North and South to be Political Partners Soon

Probably unionism’s favourite southerner, Irish Justice Minister Michael McDowell, believes Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic can become political partners on a reconciled island very soon.

“I believe that the great project of reconciling Orange and Green will succeed, and that both parts of Ireland will become partners in a common political enterprise,” he told the Patrick MacGill Summer School in Co Donegal.

“I believe that a much more diverse, heterogeneous sense of Irishness will replace the narrow official self-image of monochrome Catholic, nationalist Ireland which characterised the Republic in the 20th century.

McDowell added that the narrow image of Irish identity needed to be broadened to reflect increasing diversity of the island’s cross-border population, which he sees reaching 8 million.

“In concrete terms, I see Ireland rapidly becoming a successful, self-confident member of a partnership-based EU.”

McDowell continued to say that a society that simultaneously values both religious conviction and philosophical freedom is not only possible but attractive.

“I believe that it is possible to strike a happy balance between social diversity and social cohesion, a happy reconciliation between the rights of freedom and the duties of solidarity, and to effect a reconciliation between the ethics of altruism and individual responsibility.”

He also criticised what he called the “suffocating dishonesty and self-loathing of much of what passes for contemporary social commentary in Ireland”.

  • The Beach Tree


    “Miranda : O brave new world, that has such people in’t
    Prospero : ‘Tis new to thee.”

  • Friendly Fire

    Silly season kicks off.

  • Keith M

    Interesting piece, and perhaps the first indication of the PDs abandonning the idea of “unity” in favour of “partnership”. If so, it would be a very welcome dose of reality from one of the most pragmatic and grounded of Ireland’s current crop of politicians.

    There are shades of Hume’s “post nationalist” Ireland here.

  • martin

    mc dowell not being the most imaginative of blokes–I recon the word PARTNER entered his head due to the new scandal involving Bertie Ahern alias Captain Corruption,Bertie gave celia Larkin his former moll,a place on the board of the National Consumer Agency—she doesn’t have any qualifications for this position apart from being able too keep her mouth shut and loyalty to Fianna Fraud—-Has the south gonE completly Americanised —this appointment reminds me of the American Cynics who believe the way you succeed in life only depends on —WHO YOU KNOW,OR WHO YOU B**w.

  • maca

    “who believe the way you succeed in life only depends on —WHO YOU KNOW,OR WHO YOU B**w.”

    Sure it’s always been this way in Ireland (at least during my lifetime)

  • Martin Dub

    Michael is just going in a different direction because Bertie has told him that Shinner bashing isn’t allowed any more. Its great looking at McDowell talking about the North now. You can see he’s just dyin to break into Shinner bashing, but he’s not allowed. Maybe if Grandad didn’t fcuk up the Boundary Commission, things would have been a lot different

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Grandad didn’t fcuk up the boundary commission, he was simply outvoted. The supposedly neutral South African agreed with the Unionist interpretation of the commission’s remit i.e that it make only minor adjustments to the border.

    As for MMD, he’s starting to learn Bertiespeak where statements can mean absolutely anything depending on what you want to hear.

  • martin

    MMds grandfather played his part in boundary commission up—he was completly unasertive and more interested in sight seeing at the time–he also ed up 1916 with his countermanding order,does michael mc Dowell condemN His grandpapies efforts to run guns into Ireland and to threaten a low intensity guerilla war even before 1916 rising, if Home rule was not granted —granda had no electoral mandate from the Irish people= was he a criminal in MMD’ S EYES


    fu taken out of above posts should read grandad fcud up 1916 and boundary commission