Dáil Debate on Irish Unity

Sinn Féin TDs are using their Technical Group Private Members’ time constructively in the Dáil this evening with a motion on Irish unity. You can watch the debate live here tonight and tomorrow.

  • Keith M

    “Sinn Féin TDs are using their Technical Group Private Members’ time constructively…” This obviously is the Provo dictionary definition of the word “constutively”, i.e. trying to waste the time of over 160 TDs, the vast majority of whom have enough sense to be seen nowhere near this pathetic farago of tokenism.

    However it is nice of SF/IRA to remind everyone that pantomime is just around the corner.

  • Pete Baker

    Since, under the Good Friday Agreement, it is not in the gift of the Dáil to decide on this topic.. it does seem more like an electioneering stunt by Sinn Féin than an attempt to present an argument to persuade those who will actually decide the issue of whether there is a united Ireland or not at any point in the future.

  • ALan

    Was last night’s business lost? I don’t see any report on the website.

  • Naoise Nunn

    My description of this business as having been “constructive” was tongue in cheek since no other party agreed to support the motion. With recent attempts by Fianna Fáil to position itself as the “true” republican party and even Fine Gael laying claim to Michael Collins’ legacy, Sinn Féin seems to be attempting to force them to put their money where their mouth is. The debate continues after the Order of Business this morning – probably from about 11.15 for 90 minutes. The vote will probably not go to a full Division as only five Deputies will be in the “Tá” lobby.

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil all have as their stated objective to bring about a United Ireland – however they’ve never fulfilled an iota of that promise, much like the other pledges they’ve made.
    Sinn Féin may be by themselves now in pushing the debate forward – but come the years ahead a new generation of politicians will recognise the folly of the current crop of corrupt cronies and fulfill the promises made.

  • Bogexile

    ‘Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil all have as their stated objective to bring about a United Ireland – however they’ve never fulfilled an iota of that promise’

    One would hope that this is because decent constitutional southern politicians are appalled, ashamed and disgusted at the last 30 wasted years of militant Republican terror which has actually put back the prospect of an agreed Ireland by generations. A period of silence on their part is most welcome.

  • an seabhac siulach

    In a week when the Southern government has announced 34 billion euros to further upgrade the transport infrastructure in the 26 counties, it is hardly of academic interest only, surely, for those in the six counties to consider unity and to think of what they are (again) missing out on. In the South, Irishmen and women are deciding for themselves in full economic confidence what is of greater benefit to themselves in terms of transport (amongst other issues). What do you have in the six counties? Unaccountable English (in the main) ministers allocating a dwindling
    amount of public money in a biased way. So unionists, is this the best system, where you wait for whatever crumbs might be thrown to you from your master’s table? In return for what, a seat ,perhaps, in the house of ‘lords’ eventually?

    The six counties is an economic basket case. This is clear when 30% of the workforce are employed in the public sector and in a week where a local politician (Durkan) has to scramble around for an I.T. contract (public sector, of course) promising
    as much as a few hundred jobs (wow!) to the deprived Northwest of the country. But, of course, the jobs have gone to Belfast, another decision made by unaccountable government officials…yet another reason for getting the local assembly, at least, up and running. Discussing unity is hardly merely a theoretical exercise. If we are serious about persuing unity then money and institutional changes must be made beforehand. For example, the northern six counties will need a lot of money over a long time to bring them into line and up to the standard of the southern 26 counties. We do not have to ask anyone’s permission in order to debate unity nor be made feel ashamed to do so. The peaceful and democratic persual of this objective is every Irishperson’s right.

  • Curious

    Does anyone know what time this debate commences tonight ?

    Thanks in advance.

  • Bogexile

    If a major element of this debate were to focus on how Northern and Southern nationalists can understand the reality and aspirations of their pro-British neighbours, this would at least be a start.

    But surely this is nothing more than a politican stunt engineered by Sinn Fein to keep the pot boiling and in every way possible continue to undermine the foundations of Unionist identity.

    An S, you make a number of compelling points about ‘the economy, stupid.’ But you well know that people’s attachment to national identity subordinates even their prosperity. Indeed an unfavourable ecomomic comparision won’t be seen in rational terms by some in deprived Prod areas – it will simply be more evidence that ‘themmuns’ are undermining the state.

    As unpalatable as it may seem to Catholics who were certainly discriminated against within NI, if you have any hope of a new agreed Ireland, you have to persuade people like me that there is a place in it for my identity and culture and not patronise or dismiss that identity and culture as meaningless or contrived.

    The end point of unity may be increased economic prosperity but working class Protestants are emotionally too raw from the troubles to factor that into their present thinking.

  • an seabhac siulach

    Bogexile

    “if you have any hope of a new agreed Ireland, you have to persuade people like me that there is a place in it for my identity and culture and not patronise or dismiss that identity and culture as meaningless or contrived.”

    My opinion is that Northern unionists (protestants) have nothing to fear from the confident modern state to the south. In fact, the situation might be the opposite. Bertie and his friends might not much like the idea of a few honest Presbyterians getting in to see the books!
    The south of Ireland is a country now with many cultures (esp. in Dublin) due to rapid immigration. I see no reason why Northern protestants need fear their culture or identity being patronised or dismissed in such an open atmosphere. The claustrophobic catholic past is long gone. In fact, I would say that there are more churchgoers in the North than in the South now.

    The only part of your identity that may need to be dismissed is the tiresome attachment (dependance?) you seem to have with those on the other island to our east. There is much evidence to show that your culture would be respected in the south; witness the increased awareness of our Irish military past in the British Empire, the opening up of Croke park to ‘foreign’ games, the millions (>30) spent on preserving the Battle of the Boyne site, the increased exposure of cricket, rugby, etc., etc.
    In fact, in the South they fall over themselves to continually show how non-sectarian they are vis-a-vis protestants. The truth is, there is now (I do not comment on the past) no discrimination against protestants in the South. In fact, the opposite could well be the case.

    It is noticeable that it is suddenly fashionable to be a (peaceful!) republican again. Why else, would Fianna Fail, the PDs and Fine Gael suddenly again find their republican credentials…
    Sinn Fein is driving this change (the other parties fear their growth) and is also now driving the necessary debate on unity. No one need fear this debate…except those with something to lose, i.e., the elites in Dublin/Six counties.

  • Henry94

    Your points are well made but for republicans, at this stage, it’s not so much about winning the debate as establishing our right to have it at all.

    Unionists appear to believe that the point of the debate is to freak them out. And some in the south maintain it is against the Good Friday Agreement to even talk about Irish unity.

    So there is a job to be done to establish Irish unity as a legitimate and live politicl option. That can only be done by raising it and bringing out into the open what peoples real concerns are.

    When everyone is as willing as you to have the debate on its merits we will be getting somewhere.

  • Levitas

    It seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to be debated, especially since it is increasingly obvious that unity in an economic sense is happening anyway,Fermanagh’s population rose recently due to the number of Dublin commuters settling there…That the economic centre of gravity on the island is perceptibly shifting from Britain to Dublin is now widely accepted by economists and politicians alike, and thus a discussion of greater cross-border coperation and coordination is in the economic best interests of all. Note also that the Transport 21 initiative is geared towards facilitating the further erosion of the relevance of a border that is increasingly looking like an (expensive for Britain) irrelevance.Discussing the need for greater unity on the island is just an inevitable outcome of how things are changing in Ireland, it is the predictable nay-sayers who are living in the past..

  • barnshee

    “In fact, in the South they fall over themselves to continually show how non-sectarian they are vis-a-vis protestants. The truth is, there is now (I do not comment on the past) no discrimination against protestants in the South. In fact, the opposite could well be the case.”

    Claptrap –having engineered a situation where the protestant is a miniscule part of the state (4%?) -of course there is “no discrimination against protestants in the South.” It would take electon microscopes to find one to exercise discrimination on.

    “think of what they are (again) missing out on.”

    Yea yea decades of support for murder gangs, sectarian games, abuse by clergy, our churchs turned into resturants— really miss it

  • Barnshee, I’m not sure who engineered the fall in population for the Republic’s Protestants (far fewer than 4% by the way), but I doubt it was the state. As for the topic at hand, it would be nice to see SF commissioning a study on the economic impact of unification for the South and the North. If we’re going to have the debate we may as well talk about more than romantic aspirations.

  • an seabhac siulach

    bamshee

    “…having engineered a situation where the protestant is a miniscule part of the state (4%?) -of course there is “no discrimination against protestants in the South.” It would take electon microscopes to find one to exercise discrimination on.”

    What nonsense. No one ‘engineered’ anything. The truth is that, in the South, there was more mixing, i.e., marriages, of the two ‘communities’ than in the North. Can we have the comments of a Southern protestant on this? Besides, we were not talking of the past here, only the future. It is true perhaps that the South used to be more than a bit catholic but that is NOT the case now. Even with that, there was no structural discrimination as in the North.
    No one will be forcibly converting the brethren to catholicism, don’t worry…we are too busy with other more material matters…

    “Yea yea decades of support for murder gangs, sectarian games, abuse by clergy, our churchs turned into resturants— really miss it”

    If this was a joke, it might be funny…what exactly has catholic priests abusing children got to do with Irish unity. Hardly something protestants need worry about anyway, is it? Decades of support for murder gangs, sectarian games, surely you are talking of your own community?

    Well, what do you say, why don’t you go off and wallow in impotent self-pity in your structurally crumbling 6 county state ruled over by unaccountable English ministers…that way you can stay safe from those church-restaurants that the evil southerners are aiming to foist on you…perhaps the Brits will throw a few more public service jobs to you when they’re feeling generous. Is begging good for the soul? Pathetic.

  • A new study (see link) by the Deutsche Bank Group speculates on what the world will be like in 2020 if current trends continue.

    http://www.watchingamerica.com/lefigaro000043.html

    Here is the interesting bit.

    Ireland, for example, in 2020 will have the second highest GNP per capita in the world, just behind the U.S. The increased weight of these new stars on the European landscape will not, however, be sufficient to compensate for the retreat of its historic champions [Britain, France, Germany] who will feel the full weight of their society’s declining demographics [aging populations].

  • an seabhac siulach

    Garret Fitzgerald has already speculated on the cost of unification in The Irish Times…suffice to say that it will be a lot…but then unification is not an economic project, it is a political one, and one which can be done with support from both governments. The British government could gradually reduce its annual subsidies while the Irish government increase its level of support. It would probably temporarily cripple the Southern economy (West Germany/East Germany parallel) but in the long term a unified economy on the island will be stronger than two divided ones…we have to be honest, of course, as to whether we wish to pay the price of unification with the economic, let alone, political turbulence this would entail…
    Talk (of unification without taking into account the costs) is cheap.

  • Henry94

    The British appear determined to make the north pay its way so the subsidies to the union will be eliminated over time anyway.

    My fear is that without economic powers at the Assembly we won’t see the north replacing subsidised jobs with real jobs.

    We need to see the people of the north taking control of and responsibility for the economy. I don’t think the British would stand in the way if all parties wanted increased powers.

  • eranu

    an seabhac siulach

    “The truth is, there is now (I do not comment on the past) no discrimination against protestants in the South. In fact, the opposite could well be the case.”

    ive just managed to climb back on my seat after falling off laughing !! to be able to say that you must have knowledge of the lives of the entire population of the south – nice one !!

    the pro UI posters here never cease to amaze me with their ‘facts’. im a prod from belfast living in dublin for years and i know what southern society is like for protestants. i must have been imagining things when i was called an orange bastard or made to feel like the odd one out for being a protestant.
    scratch the surface and it is still a catholic society for catholics, recently now for ‘white’ catholics.
    in the media catholics are often refered to as ‘we’ or ‘us’ by the presenter and protestants ‘they’ or ‘them’ the protestant / orange / unionist point is often made by a catholic of what he imagines it to be, usually totally wrong and cringe inducing. the football news may as well be called the Celtic news, with rangers getting a quick hushed mention at the end.
    its simply taken for granted that the norm is to be catholic / support celtic / have a dislike of anything british or english.

    as for painting the economic picture as, ROI streets paved with gold, and NI as a charles dickens world where they cant afford to buy shoes type thing – nonsense ! my friends in belfast can actually afford to buy a house themselves, own better quality cars for less, and have a much wider choice of goods and services than i have in dublin.

    i wonder if the debaters for irish unity will actually do any specific comparasions of every day things like prices and services etc. ???

  • John East Belfast

    ass

    great acronym that !

    There is always someone wanting to bang that tiresome drum about how well off the South is economically compared to the North.

    However it doesn’t wash – yes the south has undergone a superb economic revival in recent years but I would say it is now a case of you having more Haves not less Have Nots.

    There is no measurable poverty difference between the north and the south and indeed with the totally free NHS and other welfare benefits of a 10 year British Labour Govt I would say the Have Nots fare better than their equivalents south of the border.

    your “structurally crumbling 6 county state..” type comments are just plain ridiculous – it might make you feel better saying them but they don’t ring true.

    The fact is that NI is emerging from 30 years of terrorism as well as having to adapt to the changing global environment that has faced all industrialised countries (yes when the south was still largely agrarian)

    So are you saying that a nation’s economic success should all be judged against the relatively recent and ill divided success of the 26 counties ?

    The fact is that outside of London NI is actually the most economically vibrant area of the UK.

    Some of us are totally committed to helping this place pull itself together again and begrudging comments from people like you will not convince us that you are the type of person we want to be united with

  • eastofthebann

    The only part of your identity that may need to be dismissed is the tiresome attachment (dependance?) you seem to have with those on the other island to our east.

    But this “tiresome attachment” is at the very core of the Unionist identity. Unionists see themselves as an integral part of these islands as a whole, we don’t want to hive Northern Ireland off into a state that would be separate from the Union, and which has as it’s very raison d’etre a desire to be separate from “Britishness”.

    What you are basically saying above is that the price of having our identity “respected” in a “united” Ireland would be to sacrifice the very core of that identity – our Britishness!

    (It might help your case if you refrained from describing the core identity of 1 million of your fellow Irishmen as a ‘tiresome attachment’. Just a thought!)

  • samusocadhain

    Should let Northen unionists pay the same rates as the population of Britain (52% of whom want rid of them). Some unionists are truly the spoilt infants of Europe, wanting to be British, but not to pay their rates or abide by their laws, not wanting to be Irish and content to maintain an artifical, sectarian statelet for that end. Loyalists, admittedly a small minority, see the Union Jack as a cloak for illicit profiteering.

    It’s rare that I’d agree with a Tory, but Edwina Currie had a point on Let’s Talk when she demanded that unionists start being fully-paid-up members of the “United Kingdom”, paying equal rates and ending the drain on the “UK” economy. Giving them financial succour is just prolonging the fantasy that they are an economically successful people.

    Why are unionists so afraid of a reconciliation on equal terms? I have no problem with people being British; in fact, I love many aspects of English and Scottish culture in particular – their literature, comedy, history. But why do you want nationalists to be British? This is not a question of nationality, but one of equality – of parity of identity and citizenship.

  • George

    John East Belfast,
    there are 49,000 people waiting on surgical procedures in Northern Ireland compared to 10,000 in the Irish Republic. I know the south has a crap service so this surprises even me but where would you want to be if you were in need of an operation?

    The Irish government is now spending 1,000 euros per capita more on its health service than Northern Ireland. The times are changing in health too.

    On deprivation, there is 3 billion being pumped into Ballymun at the moment, the largest regeneration project in Europe so something is being done. Not enough but something. Fatima Mansions is improving too.

    Pensioners and welfare recipients south of the border are much “better off” than their northern compatriots too. Keep an eye on December’s budget, which will widen the gap further.

    “The fact is that outside of London NI is actually the most economically vibrant area of the UK. ”

    The fact is that Northern Ireland has failed to close the gap on the rest of the UK since 1997 and is still at 79% of the UK average GNI. More public sector jobs and 16,000 less manufacturing ones does not a vibrant area make.

    From today: PwC managing partner Stephen Kingon said Northern Ireland’s economic growth and consumer confidence remains “perilously dependant” upon continued and “disproportionately high” levels of government expenditure.

    That isn’t vibrancy, that’s dependancy writ large.

    The other fact is that the gap with the Republic has widened further and will continue to widen.

    ASS,
    Fitzgerald said a united Ireland couldn’t be afforded 20 years ago but then again he also thought the Anglo-Irish Agreement would stem the electoral rise of Sinn Fein.

    An independent Irish Republic was “unaffordable” 80 odd years ago but it didn’t stop it happening. It just meant tough times for a long time.

    A united Ireland can be “afforded” but there would have to be huge sacrifices and tough times for a long time.

    Eastofthebann,
    there isn’t anywhere near a million, you are going to have to update your figures.

  • TAFKABO

    The only part of your identity that may need to be dismissed is the tiresome attachment (dependance?) you seem to have with those on the other island to our east.

    You probably have no idea of just how damaging to the cause of Irish unity comments like this can be.
    Speaking as a unionist, I’m glad you’re so ignorant.
    Keep on making statements like that and I can rest assured that a united Ireland will never happen.

  • On a point of information, the Dáil did not vote on the Sinn Féin motion but on the Government amendment. The Government won, of course, with 8 TDs opposing (SF, Finian McGrath, Joe Higgins and Tony Gregory).

  • foreign correspondent

    ´´Note also that the Transport 21 initiative is geared towards facilitating the further erosion of the relevance of a border that is increasingly looking like an (expensive for Britain) irrelevance´´

    Being outside Ireland I haven´t been able to find out much about this initiative. Is there a cross-border aspect to this infrastructure development? It would be good if there was, as to give one example, the road between Dublin and Ireland´s fourth biggest city (ie Derry) is a joke, for the most part.

  • Rationalist

    Levitas: “Fermanagh’s population rose recently due to the number of Dublin commuters settling there…”
    Are people really driving this distance to work (a round trip of at least 200 miles)every day? I’m neither agreeing or disagreeing with this statement, as I have no knowledge of the relevant facts, but would interested to know where this figure came from.

  • slug

    The only part of your identity that may need to be dismissed is the tiresome attachment (dependance?) you seem to have with those on the other island to our east.

    Good grief.

  • Bogexile

    a.s.s.

    You started really well but then with tiresome predictability you react to argument from a Unionist perspective by ridiculing the very things that mean the most to us.

    I actually find the infantilism of this argument depressing. TAFKABO hit the nail on the head – your argument for unity needs to mature before you have any hope of persuading us to accompany you to the national reconcilliation you long for. But when pressed, it’s always the same from Nationalists: – ‘you are an anachronism, unloved and unwanted, wake up and smell the coffee.’ All the ingrediants for another two generations of partition…

  • Henry94

    This kind of thing will have to stop for a start.

    Council guilty of discriminating against British citizen

    03/11/2005 – 15:06:35

    The Equality Tribunal has ordered Donegal County Council to pay €20,000 compensation to a British woman it discriminated against because she was a British citizen.

    The tribunal found the council guilty of repeatedly overlooking Derry woman Paula Alderdice for promotion solely because of her citizenship.

    The trade union IMPACT had taken a case on her behalf after she failed to secure promotion on six occasions.

    The Equality Tribunal said the council was unable to show that her interviews were conducted in an objective and transparent manner.

    The council has said it is considering an appeal and has slammed IMPACT for revealing details of the outcome before it was officially published by the tribunal.

  • “The Government won, of course, with 8 TDs opposing (SF, Finian McGrath, Joe Higgins and Tony Gregory).” Ah, round up the usual suspects.

    I stand corrected it was “only” 158 TDs who’s time was wasted on this nonsense.

  • Brian Boru

    Barnshee, the main component in the decline of Southern Protestantism was intermarriage. In the early 20th century the Catholic Church introduced the Ne Temere decree, requiring the children of mixed marriages to be brought up as Catholics. Prior to that time, the male/female child would get the religion of the male/female parent. This was destroyed by the decree. I understand that 63% of Southern Protestants who are married are married to Catholics. Nowadays of course, Ne Temere is gone, and Protestant numbers have been swelled both by immigration and by thousands of Catholic converts to Protestantism. The scandals in the Catholic Church are probably the main reason for the latter, and Protestants would hardly immigrate in large numbers to a country they suspect would persecute them.

    A smaller component of the decline is the migration of former Unionists from border areas to Northern Ireland as they wished to stay in the part of Ireland that remained in the UK. It is estimated that between 1911-1926 around 33% of Southern Protestants moved to NI for this reason. While it is true that a minority were burned out during the War of Independence, it should be understood that some were informing on the Old IRA and in border areas, some were members of the Old UVF. The Crown forces had an official policy of reprisals and burned down homes of suspected Republicans (or just Catholic homes). In some areas, the Old IRA retaliated by attacking Loyalist homes in order to deter the Brits from burning homes. Personally I do not approve of this but that was 90 years ago and I don’t see Protestant homes in the South being burned down now do you? Has your house in the South been burned? I think we need to look at what is happening now to get a fair inkling of how Northern Protestants would be treated in a United Ireland, rather than harking back to what happened 90 years ago. If the worst you can complain of eranu is being called names, then I think your community would survive!

    It seems every day we turn on the radio/television there is yet another abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. Speaking for myself I have completely abandoned any interest in religion because of this, and Mass attendances have fallen from 90% to under 50%. Since then, we have legalised divorce, contraception, homosexuality, and even before then we scrapped references in the Irish Constitution to the special place of the Catholic Church as the religion of the majority. With our abortion laws largely the same as those in the North I feel that the South can now argue to be the more secular of the 2 states, especially since we don’t require our Head of State to be a member of a particular religion unlike a certain other country I can think of (ahem).

    Eranu, I personally do not call Protestants names like that, but it’s a far cry from people throwing petrol-bombs at each other and burning each other out of homes that you find in the North. Surely you must accept that life in the South is far more peaceful than in the North. When we have heated arguments with other people, insults are sometimes shouted out and we can say things we don’t mean. Only a very small minority down here shout insults like “Protestant bastard”, and I personally have never come across someone saying it.

    Now, addressing this debate specifically, I think what SF is calling for is unwise. As Mary Coughlan of FF said in the Dail, of course many in the House want a UI including in FF, but this can only happen according to the consent principle in the GFA i.e. a majority in NI voting for it. Southern governments producing Green Papers on reunification will only stir up unnecessary tensions and distract from the important task of restoring powersharing. That is also my view.

  • an seabhac siulach

    Eranu, Eastofthebann, TAFKABO, etc.

    Well, glad I caught your attention…(perhaps you all might even agree with some of what I say…)

    Eranu-if you are feeling like a minority in Dublin, it is because protestants from Belfast, surprisingly, are a minority there. You choose to huddle in the North-Eastern part of Ireland (East of the Bann mainly) for reasons best known to yourselves…if more of you would come to the South then opinions would quickly change, are already rapidly changing. All minorities undergo unfavourable comments. So, a bit of slagging, was that the height of the ‘discrimination’ against you? Get a grip. By the way, if the 6 counties is so well off…then what were you doing having to lower yourself and come to work in Dublin? Must have been awful for you…all that pro-celtic bias, my,my…

    Just a thought…as for the six counties being the most vibrant area economically, that wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that it shares a border with the 26 county (celtic tiger) by any chance, would it? The 26 counties is able to absorb the unemployed of the 6 counties so making it appear as if the economy in the North is not the basket case it so clearly is, e.g., from any clutch of statistic like those of George above.
    Also, the car parks in Newry, Enniskillen, etc. are full every weekend with shoppers from the south, further helping to boost the Northern economy. Prices are cheaper in the North precisely because the economy there is in tatters, by the way…

    Sorry if I insulted anybodies britishness (shouldn’t that be UK-ness anyway?)…what fragile sensibilities you must have…perhaps due to a less than confident belief in this mythical britishness?
    By any measure, your relationship with the eastern isle is an immature dependent one. Explain to me, what is the future of the 6 counties in the UK? Can the status quo continue, whereby the rest of the UK funnels huge amounts into the 6 counties for nothing in return? Nothing that is except childish whinging when RIR batallions are cut back, etc. Is this dependent state healthy? Is it healthy that English ministers decide every aspect of your lives and you are happy with it? Time for a bit of maturity, lads…there is no IRA bogeyman to hide behind anymore…time to grow up…
    You are unwilling even to take the minor step of setting up Stormont again. Too much responsibility, is that it? Better those wise English ministers decide on the water charges for you, that’s the way you like it.
    If there is an alternative for the 6 counties that realistically does not involve union with the South in the longer term I would be glad to hear it. It could take the form of a federation of the 26 and 6 counties, with 2 parliaments and a single federal government. The 6 county parliament would safeguard the rights of the ‘british’ in any future unified country. Anyway, further EU integration means that unity is inevitable…euro on both sides of the border (historically!) soon, all-Ireland infrastructural projects, etc. Sorry my ‘British’ friends…the tide of history is very much flowing against you…

  • slug

    TAFKABO

    Totally agree.

  • Keith M

    Thanks for the update, Wednesday. So the Provos and their fellow travellers weren’t even able to force a division. If you want a good example of why SF/IRA are so irrelevant and impotent in this country, you’ve just got it.

  • loyalist

    This is pretty funny. Nationalists used to say English mps had no interest in NI – they didn’t turn up for Westminster debates. Down south, they won’t even let nordies in. Also our economy is much better than the tip tt the south. BMWs being driven to big American companies in Dublin do not affect the vast majority of people. I’m not being nasty, I don’t wish poverty on anyone, but there is and always will be much more in the South. Also there are at least a million Unionists in the North its the papes who have falling numbers as the strange silence of SF spokesmen on demographics confirms.

  • irishman

    Pete

    Any chance of a link being set up about leading loyalist Mark Harbinson publicly confirming on Talkback today that he is working for the DUP?

    This man has featured in a number of threads on this site about the Orange Volunteers paramilitary group- of which local papers, like the Sunday World, have alleged him to be the leader- and has been implicated in attacks on catholic homes and properties in Stoneyford and the wider south-west Antrim area.

    Might be worthy of discussion….

  • Conor

    barnshee, go away and listen to yourself you pathetic little fool. sectarian games? whats sectarian about GAA? you dont want to play them anyway. support for murder gangs? you talking about M15 there? abuse by the clergy really was a funny one i must say, coming from a protestant. take a stroll over the border and note just how many presbyterian churches there are. i tell you, in donegal anyway, they outnumber catholic churches. long live the struggle for Irish Unity.