Tag Archives | Unionism

Electoral Pacts: Just a Sectarian Headcount?

Have we lost a sense of perspective on the meaning of sectarianism? Both an electoral pact between the DUP and UUP and a students’ union referendum on a United Ireland have been labelled sectarian in recent days. It seems that increasingly entirely legitimate political actions by Nationalists and Unionists are written off as sectarian. (more…)

Nesbitt on Unionist unity and the Westminster election

Ahead of the UUP Conference on Saturday, Irish News political correspondent, John Manley sat down with the party leader, Mike Nesbitt to discuss Unionist unity and the upcoming Westminster elections. Let’s begin with the UUP target seats for the upcoming election that Nesbitt thinks are ripe for his party He identifies DUP-held South Antrim and more…

The “what ifs? ” of our past play a part in dealing with it today

The row over former taioseach John Bruton’s regret that the Easter Rising ever happened goes on. Will historian Diarmaid Ferriter have the very last word? In his latest sally in the Irish Times, Ferriter attacks the exaggerated use of the counterfactual, the “what if” school of history. His argument to  Bruton is basically simple –look, more…

Murphy: Does continued Partition or Irish unity offer better future

In the aftermath of the Scottish referendum, Sinn Fein have renewed their push for a border poll here. The party’s MP for Newry and Armagh, Conor Muprhy writes for Slugger making the case for holding a poll and Irish unity. On the 18th of September the people of Scotland exercised their democratic voice on the more…

Much can be learned from comparing Salmond and Redmond’s destinies

John Redmond (1856 - 1918)

  One month away from Scotland’s Moment of Truth, it is worth reflecting how eerie the symmetries and coincidences of history can sometimes be.  Followers of Irish and Scottish affairs know this to be a bumper year for anniversaries in both countries.  A millennium ago the celebrated Battle of Clontarf was fought just north of Dublin – a crucial more…

Irish Republicanism needs to be more Levesque and a little less Salmond on a border poll

À la prochaine fois!, (until next time) declared the separatist premier, Rene Levesque as he conceded defeat on the night the 1980 Quebec sovereignty referendum failed. Standing like a proud general with his supporters weeping as their dream of an independent francophone Quebec went up in smoke, Levesque knew that while his objective of achieving more…

Why is Irish nationalism neutral on Scottish independence?

Martin Mansergh is a splendid relic of an old Anglo-Irish tradition, a Tipperary landlord, one of a very rare breed of Fianna Fail intellectuals, an adviser on the North to successive Fianna Fail Taoisigh, a minster who never quite fulfilled his promise possibly due to his background, a historian and son of Nicholas, one of more…

Unionism’s graduated response proving an interesting challenge, and a far from stupid one…

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 01.15.52

Somehow there’s an odd resonance between the now infamous ‘Graduated Response’ of Unionists and that classicly ambiguous acronym of Sinn Fein’s TUAS document. The latest iteration is not a call for the collapse of Stormont, but in fact a greater focus on the particulars of the Parades Commission’s decision in North Belfast… The issue of more…

Queen Elizabeth and our attitude towards the Monarchy

It is always a big occasion when the Queen pops over from Buckingham Palace to pay her subjects in this part of the kingdom a visit. Before, I go any further I must declare an interest, I am a republican and  not just in a narrow Irish sense, but I generally think that monarchies around more…

Robert Porter, a humane if luckless minister of home affairs

Sir Robert Porter, known  to all as  “Beezer” who has died aged 90 gave the lie to the image of a jack booted Unionist minister at the beginning of the Troubles. He was indeed minister of home affairs in 1969 when demonstrations gave way to riot and finally to the events of August 1969 when more…

McCann meets….Cllr Lee Reynolds @duponline

The DUP launched their local government manifesto for Belfast on Monday. I have always been intrigued by the DUP as they come across as a fiscally conservative party, yet they do seem to enjoy spending money, so, I went along to City Hall and spoke with the party’s council leader, Lee Reynolds about what his more…

Opinion: Time for UK wide Unionism

DUP website May 2014

Elections are coming and two recent polls have Sinn Fein inline to win 3 European seats in the Republic and 1 in Northern Ireland.  I highly doubt the recent debacle & arrest of Gerry Adams over the abduction, torture and murder of Jean McConville will seriously affect Sinn Fein`s electoral prospects.  Where then does this leave Unionists?  We more…

Some thoughts on the Economics of Unity.

Within Republicanism I am definitely on what I call the Diana Ross wing of thinking which says ‘you can’t hurry love’ That is why I have consistently opposed Sinn Fein’s move for a border poll right now, as I have always thought Republicanism needs to move off the notion of territorial lines on a map more…