in Birmingham or blacks in London.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Is it any wonder that many Catholics in Northern Ireland are quite content with the status quo?

It is the enormous English subsidies that have made this possible.
If there is to be a referendum, it should be an English one, with three simple questions.
1: Do you wish to keep subsiding Northern Ireland?
2: Do you wish to keep subsidising Scotland?
3: Do you wish to keep subsidising Wales?

For far too long this triumvirate of greedy spongers have leached off England. It is time to end this grotesque farce.The ‘Union’ is an anachronism and NOW it is time to move on.
.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

McDonald will easily gain power in both parts of Ireland; becoming Taoiseach is now almost a fait accompli

In Fairview Park in Dublin stands a statue of a Nazi. Not someone who got called a Nazi by his political opponents, as is so common nowadays, but an actual Nazi. Sean Russell trained with the German special forces in Berlin and died aboard a U-boat while plotting the German invasion of Ireland. If he had succeeded, this would have led to the murder of all the jews and gypsies in Ireland and, by opening a second front against Britain in 1940, may have tipped the balance of the war in Hitler’s favour.
In 2020, Mary Lou McDonald visited the statue and held a memorial service to this servant of the Third Reich.
And now she is tipped to take the reins of power.
The Irish should be ashamed of themselves.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Yet Dublin’s Fire Engines went to Belfast when it was ‘blitzed’ in 1942, and perhaps 70,000 Irishmen from the Republic fought for Britain in WWII.
(Much to the chagrin of De Valera & Co it must be said.)

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

Blitzed by Luftwaffe planes navigating to their target using the lights from houses in Irish towns who were told not to black-out by Fianna Fail.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

As a ‘neutral’ why would the Republic be blacked-out?
Plus German aerial navigation was good, even if the fabled ‘beams’ were not used on the Belfast raids.

Rather oddly the Luftwaffe carried out a raid on Dublin, soon afterwards, killing about 30!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Also.in Campile Co Wexford!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Sorry what?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Sorry what?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Also.in Campile Co Wexford!

Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Explain how pilots could find Belfast using the lights of villages 50 miles away

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

And helped with lighted guidance from the local catholics to the Belfast shipyards – told to me as a child by my Irish catholic mum.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

In fact the first bombs fell on the waterworks in the north of the city, because the German misidentified the reservoir as the harbour!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

In fact the first bombs fell on the waterworks in the north of the city, because the German misidentified the reservoir as the harbour!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

As a ‘neutral’ why would the Republic be blacked-out?
Plus German aerial navigation was good, even if the fabled ‘beams’ were not used on the Belfast raids.

Rather oddly the Luftwaffe carried out a raid on Dublin, soon afterwards, killing about 30!

Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Explain how pilots could find Belfast using the lights of villages 50 miles away

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

And helped with lighted guidance from the local catholics to the Belfast shipyards – told to me as a child by my Irish catholic mum.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

and The Irish Guards have always recruited from The Republic as well as Ulster: there is no sectarianism in ” The Micks” and never has been… Whether Officers, or not… take heed all from North and South!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Those Irishmen did NOT fight for Britain! They opposed fascist dictators and fought for the right of small nations to self-determination. Joining the British army was merely an expedient. Also the pay was good, travel was included and many had few other economic options given the poverty of the looted state they found themselves in.
In addition, DeValera”s Ireland was a stifled place thanks to his love of a stifling church and so many couldn’t wait to get the hell out as fast as they could.
As you’re keen on history check out the country with the most VCs pc.
Incidentally you hit the nail on the head when you asked what the Celtic nations had to offer England? Manpower for one thing! Who built your infrastructure?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You can’t have it both ways! They fought for Britain because we were recruiting and we paid well. Also, as you say they couldn’t wait to escape from the stifling KERRYGOLD REPUBLIC built by De Valera & Co.

I agree about McAlpine’s Fusiliers! And for that matter the huge Irish commitment to building the British Empire.
Happy days indeed!

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Liam, as a Scot I acknowledge that the Scots led and hugely profited from the colonialist project that created the British empire. I think quite a few Irish did the same thing.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

The Scotch didn’t CREATE the Empire, it was up and running by the time they joined in 1707.
However I acknowledge they were exceptionally good plunderers, along with the Irish and our good selves!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

The Scotch didn’t CREATE the Empire, it was up and running by the time they joined in 1707.
However I acknowledge they were exceptionally good plunderers, along with the Irish and our good selves!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You can’t have it both ways! They fought for Britain because we were recruiting and we paid well. Also, as you say they couldn’t wait to escape from the stifling KERRYGOLD REPUBLIC built by De Valera & Co.

I agree about McAlpine’s Fusiliers! And for that matter the huge Irish commitment to building the British Empire.
Happy days indeed!

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Liam, as a Scot I acknowledge that the Scots led and hugely profited from the colonialist project that created the British empire. I think quite a few Irish did the same thing.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

Blitzed by Luftwaffe planes navigating to their target using the lights from houses in Irish towns who were told not to black-out by Fianna Fail.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

and The Irish Guards have always recruited from The Republic as well as Ulster: there is no sectarianism in ” The Micks” and never has been… Whether Officers, or not… take heed all from North and South!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Those Irishmen did NOT fight for Britain! They opposed fascist dictators and fought for the right of small nations to self-determination. Joining the British army was merely an expedient. Also the pay was good, travel was included and many had few other economic options given the poverty of the looted state they found themselves in.
In addition, DeValera”s Ireland was a stifled place thanks to his love of a stifling church and so many couldn’t wait to get the hell out as fast as they could.
As you’re keen on history check out the country with the most VCs pc.
Incidentally you hit the nail on the head when you asked what the Celtic nations had to offer England? Manpower for one thing! Who built your infrastructure?

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

‘If he had succeeded, this would have led to the murder of all the jews and gypsies in Ireland and, by opening a second front against Britain in 1940, may have tipped the balance of the war in Hitler’s favour.’
One hell of a jump there, Sir.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

I don’t think so.
1.Would the Irish have been able to hold out against the Nazi war-machine as well as hundreds of Sinn Fein saboteurs? Seems unlikely to me.
2.Would the Nazi’s have developed a newfound regard for jews and gypsies once they were on the Emerald Isle? Probably not.
3.Would the RAF and RN been able to defend attacks from France and Ireland simultaneously? Tough to imagine they could.
4.If Britain had been defeated in 1940, would D-Day have ever happened? Obviously not.
You don’t agree that Nazi-collaborators shouldn’t have statues in Dublin and leading politicians should venerate them?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

The statute, like so many others dedicated to wicked slavers and colonialists, should indeed be torn down. Russell’s dedication to ending NI partition is laudable but his methods are not. The end does not justify the means. McDonald should disown the guy for sure.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Nah keep the statue Liam – it’s history and I don’t think we should tear such stuff down. Just avoid celebration of it, or put an explanatory plaque on it, noting the positives and the negatives.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Stewart
Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

I agree Ian.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

I agree Ian.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Nah keep the statue Liam – it’s history and I don’t think we should tear such stuff down. Just avoid celebration of it, or put an explanatory plaque on it, noting the positives and the negatives.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Stewart
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

It would have taken the British Army perhaps three days to overrun the Republic. I gather there were contingency plans for such an unlikely event.

As for a German invasion of Ireland that is even more ludicrous than a German invasion of England!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

The statute, like so many others dedicated to wicked slavers and colonialists, should indeed be torn down. Russell’s dedication to ending NI partition is laudable but his methods are not. The end does not justify the means. McDonald should disown the guy for sure.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

It would have taken the British Army perhaps three days to overrun the Republic. I gather there were contingency plans for such an unlikely event.

As for a German invasion of Ireland that is even more ludicrous than a German invasion of England!

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

I don’t think so.
1.Would the Irish have been able to hold out against the Nazi war-machine as well as hundreds of Sinn Fein saboteurs? Seems unlikely to me.
2.Would the Nazi’s have developed a newfound regard for jews and gypsies once they were on the Emerald Isle? Probably not.
3.Would the RAF and RN been able to defend attacks from France and Ireland simultaneously? Tough to imagine they could.
4.If Britain had been defeated in 1940, would D-Day have ever happened? Obviously not.
You don’t agree that Nazi-collaborators shouldn’t have statues in Dublin and leading politicians should venerate them?

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

The queue to sign the condolences book for the death of Hitler was pretty shameful too.
https://www.historyireland.com/de-valera-hitler-the-visit-of-condolence-may-1945/
But acknowledging Liam’s view, most Irish were actively opposed to Hitler, and disapproved of this action by De Valera.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Stewart
Frederick Dixon
Frederick Dixon
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

“Actively opposed to Hitler” Actively? Really? Difficult to see how they could have been actively opposed when their country wasn’t at war!

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

A lot of them joined the British army, which invited castigation and took a lot of gumption.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

A lot of them joined the British army, which invited castigation and took a lot of gumption.

Frederick Dixon
Frederick Dixon
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

“Actively opposed to Hitler” Actively? Really? Difficult to see how they could have been actively opposed when their country wasn’t at war!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Yet Dublin’s Fire Engines went to Belfast when it was ‘blitzed’ in 1942, and perhaps 70,000 Irishmen from the Republic fought for Britain in WWII.
(Much to the chagrin of De Valera & Co it must be said.)

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

‘If he had succeeded, this would have led to the murder of all the jews and gypsies in Ireland and, by opening a second front against Britain in 1940, may have tipped the balance of the war in Hitler’s favour.’
One hell of a jump there, Sir.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

The queue to sign the condolences book for the death of Hitler was pretty shameful too.
https://www.historyireland.com/de-valera-hitler-the-visit-of-condolence-may-1945/
But acknowledging Liam’s view, most Irish were actively opposed to Hitler, and disapproved of this action by De Valera.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Stewart
Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

McDonald will easily gain power in both parts of Ireland; becoming Taoiseach is now almost a fait accompli

In Fairview Park in Dublin stands a statue of a Nazi. Not someone who got called a Nazi by his political opponents, as is so common nowadays, but an actual Nazi. Sean Russell trained with the German special forces in Berlin and died aboard a U-boat while plotting the German invasion of Ireland. If he had succeeded, this would have led to the murder of all the jews and gypsies in Ireland and, by opening a second front against Britain in 1940, may have tipped the balance of the war in Hitler’s favour.
In 2020, Mary Lou McDonald visited the statue and held a memorial service to this servant of the Third Reich.
And now she is tipped to take the reins of power.
The Irish should be ashamed of themselves.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

So all those people were murdered for nothing.
Almost Putinesque in its futility.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Not for nothing Polidori, Those murders helped cement control of the drugs trade for the IRA.

Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Indeed. Sinn Fein/PIRA went from being a socialist revolutionary party funded by petty crime to an organised crime state with political top cover.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Gordon Arta

And all thanks to the USA.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

I used to enjoy meeting Irish Americans in the eighties and exploring their arguments for supporting IRA terrorism against civilians – they always backed off as they just couldn’t justify it.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

9/11 also gave them a good shock, and not before time it must be said.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

They completely shut up after that – the hypocrisy was so obvious.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

They completely shut up after that – the hypocrisy was so obvious.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

9/11 also gave them a good shock, and not before time it must be said.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

I used to enjoy meeting Irish Americans in the eighties and exploring their arguments for supporting IRA terrorism against civilians – they always backed off as they just couldn’t justify it.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Gordon Arta

And all thanks to the USA.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

and loyalists too

Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Indeed. Sinn Fein/PIRA went from being a socialist revolutionary party funded by petty crime to an organised crime state with political top cover.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

and loyalists too

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Just like Iraq

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

..and Sicily.

Last edited 1 year ago by Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

..and Sicily.

Last edited 1 year ago by Liam O'Mahony
Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Not for nothing Polidori, Those murders helped cement control of the drugs trade for the IRA.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Just like Iraq

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

So all those people were murdered for nothing.
Almost Putinesque in its futility.

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
1 year ago

I wonder if Sinn Fein’s enemies in the quest for power will see a failed referendum as a useful tool to undermine Sinn Fein?
As a side benefit, it will be harder to demonize the UK government, etc, (a productive ploy in the struggle for power) as ‘standing in the way of a united Ireland’ if they roll out a referendum on that very point. If it fails, the only people Sinn Fein can point, to try and blame, will be . . . . . its own voters.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Noel Chiappa

So….?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Noel Chiappa

So….?

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
1 year ago

I wonder if Sinn Fein’s enemies in the quest for power will see a failed referendum as a useful tool to undermine Sinn Fein?
As a side benefit, it will be harder to demonize the UK government, etc, (a productive ploy in the struggle for power) as ‘standing in the way of a united Ireland’ if they roll out a referendum on that very point. If it fails, the only people Sinn Fein can point, to try and blame, will be . . . . . its own voters.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
1 year ago

Neither ‘ourselves’ nor alone’, Sinn Fein is looking more and more like every other opportunistic multi-national conglomeration.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

Really? What do you base yhat wild assertion on? Do you expect a large political party to have just one policy on one single issue?

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

From opposition to ‘Critical but supportive’ of the EU, which means ceding more and more power to Brussels, the North Atlantic Alliance and multi-nationals… just like everyone else.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

From opposition to ‘Critical but supportive’ of the EU, which means ceding more and more power to Brussels, the North Atlantic Alliance and multi-nationals… just like everyone else.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

Really? What do you base yhat wild assertion on? Do you expect a large political party to have just one policy on one single issue?

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
1 year ago

Neither ‘ourselves’ nor alone’, Sinn Fein is looking more and more like every other opportunistic multi-national conglomeration.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

It’s the economy, stupid! Once a united Ireland becomes a realistic possibility, watch the population of the South suddenly notice how much German reunification cost the West.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

East Germany was terminally backward from an economic point of view.. NI is quite the opposite as regards industry, infrastructure, services and wages etc. The comparison is with E Germany is totally invalid. Reunification will be so seamless it will be virtually unnoticed.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Some fair arguments and then you make an extreme claim that just isn’t credible:
“The public sector accounts for 27% of employee jobs in NI. This compares to 18% in UK as a whole.”
https://www.economy-ni.gov.uk/news/business-register-and-employment-survey-2021
In Ireland “the proportion of the workforce working in the public sector is just below 15 per cent.”
https://www.ipa.ie/_fileUpload/Documents/PUBLICSECTORTRENDS2018.pdf
They would have to lose about 90,000 jobs in the public sector to be on a par with Ireland. That would destroy the economy in NI.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Some fair arguments and then you make an extreme claim that just isn’t credible:
“The public sector accounts for 27% of employee jobs in NI. This compares to 18% in UK as a whole.”
https://www.economy-ni.gov.uk/news/business-register-and-employment-survey-2021
In Ireland “the proportion of the workforce working in the public sector is just below 15 per cent.”
https://www.ipa.ie/_fileUpload/Documents/PUBLICSECTORTRENDS2018.pdf
They would have to lose about 90,000 jobs in the public sector to be on a par with Ireland. That would destroy the economy in NI.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

East Germany was terminally backward from an economic point of view.. NI is quite the opposite as regards industry, infrastructure, services and wages etc. The comparison is with E Germany is totally invalid. Reunification will be so seamless it will be virtually unnoticed.