Brexit’s Challenges & Opportunities for Irish Nationalists

Ahead of Saturday’s Lighthouse Indian Summer School in Killough, I have an article in today’s Irish News examining the challenges and opportunities that Brexit presents for Irish nationalism in the short and long term.

I’ve always thought that the developing European identity in the latter quarter of the 20th century helped Irish nationalists cope with the differing challenges and experiences faced in both jurisdictions on the island. Part of me admires the self-confidence of the British in taking Brexit’s leap into the unknown, though I do believe that Irish nationalism has an opportunity to shape a vision of an inclusive Ireland comfortable as a full member of an evolving European Union that will contrast with Britain’s decision to stand apart, a point I make in the concluding paragraph:

In the longer term, Brexit presents an unexpected opportunity for many in nationalist Ireland to develop a vision of an Ireland embracing an interdependent role and future amongst European peoples, in contrast to a unionist vision of a United Kingdom increasingly standing apart from its European neighbours. That is a challenge which must form a part of the discussion about what form Irish unity can and will take as we move beyond aspirational politics.

Read the whole piece here.

The Summer School will include a panel discussion with prominent elected representatives from Sinn Fein (Matt Carthy MEP), Fianna Fail (Darragh O’Brien TD) and the SDLP (Claire Hanna MLA) on the theme of Nationalism after Brexit. It will commence at 11am at Killough Youth and Community Hall. All are welcome to attend.