Exodus: how Derry lost its Protestants…

Long awaited (on Slugger at least) last night’s programme on the mass migration of Protestant population from the west bank of Derry City is worth watching in full. The whole issue remains a matter of some controversy but, as the narrator says towards the end, the truth is probably nowhere near as cut and dried as either side quite believes.
It’s true, as some commenters have mentioned on previous threads on this subject, that population movements were common throughout the Troubles. Indeed, according to figures from the Housing Executive, only 10% of public housing is not segregated. This was certainly not the case before 1969.

What makes Derry remarkable is the vast numbers involved (14,000, down to less that 400), the virtual silence on the matter within wider public discourse and the deleterious impact it’s had on the civil life of the city. It’s also differs from other mass movements in that it was not all effected in one sudden move. The causes were both various and cumulative.

Next week we hope to have one of the producers for a live interview on Slugger.

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  • PaddyReilly

    It was nationalists who refused to negotiate a border

    They refused to accept a repartition which affected something like 2000 people. And left your beloved Londonderry on the Unionist side of the border. Sounds more like a hold-up than a negotiation to me.

    Democracy prevailed and ensured self-determination was facilitated for both nationalists and unionists. Nationalists wanted it for themselves but to deny it to unionists.

    Ha ha ha. Unionists have never wanted self-determination. The modus operandi of (modern) Unionism (in Ireland) is to seize an area in which they are a majority and compensate themselves for the inevitable economic disruption which this causes by ensuring they get favorable treatment in the job-market. If it was self-determination they wanted they would have drawn a more accurate border and asked for population transfers.

    It follows then that your point that unionists wish to remain British in order to “retain power” is nonsense.

    No, this is something which was true, but with the course of time became increasingly less so. But this doesn’t mean that they are not actively working for a return to the good old days when they ruled the roost. Indeed, this seems to be the sub-text of this thread, for some contributors. Ethnic cleansing in Derry, who is responsible: IRA, directed by (name of certain Chuckle brother). Solution: chuck out Chuckle brother and institute proper Unionist government.

    the Irish minority mostly doesn’t live in homogenously-Irish areas; ditto Muslim

    The Protestants of Ireland don’t live in homogenously Protestant areas: or could you explain to me how the nasty Fenians managed to get control of the council? There are something like 800,000 Arabic speakers permanently domiciled in West London. All they have to do is move a little closer together. Homogenous, I take it, is something that you believe you have the right to define.

  • BfB

    Macca,

    Did you talk to the 40 million one at a time or was there some sort of a poll? DO NOT include me in the ‘drunken IA tourist class’. I agree, plastic paddy can be applied to the vast minority of IA’s. And, I’m running the raffle BTW. We make sure the winner donates the weapon back for the next raffle. Most of us over here understand the complexity of your situation, and some of us help in ways that don’t hurt anyone else. Trust me.

  • willowfield

    PaddyReilly

    They refused to accept a repartition which affected something like 2000 people.

    Er, they refused to negotiate partition in the first place!

    And left your beloved Londonderry on the Unionist side of the border. Sounds more like a hold-up than a negotiation to me.

    I’m not beloved of Londonderry: I don’t even like it. Maybe if nationalists had agreed to negotiate, Londonderry could have gone to the Free State? Who knows?

    Unionists have never wanted self-determination.

    That’s odd. I wonder why they fought so hard to achieve something they didn’t want.

    The modus operandi of (modern) Unionism (in Ireland) is to seize an area in which they are a majority and compensate themselves for the inevitable economic disruption which this causes by ensuring they get favorable treatment in the job-market.

    The modus operandi of nationalism in Ireland was to do the same, so you miss out on your moral high ground again.

    If it was self-determination they wanted they would have drawn a more accurate border and asked for population transfers.

    If that is your view, the same argument applies to nationalists. The border was crude, of course, but the failure to draw a more accurate border doesn’t alter the bigger picture that self-determination was achieved for most.

    No, this is something which was true, but with the course of time became increasingly less so.

    So it was true, but is “less” true now? What “power”, then, to unionists retain today which means that it is still true (albeit “less” so) that it is their reason for wishing to remain as part of the UK? The wee Prod guy working as a salesman in the Door Store and living in a semi-detached in Glengormley is a unionist because he wants to “retain power”? It never crossed your mind perhaps that he and the rest genuinely identify as British?

    But this doesn’t mean that they are not actively working for a return to the good old days when they ruled the roost.

    I know of not a single person who is actively working for “a return to the good old days”. Not a single one. You’re becoming hysterical.

    The Protestants of Ireland don’t live in homogenously Protestant areas …

    Not homogenous, but they were and are geographically concentrated and hence self-determination could be facilitated.

    : or could you explain to me how the nasty Fenians managed to get control of the council?

    Of Derry Council? By running for office and being elected.

    There are something like 800,000 Arabic speakers permanently domiciled in West London. All they have to do is move a little closer together.

    So you have identified Arabic-speakers as a common group asserting the right to self-determination? I must have missed that. Somebody ought to tell them.

    Homogenous, I take it, is something that you believe you have the right to define.

    Not at all. Why do you think that?

  • jaffa

    “I agree, plastic paddy can be applied to the vast minority of IA’s”

    How come? Did you talk to the 40 million one at a time or was there some sort of a poll? 🙂

    Did you mean to say vast minority?

  • PaddyReilly

    Macca

    I’ve always felt that dividing the inhabitants of Ulster into some neat Planter/ Gael schism is patently stupid though of course this simplistic notion appeals to many Irish (yeah, right)-Americans to help fuel their romantic anti-Protestant, pro-IRA delusions

    The Planter/Gael schism is hardly accurate, though there seems to be some disagreement as to who is perpetrating it. I seem to remember a Unionist ballad which went “Three hunner years we hae been here, an Deil th’ fit they’ll budge us” thus perpetuating this historical exaggeration, but I am assured by another of our contributors that it is all a species of Nationalist mopery.

    But it is hardly accurate to call an anti-Protestant, pro-IRA point of view a ‘delusion’. Do you mean that pro-Protestant anti-IRA folk have a monopoly on reality?

    One problem I have with this is that many posters here have assured me that Sinn Féin is identical with the IRA: the same organisation in fact: Sinn Féin/IRA, and it appears that this party is actually in government in Northern Ireland. So far from being a species of little people seen under the influence of LSD, these people are actually your government! So why are poor Irish Americans held to be deluded?

  • kensei

    “I think it is more than perspective: I think it is truth. If you can’t tolerate a name which reflects the British heritage of the city, then you are intolerant of the British heritage of the city.”

    I think my perspective is the truth. Insisting on “Londonderry” is like saying “Northern-Ireland-is-British-and-don’t-you-forget-it-Derry”
    Nationalism have stated they are happy to reflect the British heritage by naming the walled city “Londonderry”. They just think the overall name of the city should be “Derry”. The county is also officially called “Londonderry”, so they feel there is an imbalance.

    Whether you think you are right is neither here nor there. I don’t think you are, and I think I’m right. Repeating you think you are right is pointless. It isn’t going to change my mind.

    “You’re avoiding the point. I’m not making any point about majorities or minorities. I’m making the point that those who wish to change the name are intolerant and demonstrate contempt and disdain for those with of a different ethnic background to themselves. I’m not making a point about the mechanics of how a name ought to be decided or changed: I’m making a point about those who want to change the name. I would make the same point even if nationalists were a minority.”

    No, you are missing the point. I am saying that insisting on the name is exactly equivalent but in the other direction.

    “Changing the name doesn’t open up or close any “avenues for compromise” or any “chances to celebrate links”. The city has a British heritage, reflected in a 400-year-old name. Nationalists want to expunge that heritage for the unpleasant reasons.”

    I disagree. Unionists want to keep it for unpleasant reasons. They want to bury the city’s Irish heritage as much as possible, like they try to everywhere else, and favour a British heritage that is alien to most of the people that live there.

    “I asked you to refrain from using abusive
    language.”

    It wasn’t abusive language. Deal with it.

    “You are displaying personal intolerance, ironically in your attempt to show that nationalists are not intolerant. You seem to accept that unionists have not been “top dog” for a generation and more. So you must accept that it is nonsensical to claim that those who wish to retain the name do so because they think it means they will remain “top dog”.”

    Does not follow, willow. Unionism still hold a majority in the 6, if not in Derry. It’s like how the OO likes to march through Catholic areas to send a message.

    “It would make more sense to apply today’s logic when proposing change today.”

    Uuuughghhhhhh. Pay attention. Someone was justifying partition, which I disagree with. So I pulled the logic used then to now, in order to demonstrate that no sane person could justify it that way. This is not difficult to follow. Stop pressing this point if you can’t understand it.

    “I disagree with 1. Unionism has a greater claim because the name actually is Londonderry and has been for 400 years.”

    I disagree. Nationalism has a greater claim because the name was Derry (or Doire) first, for longer. And colonisation is a bad thing in general. And they have the democratic argument on their side.

    Thinking your right does not make you right, nor if you just explain your position will people suddenly drop all their objections and proclaim they feel the like.

    “I disagree with 2, since to wish to retain the status quo does not insult or offend anyone, nor does it show intolerance, yet to demand change does.”

    Except, if of course, the status quo offends people already. If a sadist is hurting his victim, then he is happy. The only way to make the victim happy is to make the sadist unhappy. You are just flat wrong.

    “On 3, I’m not spectacularly missing the point, I’m simply pointing out to you that it doesn’t make sense to talk in terms of counties in 2008. It didn’t even make sense in 1920. ”

    See above. Ireland was partitioned along county lines, sense or no.

    You are also missing the most important point. Even if you were wholly right, this has went on that long and become that symbolic, neither side could back down without it being seen as a “victory” for the other. So the only avenue open is compromise. Which Unionism rejects.

  • PaddyReilly

    Maybe if nationalists had agreed to negotiate, Londonderry could have gone to the Free State? Who knows?

    Really? Have you never heard of Michael McDowell, the last Tánaiste, and his grandfather, Eoin MacNéill? What was he (Mac Néill) up to in 1924? I suppose you reserve the right to define the word ‘negotiate’ as well?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eoin_MacNeill

  • macca

    Okay Paddy, perhaps ‘violent fantasies’ would be better than ‘delusions’…but why a post that was essentially trying to emphasise the common Celtic roots of those who live in the North has prompted a critique of Unionism (not my bag daddio!) is beyond me…oops was a bit scathing about anti-Protestant/pro-IRA-tendencies…that must have been it…must remember to get a jibe in at the Prods next time to ensure balance…

  • willowfield

    KENSEI

    I think my perspective is the truth. Insisting on “Londonderry” is like saying “Northern-Ireland-is-British-and-don’t-you-forget-it-Derry”

    Nonsense. Even if there were to be a “united Ireland” and Londonderry were to become part of an independent all-Ireland state, I – and I assume other unionists – would still wish to retain the name.

    On the other hand, it seems clear that if you can’t tolerate a name which reflects the British heritage of the city, then you are intolerant of the British heritage of the city.

    Nationalism have [sic] stated they are happy to reflect the British heritage by naming the walled city “Londonderry”. They just think the overall name of the city should be “Derry”. The county is also officially called “Londonderry”, so they feel there is an imbalance.

    But what would naming the walled city “Londonderry” actually mean? Virtually nothing: an exercise in tokenism.

    Whether you think you are right is neither here nor there. I don’t think you are, and I think I’m right. Repeating you think you are right is pointless. It isn’t going to change my mind.

    Well, you should reflect on your intolerance and its effects. Why is it so important to expunge the heritage of a city, even when you know that to do so will cause hurt to those of another ethnic background? Those people have appealed to nationalists in the city not to do it, yet they still proceed in their attempts, and you support them. What is there to be gained, other than cultural vandalism, a victory for cultural chauvinism, and pain to a large minority of citizens?

    No, you are missing the point. I am saying that insisting on the name is exactly equivalent but in the other direction.

    You weren’t. You were avoiding the actual question about why nationalists wanted to change the name and instead simply asserting that nationalists were a majority, therefore they can and should do what they like.

    “Changing the name doesn’t open up or close any “avenues for compromise” or any “chances to celebrate links”. The city has a British heritage, reflected in a 400-year-old name. Nationalists want to expunge that heritage for the unpleasant reasons.”

    Unionists want to keep it for unpleasant reasons.

    They don’t. They want to keep it because they wish to maintain the heritage of the city and see no reason why that heritage should be expunged. That is not unpleasant.

    They want to bury the city’s Irish heritage as much as possible, like they try to everywhere else, and favour a British heritage that is alien to most of the people that live there.

    I don’t think they do. Have you any evidence?

    It wasn’t abusive language.

    I think it was.

    Deal with it.

    I’d rather you employed civility.

    Does not follow, willow. Unionism still hold a majority in the 6, if not in Derry. It’s like how the OO likes to march through Catholic areas to send a message.

    Unionism “holding a majority in the 6” doesn’t mean unionists are “top dog” either in Derry or anywhere else. The reason for unionists wishing to retain the name has nothing to do with remaining “top dog”, which they aren’t and therefore can’t remain. But even if they were “top dog”, that is not why they wish to retain the name.

    Uuuughghhhhhh. Pay attention. Someone was justifying partition, which I disagree with. So I pulled the logic used then to now, in order to demonstrate that no sane person could justify it that way.

    Were they justifying partition on a county basis? I don’t think so. Presumably they were justifying it in principle.

    I disagree. Nationalism has a greater claim because the name was Derry (or Doire) first, for longer. And colonisation is a bad thing in general. And they have the democratic argument on their side.

    The greater claim always lies with the status quo: it is for those seeking a change to demonstrate the need for change. History happened: an unimportant settlement, destroyed and derelict, was transformed into a hugely-important economically-successful city as a result of becoming Londonderry. That’s the most significant story of the settlement/city and it is appropriate for the name to remain because of that. Changing it back is an attempt to ignore the city’s history, motivated by intolerance.

    Except, if of course, the status quo offends people already.

    Not reasonably. It is not reasonable to be offended by a long-standing name which is entirely appropriate. It is, however, reasonable to be offended by the idea of seeking to expunge a city’s heritage on the basis of ethnic intolerance.

    If a sadist is hurting his victim, then he is happy. The only way to make the victim happy is to make the sadist unhappy.

    Ludicrous analogy.

  • willowfield

    PaddyReilly

    “Maybe if nationalists had agreed to negotiate, Londonderry could have gone to the Free State? Who knows? ”

    Really? Have you never heard of Michael McDowell, the last Tánaiste, and his grandfather, Eoin MacNéill? What was he (Mac Néill) up to in 1924? I suppose you reserve the right to define the word ‘negotiate’ as well?

    I’ve heard of both. (Partition was in 1920. Seeking to negotiate in 1924 was a bit late!)

    I note your failure to respond to the other points.

  • Buile Suibhne

    There are some positive things happening in the Walled City. Last year a project to look at the background of those people commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial showed that 48% were catholic. Catholic families are rediscovering their own relations who fought during the Great War. This has led to some very positive moves: there was a joint celebration for remembrance day, and the gates of the memorial are open on a trial basis.

    A better understanding of the past is always better than historical myths!

  • gaelgannaire

    “Nationalism has a greater claim because the name was Derry (or Doire) first”.

    Don’t accept that. I think that ‘Derry’ is merely an abrievation of Londonderry.

    The ‘native Irish’ people four hundred years ago would have been almost 100% monoglot Gaelic speakers (not counting knowledge of Latin of course) with only some aristocrats having a smattering of English. Indeed most Donegal people coming to live in Derry would have been monoglots until around 100/120 years ago.

    They certainely didn’t popularise ‘Derry’ as they propably could not even say it.

    I think that it was the mostly Protestant inhabitants would stated with the anglicised form Derry having previously coined Londonderry, Derry as I said being an abrievation [cf. Ards / Newtownards & Carrick, Carrickfergus].

    As an Irish speaker and as someone not from Derry it is of course none of my business but I will always but forward …

    Doire / Londonderry

    as a bilingual solution.

  • PaddyReilly

    That’s odd. I wonder why they fought so hard to achieve something they didn’t want.

    The history of the border is that in about 1908 a committee of the House of Lords examined the question of partition and decided that the most accurate and suitable border would be the River Bann, which would allow a fairly but not entirely homogenous Protestant state in East Bannistan and assign the Mountains of Mourne and most of the 4 Western counties to the Free State. Presumably, with a gradual and voluntary exchange of populations, this would eventually become a wholly homogenous area.

    Of course, as I said, Unionists did want to be left with an entirely Unionist state, as that would deprive significant numbers of them of their living as policemen, etc. They accordingly imported arms and set about establishing a military presence in West Bannistan, eventually managing to seize all six counties. The treaty provided for a border commission i.e. negotiations but the Unionists again managed to foil this, and the possibility of plebiscites in West Bannistan, by appropriate sabre rattling, leading to the final report, a miniscule adjustment, which the Free State refused to accept.

    In this way Londonderry, which is not beloved to you but whose name may not be changed, ended up on the wrong side of the border. And in this way, Derry’s Protestants, after 50 years of relative advantage, finally received the payback for this thwarting of democracy.

  • willowfield

    They accordingly imported arms and set about establishing a military presence in West Bannistan, eventually managing to seize all six counties.

    Of course, nationalists also imported arms, but with the intention of seizing all 32 counties. Yet again you fail to raise yourself on to the moral high ground. (I also note your quasi-racist use of “East Bannistan.)

    I note also your failure – yet again – to acknowledge that nationalists refused to negotiate a border until after it had already been established. I wonder why you are so reluctant to acknowledge this fact. (No-one is disputing what happened in respect of the Boundary Commission.)

  • PaddyReilly

    Partition was in 1920. Seeking to negotiate in 1924 was a bit late!

    The treaty was in 1921. It provided for a commission to correct the border. This commission, or at least its Nationalist member, was thwarted. Stuffed.

    The advantage thus gained by Unionists was not unmixed. What’s the point of inheriting a Big House if someone is then going to put a bullet through your head? Fifty years of unchallenged control of Londonderry City Council, and then everything goes pear-shaped.

  • kensei

    “Nonsense. Even if there were to be a “united Ireland” and Londonderry were to become part of an independent all-Ireland state, I – and I assume other unionists – would still wish to retain the name.”

    And? There is no United Ireland and people still want Derry.

    “But what would naming the walled city “Londonderry” actually mean? Virtually nothing: an exercise in tokenism.”

    It could be heavily promoted via tourism and made a cultural focus. Simply stating it has no meaning would not make it have no meaning.

    If you want another compromise, suggest it.

    “Well, you should reflect on your intolerance and its effects. Why is it so important to expunge the heritage of a city, even when you know that to do so will cause hurt to those of another ethnic background? Those people have appealed to nationalists in the city not to do it, yet they still proceed in their attempts, and you support them. What is there to be gained, other than cultural vandalism, a victory for cultural chauvinism, and pain to a large minority of citizens?”

    Again, no is suggesting “expunging” anything except you. Happy to compromise. Why do you refuse to acknowledge that the name causes offence to others of a different ethnic background. Why must you insist you have it all your own way – city and county? Why do you refuse to compromise and kill any suggested because it isn’t you absolute position? What is there to be gained, other than making the nationalist population cow down before you, a victory for cultural chauvinism, and pain to a large majority of citizens?

    “You weren’t. You were avoiding the actual question about why nationalists wanted to change the name and instead simply asserting that nationalists were a majority, therefore they can and should do what they like.”

    No, willow, I copied your style, gave a few reasons and added in the democratic one. Not my fault you can’t see that.

    “They don’t. They want to keep it because they wish to maintain the heritage of the city and see no reason why that heritage should be expunged. That is not unpleasant.”

    They do. They want to be top dog and have things all their own way. They don’t care for other people’s opinions.

    “I don’t think they do. Have you any evidence?”

    Where’s the ILA, willow? Why is there always a controversy of the St Patrick’s Day Parade? Unionism does not care for Nationalist Irish culture and will frustrate it at any given opportunity.

    “I think it was.”

    It wasn’t directed at you, so it cannot be abusive.

    “I’d rather you employed civility.”

    I’m uncouth and don’t acre. Shit happens.

    “Unionism “holding a majority in the 6” doesn’t mean unionists are “top dog” either in Derry or anywhere else. The reason for unionists wishing to retain the name has nothing to do with remaining “top dog”, which they aren’t and therefore can’t remain. But even if they were “top dog”, that is not why they wish to retain the name.”

    I don’t believe you. Actions say otherwise.

    “Were they justifying partition on a county basis? I don’t think so. Presumably they were justifying it in principle.”

    They were arguing over the six.

    “The greater claim always lies with the status quo: it is for those seeking a change to demonstrate the need for change.”

    Bizarre.

    ” History happened: an unimportant settlement, destroyed and derelict, was transformed into a hugely-important economically-successful city as a result of becoming Londonderry. That’s the most significant story of the settlement/city and it is appropriate for the name to remain because of that. Changing it back is an attempt to ignore the city’s history, motivated by intolerance.”

    No, it’s not, and I’m not repeating myself again.

    “Not reasonably. It is not reasonable to be offended by a long-standing name which is entirely appropriate. It is, however, reasonable to be offended by the idea of seeking to expunge a city’s heritage on the basis of ethnic intolerance.”

    Ah, good to see that you determine what is reasonable and what isn’t, and what is “appropriate” and what isn’t.

    “Ludicrous analogy.”

    No, exactly the right one, and used to illustrate the dangers in Pareto efficiency. You stated that supporting the status quo could not be harmful, and I demonstrated that it is nonsense.

    Your problem, and it’s the one we always come to, is you view your position (and Unionism’s) inherently superior. As this will now just go around in circles, I’m done.

  • PaddyReilly

    I also note your quasi-racist use of “East Bannistan”

    How anyone can read racism into my knowledge of Urdu I do not know. Jocular is the term.

    Obviously, two governments on one small island is a disaster anyone would want to avoid. Even King George felt this. There is also the fact that some of those who were threatening partition (Carson in particular) did not actually want partition, they were just using it as a means to defeat Home Rule. So why would anyone want to negotiate the details of something which was never intended to come to pass? When someone threatens to shoot you unless you hand over the dough, do you give him 50 quid and ask him to aim for the thigh?

  • jaffa

    “gaelgannaire”

    Thanks for that post. Informative. I’ve an idea for your suggestion. I’ve read somewhere (and self-serving half remembered myth is always better than historical fact) that the original settlement was on the east of the river and that it was only after this was destroyed that a new settlement was built on the west; which after further destruction was walled.

    Therefore as only the new settlement should claim the title Londonderry I think the east should be Derry and the West Londonderry. We get to call it Derry-Londonderry Buda-Pest style and everyone’s happy because the prods live in Derry and the Catholics live in Londonderry and we all like nothing more than a good moan.

  • BfB

    Jaffa…

    vast minority….. I didn’t have to take a poll. Most of them have shown up at the ‘Evacuation Day’ parade over the years, and conned me into buying them a drink. 50p green drafts (yechh).

  • jaffa

    “50p green drafts (yechh).”

    Crikey, it must be horrible over there. Best you come back to bogland and get a decent pint.

  • BfB

    I do that, regularly.

  • joeCanuck

    Time to can this argument? No-one is gonna get another one to change his mind.

    BTW Paddy Reilly, you said and then everything goes pear-shaped.
    Surely you meant that we all went bananas?

  • jaffa

    Joe,

    Theres a commonwealth thread nearby. Could you leave some thoughts on the relevance if any to Canadian life (outside of the shared monarchy stuff which isn’t a neccessary condition)?

  • Éireannach Saolta

    I agree Joe

  • joeCanuck

    jaffa,
    to the best of my knowledge, no relevance at all. I have never heard anyone mention it in any context whatsoever, not even the Commonwealth games (except on sports tv).
    Maybe half or so of the population don’t care one way or the other about the monarchy either (close to zero in Quebec, of course).

  • willowfield

    PADDYREILLY

    The treaty was in 1921. It provided for a commission to correct the border. This commission, or at least its Nationalist member, was thwarted. Stuffed.

    The issue of a border had been around since at least 1912. Nationalists had refused to negotiate.

    KENSEI

    “Nonsense. Even if there were to be a “united Ireland” and Londonderry were to become part of an independent all-Ireland state, I – and I assume other unionists – would still wish to retain the name.”

    And?

    And your point that the reason unionists wish to retain the name is to remind people that it is a British city is nonsense.

    “Well, you should reflect on your intolerance and its effects. Why is it so important to expunge the heritage of a city, even when you know that to do so will cause hurt to those of another ethnic background? Those people have appealed to nationalists in the city not to do it, yet they still proceed in their attempts, and you support them. What is there to be gained, other than cultural vandalism, a victory for cultural chauvinism, and pain to a large minority of citizens?”

    Again, no is suggesting “expunging” anything except you.

    You are (you want to expunge the name “London” from the city’s name). I’m not (I don’t want to expunge anything).

    Happy to compromise. Why do you refuse to acknowledge that the name causes offence to others of a different ethnic background.

    I’ve said it is not reasonable offence. See above.

    Why must you insist you have it all your own way – city and county?

    I merely point out the unpleasant nature of nationalist demands for name changes and suggest that it would be the right thing to do not to make such demands. I’m not insisting on anything.

    Why do you refuse to compromise and kill any suggested because it isn’t you absolute position?

    The city’s name should not be changed: that is my view. It would be an act of cultural vandalism and ethnic chauvinism.

    What is there to be gained, other than making the nationalist population cow down before you, a victory for cultural chauvinism, and pain to a large majority of citizens?

    What is to be gained is the ongoing recognition of the city’s history and heritage and the avoidance of the destruction of that.

    I’ve no idea or interest in anyone “cowing down before me”.

    No, willow, I copied your style, gave a few reasons and added in the democratic one. Not my fault you can’t see that.

    No. You were avoiding the actual question about why nationalists wanted to change the name and instead simply asserting that nationalists were a majority.

    They do. They want to be top dog and have things all their own way. They don’t care for other people’s opinions.

    SO you keep saying, but – to quote one of your favourite sayings – simply saying it doesn’t make it true. Where is your evidence for your claim?

  • PaddyReilly

    The issue of a border had been around since at least 1912. Nationalists had refused to negotiate.

    Naughty Nationalists. But what gives you (as an individual or the entire body of Unionists) the right to decide when the final date for completed applications was?

  • willowfield

    KENSEI

    “The greater claim always lies with the status quo: it is for those seeking a change to demonstrate the need for change.”

    Bizarre.

    Why do you think it is bizarre?

    “ History happened: an unimportant settlement, destroyed and derelict, was transformed into a hugely-important economically-successful city as a result of becoming Londonderry. That’s the most significant story of the settlement/city and it is appropriate for the name to remain because of that. Changing it back is an attempt to ignore the city’s history, motivated by intolerance.”

    No, it’s not, and I’m not repeating myself again.

    It’s an attempt to expunge the British heritage of the city’s name.

    PADDYREILLY

    How anyone can read racism into my knowledge of Urdu I do not know. Jocular is the term.

    I detect an element of racism: the name implied some kind of rogue or failed state, associated with Islamic central Asia.

    Obviously, two governments on one small island is a disaster anyone would want to avoid.

    It’s not obvious at all.

    So why would anyone want to negotiate the details of something which was never intended to come to pass?

    It was intended to come to pass.

  • willowfield

    But what gives you (as an individual or the entire body of Unionists) the right to decide when the final date for completed applications was?

    No idea. I didn’t realise I had such a right.

    I take it you have now acknowledged that nationalists refused to negotiate. Would have been easier if you had done it at the outset.

  • PaddyReilly

    I take it you have now acknowledged that nationalists refused to negotiate.

    No, that was Eoin MacNeill’s job. Little good it did him.

  • RepublicanStones

    finally the comments on this thread have laid bare that which we have suspected all along, that democracy is good only when it doesn’t impinge on ‘British’ heritage/unionist culture !

  • Objectivist

    ”I’m unaware of any “democratic right” to change the name of a city.”
    Leningrad and St.Petersburg?

  • Harry Flashman

    [b]Prince Eoghan[/b]

    *Yet you have already stated that the IRA never ran a campaign against prods, can’t have it both ways Harry.*

    I most certainly did not say they “never” ran a sectarian campaign against Derry prods, in many occasions they definitely did, I can give you the names and dates if you like, but I concede that the Provo campaign in Derry was not simply some form of ethnic cleansing, there was more to it than that. However even the soi-disant non-sectarian elements of the campaign, bombing businesses, murdering members of the security forces at the front doors of their churches etc had a massive negative impact on the Derry prod community.

    [b]Kensei,[/b]

    You’re an Irish nationalist, right? So why do you keep referring to “Londonderry” as the ‘official’ name of the city?

    Last time I checked, according to the democratically elected government of Ireland the Irish city at the mouth of the Irish river Foyle has the official names of “Derry” or “Doire” in the first language of Ireland. All Irish road signs and official documents refer to “Derry”, my Irish passport has my place of birth as “Doire/Derry”. All communication I receive from the Allied Irish Bank in Derry goes to and is addressed from “Derry”, it is delivered without problem. To all intents and purposes the official name of that city is “Derry”.

    Some Unionists and the government of Britain occasionally refer to it as “Londonderry”, fair enough, that’s their right, if they want to call it Stroke City that’s their affair, as an Irish nationalist I would have thought you would be confident in your own position without forcing other people of a different persuasion to use a term they would not otherwise choose to use.

    The official name of the city is Derry, it has been since Irish independence, why are you so hung up on what the Queen of England calls it?

  • willowfield

    PaddyReilly

    No, that was Eoin MacNeill’s job. Little good it did him.

    Zzzzzzzzzzz

    It wasn’t Eoin MacNeill’s job when the issue firs arose: it was John Redmond’s. He refused to negotiate.

    As I said, and as, for some reason, you are unwilling to acknowledge, nationalists refused to negotiate a border in the first place. 1924 was a bit late.

    You’ve failed in all your efforts to demonise unionism and place nationalism on a higher moral ground. All your criticisms of unionism (seeking to impose a border; seeking as much land as possible; importing arms) also apply to nationalism.

    You’ve also made facetious points which have been shown to be silly: unionists are unionists because they want to “retain power” (even though they don’t have any power to retain)

    Objectivist

    Leningrad and St.Petersburg?

    St Petersburg is in Russia: I don’t know what the law is there, but we are not bound by Russian law here.

  • Objectivist

    ”St Petersburg is in Russia: I don’t know what the law is there, but we are not bound by Russian law here.”
    It is an example of the name of a city being changed in accordance of the democratic wishes of its inhabitants.

  • PaddyReilly

    As I said, and as, for some reason, you are unwilling to acknowledge, nationalists refused to negotiate a border in the first place. 1924 was a bit late.

    ZZZZZZZ. And I said, and as you are unwilling to acknowledge, what gives Unionists in general or yourself in particular the right to set the final date for completed applications?

    Was it not actually a bit premature in Redmond’s time to be negotiating secessions from a state that had not yet come into being?

    And in any case, how do you negotiate? Take hostages? That is surely the role of the supervising power, which they (The House of Lords at least) adequately performed by awarding Cisbannia to the Prods and Transilbannia to the Taigs.

    You’ve failed in all your efforts to demonise unionism and place nationalism on a higher moral ground.

    I am not looking to place Nationalism on a higher moral ground: indeed I was taught at University that states are essentially amoral entities. Should a Muslim majority in, say, Great Yarmouth, propose to secede from England and set up an independent state, I would be in favour of shelling them. Self preservation dictates that you do not allow a beachhead from an alien power. The problem with Unionist rule, in Londonderry at least, was that it lacked the democratic mandate necessary to succeed as effective government, which is why it ended up the way it did.

    What is daft is that every extra window in your house requires planning permission, whereas a foredoomed impractical entity such as the six counties was allowed to come into being at all.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Your selectivity amuses me Harry.

    I put it to you for the third time.

    How come the IRA had this seemingly significant psychological effect in Derry? Why have we not witnessed the slow gradual fleeing in terror of Prods all over the six counties? Sure the Derry Prods have finished with the removal van by now. Perhaps other beleaguered, similarly psychologically scared witless Prods can get the use of that van elsewhere.

    Can I register my disappointment at your grudging testimony regarding the people this campaign on slugger is directed at. Bullshit becomes fact whilst good men say nothing………………….or something like that.

    You never did get back to me about the Creggan, and the Prod community there.

  • PaddyReilly

    You’ve also made facetious points which have been shown to be silly: unionists are unionists because they want to “retain power” (even though they don’t have any power to retain)

    I did not say they had no power: like a monarch in a constitutional state they do not have as much power as they did. Nevertheless, most monarchs consider it worthwhile remaining in office.

    What power they have is largely the power of veto: they can stop the tricolour flying over Northern Ireland (which does no real harm); they can stop the National Anthem etc being changed (irrelevant); they can, as mentioned, thwart Fenians who want to rename their street (in certain small areas); they can stop Ireland having a single currency or Immigration area (a nuisance); they can stop the people of Donegal having nearby access to appropriate medical treatment (a real pain for cancer sufferers in St John’s town).

    The delight that they gain from exercising what others might consider to be trivial powers in say, Ballymoney, and the obvious pain they get when not allowed to do so in Derry (sic), obviously keeps them going.

  • RepublicanStones

    little article i was referred to, not much to do with the thread subject but interesting none the less.

    Following the absorption of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, the British set about shoring up their rule by the tried and true strategy of pitting ethnic group against ethnic group, tribe against tribe, and religion against religion. When British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour issued his famous 1917 Declaration guaranteeing a “homeland” for the Jewish people in Palestine, he was less concerned with righting a two thousand year old wrong than creating divisions that would serve growing British interests in the Middle East.
    Sir Ronald Storrs, the first Governor of Jerusalem, certainly had no illusions about what a “Jewish homeland” in Palestine meant for the British Empire: “It will form for England,” he said, “a little loyal Jewish Ulster in a sea of potentially hostile Arabism.”
    Storrs’ analogy was no accident. Ireland was where the English invented the tactic of divide and conquer, and where the devastating effectiveness of using foreign settlers to drive a wedge between the colonial rulers and the colonized made it a template for worldwide imperial rule.

    Divide and Conquer Revisited
    Ariel Sharon and former Prime Minister Menachem Begin normally take credit for creating the “facts on the ground” policies that have poured more than 420,000 settlers into the Occupied Territories. But they were simply copying Charles I, the English King, who in 1609 forcibly removed the O’Neill and O’Donnell clans from the north of Ireland, moved in 20,000 English and Scottish Protestants, and founded the Plantation of Ulster.
    The “removal” was never really meant to cleanse Ulster of the Irish. Native labor was essential to the Plantation’s success and within 15 years more than 4,000 native Irish tenants and their families were back in Ulster. But they lived in a land divided into religious castes, with the Protestant invaders on top and the Catholic natives on the bottom.
    Protestants were awarded the “Ulster privilege” which gave them special access to land and lower rents, and also served to divide them from the native Catholics. The “Ulster Privilege” is not dissimilar to the kind of “privilege” Israeli settlers enjoy in the Territories today, where their mortgages are cheap, their taxes lower and their education subsidized.
    The Protestant privileges were a constant sore point with the native Irish; although in fact, most Protestants were little better off than their Catholic neighbors. Rents were uniformly onerous, regardless of religion.
    Indeed, there were numerous cases where Protestants and Catholics united to protest exorbitant rents, but in virtually every case, the authorities successfully used religion and privilege to split such alliances. The Orange Order, the organization most responsible for sectarian politics in the North today, was originally formed in 1795 to break a Catholic-Protestant rent strike.

    Ireland as Imperial Laboratory
    The parallels between Israel and Ireland are almost eerie, unless one remembers that the latter was the laboratory for British colonialism. As in Ulster, Israeli settlers in the Occupied Territories have special privileges that divide them from Palestinians (and other Israelis as well). As in Ireland, Israeli settlers rely on the military to protect them from the “natives.” And as in Northern Ireland, there are political organizations, like the National Religious Party and the Moledet Party, which whip up sectarian hatred, and keep the population divided. The latter two parties both advocate the forcible transfer of all Arabs—Palestinians and Israelis alike—to Jordan and Egypt.
    Prior to the Ulster experiment, the English had tried any number of schemes to tame the restive Irish and build a wall between conqueror and conquered. One set of laws, the 1367 Statutes of Kilkenny, forbade “gossiping” with the natives. All of them failed. Then the English hit on the idea of using ethnicity, religion, and privilege to construct a society with built-in divisions.
    It worked like a charm.
    The divisions were finally codified in the Penal Laws of 1692, divisions that still play themselves out in the mean streets of Belfast and Londonderry. Besides denying Catholics any civil rights (and removing those rights from Protestants who intermarried with them), the Laws blocked Catholics from signing contracts, becoming lawyers, or hiring more than two apprentices. In essence, they insured that Catholics would remain poor, powerless, and locked out of the modern world.
    The laws were, in the words of the great English jurist Edmund Burke, “A machine of wide and elaborate contrivance and as well fitted for the oppression, impoverishment and degradation of a people as ever proceeded from the perverted ingenuity of man.”

  • RepublicanStones

    Once the English hit on the tactic of using ethnic and religious differences to divide a population, the conquest of Ireland became a reality. Within 250 years, that formula would be transported to India, Africa, and the Middle East.
    Sometimes populations were splintered by religions, as with Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims in India. Sometimes societies were divided by tribes, as with the Ibos and Hausa in Nigeria. Sometimes, as in Ireland, foreign ethnic groups were imported and used as a buffer between the colonial authorities and the colonized. That is how large numbers of East Indians ended up in Kenya, South Africa, British Guyana, and Uganda.
    It was “divide and conquer” that made it possible for an insignificant island in the north of Europe to rule the world. Division and chaos, tribal, religious and ethnic hatred, were the secret to empire. Guns and artillery were always in the background in case things went awry, but in fact, it rarely came to that.
    It would appear the Israelis have paid close attention to English colonial policy because their policies in the Occupied Territories bear a distressing resemblance to Ireland under the Penal Laws
    The Israeli Knesset recently prevented Palestinians married to Arab Israelis from acquiring citizenship, a page lifted almost directly from the 1692 laws. Israeli human rights activist Yael Stein called the action “racist,” and Knesset member Zeeva Galon said it denied “the fundamental right of Arab Israelis to start families.” Even the U.S. is uncomfortable with the legislation. “The new law,” said U.S. State Department spokesman Phillip Reeker, “singles out one group for different treatment than others.”

    Which, of course, was the whole point.

    Imperial Blowback
    As the penal laws impoverished the Irish, so do Israeli policies impoverish the Palestinians and keep them an underdeveloped pool of cheap labor. According to the United Nations, unemployment in the West Bank and Gaza is over 50 percent, and Palestinians are among the poorest people on the planet.
    Any efforts by the Palestinians to build their own independent economic base are smothered by a network of walls, settler-exclusive roads and checkpoints. It is little different than British imperial policy in India, which systematically dismantled the Indian textile industry so that English cloth could clothe the sub-continent without competition.
    Divide and conquer was 19th and early 20th century colonialism’s single most successful tactic of domination. It was also a disaster, one which still echoes in civil wars and regional tensions across the globe. This latter lesson does not appear to be one the Israelis have paid much attention to. As a system of rule, division and privilege may work in the short run, but over time it engenders nothing but hatred. These polices, according to Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, foment “terror,” adding, “In tactical decisions, we are operating contrary to our strategic interests.”
    The policy also creates divisions among Israelis. Empires benefit only a few, and always at the expense of the majority. While the Sharon government spends $1.4 billion a year holding on to the territories, 27 percent of Israeli children are officially designated “poor,” social services have been cut, and the economy is in shambles.
    By playing the Kurds against Syria and Iran, the Israelis may end up triggering a Turkish invasion of Kurdish Iraq, touching off a war that could engulf the entire region. That Israel would emerge from such a conflict unscathed is illusion.
    Divide and conquer fails in the long run, but only after it inflicts stupendous damage, engendering hatreds that still convulse countries like Nigeria, India and Ireland. In the end it will fail to serve even the interests of the power that uses it. England kept Ireland divided for 800 years, but in the end, it lost.
    The Israelis would do well to remember the Irish poet Patrick Pearse’s eulogy over the grave of the old Fenian revolutionary, Jeremian “Rossa” O’Donovan: “I say to my people’s masters, beware. Beware of the thing that is coming. Beware of the risen people who shall take what yea would not give.”

    Conn Hallinan is a foreign policy analyst for Foreign Policy In Focus (online at fpif.org) and a Lecturer in Journalism at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

  • Brian Boru

    I look forward to a film about the exodus of Catholics from Carrickfergus and Larne.

  • Harry Flashman

    [b]Prince Eoghan[/b]

    Your disappointment is duly registered, I’m still not sure what you expect more from me, I know nothing about other communities, I can only speak about what happened in my home town. For the third time I make it clear that the Nationalist community of Derry does not bear general blame for what happened.

    I mentioned the protestant community in Derry before you did, I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make. In Creggan there was a small number of protestants, I believe there may even have been the odd RUC man living there in the ’50’s, there were certainly a large number of ex-servicemen. As I mentioned in my earlier posts these people lived very happily alongside their Catholic neighbours as did the minority protestant communities in all the other areas of Derry for over a century, so simply ascribing their departure to an inability to live alongside Catholics is absurd.

    They left in the 1970’s, the time period of their sudden departure coincides with the IRA campaign, if there was some other reason utterly unrelated to the IRA then it was of minor significance. Anyone with at least one functioning eyeball can see what happened in Derry and no amount of pseudo sociological reasoning about ‘white flight’ will change the facts.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>Your disappointment is duly registered, I’m still not sure what you expect more from me, I know nothing about other communities, I can only speak about what happened in my home town. For the third time I make it clear that the Nationalist community of Derry does not bear general blame for what happened.< >so simply ascribing their departure to an inability to live alongside Catholics is absurd.<

  • Briso

    Posted by willowfield on Jan 11, 2008 @ 03:50 PM
    >>And left your beloved Londonderry on the Unionist side of the border. Sounds more like a
    >>hold-up than a negotiation to me.

    >I’m not beloved of Londonderry: I don’t even like it.

    Which is why I ignore you on this subject. Thanks for the honesty though.

  • Harry Flashman if your reasoning is correct then there is nothing to stop the Fountain rea blooming once more.
    However Londonderry’s defenders will be returning to a changed situation.
    Little point in trying to taunt Bogsiders with pennies when the fekkers are likely to wave credit cards at ye;0)
    I think this reality is probably the main reason no one has sought to re-plant the West Bank of the Foyle with loyal sentries.
    The old days are not coming back.
    The view at the front of the bus is better.

  • unionist

    ZZZZZZZ. And I said, and as you are unwilling to acknowledge, what gives Unionists in general or yourself in particular the right to set the final date for completed applications?

    Army guns, winning the war, what else?

  • willowfield

    Objectivist

    It is an example of the name of a city being changed in accordance of the democratic wishes of its inhabitants.

    And? How does an example in Russia demonstrate that there is a democratic right in this country for the inhabitants to change the name of a city?

    PaddyReilly
    And I said, and as you are unwilling to acknowledge, what gives Unionists in general or yourself in particular the right to set the final date for completed applications?

    I have never said that I, nor anyone else, unionist or otherwise, has “a right to set the final date for completed applications”. I am unaware of the existence of any such “right”. I merely observe that nationalists were unwilling to negotiate about the border until it was too late. Unionists were willing to negotiate from the start. This refutes your attempts to portray unionists as the uncompromising bad boys and nationalists as the virtuous good guys.

    Was it not actually a bit premature in Redmond’s time to be negotiating secessions from a state that had not yet come into being?

    It was hardly premature when there was a bill going through Parliament and a crisis mounting. On the contrary, it was the apposite time.

    And in any case, how do you negotiate? Take hostages?

    No: you approach your opponents, or an intermediary, put forward demands and offer concessions.

    I am not looking to place Nationalism on a higher moral ground: indeed I was taught at University that states are essentially amoral entities.

    Then why did you condemn unionism for sins of which nationalism was equally, if not more, guilty? You condemned unionism for seeking to impose a border, yet nationalists also sought to impose a border. You condemned unionists for seeking as much land as possible, yet nationalists sought as much land as possible.

    The problem with Unionist rule, in Londonderry at least, was that it lacked the democratic mandate necessary to succeed as effective government, which is why it ended up the way it did.

    I couldn’t agree more, but that was not what we were discussing. Nice attempt to shift the goalposts. We were discussing your above condemnations of unionism.

    I did not say they had no power: like a monarch in a constitutional state they do not have as much power as they did. What power they have is largely the power of veto: they can stop the tricolour flying over Northern Ireland (which does no real harm); they can stop the National Anthem etc being changed (irrelevant); they can, as mentioned, thwart Fenians who want to rename their street (in certain small areas); they can stop Ireland having a single currency or Immigration area (a nuisance); they can stop the people of Donegal having nearby access to appropriate medical treatment (a real pain for cancer sufferers in St John’s town).

    Well, nationalists seek to remove those “powers” from unionists, so – again – your criticisms of unionists apply equally to nationalists.

    In any case, the “power” to which you refer is simply the “power” that any people has by virtue of living in a democratic state. Nationalists in the south, just like Belgians in Belgium or Germans in Germany have the “power” to stop flags flying, the “power” to stop national anthems, etc. to be changed, the “power” to stop people changing street names; the “power” to adopt or withdraw from a single currency, etc.; the “power” to provide whatever medical treatment they wish to people in Donegal or anywhere else within their jurisdiction. It is no different in Northern Ireland, and nor should it be.

  • Mick Fealty

    sean,

    “The Protestant community leadership must take notice ,and instead of always complaining, and waffling about what is happening, get out into these isolated communities and support them in practical ways to remain in their communities.”

    Fair point, well made. At the end of the broadcast programme, there was a series of statements by people like William Temple, a resident of the Fountain throughout the Troubles, that were noticeably upbeat about the future.

    It’s a shame we don’t have more of the original online. There’s a lot stuff in it that gives a more rounded picture of the Protestant experience of Derry, not least from the woman who grew up close to the Bogside, who said that when it came to 1969, they suddenly discovered that the difference between Catholics and Protestants was not just what church you went to, ‘it was more serious than that’.

    Flybyday makes an important point that fear, as outlined as a prime motivating factor by the former Anglican Bishop of Derry and Raphoe Dr Mahaffey, is not a binary to direct action, rather it operates in a continuum alongside it.

    This is certainly the case with the major population movements in Belfast in the early Troubles, though as Briso has also pointed out those movements took place over a far shorter period of time and, to that extent, were hugely more traumatic than the factors that were at play in clearing out the Protestant population of the west bank in Derry.

    Nevertheless, I cannot think of another place where the political outworking has had such profound and dramatic results, whether they intended or not. It’s worth checking out the Elections archive at Ark: 1973-1981, ie from the first clearly non-gerrymandered Council; and 1993-2005, ie from after the decline marked in the 1991 census.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    RepublicanStones: Eddie Burke was Irish, born in Dublin, he was an apologist for the English monarchy and adversary of the great Republican Englishman Thomas Paine.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Burke

  • Harry Flashman

    *Little point in trying to taunt Bogsiders with pennies*

    And no doubt you can provide hard evidence that this mythical penny throwing, about which we have all heard so much but nobody ever witnessed, actually took place.

    I’d be interested to hear this evidence because all I ever found was someone’s granny’s neighbour told a friend who got it from a wee fella whose mucker was told about it by his brother who might have known a girl who said she once met someone who witnessed it.

    Besides this hearsay the “penny throwing” – in all seriousness put forward as justification for the well planned assault on the Apprentice Boys in August 1969 – has no basis in fact.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Eddie Burke was Irish, born in Dublin, he was an apologist for the English monarchy and adversary of the great Republican Englishman Thomas Paine.’

    Edmund Burke actually supported the American ‘revolutionaries’ and only opposed the French Revolutionaries when it descended into mindless carnage. Tom Paine was one very lucky English Republican . Due to an error on the part of the prison guard who placed a white X on the inside of Paine’s door instead of on the outside Paine avoided being guillotined by his ‘fellow republicans’.

    As France turned from the liberty , equality and fraternity of revolution to Napoleonic imperialism it was Burke who saw that even well meaning ‘revolutions’ can end up dispatching as many revolutionaries as the ancien regime . The Civil Wars in England ( Mid 17th century) , USA (mid 19th) and Ireland ( 1920’s) are just some examples .

  • Briso

    Posted by Mick Fealty on Jan 14, 2008 @ 11:46 AM
    :
    This is certainly the case with the major population movements in Belfast in the early Troubles, though as Briso has also pointed out those movements took place over a far shorter period of time and, to that extent, were hugely more traumatic than the factors that were at play in clearing out the Protestant population of the west bank in Derry.

    Not quite Mick. I pointed out that some mind-bogglingly large population displacements took place in two entirely separate, very short periods which just happened to be measured by the reports online at the CAIN website. I DID NOT say that Belfast’s exodus took place over a ‘far shorter period of time’. I don’t have documentary evidence of any other periods apart from the two covered by the reports.

    My belief, based on my memories of the BBC NI and UTV news over three decades is that it was happening in Belfast for just as long and dwarfs in scale what happened in Derry. That part is open though, as I don’t have the figures. Perhaps Belfast, unlike Derry, doesn’t care to examine them.

  • Dewi

    Saville still talking to witnesses – Good article from yesterday’s Independent on Sunday.

  • Briso

    The first report:
    … we believe that the 13-week period can be regarded as a representative sample of the continuing situation since August 1972. The restricted period allowed us to examine all the available housing movement data relating to this period, and eliminated the need for extracting a larger sample from within a longer study-period.

    The average size of all the families which moved, with the exception of old age pensioners, was almost exactly 4.00.

    RELIGIONS

    During the 13 week period chosen as the time framework, of the 474 cases examined in detail, 222 were Catholic, 110 Protestant and the religion of the remaining 142 was not known[7].

    This doc was from 1974. It is explicitly stated that the sampled period can be considered representative. IF that were true, we could estimate that between 1st June 1972 and 1st Jan 1974 (6.33333333 quarters), the number of families displaced would be 474 * 6.333 = 3002. There are an average of four people per household giving around 12000 people.

    The earlier report relates to “movement within the Belfast urban area for the 3 week period beginning 9th August, 1971”.

    “By taking the total population of Belfast Urban Area and dividing it by the average number per family we have arrived at a round number of 180,000 households. From this, our information of 2,100 moves indicates that roughly 1% of families in the Belfast Urban Area have moved house in our 3-week period. The proportion of Catholics to Protestants in the city is 25% to 75%. From our religious breakdown it appears that 2% of the 45,000 Catholic households have moved while 0.5% of the 135,000 Protestant households have also found new homes.”

    IN THREE WEEKS!!! Assuming 4 as an average household, we’re talking about 8500 people. That in itself puts Derry completely in the shade. Belfast’s secret disgrace, Mick?

  • Mick Fealty

    Briso,

    As a certain DP Moynahan famously asserted, “people are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.”

    It would be good to see figures covering all areas for all of the time. In the absence of hard figures (outside those for the west bank of Derry), there has been a flurry of assertions on this an previous threads of how this experience compares with that of other parts of Northern Ireland.

    So far in this series of discussions, facts, outside the stark ones relating to Protestant depopulation of the west bank, have been notable by their very absence.

    When they finally arrive, it may be that they uphold your sense drawn from childhood experience of the media (and clearly bolstered by the fact of the tight sectarian geography of working class Belfast) that it does indeed “dwarf in scale what happened in Derry”.

    But I don’t see the relevance of a line of argument that says because it also took place on a much larger scale in a much larger city (Derry’s current urban population is 85,000, while the Belfast City Council area is 275,000) that that is any reason for not discussing (as civilly as such matters can be) the subject of the programme above.

    If you believe, which you have said you do, that this depopulation has had deleterious impact on the civil life of the city, it is only by looking at the issue honestly and openly at how and why it happened that you stand much chance of beginning to undo that damage.

    IMHO, it’s in no one’s interest to embark upon a second, altogether pointless, siege of Derry just for the sake of academically sorting out the past. There needs to be a future value in it to make it a worthwhile topic of discussion.

  • Mick Fealty

    My last crossed with your last. Since I pointed you in the direction of those documents, I am not sure what point you think I was making in the first place. As mentioned above, it was never my intention to lay siege to the City of Derry, even if that is how it has been interpreted.

    Belfast has plenty to hang its head in shame for. Many of us who lived through the late sixties and early seventies can no doubt lay down generous testament to just how venial and grubby it got at times. Try Brian Lynch’s long poem Pity for the Wicked for taster. But this thread is about Derry, not Belfast!!

  • Briso

    Mick:
    >But this thread is about Derry, not Belfast!!

    As always Mick. 🙁

    This thread is about how “What makes Derry remarkable is the vast numbers involved (14,000, down to less that 400), the virtual silence on the matter within wider public discourse and the deleterious impact it’s had on the civil life of the city. It’s also differs from other mass movements in that it was not all effected in one sudden move. The causes were both various and cumulative.” I would say that was a load of balls, and I’ve backed it up as far as is possible without further sustained research. If you still hold to the above view, I’ll keep digging. If not, say so and I’ll shut up.

  • Mick Fealty

    I don’t care where the story ends up going or what the final verdict ends up being, since I am attempting to sustain a discussion, not an argument!

  • willowfield

    Even if Briso’s figures are correct, Derry still remains “remarkable” because the population shift marks the relocation of a large population out of the city.

    In Belfast there were population transfers and the overall number and proportion of Roman Catholics has actually increased.

    So there is reason to consider Derry as somewhat different to Belfast.

  • PaddyReilly

    what gives Unionists the right to set the final date for completed applications?

    -Army guns, winning the war, what else?

    At last a sincere answer. The fact is, the border was imposed by force, and not by any democratic principle such as plebiscites.

    This refutes your attempts to portray unionists as the uncompromising bad boys and nationalists as the virtuous good guys.

    No, as I say, goodness or badness do not come into it. Conquests by force, like those of Napoleon etc, do not lead to lasting settlements unless there is a major alteration of the population structure, as in for example America or Australia.

    Londonderry was included in the six county entity by virtue of force of arms, not by the free vote of the majority of its residents. As such it was unstable in a way that towns that correctly assigned are not. It is not a matter of morality, it is a matter of town planning.

    I merely observe that nationalists were unwilling to negotiate about the border until it was too late. Unionists were willing to negotiate from the start.

    You seem to imagine that popular ignorance of history will allow you to get away with this howler. The Ulster Covenant (1912) stated and in using all means which may be found necessary to defeat the present conspiracy to set up a Home Rule Parliament in Ireland.

    Nota bene: this does not say, conspiracy to extend the jurisdiction of the Home Rule Parliament to the North Eastern counties. They wanted to strangle the entity entirely.

    There is absolutely no mention of Fenian majority counties having any rights. Unionists willing to negotiate? Do me a favour. You are trying to rewrite history.

    I merely observe that nationalists were unwilling to negotiate about the border until it was too late.

    In other words, you decide when it is too late. You impose the final date for completed applications. Q.E.D.

    The problem with Unionist rule, in Londonderry at least, was that it lacked the democratic mandate necessary to succeed as effective government, which is why it ended up the way it did.
    -I couldn’t agree more, but that was not what we were discussing

    Actually we are discussing “Exodus: how Derry lost its Protestants.” See head of page.

  • willowfield

    PaddyReilly

    At last a sincere answer. The fact is, the border was imposed by force, and not by any democratic principle such as plebiscites.

    Is it entirely true to say that it imposed by force? It was “imposed” by an Act of Parliament and opposed by force by the IRA. Moreover, nationalists wished to enforce their desired border by force, so – yet again – your criticism of unionism is equally applicable to nationalists, if not moreso. So where exactly are you going?

    You are correct, of course, that there was no plebiscite on the precise location of the border (as there should have been), but on the bigger and essential question of whether there should be a border, regular elections over previous decades indicated the answer.

    No, as I say, goodness or badness do not come into it.

    It would seem that – for you – they do, since you have attempted to portray unionists as “bad” and nationalists as “good”. Why condemn unionists for seeking to impose a border, without condemning nationalists for the same crime? Why condemn unionists for seeking as much land as possible, without condemning nationalists for the same crime?

    For the record, though, let me give you the opportunity to clarify your position: are you, in fact, saying that unionists were no more or no less “good”, “bad”, “reasonable, “unreasonable”, “justified, “unjustified” (or whatever word you choose to use) than nationalists? And that you also condemn nationalists for the same “crimes” for which you condemn unionists? If so, how do you explain your previous postings?

    Conquests by force, like those of Napoleon etc, do not lead to lasting settlements unless there is a major alteration of the population structure, as in for example America or Australia.

    So the absorption of what became Northern Ireland into an all-Ireland republic, which could only have been achieved by force, would not have led to a lasting settlement: correct?

    Londonderry was included in the six county entity by virtue of force of arms, not by the free vote of the majority of its residents. As such it was unstable in a way that towns that correctly assigned are not. It is not a matter of morality, it is a matter of town planning.

    And if nationalists had had their way, the vast majority of towns and cities in Northern Ireland would have been included in an all-Ireland entity by virtue of force of arms, not by a free vote of their residents. As such, they would have been unstable: correct?

    And I put it to you again – and perhaps this time you will choose not to side-step – perhaps if nationalists had agreed to partition from the outset and entered into negotiation with unionists about the precise location of the border, Londonderry city might not have been included in Northern Ireland.

  • willowfield

    (contd.)

    You seem to imagine that popular ignorance of history will allow you to get away with this howler. The Ulster Covenant (1912) stated and in using all means which may be found necessary to defeat the present conspiracy to set up a Home Rule Parliament in Ireland. Nota bene: this does not say, conspiracy to extend the jurisdiction of the Home Rule Parliament to the North Eastern counties. They wanted to strangle the entity entirely.

    Sure that’s what is said, but in practical terms their position was precisely the latter one. Hence the setting up of the Provisional Government. Hence attempts to introduce Ulster exclusion to the Home Rule Bill. Hence the establishment of Northern Ireland. Actions speak louder than words, etc.

    There is absolutely no mention of Fenian majority counties having any rights.

    There’s no mention of “Hun majority counties” having any rights.

    Unionists willing to negotiate? Do me a favour. You are trying to rewrite history.

    Not at all. As I’ve already alluded, unionists were involved in long negotiations about partition during the passage of the Third Home Rule Bill, and also in the Irish Convention of 1917. At no stage did nationalists indicate any willingness to negotiate on partition. You try to rewrite history by ignoring what unionists actually did, relying instead on the words of the Covenant.

    ”I merely observe that nationalists were unwilling to negotiate about the border until it was too late.”
    In other words, you decide when it is too late.

    Not me: history. History tells us that it was too late, otherwise the 1924 negotiations would have succeeded.

    You impose the final date for completed applications. Q.E.D.

    I imposed nothing. I wasn’t even alive at the time.

    Actually we are discussing “Exodus: how Derry lost its Protestants.” See head of page.

    I’m aware of the title and subject of the thread, but that does not mean that we weren’t discussing your condemnation of unionists and the implied consequent elevation of nationalists on to a higher moral plane. Maybe you haven’t been around Slugger long enough, but you ought to know that the discussions on threads often meander off-topic or on to related topics.

  • Briso

    Posted by willowfield on Jan 14, 2008 @ 04:09 PM
    Even if Briso’s figures are correct, Derry still remains “remarkable” because the population shift marks the relocation of a large population out of the city.

    There was a large population shift out of Belfast.

    In Belfast there were population transfers and the overall number and proportion of Roman Catholics has actually increased.

    In Derry there were population transfers and the overall number and proportion of Roman Catholics has actually increased.

    So there is reason to consider Derry as somewhat different to Belfast.
    Yes, bad as it was, it was better than Belfast.

  • kensei

    I have a recollection there were large population shifts at the time of partition too. It’d be interesting to know if there was a similar result, and did it mitigate over the course of the intervening period.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>I don’t care where the story ends up going or what the final verdict ends up being, since I am attempting to sustain a discussion, not an argument!<

  • willowfield

    BRISO

    There was a large population shift out of Belfast.

    Indeed, but the difference with Derry is that it didn’t see the massive depletion of one community.

    In Derry there were population transfers and the overall number and proportion of Roman Catholics has actually increased.

    And so you make my case: the minority population increased in Belfast whereas in Derry is hugely depleted.

  • PaddyReilly

    Maybe you haven’t been around Slugger long enough, but you ought to know that the discussions on threads often meander off-topic or on to related topics.

    Indeed, I was actually told not not wander off topic on the last Derry thread, and try to oblige by bringing the discussion back to the point.

    As I’ve already alluded, unionists were involved in long negotiations about partition during the passage of the Third Home Rule Bill, and also in the Irish Convention of 1917.

    More relevantly, Unionists were involved in smuggling arms into Larne in 1914. Long negotiations means making sure they got what they wanted: they did not try to establish any democratic principle in what they took.

    Not me: history. History tells us that it was too late, otherwise the 1924 negotiations would have succeeded.

    History did not stop in 1924. Indeed, the British Empire has been ceding territory and shedding possessions ever since.

    The 1924 negotiations did not succeed, because Unionist force of arms- largely in the form of Regular and Special policemen- persuaded the British government that it would not be possible to hold plebiscites or make significant transfers.

    As a result, any movement towards the establishment of democratic control in Derry has to begin with dead policemen. Dead policemen are perceived as a threat by the Protestant population in general, hence the segregation of population. (I always try to return to topic).

    Now let me outline to you an alternative history. 1960s: Civil Rights or similar: protests. The response from the Protestants is to say, frightfully sorry, but the system here is not very democratic, and you have been placed on the wrong side of the border. It seems history is to blame. Tell you what we’ll do, we’ll reform local government so you’ll feel just the same as if you were in the Free State. Call the City what you like; fly what flag you like, we’ll go with the majority. We’ll rename the police force, remove sectarian trappings, make sure there’s equal opportunities. Just don’t get too restive, and if you get a majority for the whole province, we’ll reunite, but as it is there are too many dissenters in Antrim and Down.

    I am beginning to laugh, if you are not. Things like this might happen in liberal England, or maybe Scandinavia, but they are not part of the mentality of the Ulster Protestant. You, a person who can’t even agree to shed six letters off the front of a name, witness to the Ulster Protestant willingness to negotiate? What you mean is you got what you wanted eight decades ago and will not give an inch.

  • PaddyReilly

    Perhaps if nationalists had agreed to partition from the outset and entered into negotiation with unionists about the precise location of the border, Londonderry city might not have been included in Northern Ireland.

    And perhaps Carson would have entered into a Civil Union with the Pope? Well obviously not. History does not consist of a series of failures snatched from the jaws of success. The Unionists of the early 19th Century did not include Derry in their portion because they were unaware that Nationalists might have a claim to it. Oh sorry, we didn’t want to take this, but as you didn’t turn up for the negotiations, there’s nothing we can do.

    Given that you will not agree to a name change in 2008, it is hardly likely that persons of a like mind to you would have conceded majority rule in 1908, given that this majority was not overwhelming.

    And this is everybody’s tragedy: the Catholics get decades of discrimination and Bloody Sunday, policemen get shot Protestants have to exit the West Bank en masse.

  • willowfield

    PADDYREILLY

    Indeed, I was actually told not not wander off topic on the last Derry thread, and try to oblige by bringing the discussion back to the point.

    Conveniently enough.

    More relevantly, Unionists were involved in smuggling arms into Larne in 1914.

    That’s not more relevant. What is relevant in responding to your claim that unionists didn’t negotiate and didn’t want to negotiate is the fact that unionists sought and took part in negotiations: a fact which you denied!

    Long negotiations means making sure they got what they wanted: they did not try to establish any democratic principle in what they took.

    Obviously negotiations by any party are intended to get what you want. And they did try to establish a democratic principle, namely self-determination.

    “Not me: history. History tells us that it was too late, otherwise the 1924 negotiations would have succeeded.”
    History did not stop in 1924.

    It didn’t indeed and – as I have already said – the history after 1924 tells us that nationalists were too late, since there was no repartition.

    Indeed, the British Empire has been ceding territory and shedding possessions ever since.

    Maybe so, but Londonderry wasn’t ceded to the Irish Free State.

    The 1924 negotiations did not succeed, because Unionist force of arms- largely in the form of Regular and Special policemen- persuaded the British government that it would not be possible to hold plebiscites or make significant transfers.

    Maybe so, but that does not alter the fact that nationalists left it too late to negotiate. If they had shown willing at the outset, they may have succeeded in getting Londonderry city. That is the point I have made and which you – for whatever reason – have failed to address.

  • willowfield

    (contd.)

    Now let me outline to you an alternative history. 1960s: Civil Rights or similar: protests. The response from the Protestants is to say, frightfully sorry, but the system here is not very democratic, and you have been placed on the wrong side of the border. It seems history is to blame. Tell you what we’ll do, we’ll reform local government so you’ll feel just the same as if you were in the Free State. Call the City what you like; fly what flag you like, we’ll go with the majority. We’ll rename the police force, remove sectarian trappings, make sure there’s equal opportunities. Just don’t get too restive, and if you get a majority for the whole province, we’ll reunite, but as it is there are too many dissenters in Antrim and Down.

    Your trying to change the subject again – I won’t let you do that, but I’ll indulge you on this point anyway.

    First, I totally agree that the above “alternative history” would have been preferable and is something which I think should have happened.

    Second, here’s another alternative history. 1910s: nationalists acknowledge that unionists have as much right to be excluded from an all-Ireland state as nationalists have to be excluded from an all-British Isles state. The response from unionists and the Government is positive and negotiations ensue in respect of where the border should be drawn. Unionists seek to obtain as much territory as possible for NI, while nationalists seek to obtain as much territory as possible for the South. In the end, with Government pressure, a compromise is reached with all of county Antrim, most of counties Down and Armagh, and parts of Fermanagh, Tyrone and Londonderry forming Northern Ireland. The South goes on gradually to increase its autonomy from Britain and eventually evolves into a fully-independent republic. In Northern Ireland, nationalists accept their fate and agree to participate fully in the institutions of the state whilst still pursuing their cultural distinctiveness. Unionists, secure in their numbers, have little reason to pursue discriminatory practices.

    I am beginning to laugh, if you are not. Things like this might happen in liberal England, or maybe Scandinavia, but they are not part of the mentality of the Ulster Protestant.

    I am beginning to laugh, if you are not. Things like this might happen in liberal England or maybe Scandinavia, but they are not part of the mentality of the Irish Catholic.

    You, a person who can’t even agree to shed six letters off the front of a name, witness to the Ulster Protestant willingness to negotiate?

    You a person who can’t even countenance six letters on the front of a name, witness to the Irish Catholic willingness to negotiate?

    Regardless, my views on the name of Londonderry have no bearing whatsoever on the historical reality that unionists were willing to negotiate the border whereas nationalists left it too late.

    What you mean is you got what you wanted eight decades ago and will not give an inch.

    I wasn’t alive eight decades ago. Had I been, I’d like to think I would have wanted a more accurate border to be drawn. Today, if nationalists wished to re-draw the border they would have my support. So your characterisation of me is entirely inaccurate. I suggest you stick to facts and arguments rather than ad hominem remarks which, presumably, are designed to deflect attention from the fact that you have failed in your efforts to elevate nationalism on to a higher moral plane from unionism.

  • willowfield

    Now let’s deal with some points you chose not to address.

    You say the border was “imposed by force”, yet nationalists wish to impose their border by force and – sought to remove the border they didn’t like by force. So where’s the moral distinction?

    Why condemn unionists for seeking to impose a border, without condemning nationalists for the same crime? Why condemn unionists for seeking as much land as possible, without condemning nationalists for the same crime?

    You said that conquests by force do not lead to lasting settlements. Is it your position, therefore, that the absorption of what became Northern Ireland into an all-Ireland republic, which could only have been achieved by force, would not have led to a lasting settlement?

    You said that, because Londonderry was included in the six county entity “by virtue of force of arms”, and not by the free vote of the majority of its residents, it was therfore unstable. Is it your position, therefore, that, had nationalists got their way, the vast majority of towns and cities in what became Northern Ireland would have been unstable?

  • Mick Fealty

    Prince,

    No one is obliged to answer questions put by other commenters on Slugger. Harry may have ignored your contribution for any number of reasons.

    As for what you say I’ve said, all I see is a bunch of Straw Men. If you want to narrate both sides of this debate by re-inventing what others say, then I suggest you get your own blog and do it at some remote distance from Slugger.

    On the other hand, if you want to stay here, kindly pay attention to what is actually said, rather than what you wish were said.

  • PaddyReilly

    What is relevant in responding to your claim that unionists didn’t negotiate and didn’t want to negotiate is the fact that unionists sought and took part in negotiations: a fact which you denied!

    It takes two to negotiate. If the Nationalists didn’t negotiate, who did the Unionists negotiate with? What you mean is, they presented a wish list to the British Government and got it. While a Civil War was raging, caused by the fact that the UVF had imported arms in 1914.

    When, after the Teaty, they were faced with bipartisan negotiations, they did their best to stymie them, and succeeded.

    They outmaneuvred the Nationalist side, that is true: but you cannot give away democratic rights in perpetuity, in the way you can a horse or a house.

  • willowfield

    It takes two to negotiate. If the Nationalists didn’t negotiate, who did the Unionists negotiate with?

    They sought to negotiate partition with nationalists, but nationalists refused. They negotiated with the Government.

    What you mean is, they presented a wish list to the British Government and got it.

    No that’s not what I meant: they did actually seek to negotiate exclusion from the HR Bill. Nationalists wouldn’t coutenenance it. If nationalists had shown willingness to negotiate, they might have been able to negotiate a more favourable border.

    While a Civil War was raging, caused by the fact that the UVF had imported arms in 1914.

    The Civil War wasn’t caused by UVF import of arms: it was caused by a large minority of nationalists refusing to accept the terms of the Treaty.

    When, after the Teaty, they were faced with bipartisan negotiations, they did their best to stymie them, and succeeded.

    As I said: nationalists left it too late. By 1924, NI was already well-established.

    They outmaneuvred the Nationalist side, that is true: but you cannot give away democratic rights in perpetuity, in the way you can a horse or a house.

    Who said you could?

  • willowfield

    PS. Why are you choosing not to address the other points? Why are you unwilling to stand over your own arguments?

  • PaddyReilly

    You have failed in your efforts to elevate nationalism on to a higher moral plane from unionism.

    And as I keep telling you, that is not my intention: National states are amoral. The issue is not who is on the higher moral plane: it is rather, who has constructed the more implausible state.

    Let me put it this way. One night I set out from the Creggan, with the intention of raping Bessie Bigbuds in Altnagelvin. I fail in my enterprise, either because I get cold feet, or because there is a road block on the bridge over the Foyle. That same night, Billy Wilson from the Waterside rapes BB.

    Now morally, we are the same, at least in christian theology. But it is Billy Wilson who has to cope with the medical, forensic and karmic consequences of his act. He may get the clap; he may be jailed; he may be castrated by BB’s relations. It can form no part of his defence that Paddy R. was just as bad. That is pure whataboutery.

    And indeed it is the Unionist statelet that has to cope with the consequences of its- I could say greed, but that would be to misattribute a human vice to a civic entity. Something like this: over-ambition. Basically, the Free State managed to attract the loyalty of 90% of its inhabitants, and the grudging acceptance of the other 10%. The Northern Statelet never came anything like this, and so eventually began to unwind. Starting at Londonderry.

    The issue of how Ireland would have functioned as 32 entity is really irrelevant to this discussion, and indeed needs a thread to itself.

    P.S. If some other party declares this interchange to be terminally boring, I will desist, whatever Willowfield does.

  • Dewi

    “In the end, with Government pressure, a compromise is reached with all of county Antrim, most of counties Down and Armagh, and parts of Fermanagh, Tyrone and Londonderry forming Northern Ireland.”

    Interesting alternative history from Willowfield. In the history of the partition discussions (pre Boundary Commission anyway) it is odd how all alternatives considered were county wide. 4,6 or 9 depending on time. Little consideration given to parishes within counties.

    Is this a scenario you would consider today? Or are you happy with the 50+1% future for the whole entity?

  • willowfield

    PADDYREILLY

    And as I keep telling you, that is not my intention: National states are amoral. The issue is not who is on the higher moral plane: it is rather, who has constructed the more implausible state.

    That might be your issue, but my issue is that you condemn the “implausibility” of Northern Ireland, yet presumably not the “implausibility” of an all-Ireland. Yet your basis for alleging “implausibility” is the same as would have been the basis for an all-Ireland.

    If you do not put nationalism on a higer moral plane, why speak disapprovingly of unionists “imposing a border by force”, when nationalists wished to impose their border by force?

    If you do not put nationalism on a higer moral plane, why condemn unionists for seeking as much land as possible, without condemning nationalists for the same crime?

    You said that conquests by force do not lead to lasting settlements. Is it your position, therefore, that the absorption of what became Northern Ireland into an all-Ireland republic, which could only have been achieved by force, would not have led to a lasting settlement?

    You said that, because Londonderry was included in the six county entity “by virtue of force of arms”, and not by the free vote of the majority of its residents, it was therfore unstable. Is it your position, therefore, that, had nationalists got their way, the vast majority of towns and cities in what became Northern Ireland would have been unstable?

    And indeed it is the Unionist statelet that has to cope with the consequences of its- I could say greed, but that would be to misattribute a human vice to a civic entity. Something like this: over-ambition.

    And by your own logic, an all-Ireland Free State would have had to cope with the consequences of its over-ambition, had it got its way. Correct?

    The issue of how Ireland would have functioned as 32 entity is really irrelevant to this discussion, and indeed needs a thread to itself.

    But the issue of nationalists actions, motivations, aims, etc. – at the same time as the unionist actions, motivations, aims, etc. which you condemn – is relevant.

  • willowfield

    Dewi

    … it is odd how all alternatives considered were county wide. 4,6 or 9 depending on time. Little consideration given to parishes within counties.

    Very odd indeed.

    Is this a scenario you would consider today? Or are you happy with the 50+1% future for the whole entity?

    Do you mean would I consider repartition today? On a personal basis, of course: I have no desire to see places like south Armagh remaining in Northern Ireland – we gain no benefit and the inhabitants don’t want to be in NI. The problem, however, is that the inhabitants of such places would rather stay in NI in the hope of nationalists within the whole country achieving a 50%+1 majority: they do not want repartition.

    In political terms it isn’t even on the radar and we are stuck with the GFA which was supported by a large majority. Consistent with my own support for the GFA, I have to stick with that.

  • PaddyReilly

    Why condemn unionists for seeking to impose a border, without condemning nationalists for the same crime? Why condemn unionists for seeking as much land as possible, without condemning nationalists for the same crime?

    And indeed, why condemn Billy Wilson for his crime, and not me? Because he did it, and I didn’t. Who knows, had history been gone the other way, I might now be castigating the Irish Government for presiding over 80 years of guerilla warfare, when there was a chance of a settlement in 1920.

    The one chance of successful partition was the Bann border, decided upon by the House of Lords in 1908 approximately. It had the merit of relative shortness, and careful use of a natural feature. The border you describe (‘parts of Tyrone and Fermanagh’) is just a slightly better drawn Gerrymander.

    But as a general rule, it is not normally felt necessary to divide a country of any size when it contains a dissenting minority of 600,000. The problem is that no rules of any value have been created by International Law as to when and how a country should be divided. But usually, when two countries split up, account is taken of the presence of minorities on both sides, and a population exchange is offered, if desired. Given that there are equal and greater numbers of Irish people in Scotland and England, one would have thought that they countered the need for a partition of Ireland.

  • PaddyReilly

    And by your own logic, an all-Ireland Free State would have had to cope with the consequences of its over-ambition, had it got its way. Correct?

    An All Ireland Free State would have had to cope with the consequences of including 600,000 Protestants with different ideas in its polity. I hope that it would have done so by developing a high degree of local autonomy in the North Eastern area. The relations of England and Wales might be a model. But the percentages are more favorable to the success of this entity: with something like 80% for and 20% against, it stood a better chance than the 2 to 1 Six County model.

    But this is largely irrelevant. Two men put in planning applications for a workshop, one is rejected, the other approved though it shouldn’t have been. It turns out to be a Health and Safety disaster. If I come round and condemn it, can the proprietor argue that the rejected application was just as bad?

  • Dewi

    “Do you mean would I consider repartition today?” Yes I did as a matter of academic interest.

    “The problem, however, is that the inhabitants of such places would rather stay in NI in the hope of nationalists within the whole country achieving a 50%+1 majority:”
    It’s generous of you to ascribe such noble motivations to “Border” Nationalists.

    You accept the GFA so 50+1% it is – I am certain that you and many of your ilk would rather unification than a Republican led Stormont – and with a Unionist majority of 9 and gains in East Antrim, Strangford, and West Tyrone on the cards next time, with further gains in FST and Upper Bann close afterwards that prospect is looking ever more likely. IMHO of course (and there’s a boundary change going the other way somewhere…)

  • Greenflag

    ‘But as a general rule, it is not normally felt necessary to divide a country of any size when it contains a dissenting minority of 600,000.’

    The Unionist dilemma in 1920 was how to keep control of the largest possible territory in Ulster (9 counties) with the need to have a long term permanent majority . A 9 county Ulster would have ( in 1920 ) given Unionists a small 1 or 2 % majority 51% to 49% over Nationalists . An East of the Bann State would have given Unionists an 80% to 20% avantage . The final 6 county ‘solution ‘ gave Unionists a 65% to 35% majority. That majority has now been whittled away to almost the 1920 (9 county) figure . In fact a 9 county Ulster would today have a small Nationalist majority .

    The geographical distribution of both tribes is also a factor and will be more of a factor into the future . With areas west of thr Bann becoming progressively greener and Belfast itself tinging towards a green future majority then strong orange majority areas will exist mainly east of the Bann.

    As long as power sharing exists and HMG continues to pay the bills then ‘repartition’ will be put in storage . But it still remains a possibility particularly if a UI seems certain . A mass conversion of Unionists to a UI would of course upset the applecart of history no end .

  • PaddyReilly

    Greenflag ahoy

    With areas west of the Bann becoming progressively greener

    The tv programme at the beginning of this thread mentioned that Protestants appear to be moving back into Derry now that things have settled down. This is a Derry Prods thread. If you want another repartition one, please ask Mick for a special.

  • RepublicanStones

    it seems this thread has descended into the depths of pythonesque farce, where we have one poster in particular who believes that the descendants of an artificially imposed people, whose sole purpose was to help the ’empire’ with the subjugation of a native people believe that the remnants of said empire, being a small minority in the country, had a right to dictate to the rest of the country, the destiny of Ireland. and as such the wishes of the people of the vast majority of the people of ireland are null and void to the demands of said minority, who then proceeded to ensure the disenfranchisment
    of as many of those pesky troublemakers as possible. ‘moral right’ ‘didn’t negociate’ etc etc, when all one has to do is compare the level of support worldwide for irish nationalism to unionism, and the answer of who is morally right is there for all to see. the only question that remains is, what is the best way to achieve that?
    50%+1 or carry on with a neverending unionist veto????

  • Harry Flashman

    [b]Prince Eoghan[/b]

    *yet they are now castigated on the basis of no, repeat no evidence and not much sense.*

    I’m sorry if you think I’m avoiding your questions PE, given that the majority of my responses on this thread have been replies to you I’m not sure what more I can do.

    But the above statement stands out like a sore thumb, what do you mean ‘no, repeat no evidence’? Do you believe that no protestants left the west bank because of the Provo campaign? Do you believe the Provo campaign had no deleterious effects on the Derry protestant community? None? None at all? Come on that’s simply being absurd.

    As for your assertion that protestants left because they didn’t like being “equal” to Catholics, nonsense, the electoral reforms called for in Derry had practically no effect on the make up of the council, the prods lived for generations among majority Catholic neighbours, there were many cheap suburbs in the west bank they could have moved to and no, it was a not long time after the IRA campaign got going before they left, in fact it was pretty much coincidental with that campaign.

    You can dance around the blindingly obvious as long as you like but you won’t make it go away.

  • willowfield

    PADDYWILSON

    And indeed, why condemn Billy Wilson for his crime, and not me?

    I would condemn both you and Billy Wilson. I condemn anyone who seeks out women to rape, whether or not they actually commit the rape. You condemned the mindset of unionists: not just what they did; yet you did not condemn the mindset of nationalists, which was the same.

  • lib2016

    The slow downfall of the artificially imposed unionist working class elite, the foremen and RUC officers who actually ran the system is paralleled by the the change in the arguments used to defend that system.

    In the 50’s we had a variation on the ‘white man’s burden’ theme where we were continually told to look at the poverty stricken priest ridden South as an example of how those’uns couldn’t be trusted with power.

    Now we’re told that those’uns would have done the same themselves if they had had the chance. We’ll never know the answer to that but republicanism is about equality not about elites.

    Irish nationalism has overwhelmingly been about Irish republicanism for quite some time, in fact since before ‘Ulster Unionism’ was invented in the 1870’s as a way to deal with the threat of democracy.

  • willowfield

    We’ll never know the answer to that but republicanism is about equality not about elites.

    There’s not much equality for the nearly 2,000 dead victims of “republicanism”, nor the thousands of others injured and maimed.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Thanks for your response Harry, the only clear response from Mick is his belligerence, but no surprises there.

    My no evidence bit was in response to Mick’s contribution which seemed to centre fully on the fear aspect. Nothing else was mentioned at all. Now we come full circle, I have already stated earlier in this thread that fear must have been part of the equation, but only a part mind you. There are in my opinion, a whole host of other factors(mentioned previously) that are not being mentioned by the driver of this campaign. My disappointment in you stems from the fact that you seem to wish this slur on your own city folk to continue. That is clear now.

    >>As for your assertion that protestants left because they didn’t like being “equal” to Catholics, nonsense,<

  • Greenflag

    ‘The tv programme at the beginning of this thread mentioned that Protestants appear to be moving back into Derry now that things have settled down.’

    Appearance and reality are not always the same . Numbers tell us the overall picture but an exact analysis of what made Unionists leave Derry would I’m sure bring up many factors other than ‘fear’.

    When a particular community is seen to be losing numbers and becoming more of a minority or changing from majority to minority status then the population flight which often ensues feeds on itself and thus you end up with the Derry situation.

    ‘If you want another repartition one, please ask Mick for a special.’

    Not at this time 🙂 Perhaps when the present power sharing system collapses.

    Don’t worry about the future – it never becomes serious until it’s the present for that’s the only time when the politicians actually take notice:(

  • Mick Fealty

    Prince,

    Go and re-read the Moynihan quote again. Facts, dear boy, facts. Better still, read what’s actually written above.

    Let me recap (once again). Just because you say I have argued something does not mean I have. I’m perfectly at ease defending things I have said. But not even the most hostile jury in the world would convict on something I hadn’t said.

    I blog in good faith and I expect people on Slugger to take each other in good faith. That means arguing hard and tough. But I have no time for someone who just makes things up as they go along.

  • Harry Flashman

    *Why was the psychological effect of the IRA in Derry so severe in your opinion?*

    PE you have to envisage the state of Derry at the time, indeed the state of Northern Ireland as a whole, in the ’70s there was an unspoken belief that we were heading into the end times, that civil war was imminent, and most people, nationalists and unionist, felt that it was only a matter of time before the Brits pulled out.

    Derry prods lived in isolation in the west bank, they had one bridge linking them to the rest of their community, if that fell they were all alone (‘cutting off the bridge’ might seem ludicrous but throughout the ’70s there was an extensive system of booms placed in the Foyle around the bridge by the army to prevent it being attacked, there were no fewer than ten army sangars near and on the bridge). Meanwhile their businesses were collapsing in a pile of rubble day in day out, their neighbours were being shot regularly and their schoolchildren had to traverse riots and gun battles to get to and from school.

    In this situation many prods felt it was time to pack their bags and go, I sincerely doubt that one single prod ever said to his family, “You know what, I’ve suddenly noticed all these Catholics living around us and I don’t like them, I further don’t like the minor reforms of the local franchise, so why don’t we leave our homes, our churches, our schools, our family’s graves and our social clubs and move to some grim housing estate in Lincoln Courts or Nelson Drive”.

    It’s nonsense and you know it.

    By the way I usually find that debate is kept sensible when we take down the emotiveness level a notch or two below ranting hysteria. Rest assured Eoghan there were no “jackboots”, orange or otherwise in Derry (well except in my bedroom when I played games with the missus, she’s into that sort of thing, honest).