It's That Man Again

Seems like buses, or Orange marches – nothing for ages then a bunch come along together.
UTV carries a press association story that could raise a few hackles –
Laird wins Hevesi backing on jobs – as it is claimed that Lord Laird has “secured the backing of an eminent American businessman to tackle alleged discrimination against Protestants in the Irish Republic.”

Lord Laird said Alan Hevesi, controller of the £66 billion New York State retirement fund, will join him in putting pressure on Dublin to tackle the claim.

Mr Hevesi, a long-term critic of employment practices in Northern Ireland, endorsed the campaign after he announced he was committing £3.75m towards business development in the country.

Lord Laird claimed discrimination was particularly acute in County Donegal where he said Protestants make up 11% of the workforce but hold only 1% of civil service jobs.

He hailed Mr Hevesi`s endorsement as a “human rights breakthrough”.

The veteran peer said: “I very much applaud this initiative and the fact that Mr Hevesi has offered me his full support.

“It is only through people of his stature that we will be able to stop the discrimination and marginalisation of the pro-British and Ulster-Scots Protestant community across the border.

“I shall be in contact with Mr Hevesi shortly with a view to moving this campaign on and forcing the Dublin government to act.

Possibly of greater importance in real terms is the news that after championing US investment in NI for some time Mr Hevesi will be committing funds from The “New York Retirement Fund” into “Crescent Capital” – linked to Invest Northern ireland.

Today he said that progress was being made and the disparity between Catholic and Protestant employment opportunities was closing.

Announcing his investment, he said: “Northern Ireland represents tremendous opportunities for growth and prosperity, regardless of religious, political or any other affiliation.”

He added: “We are investing in Crescent Capital II because the fund represents an excellent opportunity, with the potential to create new jobs and economic prosperity for all communities by providing local technology companies with much-needed capital so they can grow and thrive here in Northern Ireland.”

As the article makes clear, this is a vote of confidence in the progress being made in a return to normality via the ongoing peace process.

  • Ciarán Irvine

    in County Donegal where he said Protestants make up 11% of the workforce but hold only 1% of civil service jobs

    What’s with Norn Prods and this fixation on public sector work? Pushing paper or fixing potholes for the council aren’t considered the completely brilliant must-have envy-of-your-friends jobs in the Republic that they seem to be in the subsidised and dependent North.

    the pro-British and Ulster-Scots Protestant community across the border

    Who, frankly, don’t exist.

    Any bets that when Laird spends a few million on taxis around Donegal and manages to find not a single shred of evidence to support his latest fantastical ravings, it will of course be down to, ummm, Sinn Féin/IRA intimidation of the downtrodden Loyal British Pradisins of Donegal who are too terrified to give the evidence of the appalling yoke of tyranny they toil under to nice Mr Laird.

    You can’t win with these people…

  • maca

    Would it be wrong of me to say that while I acknowledge we have problems in Ireland which need to be sorted I feel Laird should use his time and other peoples money to tackle problems closer to home?

    “pro-British and Ulster-Scots Protestant community across the border”
    So he’s not concerned with alleged discimination against the pro-Irish protestant community … or ..?

  • Ricardo

    Ciaran

    ‘What’s with Norn Prods and this fixation on public sector work?’

    Perhaps he was just using this example to prove his point?

    ‘You can’t win with these people…’

    who are ‘these people’?

  • Davros

    What’s with Norn Prods and this fixation on public sector work? Pushing paper or fixing potholes for the council aren’t considered the completely brilliant must-have envy-of-your-friends jobs in the Republic that they seem to be in the subsidised and dependent North.

    What % of workers in the ROI are in public sector work? I seem to recall that discrimination in public Service employment was deemed rather important by Northern RCs in the past …..

  • Setanta

    Some of the Protestants in Donegal and south of the border should just go on RTE and tell this guy where
    to go. He is living in Lala land.

  • Ciarán Irvine

    What % of workers in the ROI are in public sector work? I seem to recall that discrimination in public Service employment was deemed rather important by Northern RCs in the past …..

    Disingenuous in the extreme Davros. When public-sector jobs are the only jobs available getting access to them becomes a whole lot more important. And when the civil service has a 50-year legacy of naked bigotry in decision making (Coleraine University, anyone?), getting some of your own in there to try and at least get some sort of decisions going the way of the tribe is also much more important.

    Public sector employees as a whole are about 30% of the workforce nationally. Socially and culturally in the Republic civil service jobs are seen as being for losers who can’t hack a real day’s work. I know the opposite is the case in the North. I seriously doubt there’s an organised campaign to keep Pradisins away from pothole-fixing duties in Donegal.

    I’m from that part of the country. I spent most of my childhood and teenage years knocking about Inishowen and Letterkenny. I lived and worked in Letterkenny for two years (1999 and 2000). I know loads of Donegal Prods, including more than one ex-girlfriend.

    Laird is, to be blunt, away with the fairies and desperately trying to invent some sort of deranged premise to “prove” that there’s a huge number of British Loyal Ulcermen who would dearly love to be back in the arms of Mutha, but who are living a life of terror in the Papist-controlled vampire rebel dictatorship over the border.

    Ricardo – “these people” are the likes of Laird desperate to insist that Protestant==British and to drive a religio-ethnic wedge between the peoples of the Republic, exporting Northern bigotry and divisiveness. He’ll cheefully make up whatever numbers he wants to “prove” discrimination, then cry endlessly till he gets the money to study the “effects of discrimination on British Ulster-Scot Protestants in Donegal”. Such people don’t exist in the first place, so when the massively expensive survey turns up not a shred of evidence whatsoever to back up Laird’s (increasingly deranged) claims, he’ll turn it on its head and proclaim that the lack of evidence is in itself evidence of just how terrified and oppressed the British Ulster-Scot Protestants of Donegal really are.

    It’s a tired old script, and nobody on this side of the border is daft enough to fall for it.

  • Davros

    Disingenuous in the extreme Davros.

    I resent that Ciarán. It’s a simple question in response to the implied claim that discrimination in public sector jobs in the ROI doesn’t matter ….ESPECIALLY as I would assume that public sector jobs would be important for employment in areas which don’t attract a lot of industrial developement!

    Setting aside my anger at your ad hominem attack, You seem to be supporting the idea that discrimination is OK in the Public sector but not
    in the private sector. Your reaction makes me think that Laird could actually be onto something.

  • Ringo

    Your reaction makes me think that Laird could actually be onto something.

    Has the benefit of proof you require really dropped to this level, Davros?

  • Rebecca Black

    “Who, frankly, don’t exist.”

    they do Ciaren, just because they tend to be fairly quiet doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Look at the parade at Rosnowlagh (spelling?!) and organisations such as the Reform Movement.

    I heard recently that the Orange Order is actually growing in the republic at the min, and as well all know that its a backward prods only organisation, it must be southern prods joining and therefore they do exist.

  • Davros

    what do you mean by ‘benefit of proof’ Ringo ?

    Ciarán’s reaction is not “proof”, merely circumstantial evidence that at least one Person in the ROI has an attitude problem towards protestants.

    So, can anybody tell me how important Public sector jobs are in terms of % of workforce in the ROI ?

  • Ringo

    Rebecca –

    And are you inferring that the increase in numbers in the OO suggests that this phanthom discrimiation is actually increasing?

    Honestly, having spent a number of years here is that your experience, or is the increase in OO numbers due to the complete opposite – namely due to the increasing openness towards the manifestation of ‘other’ cultures on the island?

    Also correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t the OO a Protestant organisation rather than a British organisation?

  • Ciarán Irvine

    merely circumstantial evidence that at least one Person in the ROI has an attitude problem towards protestants

    Aye right. I grew up in a border village that was 90% Protestant, I know God knows how many Protestants, both northern and southern. A good chunk of my family is Protestant.

    I find a lot of people from the north just can’t get their heads around the fact that in the south religion is an utter non-issue. Don’t go projecting your inadequacies or nothern obsessions onto me.

    So, can anybody tell me how important Public sector jobs are in terms of % of workforce in the ROI ?

    I already told you. It’s about 30%.

  • Ricardo

    Ciaran

    ‘I find a lot of people from the north just can’t get their heads around the fact that in the south religion is an utter non-issue.’

    You are getting in an awful flap about this non issue, lol

  • Rebecca Black

    “And are you inferring that the increase in numbers in the OO suggests that this phanthom discrimiation is actually increasing?”

    no, nothing of the sort, I don’t know or think much about the storyline about protestants being discriminated against in the Irish Civil Service. I think its possibly making a mountain out of a molehill, I would have to heard about it from more than one source before I developed an opinion on it.

    I just jumped in when I saw Ciaran deny there were a section of the population in the republic who were pro-British. There most definitely is, I know quite a few of them in Dublin.

    You are right, the Orange Order are a protestant organisation but anyone who would think about joining the OO we can pretty much guarentee to be pro-British.

  • Ciarán Irvine

    Has the benefit of proof you require really dropped to this level, Davros?

    As I was saying Ringo. Some people are determined to believe that Protestant==British, and that the southern State is based on oppressing Protestants. Evidence is irrelevant, this is a matter of belief and faith.

    When you already believe something to be fundamentally true as a matter of faith, anything becomes “proof” to validate what you already believe. If it was revealed that 32 in every 100 Donegal Protestants bought Japanese cars, somebody somewhere would construct a post-hoc rationalization to “prove” that this was evidence of the global Papist conspiracy to eradicate Ulcer Pradisins.

  • Ringo

    And because of Ciaran’s attitute you think that Laird could actually be onto something.

    I am asking you if what you said is what you mean – that Ciaran’s attitude is enough to make you take the word of the Lord Laird. Well, is it?
    You seem very eager to find favour with the good Lord’s position…

    As for the public service jobs – I’m sure you’ll be able to find that information yourself. It is pretty useless unless you are suggesting that they are evenly spread throughout the country? And equally, evenly spread throughout Donegal? And that Protestants are equally spread through all urban and rural areas in Donegal?

  • Ringo

    You are getting in an awful flap about this non issue, lol

    It became tedious a long time ago, Ricardo.

    Being told by Lord Laird we have a problem with discrimination regarding white Christians of a non-Roman Catholic denomination is like being told we have and AIDS epidemic by Thabo Mbeki.

  • maca

    Rebecca
    “anyone who would think about joining the OO we can pretty much guarentee to be pro-British”

    Well one of the aims of the OO is the maintenance of the union with Britain so that in itself might exclude quite a few pro-Irish protestants.

  • Alan McDonald

    Good afternoon all.

    When I saw this article on UTV yesterday (and later in the Scotsman), I found it very curious. The longer, companion article about the Hevesi investment is in the NewsLetter at Huge Pension Fund To Invest £4m In Ulster.

    As an American from New York state, I am very encouraged that part of our state pension fund will be invested in high tech start-ups in Northern Ireland. The fact that Alan Hevesi, the New York State Comptroller, now wants to invest new money in the private sector tells me two important things:

    1. The economic situation in Northern Ireland is now stable enough to allow prudent off shore investors to expect a return on their investments, and

    2. Problems associated with past discrimination have been corrected.

    My second conslusion is based on the fact that, as New York City Comptroller, Hevesi described himself as “the chief enforcement officer for New York City’s MacBride Principles legislation combating religious discrimination in the North.” (see this April 26, 2000 press release)

    All of this makes it very unlikely, in my opinion, that Alan Hevesi ever said anything like what Lord Laird claims he said.

  • George

    Davros,
    according to the Department of Finance, there were 281,000 or 14% of the workforce in the Irish public sector at the end of 2004. To put that in perspective there have been 630,000 jobs created by small and medium sized firms in the last ten years.

    Although a healthy 42,000 euros a year was the average wage, Ciarán is right when he says southern Irish Protestants set their sights a lot higher than the public sector and a position in the Department of Social and Family Affairs in Letterkenny.

    Southern Irish Protestant parents, who for the most part pay thousands upon thousands to have their children educated in elite schools like St. Andrews, would be absolutely horrified at the thought of their children forging a career in the public sector when 100k plus salaries are on offer in the Four Courts.

    Rebecca,
    “just jumped in when I saw Ciaran deny there were a section of the population in the republic who were pro-British. There most definitely is, I know quite a few of them in Dublin.”

    I was born and bred in Dublin and never met a single southern unionist in all my years there. How many southern unionists have you met and who were they?

    I am genuinely interested in hearing how big this section is. I would say less than a hundred out of a population of 1.4 million myself.

  • Davros

    Aye right. I grew up in a border village that was 90% Protestant, I know God knows how many Protestants, both northern and southern. A good chunk of my family is Protestant.

    some of my best friends are …..

    I already told you. It’s about 30%.

    Eventually . You dodged the question in your insulting 12.06 post.

    OK – 30% for the ROI as a whole – what is the % in Donegal ?

    been an interesting thread – Laird has made accusations of discrimination – rather than posters addressing the accusations he has been attacked- and questions are obviously not welcomed.

    Something to hide ?

  • Davros

    To put that in perspective there have been 630,000 jobs created by small and medium sized firms in the last ten years.

    To keep it in perspective – how many of those created Jobs are still functional ? I dare say quite a few of the jobs listed as having been created 10 years ago have since gone. Not being difficult here, but “Jobs created in the past 10 years” can mean a lot of different things – same as the claims for Jobs that will be created at Sprucefield developement(John Lewis) which has been given the go-ahead.

  • Ringo

    Do you think I’m hiding something Davros?

    Or is that just a stock answer to get you out of a hole?

    Please have the courtesy to answer the question I posed in my 1:40pm post instead of pretending other people are being evasive.

  • Ciarán Irvine

    some of my best friends are …..

    Wise up Davros. We’re talking all my neighbours as a child, all my childhood and teenage friends from my village, members of my family, ex girlfriends…….

    Your attitude I find exceptionally insulting. I consider myself as much a Donegal man as a Derry man, considering that the vast bulk of my formative experiences in the teens and early 20s were spent in Inishowen. My oldest and best friends are from Muff, Moville, Carndonagh. Just last weekend I was at a birthday party in Letterkenny of a friend from Moville. You and Loony Laird are going out of your way to suggest that everyone I know in the area is either a) Catholics who like to oppress Prods or b) Prods being oppressed.

    Laird is flat plain out wrong, and is also hysterically labelling people I’ve known all my life and forcing them into the above two boxes. This topic is a sick joke.

    Make hysterical, slanderous, bigoted and absolutely false accusations against my friends and family and I will respond with all the utter contempt that this nonsense deserves.

    Eventually . You dodged the question in your insulting 12.06 post

    Being disengenuous again I see. You first asked the question in your 12.12 post “What % of workers in the ROI are in public sector work?”. My very next post at 12.46 said “Public sector employees as a whole are about 30% of the workforce nationally”. How you consider that to be “eventually” and “dodging the question” I have no idea.

    Mendacious in the extreme, quite frankly.

  • Davros

    Ciarán – it’s a bit late to be complaining about insults when you attacked what was a reasonable question. Why the attack ? Why not address the issue rather than attack me for asking a polite and pertinent question? Which I see you did answer, apologies – and if anybody is getting hysterical it’s you Ciarán.

    I still wonder why you seem to write in effect that discrimination against Protestants wouldn’t matter as long as it was only Public sector jobs ?
    ( “When public-sector jobs are the only jobs available getting access to them becomes a whole lot more important.” )

    Now – I’ll bet that the ROI average 30% is LOW for Donegal …and that Public sector Jobs make as high or HIGHER a % of job opportunities as they were in NI during the 1960’s and 70’s – so where does that leave the Donegal prod compared to the NI catholic of the past – where you say HIS/HER right to fair employment in the Public sector mattered but Protestants right to fair employment in the Public sector don’t really matter in Donegal/ROI ?

    So far you have attacked me and attacked Laird.

    I’ll draw my own conclusions

  • Me

    In case anyone hasn’t noticed – Lord Laird is a preposterous, bigotted buffoon – if people keep giving him the oxygen of publicity he may soon turn into a preposterous, biggoted buffoon that some (admittedly facile) people actually listen to.

  • Ciarán Irvine

    Draw whatever conclusions make you feel all snuggly and warm, re-affirmed in the belief that there’s a massive conspiracy against Protestants in Donegal even though you never lived there, most likely don’t know anyone from there Catholic or Protestant, there’s absolutely no evidence whatsoever for it and it’s all been made up out of thin air by a man, Lord Lord, who is a bit of a clown with a penchant for self-aggrandizement and making stuff up. Go on, whatever floats your boat. You’re determined to believe something that simply isn’t true, and you’ll find some way to concoct a set of numbers that, in your head, prove that Protestants in Donegal are one step away from staving to death in abject poverty because the Fenians are hell-bent on oppressing them.

    You were the one started whatabouting, trying to compare the civil rights campaign in the north of the 60s to the (fictional) locking-out of Protestants from civil service jobs.

    No matter how much you might want to believe it, there is no comparison. The situation of northern Catholics under Old Stormont and southern Protestants since 1921 are just not remotely similar in any way whatsoever. The old “both sides as bad as one another” in this case simply is not true, so you can’t use that to make yourself feel better.

    You are projecting, and adding all sorts of layers of “hidden” meanings to my posts that simply don’t exist anywhere except in your head, because you have to find “evidence” that what you already believe is true despite that fact that what you believe is a load of unadulterated raving nonsense.

    Harsh, but there it is. You and Laird are wrong. Donegal Protestants are not oppressed. They don’t need, or want, or appreciate, northern paranoid obsessive religio-ethnic fanatics trying to drive a wedge between them and their neighbours just because some people can’t stand the idea of a mixed faith community getting along just fine. Upsets the view of the natural order of things, you see – Protestants are British and Catholics want to oppress them so we must maintain the Seige and divisions at all costs.

    Nothing to see here. Move along. Get over it.

  • Davros

    Ringo – I won’t include you or maca in the gang, but there are a few posters here from the 26 counties who want to ask questions about the 6 counties but become aggressive and abusive if and when anybody from the 6 counties asks similar questions about their own country.

    If RCs are thought to be seriously under-represented as employees in a Unioninst run council questions should be asked, just as they are being asked of Down Council about apparent under-representation of protestants.

    Down Council :

    Council hired 80% Catholics

    ” 27 January 2005
    A probe has been demanded into the recruitment policies of Down District Council after it was discovered that Catholics filled 80% of job vacancies over a seven-year stretch.
    From 1997 to 2003, 485 jobs were advertised and only 101 were filled by Protestants.
    The latest figures show that in 2003 Protestants constituted less than a quarter of the permanent workforce, holding only 69 of 291 positions.”

    Why in Gods name shouldn’t we ask the same questions about employment in the ROI ?

    Attacking the questioner is not only against the rules but it leaves the attacker open to the charge that they are trying to hide something.

  • Ciarán Irvine

    Yup Davros, you’ve got me bang to rights, I’m quaking in my boots cos Laird has finally uncovered the dirty little secret of the massive organised campaign of oppression against Protestants in Donegal that me and my friends and family have been up to against our friends and family for the last 80 years.

    Yup, that’s it alright. I’m away now to burn all the records before Laird names me and my position as a key organiser of all this in the House of Lords.

  • Davros

    More man playing from Ciarán.

    Rather than slag off people Ciarán, why not disprove what Laird says about employment in Donegal ?

    I suspect I know the answer to that – because there’s at least some truth in what he has said.

    NICRA was raised because it was implied that it’s OK to discriminate in Public sector employment- and you don’t seem to have a problem with that.

    Your man-playing makes you sound like one of those 1960’s Unionists I remember trying to pretend that “there’s not a problem in NI, No discrimination, all is well and the questions being asked are malicious.” Irony or what ?

  • Ciarán Irvine

    Suspect all you like Davros. It’s all in your head. And as I said earlier, in 2 years time after Laird has spent a few million on this campaign and uncovered absolutely nothing at all, you’ll see that as evidence that the Donegal Prods are too scared to speak about the awful atrocities inflicted on them.

    Here, I’m too busy to try and pierce the veil of wilful ignorance, hysteria and paranoia.

    I’m away off to oppress my Prod brother-in-law. He’s in Cavan, but we must extend the good work from Donegal! Plus there’s reports in of a few uppity Prods in Muff and Carn have been seen not bowing to their lawful Catholic overlords. I thik I’ll sell their children into slavery, that’ll learn them!

    I tell ye, coordinating campaigns of oppression isn’t easy. I should petition the Vatican for a pay rise.

  • Ringo

    Look at it this way Davros – the day when you think it is a ridiculous question to be asked what % of the employees of Down Co. are Protestant, not because you’ve something to hide, but because it is irrelevant will be a good day, not a bad day.

  • Davros

    Ciarán – try this approach :

    “Lord Laird claimed discrimination was particularly acute in County Donegal where he said Protestants make up 11% of the workforce but hold only 1% of civil service jobs.”

    Is this figure correct?

    If it’s not, if there is approximately 10% protestant employment in the work force no more need be said.

    If the figures are correct – why are protestants so under-represented ?

    If there’s a benign reason, could we have it ?

    We are told that protestants will get fair treatment in a United Ireland. Questions like these need to be answered if you want to dispel doubts. If people like Lord Laird are scare-mongering don’t just abuse the man, disprove what he says.

  • eastofthebann

    11% of the Donegal population are Protestant – just 1% of civil service jobs in Donegal are held by Protestants.

    That’s a fact – and the discriminatory requirement for expertise in Irish for civil service jobs (and for entrance to almost all universities in the Republic) is a key reason behind this fact.

    On a related matter, does anyone here think it defensible that the Irish-British minority in the South are the only community on the island unable to choose a citizenship which reflects their identity? Only in Northern Ireland is one allowed to choose between being Irish, British or both. Seems like parity of esteem stops at Derry/Newry.

  • Davros

    the discriminatory requirement for expertise in Irish for civil service jobs (and for entrance to almost all universities in the Republic) is a key reason behind this fact.

    Have you anything to support this claim ? My protestant relatives in the ROI have the Irish .

  • George

    I sincerely hope only 1% of Donegal’s Protestants have ended up behind a desk at the Department of Social and Family Affairs in Letterkenny.

    Either that or a religious grouping which held 60% of the nation’s wealth not 40 years ago has truly gone to the dogs.

    Hate to break to you Eastofthebann but no self respecting southern Irish Protestant parent would be happy with his or her child joining the Irish civil service or police, of which there are a disgraceful 14 underachieving Protestant members. They should be rooted out fortwith and made study night law.

    You may not want to believe this but Southern Protestants are much higher up the value chain than that and would feel awful as a community if a whopping 11% worked in the civil service.

    Shows how much northern unionists know about southern Irish Protestants if they believe this is discrimination.

  • Ringo

    EOB

    That’s a fact – and the discriminatory requirement for expertise in Irish for civil service jobs (and for entrance to almost all universities in the Republic) is a key reason behind this fact.

    Seeing as Irish is compusory in school, are you suggesting that Protestants are in some way intellectually difficient? It is a pretty horrendous generalisation to make and undoubtedly false. I can’t speak for anyone up North but I can tell you that the Protestants that sat in Irish class with me didn’t seem to have too much trouble.

    Funnily enough I happened to be talking to someone at the weekend involved in primary school teacher training in Dublin, and he was remarking how the standard of Irish in the Church of Ireland Teaching school was far better to what was coming out of another Catholic Catholic teaching school.

    And can you tell us exactly which Universities that make Irish a compulsory requirement for enrollment?

    Finally, I’m not sure that Her Majesties Foreign Office would take to kindly to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin handing out British Passports, but it is a novel suggestion. Probably best to take it up with your own MP all the same – usually British Passports are best provided by the British government. (BTW – if they say ok and they are going cheap, I’ll take one, can never have too many passports I always say).

  • Ringo

    intellectually difficient ???

    Woops – looks like the natives down here have a bit of bother with English too!

    deficient. Thats better.

  • Ringo

    If Protestants comprise 10% of the population but make up 11% in the workforce in Donegal, shouldn’t we be asking why they are getting preferential treatment and whether Lord Laird has uncovered evidence of discrimination against Catholics in the county?

    That is a 10% overrepresentation. HUGE.

    Civil Service – do we even know if as George suggests this solely refers to decentralised govenment business, and Donegal Co. Co or teachers, hospital employees etc?

    And if they aren’t working in the Civil Service where are the working, because it is clear that if they are overrepresented in the workforce, but under represented in the Civil Service they must be MASSIVELY overrepresented some place else.

    We must find out….because, erm, its important. It must mean SOMETHING.

    I bet Buncrana is overrun with Solicitors.

  • George

    “On a related matter, does anyone here think it defensible that the Irish-British minority in the South are the only community on the island unable to choose a citizenship which reflects their identity? Only in Northern Ireland is one allowed to choose between being Irish, British or both. Seems like parity of esteem stops at Derry/Newry.”

    Eastofthebann,
    are you for real? Only 36,000 voted for the Unionist Party outside of Ulster way back in the 1918 Westminster election in Ireland and that tiny number has since been assimilated/integrated.
    There aren’t really any Irish unionists left in 2005, least of all Irish Protestant ones.

    Or how many British-Irish do you think there are? Ten? Twenty? 100? Personally I’d say we have about 200 in a country of 4 million but we also have about 200 Natural Law Party people too.

    Also, you really should read up on citizenship law because it is up to the British state to decide on who gets British citizenship not the Irish state.

    Off you go and petitiion them to allow British passports to be given to Irish people living in the sovereign Irish state even though none of us want them if you like but personally I think it’s a waste of time.

    But at least it’s not your time or your money or my government’s time or money, it’s the British government’s and sure who cares what they spend as long as the union is safe.

    Davros,
    “If there’s a benign reason, could we have it ?”

    They’ve got better jobs. That’s the benign reason.

  • Tom Griffin

    The core of this whole Reform Movement type agenda seems to me to be the idea that the British Government is the natural guardian of the English/Scottish/British heritage in Ireland.
    I think that proposition is wrong precisely because British influence has been so pervasive.
    After all, nobody would suggest that the United States is denying its English heritage, because it doesn’t rejoin the Commonwealth.
    indeed its possible that the Irish Government may prove to be a better guardian of the English Common Law tradition than the British Government, if it refues to introduce idenity cards.

  • maca

    Eastofthebann
    “the discriminatory requirement for expertise in Irish for civil service jobs (and for entrance to almost all universities in the Republic) is a key reason behind this fact.”

    That really is a silly point. Probably 99% of kids in Ireland (ROI) learn Irish in school. This requirement is not discriminatory, IMHO.

  • Chris Guthrie

    Has it not occurred to anyone that John Laird comes from a PR background (unfortunately of the school that any publicity is good publicity) and makes mirror accusations to distract attention from negative coverage in much the same way that one countersues in American law?

    This story coincides with one about unemployment among Catholic women in NI. A while back Laird was criticised for wasting public money (25% of it from the South) on taxis and then accused the cross-border bodies of being too expensive. A few years ago, when the RUC was to be renamed PSNI, he suggested that the Garda Síochána be renamed “Hainin Polis” because of the minority Scots-speaking population of one county out of 26.

  • Davros

    They’ve got better jobs. That’s the benign reason.

    Ah, back to this business that all protestants in the ROI are filthy rich members of the Upper Middle class ….

    Of course some are wealthy – and the rest can go to blazes seems to be the attitude…. Not that different from people in the North who say that there are plenty of wealthy middle class RCs so what’s all the fuss about RCs in places like Andersontown and Ballymurphy….

    No wonder Northern protestants don’t believe the spiel about how well they’ll be cherished in the 32 county utopia…..

  • Davros

    This story coincides with one about unemployment among Catholic women in NI.

    Chris – have you figures showing that unemployment levels for protestants in Donegal are lower than unemployment levels for Women RCs in NI ?

    Laird has been talking about this since long before the recent release of Northern figures to which you refer. Could you be clutching at straws ?

  • Rebecca Black

    George

    We’ve had this argument many times about numbers of southern unionists. All I can say is that I do know a few through my membership of the Reform Movement and from studying at TCD.

    This has turned into a thorny issue, I do feel that Lord Laird is well intentioned but approaches such as this one do more harm than good. If there is an issue in the Donegal civil service, it might be better to keep it in Donegal and get talking to the local politicians to get it sorted out. Press releases such as this may be well intentioned but seem to do nothing but put peoples backs up and make the ideology of southern unionism look dubious. If he wants to help southern unionists I imagine he’d be better off laising with groups such as the Reform Movement.

  • Charles

    What intrigues me is how southern Protestants are supposed to be identified at, say, job interviews in order that they might be discriminated against, since we don’t have the same territorialisation that is evident in the north. Names are no longer a good indication, and attending St Columba’s in Ballygobackwards gives no clue to a Dublin-based employer. It’s just not an issue here in my experience (though I’m prepared to be corrected by somebody speaking from experience, not someone hopeful of making a political point). We’re more interested in demonising ‘non-nationals’ now, thanks to the fervent efforts of McDowell. I have only ever been asked my religion when signing in to a hospital, and ‘atheist’ seemed to be a perfectly acceptable reply.

  • Charles

    As a postscript, there is no such thing as a Donegal civil service or a Cavan civil service. All CS employees in the Republic are centrally recruited by open exam in Dublin. There are, as yet, very few CS offices outside the capital, but with the new ‘decentralisation’ – of jobs; not devision-making powers – that is likely to change. The point, therefore, is that there can be no correlation to discrimination in a local setting; it would have to be government policy if it existed.

  • Charles

    Er…decision-making powers.

  • Paddy Matthews

    Eastofthebann:

    That’s a fact – and the discriminatory requirement for expertise in Irish for civil service jobs (and for entrance to almost all universities in the Republic) is a key reason behind this fact.

    First, the Civil Service bit:

    “Irish ceased to be a compulsory requirement for entrants to the public service in 1974. The Government of the day decided that henceforth Irish and English would be put on an equal footing henceforth in the entrance examinations for the civil service, that candidates would be able to offer Irish or English, or both languages, in competitions and that recognition would be given to candidates who were competent in both languages.”

    From here

    Now, the education bit.

    As far as I know, the only universities in the Republic that require a pass in Leaving Cert Irish (at Ordinary Level, which should not actually be that challenging for anyone who’s spent 13 years in the Irish education system and who is capable of a third-level education) are the colleges of the NUI – UCD, UCC, UCG and Maynooth (can we interest you in that one, Eastofthebann?). Trinity doesn’t require Irish; neither do UL or DCU, and neither do the various ITs. The primary teacher training colleges do require an honour at Honours Level (which is a bit more challenging), but then they are meant to be training teachers for primary schools, who will be required to teach Irish as part of the primary curriculum.

    All students doing the Leaving Cert in Ireland are expected to present in Irish – as long as they’re Irish nationals. However, there are exemptions

    How to get an exemption in Irish (Dept. of Education website)

    Back to the NUI’s Irish requirement. There are, of course, loopholes….

    “The basic requirement with regard to the Subject Irish

    Candidates born on the island of Ireland (32 counties) must pass the subject Irish in the Leaving Certificate or GCE/GCSE Examinations.
    This requirement applies to all Irish-born candidates, whether they are presenting the Leaving Certificate or another examination for matriculation, unless they satisfy one of the conditions for an exemption set out below.

    Exemptions from the Irish Requirement

    In certain circumstances, candidates may claim exemption from the requirement of presenting the
    subject Irish for Matriculation Registration purposes, as follows:

    (i)Candidates born outside the island of Ireland (32 counties); Candidates are required to submit a copy of their birth Certificate to
    NUI for verification

    (ii) Candidates born on the island of Ireland (32 counties) but,

    whose primary education up to the age of eleven years was outside the Republic of Ireland (26 counties);
    NB In this case, a Declaration by the Head of the School attended must be lodged.

    who resided outside the island of Ireland (32 counties) during at least three years
    immediately preceding their becoming eligible for Matriculation (See Sections 1.3 and
    1.4, /NUI Minimum Academic Entry and Registration (Matriculation) Requirements 2004/2005.)/

    NB In this case, a Declaration by the Head of the School attended must be lodged.

    whose post-primary education in the three years immediately preceding their becoming
    eligible for Matriculation took place outside the Republic of Ireland – 26 counties. (See Sections 1.3 and 1.4, /NUI Minimum Academic Entry and Registration (Matriculation) Requirements 2004/2005.)/

    NB In this case, a Declaration by the Head of the School attended must be lodged.”

    Translation:

    Protestant students educated entirely in the South will have done Irish for the Leaving Cert anyway, unless they were exempt from Irish, in which case the Irish requirement doesn’t apply.

    Protestant students from the North would only be liable for Irish if they had gone through primary education in the South and had spent their last three years of secondary school in the South as well (and hadn’t been exempt for Irish in the Leaving Cert).

    Now, you were saying?

  • maca

    Very informative post Paddy!

    Two basic things people seem to have difficulty understanding is that almost ALL kids in ROI learn Irish AND if you can’t achieve a pass in ordinary level Irish you AIN’T going to college anyway. Infact if you do honours for the inter(junior) cert you can basically skip the last 2 years in Irish and still pass the ordinary level exam with ease.

  • Davros

    Viscount Ennismore to Roger Casement in 1904:

    “Your eloquence on the subject of the Irish language is lost on me. If you want to improve this people, preach temperance, not two tongues. Drink is the curse of the country and the publicans wax fat.”

    Plus ça change…

  • D’Oracle

    Davros,
    Who has drink taken amongst the thread contributors here ; wheres the evidence ; where(or whats) the proof ?.

    Whats with the 1904 letter red herring anyway?

  • Davros

    D’Oracle – where have I claimed or hinted that anyone posting here has of drink partaken ? Why did you introduce this red herring of whale-like proportions ?

  • D’Oracle

    Put the bottle away, man -its impairing your functionalities!

    I say someone called Davros said up above that ..” if you want to improve this people, preach temperance, not two tongues. Drink is the curse of the country”

    [Ed] Good to have you D’O. Just behave yourself!

  • Davros

    Whats that about then ?

    Think about it. It can be your koan, I hope you find emlightement.

  • Davros

    Whats that about then ?

    Think about it. It can be your koan, I hope you find enlightenment.

  • D’Oracle

    A “koan” now, is it? I give up

    Ed – Hardly misbehaviour on my part -the thread was trundling along -as they do -, proceedings took a bizarre turn off-thread so I merely enquired what was happening -wheres the harm in that?

  • Davros

    Moderator – I took D’oracle’s comments as being made in good spirit! ( geddit? LOL )I enjoy banter.

  • EWI

    Rebecca Black “All I can say is that I do know a few through my membership of the Reform Movement and from studying at TCD.”

    Really? I must say, I’m shocked to learn that there are Unionists in the Reform Movement. So who among the twelve of you are they?