Jumping for joy?

Over at Comment is Free Malachi O’Doherty sketches out the only logical position for now – a sceptical one. There’s also an unfortunate slip, attributed to speech recognition software by Malachi in the comments, which saw “devolution” replaced by “demolition”.

In consequence, a collapsed deadline and a political shambles has been converted into a mutual confidence-building exercise between bitter enemies, and a date for real demolition [devolution] has been agreed. Forgive the people of Belfast if they don’t feel inclined to jump for joy. The peace process has been dragged out painfully, through many raised hopes and crashed deadlines. The attitude of most people is, “we’ll believe it when we see it”.

  • SuperSoupy

    “The only logical position”?

    More might say an axe-grinder’s position.

    It’s also a dishonest piece as Malachi claiming to speak for the many he doesn’t has proclaimed the popular mood is one of ‘complete disgust’ and that is just a big lie.

    Hard to take him or anyone that presents his piece while ignoring this massive untruth seriously.

    Just a begrudgers addition to coverage. And we all know what to do with begrudgers – feck ’em.

  • Billy Pilgrim


    Absolutely spot on. My impression of the popular mood in Belfast today is one of relief and even, whisper it, joy. So when I read Malachi’s first line (“The popular mood in Belfast is one of complete disgust”) I just decided to stop reading.

    Never, ever in all my life, have I come across an article that lost me so quickly.

  • NickyG

    I would dearly love to meet Malaci, and direct him towards the teachings of the learned Gil Grissom from CSI Vegas, on Living TV most nights!

    Malachi always seems to construct (what he thinks are) clever and pseudo intellectual positions and tailor the realities surrounding him in order to suit his predefined conclusions.

    Grissom woould not be pleased. He would tell Malachi that you can only go wher the evidence leads you, and not let your own presumptions shape the evidence!

    I wrote a letter to the Irish News over ten years ago regarding Malachi’s rubiks cube like twisting actions, and am amazed to note he’s still at now.

    Is there any possibility him and Anthony McIntyre are doppelgangers?

  • SuperSoupy


    This website would give a good idea of a cross-section of opinion throughout Ireland.

    I’m sure there will be at least one vox pop on the evening news broadcasts.

    Comments zones on many websites can be checked.

    We all have friends we have spoken to today.

    Malachi’s piece will be shown to be deceitful begrudgery through examination of each one.

    Presenting it as anything other than a load of crap is ridiculous.

  • Couple

    We will jump for joy when Adams and Paisley start to de-construct sectraian attitudes.

    It’s just about power and being ablt to swan about and pretend that MLAs are important. In a globalised world NI is as important as Yorkshire or somewhere like Idaho.

  • SuperSoupy

    Vox pop on BBC News 24 – Description: Real optimism.

    Lap it up Malachi. Go buy yourself a pint and cry into it.

    (can we have a sack Peter Hain story too – I could do with another laugh)

  • SuperSoupy

    “A real sense of hope from both sides of the community”

    Malachi’s article is a keeper. Any time I disagree with him I can remind he doesn’t always reflect the truth.

  • IJP

    Well said in the first response, SuperSoupy.

    Generally I agree with Malachy, but he’s way out of line here claiming to speak for people in that way.

    The general mood I’ve come across is one of (positive) disbelief at the picture in his article. I mean, look at it!

  • IJP

    Malachi, sorry.

    He’s not from Bangor, of course.

  • Token Dissent

    Speaking as some-one who has just walked through Belfast, I can confirm that the streets are alive with dancing, and cries of joyful thanks to the superb leadership of Paisley and Adams.

    How could we possibly have got to this happy stage in Irish history if it wasn’t for these two peacemakers?

    And it has all happened so quickly too! With so little consideration for personal gain!

  • Greenflag

    TD ,

    ‘How could we possibly have got to this happy stage in Irish history if it wasn’t for these two peacemakers? ‘

    And in the main they’d never have made this satage well not without Peter Pain sorry Hain !

  • acatag

    Well, the view from Strabane is ; one step closer to unity. The DUP and the rest of the orange rabble know this is their last chance to hold onto any semblance of power so they have caved in. Trocaidh ar la.

  • jone

    Given the Paisley and Adams pix didn’t break until 12ish and Malachi piece’s was posted just before half one I’m not sure how comprehensive his sampling of the ‘popular mood’ could have been – particularly as he also managed to fit in an apperance on World at One.

  • Token Dissent

    Acatag, its nice that you feel qualified to speak for everyone in Strabane. I know people in your area who share neither your aspirations or your analysis.

    “Orange rabble” – you just don’t get this powersharing and principle of consent business do you?

  • Aquifer

    These political ‘on the runs’? They won’t be inclined to stick to a deal as they need conflict to thrive, but having stood together the parting could be seen as a final failure for their politics. Outsiders don’t like Paisley and he always sounds bombastic so he will get the blame for any failure.


    Too bad. Smile and joke as your ministers give out goodies to nationalists and you will be in forever.

  • wee slabber

    Why should anyone get excercised by what “Malachi the doom merchant” should write? Has the man ever had a positive thought in his life? Some make money by working hard. Malachi makes it by being a professional doom merchant, ready to be rolled out when news editors need an “alternative” view. Crawl back under your gloomy stone Malachi. You might melt under the sun!

  • Dats Reit

    I must say I’m bemused by all the boundless optimism on this website, it’s a real tribute to the human spirit in a way, that the obvious contempt that people from both sides of the conflict have for each other can melt away like frost in the mid-morning spring sunshine because two party leaders agreed to sit beside each other for an hour or two and have a couple of photos taken before going their separate ways.

    Unfortunately I cannot share this optimism. I really, really hope I’m wrong but I can’t imagine that either extreme or mainstream unionism – and it’s obviously all the one, as evidenced by the volume of UUP support which deserted and flocked to the DUP over the last 4-5 years. Essentially there is no appetite for powersharing with nationalists within the Unionist community. This has also been shown by the reluctance to make previous assemblies work when the so-called ‘moderates’ were in power and the collapsing of said assemblies at every available opportunity, and the necessity for unionist parties to have to be harassed and cajoled and bribed into sharing power.

    So without wanting to appear in any way sneering or triumphalist, yesterday represents a significant defeat of sorts for all unionists insofar as the statelet of Northern Ireland has always had, as its raison d’etre, Unionist dominance. Trying to present or spin it otherwise is a pointless exercise.
    The position within mainstream and extreme Unionism is, I’m afraid, the same as it was 40 years ago and 75 years ago i.e. NO FENIANS ABOUT THE PLACE, EVER.
    What will happen over the next 6 weeks is that the DUP will go off and try to think of another reason to come back and refuse to share power in 6 weeks time, and don’t think for one second that they won’t find one – or at least pretend to have found one. Either way, at the very least what you will see is an excuse of some sort being trotted out to give them another couple of weeks, by which time Blair will be on the eve of a very long, cinematic, emotional departure from No. 10, Bertie will be facing into a very tough-to-call election, the two govts will have to put NI on the backburner for a couple of weeks at least; the summer holidays will come along and hey presto, all of a sudden you’re talking about October, November for the DUP to come up with yet more reasons not to have any Fenians about the place, probably because some 15 yr-old unidentified hoodie with a Glasgow Celtic Scarf was caught on CCTV throwing stones at an Orange Order parade.
    The Doc is going to wait out Blair’s resignation to see if brown is any more sympathetic to the Unionist cause. And even if Blair were going to see out his third term in full, Paisley would still stall and delay until the day of his departure had come and gone. And if Brown doesn’t appear more interested in NI (which he won’t be during his ‘first 100 days’ at least, so that gives them another 3-4 months), he’ll find some way to stall until the next general election, desperately hoping that Cameron will ride in on his great white steed and save the Union.
    And on and on and on it will go…

    I’m goint o be accused of all sorts of whataboutery and shit-stirring with this next bit, but let’s cut the shite for just a minute.

    The ‘troubles’ didn’t break out for no reason. People were denied equal rights in NI because they refused to accept the partition of the state which they viewed as unlawful. They dominant section of the population i.e. the Protestant Unionist community refused to accept that Catholics had a legitimate right to protest the partition AND the fact that they were denied equal rights as some form of ‘punishment’ for their legitimately held beliefs and aspirations. The two communities clashed, violently, the violence was hopelessly mismanaged by a fading power and everything escalated, spiralling into 30 years of bitter civil conflict.

    Whether or not people accept this version of history, it is what happened and nothing can change that now. I, like everyone else, hope that the divisions can be laid to rest but I have my doubts.

    But today, deep down Unionists(I’m assuming) understand perfectly well that if NI becomes a normal society – which it is some years away from being yet – then gradually people down south will lose their fear of the place, and eventually people from Dublin, Cork , Galway, Limerick and all over the rest of the island will start to look north for opportunities, new careers, apply for college places in Northern Universities etc., and eventually a steady pattern of South-North migration will emerge. That, coupled with the increasing population of immigrants from further afield, will be the real ‘beginning of the end’ for the Unionist community’s superiority in terms of population.

  • Datz Reit


    Unionists have always been paranoid about the fact that they have had to physically share this island and that even thought they were in a substantial majority in the first quarter of the last century, that majority has been steadily dwindling ever since. What has, ironically, helped the Unionist Community sustain that majority, is that essentially, for the most part Southerners are afraid to go up North. 2-3 generations of Southerners have grown up watching images of people being blown to bits, shot at, petrol-bombed and literally punched and kicked to death in the streets of Belfast, Derry and other towns across the North for the last 35-40 years and as a result, have no inclination whatsoever to go there. I barely know anyone from the South who has ever been to the North, let alone anyone from the South who lives there. (Yes, yes, I’m sure there are loads, I just don’t seem to know many/any, and not only that but I don’t know many who know any).

    Over time, the inevitability is that this will change, and as life up North calms further and further, people will associate it more with short-break holidays, stag weekends and ordinary, day-to-day run-of-the-mill events, rather than the grim apocalyptus it has been portrayed as over the last 4 decades. And eventually what we will end up with is a de facto UI.

    The six counties may ultimately still be a nominal part of the UK 40-50 years from now, but it will be a limited, piecemeal, lip-service association, probably given some special status within the Commonwealth, dressed up & paid due ceremonial deference by the Irish & UK govts in an attempt to keep Unionists from fomenting unrest. There will probably be a festering civil tension in the North for decades to come, but this is the way things are starting to turn now and Unionists, unless they have their heads completely buried in the sand, are well aware of this.