Nicholson to reject Dail deal

Jim Nicholson has reacted angrily to the Irish governments plans to grant speaking rights to MP’s and MEP’s from Northern Ireland, calling the decision deplorable.

The unionist community will not tolerate such an aggressive assault on our sovereignty by a jurisdiction which has been so hostile in the past.

He has in this statement, ruled out taking his seat uder such plans.

  • euinni

    And Jim Allister reacted in these terms: “I am elected to one foreign parliament only, and I will fulfill my mandate there and no where else. Thus I have no intention of participating in the Dail in order to promote republicanism’s pretence that an all-Ireland parliament exists. If Sein Fein MPs cared for their electorate, then they’d represent them in Westminster to which they are elected. Judging Sinn Fein MEPs by their record in Strasbourg and Brussels they are clearly struggling to fulfill their mandate there, never mind pursuing phoney involvement in the Dail.”

  • beano;

    If Sinn Fein have shown us anything it’s that you don’t have to take any seats to influence the policy of a government.

    This coupled with SF’s preference for making their point through populist slogans in the media than through direct debatewith the government, it makes me think even more that the whole exercise is just another big flag-waving PR stunt.

  • Jacko

    The only person to claim that such concrete plans exist is Gerry Adams.
    Nicholson and co. would need to be careful they don’t give life to something that is little more than a figment of gerry’s imagination.

  • Ringo

    assault on our sovereignty

    assualt on HIS sovereignty?

    He’s not the one being threatened with a bunch of cowboys elected in some other state landing into his parliament.

  • DerryTerry

    Ringo, as an Irish citizenship I’m disappointed at your response. My citizenship is recognised by the state, why shouldn’t my elected representatives have the right to speak in the Dail?

  • JD

    Jim Nicholson will not attend the Dail even if he is permitted to. Gaud damn it, that’s the whole project scuppered.

  • AugustusGloop

    Why should northern MPs and MEPs attend the Dail, what on earth could be in it for them? The Dail has no power over Northern Ireland, they are not elected to the Dail, the whole thing is nonsensical

  • crat


    There has been more than Adams talking about this in concrete terms, it was only delayed due to the failure of the Dec 2004 ‘Comprehensive Agreement’. It is now a very live project.

    Tuesday, 12 April 2005

    The Taoiseach:……………….The discussion on Northern Ireland representation in the Oireachtas has been ongoing for some years. The proposals we brought forward last December emanated from the discussions that took place as part of the search for a comprehensive agreement. This was in a spirit consistent with the constitutional principles underlying the agreement and the conclusions of the All-Party Committee on the Constitution. I said at that time I would consult with party leaders with a view to establishing a mechanism whereby MPs elected in Northern Ireland constituencies could make an input into the deliberations of the Dáil with regard to Northern Ireland and the Good Friday Agreement. I made it clear that any proposals that might be agreed by the Oireachtas would not involve the granting of any rights or privileges.

    Regarding Seanad reform, I said I would support the holding of a referendum before a general election to increase membership to allow Northern representation. Such representation has been taking place for many years on an ad hoc basis. The appointment of such Senators would be done in consultation with party leaders in Northern Ireland and in such a way as to represent, where possible, a cross-section of public opinion. They were the two proposals. One was made about the Dáil and the other about the Seanad.

    I also said that, in the context of a comprehensive agreement, I would ask the Leader of the Seanad to discuss with the parties taking the necessary procedural steps to facilitate allowing MEPs elected here and in Northern Ireland to speak in the Seanad on periodic debates on EU matters. I cannot say at this stage when we might get around to advancing any of these proposals because they were all based on the comprehensive agreement.

  • Ringo

    Because you don’t live here? Just like all the Irish citizens in London, Boston, Sydney.

    I don’t how my local TD could expect to be granted speaking rights in Westminster because there happens to be British citizens in his constituency.

    The people of this state elect people to the Dail to enact legislation that has effect only within its borders. The are also entrusted with the sole authority for governing this state. MP’s from Northern Ireland or anywhere have no input. It is a place of governance, not some sort of a drop in centre for northerners with an inferiority complex and an axe to grind.

  • The Dog


    But by the same token many of the people who voted for the two Jimmy’s will be looking at what could be potentially gained through this development.

    Farmers in Fermanagh, Sick people in Tyrone, Businesses in Derry all know that they could be value in having our voice heard in debate that could have an impact here – for example on the National Development Plan and issues to do with roads and rail infrastructure, stuff like regulation of mobile phobe campainies and their roaming tariffs, issues to do with support for economic development (especially as INI continually sharfts WEst of the BAnn and the border counties in favour of South Belfast, then there’s the farming issues – the two JImmy’s should know (well at least they should) that the Irish government has got a far netter deal for its farmers thabn the British did for ours. Why?? because it takes them as a consituency more serious, they are a more economically important contribution to the economy etc etc.

    Thre is a mytrh put about by people who hate Sinn Féin that they don’t achive anything but this is a load of bollox. And aot of it is to do with class bigotry. MOst stoops you meet are half wits – sure they went to uni, but when you have to fight for something that’ds only gonna make you sound good. It is no guarantee of anythying else.

  • DerryTerry

    Ringo, I am not some Irish citizen living abroad who has left the state. I was born in Derry and continue to live here, and was kindly provided with an Irish passport on that basis, because the Irish state recognises my Irish nationality.

    Of course if you think i shouldn’t have that right you should take it up with your TD, who can convey your feelings to my MP in the Dail when he gets his speaking rights.

    PS Are you serious that Irish Government actions do not impact on the North, or just amusing yourself? Yours, inferior axe grinding northerner, although not as north as Malin Head.

  • DerryTerry

    T.Ruth, i assure you i look forward to the day when my taxation and representation are both going to Dublin. Until then, out out of two is better than none.

  • Jacko

    Read what he said very carefully. It is simply not in Bertie’s gift even if he was so inclined, which I very much doubt, to unilaterally grant such rights.
    In the end, though, who a state grants parliamentary speaking rights to is a matter entirely for them.

  • crat


    The changes to the constitution and definition of ‘Irish Nation’ mean under Articles 1&2 failure to give a voice to members of the nation living in the north could be judged unconstitutional by the courts. The review in committee came to a similar conclusion.

    Bertie is just finding the space to do what was already proposed before some bright spark has the courts thrust it apon him.

  • darthrumsfeld

    An embryonic all-Ireland parliament eh?

    Well, let’s examine a possible scenario.
    It’s 2009 and grizzled old Taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s government is facing yet more scandal after the unfortunate photographs of Brian Cowan and the orang utan at Dublin zoo cause outrage among irish animal lovers.

    The budget is to be presented to the Dail today by Finance Minister Micheal McGimpsey, in his first big setpiece since his change from the Ulster Unionists because “they were too republican”.

    The mathematics are against Bertie this time, with a majority of only three against the Rainbow coalition. The pending general election will be won or lost in North Dublin, where there are controversial plans to demolish Croke park and build a new GAA run casino. The Sinn fein TDs are agaisnt these foreign games, as is the powerful clamper company lobby, which recently donated a six figure cheque to refurbish the Raphael Burke wing of Portlaoise prison. But Bertie is desperate for the redevelopment, as it finally allows his Bertie-bowl to proceed. The budget will include substantial grants for the scheme.

    So the votes are too close to call, when the five SF MPs walk into the no lobby, the budget falls, bertie joins Albert on the speed dial for journos looking a quote from an embittered loser on any subject, and in the subsequent election opposition leader Michael mcDowell of the
    Irish Unionist Alliance sweeps to power in a landslide on his pragmatic policy of reversing all of the constitutional changes since 1918.

    No votes= no point.
    After the first session of backslapping from Jackie Healy Rae et al for the nation’s lost children they will be completely discounted. And all the while the Unionists grow more sullen and less likely to ever consent to a united Ireland. You’ll never get a Unionist there- not even Roy garland, so what’s the point. it’s like ignoring the elephant in the living room.

    We don’t consent
    Not now
    Not ever

  • crat

    To any budding constitutional lawyer.

    I have a feeling that including Unionists in this plan could be technically unconstitutional.

    If they aren’t members of the Irish nation (and they make it clear they don’t want to be) surely their voice is not entitled to be heard?

    All this refers to Articles 1&2.

  • The Beach Tree

    darth rumsfeld

    “And all the while the Unionists grow more sullen and less likely to ever consent to a united Ireland.”

    “We don’t consent
    Not now
    Not ever
    GEDDITTT??? “.

    (my emphasis).

    Darth, you’ve essentially argued – “Don’t do this, it’ll make Unionists less likely to accept UI”.

    An in the next breath you shout that “unionists will never accept UI, ever”.

    If your second point is true, why should nationalists worry about the first? If Unionists will never accept UI, then there’s nothing to lose, and no point paying any attention to their opinions on this.

    If they will never accept UI, it is absolutely pointless wasting any concessions on them to convince them otherwise.

    So in fact, nationalists and the rest of political Ireland may as well go right ahead. It’s a choice between no rights in the Oireachteas (?) and unionist intransigence, and some rights in the Oireachteas and unionist intransigence. Pretty easy decision then.

    Actually that’s a big problem for unionism, especially the DUP variety. Tony et al. are catching on that you can NEVER make the DUP irreconcilables happy. So they’re starting to come to the conclusion, ‘why bother trying’?. Hence the RIR decision – at least nationalists occasionally show happiness and gratitude, you see.

  • spirit-level

    T.Ruth you are on a red card.. explain yourself?

  • Ginfizz

    Derry Terry

    I don’t think you’ve quite comprehended the proposal. The proposals is to establish a Dail Sub-Comittee on Northern Ireland, at which Northern Ireland rperesentatives would have speaking, but not voting rights.

    I think it’ll be a long, long time before your MP raises anything in the Dail – unless its his hand to ask the tour guide a question.

  • Jacko


    Whether I personally agree with any future decision or not, as a democrat my ultimate position on this has to be, and is, as previously stated: “In the end, though, who a state grants parliamentary speaking rights to is a matter entirely for them.”

  • Jacko

    Just spotted your later post on unionists. I think you’re getting nation and state confused. Besides, the Irish constitution claims all of the peoples of Ireland as equal members of the nation.

  • Ringo

    because the Irish state recognises my Irish nationality.

    But not your address.

    T.Ruth you are on a red card.. explain yourself?

    I was thinking the same thing myself. Does it only affect his participation on European threads?

  • Tampico

    Another ridiculous, self-serving post. This story would only have been of worth if Nicholson had have said he would have taken his seat.

    What a surprise that the poster makes no mention of the origins of this proposal.

  • Tampico

    Another ridiculous, self-serving, partisan post. This story would only have been of worth if Nicholson had have said he would have taken his seat.

    What a surprise that the poster makes no mention of the origins of this proposal.

  • spirit-level

    “I was thinking the same thing myself. Does it only affect his participation on European threads?”

    Ringo, not sure what you mean by the above?
    A red-card is a 2 weeks departure from sluggers, to cool off.

  • crat


    I’m referring to Articles 1& 2 which define the Irish Nation not state. Those in the north are entitled to membership, though Unionist have rejected this entitlement. Northern members of the Irish nation have rights under article 1. Unionists who reject the entitlement don’t qualify for the rights. I’m not being serious just having a bit of fun with the constitution and the predictability of elected Unionism’s response.

    Article 1 The Irish nation hereby affirms its inalienable, indefeasible, and sovereign right to choose its own form of Government, to determine its relations with other nations, and to develop its life, political, economic and cultural, in accordance with its own genius and traditions.
    Article 2 It is the entitlement and birthright of every person born in the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and seas, to be part of the Irish Nation. That is also the entitlement of all persons otherwise qualified in accordance with law to be citizens of Ireland. Furthermore, the Irish nation cherishes its special affinity with people of Irish ancestry living abroad who share its cultural identity and heritage.

  • Jacko

    No problem. Even as a unionist myself, I don’t blame you.

  • DerryTerry

    Ringo, seriously, the Irish Government wouldn’t recognise an address in Derry?
    So how did they know where to post my passport? And how come when they asked for my address and previous addresses they were content with a Derry one.
    I might share reservations with many about the Irish Government, but I’m sure they know where Derry is, and how i qualify as an Irish citizen.

  • Ringo

    “I was thinking the same thing myself. Does it only affect his participation on European threads?”

    Ringo, not sure what you mean by the above?
    A red-card is a 2 weeks departure from sluggers, to cool off.

    Football analogy. Pick up a red card in Europe and you can still play domestic competitions. I don’t think this is the case on slugger.


    I didn’t mean literally. When they sent you your passport did it say Republic of Ireland on the envelope? Did they use a postcode? Was it pushed in your letterbox by an An Post postie?

    I’ve no problem with your MP coming down here for any amount of discussions – but the Dail’s business is running this state – not to give you a warm fuzzy feeling, a tear in your eye, and the false whiff of unification.

  • Ginfizz

    Are T.Ruth and TRUTH not 2 different people?

  • euinni

    And Bairbre de Brun said today: “I would welcome the opportunity to debate with both Jim Nicholson MEP and Jim Allister MEP on local, national and international issues in the Dáil. Partition has failed both the nationalist and unionist communities. I would call upon unionists political representatives to think outside the box and embrace the dynamics of all-Ireland politics. I look forward to the day when I can address other political representatives from north and south in the Dáil”

  • martin

    In 1933 De Valera was elected for the constituency of south Down as an abstentionist MP-he claimed at the time that south Down would be represented where it should be in the Dail.
    De Valera represented South Down and his other constituency of East Clare equally in that he did nothing much for either of them.

  • T o Kane

    sorry jim nationlists didnt choose to live under british jurisdiction we were coersed into a gerrymandered state . Imagine in the early 90s when a democratic south africa was being established and the whites took kimberley which has a majority of whites and and wanted to rule it as a democracy the whole world would have found this implausible. ringo is right it is your sovereignty and not ours , our irishness should be respected as under the gfa ,just as we should respect YOUR britishness


    “We don’t consent
    Not now
    Not ever
    GEDDITTT??? “.


    Who are you speaking for?

    I’m a unionist and I’ve never seen proposal for a united Ireland that I would vote for, but I’m not going to rule out the possibility that someone might come up with an attractive deal.

    If you don’t mind, I’ll say what I’ll do in the future.
    Speak for yourself until you are given a mandate to speak for the rest of us.

  • The Beach Tree


    Thank you. a far more sensible statement than darth’s, I humbly suggest – “It’s bloody unlikely I’ll be convinced, but out of manners if nothing else I’ll listen constructively” – no sensible nationalist could really quibble with that.

    The more likely (?) scenario in the end would probably be that the vast majority of unionist would still oppose reunification no matter what but would be outvoted by a tactical alliance of a small but significant rump of liberal unionists, nationalists and apathetics. If and when that situation (and I know its a big big if) comes about, thereafter I would expect Unionist to start negotiating their new situation. I’m not so stupid to think they’d do so before hand.

    And i&w that happens it behoves nationalist ireland to be fair and generous, both on principle, and to avoid mayhem – there will always be room for aunionist party, if only because all non-violent political views have a right to be heard, even if not acted upon. There will always be room for the various protestant denominations, because religious tolerance should be a first principle of any democratic nation, and there will always be room for the british identity, because anyone has a right to their heritage and identity, and it’s not for changing. But in practical terms, I would be arguing very hard for your right to maintain your british citizenship for you and your descendants with HMG, who actually would have the right to amke that decision.

    In the meantime, consider addressing the Seanad, not as citizens of the irish state (since you are quite prightly proud british citizens), but as a vital and constituent part of the irish nation (a broader concept you need not fear, and could embrace to your advantage), and convince them (a) of the valifity of partition as a political arrangement, and (b) the steps that should be taken where partition to end.

  • fair_deal

    Jim Nicholson saying he would go would sound like more of a threat to Irish politicians than a boycott by him. The man centanarians vote for 😉

  • yerman

    Jim Nicholson shouldnt get too worked up about the proposal given that his party negotiated this deal back a few years back now.

    Read the newsletter today … the UUP have been given 7 days to explain or the proof will be published.

  • IJP

    The unionist community will not tolerate such an aggressive assault on our sovereignty by a jurisdiction which has been so hostile in the past.

    Tough talk, but what exactly would Jim and his pals do about it?

    Why do Unionists always blether on about ‘not tolerating’ things instead of providing real arguments?

  • Jackie

    “The unionist community will not tolerate such an aggressive assault on our sovereignty by a jurisdiction which has been so hostile in the past.”

    What will you call this one

    ‘The fourth force’ or ‘ulster resistance 2’

    What about a nice pink beret for the rallies

    I know one MLA who would enjoy the colour.

  • DavidH

    crat: I’m referring to Articles 1& 2 which define the Irish Nation not state.

    So does that mean that the State doesn’t have a constitution? And who gets to vote on the constitution – the people of the State or the people of the Nation?

  • aquifer

    I can see the Jimmies’ difficulty. ROI are open to persuasion in a matter affecting their constituents, EU grants and subsidies for example.

    If the Jimmies go down to do the business they are damned by the bigots, and if they stay away from Dail Eireann, they are damned by the pragmatists. And in a PR election where 25% sees you elected they do not want preferences washing about for any good reason.

    Deeply destabilising for UK Unionism.

    Probably good news for European Unionism.

  • abucs

    The obvious thing is that Unionists are no longer in control in NI. And NI can only function properly in a pluralistic way.
    Both governments realise this and Unionists saying simply ‘they have to be British like me’ while entertaining, is both futile and unrealistic.

  • darthrumsfeld

    Dearie me. Everyone seems to be getting worked up about the poor wee Unionists being entitled to say no
    Now let’s imagine Gerry has his heart set on squiring the lovely Angeline Jolie about town. he rings her up, writes to her, sends her flowers, choccies,pictures of himself in a leather studded posing pouch- but horror of horrors – she keeps giving him the rubber ear. Politely at first, but as his pleas become more impassioned she starts to become concerned that he’s a bit of a creep and calls in the lawyers.

    And let’s say that Gerry- or his mates- has been killing members of Angeline’s family, or damaging her property, to convince her to stop being stupid and accept that she really wants to be Mrs Gerry- how much more likely is that going to make her snuggle up to him?
    Belatedly he realises that approach is a nobrainer, but he doesn’t condemn or abandon his mates. Nope- he asks them to have a chat and then to lay off the aggro for the time being, while he tries Angeline with the all-expenses paid luxury weekend break at the Gresham.

    We’ll listen politely to offers. We’re nice people. But nationalists have got to accept that we’re entitled to say no, asnd be respected for that decision. And if the penny doesn’t drop , then maybe we have to be a little firmer in our polite refusal. And thus you get the DUP 9; UUP 1

  • abucs


    Well Unionists have been saying ‘no’ for a very long time now, so it’s no great surprise.

    It’s just entertaining that so many have yet to realise that it gets them nowhere.

    P.S. yes, i’m quite jealous of Brad too.

  • The Beach Tree


    an entertaining analogy, but a misplaced one if I might say so.

    You see, it’s more like a new family are trying to buy the house that Angie’s living in, but which is owned by Angie’s whole family. (our granny used to own it, but title transfered in odd circumstances years back…anyway) Angie’s good for about 1/15 of the equity, but since she’s sharing the house with some of the the prospective buyers (who she hates with a firey passion), she’s a bit belligerent about ther being no sale.

    Now Angie’s owl one’ likes most of the new prospective owners (except oddly the ones actually sharing it at the moment, who have a bit of a history) – but even they are now laying down the rolling pin, and angie’s looking more isolated than ever she did. Frankly the house isn’t the investment it used to be for the owners – apparently they have no strategic, economic or selfish interest in it, or the garden round the back. They own all the next street. They’ve kept this remaining house in this street this long for Angie’s sake really, but she’s always been a tearaway, thumping the neighbours, barricading the windows, playing strange marching music at all hours of the day and night. Her housemates (members of the new family, and equally tearaways) are just as bad but frankly the owners would rather be shot of the lot of them.

    Angie’s getting more and more hysterical, saying there’ll be ‘consequences’ if the sale is made, but short of firebombing the house, her 1/15 stake makes her fairly powerless.

    Now she can try and convince the new buyers not to buy, the current owners not to sell, the new buyers not to evict here, or even her housemates to help her buy the propoerty for herself.

    But no, she just throws a complete strop everytime the postman arrives with anything for her housemates, insults the new buyers, the current owners, half the bloody street if truth be told, and then starts crying that “no one understands me, why won’t anyone agree with me?” and “you can’t sell unless I say so!” – which is patently absurd as a matter of land law.

    (Oh, and angie isn’t really all that pretty, rich or famous in our example. More Angie Watts than Angie Jolie.)

    Angie has exactly the rights that her co-owners give her – no more, no less – if they agree to sale, then a sale will be made (perhaps not with vacant possession but you can’t have everything.)

    The problem is that Angie tells everyone that she own’s the house outright, that her co-tentants are scum squatters that she’ll be evicting presently and that if the new buyers show their faces she’ll set the dobermann on them – which would be a lot scarier if the dobermann wasn’t in fact no more than a cocker spaniel.

    Now the new owners have no love for angie. In fact she’s a violent pain in the hole most of the time. But they own the rest of the street, and it’s grannies old house so, you know….

    They don’t want Angie out on the street, but really don’t care that much about her apart from that.

    The big housing corporation who own the flash apartments down the road think the new owners should go ahead (though frankly they’re new to the area, and don’t really know uch). The current owners just want peace and quiet and to keep good relations with the new family. The exisitng co-tenants couldn’t give a rat’s arse about Angie, who’s been a shite housemate, keeps trying to change the locks and never does the dishes.

    Now maybe Angie can delay the sale a while. More importantly, if she was a bit more pleasant, constructive and reasonable she might be able to negotiate a pretty decent deal for herself and fluffy the spaniel (why its called fluffy when its completely shaved and covered in tattoes is a question for angie) whereby she could stay in the house, keep her share in her own families properties, and get the odd breakfast in bed.

    But no, she’d rather scream til she’s sick.

    That’s her choice, but she should be made aware that a sale over her head is always possible, and her tantrums actually make it more likely in the long term.


    a) Cut a good deal and sell
    b) cosy up to the new family a bit, and convince them not to buy, maybe by buying the lease on the place with her co-tenants. or
    c) scream and sulk until everyone slaps an asbo on her, or her owl’ one evicts here himself.

    Her choice. But let’s not pretend the sale is in her hands.

  • Oilbbear Chromaill

    The argument is often made that unionists would have a greater say in a Dublin parliament than they do at present in Westminster. My own feeling is that some of the more backward among them don’t want to go to Dublin because they’re afraid their ignorance and inability to change the record from ‘no,no’ will be exposed. These are holding the progressives among them back.

    The bigger picture is that if they do recognise the right of nationalists to send representatives to the Dail and, perhaps,in time, they can follow the lead, then this might lead to a greater understanding by all sides of the other points of view. Perhaps there should be more power given to the Council of the Isles to help ease the process. I don’t want the Free State to rejoin the Commonwealth because it’s head is the Queen – if there was a way around this – if the Queen was only the same rank as every other head of state in the membership, this might work.

    Commenters here should get their head around the fact that this is more than a figment of Gerry Adam’s imagination. It’s part of a review of the Constitution that has been carried out and it will be implemented – it’s a question of when and how much representation not if.

  • Ringo

    I don’t want the Free State to rejoin the Commonwealth because it’s head is the Queen

    That’s a pretty miserable argument against joining. She’s a token figurehead of an international organisation with less clout than the IOC. It is symbolism, nothing more. If you haven’t the confidence to be able to ignore style in order to avail of substance you’re on a long term loser.

    I’ve yet to hear any decent argument for rejoining the Commonwealth, but that has to be the most weak and deferential reason not to.

    Commenters here should get their head around the fact that this is more than a figment of Gerry Adam’s imagination. It’s part of a review of the Constitution that has been carried out and it will be implemented – it’s a question of when and how much representation not if.

    It is not a question of how much representation, but how little. This is one area where Sinn Feins political opponents in the Republic hold all the cards. What do you expect them to do? Does the deafening silence on this issue from all the southern parties on this not give you the hint that maybe the foreign dignitaries would be as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit?

  • Ringo

    I don’t want the Free State to rejoin the Commonwealth because it’s head is the Queen

    And regardless, I’m afraid it is none of your business what the Republic decides to do regarding the Commonwealth.

  • T.Ruth

    Spirit Level
    I am quite new to SO’T and I cearly have broken the rules in some way and caused offence. This was not intentional and I would apologise profusely to anyone I have offended and for inappropriate behaviour. I would be grateful for advice or explanation and a definition of the “red card” in this context.

    Mod edit: A “red card” means that you are banned from posting for two weeks. You may still read posts and entries. After your two weeks are up, you’ll be welcome back.

  • lib2016


    There is speculation that Sinn Fein will hold the balance of power in the South after the next election and in any case the electoral history of any Southern politican who opposed Irish unity hasn’t been a very happy one.

    As you rightly point out Sinn Fein has enemies in the South. Opposing Northern representation would be handing Sinn Fein a stick to beat them with.

  • Ringo

    There is speculation that Sinn Fein will hold the balance of power in the South after the next election

    It is an all-party issue according to Bertie, so in government (which I doubt very much) or out of Goverment, Sinn Fein won’t be able to muster up much support. Whatever form it takes it will be de-balled at birth.

    and in any case the electoral history of any Southern politican who opposed Irish unity hasn’t been a very happy one.

    Aside from the Cruiser, or Michael Collins I’m not sure who you are referring to. In fact the electorate have rewarded those who have politely dropped the whole notion. Which is undoubtedly what some current Sinn Fein people will do in the coming years.

    Opposing Irish unity is a red herring. There isn’t a politician outside of Sinn Fein that would accept the offer of unity in the morning. Does that make them all opposed to unity? Do you think the electorate here agree? Nothing is unconditional, and opposition to unity comes in many shapes.

  • lib2016

    Speaking as one of those who will be represented by ‘the farts in the spacesuits’ I can only say that your wishful thinking on Northern representation is surpassed only by your wishful thinking on the impact which Sinn Fein will have on the balance of power in the South.

    Garrett Fitzgerald, no friend of SF, has publically conceded (two weeks ago in Village magazine but not online) that they may well decide whether Fianna Fail or Fine Gael/Labour forms the next government in Dublin. Whether they should be part of that government is a very different question given Labour’s experience.

    In any case their influence is, or should be undeniable.

  • yoda

    Aside from the Cruiser, or Michael Collins I’m not sure who you are referring to. In fact the electorate have rewarded those who have politely dropped the whole notion. Which is undoubtedly what some current Sinn Fein people will do in the coming years.

    Collins “politely dropped the whole notion”? You might need to check those “facts.”

    I’m also wondering about your prognostication skills: you simply don’t know what SF members in future will do. You seem to want to impose on the future what you think should happen.

    Opposing Irish unity is a red herring. There isn’t a politician outside of Sinn Fein that would accept the offer of unity in the morning. Does that make them all opposed to unity? Do you think the electorate here agree? Nothing is unconditional, and opposition to unity comes in many shapes.

    Have you polled all these politicians you mention? If not, on what do you base these arguments? If it’s your own opinion, maybe you should make that clear. That aside, this statement is baldly contradictory: you start by saying that opposition to UI is “red herring” and finish by saying that opposition comes in “many shapes.” Do you mean there are many red-herrings of different shapes. Like red tunas?

  • JFD

    as a commited 26-county nationalist, I agree with posters who view Northern representation in Dail Eireann as nothing more than pandering to Sinn Fein.

    Whatever about links to criminality, the 30 years of naked voilence and brutallity towards our fellow Islanders, the psuedo-socialist revolutionary clap-trap and the gross lack imagination beyond the narrow ‘Brits Out – Us in’ stance, I personally hope Sinn Fein find their way into government. For the simple reason that they will finally be found out for what they are (politically speaking) an opportunistic party of protest without a coherent policy platform other than leftist revolutionary rethoric combined with old-school Gaelic nationalist gombeenism of the lowest order.

    Their white paper on Unity was a farce, so whimisical it was almost funny. Their economic policy (or lack thereof) would turn back the clock to the pre-tiger era of emigration, rampant unemployment, captital-flight from the Republic. Healthcare – come on? Justice – post-McCabe? Please.

    Sinn Fein as a real political force in the Republic will be seen for what it is… a hollow cabel of myopic lefty discontents posing as a political party.

    A complete joke – ableit a dangerous one.

  • barnshee

    small offensive orangeman will not turn up in the dail and tell them to fuck off and mind their own business-shock horror where will it end

  • barnshee

    small offensive orangeman will not turn up in the dail and tell them to fuck off and mind their own business-shock horror where will it end

  • objectivist

    Like all analogies this is imperfect but we can make it less imperfect by using ‘Joe Southerner’ as a moniker rather than ‘Gerry Adams’.
    Let us suppose that Angie is antipathetic towards J.S. but that this antipathy is not shared by her housemate who is by contrast quite smitten and who feels a sense of ethnopsychological communion.
    Now let us suppose that Angie’s antipathy is so intense that not only does she herself not want anyting to do with J.S. but neither can she stand the idea of her housemate having anything to do with him.Thus Angie keeps trying to get in the way of her housemate’s instinctive gravitation to the extent that she even raises Cain when she (her housemate) plans to drop into Joe Southerner’s lounge for a chit chat.
    Her housemate,after repeatedly protesting that it is her business ,and hers alone,whom she wants to engage with romantically,and whose lounge she wants to drop into for a chit chat,is eventually forced into a more emphatic form of protestation (SF 5,SDLP 3).

  • G2

    “small offensive orangeman will not turn up in the dail and tell them to fuck off and mind their own business-shock horror where will it end”


    Bit of a change from small offensive republican Alex Maskey telling an SDLP canvasser who had a Dublin accent to fuck off back down south and mind his own business as his type of people are not wanted in West Belfast-shock horror when will it ever end~?

  • fair_deal

    It seems what Adams and SF have been claiming and what the Taoiseach is proposing seem to be different. The opppsition parties don’t seem to have warmed to the idea either. From today’s irish times:

    Adams presses for North’s MPs to have say in the Dáil

    Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has called on the Government to move “with all speed” to give the North’s MPs the right to speak in the Dáil, claiming the Taoiseach has given him a commitment to this effect, Mark Brennock, Chief Political Correspondent.

    In an article in today’s Irish Times Mr Adams says Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has already “given a commitment that MPs elected in the Six Counties will be able to speak in the Dáil”.

    However, a spokesman for the Taoiseach indicated last night that Mr Ahern’s commitment was considerably less than this, and that he did not envisage northern MPs speaking in plenary Dáil sessions.

    While not commenting directly on Mr Adams’s assertion, the spokesman said Mr Ahern would seek to pursue an arrangement whereby Northern Ireland MPs would be invited to attend Oireachtas committees to discuss matters relating to Northern Ireland and the Belfast Agreement.

    Ultimately, the spokesman said, this was a matter for the Oireachtas itself to decide after discussions between the parties. The spokesman said Mr Ahern had spoken of such a system in the Dáil last December and had said it “would not involve the granting of any rights or privileges, and there would be no constitutional implications or question of cutting across the architecture and operation of the Good Friday agreement”.

    Fine Gael and Labour yesterday expressed concern over the suggestion that northern MPs could acquire the right to speak in the Dáil. In his article today, Mr Adams suggests he believes he has been given a commitment to this effect. He says that as MP for West Belfast, “I should have the same right to speak on the Rossport Five in Co Mayo, or homelessness in Dublin, or drug problems in Limerick as Michael McDowell or Dermot Ahern have to speak on issues in Belfast or Derry. We want to see this done with all speed.”

    A Fine Gael spokesman said yesterday that his party “would have a problem with this” if it involved granting rights to speak in the Dáil.

    “We have two parliaments and two jurisdictions and we can’t see how it is appropriate that you would be elected to one and have the right to participate in another.”

    He said it would be “bizarre to have a situation where Sinn Féin people [in Northern Ireland] were elected to a parliament in London they did not attend, and attended one in Dublin to which they had not been elected”.

    Labour’s deputy leader Liz McManus last night called on the Government to clarify what undertakings, if any, it had given Sinn Féin on this matter. She said it was “very important that nothing should be done that would compromise the role of the Oireachtas as the sovereign parliament of the State”.

    The Minister for Justice Michael McDowell said last weekend that the Progressive Democrats do not agree Northern Ireland MPs should have an automatic right to address the Dáil.

  • What kind of Fair Deal is this??????

    Fair Deal:

    What happened to the DUP’s seven day ultimatum to the UUP Re: Speaking Rights in Dail?

    I think I read something in yesterdays Newsletter covering it.

  • euinni

    Fair Deal,
    I did not get a copy of the IT, does Adams speak only about northen MPs or does he talk about northern MEPs as well?

    What kind of FD,
    Peter Robinson accused the UUP of hypocracy over this issue, it did not get much media coverage, the press release is available on DUP’s website:
    “We will give Reg Empey seven days to admit his part in it or we will publish the evidence. We challenge Reg Empey to deny that the proposal he now condemns arose directly from discussions in April of 1998 of which he was a part as a senior UUP negotiator.”

    I also get this answer from the SDLP:
    “The SDLP is in favour of speaking rights in the Dail. In the debate on this issue, we believe that it is important not to overlook the North South Parliamentary Forum provided for by the Good Friday Agreement. It would bring together all the representatives of all the parties of all of Ireland for the first time ever. We believe that the implementation of this aspect of the Good Friday Agreement is even more important. It would, we believe, be the engine of the North South agenda.”

  • Ringo

    lib2016 –

    on wishful thinking –
    Sinn Fein and the speaking rights – this is in the gift of Sinn Feins political opponents. What makes you think they have any interest in doing Sinn Fein a favour?

    Sinn Fein and the balance of power. So Garret says something might happen. He might be right. This makes one assumption – that Labour won’t go into government with Fianna Fail in the absence of the deal with Fine Gael and the Greens coming good. I would make no such assumption.

    Yoda –

    Bit of confusion here – sorry for not making myself clear. Collins is an example of the very few politicians in the Republic (or Free State)that have suffered for their partitionist stance. Dev was the clearest example of someone who was rewarded for dropping the foolish preoccupation with a UI. Every Fianna Fail leader since has also paid lip service to the idea. The rest of the parties don’t even bother.

    As for the future intentions and actions of the Sinn Fein membership – you’re asking me why I think it is likely that a section of them will follow the well trodden path from one-eyed republicanism to public servant and politician? From Dev to Pronsias De Rossa, it has been done over and over again. There are more important things than achieving a UI. For some in Sinn Fein their legacy depends on it, but for most it doesn’t.

    Regarding the fishy business – declaring that a politican is opposed to or pro-unification is a red herring. Waffling on about unification is a complete waste of time until Northern Ireland decides what it wants to grow up to be. No politican in a southern party is pro-unification, not even the ones that aren’t against the idea. They are pro-GFA, which is a partitionist settlement.

    And as for polling the politicians to see who might be insane enough to actually accept the offer of six of the most dysfunctional counties the world has ever seen into a small democracy – can you offer me any pointers as to who might think that waking up tomorrow morning with Dublin responsible for the north would improve the lot of their electorate? Mad Jackie Healy-Rae?

    Do you think they’d be forgiven by the electorate for sticking a pair of fighting cocks in with the goose laying the golden eggs?

  • fair_deal


    The text in the post is taken directly from the Irish Times. So I don’t know if GA restricted the comment to MPs or if the IT overlooked MEPs

    What kind of fair deal is this

    I wonder what YU numpty you really are – your style is shillidayesque and maybe I was mistaken in believing he at least was prepared to stand over his comments.

    If you can’t count then I can understand why you have problems with political analysis. Robinson issued the statement 2 days ago therefore there are 5 days to go before the DUP acts on its ultimatum.

  • lib2016


    All I’m claiming is that a lot of possibilities are opening up. Personally I think SF would be mad to even consider going into government at the moment, North or South.

    In the North Paisley and friends are discrediting the whole idea of a separate Norn Ireland and if they’re lucky they may actually get a few quid of the British taxpayer on their way out. Always a good thing.

    In the South it would split the party needlessly. Kepp the Dublin Government honest by supporting whoever plays ball from the back benches.

  • Yoda

    Hi Ringo

    I’m still not sure that you actually want to talk about this: you refer to the aspiration of a UI as “foolish.” Fair enough, but you’ve clearly made your mind up to the point where you simply won’t debate it objectively.

    You’re not open to it. Okay. The problem is that this starts to colour how you read the inner thoughts of all the politicians in Ireland. Clearly, you cannot know them. But you persist with your post as if you do.

    Partition is a fact: everyone now accepts this. It cannot be wished away: negotiation and legislation can only do that. The GFA (for all its flaws, and there are many) accepts the principle that partition will not always be the case if the majority in the North vote it away. It does not enshrine partition as something irrevocable. It does not shut down political persuasion.

    Your reading of the GFA as a purely partitionist document is what you use to justify your contention that all the Irish TDs who support it therefore support partition. On that reading, you’d think we’d have nothing to worry about. But you have a bee in your bonnet about partition ending “tomorrow morning.” You must know that that simply won’t happen. It will have to be discussed first. And yet you keep saying it even though you believe all TDs are partitionist.

    To me it seems that you are trying to reconcile two points of view in order to accommodate your wishes: the South doesn’t want the North. What you mean is that you do not. You really don’t seem to be too confident about others.

    If anything happens “soon” (remembering that a year is very short time in Northern politics), it will most like be joint authority. Do I think that will make a sizeable chunk in NI feel better? Yes, I do.

    You end by moving from fish to fowl. I’d say that we’re talking about something that is neither fish nor fowl.

  • darthrumsfeld

    Let’s take your analogy too, and refine it. Joe Southerner may only want Angie’s friend to come round for a coffee, and to know her as a friend (she’s a bit of a dog after all) but the friend has let it be known to all and sundry that she’s gagging to go all the way with Joe, and more than that, her innocent friend Angie is going to have to join them in a threesome-whether she like’s it or not!

    Angie actually couldn’t care less if the friend moved out, and shacked up with Joe, but as long as she lives in Angie’s house, she should be a bit more respectful of Angie’s fairly modest request that she be left in peace.Trouble is, the friend has a terrible temper, and although she’s been getting counseling for it recently, she has damaged the house and injured some of Angie’s relations in the past when she didn’t get her way.

    Joe doesn’t know what he’s letting himself in for!

  • Thomas

    And Jim Nicholson said yesterday “The Irish Prime Minister must come clean and clarify what is his Government’s position on this issue because conflicting reports have appeared…which question who really is in charge in the Republic of Ireland.”