Trimble and the Republic

Emerging from a tradition that many would characterise as anti-intellectual, this piece from Roy Garland charting a plausable defence of Trimble’s outburst last week is all the more interesting:

“There are two kinds of unionism. One rejoices in intimate links with a pluralist, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic British state whose openness to the world and tolerance of difference holds people within its orbit. Their attachment to the union is compatible with a love of this island and appreciation of Anglo-Irish and sometimes even Gaelic traditions and culture. There are other unionists for whom being British means little more than being not Irish.”

He goes on:

“David Trimble and his colleagues do not always speak from a position of strength because of the virulence of opponents who are ostensibly wearing liberal clothes. However, it is not only unionists who live in a less than perfect world and Trimble seems to be saying that the credentials of the Irish state also require examination and reform.”

And:

“The Republic now needs to initiate changes that can end the dominance of one set of traditions in favour of a multiplicity of others in a broad tapestry of pluralism.”

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