Southern Commitment to Irish Unity Undiminished

The findings of a Sunday Business Post poll reveal the enduring strength of the Irish people’s vision for re-unification. The poll is interesting for revealing that the attachment to this objective remains strong amongst the young as well as old, with a geographic analysis revealing that only in Dublin does the commitment to unity seem to be lessening. How ironic then that Sinn Fein appears to have found a way around this, given the continuing strength of the republican party’s appeal in the capital city.

  • Pete Baker

    Despite the headline the SBP chose, the more interesting aspect of the poll is in the detail – after noting that 22 percent of those polled believe that “delivering a united Ireland should be the government’s first priority” –

    More than half of voters, 55 per cent, say they would like to see a united Ireland, but “other things should have priority“.

    Ten per cent of voters say no efforts should be made to bring about a united Ireland, whereas 13 per cent say they have no interest one way or the other.

  • Amazing dovetailing in with the last thread SF should be ecstatic, a majority want a united ireland and SF are prepared to use vitually any means necessary to achieve it, starting by a full assault on the police this summer.
    At least we now know who directs the kids to throw the petrol bombs at the police and the fire-engines, these marxist nut-heads grown fat on foolish pride and criminal proceeds.
    But these are honourable men says G.Adams.
    Keep the supporters in a perpetual state of fear, and train them never to trust and try to work with the PSNI to make things better.
    Makes you proud to be Irish don’t it !

  • peteb
    You’re sounding desperate with your highly selective raking through the stats.
    I’d stop digging if I were you, esp the last rejoiner which is meek and virtually irrelevant.

  • Pete Baker

    S-l

    A break-down of the percentages for the answers to the particular question referenced, with direct quotes from the article, is not selectively raking through the stats.

  • Mick Fealty

    Interesting that they are beginning to add the question. Along with the regional data being collected by RedC is a significant move forward in publicly available political polling in the Republic.

    Though I’m not sure how regularly it would be worth repeating this particular question. Maybe every two or three years.

    Given that all of the Republic’s major political parties (not simply Sinn Fein) are in favour of unification, and no significant lobby exists campaigning against it, I can’t see where any future downward pressure on the figure would come from.

  • GavBelfast

    “The great majority of Irish people are nationalists to a greater or lesser degree, favouring a united Ireland in either the short or long-term, according to the results of the latest Sunday Business Post/Red C opinion poll.”

    Was the poll only carried out in Republic? If so, what’s with this “great majority of the Irish people” stuff? This would imply that those North of the border are not Irish, or not regarded as such.

    I think we should be told ….

  • Pete Baker

    Mick

    “Interesting that they are beginning to add the question.”

    Isn’t it a poll commissioned by the Sunday Business Post? They will be the ones to decide the areas covered by the questions.

  • Dave

    Does this poll also deliver an answer to a question that wasn’t asked? Should Ireland be for the Irish? Does this poll allude to stating that the slogan (Brits out) should be reinstated?
    Seems to me that nothing has changed or will change and that the other community living in Northern Ireland have everything to fear should a political United Ireland become a reality.

    Maybe the time is near for the idea of a political Independent Northern Ireland to be looked at in a very serious manner. Trying to absorb close to one million people into a political UI who don’t want to be part of it will just not work.

  • páid

    a few comments:

    It would be interesting to find out whether or not ‘greenness’ has or hasn’t infected the new immigrants

    It IS surprising that as many as 22% regard unity, hardly a bread-and-butter issue, more a vision thing, as top priority. This is hard to credit when at any moment in time, at least 22% of irish, south of the border, are stuck in a traffic jam.

    Although maybe not, for, as Irish socialists have long known, due to the fact that there is a big, other island next door, the irish are, fundamentally, a nationalistic people.

  • Fifty-five percent of the Irish electorate would favor a united Ireland as long as it doesn’t interfere with other priorities which I read as life, liberty and the pursuit of the Euro.

    As soon as the fifty-five percent realize the extent to which the great sucking hole of the north is denuding Her Majesty’s Exchequer of Sterling, I would expect either a cooling of thier adore or the beginning of the shamrock quest for a Sugar Daddy.

    On the other hand, the twenty-two percent of hard core integrationists cannot be merely palmed off as a powerless minority of chowderheads.

    One in six voting Americans ascribe to the Fairy Godmother version of Christianity in which they will be all whisked off to Heaven within a decade or two as Jesus floats down through the fluffy clouds to set things right. These are the swing vote nutters that gave you eight years of Bush.

    Be warned.

  • Chris you wrote *…only in Dublin does the commitment to unity seem to be lessening.*

    I disagree with your reading of the statistics. The SBP wrote *…more people in Dublin – 61 per cent – do want to see a united Ireland but not as the government’s first priority* which implies to me that the desire for the UI is there but there are other, more pressing, issues eg. employmt, house prices, crime, healthcare, education. These will be where SF will be making efforts to gain votes. If Shinners then work on a UI they’ll have v little opposition.

    There might be greater potential for SF as there is such dis content with the cost of living and standard of living especially due to house prices. This might be transferred to votes for SF. Disgruntled citizens might look for a change from the ordinary.

    but then again there’s the expression…*lies, damn lies and statistics.*

  • Brian Boru

    Delighted with the poll results.

    Dave, chill out. Protestants – including Northerners – walk up and down O’Connell Street every day of the week perfectly safely. Feb 28th was a freak event, and not in any way indicative of the views of anyone other than those involved and dissident republicans.

    Cool it okay. This is 2006 not 1641. 😉

  • Jim

    Does anyone know how the referendums in the GFA are defined. Can the South initiate a referendum or are is it subject to one in the North happening first?

  • BogExile

    ‘….farmers, who are slightly (but only slightly) less ‘green’ than the population at large.’

    Everybody has missed this terrifying extract from the report. Forget about reunification, just what are southern farmers doing to their spuds???

    NO to reunification without organic vegetables.

  • BogExile

    ‘Delighted with the poll results’

    Of course you are. Ignoring the fact that over 1/2 those polled are much more worried about holes in the road than lines on the map and that nearly a quarter are against or at best are completely apathetic to unity can do that to a person 🙂

  • Brian Boru

    “Does anyone know how the referendums in the GFA are defined. Can the South initiate a referendum or are is it subject to one in the North happening first?”

    Under Article 3, a United Ireland can only happen if majorities in both jurisdictions vote for it. But there are no rules on when the South votes on it. Naturally there would be no point without a majority in the North voting for it though. In constrast, the GFA requires that the British govt can only hold a referendum on it in NI if there is a likelihood of support for a UI.

  • Brian Boru

    Someone here alluded to the immigrant vote. Very few in this poll would be immigrants, because the vast majority have only come here in the past 10 years – 40% of them since 2002 and most of those since EU Enlargement. Most would not yet have the vote in referenda either because they haven’t lived in the country long enough (at least 5 years “continuous residency” is needed). There has been no analysis whatsoever on immigrant voting intentions down here. Needless to say if current trends continue an immigrant-vote will become decisive in elections however.

  • Keith M

    No matter how you try to spin this it’s a major slap in the face for the “united Ireland” brigade. Despite he fact that every political party in the country is (at least notionally) in favour of a “united Ireland” the fact that one in five of the electorate are either against it or have no interest in it, shows a major blow to those that like to paint everyone in this country as (all island) nationalists.

    As the rest of the country tends to follow Dublin, this figure is likely to climb even further. As the number of immigrants (who have more important things to worry about) begin to have a bigger relative impact it will fall even further. Given the momentenum to a united Europe, the whole issue of a “united Ireland” is disappearing over the threshold of irrelevancy.

  • bootman

    Of course, the vast majority of Irish people are pro-United Irealnd and enthusastically so, we dont need opinion polls to show us that. And of course, some of us have other prioritites,if a member of my family was lying on a hospital trolley fixing the health system would be my first priority- but that doesnt mean that I dont believe passionately in uniting the country.

    As for SF support in Dublin the link in the post only shows Dublin city, in the other “counties” of Dublin SF’s vote is nowhere near as high.

  • Brian Boru

    “As the rest of the country tends to follow Dublin..”

    They did the opposite in the divorce and abortion referendums since the 90’s.

  • J McConnell

    Polls like this are meaningless.

    Its like asking “Do you believe we should do more to cure cancer?” or “Do you believe we should be doing more to build world peace?” or suchlike..

    For the last 90 plus years 20% to 25% of people in the South are republican zealots, and another third or more are fair weather United Irelanders, they believe in a united Ireland as long as it does not cost them anything personally. And the rest dont give a damn, they really cannot stand Northerners, nationalist or unionist.

    Once you start asking questions about what real sacrifices the fair weather United Irelanders are willing to make to create a actual real life united state on this island then support among the fair weather folk for the idea fades quickly.

    How many are willing to pay almost the equivalent of the annual take from income tax or VAT to pay the cost of support government services and welfare Northern Ireland?

    Who is going to pay for the North when the economic good times in the South end (which they will)?

    How many are willing to pay the cost of the creation of a militarized police-force that would be needed to ‘police’ the loyalist areas of the north eastern part of a United Ireland?

    How many are willing to upset the cozy status quo in the Dail and put up with giving the unionist / loyalist parties block the deciding vote in who governs Ireland?

    How many are willing to change the deeply politicized judicial system so that instead of complaint political appointees who know how not to rock the boat or ask awkward question you have a bunch of unionist judges running around poking their noses into the dark and rotten corners of the Irish polity and Irish business?

    The answer to the above questions is not very many.

    And I strongly suspect that when the question of a United Ireland is framed in the above manner that a large majority of the Republican zealots would find excuses to defer the day of unification to some far off future date. In my experience Republican zealots tend to be more me-fein’ers than sein fein’ers when the subject of them actually paying the cost for their political beliefs comes up.

  • Keith M

    BB, can I suggest you look at the results of the two divorce referendums. They provide the best possible proof of the rest of country following (albeit slowly) Dublin.

    The same applies on the “pro-life” and abortion referendums. Basically Dublin was more progressive in the 1980s (higher votes for divorce and against the “pro-life” referendum) and by the 1990’s the rest of the country had moved in that direction (though still behind Dublin), but the overall movement was enough to get divorce through and the outright ban on abortion to fail.

  • Polls decide nothing, Poles will decide everything!

  • Lorcan

    It’d be interesting to pose the question like this;
    “Would you be in favour of a united Ireland if you would be paying €150 more in tax monthly for the next 20 – 25 years?”

    I wonder how high the percentage would be then.

  • Lorcan,

    answering your question for myself…

    “Would you be in favour of a united Ireland if you would be paying €150 more in tax monthly for the next 20 – 25 years?”

    Emphatic yes!

  • J McConnell

    > It’d be interesting to pose the question like this;
    > “Would you be in favour of a united Ireland if you
    > would be paying €150 more in tax monthly for the
    > next 20 – 25 years?”

    Make that *per week* and you might closer to the true cost.

  • J McConnell,

    I don’t believe that is the case. People are very down on the north-east and it’s ability to support itself. Historically it was the most prosperous part of the country, especially the Protestant business classes.

    It’s been pointed out over and over on Slugger that it has suffered from 30 years of violence, which is hardly a climate favourable to entrepeneurialship, where business models would have to account for “protection” money for the local hoods.

    The second problem is that it is locked into an economy which is dominated by the south-east of England. The only thing the north-east of Ireland seems to be good for is setting up call centers, the English obviously can’t get enough of that Irish/Ulster-Scots brogue.

    Thirdly there is no local administration to make decisions which are accountable to local people, direct rule ministers (remote government) can decide what they like (e.g. tax rates/€ v £/corporate grants) without fear of political backlash.

    The first issue has hopefully been dealt with.
    The second and third could be dealt with either under a devolved administration with wide ranging powers, or under reunification. Either way by the time reunification rolls round the north-east shold be reasonably self sufficient, or at least very soon after reunification.

    But again if reunification was dependent on solely on me agreeing to pay 150 quid a month for it, I’d be saying welcome to your new home boys, come in in the drinks are on me!

  • smcgiff

    “Make that *per week* and you might closer to the true cost.”

    You forgot to mention the 900k Protestants with horns and cloven feet the Southeners would have to suffer.

  • Stephen Copeland

    … You forgot to mention the 900k Protestants with horns and cloven feet the Southeners would have to suffer.

    Who would, of course, all be sitting around gurning rather than getting rich thanks to their new 12% corporate tax rate!

  • Lorcan

    Well, fair play, your holiness. I just hope this doesn’t come out of the church donations fund, a more suitable source would be the Vatican Bank … 😉

    What the true cost would be no-one can yet say. I worked this out in the basis of an average. We have around 2million workers employed here. 150 pw = 1800 PA x 2million = 3.6 Bn Euro. That would be close to the current subvention from the UK.

    I know this is nowhere near “scientific” so don’t start jumping these figures, they are just as a basis for discussion. I’m just wondering what the response would be if everybody knew it could cost at least this much.

    What I’m interested in is how many would still say yes knowing that it could cost around 150 per month. I would assume J McConnell by your answer that you would be saying no. Paying 150 per week (gulp!) would result in 15.6 Bn Euro.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Its ironic. The ‘mighty’ northern Prods who wouldn’t join the rest of the country in 1922 partly because they felt it would drag them down economically, are now claiming that a UI is impossible because the rich south couldn’t afford to pay their welfare payments!

    I cringe with embarrassment on your behalf.

  • lib2016

    J McConnell,

    ” a judiciary of unionists”

    You haven’t been down to the lawcourts recently? For good or ill the professions are being taken over by themmuns – the unionist stranglehold only prevails in manufacturing, security, and at higher management level.

    Manufacturing industry is dying and the security services, especially the police service are being integrated or repatriated to Britain. The Civil Service is being swamped to a worrying extent by Catholic females at lower and middle levels. This decade will see that takeover extend to senior management.

    The unionist braindrain has been going on for years. This society is changing fast and the mechanisms unionism relied on to make the croppies lie down won’t work in the modern world.

  • Jo

    Given that no-one actually living in the North was included…erm..wasnt that erm..rather a crucial omission?

    If you factor the likely northern response to the issues into the question, the result is a very divided island – divided not north and south but 50/50 on whether 1916 was worth it, at all and probably a majority against military Red Square style parades to celebrate it as well…

  • 9countyprovence

    Posted by Dave on Apr 02, 2006 @ 11:33 PM
    “Seems to me that nothing has changed or will change and that the other community living in Northern Ireland have everything to fear should a political United Ireland become a reality. ”

    I don’t get where you are going with this. The poll’s results are not suprising in the slightest, so this shows nothing new. The poll would have been phrased something like ‘are you in favour of a UI’, the majority of which would answer yes. If the question was ‘do you favour a UI at any cost’ then your response above would be warranted.

    I am a southerner who would like a UI, but if there was a referendum tomorrow 1,2 or 3 years away, I would vote ‘No’. An opinion is different to a vote, so whilst I would be in favour of a UI, if favourable conditions didn’t exist, then I’d vote no (opinions are from the heart, a vote is from the head.

    Posted by J McConnell on Apr 03, 2006 @ 11:00 AM
    “How many are willing to pay almost the equivalent of the annual take from income tax or VAT to pay the cost of support government services and welfare Northern Ireland?

    Who is going to pay for the North when the economic good times in the South end (which they will)?

    How many are willing to pay the cost of the creation of a militarized police-force that would be needed to ‘police’ the loyalist areas of the north eastern part of a United Ireland?

    How many are willing to upset the cozy status quo in the Dail and put up with giving the unionist / loyalist parties block the deciding vote in who governs Ireland?

    How many are willing to change the deeply politicized judicial system so that instead of complaint political appointees who know how not to rock the boat or ask awkward question you have a bunch of unionist judges running around poking their noses into the dark and rotten corners of the Irish polity and Irish business? ”

    Nice to see that you have such lofty ambitions for NI’s future such as keeping the food bowl out for more. You write the above situation like it is a certainty, but nothing is certain. I have more hope in NI’s future than you it would seem. As regards what southerners might think of Unionist/Loyalist’s in the courts and Dáil, well I for one look forward to that day, as it would be then that this nation would truely be a Republic.

  • Brian Boru

    “It’d be interesting to pose the question like this;
    “Would you be in favour of a united Ireland if you would be paying €150 more in tax monthly for the next 20 – 25 years?”

    I wonder how high the percentage would be then.”

    Lorcan I reject your premise. No-one seriously is saying a UI will happen in the near future. Your thesis seems to be one where the public-sector remains as important in the Northern economy as at present, and fails to take account of Hain’s warnings of NI’s “unsustainable” economy and the plans to reduce bureaucracy. Ultimately, in maybe 10, 20 years, the subsidy might be drastically reduced, and together with the rapidly growing Southern economy, the economic barrier to reunification would be removed. Maybe you are just opposed to reunification in principle and are shaping economic arguments around that bias? Am I right and if so why, apart from economically, are you opposed to a UI? Or maybe I am misjudging you.

  • J McConnell

    Total income tax revenue in 2006 will be E12 billion. Total VAT revenue in 2006 will be E12 billion. Both these numbers are greatly distorted by the current out of control building bubble.

    Go back a few years to a less distorted economy and you get income tax and VAT revenues of E8 billion or so each, which is what revenue will decline to when the current bubble bursts.

    Last years NI subvention was around E8 billion.

    That’s equal to 20% of revenue in an out of control bubble economy, in a more normal economy it would be equal to 25% to 30% of all revenue.

    So a united Ireland equals either a return to 80’s level income tax rates, a huge increases in the government borrowing, or big cuts in education, health or social welfare spending. Or probably all three.

    I cannot see many in the south voting for that.

  • Lorcan,

    €150 per week is actually not far off. My reckoning would be €293 per tax payer per calendar month as things stand (given the current regional subvention of circa £5bn sterling, current exchange rates and number of taxpayers in the RoI).

    Of course this does not take into account any increase which would undoubtedly occur as a result of loyalist reaction to being forced into a unified state. Costs of security related expenditure would probably have to rise at least 10 fold, loss of tourism related revenue as loyalists bomb Irish tourist spots to frighten away visitors. Re-building the bomb shattered city centres of Dublin, Cork, Galway, etc as well as paying the horrendous compensation payments due.

    A united Ireland – a frightening thought for more than just unionists!

  • Brian Boru

    Only if you assume Irish revenue remains static which is impossible given the annual 9% growth in consumer spending and the flood of multinationals coming in and paying corpo-tax.

  • Brian Boru

    Intelligence Insider, all the polls I have seen over the years have shown 73% of NI Protestants would accept the result of a referendum on a UI. We don’t see the 10% former Unionist community in Donegal rioting on the streets. Once Unionists see they are treated as equals, they will ease into the situation. They will have to, as the British army isn’t going to help them resist a UI in these circumstances – this is the 21st century not 1914-21. The Unionists were only able to force partition in 1920 because of extensive help from the British securocrats in gunrunning from Germany 3 million rounds of ammo and 47,000 rifles. We now live in a post-imperial age and attitudes have changed radically in Britain on this question. Trust me.

  • lib2016

    Intelligence Insider,

    “Re-building the bomb shattered city centres of Dublin,Cork,Galway,etc.”

    This is supposed to affect a British Government decision that their presence in Ireland should end?

  • ingrammartin

    Brian Boru

    Quote”Trust me

    The only poll that counts is the real thing a border poll.That looks light years away.

    The Sourthern electorate will not pay for the North you know it and I know it. The South is over reliant upon outside states industrial companies.

    “Trust me” Brian one or two flashbangs in the South and the electorate will shun their North1ern neighbours once more quicker than you can say British securocrat.

    Marty

  • Suff Box

    Lorcan and J mc Connell

    As I understand the subvention to the Northern Ireland economy is currently £8 billion per year. Given the British treasury’s commitment that Northern Ireland should begin to pay its way the economc arguement will become less relevant. It is inconceivable that by 2016, as long as violence is completly ended, that the current volume of support will be maintained.

    All political parties even SF and the DUP recognise that progress needs to be made on econmic issues. Witness the support of both political parties for a reduction in corporation tax. Also it is unlikely that the current level of public sector employment will continue for much longer. If significant efforts are made to increase pricate sector growth then the economy will likely begin to catch up on both the south and upon regions of Britain.

    Therefore the economic axieties about unification south of the border will most likely be tempered. Thus another arguement against unification will be blunted.

  • Martin,

    What’s the alternative, capitulation to violence? I would imagine that the British (our closest friend and neighbour to be honest) and the Americans as well as the EU would be more than willing to help out in any way to destroy any terrorist network which would spring up. I give the general Unionist population more credit than to support any sort of armed resistance. I would also like to think that the onus would be upon us to not to annex people into the present state against their will, but to engage and consult and build an Ireland we can all be proud of.

  • Harry Flashman

    No you’re right Brian Boru the Donegal prods didn’t riot, they just did what their cousins did in Cork, fled the Free State in their tens of thousands. Ask Tony Blair his granda was one of them. I’m curious about your assertion that the securocrats were behind the Larne gun running; my reading of history was that Britain’s most famous ever securocrat and bogeyman of countless generations of Irish nationalists, Winston Spencer Churchill, ordered gunboats into Belfast Lough to intimidate the prods and was certainly not a fan of the Ulster Volunteers.

    You quote a figure of 73% of Unionists accepting a united Ireland if that is how a majority in NI voted, wouldn’t it have been a helluva lot nicer over the past three decades if the nationalists had been so flippin’ magnanimous about the current majority viewpoint in Northern Ireland?

  • lib2016

    In fact Irish re-unification is likely to resemble the coming together of the Benelux countries. As yet we haven’t even started discussing a Constitution, let alone have a referendum on it.

    When the British do decide to leave unionists will beg to be allowed to build on the links with the rest of Ireland. It seems to me more and more unlikely that unionists will support a nationalist dominated Stormont, whether it makes sense or not.

    If the SDLP had remained the leading nationalist party it might have been possible but with Gerry as the First Minister…….!

  • heck

    It’d be interesting to pose the question like this;
    “Would you be in favour of a united Ireland if you would be paying €150 more in tax monthly for the next 20 – 25 years?”

    It would be interesting to ask the people of Britain if they are in favor of paying billions of pounds to support a group of people Harold Wilson called spongers.

    Let’s pose the question to the people of england scotland and wales “Would you be in favour keeping Nothern Ireland if you would be paying €150 more in tax monthly for the next 20 – 25-100 years to support a bunch of b-i-g-o-t-s who will not treat their catholic neighbors as equals?”

    face facts at least the irish want you–the british do not.

  • J McConnell

    Here are some more numbers.

    1.9 million PAYE and self-emplyed taxpayers in the ROI. 700K earn under E20K gross p.a so can be taken out of any calculation of the tax burden of a united ireland.

    Divided E8 billion by 1.2M tax payers and it works out at over E120 *per week*. That is E6K per annum, per tax payer.

    Try selling that extra tax burden to voters in the south now, let alone when morgage interest rates return to 6% plus in the not too distant future..

  • George

    It seems that any mention of a potential united Ireland, however unlikely or far in the future, brings up the dire warnings of bombs in Dublin, Cork, Galway etc. with British unionists contentedly blowing scores of Irish men, women and children to smithereens to protect their “values”.

    Call me naive but I believe the overwhelming majority of unionists would accept the democratic will of the Northern Ireland electorate. If they don’t and instead prefer to butcher innocents then I suppose they will have to be confronted.

    Those who seem to think Irish democracy should be sacrificed on the altar of wanton unionist violence/resistance are cowards in my view and just delaying the inevitable. That particular chicken would certainly come home to roost within a generation.

  • George

    JMcConnell,

    30 years ago unionists said they were earning too much to join an Irish Republic. In 2006, we apparently are the ones who have too much to lose.

    Has it not occurred to you that a united Ireland might actually be financially beneficial to all involved?

    Northern Ireland may be subvented but it has no debts and has a highly educated workforce. The place could be turned around reasonably quickly.

    Either way, if a majority in both jurisdictions vote for it, we will have to pay the costs, regardless of how high.

    Or do you put a price on democracy?

  • 9countyprovence

    All this talk of burden. Will NI ever be anything other than a burden? By the way some people here are talking, ‘no’ would be the answer.

    The current situation would not exist if there were serious discussions on uniting Ireland. To talk as if they will is a folly.
    Let’s play out this hypotetical situation (as I see it anyway):

    A majority vote yes to a UI in NI. Depending on who makes up that majority will sway on what way the south votes on the matter. The more from the Protestant community who votes for it, the more likely a ‘yes’ vote in the south would be. A ‘yes’ vote in the south is not there by default.
    The process of reunification will then take several years, during which contenious issues will be hammered out between all parties involved. During this time, it will be possible for NI to harmonise it’s industrial tax with the ROI, without all the other regions in Britain kicking up a fuss. The IDA and other such agencies could then work their magic in attracting investment into Ulster, with the wages in Ulster being lower than everywhere else and with an excellent infrastructure, attracting investment should not be a problem unless Loyalists wish to make it a problem. This would mean that by the time a UI is made official, Ulster would have gone some way in getting back on it’s feet and won’t be in te situation it finds itself today.

    I know that this is a very rose-tinted view of how it would/may/if ever happen and I’m convieniently scimming over some rather large obsticles, but the whole nature of this thread has one foot in fairyland anyway, so some artistic indiscretion should be provided by default 😉

  • Brian Boru

    The whites in Algeria in the OAS made the same kind of threats as the UVF in 1912, and they came to nothing when France pulled out in 1960. *wink*

  • J McConnell

    George

    > Or do you put a price on democracy?

    The voters of the south certainly do. With a classic clientist political culture that begins and ends with ‘what’s in it for me’ if the majority of voter are presented with a personal tax bill of thousands of euros a years as the price of a united ireland they will soon give it short shrift.

  • 9countyprovence

    J McConnell:
    “The voters of the south certainly do. With a classic clientist political culture that begins and ends with ‘what’s in it for me’ if the majority of voter are presented with a personal tax bill of thousands of euros a years as the price of a united ireland they will soon give it short shrift.”

    The voters in the south vote as voters do in any other 1st world democracy. If a vote were to occur in Britain about keeping the Union, would people vote with their hearts or with their wallets? Would the vote be different for each circumstance?
    You keep bringing up this whole ‘NI is a financial handicap’ argument. It’s almost like you are proud of this and foresee NI being like this indefinetly. Do you see no hope for NI’s future at all?

  • Stephen Copeland

    This is a ridiculous example of the recalcitrant unionist ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine.

    Good cop: You couldn’t afford us.

    Bad cop: We’ll blow up Dublin, Galway, wherever, if you try to ‘impose’ democracy.

    Get over yourselves, guys. If a majority vote for a UI then that is what there will be. You can huff and you can puff, but you’ll be feeling mighty exposed out there on your own. Nobody in the world will support your sordid anti-democratic terrorism, and you will start to slowly but surely trickle into the expanding prisons of the UI if you try. And in our post-9/11 world, that is where the flower of your youth will spend half of its life. Meanwhile the rest of the country will get on with building their lives and their futures. The vast majority of northern Prods will not support you, and your ex-friends across the water will shop you very quickly – the PSNI will still be the ones patrolling your streets, and they know who you are.

    Wise up, and join the world instead of always trying to run away and bury your heads.

  • I guess this could all lead us back to the re-partition scenario discussed several days ago!!

    Lets face it, there will never be a 32 county Ireland. Look at the way these issues have been resolved across Europe historically when there are two “warring factions” who don’t wish to live together. Unless a significant proportion of unionists decide to become republicans then a 50% plus 1 polling in favour of unification would result in civil war.

    There would be two alternatives open, a continuing war in Ireland with the heavy cost, economically and in terms of human life already mentioned, or a redrawn border with those who wished to remain as part of the United Kingdom allowed to do so, albeit in a smaller Northern Ireland.

  • declan

    “a 50% plus 1 polling in favour of unification ”

    51% is never going to happen demographically. The 2001 census showed that the % catholic (by community background) has already now fallen to less than 50% in the 0-10 year old age group. That is after the children are apportioned to the community background given by their parents. That is why a fair repartition could very well seem the best option for nationalists come 2021.

  • lib2016

    Intelligence Insider,

    All you have to do is get the political parties in NI to agree with your proposals, then the governments and then win the referendum, North and South.

    Come back when you’ve done all that and we might take you seriously.

    BTW Who do you think is going to fight this war of your’s? The DUP is preparing to sell you out and most of their leaders are getting a bit old to go ‘on the run’ so it won’t be them. I don’t see the UUP as being up for it.

    The loyalist paramilitaries don’t have the weapons or the organisation and are too busy fighting each other over drugs territories. That seems to leave the boy scouts. Which troops do you reckon are the most dangerous?

  • ingrammartin

    Stephen.

    Quote”Its ironic. The ‘mighty’ northern Prods who wouldn’t join the rest of the country in 1922 partly because they felt it would drag them down economically, are now claiming that a UI is impossible because the rich south couldn’t afford to pay their welfare payments!

    I cringe with embarrassment on your behalf

    Stephen , you should cringe at the state of the roads , the state of the health service which is a sick joke, sick kids are just not taken to the doctor in the South for fear of a 35/50 Euro payement upon EACH trip.Not long ago we spent over 250 Euro in a two week period on two sick Kids that is without prescriptions. We are lucky we can afford it many others can not.

    The Infrastructure in the South is 3rd world and compared to the North it is a complete embarrassment. The South has a long long way to go. It has made good progress this last ten years but is only a small nation in a big pond.Its major problem remains its big and very powerful brother next door and it`s achilles is the over reliance upon other countries companies.Other than Tourism which is in decline what other major industry organic to Ireland exists?.Answers on a postage stamp.

    You are right to be embarrassed my friend .

    Martin.

  • Oh dear declan, we’ve already had 500 odd posts on repartition, just ressurect that thread if that’s what you wish to discuss…

    II,

    “Unless a significant proportion of unionists decide to become republicans then a 50% plus 1 polling in favour of unification would result in civil war.”

    Why does everyone think that Unionists are incapeable of peaceful co-existence. Also why should they have a veto, they have been begging for NI to be treated as an individual unitary state for 80 years, all of a sudden will it just be whereever Unionists hold the majority? What if it comes down to a 90/10 split in favour of reunification, should the 10% be given their own country?

    How much land should they get in the new country, say 10% + 9% of nationalists, so that they will just about have a majority again?

    Reunification will happen, and I’m sure it will happen in a context of consultation and compromise.
    Not that Nationalists need to compromise, if there was a 50%+1 we would be well within our rights to insist on the tricolour and Amhrain na bhFiann. However we would be pretty stupid if we repeated the mistakes of the Unionists in NI, and tried to force allegience to a state which is unrepresentitive of it’s make up.

    Unionists “fears” of being part of the republic have never been articulated to me on Slugger, just a general notion of it being doomsday, or slavery or some other flowery language straight from the book of Paisley.

    When the vote happens, we’ll engage and talk, find out the fears, seperate the fact from the fiction, and set about building a Republic to which all (or at least the vast vast majority) can subscribe.

    Your scare mongering only rings true if nationalists were to treat unionists how nationalists were treated in the unionist state, I think we’re all a little wiser and more compassionate than that, thanks all the same.

  • slug

    This thread is getting very Northern Irish — everyone getting all hot under the collar for no particular reason.

  • Jo

    62% of the south think 1916 positive (38% of 4m = 1.5m)

    1 m Unionists wouldnt think it positive either (= 2.5m)

    Population of island = 5.7m

    5.7/2.5 = 43% of island think negatively about 1916. I don’t feel lonely!

    See what happens when you think about the entire island not just the southern bit???

  • PopeBuckfastXVI

    “Your scare mongering only rings true if nationalists were to treat unionists how nationalists were treated in the unionist state, I think we’re all a little wiser and more compassionate than that, thanks all the same. ”

    Look at what did happen to unionists in the “catholic state for a catholic people” for your answer! How “wise..(and)..compassionate” nationonalists decimated a community.

    Perhaps it would be more useful to think of unionists treating nationalists in a republic the same way as nationalists have “treated” unionists in the last 40 years in Northern Ireland! Genocide, torture, massacres in churches, wholesale bombings and slaughter, etc. etc…….

  • Keith M

    “The whites in Algeria in the OAS made the same kind of threats as the UVF in 1912, and they came to nothing when France pulled out in 1960. *wink*”

    BB The look at the mess that Algeria has been ever since (to put it in perspective, over 10 times as many people have died from terrorist violence in the last 40 year compared to N.I.)

    It’s really not your day for analogies is it?

    PopeBuckfastXVI : Your belief that unionists would not resort to the bullet and the bomb if they were left to rot in a state which was not of their making in the same way that republicans did for almost 80 years shows a welecome if somewhat nieve belief in the goodwill of the unionist population.

  • Keith,
    “in a state which was not of their making”

    That’s exactly my point, the state should be of their making, with their engagement and input.

    Reposting my rebuttal of Jo’s figures from her site…

    here’s my calculation based on actual quotes from the SBP article…

    “Four out of five voters say the Rising was a ‘‘positive event in Irish history’’”

    Now extrapolating for the whole population (not just voters) as you have done…

    That would be 80% of 4m = 3.2m

    One fifth of voters say they ‘‘couldn’t care less’’ about the Rising

    That’s 20% of 4m = 0.8m

    So 4m (total) – (3.2m (positive) + 0.8m (don’t care)) = 0 (negative)

    OK so add that 0 to your 1m negative thinking Unionists (I’ll trust your figure here) = 1m (negative)

    so 1m/5.7m = 0.175 or 17.5% see the rising as negative… feeling lonely yet?

  • Keith M

    PopeBuckfastXVI : “That’s exactly my point, the state should be of their making, with their engagement and input.” BUT if the state was of their making they wouldn’t be unionists would they. Game set and point I think.

    Regarding 1916, was the option of being negative to the bloody thing actually offered?

  • Stephen Copeland

    Intelligence Insider,

    Look at what did happen to unionists in the “catholic state for a catholic people” for your answer! How “wise..(and)..compassionate” nationonalists decimated a community.

    This issue has been ‘done’ many times now, but I guess you weren’t paying good attention.

    Nothing particular happened to ‘unionists’ (I presume you really mean Protestants?) in the south since 1922. On the contrary, they have continued to be richer than average, they have never suffered ‘genocide’ or ‘ethnic cleansing’, their culture has been largely respected (and indeed adopted by the majority), and they have been over-represented in the judiciary and at the highest level in the land.

    If you have any fears about the UI, why don’t you try asking a real southern Prod what they think of life in an independent Ireland. You’ll find the answer quite different to your imaginary ‘decimation’. Your view of the history of southern Protestants doesn’t appear to be based on reality at all.

  • Keith,

    If they refuse to input when offered then they can’t blame anyone else for not helping to shape the state (I’m talking about a wholesale rebuilding of a nation from the ground up if needs be)

    Game point!? You CANNOT be serious… the balllll was OUT!

    On 1916, I don’t know the answer to that, I was merely rebutting Jo’s mistaken figures, in the interest of fact.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Keith M, et al,

    Lets not forget that all Protestants in the south were not necessarily unionists.

    In the 1918 Election unionist candidates only received 33,025 votes in the 26 counties, or 5.37% of the total. Now, if there were as many Prods in the south as people claim (10%?) then who did the rest vote for?

    We know that many southern Prods were actually nationalist or at least nationally-minded, so it seems that quite a few of them (i.e. southern Prods) did get the state they wanted.

  • Keith M

    PopeBuckfastXVI “If they refuse to input when offered then they can’t blame anyone else for not helping to shape the state”. You mean in the ssame way that nationalist boycotte elected in Northern Ireland for decades after partition, and when they did stand and get elected chosen not to take their seat (see the thread on DeValera). If so I totally concur.

    Stephen, I have no desire to go down the rathole of the 1918 election again. Suffice to say that if many seats are uncontested you can draw any conclusions from the seats where there were contests. In an environment of intimidation such as existed in 1918, drawing any conclusions on the relative level of support is next to impossible.

    Of course there were southern Protestant nationalists (no one would argue with that), but there were also Catholic unionists, or at least those that would have preferred the status quo, in thec same way as there are in Northern Ireland today.

  • barnshee

    Once again we have the old response to the decline in the prod in the republic “Nothing particular happened to ‘unionists’ (I presume you really mean Protestants?) in the south since 1922″=—

    Funnily enough in the midst of all this tolerance the have somehow all but managed to disappear.

    Those of us with family members who were murdered, intimidated and boycotted out of this “paradise” must then be wrong– they must have been have living in some other “republic of Ireland” When independant researchers (Harte etc) highlight the catholic republican murder gangs for what they are -the poor old messanger gets shot.

    Even more strangely the poor persecuted micks in the north must be exceptional to thrive and increase in numbers in such a hostile climate.

    1922,32 42.52 62,72– whatever– its the same old story -arm the “freedom fighters” murder the prod and when he has the temerity to respond in kind scream discrimination.

    “Members of very small minority groups keep head down so they don`t share the fate of others”
    BIG SUPRPISE! The reaction to the prod march in Dublin showed the Republic in its true colours (NUL POINTs by the way for falling into W Frazers trap

  • Keith,

    “You mean in the ssame way that nationalist boycotte elected in Northern Ireland for decades after partition”

    The difference being that Nationalists were not invited to input during the creation of the norh-eastern state. It was an imposition of an entirely British and Unionist state, just as RoI is currently a Nationalist Irish state.

    I think we should be talking in terms of the Second Irish Republic, a negotiated settlement where nobody feels their rights and aspirations aren’t respected.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Keith M,

    [Re 1918] Suffice to say that if many seats are uncontested you can draw any conclusions from the seats where there were contests.

    Yet the seats that were uncontested would tend to have been exactly those where there were fewer unionists (otherwise they would have contested them!). Hence the unionist vote was probably more counted than the nationalist vote, which was uncounted in the many uncontested seats.

    Hence the unionist vote would have probably been a lot less than 5% if all seats had been contested.

    I repeat: who did all of the other Protestants vote for? Do you find the question hard to answer, Keith, because you know the answer does not fit your world-view?

  • Baluba

    I’m gonna stick a big hook in Cork and tug-boat Ireland over to Venezuela where we can join the flourishing leftist republics over there!

    A UI is on its way. It’s just a matter of time and no end of ridiculous number-crunching to suit your own argyuments will change that. The voters are ‘for’ it. Votes make changes.

  • J McConnell

    Stephen Copeland

    > Now, if there were as many Prods in the south as people claim (10%?) then who did the rest vote for?

    Well considering that more than two thirds in the south did not get a chance a vote their opinion either because of ‘uncontested’ seats or no non-nationalist candidate to vote for your inference is incorrect.

    In fact I believe that a lot of the border constituencies were either ‘uncontested’ or else no unionist candidate was allowed to stand despite having large protestant populations.

    Some plebiscite…

  • Stephen Copeland

    barnshee,

    Those of us with family members who were murdered, intimidated and boycotted out of this “paradise” must then be wrong …

    If you can provide names, dates, and reliable sources then you allegations could be (possibly) verified. Murder tends to be noticed, so you cannot claim it happened ‘on the quiet’.

    Those, like my own family, who were not “murdered, intimidated and boycotted” clearly don’t exist in your skewed reality.

  • Stephen Copeland

    J McConnell,

    You are wrong on all counts. See my earlier posts, and follow on to Nick Whyte’s 1918 web page.

  • Lorcan

    Brian Boru: Sorry for no reply but I had other things to do.
    So, my attitude to a United Ireland? Well, in principle I’d be all for it but there a few things which make me very reluctant (not in this order).
    1. The unionists. Like ’em or not they are here to stay. They are also as Irish as a lot of us (even if they don’t accept this) and should be allowed to both stay and have some sort of duality, like the nationalists up north have at the moment. I don’t want to be part of a UI with a load of unionists sreaming blue murder and not mucking in.
    2. The cost. Yes, I do accept there are economic benefits in a UI but I think it’ll be 10 – 15 years before we see these realised.
    3. The lack of understanding between unionists & nationalists. I think it’s hard for us down south to understand the level of differences in culture between the two groups up north.
    It is also difficult for them to understand us down south. We will end up – at least for a few years – with three distinct groups in our little UI, each with its own “flavour” of history. Communication between all three will not be so easy, I mean, look at this board alone – and I’d rate most people posting here as moderate.
    4. Movement towards our old “pal” England. I would feel that we will have to make some sort of political move towards England/GB as a UI. Rejoin the Commonwealth, Invite the Queen etc. to tea, Have her picture on some stamps to commemorate the reunification etc. This is something which I think would only be fair considering the new percentage of unionists we would have. This will be difficult for the hardliner republicans.
    5. Possible violence from some hard-liners. Don’t want to be negative here but this has to be looked at. There will always be someone, somewhere pissed off at the way things went – and they might not just be unionist either.

    In closing, I would simply love to live to see a united Ireland. First however, we need to see a united Northern Ireland, then we can move on to the next phase. I just hope I live that long.

  • Baluba,

    “I’m gonna stick a big hook in Cork and tug-boat Ireland over to Venezuela”

    Can’t you just take Cork and leave the rest of us… pleeeeeeeeeeeease!?

  • Keith M

    Stephen C, you haven’t put your thinking cap on when you say “yet the seats that were uncontested would tend to have been exactly those where there were fewer unionists (otherwise they would have contested them!).”. They may have had fewer unionists, it doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t have had any. Any party or group can increase its vote share by standing in as many constituencies as possible, even one where they don’t have the slightest chance of being elected. Compare the vote share and the seat share of SF/IRA and the PDs in the 2002 election in this country, for a good example of this, the PDs ended up with almost twice as many seats, despite getting fewer votes. This is because they only fielded candidates where they thought they had a chance of election. However this does mean that the PD vote share is significantly understated as PDs in constituencies like mine did not have a candidate to vote for.

    Now look at how few unionists actually stood in 1918, and you’ll see the flaw in your arguement.

  • George

    J McConnell,
    “The voters of the south certainly do.”

    We’ll let the voters decide shall we. It’s a more preferable course of action. As I said, if and when a majority in both jurisdictions vote for unification then you will have to pay that tax bill whether you like it or not.

    You believe the Irish people south of the border would vote no even if there was a majority yes vote north of the border. We shall just have to wait and see. I for one will accept the democratic decision.

    Martin,
    first you say unionists will blow scores of civilians to smithereens if they lose a democratic vote on unification, nearly giving the impression that this island and the UK should abrogate their democratic responsibilities as a result.

    If terrorists wage war on a democracy, even a lowly Irish one, the democracy fights back. If a cabal of Irish Catholic terrorists decide they don’t want British Protestants in their new “homeland” we must crush them.

    Equally, if a cabal of British Protestants ignore the democratic wil of the people and try to create their own “homeland” through ethnic cleansing and violence, we must confront them and win.

    Your next line of argument is the old “pothole Republic” line. This was quite true 20 years ago (although a motorway from Belfast direction Enniskillen was as useful economically as a potholed boreen).

    It is less true today if the Dublin-Belfast pothole count is anything to go by and will most likely be even less true 10 years from now.

    The Republic has probably caught up with NI on roads by now, passed it out on water infrastructure and is dwarfing it economically.

    It is also becoming the demographic powerhouse of the island as the birth rates between the two jurisdictions diverge.

    Hell, even your children are here. By 2020 unionists could make up as little as 10% of the island population if the birth rates and migration trends continue.

    The ideology’s power will sink accordingly, regardless of the state of the roads down south.

    Equally, unionism could revitalise and draw new supporters to its ideology, thus ensuring its future democratically. I don’t know how myself as I look at the situation in 2006 but I don’t rule it out.

  • J McConnell

    Stephen Copeland

    Look at the bottom half of http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/h1918.htm

    Look at the constituencies in the 26 counties. 74 seats in 73 constituencies if I counted correctly. Now add up how many had unionist candidates were running. Ten seats and 9 constituencies (inc. 2 for TCD) for which the unionists won 3 seats in 2 constituencies. TCD and Dublin county Rathmines.

    Having a unionist candidate alternative in only 9 out of 73 constituencies is not what I would call a real plebiscite on protestant political opinion in the south in 1918.

  • J McC

    “Having a unionist candidate alternative in only 9 out of 73 constituencies is not what I would call a real plebiscite on protestant political opinion in the south in 1918.”

    That’s dangerously sectarian… “Unionist” & “Protestant”, like “Nationalist” & “Catholic”, are not synonyms. Or is a nationalist Protestant not really a Protestant in your weltanschauung?

  • Can’t you just take Cork and leave the rest of us… pleeeeeeeeeeeease!?
    Posted by PopeBuckfastXVI on Apr 03, 2006 @ 05:05 PM

    LOL, The hatred of Cork people by the rest of the island is worse than the nationalist/unionist divide in the North at times 🙂
    Yes the Independent People’s Republic of Cork would delightfully park next to Venezuela and join up with Mr Chavez, better weather, oil revenue, socialist government with egalitarian principles…. HOW BAD! 🙂

    Viva la repubblica de la gente del Cork

  • Brian Boru

    “BB The look at the mess that Algeria has been ever since (to put it in perspective, over 10 times as many people have died from terrorist violence in the last 40 year compared to N.I.)

    It’s really not your day for analogies is it?”

    Keith M, that civil war was between Muslims. My point is that it had nothing to do with the white settlers. So I think you are not comparing like with like. The real valid comparison is as I said not yours.

    “PopeBuckfastXVI : Your belief that unionists would not resort to the bullet and the bomb if they were left to rot in a state which was not of their making in the same way that republicans did for almost 80 years shows a welecome if somewhat nieve belief in the goodwill of the unionist population.”

    Actually it wasn’t really until the late 60’s that terrorism really got out of control in the North – and that was after decades of discrimination, poverty and victimisation by a regime in Belfast that refused to reach out to the Catholic ‘minority’. By contrast the Southern state has had loads of Protestants in govt or the presidency including Ernest Blythe, Douglas Hyde, Erskine Childers, Ivan Yates, and Noel Browne. The Supreme Court has 2 Protestant judges (out of 10 i.e. 20%) Susan Denham and Catherine McGuinness. I think we can say that our State – in spite of the former influence of the Catholic church – reached out to the minority community in a way that could have avoided what started in 1969. Maybe had Craigavon and Brookeborough not been so obstinate on this issue things would have eventually worked out better. But no!

    Would you personally accept the result of a referendum on a UI if it went Yes? If not, and the British army pulled out, what would the aims of former Unionist resistance be? To re-enter the UK? They would not be in the least bit interested.

  • Brian Boru

    “Funnily enough in the midst of all this tolerance the have somehow all but managed to disappear.”

    They have not disappeared. They were 4% in the last census (2002) compared to 7% in 1921. 1921 is the only year which really matters as a starting point because before then a war was on and was therefore not normal peacetime conditions. As such I reject the constant harping on about 1911-1926 as if all the Protestants who left at that time were driven out by a State which didn’t even exist until the last 5 years of that period. I think you have to acknowledge that people can leave a country voluntarily aswell. The rise in the Catholic population is because of the rapid birth rate during most of the time since partition – so high it outweighed the significant emigration (there are 48,000 Northern Catholics in the Republic). The state-sponsored hate campaign against Northern Catholics is extremely well documented “I recommend those who are Loyalists not to employ Roman Catholics 99% of whom are disloyal” (Brookeborough), “There is not a word he said with which my colleagues would not agree” (Craigavon) etc. I think what the population trends for most of the period since partition have shown is that demographic trends are a poor guide to the experiences of a minority.

    “Those of us with family members who were murdered, intimidated and boycotted out of this “paradise” must then be wrong– they must have been have living in some other “republic of Ireland” When independant researchers (Harte etc) highlight the catholic republican murder gangs for what they are -the poor old messanger gets shot.”

    How long ago was this and how relevant is it to the Ireland of 2006 and onwards? Ireland has changed radically since the 90’s let alone back that far. Going on about the 20’s or beforehand is a bit silly nearly 100 years later as some kind of benchmark for how Northern Protestants would be treated in a 32 county state in the 21sr century. Wartime and peacetime are very different and all wars lead to refugee flows.

    I concede there were some boycotts e.g. Fethard (1951) but again you are ranting on about ancient history. It was one of very few isolated incidents at this stage anyway. The Southern Protestant community has a disproportionate amount of the wealth (evidently the boycotts must’nt have been that widespread) and 30% of the large farms. You need to get out of your little time warp.

  • 6plus6

    The last time Slugger’s had a J O’Connell who was into numbers, it turned out that his figures were just crazy stuff about adding the numbers of letters or something to prove Gerry Adams was the devil or something. He wrote a book about the SDLP and love and god. I hope its not the same guy or he has at least got well. (beware his math)

  • Keith M

    BB, whether tyhe civil war is between muslims is irrelevant. The point is that Algeria is hardly an example of how a peaceful post coloonial state and is therefore hardly an example for Northern Ireland after unionists have been ethnically cleansed, as your original post suggested.

    “Actually it wasn’t really until the late 60’s that terrorism really got out of control in the North. ” Can I suggest you look up “border campaign”. Republicans waged a terrorist war as soon as partition was agreed. Whether it was “out of control” or controlled terrorism is not the point. The point is that it created a fortress mentality in N.I. unionists.

    The position of Protestants within this state is irrelevant as others have pointed out as Protestantism is not synonomous with unionism. How have unionists and unionism been treated in this country since partition? You don’t need to cast your mind back too far (to the streets of Dublin) for your answer.

    “Would you personally accept the result of a referendum on a UI if it went Yes?” This is such a hypothetical question that it’s impossible to answer.

    Your article on Protestants is extremely disengenous. There’s no mention of the removal of rights (divorce was legal in Ireland at the time the south left the UK, but was made illegal in the 1920’s and banned in the constitution in the 1930s). The no mention of the states colusion with the catholic church on the “Ne Temere” rule, no mention of the catholic church being allowed to run the bulk of schools and hospitals (which still will not allow procedures which are againsty catholic teaching). I’m not sure who you’re try to fool, but anyone acquainted with the facts will see through this nonsense.

  • J McConnell

    6plus6

    So which particular numbers are you having problems with?

    Number of tax payers in Ireland? Revenue amount numbers from various tax sources? Number of 26 county constituencies that had no non-nationalist candidates in 1918? Next weeks winning lottery number? The number of the beast?

    And no, I never wrote a book about the SDLP. Now there’s a subject that sounds like a real page turner…

  • Nathan

    Southern commitment to Irish unity is ambiguous and not as clear-cut as some would like to make out.

    In academic terms, its a wonderful aspiration. But in reality it would mean the Irish State having to incorporate a British ethos, it would mean higher taxation for ordinary folk, plus the threat of political instability.

    Lets face it, Bertie Ahern does not go to the polls to smash the border, even aspirationally.

  • Lorcan

    “Your article on Protestants is extremely disengenous. There’s no mention of the removal of rights (divorce was legal in Ireland at the time the south left the UK, but was made illegal in the 1920’s and banned in the constitution in the 1930s).
    Agreed, however this no longer the case.

    “The no mention of the states colusion with the catholic church on the “Ne Temere” rule,” Not true, the Ne Temere came out in 1908.

    “no mention of the catholic church being allowed to run the bulk of schools and hospitals” Agreed, although in the case of hospitals I can’t see the relevance.

    “(which still will not allow procedures which are againsty catholic teaching).”
    No Longer true.
    All I can say is that I grew up with many Protestants and still have many of them who are friends and neither I nor they ever gave a hoot about each others religion. They felt just as limited as we did in the 50’s – 80’s – but no more so than we did.