Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Learning from 1798?: Northern Ireland’s Upcoming Decade of Commemorations

Tue 9 August 2011, 12:21pm

image Last year, the Lilliput Press released a new extended edition of Tom Dunne’s Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize winning book, Rebellions: Memoir, Memory and 1798. First published in 2004, Dunne’s book provoked considerable controversy with its critique of the ‘commemorationist’ history that Dunne believed dominated the 1998 commemorations of the 1798 Rebellion.

The book blasted the involvement of politicians and historians in the creation of what Dunne sees as a sanitized, counterfactual and politically correct portrayal of what 1798, especially in Co. Wexford, was all about.

Dunne, Professor Emeritus of History and part-time Lecturer in Art History at University College Cork, was in Belfast back in June to take part in a Healing Through Remembering sponsored discussion, ‘How Have We Remembered? Preparing for a Decade of Commemorations.’

I hadn’t read Dunne’s book the first time around, but listening to him talk prompted me to secure a copy of the new, extended version. I wasn’t disappointed. The book is thoughtful and methodologically unique, in that unlike most works of history, it includes a memoir section in which Dunne reflects on his childhood, his time as a Christian Brother, his training as a historian, and how his family’s history drove his interest in researching 1798.

The extended edition also features Dunne’s reflection on the reception the book received. There is an interesting section recounting how the memoir section of the book led to him being asked to testify before the Ryan Commission on clerical sexual abuse.

But of most interest to me in this post is Dunne’s feeling he was deliberately marginalized for challenging the government line on the 1998 commemorations.

Dunne says the government line was that 1798 was all about Ireland’s proto-democratic forebears pursuing the non-sectarian ideals of liberty, democracy and fraternity.

Dunne perceives this as a rather cynical effort to fit 1798 into the narrative of the peace process and the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, as well as to allow Irish people to avoid honestly facing up to sectarianism and violence – both historically and in the present day.

To support his argument, he offers analysis of how the rebellion in Wexford followed earlier patterns of sectarian, agrarian violence. He also devotes a chapter to the killings in Scullabogue, a notorious incident where 126 mostly Protestant men, women and children (there were 11 Catholics among them) were burned to death by the (mostly Catholic) rebels in a barn.

Dunne contends that the facts of what happened in Scullabogue have been deliberately repressed, both before and during the 1998 commemorations, noting that this reflects and reinforces local folklore.

On this point, he confesses that his uncle, from a nearby town, had told him that:

‘there was a barn there where Cromwell burned the Catholics’, and although Dunne knows this never happened, ‘This was said sincerely, as a well-known fact’ (p. 264).

In a similar vein, Dunne recounts how the frenzy of commemorations in 1998 led to a historian inventing a Wexford ‘senate’, composed of Catholics and Protestants, which was supposedly meant to guide the ‘Wexford Republic’ of 1798. Dunne says the Senate was passed off quite successfully as a historical fact – despite the lack of evidence that it ever existed (p. 119-123).

Although I am of the view that it is healthy for there to be competing interpretations of historical events, I find these examples of the twisting of history quite chilling.

Part of Dunne’s purpose in his discussion at Healing Through Remembering was to caution against this kind of manipulation of historical events. He also warned against the temptation of using history to make us feel better about ourselves, saying:

“If we see Peter Robinson praising the idealism of 1916 and Enda Kenny doing the same for the Ulster Covenant, this will lead to blandness. It will be a decade of commemorations from which we’ll learn nothing.”

He then offered three lessons that could be reflected upon from Ireland’s experience of commemorating 1798:

  1. Excessive sensitivity to all traditions, motivated by a desire not to offend, does not lead to good history.
  2. Historians should not become involved with official government commemorations, which force them to adopt a politically expedient narrative. Historians should be true to their interpretation of the evidence, even if it forces us to confront unpalatable facts.
  3. The key to meaningful commemorations is emphasizing the local. Local history initiatives can shatter the meta-narratives of official “commemorationist” history.

Reading the book reinforced for me one of the final points Dunne made during the discussion. He said:

‘You can’t look at local history in depth without understanding that it is more complicated. Coordinated local history initiatives, such as gathering stories into archives, can slowly over time get people to think about different versions of history and to see through simple stories. This can encourage communities to think critically about the past.’

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Comments (52)

  1. Scáth Shéamais (profile) says:

    Should the Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize be considered such a badge of honour, afterall didn’t Peter Hart’s discredited work on the IRA in Cork achieve the same prize? I wonder who awards it.

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  2. Brian Walker (profile) says:

    I recommend Ian McBride’s brilliant “Isle of Slaves a history of C18 Ireland.”

    http://ehr.oxfordjournals.org/content/CXXVI/518/174.extract

    from review..
    it is throughout a very even-handed appraisal of the work produced by the warring historiographical tribes. If McBride is able to find an accommodation between ancien régime and colonial approaches to eighteenth-century Ireland, he is much less willing to accord a positive role to the impact of post-colonialism. As he puts it: ‘the rhetorical simplifications of old-style nationalist historiography have begun to re-enter Irish historiography via the literary back door’.

    and
    History and Memory in Modern Ireland
    Edited by Ian McBride
    especially Roy Foster’s essay Remember 1798, which pokes fun at the official sanitisation of what happened.

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  3. As Ive often said on this very website, the idea of manipulated History is one that I find appalling.
    The 1798 “official” commemoration was indeed manipulated north and south…in different ways.
    But it would be a shame if Tom Dunnes book (extended or otherwise) was part of the process that he doesnt like. I found his book little more than “a mea culpa” largely because of his family history.

    Quite clearly it was impossible to disentangle 1798 from 1998 (the groundwork was done of course from the early 1990s when the Peace Process was all that mattered).
    Dunne criticises other historians for backing up the “folklore” Government position re Wexford and Scullabogue in particular.
    Ive always regarded 1798 as three quite seperate rebellions…..and in Wexford it took on the nature of a jacquerie as much as anything which could be regarded as a philosophy (Antrim/Down) nationalist (Connacht).
    As Sluggerites might recall I spent a few days in March doing the battlefield round and Scullabogue is certainly part of that “tour” to all serious students.
    It doesnt have to be 18th century “whataboutery” to say that one side was responsible for more attrocity than the other.
    Nor is it to demonise the Rebels further to suggest that the Sculabogue incident was one of a few others in Wexford which included the killing of “loyalists” at Vinegar Hill or a massacre of “loyalist” prisoners at the Bridge in Wexford town.
    Nor does the traditional “apology” that the Scullabogue incident was directly related to the aftermath of New Ross when fleeing rebels were already bringing back (true) stories of Government attrocity…vindicate murder.
    Dunne is on safer ground with the Wexford Senate, effectively this in the years prior to 1998 this was a fund raising device for the Commemoration…..including the 1798 Interpretative Centre at Enniscorthy. Where everything is so “politically correct”….including a dialgogue between Thomas Paine and Edmund Burke.
    Scullabogue is referenced there.
    Effectively the history of 1798 was written in 1898 (those pikemen monuments dotted around the south east and those songs) were as much about the Future as the Past.
    Serious historians always go beyond the “folk memory”.
    But 1798 History is not made better or worse by “revision” for the Greater Good.
    In so far as History is ever about Right and Wrong…..the nation of Ireland has no more cause for regret (than the American or French Revolutionaries”). They fought the good fight against Imperialism, Monarchy and Church Hierarchy.
    The West Briton obsession with finding a more “balanced” version is to be resisted.

    I should not comment on the commemorations in the North. In the early stages I was involved but withdrew because I saw that the events were being manipulated. Perhaps my first brush with the Conflict Resoluution “industry”.

    In regard to this decade of commemorations.
    Clearly there is a North-South “party line” to be faciliated by historians. Shared History blah blah blah…….Irishmen at the Somme being the central celebration. The choreography is already in place and some of our celebrated historians have already got the book deals.
    It is at least good that the Dept of Culture is headed by Sinn Féin (or indeed DUP) which might limit the excesses of the Conflict Resolutionists.

    But essentially Tom Dunne is doing the same thing that he accuses other Historians.
    How dare they write a History….to faciliate a viewpoint.
    But its ok for him to do so.

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  4. galloglaigh (profile) says:

    Well the word history does come fromtwo words: His-story!

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  5. Toastedpuffin (profile) says:

    I’ll add this to my growing pile of reading material on 1798 and all that.

    FJH,
    I’m not sure, but where exactly does your opinion differ from that of Dunne to the point where he deserves the “West Briton” perjorative?

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  6. Turgon (profile) says:

    galloglaigh,
    “Well the word history does come fromtwo words: His-story!”
    Sorry to be pedantic but that is a commonly repeated fallacy. Here is the relevant etymological explanation of the word history.

    As explained rather well on the wikipedia entry for “Herstory:” “The word history, coming from the Ancient Greek ἱστορία, or historía, meaning ‘a learning or knowing by inquiry’, through the Latin historia, is etymologically unrelated to the possessive pronoun his.

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  7. Turgon (profile) says:

    Test is italics off

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  8. Toasted Puffin.
    My point about Thomas Dunne is that his 1798 writing is fuelled by a family “history”. Surely I made that clear.
    The West Briton point is actually a different point.
    That in the new era, we are “invited” to believe that there are two sides to every story……and indeed there are.
    But not equal “morality” (for want of a better word).
    There is a curious “dont mention the war” aspect to Irish History.

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  9. Toastedpuffin (profile) says:

    FJH,

    Yes, but specifically where do you disagree with him on his version of the history of that time – in what way has he “manipulated” it? You haven’t made that clear.

    And tell me more about this different “West Briton” point…

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  10. West Britons=folks who reject the full concept of an Irish nation and lean to the view that Ireland is at best a “region”. And as with Republicans, Socialists etc, this view finds a stage in Academia…..and outside it as some people quite like that image.
    Dunne himself has found that History has been manipulated ..he says to support a pro-Irish 1978 agenda. I tend to state this is obviously the case in some instances…….and have even gone further and suggested that the OFFICIAL 1998 commemorations in the North were always “designed to fit an agenda. ….the Peace Process.
    As the Conflict Resolutionists and their hired historians will manipulate the decade of centenaries.
    The Irish State….largely engineered by 1898 version of 1798……twisted History to its own use.
    As indeed did the Northern State…..all that Somme heroism.
    All for the “Common Good”.

    Conflict Resolutionists aided and abetted by people who really should no better will twist 1912-1922 into a narrative for the “Common Good”.

    Dunne..has the zeal of a convert (ex Christian Brother and from a fairly traditional background that he has rejected).
    I actually bought his original book. No real need to buy the update as it is little more than an additional whinge that his book was rejected by fellow historians..who had an agenda.
    I make the point that Dunne has too.
    The self loathing Irishman who has repudiated his personal past……and invites his readership to reject a Historical past…….is always going to get an audience with those of a West Briton mentality.

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  11. Garibaldy (profile) says:

    I find the suggestion – implicit or otherwise – that Tom Dunne is a self-hating Irishman somewhat absurd. This is a man who, in common with many traditional straight down the line 1898-style nationalists, insists on the traumatic consequences of what he sees as the colonial aspects of the Irish experience, especially the loss of the language. He also works on Irish-language sources, a far from common trait.

    Dunne certainly has an agenda. He makes that clear in the book. In fact, he has several. He makes that clear too. Primarily they are to tell his own story and what made him the historian he is; to tell the story of why the history-writing and commemoration of 1798 have occurred the way they have; and to examine what actually happened on one of the most important days of the 1798 Rebellion.

    What he loathes, it seems to me, is a narrow-minded form of sectarian nationalism, and what he saw as a tendency among some professional historians to bend or ignore the facts to fit a predetermined agenda. None of this translates to hating Ireland, Irish culture, or himself.

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  12. As Garibaldy says……Dunne has an agenda.
    Part of Dunnes analysis is that historians have….er an agenda.
    How awful.

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  13. bumper14 (profile) says:

    Aside from Antrim the 1798 rebellion was nothing short of another series of massacres against Protestants.
    The civil war in Ireland 1921/22 was the same.
    The excellent book by Peter Hart “The IRA and its enemies in Cork” gives some sickening eye witness accounts of the genocide perpetrated by the IRA on the Protestants of this county.

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  14. SDLP supporter (profile) says:

    I’d like to challenge two comments from FJH who, I sometimes feel, has far too much time on his hands, who feels compelled to add his tuppence worth on every topic and who is a bit too prone to the unconsidered throwaway remark. Doesn’t he ever do the garden, home repairs, the shopping etc in his retirement or is he chained to his computer all day patrolling the Slugger site?

    “The 1798 “official” commemoration was indeed manipulated north and south…in different ways.”
    “I should not comment on the commemorations in the North. In the early stages I was involved but withdrew because I saw that the events were being manipulated. Perhaps my first brush with the Conflict Resolution “industry””.

    As someone who was very involved with the commemorations in the North, through the United Irishmen Commemoration Society (UICS), the most active group in 1998, I feel that FJH should stand up these comments or withdraw them. it’s worth making the points that:

    1.There was no “official” body in the North. The only funding UICS received was a small grant from Belfast City Council (approved unanimously).
    2.UICS was open to, and representative of, the widest possible spread of political opinion and its programme of events included contributors with the most diverse POVs.
    3.SDLP did organise a bicentenary conference in Springvale in May 1998 (after the GFA referendum and before the Assembly election), I believe the only partying the North to do so and, yes, there were SDLP people, including myself, on the UICS committee. However, that did not in the slightest undermine the integrity of UICS’s activities.

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  15. Garibaldy (profile) says:

    Bumper14,

    You’re wrong on 1798, and way wrong on the relationship between sectarianism and the Irish civil war.

    SDLP supporter,

    There were publicly funded commemorative events in the north, funded by local councils and other bodies. But I’d agree it wasn’t the same as in the south.

    Don’t know about anyone else, but The WP organised several events for the discussion of 1798 in 1998, and WP people were I believe in the UICS too.

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  16. Toastedpuffin (profile) says:

    FJH,

    So, you agree with Dunne on some points – the question was, where do you disagree with him on his version of this period of history? Where are his inaccuracies and “manipulations”?

    As for the “West Briton” perjorative – can you explain to me in what way Irish people aren’t West (or at least western) Britons?

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  17. Irish people are no more west Britons (and I think youre playfully using a different context) that English people are eastern Irish.
    I have no idea how people in England would regard that label.
    Probably not in a good way.

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  18. Toastedpuffin (profile) says:

    They are, nevertheless, East Britons.

    But, I’m still interested in the faulty history of T Dunne.

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  19. SDLP Supporter is of course right. I have far too much time on my hands. The thought that I should do anything constructive like gardening or home repairs is frankly a repulsive thought.
    I dont think that I do feel compelled to comment on every thread……but generally speaking my thoughts are well received.
    I have a tendency to speak to things that I might actually feel strongly about and/or might actually know something about.
    For example I might just know something about or care passionately about the SDLP.
    And I might just know something about or care passionately about History…..especially 18th century …and I care about the manipulation of History for nation building…..conflict resolution …..or the Common Good.
    I frankly care little whether “SDLP Supporter” thinks that I know what Im talking about.

    “The 1798 “official” commemoration was indeed manipulated north and south…in different ways.”

    How do I stand over that? Simply 1798 was a bit of an embarrassment….to some. How to acknowledge a very significant Historical event in Ireland…and to do with pride (an old fashioned concept I know) and yet still maintain a barrier with physical force paramilitarism.
    In fact we had been here before.
    In 1966 the Easter Rising was celebrated with gusto. And arguably fed into republicanism in the North. Certainly the first death in the Troubles was a case of mistaken identity. The target was actuallya member of the organising committee in Belfast.
    A set of eight postage stamps marked the occasion in the Republic.
    But in 1981…the 75th Anniversary of the Rising was understated in the Republic. It was a bit embarrassing having to commemorate the men of 1916 and condemn those who rightly or wrongly saw themselves as successors.
    Just one rather anaemic postage stamp.

    So these 50th and 75th Anniversaries were as much about the time the commemorations took place as 1916 itself.
    Likewise the 1798 Commemoration had to have a nod to northern unionists. And the fact that it was prepared against a background of delicate peace process, the commemoration had to pussyfoot around.
    In 1998…the flavour of the month was Yoorp…and our old friends the French. And of course “Women of ’98″ …..Miss McCracken, Miss Gray and the cause of my on little hissy fit a Mrs Dixon, whom I thought it “balanced” to include.
    Im surprised SDLP Supporter did not mention the rather impressive Ulster Museum display or indeed the wishful thinking that people such as David Ervine would be involved. Some in the loyalist paramilitary type organisations showed I think a superficial interest (I had no contact with any……thats my perception) possibly to gain a little credibility.
    Indeed I would go further than “SDLP Supporter” and say elements in that Party were certainly supportive of recognising the Volunteer Movement (1980s) more overtly.
    Indeed I would go even further and say that the SDLP can havea reasonable claim of inheriting the 1798 mantle more credibly than those who seek to unite “Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter” by blowing them apart.
    Im sure he will join with me in hoping that SDLP in next few months goes further down that road.
    As for the Workers Party…….nuff said.

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  20. Then you must read him Toasted Puffin.
    Your definition of East and West Britons is perhaps fuelling your view of Irish History.

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  21. Reader (profile) says:

    fitzjameshorse1745: Likewise the 1798 Commemoration had to have a nod to northern unionists. And the fact that it was prepared against a background of delicate peace process, the commemoration had to pussyfoot around.
    I doubt anyone was going to openly celebrate a sectarian Jacquerie anyway. But the problem is that, from this angle, the sanitisation looked like a cover up, with abuse heaped on the revisionists who were trying to lift the lid.
    The other perspective from this side was that it looked as though the commemoration was trying to recruit the g-g-g-g-g-grandchildren of the Prod rebels to nationalism without giving any thought as to why they weren’t already nationalists (or just blame the Brits, as usual). At least our lot have some sense of why the descendants of the Monaghan militia went over to your side.

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  22. streetlegal (profile) says:

    Here’s an apt quotation which students of Irish history might usefully keep in mind.

    – ‘”The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.”

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  23. Reader,
    Certainly it would have been overly optimistic to have expected unionists to have “celebrated” (the 1998 Bicentenary was actually a “commemoration”) a jacquerie that they perceive as sectarian.
    It might have been more reasonable had they commemorated the republican principles of their forebears.

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  24. Garibaldy (profile) says:

    I take it people aren’t too fussed about the two decades of scholarship that has shown the Rebellion was not a jacquerie, and that the extent to which it was sectarian is debatable (even if Dunne demonstrates that some people have gone too far on that front).

    As for a cover-up, the Dublin government led by Bertie and his cohorts apologised for Scullabogue. I thought that was outrageous. As though they have anything in common with the United Irishmen to claim to represent them. One of the main motive forces of the United Irishmen was to overthrow a corrupt and venal political system, not to rule one.

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  25. But all these agendas…..nationalist, republican, Irish, British, socialist….even Workers Party LOL………..answer the question that Gladys Ganiel asks
    “Learning from 1798? Norn Irons Upcoming Decade of Commemorations”

    No. Nothing to be learned. People have their own agendas.
    And their own History.
    No shared History.
    So no point in anything other than real people (unionist, republican and lets get alongerist) commemorating their own Histories in their own ways and not having the misguided (at best) and dishonest(at worst” one size fits all.
    It didnt work in 1998. It wonyt work in any upcoming decade.

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  26. Garibaldy (profile) says:

    I’m inclined to agree with FJH that the best thing for the forthcoming commemorations is each to their own.

    I’m also inclined to draw the lesson that we need to remember, and act upon, the message of the men and women not just of 98 but also of 1913.

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  27. Reader (profile) says:

    fitzjameshorse1745: It might have been more reasonable had they commemorated the republican principles of their forebears.
    How would you set about making (Irish) republicanism appealing to unionists? Or do you regard it as being solely our own problem and our own responsibility?
    There are at least some unionists (not nearly enough) giving thought as to how it might be possible to win over current nationalists to support the union.
    Nationalists with a notion to win over unionists run into a conceptual roadblock after a minute or so. But most will just follow your own line (I’m guessing) and say – why bother?

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  28. Brian (profile) says:

    ‘Aside from Antrim the 1798 rebellion was nothing short of another series of massacres against Protestants.
    The civil war in Ireland 1921/22 was the same.
    The excellent book by Peter Hart “The IRA and its enemies in Cork” gives some sickening eye witness accounts of the genocide perpetrated by the IRA on the Protestants of this county.’

    Stop trolling

    As for 1798, you do realize that roughly 90% of those killed were Catholics, right??

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  29. HeinzGuderian (profile) says:

    Lessons fron 1798…………….more abject failure.

    Slow learners indeed !! ;-)

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  30. Well Garibaldy….2013 will provide an opportunity for socialists like myself ……and the Workers Party also…..to honour the people of 1913.

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  31. Reader,
    I would set about (Irish) Republicanism appealing to unionists…….or indeed unionism appealing to Republicans…..in exactly the same way that I would try and make vegetarianism attractive to meat eaters (or vice versa).
    Exactly why bother.

    Meanwhile I will be off the Slugger radar for a while. from tomorrow.
    Going to Chipping Norton with the more reasonable mission of converting Jeremy Clarkson to Enviromentalism.

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  32. Reader (profile) says:

    fitzjameshorse1745: Exactly why bother.
    As I guessed! Still – better to take that attitude than to see that there is everything to play for and nowhere to begin…

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  33. Well congratulations on your guess.
    Although it should have been obvious from everything Ive ever written on Slugger.

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  34. carl marks (profile) says:

    Reader
    Nationalists with a notion to win over unionists run into a conceptual roadblock after a minute or so. But most will just follow your own line (I’m guessing) and say – why bother?

    conceptual roadblock? would you mind explaining that,

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  35. Reader (profile) says:

    carl marks: conceptual roadblock? would you mind explaining that,
    The problem is that nationalists just don’t get that, behind all our other quirks, most unionists are just perfectly comfortable being British. If you don’t even recognise our identity, you will certainly have a problem getting to grips with it.
    While on the subject of proselytism: it’s also a bit of a tactical error for nationalists to suggest that, simultaneously (1) We caused all the bother so the rest of the Brits are quite rightly ashamed of us; and (2) the Brits are a right load of bastards who caused all the bother and we should be obviously ashamed to be associated with them. [Seems like we are compatible with the Brits but utterly repellant to yourselves. The subsequent marriage proposal is unconvincing...]

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  36. antamadan (profile) says:

    Red card Scáth Sheamais. Mary Holland won half share in this award in 1989 and she is not a pro-unionist, and it’s not all that far back; and maybe someone who doesn’t have a British view could win again in another 12 years or so. I hope you have a job outside of the media!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Ewart-Biggs_Memorial_Prize

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  37. Nevin (profile) says:

    “Going to Chipping Norton”

    Croquet, tea and muffins with the Chipping Norton set, fjh? :)

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  38. carl marks (profile) says:

    Reader

    I see so many things wrong in your theory.
    Most unionists are just perfectly comfortable being British. Really in the past unionists have proved that their britishness is very much dependent on Britain acting in a way in which they approve, (the organised attacks on British forces when it doesn’t play the game, Dumcree, Holy cross, Harryville, the Shankill riots etc), there s also always in the background the leaning towards a independent Ulster which raises its head whenever unionists are unhappy with Britain.
    On your second point of tactical errors, most people on the island of great Britain are indeed very uncomfortable with your claims to Britishness considering the way this statelet was governed in the past and with the antics of unionists at the present time when they don’t get their own way,
    As for the republicans thinking the brits are a right load of basterds that certainly could be applied to British governments at times but I have never heard it applied to the British people as a group.
    By the way an awful lot of the British people are ashamed of you and you’re placing secterism at the core of your political ideology.
    In brief how many unionists would still “be Comfortable “with their Britishness if a catholic ascended the throne?

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  39. Nevin,
    Davey, Rebekkakka, Jeremy and I are as thick as thie……er champ.

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  40. rhys (profile) says:

    Could we try these statements for size:

    (a) The English Government hated (and often killed) anyone who wanted a free Ireland.

    (b) The vast majority of Irish patriots violently hated Protestants (and, in my opinion, still do).

    (c) Most British people deeply disliked Roman Catholicism but would have prefered to be shot of any involvement in Ireland.

    (d) Most Irish and British people get on very well, except when drunk.

    It seems to me that these statements are true and that the study of history should take them into consideration. Do you disagree?

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  41. Turgon (profile) says:

    carl marks,
    “most people on the island of great Britain are indeed very uncomfortable with your claims to Britishness”

    Really how impressive: so you have asked them have you? What an impressive piece of research that was. How did you conduct your survey: was it a question on the census or did you conduct a sample survey. Maybe you would share the results along with 95% confidence limits and the like.

    Alternatively maybe it is all just some nonsense you have made up.

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  42. carl marks (profile) says:

    Turgon

    true it isn’t the result of a survey, but a result of both my experiences in England talking to the english,scots and welsh and of course listening to the English media and reading the papers. However I think it s an accurate overview of the English etc, s view of unionism and loyalism.
    I do notice you chose to ignore my other points. It true what people don’t say is often more meaningful than what they do say.
    If the British were so devoted to the unionist people you would wonder why they sent the Queen to Dublin to lay a wreath at the shrine of the IRA, s “heroic dead”, surely that would have been political suicide if the British were so staunchly unionist as you would like to think

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  43. carl marks (profile) says:

    Turgon

    of course if you would be so good to show me the detailed information (surveys, census questions etc) that you are using to counter my argument,
    or is it just some nonsense you made up.

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  44. Turgon (profile) says:

    carl marks,
    You made the claim it is for you to back it up.

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  45. carl marks (profile) says:

    turgon as i said it comes from my own experience, but i note you have no evidence to refute it or we would have heard it by now.
    How about my other points.

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  46. carl marks (profile) says:

    try this
    There is significant support in Great Britain for Ireland to reunify as a political entity. An ICM poll conduced by The Guardian in 2001 revealed that only 26% of Britons supported Northern Ireland remaining a part of the UK, while 41% supported a united Ireland.[6] The British Social Attitudes Survey in 2007 found 32.25% supported Northern Ireland remaining part of the UK, and 40.16% supported Irish re-unification.[7] The poll has been run 19 times between 1983 and 2007, with each result being in favour of Irish unity. The highest support came in 1994 with 59.36% of the respondents supporting Irish Unity, while 24.09% supported Northern Ireland remaining in the UK.

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  47. Turgon (profile) says:

    Carl Marks,
    Your poll does not relate to people from NI being British or not. It is not directly relevant to this debate and extrapolations cannot be made from it.

    Your experience is your experience. It is not a scientific analysis. You do not get this science thing do you?

    Let us use an example. If I were to suggest that smoking is associated with lung cancer then I would have to prove that x % of non smokers get lung cancer but y % (a larger %) of smokers get it. If I make the claim it is for me to back it up. The same with your claim.

    On the other hand if I for my own reaons say that strawberry blonde people live longer it is up to me to provide that data. If I cannot then I cannot back up the statement.

    Of course rather than evidence you use your “experience” and then try to back it up with a survey which asks a completely different question. You seem a bit lost on this issue. I recommend stopping digging.

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  48. carl marks (profile) says:

    Turgon
    I’m afraid I do get the science thing,
    My point was that most British people are uncomfortable with unionist claims to britishness the survey support this if the brits were happy with you being brits they wouldn’t support a united Ireland .Hardly rocket science.
    As to the rest of your post seems a bit smoke and mirrors to me, but your right don’t think need to dig anymore think I have stuck the nerve. Now any opinion my other points

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  49. Reader (profile) says:

    carl marks: I see so many things wrong in your theory.
    So if anyone has been in a protest they are not British? E.g. Countryside Alliance, anti-war protests,etc? Would you like to refine your logic, please?
    On my tactical point – I meant eactly what I said – debating tactics. If internet nationalists could settle on whether we are too good for the Brits, or the Brits are too good for us, you might be able to make progress. Trying to claim both at once is laughable.
    However, your clarification is welcome. If you prefer the British people to Northern Unionists, why not try to unite with them, instead of us?

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  50. Reader (profile) says:

    carl marks: If the British were so devoted to the unionist people you would wonder why they sent the Queen to Dublin to lay a wreath at the shrine of the IRA, s “heroic dead”, surely that would have been political suicide if the British were so staunchly unionist as you would like to think
    Whereas the nationalism of the Irish people was unchallenged by their president laying wreaths at British war memorials… Heads of state lay wreaths, turn over clods of earth, pull curtains and push big green buttons. They used to cut ribbons, launch ships and lay foundation stones, but those acts have gone out of fashion.
    The point of this particular wreath laying was to make people a little bit uncomfortable, then show them that they could get over it. So it normalised relations between two states who have experienced friction in the past but have no ongoing constitutional or territorial dispute. It reassured some of you that your independence finally had mummy’s approval.

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  51. carl marks (profile) says:

    Reader
    “However, your clarification is welcome. If you prefer the British people to Northern Unionists, why not try to unite with them, instead of us?”
    im afaird you must be mixing me up with someone else i never said this>

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  52. carl marks (profile) says:

    Reader (profile) says:
    12 August 2011 at 9:16 am
    Carl marks: I see so many things wrong in your theory.
    So if anyone has been in a protest they are not British? E.g. Countryside Alliance, anti-war protests, etc? Would you like to refine your logic, please?
    On my tactical point – I meant exactly what I said – debating tactics. If internet nationalists could settle on whether we are too good for the Brits, or the Brits are too good for us, you might be able to make progress. Trying to claim both at once is laughable.
    However, your clarification is welcome. If you prefer the British people to Northern Unionists, why not try to unite with them, instead of us?

    We will take this point by point,
    Protest of a peaceful nature is one thing however incidents such as the UWC lockout and Dumcree were more in the nature of rebellion, both had the intention to force the state to change by the use of force aimed at the police and the army not to mention many of the ordinary people who live there. With the intention to make Northern Ireland ungovernable to compare it to the countryside alliance, antiwar, protesters etc is just plain silly.
    I personally never claimed that we were too good for the brits or to good for us, my and most republicans belief is that the people of Ireland north and south will benefit from unification because at the moment the north suffers from being politically speaking the rump of Britain, the money pumped into the country during the troubles is at a end, and you can be sure that the English will not want to keep us in the style to which we have become accustomed.
    What the south gets is another story (a bit surprised that no one asked the obvious question would we in my opinion be wanted by the south)
    The attitude of the English to Northern Irish unionists is just another one of many elephants in many living rooms that will have to be faced up to by the unionist community.
    By the way if the phase internet nationalist was meant to be a putdown the fact that it was said by an internet unionist did sort of soften the blow

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