In the Ha’aritz article, Trimble is perhaps at his most interesting on ideological change; it is mostly confined to a Unionist perspective on the journey Republicans have made.
“Among Northern Irish nationalists, there were two main streams, the militants in the IRA and the moderates in the SDLP. South of the border, the Irish republic consistently supported the moderates. If the southern state had supported the IRA, we could never have had an agreement, because the moderates would never have been able to make an agreement against the wishes of the state, which they regarded as their state.”
He draws from a European context to assert the political demise of territorial nationalism:
“While the southern state of the Republic of Ireland felt that it still owed something to northern nationalists, it was no longer supportive of the military project because old-fashioned 1930s territorial nationalism is inappropriate here. It is over, as far as Western Europe is concerned.”
He reserves a sting in the tail with which no doubt Bernadette McAliskey would concur:
“The ideology that motivates the attacks on Israel – attacks which take place, in part, because of its identification with Western values – has not been neutered in the way that the ideology of the militant Irish republican has been neutered.”
Previously on Clinton
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