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Ireland will always be divided After 25 years, what has the Good Friday Agreement fixed?

Burning down Bogside (Credit: Peter Turnley/Corbis/VCG/ Getty)

Burning down Bogside (Credit: Peter Turnley/Corbis/VCG/ Getty)


April 10, 2023   8 mins

Sitting together in the small hours of Good Friday, David Trimble and John Hume slipped into sentimentalism, harking back to holidays spent in Donegal and, in particular, the rugged, rocky peninsular of Inishowen. Inishowen is in the Republic, but is the most northerly part of the island of Ireland; hills rising from the water on the horizon as you look out from the west Antrim coast. According to someone in the room, the two of them waxed lyrical about the beauty of this fist of land on the other side of the border; bonding over the shared geography of their world. Inishowen, said Hume, was ”the most beautiful place in the world”. “Aye, a lovely wee place.”

Trimble and Hume had grown up in the Northern Ireland that existed before the anarchy. They had known peace and they wanted it back. To get there, each had decided it was time to make the leap together: Hume to jump with Trimble and Trimble to accept only the vaguest promises of IRA decommissioning. Each was placing a bet on the other but also, just as important, on their electorates to reward them for doing so. Only one side of this bet would pay out.

In his essay, “Why I Became A Conservative“, Roger Scruton wrote that the romantic core of the creed was the search for the “lost experience of home”, the dream of a childhood that cannot ever be fully recaptured, but can be “regained and remodelled, to reward us for all the toil of separation through which we are condemned by our original transgression”. At the heart of conservatism, in other words, is love: love for things that exist or existed and must be saved. Twenty-five years ago, as Trimble and Hume approached the moment of their destiny, it is telling that their thoughts returned to this land; the home that existed before the transgression.

That morning, exhausted and perhaps a little jubilant, they were confident that they were on the verge of bringing it back. “I know I’ve done the right thing,” Trimble said: “Aye, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and it’s not ideal, but it’s worthwhile.”

Trimble had always tried to be realistic about the peace in Northern Ireland. “It would be a dereliction of duty if I only conjured up good and generous ghosts, and failed to specify the spectres at the feast,” he said eight months later, when accepting his Nobel Peace Prize.

Back then, the spectre haunting Northern Ireland was the IRA’s failure to decommission its weapons. Today, it is the breakdown of the power-sharing institutions created 25 years ago, and the loss of support for the agreement among unionists. Trimble was clear at the time that the challenge was not just to decommission arms and ammunition, but also to win “hearts and minds”. To do so would be key if Northern Ireland were ever to realise Trimble’s greatest hope: “What we democratic politicians want in Northern Ireland is not some utopian society but a normal society,” he said. This was the goal: a normal society.

This has not happened. While everyday life has returned to some level of normality in Northern Ireland, its politics remain distinctly abnormal. And that, in part, is because of the Good Friday Agreement itself.

For Trimble, parliamentary democracy was the route to normalcy. This is what the struggle against the IRA had been about: democracy over the jackboot of violent imposition. The Good Friday Agreement was the final victory in this fight, a constitutional defeat for terroristic Republicanism; confirmation of Northern Ireland’s legitimacy and place in the union with Britain. And yet, democracy in Northern Ireland is not normal. Power, according to the Agreement, is always shared between the two competing tribes. Neither can govern without the other. You cannot easily kick the rascals out, because both sides must always work with the other.

Even in 1998, as Trimble wrestled with this tension in his Nobel speech, he was clear that Northern Ireland’s Assembly needed to become more than a mere “congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests”. Quoting the great Anglo-Irish philosopher Edmund Burke, Trimble said the assembly needed to become a “deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole.” Today, the assembly is not even sitting because the leading party of unionism, the DUP, believes its wishes have been ignored. And so stasis reigns, the ambassadors of hostile interests unable to find common cause.

This is the spectre at the feast that we cannot ignore. While there is little evidence that any other settlement was possible in 1998 — or any other time — the Agreement itself helps to ensure that the hostile interests remain separate. It both reflects Northern Ireland’s abnormality and entrenches it, for as long as the basic power-sharing structure remains in place, “normal” politics can’t resume. And yet, if the Agreement did not exist, politics in Northern Ireland would be even more abnormal than it is today. This is Northern Ireland’s tragedy.

Many of those around both Trimble and Tony Blair did not think this would be the case. The working assumption was that once the heat was drawn from the conflict, normal politics could slowly emerge and eventually replace the sectarian divide. Then a new settlement might naturally come into play. After Trimble lost his grip on power, he even switched his allegiance from the Ulster Unionist Party to the Conservative Party, convinced that this would eventually come about.

Jonathan Powell, who was Blair’s chief of staff at the time and played a key role in the negotiations, tells me Trimble had told him soon after the agreement that Northern Irish politics would eventually resolve itself into normal Left-Right politics. “I thought he was right, but that hasn’t happened.” People were fed up with the two extremes on offer, he says, and that this explained the subsequent rise in support for the Alliance Party. “Power sharing doesn’t work in the long run. Normal politics has to break through eventually, but it takes time.”

Blair remains optimistic that this could still happen. “One of things I learned about the peace process is, you can create an agreement, and you can create a legal framework, and you can do the reforms and pass the laws, but that’s not the same as two communities trusting each other,” he said recently. “But at least if there’s peace and, if we get back to some form of political stability, I think you’ve got the right circumstances for that reconciliation.”

Yet, if anything, the divide has hardened. The largest parties in Northern Ireland today are no longer Trimble’s moderate UUP and Hume’s SDLP, but the hardline DUP and Sinn FĂ©in. Meanwhile, the great losers are the Alliance Party, the one major party in Northern Ireland which seeks an end to the unionist-nationalist dichotomy. After decades of treading water, the party has recently seen its popularity jump and many believe we are witnessing the birth of a new normal in which three tribes must be brought together and not just two.

Should the Alliance continue to hoover up support, some of the basic tenets of the peace settlement would start to lose their legitimacy. Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, the votes of Alliance party MLAs at Stormont simply do not count for as much as their DUP and Sinn Fein colleagues. Power has to be shared between nationalists and unionists — not with those who refuse to define as either. This will no longer be tenable if 20-30% of Northern Ireland is voting for parties outside the divide.

This is one of the major reasons — alongside the DUP’s continuing refusal to serve — why there are now calls for the Good Friday Agreement to be reformed. But those calling for reform are essentially calling for an entirely new agreement — and usually because they want to bypass the DUP. But you can’t ask unionism to share power when it is a majority, and then to give up its veto the moment it becomes a minority. The Good Friday Agreement, as Blair said, can only be changed if both communities agree. And this can’t happen until the current crisis has ended, which can only happen if the DUP’s concerns are met — or enough voters abandon the party in protest. As Powell puts it: “You can’t impose it, or change the rules in the middle of a crisis. It can only happen when the conditions are right.”

But what if they never are? Either way, the great irony is that as Northern Ireland becomes more normal, the Good Friday Agreement becomes less workable. This is in large part because it has always meant different things to each side. For many nationalists it was a process. As Gerry Adams said in 1999: “The Agreement is not a peace settlement, nor does it purport to be one.” Rather, he claimed, it was “the beginning of a transitional period towards Irish unification”. To unionists, it was no such thing. It was a settlement, a reasonable compromise upon which a new Northern Ireland could grow.

Trimble’s Peace Prize speech is remembered today largely for his remark that unionists built a solid house in the north after Irish independence, but one that was “a cold house for Catholics”. Less well-remembered — but just as important — was his next sentence. “And northern nationalists, although they had a roof over their heads, seemed to us as if they meant to burn the house down.”

Many northern nationalists do want the house to burn down — and legitimately so. Seeking Northern Ireland’s withdrawal from the UK and absorption into the Republic is just as legitimate and noble a cause as wanting the house to remain standing forever, like some Victorian terrace connected to Great Britain on the other side of the wall. Yet, the reality of Northern Ireland’s existential uncertainty means the “assembly of one nation” that Trimble so desperately wanted is an impossible dream. At heart there remain two nations, with two interests each opposed to the other. And while his imperfect and incomplete set of political compromises solved some of the most intractable problems in western Europe, it only replaced them with others.

Northern Ireland is one of the most constitutionally uncertain places on earth — by design. The Good Friday Agreement is ambiguous on how a future border poll will come about, for example, or even what Irish unity looks like. All that is said about a future referendum is that one must be called by the British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland “if it appears likely to him that a majority of those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to be a part of the United Kingdom”. But how this might be determined is not stipulated. Nor what it would mean, should it happen. The Irish government believes all that is required for a referendum to be called is a majority in the Northern Ireland assembly. The British Government has not made its position clear. Adding further uncertainty is the fact that, once a first referendum takes place, subsequent polls can then be called every seven years: a recipe for permanent instability. No nation on earth could create any meaningful unity of purpose should its very existence be put to a public vote every seven years. The stakes to avoid a first one are therefore extraordinarily high for unionism.

But even if the cause of Irish nationalism were to triumph in a poll, it is unclear what would happen then. Once the reality of Irish unity is set out in black and white, some may be less keen — and others more.

Rory Montgomery, a member of the Irish delegation in 1998, told me it was important to remember that while the agreement was a remarkable achievement, it was also the work of imperfect humans negotiated with great haste. “This was not handed down on tablets of stone by great men.” Many issues were resolved by the agreement, but many more had to be parked, chief among them how to deal with the legacies of the past and the continuing reality of sectarianism.

One of the problems today, Montgomery told me, was that the politicians in Northern Ireland had become “addicted to the constitutional question and the politics of crisis and intervention”. For a small place, it continues to be treated with great solemnity, a source of conversation in London and Washington, Dublin and Brussels. “The politics has remained focused on the constitutional issue and the rivalry of the two communities,” he said. “Even if Stormont was sitting for a relatively long period, there hasn’t been much focus on usual politics. And you have to be honest: the performance of the institutions has been mediocre at best.” It is hard to argue with this conclusion.

Back in 1998, Trimble warned that peace needed magnanimity, but also political prudence, “a willingness at times nor to be too precise or pedantic”. It is not for one generation of politicians to future-proof a set of laws and strictures. They must work within the bounds of what exists, not seek to perfect the world. Trimble quotes Amos Oz, who said inconsistency was the basis of coexistence. “The heroes of tragedy driven by consistency and by righteousness, destroy each other. He who seeks total supreme justice seeks death.” This is true, and yet nothing can be built on foundations that never settle. The house that Trimble and Hume built is still standing, but the running repairs are racking up.


Tom McTague is UnHerd’s Political Editor. He is the author of Betting The House: The Inside Story of the 2017 Election.

TomMcTague

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Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago

“After 25 years, what has the Good Friday Agreement fixed?”
I don’t know, but I’m thinking not having weekly bombings for the last 25 years might be a slight benefit.

Mary Bruels
Mary Bruels
1 year ago

Weekly bombings are visible damage to a community for certain. Several years ago we were in Belfast for a quick trip and took one of the famous Black taxi tours. Our driver admitted to spending time in prison over The Troubles but refused to say for what. He did say that the two main groups involved in the bombings have now divided NI in illegal commercial ventures, including drugs. What was interesting was that both sides divvied up the type of drugs each would sell so not as to create tensions. So, they are now killing more softly with drug addictions.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

..and what did the Romans ever do for us?

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

Gave you Christianity, (apparently)!

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago

In the North we got that from the Irish

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

My commiserations.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

My commiserations.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Yes but we modified it a bit, so much so the feckin’ pope sanctioned your lot to invade and put us on the right side, ie the Norman version. It seems our version was more thsn you could stomach. But that was 1169. From the early 400s we did our own early Christian thing. Indeed for 700 years we exported it all over Europe and even to you lot who, it would appear were a bit slow on the uptake? Then you guys fell out with Rome in the 1500s.. sure you couldn’t make it up!

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago

In the North we got that from the Irish

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Yes but we modified it a bit, so much so the feckin’ pope sanctioned your lot to invade and put us on the right side, ie the Norman version. It seems our version was more thsn you could stomach. But that was 1169. From the early 400s we did our own early Christian thing. Indeed for 700 years we exported it all over Europe and even to you lot who, it would appear were a bit slow on the uptake? Then you guys fell out with Rome in the 1500s.. sure you couldn’t make it up!

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

Perhaps a more apposite question Liam old chap would have been, “what did the English ever do for us”?

In short
..everything! Civilisation itself! Cities, Towns, Universities, Roads, Railways, Religion, Public Health, Education, Law and Order, and so on, and last but NOT least participation in the greatest Empire the World has seen since Ancient Rome!

Arthur G
Arthur G
1 year ago

Plus 700 years of trying to destroy the Irish language, culture, and religion, with your occasional genocidal spasm thrown in. Getting to be the laborers and soldiers for the British Empire, while a bunch of English grandees reaped the profits, wasn’t exactly a great bargain either.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Yes from the Tudor conquest we did try a bit harder, and eventually succeeded. What percentage of the current Irish population are fluent in Gaelic? What is there really left of genuine Irish culture? And the religion wasn’t even Irish in the first place.

However by comparative analysis with how the forces of Catholic Germany, led by their Stormtroopers the ‘Society of Jesus’ exterminated Czech Protestantism* in Bohemia over the same time frame, the Irish got of rather lightly it must be said.

(*Sometimes referred to as Hussites.)

Arthur G
Arthur G
1 year ago

Well, since the Protestants are the forefathers of all the modernist and post-modernist pseudo-intellectual crap we’re drowning under now, I’ll shed no tears for them. Once man decided he could be his own God, it’s been a straight downhill ride. Of course, any moderately sophisticated mind could discern that all Protestantism was base don was justifying the sins of its creators, from Henry VII to Luther to Calvin. Much like Islam exists only to justify the sins of a bunch of Arabian warlords.
You should also remember that everything good the English have either came from the Romans (classical civilization) or the Irish (Christianity). Otherwise you’re another bunch of Germanic raiders.

Last edited 1 year ago by Arthur G
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

I must confess that at about the tender age of ten, when being introduced to the wonders of biology and learning that ‘man’ was little more than an upgrade on a Chimpanzee, I rather gave up on God.

However there is much in what you say in your criticism of Protestantism although I think you mean Henry VIII not Henry VII?

Off course Catholicism was hardly a paragon of virtue, and this is what incensed Wycliffe, Hus & Co in the first place. Little seems to changed here either.

Your are certainly correct when you say “everything thing good the English have came from the Romans (Classical Civilisation”), but sadly incorrect when you continue with “or the Irish (Christianity.)

In 664AD at the Synod of Whitby, King Oswiu of Northumbria when given a clear choice between Irish Christianity and Roman Christianity not surprisingly chose Roman! Most of Anglo-Saxon England rapidly followed suit.

As to your final remark “ Otherwise you’re another bunch of Germanic raiders”, I am sure you can do better than that?

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago

Particularly since the Irish comstantly raided Scotland in the 5 th and 6 th century. The Scottish settlements in Ireland were a fair and more peaceful response..
btw, it was Ireland who sympathised with the latest bunch of German raiders. Did notan IRA hero die on the way back from Nazi German with a ‘how to’ pamphlet under his arm?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

Those ‘Irish’ you speak of were the original Scotch or Scotti as they were sometimes referred to. .As a tribal group they were called the Dal Riata and they were raiding the ‘peaceful’ Picts.
Eventually they conquered Pictland and it became Scotland!

As to your second point there were some Irish Nazi traitors, including ‘Galway Boy’ James Joyce, better known as Lord Haw Haw.
Notoriously De Valera signed the condolence book at the German Embassy for the death of Adolph Hitler. Whilst diplomatically correct it was a pretty stupid thing to do!

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

Not James Joyce silly, Wm Brook Joyce! If you read you’d know James Joyce was a great Irish Writer! Since Ireland was neutral in WW2 ie no longer British, Wm Joyce was no more a traitor than Julian Assange but that didn’t stop you executing Joyce nor imprisioning Assange either, nor letting the war criminal Tony Blair walk free. British justice eh and its “appalling vista” ala Lord Scarman’s whitewash..
Also, the Scotii were Irish, ie the people who raided (what is now) Scotland and colonised the part known as Dal Riada. So your point is arse about face as it were!

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

Ah yes James Joyce and his little brown arsed f*ck fairy, 
..one Nora Barnacle of Galway town! I stand corrected, thank you.
So many Joyces and damned traitors one can become confused at my time of life.

Technically we should NOT have hanged William Joyce because he was a US citizen, but if he hadn’t acquiesced we would have hanged his Mrs, so he didn’t have much choice, silly b****r!

You have misunderstood me, Liam old chap, I clearly stated that the wretched Scotti were IRISH did I not?

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

Original reply censored! You didn’t flag it Liam old chap did you?
Or perhaps it was because I mentioned Joyce’s rather coarse description of his beloved Nora Barnacle?

So yet again, yes you are correct William NOT James Joyce! My apologies, and yes legally he shouldn’t really have been hanged because he was NOT*a British Citizen, but his wife was, so we would have hanged her instead if he had objected! 1946 was not a good year for mercy.

You seem to have misunderstood me, I thought it was quite clear that the Scotti of the Dal Riata were Irish! You might even say Scotland was Ireland’s first colony!

(* He did however make a ‘dishonest’ application for a British Passport, which automatically invalidated it!)

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

Ah yes James Joyce and his little brown arsed f*ck fairy, 
..one Nora Barnacle of Galway town! I stand corrected, thank you.
So many Joyces and damned traitors one can become confused at my time of life.

Technically we should NOT have hanged William Joyce because he was a US citizen, but if he hadn’t acquiesced we would have hanged his Mrs, so he didn’t have much choice, silly b****r!

You have misunderstood me, Liam old chap, I clearly stated that the wretched Scotti were IRISH did I not?

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

Original reply censored! You didn’t flag it Liam old chap did you?
Or perhaps it was because I mentioned Joyce’s rather coarse description of his beloved Nora Barnacle?

So yet again, yes you are correct William NOT James Joyce! My apologies, and yes legally he shouldn’t really have been hanged because he was NOT*a British Citizen, but his wife was, so we would have hanged her instead if he had objected! 1946 was not a good year for mercy.

You seem to have misunderstood me, I thought it was quite clear that the Scotti of the Dal Riata were Irish! You might even say Scotland was Ireland’s first colony!

(* He did however make a ‘dishonest’ application for a British Passport, which automatically invalidated it!)

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Not James Joyce silly, Wm Brook Joyce! If you read you’d know James Joyce was a great Irish Writer! Since Ireland was neutral in WW2 ie no longer British, Wm Joyce was no more a traitor than Julian Assange but that didn’t stop you executing Joyce nor imprisioning Assange either, nor letting the war criminal Tony Blair walk free. British justice eh and its “appalling vista” ala Lord Scarman’s whitewash..
Also, the Scotii were Irish, ie the people who raided (what is now) Scotland and colonised the part known as Dal Riada. So your point is arse about face as it were!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

Those ‘Irish’ you speak of were the original Scotch or Scotti as they were sometimes referred to. .As a tribal group they were called the Dal Riata and they were raiding the ‘peaceful’ Picts.
Eventually they conquered Pictland and it became Scotland!

As to your second point there were some Irish Nazi traitors, including ‘Galway Boy’ James Joyce, better known as Lord Haw Haw.
Notoriously De Valera signed the condolence book at the German Embassy for the death of Adolph Hitler. Whilst diplomatically correct it was a pretty stupid thing to do!

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

I quite like being a German raider.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

I agree there are distinct advantages!
However I just thought AG was being unnecessarily coarse, as is always the way with ‘Plastic Paddies’, sadly.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

I agree there are distinct advantages!
However I just thought AG was being unnecessarily coarse, as is always the way with ‘Plastic Paddies’, sadly.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

But Charlie aren’t the Angles Germanic? and the Saxons as well? And isn’t English a Germanic language? And aren’t your Royals Germanic? Since the Romans left and took everything with them; and since the Normans (Norse-French) didn’t impose their language on you; and since you drove the Celtic Britons into Wales, Cornwall and Scotland that means no one’s left except the Anglo Saxons, ie not very civilised, not too smart Germanics.. I’m trying to be nice by not saying ‘Germans’!

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

Liam old chap you need to do much more research on the subject before we can have a meaningful conversation.

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

Liam old chap you need to do much more research on the subject before we can have a meaningful conversation.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago

Particularly since the Irish comstantly raided Scotland in the 5 th and 6 th century. The Scottish settlements in Ireland were a fair and more peaceful response..
btw, it was Ireland who sympathised with the latest bunch of German raiders. Did notan IRA hero die on the way back from Nazi German with a ‘how to’ pamphlet under his arm?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

I quite like being a German raider.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

But Charlie aren’t the Angles Germanic? and the Saxons as well? And isn’t English a Germanic language? And aren’t your Royals Germanic? Since the Romans left and took everything with them; and since the Normans (Norse-French) didn’t impose their language on you; and since you drove the Celtic Britons into Wales, Cornwall and Scotland that means no one’s left except the Anglo Saxons, ie not very civilised, not too smart Germanics.. I’m trying to be nice by not saying ‘Germans’!

Last edited 1 year ago by Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Hardly even as good as that.. The Angles were (are?) a nasty bunch that the Romans tried to civilise but, it seems gave up on and went home saying: “It’s hopeless, they’re just too thick”.. so that we Irish had to take up where the Romans left off. We’re doing our best but I sometimes think (especially listening to Hopeless Stan) that it’s a waste of time!

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

I have long held the view that England should declare independence from the UK, create a hard border down the Irish Sea and declare Ireland, North and South, not to be our problem. I am sure that the Americans would be happy to provide a peace-keeping force if you can’t resist the temptation to start blowing each other up again. I’m done with you.

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

I have long held the view that England should declare independence from the UK, create a hard border down the Irish Sea and declare Ireland, North and South, not to be our problem. I am sure that the Americans would be happy to provide a peace-keeping force if you can’t resist the temptation to start blowing each other up again. I’m done with you.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

I must confess that at about the tender age of ten, when being introduced to the wonders of biology and learning that ‘man’ was little more than an upgrade on a Chimpanzee, I rather gave up on God.

However there is much in what you say in your criticism of Protestantism although I think you mean Henry VIII not Henry VII?

Off course Catholicism was hardly a paragon of virtue, and this is what incensed Wycliffe, Hus & Co in the first place. Little seems to changed here either.

Your are certainly correct when you say “everything thing good the English have came from the Romans (Classical Civilisation”), but sadly incorrect when you continue with “or the Irish (Christianity.)

In 664AD at the Synod of Whitby, King Oswiu of Northumbria when given a clear choice between Irish Christianity and Roman Christianity not surprisingly chose Roman! Most of Anglo-Saxon England rapidly followed suit.

As to your final remark “ Otherwise you’re another bunch of Germanic raiders”, I am sure you can do better than that?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Hardly even as good as that.. The Angles were (are?) a nasty bunch that the Romans tried to civilise but, it seems gave up on and went home saying: “It’s hopeless, they’re just too thick”.. so that we Irish had to take up where the Romans left off. We’re doing our best but I sometimes think (especially listening to Hopeless Stan) that it’s a waste of time!

Last edited 1 year ago by Liam O'Mahony
Arthur G
Arthur G
1 year ago

Well, since the Protestants are the forefathers of all the modernist and post-modernist pseudo-intellectual crap we’re drowning under now, I’ll shed no tears for them. Once man decided he could be his own God, it’s been a straight downhill ride. Of course, any moderately sophisticated mind could discern that all Protestantism was base don was justifying the sins of its creators, from Henry VII to Luther to Calvin. Much like Islam exists only to justify the sins of a bunch of Arabian warlords.
You should also remember that everything good the English have either came from the Romans (classical civilization) or the Irish (Christianity). Otherwise you’re another bunch of Germanic raiders.

Last edited 1 year ago by Arthur G
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

I think it was Ireland (or at least the priests) who destroyed the religion which has I gather has been replaced by some supercalifragilisticexpialidocious wokeness

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

It was the Norman priests that destroyed Irish Christianity, a far superior version to the brutal Roman version.

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

Nonsense! ‘You’ did it yourselves!

What the hell was St Malachy and his Cistercian thugs all about then?

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

Nonsense! ‘You’ did it yourselves!

What the hell was St Malachy and his Cistercian thugs all about then?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

It was the Norman priests that destroyed Irish Christianity, a far superior version to the brutal Roman version.

Phineas Bury
Phineas Bury
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Oh well the native Irish decided not to speak Gaelic. Why? English was the key to getting jobs in the UK and USA. After 100 years of compulsory Irish in schools, it was the Irish who decided not to speak Galic. And look at the success at ‘destroying’ the religion. Independent Ireland willingly took its lead on ethical questions from? Guess where? A foreign place and hardly Irish.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Yes from the Tudor conquest we did try a bit harder, and eventually succeeded. What percentage of the current Irish population are fluent in Gaelic? What is there really left of genuine Irish culture? And the religion wasn’t even Irish in the first place.

However by comparative analysis with how the forces of Catholic Germany, led by their Stormtroopers the ‘Society of Jesus’ exterminated Czech Protestantism* in Bohemia over the same time frame, the Irish got of rather lightly it must be said.

(*Sometimes referred to as Hussites.)

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

I think it was Ireland (or at least the priests) who destroyed the religion which has I gather has been replaced by some supercalifragilisticexpialidocious wokeness

Phineas Bury
Phineas Bury
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Oh well the native Irish decided not to speak Gaelic. Why? English was the key to getting jobs in the UK and USA. After 100 years of compulsory Irish in schools, it was the Irish who decided not to speak Galic. And look at the success at ‘destroying’ the religion. Independent Ireland willingly took its lead on ethical questions from? Guess where? A foreign place and hardly Irish.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Ah poor ol’ Charlie.. still haven’t got the hang of it have you? Right I’ll explain it slowly..
Ireland was highly civilised long before your Norman thugs arrived. We had the oldest written language in Europe and a unified legal system replete with women’s rights, ie the Brehon Laws. Our graduates taught all over Europe.. Charlemagne’s tutor was Irish.
Our pre Norman (even pre Viking) ‘towns” were centres of learning, eg Clonmacnoise with settlements growing up around them, early universities in fact. Ireland’s empire, like Jesus’ Kingdom was not a crass, brutal, degenerate thing like the British Empire; it was far more sophisticated than that.
What you did bring us was brutality, famine, ignorance and culture destruction – you banned the RC religion and Irish language forcing English on us.. but just to show you up we produced Yeats, GB Shaw, Joyce and Becket.. and when you hadn’t a hope against Napoleon we gave you Wellesley ie the Duke of Wellington! We later built your canals, railways and roads because you were unable to do it yourselves.. just like you can’t do anything these days without the EU!

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

In short you LOST big time because you didn’t fight hard enough. In fact you could NEVER even unite against us! But you did make jolly good Helots!
..perhaps still do?

Incidentally what language did “Yeats, GB Shaw, Joyce and Becket” write in? QED!

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

In short you LOST big time because you didn’t fight hard enough. In fact you could NEVER even unite against us! But you did make jolly good Helots!
..perhaps still do?

Incidentally what language did “Yeats, GB Shaw, Joyce and Becket” write in? QED!

Arthur G
Arthur G
1 year ago

Plus 700 years of trying to destroy the Irish language, culture, and religion, with your occasional genocidal spasm thrown in. Getting to be the laborers and soldiers for the British Empire, while a bunch of English grandees reaped the profits, wasn’t exactly a great bargain either.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Ah poor ol’ Charlie.. still haven’t got the hang of it have you? Right I’ll explain it slowly..
Ireland was highly civilised long before your Norman thugs arrived. We had the oldest written language in Europe and a unified legal system replete with women’s rights, ie the Brehon Laws. Our graduates taught all over Europe.. Charlemagne’s tutor was Irish.
Our pre Norman (even pre Viking) ‘towns” were centres of learning, eg Clonmacnoise with settlements growing up around them, early universities in fact. Ireland’s empire, like Jesus’ Kingdom was not a crass, brutal, degenerate thing like the British Empire; it was far more sophisticated than that.
What you did bring us was brutality, famine, ignorance and culture destruction – you banned the RC religion and Irish language forcing English on us.. but just to show you up we produced Yeats, GB Shaw, Joyce and Becket.. and when you hadn’t a hope against Napoleon we gave you Wellesley ie the Duke of Wellington! We later built your canals, railways and roads because you were unable to do it yourselves.. just like you can’t do anything these days without the EU!

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

Gave you Christianity, (apparently)!

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

Perhaps a more apposite question Liam old chap would have been, “what did the English ever do for us”?

In short
..everything! Civilisation itself! Cities, Towns, Universities, Roads, Railways, Religion, Public Health, Education, Law and Order, and so on, and last but NOT least participation in the greatest Empire the World has seen since Ancient Rome!

Mary Bruels
Mary Bruels
1 year ago

Weekly bombings are visible damage to a community for certain. Several years ago we were in Belfast for a quick trip and took one of the famous Black taxi tours. Our driver admitted to spending time in prison over The Troubles but refused to say for what. He did say that the two main groups involved in the bombings have now divided NI in illegal commercial ventures, including drugs. What was interesting was that both sides divvied up the type of drugs each would sell so not as to create tensions. So, they are now killing more softly with drug addictions.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

..and what did the Romans ever do for us?

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago

“After 25 years, what has the Good Friday Agreement fixed?”
I don’t know, but I’m thinking not having weekly bombings for the last 25 years might be a slight benefit.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago

I think it’s natural to have lofty goals and want to achieve a perfect solution but the fact is that a lot of the time, you don’t get exactly what you want from Santa Claus. Things aren’t black and white, you have to deal with grey areas, take the best of what’s going and live with an imperfect compromise.
So it was with the GFA, it couldn’t and doesn’t “fix” the underlying problem and didn’t end up delivering the normalcy certain actors had in mind. What it did do was come down on a festering wound like a soothing gauze and calmed things the eff down, and it’s that monumental achievement which we should think about today, not the imperfections of the agreement or where we go from here.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

What community is fully undivided? Anyone remember the Brexit debate? ..is it over? Tory v Lab, Dems v GOP, Right v Left.. conflict is the norm. In the ROI we have Left v Right as well..
It took nearly 100 years for our opposing civil war sides, FF v FG to agree to ‘power sharing’ despite being centrist and right of centre, to coalesce in government so as to exclude the winner of the last election, Sinn FĂ©in from taking power!

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Comparing the conflict in NI to other regular political divisions is to say apples are oranges. There’s clearly a world of difference between political arguments which are part of a functioning democracy and a bloody sectarian conflict which has to be brought to an end by a peace accord providing for the nearest thing to functional democracy which negotiations would permit at the time.
It’s pretty clear that the power sharing arrangement isn’t working well, but what’s the alternative? It’s no use complaining about the iniquities of that solution unless you’ve got another perfect shiny boxfresh approach with the necessary support ready to go.

Last edited 1 year ago by Katharine Eyre
Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Ireland, then Eire, fought the first IRA revolt to a standstill in 1922, and I believe the IRA is still banned in Ireland.

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

Yep.. but we’re a bit smarter than you guys.

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

Nonsense, thick Irish Paddies are renowned throughout the Globe, or do you deny that Liam old chap?

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

Nonsense, thick Irish Paddies are renowned throughout the Globe, or do you deny that Liam old chap?

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

Yep.. but we’re a bit smarter than you guys.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

The power sharing arrangement is great! You should try it in the UK and you might get somewhere. Don’t be so complacent as to think NI violence could not occur in Brixton and Toxteth for example. The NI situation was greatly exacerbated by the gross discrimination against RC/Nationalists something never imposed on the minority RC community in England (in recent times). With a little more crushing of ordinary working people in England over the next year or two under Tory ‘discrimination’ you might well find England becomes a bit more like NI? I sincerely hope not but with people like Cruella Braverman you may well be on the way? A couple of more tax breaks for the filthy rich, soaring prices, unaffordable heating and electrical costs and empty food shelves in the shops and let’s see if NI style violence doesn’t get a bit closer to home?

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Ireland, then Eire, fought the first IRA revolt to a standstill in 1922, and I believe the IRA is still banned in Ireland.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

The power sharing arrangement is great! You should try it in the UK and you might get somewhere. Don’t be so complacent as to think NI violence could not occur in Brixton and Toxteth for example. The NI situation was greatly exacerbated by the gross discrimination against RC/Nationalists something never imposed on the minority RC community in England (in recent times). With a little more crushing of ordinary working people in England over the next year or two under Tory ‘discrimination’ you might well find England becomes a bit more like NI? I sincerely hope not but with people like Cruella Braverman you may well be on the way? A couple of more tax breaks for the filthy rich, soaring prices, unaffordable heating and electrical costs and empty food shelves in the shops and let’s see if NI style violence doesn’t get a bit closer to home?

Peter O'Dwyer
Peter O'Dwyer
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

To form a government in Ireland under the Constitution you have to command a majority of the first DĂĄil, which sits after a general election.
More precisely, under the Constitution, the first job of an incoming DĂĄil is to elect a Taoiseach, who is then asked by the President to form a Government of 15 TDs in a cabinet, comprising of a majority of elected TDs from all parties and none.
SF did not win the last election, however, it did get more votes than the other parties. It did not get a majority of the constituencies. This is very similar to the many times over the past century that Fianna FĂĄil was the party with the most TDs … but could not form a government, as the other TDs coalesced to keep them out of power.
Quite correctly, being the largest party, (and also bear in mind the large number of independent TDs, who are not members of any party), does not guarantee a place in government. Being able to command a majority of TDs to form a government does … a completely different thing altogether.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter O'Dwyer

You are of course, quite correct. But I think it’s okay to pronounce the party that secures most votes as the ‘winners’ in ordinary parlance, surely? The fact that neither FF nor FG would coalesce with SF is disingenuous on their part, ie an insult to the voters – that their first choice wasn’t ‘good enough’. In a FPP system SF would have formed the govt. Hopefully, the situation won’t arise in the next election as SF will secure enough DĂĄil votes to have Mary Lou McDonald elected Taoiseach. Just as ordinary Brits are sick of Tories we Irish are sick of FFG in govt. Unlike you we have never had a leftwing govt.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter O'Dwyer

You are of course, quite correct. But I think it’s okay to pronounce the party that secures most votes as the ‘winners’ in ordinary parlance, surely? The fact that neither FF nor FG would coalesce with SF is disingenuous on their part, ie an insult to the voters – that their first choice wasn’t ‘good enough’. In a FPP system SF would have formed the govt. Hopefully, the situation won’t arise in the next election as SF will secure enough DĂĄil votes to have Mary Lou McDonald elected Taoiseach. Just as ordinary Brits are sick of Tories we Irish are sick of FFG in govt. Unlike you we have never had a leftwing govt.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Comparing the conflict in NI to other regular political divisions is to say apples are oranges. There’s clearly a world of difference between political arguments which are part of a functioning democracy and a bloody sectarian conflict which has to be brought to an end by a peace accord providing for the nearest thing to functional democracy which negotiations would permit at the time.
It’s pretty clear that the power sharing arrangement isn’t working well, but what’s the alternative? It’s no use complaining about the iniquities of that solution unless you’ve got another perfect shiny boxfresh approach with the necessary support ready to go.

Last edited 1 year ago by Katharine Eyre
Peter O'Dwyer
Peter O'Dwyer
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

To form a government in Ireland under the Constitution you have to command a majority of the first DĂĄil, which sits after a general election.
More precisely, under the Constitution, the first job of an incoming DĂĄil is to elect a Taoiseach, who is then asked by the President to form a Government of 15 TDs in a cabinet, comprising of a majority of elected TDs from all parties and none.
SF did not win the last election, however, it did get more votes than the other parties. It did not get a majority of the constituencies. This is very similar to the many times over the past century that Fianna FĂĄil was the party with the most TDs … but could not form a government, as the other TDs coalesced to keep them out of power.
Quite correctly, being the largest party, (and also bear in mind the large number of independent TDs, who are not members of any party), does not guarantee a place in government. Being able to command a majority of TDs to form a government does … a completely different thing altogether.

Denis Slattery
Denis Slattery
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

In reality, the only thing that has ever mattered is that the extended English state of Great Britain/the UK overthrew the wishes of the majority in Ireland in December 1920, established a gerrymandered British statelet rooted firmly in a settler-colonial mentality and funded and internationally defended the entire thing ever since. That reality, and that alone, is what we should judge the real English attitude upon not these incessant English claims of impartiality. Nothing could be further from the truth. ï»żThat entire statelet would collapse if English money and international support were removed. We all know it, so let’s stop trying to make the English state out to be some harmless bystander. Spinning their propaganda is complicity in a big lie. They can go, whenever they want and they are very, very well able to look out for their own interests.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Denis Slattery

An argument with some validity 100 yrs ago DS, but not anymore. The North votes for unification and think you’d find the overwhelming majority of English would be v content, and some delighted. They’d vote for it tmoro.
The non NI parts of the UK won’t of course get a vote in any border Poll, but the Republic will. I suspect there will be a significant cohort reluctant to take it on. Probably not enough to override the historical call of Unification, but enough to make some anxious. I’d be focusing on how you manage that myself.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

It’ll be done by NI retaining a high degree of autonomy within a united Ireland, for perhaps 20 years or so… long enough for the dodo DUP diehards to die off. By that time we may have Scotland in a Federation of Celtic States; Wales too maybe?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

It’ll be done by NI retaining a high degree of autonomy within a united Ireland, for perhaps 20 years or so… long enough for the dodo DUP diehards to die off. By that time we may have Scotland in a Federation of Celtic States; Wales too maybe?

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago
Reply to  Denis Slattery

British*. The Scots and Irish per capita were far more involved with Empire than the English were.

Last edited 1 year ago by robertdkwright
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

Not quite correct. For the first 104 years*, the Scotch played virtually no part, except as virtual slaves in the West Indies and the Americas, as did the Irish.

After the generosity of 1707 Act of Union things changed, but England still provided the leadership and most of the finance, and off course was the genesis of the Industrial Revolution, the greatest event in human history.**

(* 1603-1707.)
(* Even exceeding the fabled ‘Pax Romana’ of the Roman Empire.)

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago

The Act of Union was formed after Scotland was bankrupted by its failed colonial venture in Darien. They were the largest group of colonists in the later United States. I think the indentured labourers sent to work in the Caribbean were nearly all Irish.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

Cromwell sent thousands of Scotch to the West Indies and the Americas after their catastrophic defeats at Dunbar, Inverkeithing and Worcester.

Incidentally in say 1750, do you know what proportion of the population of the American colonies were of English and Scotch origin respectively?

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

Cromwell dent 50,000 to the Carolinas as slaves. Few survived the weather conditions s9 they focussed on black Afticans instead.

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

A richly deserved fate, it must be said Liam old chap, or do you beg to differ?

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

A richly deserved fate, it must be said Liam old chap, or do you beg to differ?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

Cromwell sent thousands of Scotch to the West Indies and the Americas after their catastrophic defeats at Dunbar, Inverkeithing and Worcester.

Incidentally in say 1750, do you know what proportion of the population of the American colonies were of English and Scotch origin respectively?

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

Cromwell dent 50,000 to the Carolinas as slaves. Few survived the weather conditions s9 they focussed on black Afticans instead.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

The wonderful industrial revolution? Don’t you mean the frightful satanic mills?

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

Sadly the Irish rather missed out on the wonders of the Industrial Revolution, hence their somewhat ‘agricultural’ demeanour to the present day.

All those damned spuds or lack of I suppose Liam old chap.

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

Sadly the Irish rather missed out on the wonders of the Industrial Revolution, hence their somewhat ‘agricultural’ demeanour to the present day.

All those damned spuds or lack of I suppose Liam old chap.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago

The Act of Union was formed after Scotland was bankrupted by its failed colonial venture in Darien. They were the largest group of colonists in the later United States. I think the indentured labourers sent to work in the Caribbean were nearly all Irish.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

The wonderful industrial revolution? Don’t you mean the frightful satanic mills?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

Only as lowly troopers (mainly) and so following orders lest they be shot as mutineers.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

Not quite correct. For the first 104 years*, the Scotch played virtually no part, except as virtual slaves in the West Indies and the Americas, as did the Irish.

After the generosity of 1707 Act of Union things changed, but England still provided the leadership and most of the finance, and off course was the genesis of the Industrial Revolution, the greatest event in human history.**

(* 1603-1707.)
(* Even exceeding the fabled ‘Pax Romana’ of the Roman Empire.)

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

Only as lowly troopers (mainly) and so following orders lest they be shot as mutineers.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago
Reply to  Denis Slattery

The NI statelet was created because protestants threatened vioence, not because the wicked English wanted the place. We should have faced them down and let them fight it out amongst themselves

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Denis Slattery

An argument with some validity 100 yrs ago DS, but not anymore. The North votes for unification and think you’d find the overwhelming majority of English would be v content, and some delighted. They’d vote for it tmoro.
The non NI parts of the UK won’t of course get a vote in any border Poll, but the Republic will. I suspect there will be a significant cohort reluctant to take it on. Probably not enough to override the historical call of Unification, but enough to make some anxious. I’d be focusing on how you manage that myself.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago
Reply to  Denis Slattery

British*. The Scots and Irish per capita were far more involved with Empire than the English were.

Last edited 1 year ago by robertdkwright
polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago
Reply to  Denis Slattery

The NI statelet was created because protestants threatened vioence, not because the wicked English wanted the place. We should have faced them down and let them fight it out amongst themselves

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

What community is fully undivided? Anyone remember the Brexit debate? ..is it over? Tory v Lab, Dems v GOP, Right v Left.. conflict is the norm. In the ROI we have Left v Right as well..
It took nearly 100 years for our opposing civil war sides, FF v FG to agree to ‘power sharing’ despite being centrist and right of centre, to coalesce in government so as to exclude the winner of the last election, Sinn FĂ©in from taking power!

Denis Slattery
Denis Slattery
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

In reality, the only thing that has ever mattered is that the extended English state of Great Britain/the UK overthrew the wishes of the majority in Ireland in December 1920, established a gerrymandered British statelet rooted firmly in a settler-colonial mentality and funded and internationally defended the entire thing ever since. That reality, and that alone, is what we should judge the real English attitude upon not these incessant English claims of impartiality. Nothing could be further from the truth. ï»żThat entire statelet would collapse if English money and international support were removed. We all know it, so let’s stop trying to make the English state out to be some harmless bystander. Spinning their propaganda is complicity in a big lie. They can go, whenever they want and they are very, very well able to look out for their own interests.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago

I think it’s natural to have lofty goals and want to achieve a perfect solution but the fact is that a lot of the time, you don’t get exactly what you want from Santa Claus. Things aren’t black and white, you have to deal with grey areas, take the best of what’s going and live with an imperfect compromise.
So it was with the GFA, it couldn’t and doesn’t “fix” the underlying problem and didn’t end up delivering the normalcy certain actors had in mind. What it did do was come down on a festering wound like a soothing gauze and calmed things the eff down, and it’s that monumental achievement which we should think about today, not the imperfections of the agreement or where we go from here.

Carol Scott
Carol Scott
1 year ago

My late husband was from the Republic and we were regular visitors from the 60s until a few years ago. I don’t know much about the North but as long as I visited there was and still is remarkably little enthusiasm for reunion in the Republic. One because they can’t afford it and two why import a recalcitrant Unionist population and maybe just move the problem. I love Ireland though it is very different now, I miss the old Ireland but that’s progress I guess.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Carol Scott

It’s not the expense of it that worries us Carol (sure the Brits, Yanks and EU will pay for it); no, it’s all those bloody militant Nationalists and Unionists.. scary people! We are a nice peaceful lot here and can’t be doing with that class of carry on!

Carol Scott
Carol Scott
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I expect you are correct that it would be paid for as you suggested. I have no strong feelings either way, on balance I think a United ireland would be better but from what my friends and family there say they don’t really want it. I grew up in Glasgow where there is a very large Irish origin population and I spent much of my youth in Irish dance halls. I hate the religious divide that still exists there even in third generations though I think it is not as bad as it used to be and it’s only in certain areas, can’t be sure I have lived abroad and in England for many years. Shame we can’t just isolate the fanatics on both sides!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Carol Scott

A federal arrangement is the solution.. NI to retain a high degree of autonomy with Dublin rather than Westminster in overall control.. not a big difference fir 90% of the population; the main difference being in the minds of the dodo DUP.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Carol Scott

A federal arrangement is the solution.. NI to retain a high degree of autonomy with Dublin rather than Westminster in overall control.. not a big difference fir 90% of the population; the main difference being in the minds of the dodo DUP.

Carol Scott
Carol Scott
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I expect you are correct that it would be paid for as you suggested. I have no strong feelings either way, on balance I think a United ireland would be better but from what my friends and family there say they don’t really want it. I grew up in Glasgow where there is a very large Irish origin population and I spent much of my youth in Irish dance halls. I hate the religious divide that still exists there even in third generations though I think it is not as bad as it used to be and it’s only in certain areas, can’t be sure I have lived abroad and in England for many years. Shame we can’t just isolate the fanatics on both sides!

Peter O'Dwyer
Peter O'Dwyer
1 year ago
Reply to  Carol Scott

Carol, a major part of the reason why most unionists do not want a united Ireland is because the current polity known as Northern Ireland only exists because it receives a massive ÂŁ13 billion subsidy annually from Westminster, i.e. the rest of the United Kingdom.
The NI economy is also massively dysfunctional, as a large percentage, (up to 40%), of the working population work for the State. Most of the former large industrial employers such as ship-building and engineering are gone.
Farming, which to date has been well subsidised by the EU Common Agricultural Policy, must now scramble for crumbs from the Westminster table, while the considerably poorer North of England has a much bigger begging bowel, and both Tories and Labour scraping over its voters.
The NI politicians on both sides only “play” at politics … and real Government stuff like managing society, health provision, education and job creation … because they do not have to raise taxes, or borrow on the international bond markets to keep the show on the road.
Contrast this with Ireland … an independent EU member state, and for 20 years a net contributor to the EU’s budget.
Ireland needs a blood sucking subsidy vampire baby like Northern Ireland like a hole in the head. Neither DUP, nor SF have the remotest idea of how to run a modern well educated European State.
The general quality of “politician” in both is woeful in contrast to Ireland, where our ministers sit monthly on EU Counsels of Ministers making big decisions … in contrast to the kindergarten at Stormont … on the rare occasions it actually sits.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter O'Dwyer

Quite hilarious: “our ministers making big decisions….”
No they are told what to do by EU (Fourth Reich) officials.
They allowed you to keep your money laundering racket for some time now.
When that goes, so does Irish economy….

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Indeed,”Clogs to Clogs” in two generations.

Only a German (Fourth Reich.) word can do it justice:
SCHADENFREUDE!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Surely that term applies more accurately to Andrew F***head?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Surely that term applies more accurately to Andrew F***head?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Silly comments.. borne no doubt of jealousy given the UK is now a total basket case with its economy in tatters, its health service on life support, inflation off the scale, recession looming and food in short supply.. you look like a demented schoolboy frantically throwing stones inside your glasshouse!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Indeed,”Clogs to Clogs” in two generations.

Only a German (Fourth Reich.) word can do it justice:
SCHADENFREUDE!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Silly comments.. borne no doubt of jealousy given the UK is now a total basket case with its economy in tatters, its health service on life support, inflation off the scale, recession looming and food in short supply.. you look like a demented schoolboy frantically throwing stones inside your glasshouse!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter O'Dwyer

Is it a £10 or £13 billion hand out? I’m confused!

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter O'Dwyer

Quite hilarious: “our ministers making big decisions….”
No they are told what to do by EU (Fourth Reich) officials.
They allowed you to keep your money laundering racket for some time now.
When that goes, so does Irish economy….

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter O'Dwyer

Is it a £10 or £13 billion hand out? I’m confused!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Carol Scott

It’s not the expense of it that worries us Carol (sure the Brits, Yanks and EU will pay for it); no, it’s all those bloody militant Nationalists and Unionists.. scary people! We are a nice peaceful lot here and can’t be doing with that class of carry on!

Peter O'Dwyer
Peter O'Dwyer
1 year ago
Reply to  Carol Scott

Carol, a major part of the reason why most unionists do not want a united Ireland is because the current polity known as Northern Ireland only exists because it receives a massive ÂŁ13 billion subsidy annually from Westminster, i.e. the rest of the United Kingdom.
The NI economy is also massively dysfunctional, as a large percentage, (up to 40%), of the working population work for the State. Most of the former large industrial employers such as ship-building and engineering are gone.
Farming, which to date has been well subsidised by the EU Common Agricultural Policy, must now scramble for crumbs from the Westminster table, while the considerably poorer North of England has a much bigger begging bowel, and both Tories and Labour scraping over its voters.
The NI politicians on both sides only “play” at politics … and real Government stuff like managing society, health provision, education and job creation … because they do not have to raise taxes, or borrow on the international bond markets to keep the show on the road.
Contrast this with Ireland … an independent EU member state, and for 20 years a net contributor to the EU’s budget.
Ireland needs a blood sucking subsidy vampire baby like Northern Ireland like a hole in the head. Neither DUP, nor SF have the remotest idea of how to run a modern well educated European State.
The general quality of “politician” in both is woeful in contrast to Ireland, where our ministers sit monthly on EU Counsels of Ministers making big decisions … in contrast to the kindergarten at Stormont … on the rare occasions it actually sits.

Carol Scott
Carol Scott
1 year ago

My late husband was from the Republic and we were regular visitors from the 60s until a few years ago. I don’t know much about the North but as long as I visited there was and still is remarkably little enthusiasm for reunion in the Republic. One because they can’t afford it and two why import a recalcitrant Unionist population and maybe just move the problem. I love Ireland though it is very different now, I miss the old Ireland but that’s progress I guess.

Cormac Lucey
Cormac Lucey
1 year ago

(1) Tom McTague writes “for as long as the basic power-sharing structure remains in place, “normal” politics can’t resume.”
How can normal politics be resumed if they weren’t ever there because Northern Ireland has always been a contrived state built on a sectarian headcount?
(2) McTague further writes that one the spectres now haunting Northern Ireland is “the loss of support for the agreement among unionists.” I wonder. On the Agreement’s best day – the day the referendum endorsing it was held – it secured the support of only an estimated 57% of unionists. This was despite the fact that the Agreement had secured the recognition of Northern Ireland’s constitutional status by the IRA, the big issue at the heart of the Troubles.
An irony of the Good Friday Agreement is that it essentially represented a defeat for republicanism and a victory for loyalism. Yet, since 1998, it has been republicans who have been acting like winners while loyalists have generally played the role of losers. What lies behind this?
(3) McTague’s article understandably dwells on David Trimble’s immense contribution in securing the Agreement. He writes that Trimble later “switched his allegiance from the Ulster Unionist Party to the Conservative Party”. But he doesn’t dwell on the fact that this switch resulted from Trimble being hounded out of Northern Ireland for his role in securing the Good Friday Agreement. Trimble’s fate echoed the political fates of Terence O’Neill and Brian Faulkner who had also dared to push reform.
(5) Polite society in Britain has looked on with shock at the emergence and persistence of Donald Trump’s political appeal in the USA. In Ireland we got our cold shower of political reality much earlier when we encountered the Reverend Ian Paisley and his Democractic Unionist Party. Paisley’s unholy coalition of sanctity and cudgel, of the venal and the evangelical fed on the same mix of paranoia, resentment and toxic self-belief on which Trump regularly feasts.
(6) British political leaders like Tony Blair and Rishi Sunak can cut deals with the leaders of unionist parties. But given the suspiciousness of the unionist electorate, they may clutch at victories only to find that the political fates of their unionist interlocutors have dissolved in their hands as their voters flee to more hardline and “authentic” offerings.
O’Neill’s political concessions were undermined by Faulkner and by the rise of Paisley. Faulkner’s concessions were undermined by Vanguard and the Ulster Workers Council. Trimble was undermined (and hounded) by Paisley. Then, at St Andrews in 2006, when Paisley signed up to the Peace Train, he and his successors (right up to Sir Jeffrey Donaldson today) were undermined by his former acolyte Jim Allister (and his True Ulster Voice party).
(7) Tragically, as with Trump’s electoral base, there is a very substantial element of Unionist voters that is resistant to poltical reform and compromise of any kind. While London can imagine that its political leaders speak for and can carry that base forward, the reality is sadly different. The Windsor Framework is just the most recent example of the limitations of this approach. Polite conversations and posh biscuits with Sir Jeffrey cannot alter the poltiical calculus that he must face.
(8) In my opinion, the central (but certainly not only) obstacle to political progress in Northern Ireland is not-an-inch unionism.

Cormac Lucey
Cormac Lucey
1 year ago

(1) Tom McTague writes “for as long as the basic power-sharing structure remains in place, “normal” politics can’t resume.”
How can normal politics be resumed if they weren’t ever there because Northern Ireland has always been a contrived state built on a sectarian headcount?
(2) McTague further writes that one the spectres now haunting Northern Ireland is “the loss of support for the agreement among unionists.” I wonder. On the Agreement’s best day – the day the referendum endorsing it was held – it secured the support of only an estimated 57% of unionists. This was despite the fact that the Agreement had secured the recognition of Northern Ireland’s constitutional status by the IRA, the big issue at the heart of the Troubles.
An irony of the Good Friday Agreement is that it essentially represented a defeat for republicanism and a victory for loyalism. Yet, since 1998, it has been republicans who have been acting like winners while loyalists have generally played the role of losers. What lies behind this?
(3) McTague’s article understandably dwells on David Trimble’s immense contribution in securing the Agreement. He writes that Trimble later “switched his allegiance from the Ulster Unionist Party to the Conservative Party”. But he doesn’t dwell on the fact that this switch resulted from Trimble being hounded out of Northern Ireland for his role in securing the Good Friday Agreement. Trimble’s fate echoed the political fates of Terence O’Neill and Brian Faulkner who had also dared to push reform.
(5) Polite society in Britain has looked on with shock at the emergence and persistence of Donald Trump’s political appeal in the USA. In Ireland we got our cold shower of political reality much earlier when we encountered the Reverend Ian Paisley and his Democractic Unionist Party. Paisley’s unholy coalition of sanctity and cudgel, of the venal and the evangelical fed on the same mix of paranoia, resentment and toxic self-belief on which Trump regularly feasts.
(6) British political leaders like Tony Blair and Rishi Sunak can cut deals with the leaders of unionist parties. But given the suspiciousness of the unionist electorate, they may clutch at victories only to find that the political fates of their unionist interlocutors have dissolved in their hands as their voters flee to more hardline and “authentic” offerings.
O’Neill’s political concessions were undermined by Faulkner and by the rise of Paisley. Faulkner’s concessions were undermined by Vanguard and the Ulster Workers Council. Trimble was undermined (and hounded) by Paisley. Then, at St Andrews in 2006, when Paisley signed up to the Peace Train, he and his successors (right up to Sir Jeffrey Donaldson today) were undermined by his former acolyte Jim Allister (and his True Ulster Voice party).
(7) Tragically, as with Trump’s electoral base, there is a very substantial element of Unionist voters that is resistant to poltical reform and compromise of any kind. While London can imagine that its political leaders speak for and can carry that base forward, the reality is sadly different. The Windsor Framework is just the most recent example of the limitations of this approach. Polite conversations and posh biscuits with Sir Jeffrey cannot alter the poltiical calculus that he must face.
(8) In my opinion, the central (but certainly not only) obstacle to political progress in Northern Ireland is not-an-inch unionism.

Alan Fitzgibbon
Alan Fitzgibbon
1 year ago

The ‘West Antrim coast’ – not too au fait with the place he’s writing about, is he.

John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago

Sure, he’s hanging about on Lough Neagh, no doubt.

David McKee
David McKee
1 year ago

He means the coast round Portrush. His geography is quite accurate.

Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago
Reply to  David McKee

Why would he say the West Antrim coast if he means Portrush?

Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago
Reply to  David McKee

Why would he say the West Antrim coast if he means Portrush?

John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago

Sure, he’s hanging about on Lough Neagh, no doubt.

David McKee
David McKee
1 year ago

He means the coast round Portrush. His geography is quite accurate.

Alan Fitzgibbon
Alan Fitzgibbon
1 year ago

The ‘West Antrim coast’ – not too au fait with the place he’s writing about, is he.

David McKee
David McKee
1 year ago

Trimble’s vision of the unionist-nationalist cleavage being replaced by a left-right cleavage never happened, because Labour refuses to organise in the Province, and the Conservatives have never made a serious effort to do so either.
Until they do, NI politics will continue to be very strange.

David McKee
David McKee
1 year ago

Trimble’s vision of the unionist-nationalist cleavage being replaced by a left-right cleavage never happened, because Labour refuses to organise in the Province, and the Conservatives have never made a serious effort to do so either.
Until they do, NI politics will continue to be very strange.

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago

My (English) parents worked with Mo Molam and ran the Quaker centre in Belfast during that period and played host for some of the behind the scenes conversations. I sported cropped hair at the time and remember being very nervous when my Dad (who seemed completely unaware of any possible danger) took me around Falls Road in West Belfast and the Derry Bogside – in an old UK registered VW Passat. He was woken up at 300am one night by 8 very nervous soldiers who had spotted a cable running from his car into an upstairs bedroom (he was charging the battery LOL) He also used to learn pipe tunes on his recorder from convicted terrorists on both sides. Anyway, one generation without bombs and murder is massive transformation; two generations and it will become a habit; three generations and more and it might become history….Doesn’t mean that there will be no divisions. It does mean that the meaning of such divisions may change radically and unpredictably. And BTW not necessarily in a good way. In a world of climate change, economic collapse and massive migration – it is quite possible that sectarian divisions in the North may take a backseat to race/ethnic based divisions against immigrants….If the current pace of immigration continues, I would say this is likely.
Nb. my politics are very conservative now, and I can’t stand anything to do with the Labour party. But I want to say that Mo Molam – some ideological kinks aside – was an amazing and good person. I remember she bought my mum and dad a very very bespoke bottle of Irish whisky and offered them the use of her house when the were moving back to England…shortly before she died I think.

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago

My (English) parents worked with Mo Molam and ran the Quaker centre in Belfast during that period and played host for some of the behind the scenes conversations. I sported cropped hair at the time and remember being very nervous when my Dad (who seemed completely unaware of any possible danger) took me around Falls Road in West Belfast and the Derry Bogside – in an old UK registered VW Passat. He was woken up at 300am one night by 8 very nervous soldiers who had spotted a cable running from his car into an upstairs bedroom (he was charging the battery LOL) He also used to learn pipe tunes on his recorder from convicted terrorists on both sides. Anyway, one generation without bombs and murder is massive transformation; two generations and it will become a habit; three generations and more and it might become history….Doesn’t mean that there will be no divisions. It does mean that the meaning of such divisions may change radically and unpredictably. And BTW not necessarily in a good way. In a world of climate change, economic collapse and massive migration – it is quite possible that sectarian divisions in the North may take a backseat to race/ethnic based divisions against immigrants….If the current pace of immigration continues, I would say this is likely.
Nb. my politics are very conservative now, and I can’t stand anything to do with the Labour party. But I want to say that Mo Molam – some ideological kinks aside – was an amazing and good person. I remember she bought my mum and dad a very very bespoke bottle of Irish whisky and offered them the use of her house when the were moving back to England…shortly before she died I think.

James Kirk
James Kirk
1 year ago

Always struck me the problem was that violent evil thuggish gangsters took over the political process. Vigilante rule with kneecappings and IEDs planted on one side of a city to tie up the security forces while a bank was robbed on the other. Ireland is just a plot of land, green because of the Atlantic weather. Leave the romance to Disney. Cut it loose, let it be the EU and Dublin’s problem. Dump the cultural Marxist wannabes of Scotland and Wales at the same time and stop wasting money on lost causes.

James Kirk
James Kirk
1 year ago

Always struck me the problem was that violent evil thuggish gangsters took over the political process. Vigilante rule with kneecappings and IEDs planted on one side of a city to tie up the security forces while a bank was robbed on the other. Ireland is just a plot of land, green because of the Atlantic weather. Leave the romance to Disney. Cut it loose, let it be the EU and Dublin’s problem. Dump the cultural Marxist wannabes of Scotland and Wales at the same time and stop wasting money on lost causes.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

No real focus of the NI Protocol as amended by the Windsor agreement? Strange, because this, more than anything else will perpetuate NI autonomy and prevent Reunification.. Currently NI business enjoys a unique trading position which it would lose in a United Ireland. NI folk are interested in politics but they’re far more interested (like most rational people) in their prosperity. Even in a (de jure) United Ireland NI would have to retain a high degree of autonomy and so the revised NI Protocol could perhaps be retained but I doubt it, at least on the longterm. If the DUP wasn’t so blind to the obvious it would laud the protocol not decry it as it’s the best guarantee they have of separation from the ROI. Even mouthy nationalists know a good deal when they see one but nothing will satisfy the dodo DUP except biting off their own nose to spite their face! Silly beggars!

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Really good point, but should not we assume it’s dawned on the DUP too? They do little else but ponder this.
I think they’ll acquiesce to return to power sharing after local elections and just too worried about TUV outflanking in short term. Donaldson will swallow hard about being deputy to O’Neill but will use the point you make to shore up his support.

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

The so called ‘Barnett Formula’ (BF) that gives NI a £10billion annual hand out should be scrapped immediately, and the wretched place forced to stand on its own two tiny feet.

Additionally all illegal migrants crossing the Channel should be transferred to detention vessels moored in Lough Neagh, for which the UK would provide a small fee, to compensate for the loss of the BF.
In other words a new version of Australia.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Sounds like a plan Charlie! You can then use the ÂŁ10bn to pay reparations to those countries you looted under the brutal BE regime.. oh wait, that includes Ireland.. uh oh!

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

Vae Victis!

If ‘they’, including little old Ireland didn’t want to be plundered and looted, they should have fought harder, shouldn’t they Liam old chap?

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago

Many of them, including the O’Neills, fought with England. How quickly people forget. And really there was nothing to plunder except young slaves, much appreciated by the Vikings and the Noeth Avrican Muslem slavers.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago

Many of them, including the O’Neills, fought with England. How quickly people forget. And really there was nothing to plunder except young slaves, much appreciated by the Vikings and the Noeth Avrican Muslem slavers.

Jonny Stud
Jonny Stud
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Once the Romans, Normans, Angles, Jutes, Saxons, Danes etc have all stumped up their reparations to the UK I’m sure the UK will happily pass on a portion to Ireland. This all hinges on Babylon paying off Sumeria of course so I wouldn’t hold your breath…..

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

Vae Victis!

If ‘they’, including little old Ireland didn’t want to be plundered and looted, they should have fought harder, shouldn’t they Liam old chap?

Jonny Stud
Jonny Stud
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Once the Romans, Normans, Angles, Jutes, Saxons, Danes etc have all stumped up their reparations to the UK I’m sure the UK will happily pass on a portion to Ireland. This all hinges on Babylon paying off Sumeria of course so I wouldn’t hold your breath…..

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Sounds like a plan Charlie! You can then use the ÂŁ10bn to pay reparations to those countries you looted under the brutal BE regime.. oh wait, that includes Ireland.. uh oh!

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Really good point, but should not we assume it’s dawned on the DUP too? They do little else but ponder this.
I think they’ll acquiesce to return to power sharing after local elections and just too worried about TUV outflanking in short term. Donaldson will swallow hard about being deputy to O’Neill but will use the point you make to shore up his support.

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

The so called ‘Barnett Formula’ (BF) that gives NI a £10billion annual hand out should be scrapped immediately, and the wretched place forced to stand on its own two tiny feet.

Additionally all illegal migrants crossing the Channel should be transferred to detention vessels moored in Lough Neagh, for which the UK would provide a small fee, to compensate for the loss of the BF.
In other words a new version of Australia.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

No real focus of the NI Protocol as amended by the Windsor agreement? Strange, because this, more than anything else will perpetuate NI autonomy and prevent Reunification.. Currently NI business enjoys a unique trading position which it would lose in a United Ireland. NI folk are interested in politics but they’re far more interested (like most rational people) in their prosperity. Even in a (de jure) United Ireland NI would have to retain a high degree of autonomy and so the revised NI Protocol could perhaps be retained but I doubt it, at least on the longterm. If the DUP wasn’t so blind to the obvious it would laud the protocol not decry it as it’s the best guarantee they have of separation from the ROI. Even mouthy nationalists know a good deal when they see one but nothing will satisfy the dodo DUP except biting off their own nose to spite their face! Silly beggars!

Roger Mortimer
Roger Mortimer
1 year ago

It may be legitimate that Scotland alone decides whether it wishes to become independent. But how can it be reasonable that Northern Ireland alone decides whether it unites with the Republic? This will have a massive impact on the Republic if it happens – they should be given a say.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Mortimer

By the same logic England should be asked if it wants throw Scotland out of the Union.
I suspect the answer would be an overwhelming YES, don’t you?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

England supports the SNP, led by Hopeful Stan.. I can see the headline now Charlie!

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

It would be “cheap at the price” as the adage goes, would it not Liam old chap?

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

It would be “cheap at the price” as the adage goes, would it not Liam old chap?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

England supports the SNP, led by Hopeful Stan.. I can see the headline now Charlie!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Mortimer

The will be given a say.. it’s in the GFA.. I may vote against if the terms are right. Those NI guys are a funny lot, both sides of the divide! I’m mot sure I’d want them as part of our nice, peaceful republic! I say this as a non Catholic btw, ie COI.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Mortimer

Couldnt agree more. The Belfast Agreement makes no allowance for that at all

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Mortimer

By the same logic England should be asked if it wants throw Scotland out of the Union.
I suspect the answer would be an overwhelming YES, don’t you?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Mortimer

The will be given a say.. it’s in the GFA.. I may vote against if the terms are right. Those NI guys are a funny lot, both sides of the divide! I’m mot sure I’d want them as part of our nice, peaceful republic! I say this as a non Catholic btw, ie COI.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Mortimer

Couldnt agree more. The Belfast Agreement makes no allowance for that at all

Roger Mortimer
Roger Mortimer
1 year ago

It may be legitimate that Scotland alone decides whether it wishes to become independent. But how can it be reasonable that Northern Ireland alone decides whether it unites with the Republic? This will have a massive impact on the Republic if it happens – they should be given a say.

Mark Polden
Mark Polden
1 year ago

But Tom, it isnt asking Unionism to give up its veto, it is in reality recognising that Unionism is contained within the UUP & Alliance party and that the DUP cannot be allowed obstruct real life or to consider itself special.
All sensible parties in NI realise the need to regularise NI to the rest of the world in terms of the concept of majoritarianism and Westminster should work hand in hand to enable a timely referendum on the windsor framework & elections to ensure NI cannot be held to ransom by the DUP

Mark Polden
Mark Polden
1 year ago

But Tom, it isnt asking Unionism to give up its veto, it is in reality recognising that Unionism is contained within the UUP & Alliance party and that the DUP cannot be allowed obstruct real life or to consider itself special.
All sensible parties in NI realise the need to regularise NI to the rest of the world in terms of the concept of majoritarianism and Westminster should work hand in hand to enable a timely referendum on the windsor framework & elections to ensure NI cannot be held to ransom by the DUP

Charlie Two
Charlie Two
1 year ago

Peace in name only. Look at the suicide rates in certain ‘provo’ areas of Belfast, amongst young men. The murders and beatings that go largely unreported and univestigated. the robberies, the drugs trade, prostitution, fuel smuggling etc etc. Its a bit like ‘ending’ the second world war by allowing the Nazis to keep their territorial gains and keep the camps running. And for those that say the bombings have stopped, no they havent, and neither have the kneecappings and the rest. There can be no peace with the scum who kidnapped, tortured, and murdered a mother of 10 and then hid her body for forty years. think about what the paramilitaries are, of both sides: thugs, cowards, murderers, sadists, and empire builders.

Paul MacDonnell
Paul MacDonnell
1 year ago

All of the problems in Northern Ireland today stem from the fact that the good Friday Agreement was a fig leaf for the decision by the authorities not to confront IRA terrorism but to appease its perpetrators.

That’s it. That’s the problem. All of the rest is just words.

Shin Fein is a Leninist organisation that seized on the agreement as something to pocket while moving on to the next stage. Ditto the border down the Irish sea. There never was any “reconciliation”.

Paul MacDonnell
Paul MacDonnell
1 year ago

All of the problems in Northern Ireland today stem from the fact that the good Friday Agreement was a fig leaf for the decision by the authorities not to confront IRA terrorism but to appease its perpetrators.

That’s it. That’s the problem. All of the rest is just words.

Shin Fein is a Leninist organisation that seized on the agreement as something to pocket while moving on to the next stage. Ditto the border down the Irish sea. There never was any “reconciliation”.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago

Was it Hume who was shot in the throat by a peace loving nationalist?

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago

Was it Hume who was shot in the throat by a peace loving nationalist?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Can we NOT mention the words Adolph Hitler or Nazis without the Censor throwing a HISSY FIT.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Obviously not!

D Glover
D Glover
1 year ago

.

Last edited 1 year ago by D Glover
William Brand
William Brand
4 months ago

Britian should wash its hands of North Ireland and grant it independence. If the Irish have a war of unification stay out of it.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

A united Ireland is a certainty, it is just a matter of time and demographic change, or the alternative of an independent Scotland uniting with Northern Ireland, and then the Orangemen can reignite the troubles against Islamics, instead of Catholics!

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago

Lol, the demographics are already in the Nationalists favour and support for unification in Northern Ireland has pretty much never been lower.

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

The NI Procol (mk2) is the best thing that ever happened to NI, economically. And economically is what counts! A side effect is the it cements NIs position in the UK.. Oddly the DUP cannot see this? ..or do they just have to have something to moan about even when it’s the best gift they ever got?

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

The NI Procol (mk2) is the best thing that ever happened to NI, economically. And economically is what counts! A side effect is the it cements NIs position in the UK.. Oddly the DUP cannot see this? ..or do they just have to have something to moan about even when it’s the best gift they ever got?

Jeff Dudgeon
Jeff Dudgeon
1 year ago

The nationalists in the 1920s also said unity was just a matter of time.They all thought the unionists were bluffing. A century later, the same foolish optimism persists but ethnic disputes don’t get resolved. At best they can get put on ice or at least stopped from boiling over.

Niall Cusack
Niall Cusack
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Dudgeon

“Ethnic disputes don’t get resolved. At best they can get put on ice or at least stopped from boiling over.”
Stalin thought otherwise.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Dudgeon

Time will blur the lines.. economic prosperity, thanks to the highly beneficial NI Protocol, will speed that up. A federal Ireland with a lot of NI autonomy will sweeten the pill but that is now on the back burner thanks to the NI Protocol mk2.

Niall Cusack
Niall Cusack
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Dudgeon

“Ethnic disputes don’t get resolved. At best they can get put on ice or at least stopped from boiling over.”
Stalin thought otherwise.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Dudgeon

Time will blur the lines.. economic prosperity, thanks to the highly beneficial NI Protocol, will speed that up. A federal Ireland with a lot of NI autonomy will sweeten the pill but that is now on the back burner thanks to the NI Protocol mk2.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

No, we’re going to form a Federation of Celtic States with the DUP placated by Scotland’s inclusion.. Wales will join soon afterwards and who knows, maybe Brittany?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

I didn’t give you a downtick because I feel sure you’re joking! Either that of you’re very sick!

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago

Lol, the demographics are already in the Nationalists favour and support for unification in Northern Ireland has pretty much never been lower.

Jeff Dudgeon
Jeff Dudgeon
1 year ago

The nationalists in the 1920s also said unity was just a matter of time.They all thought the unionists were bluffing. A century later, the same foolish optimism persists but ethnic disputes don’t get resolved. At best they can get put on ice or at least stopped from boiling over.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

No, we’re going to form a Federation of Celtic States with the DUP placated by Scotland’s inclusion.. Wales will join soon afterwards and who knows, maybe Brittany?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

I didn’t give you a downtick because I feel sure you’re joking! Either that of you’re very sick!

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

A united Ireland is a certainty, it is just a matter of time and demographic change, or the alternative of an independent Scotland uniting with Northern Ireland, and then the Orangemen can reignite the troubles against Islamics, instead of Catholics!

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

And into all this cavalier Brexiteers tipped Brexit without a proper plan or appreciation. Compounded subsequently by the lies and deception of Johnson. Resulting in 7yrs and counting psycho-drama and distraction from the gradual embedding and maturing of power sharing and moderation in NI. Not the English’s greatest hour by any means.
But perhaps now things can be left to settle as much in the Windsor Agreement for all sides (except the far extremes). NI could prosper more than either UK or Republic if it can just find a way back to half sensible shared governance. That ‘carrot’ will have a gravitation pull.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

‘dont know why you’re getting downticks.. what you say makes perfect sense! On reflection perhaps that is why!! Kneejerk anti-Irish rhetoric is very popular.. however, your truth on Brexit is guaranteed to get diehards teaching for the red button!

Charlie Two
Charlie Two
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Anti Irish rhetoric is very popular? Typical Irish persecution complex. Only the Irish could blow up children, kneecap on an industrial scale, rob, extort and terrorise, and still get nothing but St Pats and the craic as a response. you get a free pass in every respect. as for Brexit, the main issue has been the EU and that utter arse the TossAche of All Ireland King Leo the Verruca.

Charlie Two
Charlie Two
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Anti Irish rhetoric is very popular? Typical Irish persecution complex. Only the Irish could blow up children, kneecap on an industrial scale, rob, extort and terrorise, and still get nothing but St Pats and the craic as a response. you get a free pass in every respect. as for Brexit, the main issue has been the EU and that utter arse the TossAche of All Ireland King Leo the Verruca.

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

NI could prosper more than either UK or Republic if it can just find a way back to half sensible shared governance.

I don’t think that’s going to happen, as neither side would want it. Reunification, where, Unionists, and their British identify, are protected, is the only sensible way forward, at least in the medium to long term.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago

There is something cominal about the attitude of the British government. They have done away with layer after layer of government in NI, searching for the nice liberals they were sure would triumph. And they ended up with the DUP.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago

There is something cominal about the attitude of the British government. They have done away with layer after layer of government in NI, searching for the nice liberals they were sure would triumph. And they ended up with the DUP.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

‘dont know why you’re getting downticks.. what you say makes perfect sense! On reflection perhaps that is why!! Kneejerk anti-Irish rhetoric is very popular.. however, your truth on Brexit is guaranteed to get diehards teaching for the red button!

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

NI could prosper more than either UK or Republic if it can just find a way back to half sensible shared governance.

I don’t think that’s going to happen, as neither side would want it. Reunification, where, Unionists, and their British identify, are protected, is the only sensible way forward, at least in the medium to long term.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

And into all this cavalier Brexiteers tipped Brexit without a proper plan or appreciation. Compounded subsequently by the lies and deception of Johnson. Resulting in 7yrs and counting psycho-drama and distraction from the gradual embedding and maturing of power sharing and moderation in NI. Not the English’s greatest hour by any means.
But perhaps now things can be left to settle as much in the Windsor Agreement for all sides (except the far extremes). NI could prosper more than either UK or Republic if it can just find a way back to half sensible shared governance. That ‘carrot’ will have a gravitation pull.