Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Northern Ireland: Who Are We Now?

Thu 3 January 2013, 9:26pm

Northern Ireland: Who Are We Now? was broadcast on Radio 4 on the eve of Derry~Londonderry taking on the mantle of UK’s City of Culture. Presented by William Crawley and produced by Claire Burgoyne, the half hour programme used the national identity census results as a way in to discuss possible shifting self-perceptions and the conundrum of how we describe ourselves.

While there were a lack of There weren’t too many extreme polarised views from contributors to the programme, but there was thoughtful discussion of changing viewpoints and the increasing middle ground from academic John Garry (but not the similar sounding academic and North Down Green councillor John Barry!), East Belfast loyalist-yet-Irish-enthusiast-and-advocate Linda Ervine and Father Eugene O’Neill amongst others.

Well worth a listen. As a speech documentary, it’ll be available on BBC iPlayer for at least twelve months.

Updated to correct John Garry’s name.

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Comments (5)

  1. Framer (profile) says:

    Sounds entirely balanced I am glad to say although I thought John Barry was Green Party.

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  2. John is indeed a Green councillor but pays the bills working as a Reader in Politics at QUB. The links under his name in the post refer to Green activities.

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  3. Brian Walker (profile) says:

    A decent cut through the identity thickets, with an assured grasp of the nuances. Quite enough for a single programme

    It usefully contextualised the recent news stories and was presented clearly for both the UK wide and NI audiences, never easy.

    Would it have have sounded so hopeful if the recordings had been made a week or so later?

    It avoided a current affairs treatment why the trouble over the flag was happening nor did it offer prescriptions for getting out of it.

    Nor did we have any attempt at dialogue between say the two sides in Derry/Londonderry. Worth trying as both do them can clearly debate properly on a defined agenda. Maybe next time?

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  4. A good programme but I have to point out that the first contributor was Dr John Garry, Senior Lecturer in Comparative Political Science at Queens University, not Dr John Barry, Reader of Politics at Queens University & Green Party councillor on North Down Borough Council. An easy mistake to make.

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  5. Thanks for clarifying that. Now fixed.

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