Border's adverse affect on southern Protestants

There’ve been calls for the Republic’s Equality Authority to investigate the adverse affects the border has had on Protestant communities south of the border

  • griff

    my experiences have been around the dublin area although i don’t live in ireland at the moment.
    as i said before i think a lot of the them and us business is used for harmless taking the mick but it is much more apparent than it is in england where i hadn’t experienced such a divide, although there is the class divide etc but thats way off topic.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Davros

    “Sadly (dual sovereignty) wouldn’t and couldn’t work Billy. In that case there would be winners and losers and we end up all losing.’’

    Who would be the losers? We’d have Dublin rule and Westminster rule. If unionism has its union, it’s not good enough that it should also insist on denying nationalism a direct line to its national government too.

    “When you talk of Joint Sovereignty I assumed you meant joint Sovereignty between Westminster and Dáil over all 32 counties and associated off-shore Islands?’’

    What, as Westminster having 50% sovereignty over the Republic of Ireland? What on earth made you think I was talking about that? What possible sense would there be in such a set-up? There is close to zero appetite in Britain for renewed sovereignty over the 26, and even less in the Republic. Nobody in Britain or the 26 wants the scenario you posit. Why on earth should such a mendacious suggestion be taken seriously? As a figleaf for c.800,000 unionists? At the expense of the national consenses of 65 million people on these islands? Jesus, you lack nothing in your sense of self-importance!

    No, you know very well I’m talking about these two sovereign governments coming together and formalising dual sovereignty over the Irish counties that are in the UK. On one hand you have the sovereign power, the UK, which has declared its lack of selfish or strategic or economic interest in NI, and through the consent principle has signalled its exit strategy. Then you have the Republic of Ireland, which has made a constitutional declaration of its “firm will’’ to see unification, and which has already been ceded a guaranteed consultative role and even some minor (though possibly embryonic) executive powers in the north by the sovereign power through a series of international agreements.

    Dual sovereignty over NI between the Republic of Ireland and the UK is the way the wind is blowing, because that’s the way the grown-ups want it. We’ve seen it with things like waterways, food safety and all those other baubles of ’98. Seven years on its joint policing protocols – and not a peep of dissent. Expect to see northern seats in the Dail within a couple of years. It’s motorways and waterways and telecommunications. Next thing it’ll be all-island health strategies. We’re already seeing cross-border GP services in south Armagh and north Donegal. Give it a few years and we’ll be talking about cross-border catchment areas for general hospitals. Good luck to the unionists who will try to argue against that.

    Why NOT dual sovereignty?

    “The MOPE bit was a Play on words’’

    I know, and it was funny the first few times. It IS very witty. Unfortunately it seems to be morphing into a rhetorical guillotine, dragged up at every mention of any kind of discrimination. It’s just getting a bit old at this stage, IMHO.

  • maca

    griff
    “as i said before i think a lot of the them and us business is used for harmless taking the mick but it is much more apparent than it is in england where i hadn’t experienced such a divide, although there is the class divide etc but thats way off topic.”

    Unfortunatly i’ve experienced the opposite in England but we all have our own experiences I suppose 😉

  • griff

    “Unfortunatly i’ve experienced the opposite in England but we all have our own experiences I suppose ;)”
    do you mean between english people or directed, presumably at you, anti-irish / catholic feeling?

  • maca

    Sorry, I meant directed at me. But I guess you meant between English people? If so i’d agree with you, as I haven’t seen any of that during my visits.

  • George

    I think we’ve all experienced that maca although it’s not like it used to be.

    On my last visit to England one shopkeeper even said she “loved my accent” because I sounded just like that lovely gardener on the telly.

  • griff

    maca, yes i meant between english people, sorry to hear you have been on the receiving end.

  • smcgiff

    ‘If so i’d agree with you, as I haven’t seen any of that during my visits.’

    There’s serious Black/White issues at the very least. They’ve enough race issues to be getting on with to satisfy their need for prejudice.

  • griff

    “On my last visit to England one shopkeeper even said she “loved my accent” because I sounded just like that lovely gardener on the telly.”

    Charlie Dimmock?

  • Rebecca Black

    “I hope you now know a little more about southern Protestants and the Irish legal profession. Have a look at the Law Graduates from Trinity if you need any further convincing.”

    so you are assuming that most people who graduate from TCD in law are protestants? Maybe in the 50s and before but certainly not these days.

  • davidbrew

    If a disproportionate number of prod lawyers in the south means everything is fine surely the disproportionate number of RC lawyers in OWC means it’s all great up hear too :0)

  • griff

    “There’s serious Black/White issues at the very least. They’ve enough race issues to be getting on with to satisfy their need for prejudice.”

    that post has a beautiful symmetry about it somehow.

  • IJP

    I wish people would stop this nonsense about dual sovereignty. If you’ve dual sovereignty:
    – have you broken yellow or solid white lines on the side of the road?
    – do you receive benefits from London or Dublin?
    – do you have the British or Irish Health Service?
    – is the dialling code +44 or +353?
    … basically, if Dublin and London don’t agree (for example, on suspension of the Assembly), who decides?

    Dual sovereignty inevitably means NI decides, ergo it is the same as independence (perhaps with joint Heads of State a la Andorra, but that’s where the ‘joint’ bit ends).

    If you want to debate that, debate it. At least then we’d be talking about something feasible, if not necessarily desirable.

  • George

    “Charlie Dimmock?” 🙂

    Others were convinced I was an American. It must be the non-descript south county Dublin drawl.

    Rebecca,
    “so you are assuming that most people who graduate from TCD in law are protestants? Maybe in the 50s and before but certainly not these days.”

    No, I’m assuming that Protestants are as over-represented in terms of population in the legal profession as they are underrepresented on the beat. I figured the Law Faculty in Trinity would be a good place for you to start to check that up assumption rather than trotting all the way up the quays to Kings Inn or the Four Courts.

    By the way, I heard that there are a total 14 protestants in the Gardai. You might be able to use that figure north of the border to say how bad it is down here. I say name and shame the 14 underachievers myself.

    Davidbrew,
    are there a disproportionate number of RC lawyers north of the border?

  • maca

    “I heard that there are a total 14 protestants in the Gardai.”

    Where do people actually get these figures anyway? Just curious as the Gardaí wouldn’t release any figure when I asked 😉

  • George

    I got my figure of 14 from a Newsletter article last year maca. Strangely enough, they weren’t parading it as a badge of honour as southern Protestants would.

    Any time I’ve asked the Gardai anything I got the feeling all they wanted to do was arrest me.

  • barnshee

    bay jasus all these micks with protestant friends given the miniscule proportion of prods in ROI– surely you must know each other??

    Usual responses from the great unwashed when challenged about the cleansing of the prod from ROI

    It did not happen

    It was a long time ago

    We don`t do it now (hardly any left to do it to)

    Sure they deserved it any way

    to this we can now add :-
    Sure they are all barristers there`s none left to join the Garda.

    Try Peter Hartes research for a small segement of the truth

  • maca

    “bay jasus all these micks with…”

    Careful barnshee …

  • George

    Ah Barnshee,
    (at the risk of being repetitive but I only bring this up if unionists start with the auld ethnic cleansing stuff.)

    I suppose your arguement why southern Protestants don’t believe they suffered ethnic cleansing is because there are none left.

    As I said earlier on this thread, I can only speak for Dublin where the majority of Irish Protestants outside Ulster live.

    Total number of Dublin Protestants forced out of their homes: zero.

    I compare this to Belfast 1920-1922 (source Baldron, an Illustrated History of Belfast) who, citing relief organisations in the city at the time, said 23,000 Catholics, one quarter of the Catholic population of Belfast, were forced out of their homes.

    Total number of Belfast Catholics forced out of their homes: 23,000

    I’ve yet to even hear an unionist admit there was a Belfast pogrom. Well, was there one Barnshee or did the relief organisations make it up?

    How many Catholics would you estimate were forced out of their homes?

  • Biffo

    Ironic isn’t it? It’s the northern taigs and the southern prods who share the common negative experiences.

  • Ringo

    barnshee –

    Have you any evidence/testimonies of our Protestant citizens complaining about their treatment at the hands of the state or the Catholic majority due to their religion?

    Any idea why the over-represented minority haven’t voiced their concerns on the issue in the Oireachtas (that’s the parliament)?

    answers on a postage stamp please….

  • Davros

    I’ve yet to even hear an unionist admit there was a Belfast pogrom.

    Really ? Shows how few you talk to and/or how little attention you pay to what is said when it doesn’t suit. Considering that you raise the issue every time that maltreatment of protestants is mentioned, I’m amazed you can say this.

    What % of Cork protestants upped and left George and how does it compare to the % of Catholics who were forced out of their homes in Belfast ?

    Secondly – how do the outrageous events in Belfast justify or excuse in any way ANY injustice done to protestants in your country during the same period of history ?

  • George

    Your Cork ying to my Dublin yang Davros. I commend you.

    Just one thing before I try an answer: Upped and left or were forced out of their homes? There is a difference. I upped and left Dublin in 1992, I didn’t have a mob chasing me down the road.

  • JD

    IJP

    Briefly, and very first-draftly:

    If you’ve dual sovereignty:

    – have you broken yellow or solid white lines on the side of the road?

    I don’t care. It’s only paint.

    – do you receive benefits from London or Dublin?

    From wherever you want. But there would have to be cooperation (it is joint authority, after all).

    – do you have the British or Irish Health Service?

    You use the one you want. Presumably there would be cooperation all the way along (i.e., if one “side” is full, the other steps in), so no-one would be turned away (better than both atm?!).

    – is the dialling code +44 or +353?

    Create a new one. Whoever gets the road paint, the others get the dialing code. 🙂

    … basically, if Dublin and London don’t agree (for example, on suspension of the Assembly), who decides?

    The people actually in NI.

    That’s rough, I know, but how’d I do?

  • JD

    What % of Cork protestants upped and left George and how does it compare to the % of Catholics who were forced out of their homes in Belfast ?

    I see what you’re saying Davros, but the sheer weight of numbers also speak volumes.

    That said, it was to Ireland’s shame that it happened at all. I’d apologise for it if I thought it would be worth anything to those wronged.

  • maca

    Dav
    “What % of Cork protestants upped and left George and how does it compare to the % of Catholics who were forced out of their homes in Belfast ?”

    Geroge is right there. ‘Upped & left’ vs ‘forced’.
    ‘forced’ vs ‘forced’ would be a fairer comparison.

    “Secondly – how do the outrageous events in Belfast justify or excuse in any way ANY injustice done to protestants in your country during the same period of history ?”

    They don’t in ANY way justify or excuse it.

  • barnshee

    maca
    where I live we cheerfully regard ourselves as micks and prods ( the micks and prods who socialise together that is)

    When we are seraching for the poor micks displaced from of Belfast would you ever have a look for the 17000 prods driven out of Londondery since 1968 (perhaps they all got lost together)

  • Davros

    They don’t in ANY way justify or excuse it.

    Then how come george raises the Belfast pogroms every time the issue of wrongs done to protestants in the Free State and ROI is discussed ?

    I made the point before – Dublin and Belfast were so dissimilar that it’s dishonest to compare them.
    I could make just as meaningless a point by asking what % of Belfast Catholics were killed in the pogroms and what % of the Protestant residents of Altnaveigh were killed by Frank Aiken’s RC Militia ( I’m deliberately presenting Altnaveigh in this manner to illustrate how one can cherry pick history to support a shaky case )

  • Stephen Copeland

    Holy God ….

    I wish Mick would just link to all of the old threads about southern Prods. Much of the stuff here is repetitive nonsense.

    For the record, I am a southern Prod – half Dublin and half culchie (border region). Neither sides of my family have ever experienced discrimination, and are all relatively proud members of a modern European country (i.e. apart from those who emigrated to England …. joke!).

    Discrimination can be measured in many different ways, but I’m hard pressed to think of one measure that applies to southern prods;

    – employment: higher than the average
    – wealth: higher than the average
    – economics: need I list all of the Prod-owned firms? Admittedly most are now owned by multinationals, but their ‘ethos’ remains unchanged,
    – education: at least as high (I have no data, but since there is no real Prod ‘underclass’ I guess logically our average would be higher)
    – violence: you wha’?
    – sectarianism: none
    – state recognition of the Protestant dimension: probably much higher than our 5% justifies
    – ostacism: none, on the contrary, we’re actually very fashionable!

    I could go on, but the story would be the same. The myths about southern Prod ‘victimhood’ are an invention of certain elements (yes, the bigotted ones) of northern Protestantism. They are wrong, they are politically motivated, they misrepresent us and our lives. Don’t pass any heed of them.

  • maca

    Barnshee
    “where I live we cheerfully regard ourselves as micks and prods”

    I’m delighted for you, but it was still an insult. As was your insinuation that we are lying when we say we have protestant friends.

  • Davros

    Graham Norton tells a different story Stephen.

  • IJP

    JD

    The people actually in NI.

    That’s rough, I know, but how’d I do?

    You’re spot on – that proves my point.

    All these issues would be decided by the ‘people actually in NI’.

    Which is de facto independence.

  • objectivist

    ‘’From 4 years living in the republic I don’t think there’s any real anti protestant feeling in the south. That is if you keep your mouth shut!”

    Rebecca,
    This one does not wash.How does that square with ‘shrinking violets’ like Shane Ross,Bono,Walton Empey,and David Norris? I would welcome some concrete validation of the above statement.
    Here you are faced with the conundrum that your cherished paradigm of ROI anti-Protestantism is effectively invalidated by the fact that Protestants in the ROI don’t actually complain of this.Predictably ,in order to circumvent this you construct a (not very convincing) mirage of Protestants cowed into keeping their mouths shut.

    ”Protestants are under represented in the Dail, there are more dogs than protestants in the gardai, and any protestants who do raise their head above the parapet are simply not taken seriously.”

    I can see what way your mind is working.Occam’s Razor would tend to ascribe the virtual absence of complaints about sectarianism from southern Prods to the absence of such sectarianism.Please note how ,at a subconscious level, you mendaciously
    phase shift this situation to the more worldview-friendly (your worldview that is) model of Protestants keeping their heads below the parapet in order to validate your ‘sectarianism’ hypothesis.
    A well known principle of logic is that for a hypothesis to be valid it must be theoretically disprovable.On this basis your discourse falls down over and over again through your vague generalities and lack of attributable sources.

    ”A protestants treatment in the south relies on where they live, how wealthy they are and how outspoken they are.”

    Proof please.

    ”Quite simply because protestants feel too intimidated to get involved in politics.’

    Please back up this statement.

    ”Lets put it this way Jimmy, can you think of any protestant politicians?”

    Off the top of my head,Trevor Sargent,David Norris,Shane Ross,Jan O’Sullivan,and Seymour Crawford all of who,by definition,must have got a substantial vote from Catholics-with the possible exception of DN who I think was an appointee.

    ”This is symptomatic of the protestant experience in the south, you make a criticism of the irish state and about five people jump on you.”

    It is all becoming clearer.Please see how you are subconsciously trying to construct a sophistic ROI-is-antiProtestant worldview.If you express a contentious viewpoint in a public forum you are bound to get opposing viewpoints -those expressed here have fallen well within the terms of civilised debate..Note how the eminently reasonable process of expressing such views is distorted by use of the word ‘jump’ into something aggressive and unreasonable.
    Let us extrapolate further.The inference here that any southern Protestant criticism of the state *must* be greeted with respectful silence to invalidate the sectarianism hypothesis.Ergo any publicly expressed disagreement with such criticism is definitively offside and sectarian.Notice how you are raising the bar for southern nonsectarianism in order to be mendaciously autohypnotised into the paradigm of perceived grievance.

    I would suggest the following experiment:
    Set up a pseudonym,make a comment here posing as an NI Catholic complaining about sectarianism,and sit back and watch the reaction.I daresay you would be ‘jumped on’ by at least 5 people!
    The fact is you are typical of a kind of individual find the spurious model of nasty,predatorial,majoritarian Catholic south addictively comfortable and tends to get quite prickly with anyone who tries to remove this psychological crutch.

    ”But surely that fact that I am said it here, using my own name is evidence. Both myself and the guy who set up the unionist society in TCD before me suffered intimidation. If you want details, e-mail me but I am not prepared to discuss events on a public forum.”

    This is cynical use of a nonsequitur.Of course if you set up an organisation which takes one particular side in a contentious high profile issue -the North,abortion,immigration etc.-you are bound to attract unwelcome attention from cranks.I’d have no illusions as to what to expect if I moved up to Queens and set up some Republican outfit.

    ”Interesting argument, getting involved with southern unionism is addictive….yeah, so addictive I gave it up after 2 years because I was sick of devoting so much of my time to nothing and getting nothing but crap back.”

    I would contend that ‘southern unionism’ is an oxymoron.Anyway you misread my posting.I said that the ‘victimology mindset’ was addictive.

    You strike me as being laden with the angst of the frustrated crusader who has tried to peddle wares that people simply do not want.The fact is that people in the south,Catholic,Protestant,and other ,are simply not into unionism.Rather than face the distasteful reality of this consumer resistance you predictably hide behind the rationalisations of sectarianism on the Catholic side and cowed silence on the Protestant.
    Any unionist who stood for election here got such a derisory vote that it was crystal clear that precious few Protestants could have voted for them.
    Incidentally,for clarification,what was your actual political objective vis a vis southern unionism ?
    An ROI return to the UK?
    The fact is you fervently,in your heart of hearts *want* to believe that there is significant anti-Protestantism in the ROI and will scrape every conceivable barrel in search of affirmation.
    The point must also be made (although I am open to revision on this one) that your assaults on sectarianism seem somewhat tunnel visionary insofar as I have yet to see one word of criticism of anti-Catholic sectarianism in NI,past or present, in any of your postings.This suggests a certain ambivalence –to put it at its mildest.

  • JD

    All these issues would be decided by the ‘people actually in NI’. Which is de facto independence.

    IJP

    I said that eventuality would only come about if there was an issue that Dublin or London could not agree upon. If the majority want something, they can still get it. And if that majority remains unionist in its sympathies, then so be it. De facto union.

    Other initiatives would be joint authority. I’d insist on the word joint.

    As I keep saying: neither UI nor UK. Something other. Joint Sovereignty is one option worth exploring. Independence for NI is another possibility.

    In fact the little model I squeezed out manages to include elements of union, UI and independence.

    I’m a little surprised you’re so resistant to these ideas. Just exercising my political imagination.

  • objectivist

    ”Graham Norton tells a different story Stephen.”
    This does not mean that he is right.The views of the utterer of the infamously macabre ‘Staying Alive’ joke following Maurice Gibb’s untimely death need not be taken very seriously.Also it must be pointed out that he launched his career through slagging off RCism -i.e. his appearances in Fr.Ted and his Mother Teresa drag act.
    Here again we have the classic Sartrean fallacy (vide supra)of selecting out the one opinionator (among probably 100)that delivers the desired opinion.
    As a rule of thumb it is worth reading the contributions in the letters pages of the Irish Times from Southern Protestants whenever this issue comes up-for example after one of David Trimble’s rants.These usually go at least 9 to 1 in favour of the ROI.
    What we also have here,vis-a-vis,Stephen is characteristic angst towards those irritating southern Prods who simply will not do what’s expected of them and whinge away like nobody’s business.
    Indeed it could be said that such is the scarcity of homegrown Prod malcontents that we have to import …..oops!

  • Davros

    The point Objectivist is that I know that Graham Norton is a real person. I have no way of knowing whether Stephen Copeland is a real person and whether he is as he claims a Southern prod, let alone whether or not his family have never met any discrimination.
    I’d take certain poster more seriously if they didn’t claim that the 26 counties are Utopia.

  • foreign correspondent

    Objectivist-
    you have several times mentioned a ‘sartrean fallacy’. Can you explain the expression. I only ever made one attempt at reading anything by Sartre, ‘Les Mots’ and I didn’t get very far.

    Davros-
    what did Graham Norton say about being a Protestant in the Republic?

  • objectivist

    Hell hath no fury like an Ulster Unionist diehard whose ROI-is-sectarian contention is faltly contradicted by his southern co-religionists.

    Incidentally a letter of mine published in the Bel Tel is of some relevance here:

    Dear Sir,
    I read with interest Steven King’s recent article ,‘A Tainted Idyll’, which defended David Trimble’s recent anti-R.O.I. philippics.He quite rightly draws attention to the number of prominent Southern Protestants ,many clerics included, who spring to the defence of the Republic and who throw a spanner in the works of the oft-stated Southern-Ireland–is-sectarian mantra.I’m convinced some Unionist commentators want to believe that the South is sectarian,irrespective of the objective facts, and view these said defenders as irritating flies in the ointment.

    This being the case the conveniently facile concept of the ‘Uncle Tom’ Southern Prod comes to the rescue – namely that they are spineless sycophants trying to keep onside with their Catholic co-nationals.However peddlers of this line,such as Steven King and Ruth Dudley Edwards, cannot but be impressed by the sheer lack of ‘Uncle Tomness’ of people like Shane Ross and Walton Empey.It’s a bit like describing Fr.Denis Faul as a Unionist lackey when he challenges some Republican myths.

    He refers to (without naming) the former T.D.,Ms.Alice Glenn:

    ‘Only as recently as the 1980s a prominent TD called Irish Protestants “enemies of the people”.’

    Far be it from me to take up the cudgels for Ms.Glenn but this untruth must not be let pass.Ms.Glenn used the term not against Protestants but as a catch-all term for advocates of the liberal agenda she was then strenuously opposing.

    Revealingly David Trimble became quite flustered and defensive when asked by a journalist, in the immediate aftermath of his ‘sectarian/monoethnic/monocultural’ speech, what evidence he could cite to back up his claims. Answer there was none for none was the answer.

    End of letter.

  • objectivist

    FC,
    Very simply this loosely involves ,for example if you have to make an important decision,asking for advice only from people whom you know will give the advice you want to hear and then trying to convince yourself afterwards that you made a balanced, informed decision.It also means reinforing your viewpoint by restricting yourself to sources,in the media, etc,that you know will tend to agree with that viewpoint -shinners reading APRN for example.Please don’t ask me to outline the exact source-it is so long ago.

  • Davros

    Davros-
    what did Graham Norton say about being a Protestant in the Republic?

    From a couple of articles :

    Irish Independent

    “Surprisingly, he says that growing up gay in rural Ireland was easier than being a Protestant because he was constantly made to feel different because of his religion.”

    and

    Belfast Telegraph

    ” In the life story, So Me, Norton said he was aware of his sexuality early on and didn’t fit in with other boys at Bandon Grammar School in Cork because of it.
    “I donned rugby costumes and clattered down the pitch with the rest of them,” he wrote.
    “But I was fooling no-one. They were like a pack of animals who smelled blood. It made me feel very excluded and lonely – it’s very hard to understand how alienating it is for a boy who can’t do what boys are meant to do.”
    But it appears his religion was more of a stigma.
    “I was sent to Protestant schools, so I never knew the neighbourhood kids, who were Catholic. But before I started school the other kids didn’t know I was a freak Protestant boy and happily played with me.” “

  • objectivist

    ”The point Objectivist is that I know that Graham Norton is a real person. I have no way of knowing whether Stephen Copeland is a real person and whether he is as he claims a Southern prod, let alone whether or not his family have never met any discrimination.”

    Wow!.What an accusation to make against poor Stephen who I’m sure will leap to his own defence in due course.This being the case how do we know that you are who/what you say you are.Personally I’m inclined to accept S.C’s bona fides for the simple reason that it echoes so closely what I personally hear from ‘real life’ southern Protestants.
    In terms of the central issue here I can ,figuratively-speaking, call as my witnesses,among the southern Protestant population,guys like Martin Mansergh,Shane Ross,and David Armstrong.You can call Graham Norton.
    ‘Nuff said.

    ”I’d take certain poster more seriously if they didn’t claim that the 26 counties are Utopia.”

    Who made this claim and when? Utopia it is not.But,having lived in 4 countries,I am inclined to agree with Economist Magazine that it is as good as it gets.

  • Davros

    What an accusation to make against poor Stephen who I’m sure will leap to his own defence in due course.

    Eh ? What “accusation” and where ? I made an observation. I know that G.N. is a real person.
    After the behaviour of the poster who invented Ulsterman – and a few other i.d’s – I’m wary of acccepting unsubstantiated claims.

    This being the case how do we know that you are who/what you say you are.

    You don’t. This is the internet. Unless we start a
    private correspondence or you see me in the media or meet me in person you have no way of knowing who I am. I could be male or female, I could be in Belfast or Birmingham Alabama. For all I know S.C. could be an i.d you use.

  • maca

    The only thing i’ll say about the Norton case is that, in my own opinion, i’d imagine that you’d definitly get heaps more stick over being gay than being protestant. ;))

  • IJP

    JD

    I’m not being resistant, I’m being realistic.

    To simplify the issue, the question is where sovereignty for NI should lie. Should it lie in a) London; b) Dublin; c) both; or d) neither (i.e. Belfast).

    I’ve pointing out that c), in practice, does not work because effectively it becomes d). You’ve proved it yourself. What on earth is the point of London and Dublin sharing sovereignty if, when they don’t agree, Belfast has to step in? Why not then just put sovereignty in Belfast?!

    I’m all for people exploring all options, but I’m pointing out that c) isn’t an option.

    Sovereignty in London with certain aspects pooled, by international agreement, to Dublin is a possibility (indeed it could be argued it’s already the case). But that’s still a), not c).

    If you read German you’ll be interested in a wee place I visited last summer, Busingen, population 1,500 or so (www.buesingen.de). It is a German town surrounded completely by Switzerland. The two states agreed in 1964 that it would be considered, for customs and most fiscal purposes, part of Switzerland. Yet policing, signage, income tax, general administration and justice remain in German hands. So to an extent it is effectively part of Switzerland, but sovereignty remains in Berlin. That’s not joint or dual, it’s German with an agreement with Switzerland.

    Out of interest, I think all of that is pointless with regard to NI. We are not as British as Finchley, nor are we as Irish as Drumcondra. We have a different set of historical circumstances from anyone else in ‘these islands’. Wherever sovereignty ultimately lies, we’re going to have to take most of the responsibility for governing ourselves sooner rather than later. ‘Responsibility’, however, does not come easily to those who seek to represent only specific groups at the direct expense of others.

  • davidbrew

    Funny how Stephen Copeland only appears to blog when this issue arises, though. And while his views are interesting, they certainly aren’t typical, as if I recall correctly he was a Campbell College inmate- hardly the typical Southern Prod background, who lived in Belfast. he was also supposed to send someone a bottle of claret… but never did :0).

    I too have spoken to people from the Protestant background, in Bandon, Dublin, Manorcunningham, Monaghan,and numerous places. Many, though by no means all, have been Orangemen-ok, not a majority participation group for Protestants anywhere, but I believe their experiences, that at particular times in the past 80 years there have been occasions when they have been made unwelcome in their own communities. They say this is true of their community in varying degrees in various places. This has obviously decreased in frequency and severity since the 1920s, but the denial that things such as Dunmanway and Altnaveigh ever happened ( cue long piece from George here telling us how it was the democratically mandated heroes of the IRA policing spies and fifth columnists at this point)is the root of the problem.

    I’m also aware of a more general , almost benign , portrayal of protestants generally by ther wider community-as dour, hardworking,but essentially honest, and generally distant from others in the community – possibly because “they have all the besht land and all the besht jobsh!” (copyright langerland.com). Like all stereotypes, it has the seeds of racism in it, and the fact that none of these attributes is particularly odious only slightly mitigates it.

    of course I’m not aware of any sustained or officially instigated campaign against protestants
    -just as I’m not aware of any official recognition that there were ever any anti-Protestant acts by the IRA or institutional sectarianism ( and if the Metropolitan Police is institionally racist the Irish state sure as hell is institutionally sectarian- though whether it actually has any real effect on anyone is debatable).

    Is sectarianism worse in the North than the South? of course. Is that because Protestants are inherently more sectarian? No- much more likely to do with the “managability” of an unwilling minority in the South? Is the South justified in its complacency about the perception among some Protestants, North and South , that it does not respect their ethos? Only if you subscribe to the view that minorities should just put up with the views of the majority- interestingly enough a view often expressed in the past by Unionist leaders and the subject of horrified condemnation by nationalists in NI.

  • George

    Davidbrew,
    not a long post. You mention Dunmanway. It was after the truce so the war war was over so it was murder. I accept that.

    But do you accept that those murdered in Dunmanway after the truce were loyalist paramilitaries who had been involved in sectarian murders in the area during the War of Independence?

  • Davros

    Good post David.

  • smcgiff

    ‘The only thing i’ll say about the Norton case is that, in my own opinion, i’d imagine that you’d definitly get heaps more stick over being gay than being protestant. ;))’

    Lets face it, if you didn’t know Norton was Gay (if that were possible) and didn’t know his religion, I’m guessing he’d get on your average person’s T*TS. Far too much energy.

  • Fergus

    It wasn’t so long ago that the Irish government allowed the “Rev” Ian Paisley and his cronies to march over a bridge of the River Boyne in the Republic so how can the Protestant community claim
    they are being discriminated against?

  • Davros

    Fergus – since when was Ian Paisley a Southern protestant ? If only…..

    In the sixties I remember watching AOH marches … does that mean there was no discrimination against
    Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland ?

  • davidbrew

    “But do you accept that those murdered in Dunmanway after the truce were loyalist paramilitaries who had been involved in sectarian murders in the area during the War of Independence?”

    Not for one minute, in the absence of pretty unambiguous proof. Funny how republicans in each
    succedding generation justify their killings by smearing the victim- ask the McConvilles.

  • Fergus

    Correct me if I’m wrong Davros but is the Orange Order’s official title not the Orange Order of Ireland which has members throughout the island and not just in the north? So, it doesn’t really matter which side of the “border” the Protestants come from. Also, you mentioned the Hibernians. Yes, they are affiliated to the R.C Church but they are not a sectarian organisation such as the Orangemen who are not even allowed to go to a R.C wedding or Funeral.

  • Davros

    Not to mention the McCartneys David – for example there’s one low-life still posting innuendo about mortgages on Slugger.

  • Davros

    So, it doesn’t really matter which side of the “border” the Protestants come from.

    it does if we are discussing discrimination on a day to day basis at ground level against Southern protestants ….

    Also, you mentioned the Hibernians. Yes, they are affiliated to the R.C Church but they are not a sectarian organisation

    Protestants CANNOT join. It is an exclusively RC organisation. The question stands – if a few parades by Orangemen in the ROI means there’s no discrimination, then a few parades by RCs in the 60’s by your logic destroys the NICRA case.

  • Brayo

    This argument has run its course. It is very clear to any rational-mided unbiased person that sectarian-driven discrimination is practically non-existent in ROI.

    The Rte story was vague and lacked any substance whatsoever.

    The articulated postings of objectivist have annihilated the flimsy disingenuous arguments put forward by Davros Rebecca Black and davidbrew, which are also severely lacking in any substance or evidence.

    I suspect you three already know that (if you are honest with yourselves), but you are clinging to the illusion to counter-balance the disgraceful sectarianism that has always thrived north of the border.

  • George

    Davidbrew,
    Not for one minute? Strange because two of those killed in Dunmanway murdered an Irish Defence Forces officer and all were on a list of Black and Tan informers.

    Hopefully, you do accept that there was extensive loyalist paramilitary activity in the area and that local loyalist paramilitaries worked in close conjunction with the occupying British forces, and that they used “extra-legal retribution” on the nationalist population.

    I hope you also accept, as the British themselves did at the time, that the area around Bandon was unique in that it used the promotion of unionist sectarianism in support of the British presence.

  • Fergus

    Well said Brayo. There isn’t even a comparison.

  • barnshee

    George Just change a few words

    Hopefully, you do accept that there was extensive REPUBLICAN paramilitary activity in the area and that local REPUBLICAN paramilitaries worked in close conjunction with the GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC, and that they used “extra-legal retribution” on the PROTESTANTpopulation.

    I hope you also accept, as the IRISH themselves did at the time, that the area around BELFAST it used ROMAN CATHOLIC sectarianism in support of the IRA

    See how easy it is?

  • George

    Barnshee,
    you appear to be engaging in semantics, I am engaging in what happened. I also recommend you read more than Peter Hart’s accounts.

    But anyway I suppose the difference would be that when the War of Independence ended both pro and anti Treaty forces, including Tom Barry, vehemently denounced such actions as the murders in Dunmanway and made energetic efforts to protect those vulnerable to attack by thugs.

    Another thing is while there is much talk even today of northern Catholic support for the maintenance of the union there is very little talk of the strong southern Protestant support for the War of Independence.

    After all, outside of Ulster, the Unionist Party got just 36,000 votes in the 1918 Westminster election.

    Also, there is little mention of British and Protestant (COI) church admitting that there was an the absence of sectarianism among those fighting for Irish independence.

    Who do I believe? The British and the COI or Peter Hart?

  • Davros

    Also, there is little mention of British and Protestant (COI) church admitting that there was an the absence of sectarianism among those fighting for Irish independence.

    I notice you don’t mention the discussions of sectarian attacks carried by the Church of Ireland Gazette in 1922….

  • George

    Davros,
    I am quite happy to quote the COI Gazette.

    It wrote: “the small Protestant minority is at the mercy of local bands of lawless men who have learnt the use of the revolver for obtaining the property of others which they covet”.

    They do not refer to the Irish Defence Forces fighting the War of Independence.

    As I said in my previous post, if you cared to read it, “when the War of Independence ended both pro and anti Treaty forces, including Tom Barry, vehemently denounced such actions as the murders in Dunmanway and made energetic efforts to protect those vulnerable to attack by thugs.”

    I used the word “thugs”, the COI Gazette used “lawless men”.

    Maybe you could tell me what the A,B and C Specials did for the Catholic population of Belfast who were also “at the mercy of local bands of lawless men who have learnt the use of the revolver”. Tell me about their public denunciations.

    Oh I forgot, they were the lawless men with the revolvers.

  • Davros

    That you have to retreat into Belfast whataboutery is a wonderful admission that you are beaten George 🙂

  • George

    What are you talking about Davros? You said I didn’t mention the COI Gazette so I did.

    I’m not saying “what about”, I am asking whether there were denunciations and efforts to protect the vulnerable Catholic minority in Belfast like there were by the Irish authorities?

    Was there a Unionist equivalent of Tom Barry, one of the heroes of the War of Independence, who stood up and denounced sectarian thugs?

    Well were there?

    I find it very interesting that you don’t object to me saying the NI state militia were the driving force behind the Belfast Pogroms. In other words, that there was an official policy of driving Catholics from their homes.

    How about addressing the issue rather than beginning down the patronisation path you tread so often?

    Or are you like Gerry, you don’t go into the politics of condemnation.

  • Davros

    Sorry George, you played the game and lost 🙂

    Events in Belfast have no relevence to whether or not there is/was sectarian discrimination in the free state/ROI.

    I would however be interested in a source for your claim that the church of Ireland said there was no sectarianism.

  • George

    Davros,
    What game are talking about? Obviously as you appear to have been the only playing this game of yours, the chances are you crowned yourself victor.

    Congratulations on winning your game, it certainly seems to have put a virtual smile on your posting face, pity I was too busy concentrating on the arguement to even realise there was a game in play.

    Anyway, when you have finished playing with yourself let me know by addressing the issues raised and we can resume the argument.

    In the meantime, it looks like what i wrote will remain unchallenged. That speaks for itself.

  • davidbrew

    “Hopefully, you do accept that there was extensive loyalist paramilitary activity in the area and that local loyalist paramilitaries worked in close conjunction with the occupying British forces, and that they used “extra-legal retribution” on the nationalist population. “

    well indeed, you’re quire right George- in act of stunning pig headedness a small helpless minority of the population – lead by evil octogenarian superspy Mrs Lindsay of Coachford and her doddery butler -cut a swathe of terror and bloodshed through the peaceful community of West Cork, using all their financial muscle of living in rundown big old stately houses, or small farms.

    Funny how this secret paramilitary organisation remains secret to this day given the prods’ less than brilliant record at preventing infiltration by outsiders. Perhaps it’s still on the go, chief of staff David Noris, Quartemaster Shane P Ross ,waiting for the day of judgment to separate the sheep from the goats.Or perhaps its just a pathetic attempt to justify murdering defenceless unarmed people because they held different views. Yes, that’ll be it.

  • Ringo

    This is getting ridiculous. So, Graham Norton? So what?

    Davros, I can’t believe you resorted to using a tabloid autobiography of a publicity craving, duracell bunny as the only shred of evidence that Protestants suffer discrimination in the Republic. Is it really stretching the imagination to say that maybe, just maybe, Graham’s isolation from other children was down to his personality, not his religion, despite what he thinks? As far as I’m concerned the man is a tit. I never for a moment though he was a Protestant (why would I?), probably because of his memorable, almost cameo like appearance as a priest in Fr. Ted.

    George/Davros etc..
    There is no point in going back to the 20’s. It serves no one any use. I genuinely don’t know who’s entitled to the moral high ground, but either way it isn’t going to be all that high. And it merely serves as a distraction from the nub of this thread – the spurious contention that there is a significant level of discrimination against Protestants in the Republic. I don’t know why you’re always so eager to go back to the 20’s George, considering the shameful acts that occured in the civil war. How would the episodes between orange and green be any more palatable?

    Nor is there any point in viewing the situation in the republic through the prism of the North –
    i.e. a simple role reversal, swapping Catholics with Protestants, OO with AOH, An Garda with the PSNI. This gives the impression that the two societies are similar, and therefore it would be logical to assume that the same behavioural patterns exist. Well there is much common ground, but the fundamental difference between NI and the Republic and NI and Britain is the sectarian conflict. Hard as it may be to believe for Northerners, they (protestants in the Republic) are us and we are them.

    We are facing massive social challenges in the Republic and we’ve some serious soul searching to do, particularly in preventing rascism and helping our non-nationals avoid being subjected to the very discrimination that so much time has been wasted on this thread. But no amount of Lord Laird-like mock concern from North of the border is going to convince us we’ve a problem with sectarianism when the indigineous Protestant population has no such worries.

    PS David Brew – whats the story behind Mrs Lindsay of Coachford – I’ve seen bits and pieces on the web (I’m interested because I lived outside the village for a short while). Any idea exacly where she lived?

  • maca

    Right, that’s it lads. Boring the tits off everyone will not be tolerated, such a heinous act must be dealt with severely. Ref, send em off! 😉

  • JD

    I’ve pointing out that c), in practice, does not work because effectively it becomes d). You’ve proved it yourself. What on earth is the point of London and Dublin sharing sovereignty if, when they don’t agree, Belfast has to step in? Why not then just put sovereignty in Belfast?!

    IJP

    Things seem to have moved on thanks to Graham Norton’s experiences in Cork, but I’ll just say that I disagree with your analysis which I feel is a little precipitous. You are taking an exception and making it the rule in an effort to collapse the distinction I’m trying to make. NI deciding only happens if Dublin and London cannot agree.

    What I’m suggesting is all about trying to share sovereignty. I’ve tried to make it clear that the schema I’m exploring is an attempt to negotiate joint sovereignty without it simply becoming full-blown independence.

    In other words I’m trying to outline a model where there is a distinction between jointed sovereignty and independence. It’s a hybrid.

    I might just add that I have some reservations about independence, but it’s also something that’s worth exploring.

  • IJP

    JD

    I am making the point (not to you, I have to add, as you didn’t introduce the idea) that de jure joint sovereignty is utterly a non-starter. The ultimate question is who, in the event of no consensus, decides? And the answer you give (quite correctly) in the context I responded to is ‘the people actually in NI’. Which is the same as independence.

    If you personally (and my initial comments weren’t addressed to you) are looking at ways of pooling sovereignty between London and Dublin, then I sort of see your point. I have given Buesingen as one of several such examples. But ultimately someone has to take the final decision. In the case of Buesingen, it’s Berlin (i.e. de jure; despite the fact most of the decisions affecting it are, in practice, taken in Bern). In the case of NI, if that’s London, that’s a) (the Union); if that’s Dublin, it’s b) (a ‘United Ireland’); if it’s ‘the people actually in NI’, it’s d) (independence).

    Those three, and those three alone (in reality), are the specific constitutional options open. Even then, officially, under the Agreement, the latter is ruled out.

    If you personally are putting other things ahead of those three options, saying that no matter which of the three is chosen some degree of ‘Irish’, some degree of ‘British’ and some degree of ‘local’ is necessary, then I’m with you 100% – and you and I need to join the same coalition fast!!

  • Davros

    Ringo mate – I was countering one dubious autobiography with another 😉

  • JD

    In the case of NI, if that’s London, that’s a) (the Union); if that’s Dublin, it’s b) (a ‘United Ireland’); if it’s ‘the people actually in NI’, it’s d) (independence).

    Only if there’s a question on which Dublin and London cannot agree (and the onus would be on them to agree on everything they possibly can), am I suggesting putting the deadlock to people in NI within the framework of joint sovereignty (I’m softening the edges here, I realise).

    If the people as a whole vote in favour of, say, the London proposal, then that would be the policy implemented within the shared framework. It would be “unionist.” De facto unionism. If it went with Dublin, the result would be “nationalist.” De facto UI. If neither, then that would be a truly independent decision. De facto independence. The point being that all of these options would be in play at once. Bringing the vote to the people of NI would only happen if London and Dublin absolutely could not agree.

    Anyway, thanks for the input IJP. Interesting stuff.

    If you personally are putting other things ahead of those three options, saying that no matter which of the three is chosen some degree of ‘Irish’, some degree of ‘British’ and some degree of ‘local’ is necessary, then I’m with you 100% – and you and I need to join the same coalition fast!!

    I agree. I’m against denying anyone their national identity. It hasn’t worked in the past and I doubt it’ll suddenly start to work.

    It’s been said before, but the “all or nothing” aspect of the GFA is troubling.

  • IJP

    JD

    Just to finish up on that one, Chancellor Schroeder of Germany on a recent visit to Denmark said (my loose translation):

    ‘Our two countries have a lot to teach the world about politics to deal with minorities. The objective since 1945 has been not to force people to adopt identities, but to allow people freely to express them.’

    Now I don’t remember too many bombs going off in Schleswig-Holstein (the area on the Dano-German border) since 1945. So, there’s our thought for the day…!