History: let's just get over it?

Newton Emerson argues that too much store is set on historical experience in Ireland, which he believes leads people to ignore the fact that north and south now belong firmly within what Robert Cooper would identify as the post-modern world of Europe. Indeed he finishes the piece with speculation that there are three levels of historical consciousness:

“Finally, there is level three, the black belt of historical awareness, possessed by those who realise that every useful acre of the earth’s surface has been won and lost 100 times over since the dawn of mankind… so analysing the last few rolls of the dice for some moral victory in the here and now is pointless.

“A universal and perfect understanding of the past would be a wonderful thing. But in the real world, the best way to get on with it is surely for all of us, British and Irish, to simply get over it”.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Jay Sus,

  • Rebecca Black


    I thought it was that Scotland was basically settled by the Irish. The Irish were at one stage know as the Scotties, and Ireland was Scotyland. However then as alot of Irish people went over to Scotland to settle there, Scotland became known as full of Scottys and subsequently became known as Scottyland, then eventually Scotland.

    Ireland invaded Scotland later. Fergus Mor set off from Carrickfergus (Rock of Fergus) for Scotland and conquered himself some land that became know as the Dalriadic Kingdom.

  • Rebecca Black

    “So, genetically speaking, the Scots and the Irish are basically the same. Which is my point

  • Davros

    CC- according to article in today’s Times, also carried Irish Independent, we are all the same, period. Race is bunkum according to an article in the prestigious Nature Genetics , which I shall try to track down.

    Gene tests prove that we are all the same under the skin

    Human genome study says race is meaningless notion

    anybody wanting Times article e mail me at usual

  • willowfield


    Partition was the result of a popular vote willofield? Are you serious?!!

    Er, yes. Go and look at the election results from the time. The Ulster Unionists won a huge majority of votes in what became NI.

    Ireland voted to be a free Republic.

    Southern Ireland did.

    Britain ignored that wish.

    It set up the Irish Free State. Hardly counts as “ignoring”!

    The fact was only two counites in Ireland were Unionist majorities, Antrim and Down.

    That’s not fact. Indeed, it’s untrue.

    Why could the other four not join the Republic?

    For a start, two had unionist majorities. In respect of the other two, they had large unionist minorities. In my view, the border should have been drawn to best reflect people’s expressed will: that would have involved splitting counties. No need to stick to county boundaries: stupid, in fact.

    You cannot just invent a state to suit certain people who did not accept the decision of the Nation!!

    Why not? If you can invent one to suit those who did accept “the decision of the Nation”, why not invent one for those who didn’t?

    This is THE fundamental legal reason why Nationalists view NI as an illegal state and Partition as an illegal act. No amount of posturing will change this fact.

    Sorry? I’ve missed this “fundamental legal reason”. You haven’t offered any “fundamental legal reason”! In law, NI is part of the UK and always has been!

  • George

    when did you recognise Dail Eireann as the legitimate parliament of the Republic of Ireland?

    Which Dail was it? First, second…..

  • willowfield

    I’ve always recognized it as such.

    It became the legitimate parliament [of the Free State] in 1922, and of the Republic in 1949.

  • Sonny

    Moreover, check out the following definition of
    Sorry Sonny – that’s nonsense. Nationhood implies commonality or homogeneity – a confederation of autonomous kings cannot be considered a Nation.

    Oh really Davros? Tell it to the French-German-Speaking canton confederated Swiss and the French&Dutch speaking Belgians. And do you really think the US or Canada or Australia or England is homogeneous?

    nation: \Na”tion\, n. [F. nation, L. natio nation, race, orig., a being born, fr. natus, p. p. of nasci, to be born, for gnatus, gnasci, from the same root as E. kin. [root]44. See Kin kindred, and cf. Cognate, Natal, Native.] 1. (Ethnol.) A part, or division, of the people of the earth, distinguished from the rest by common descent, language, or institutions; a race; a stock.

  • Davros

    Sonny – look more closely at your own definition 🙂
    You are talking about ETHNIC nationalism !

  • jay sus



    Excuse the tardiness of my reply, snowed under.

    “The document you supplied suggests to me that the
    Plantation was majority Scots whereas you interpret it as majority

    You might have to clarify what you mean by Scots since its
    use can be a bit confusing in a discussion like this.

    Depending on whose reports you believe, the ratio of
    Scottish to English in the plantation was anything from 5:1 to 20:1. A lot of
    the English returned soon after coming over because of weather, insects and
    those nasty little wood-kernes so after a few years it might well have been
    nearer the second figure. Either way the official plantation was overwhelmingly
    Scottish but in saying that mostly Scottish from the Scottish borders because
    of James I’s policy as stated above. Whilst not exclusively Germanic the
    Scottish Borders had a very strong Germanic element and so differed from
    Ulster, Argyll and parts of the highlands.

    “So, genetically speaking, the Scots and the Irish are
    basically the same. Which is my point