Slugger talks to Deaglan de Bréadún

In the run up to the Belfast launch of his book ‘The Far Side of Revenge’, we’ll be talking to Deaglan de Bréadún about the peace process, the last year of (finally) settled devolution, and the prospects for Northern Ireland in the future. Tune in at 10.30 when we kick off a half hour of informal chat.

  • percy

    nice one Mick,
    Great to hear that relaxed southern irish drawl; and the wisdom of age.

    Was wondering whether “the threat is worse than the execution”, vis-a-vis a united ireland for unionists?

    Hope fully you can make a regular feature of the BlogRadio.

  • Paddy

    Very interesting Mick. Especially the bit about P. O’Neill’s statements being drafted by an Irish Civil Servant in his leafy Dublin home.

    Funny he mentioned Dr. Brian Gibbons, Min. for Health in Wales. He is the son of a FF TD, pity we couldn’t have given him the Health portfolio in this jurisdiction on Wednesday to replace that eejit Harney.

  • Mick Fealty

    We had a use for it in the Stratagem policy panels and Sammy Morse’s excellent analysis sessions in the run up to the elections. But they were hard work. This kind of one to one is much easier. So we’ll see.

  • Debbie

    That was extremely interesting. I liked the way all different aspects of ‘relationships’ were covered, between East and West ( much ignored) as well as North and South.

    The prospect of a UI does look more promising.

  • PeaceandJustice

    From a Unionist point of view, he seems to treat being friendly and being good neighbours as a sign of weakness. A sign that Unionists are slowly going to be absorbed into one Government for the island of Ireland. He should learn to accept that having two political jurisdictions on a shared piece of earth is not so strange and he should respect the nationality and culture of the greater number of people in Northern Ireland.

    Some might say that the future is a federation of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Eire each having their own self-government but with common policies towards the wider world.

  • Some might say that the future is a federation of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Eire each having their own self-government but with common policies towards the wider world.

    That might work – if there were to be no sectarian[Act of Settlement etc] monarch and we were talking about a republic.

  • Paddy

    PeaceandJustice

    Such a federation, if including Eire would, by definition, exclude Northern Ireland. Eire is the Irish translation for ‘Ireland’.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Paddy – “Eire is the Irish translation for ‘Ireland’”

    I find it curious that given article 8 of the RoI constitution states that Irish is the first official language of the state, they choose to style themselves as ‘Ireland’ instead of Eire. Ireland to me is the island covering both political jurisdictions.

    I realise that you are playing politics, but of course Northern Ireland would not be excluded from any such federation.

    Unionists want friendly relations on the island but please don’t mistake that as a sign we are ready to be taken over.

    The current settlement is supposed to be about respect and no change unless the majority of people want it. Therefore one has to question the motives of Fianna Fail in setting up in the UK. It could be compared to the Conservative Party setting up in the RoI in order to offer a Unionist alternative across the whole of the geographic British Isles. Indeed, with the large influx of people into the RoI (many of them from the UK), it could be argued that there is a ‘market’ for such a move.

    But I can imagine the comments of Pan-Nationalists if such a move was proposed. Yet, they show no respect for the position of Northern Ireland as part of the UK. And we are supposed to be in a new age with mutual respect and understanding?

  • Au contraire, P&J;. It’s perfectly legitimate for FF to set up in the North – it’s an All Ireland party. It’s not setting up in Britain. I think it’ll be entertaining and educational for FF to canvas in West Belfast – perhaps they’ll consider it a chastening experience. They would be welcome – but that’s not to say they would be electable.

    If the Tories want to establish in the South, they should. They could hardly do worse there than they have done in NI where they have no Assembly members and where their elected councillors could be counted on one hand – or is it one finger….

    I made the point that the Republic could form part of a Confederation of Isles – as long as that was a republic and there was no monarchy, because of its sectarian and historic baggage.

    No response to that?

  • PeaceandJustice

    Concubhar O Liatháin – “I made the point that the Republic could form part of a Confederation of Isles – as long as that was a republic and there was no monarchy”

    Au contraire. It has been suggested by many people that the RoI should rejoin the Commonwealth. Perhaps more time is needed for the RoI to mature as a state.

  • Driftwood

    Noone I know of on the UK mainland regards RoI as a “foreign” state. It is seen as virtually British in its customs and outlook. They all watch eastenders and x factor atc. The RoI is culturally British. Leinster House is little fifferent than Holyrood. Its defence is de facto upheld by the UK and it’s economic and foreign policies are joined at the hip.It is separate from the UK in the way San Marino is separate from Italy. The Isle of Man and Channel Islands have more autonomy from the UK than RoI.

  • BonarLaw

    Deaglan was always good company and canny enough to keep his irredentist views to himself when fishing for information back in ’98. The most depressing thing about those views is how they prevent him understanding that the final settlement is here and now and does not involve the breaking of the Union or Ireland showing up at the Commonwealth Games.

  • Paddy

    Driftwood

    You seem to misunderstand the concept of sovereignty. Mozambique has more of a link to the British crown than the Irish State has – Mozambique of course being a member of the British Commonwealth while Ireland is not.

    “Leinster House is little different to Holyrood”.

    When Holyrood gets a seat at the UN and the EU (hopefully soon) then I’ll be glad to say that your statement is correct. At the moment however, your analysis displays a woeful ignorance of International and Constitutional Law.

    As for Ireland being culturally British, come visit us at an all-Ireland fleadh/GAA/Feis Ceoil sometime. And I hear Eastenders/X Factor are very popular shows in Norway. I guess that makes all Norwegians Union Jack-waving East Brits.

  • Paddy

    And I lived in Birmingham for 11 years – not once did anyone suggest Ireland was “British”.

  • FraserValley

    Deaglan’s quotation of Hubert Butler was the most telling part of the interview. He got it exactly right–there will be a united Ireland when it no longer matters.

  • Rory

    Great interview style, Mick. It allowed the subject to drop all defences and thus to give us a lot more insight by broadcasting aspects of his thinking that prudence would have excluded from his published writing. I think particularly of his musings as to whether there might not have been a Machiavellian undercurrent from “more clever elements” within the DUP in the decision not to engage in the GFA.

    This is rather spoilt however by his later speculation that perhaps there were a preponderance of DUP stalwarts who suddenly found that the crude monetary rewards of Assembly membership shifted the rudder of theologically driven political principle in the direction of moveable feast.

    It all livens up however when we consider that the two are not necessarily, indeed, not at all, mutually exclusive.

    I do hope to live another ten years for a revisit.

  • Driftwood

    Paddy
    Get real.
    Ireland, both the Republic, and UK province of Ulster are not regarded as foreign states like France and Italy on mainland Britain, Irish rugby has always been part of the British Lions. The British (and*Irish*) Lions is a late glue on. Like the term “These islands”. Do you need a passport to travel to Germany…yes. Do you need a passport to travel from Dublin to London? Of course not.
    Ireland a “sovereign nation” ROTFLMAO! It’s as British as Liverpool.
    The wee pretendy parliament at Leinster House is pathetic. At least Wales has a decent building.
    BTW Paddy, you, and any Southern Irish citizen are welcome in the Irish regiments of the British Army anytime. Rather than the Irish defence force Dads Army.
    FAUGH A BALLAGH.
    Irish independence,LOL, sending condolences to the Nazis about Hitler’s death makes you a sovereign nation? At least Mozambique doesn’t have a nasty bigot as a president.

  • George

    Driftwood,

    Not if you are coming from France or another Schengen country you don’t. They have their common travel area, we have ours.

    Ireland a “sovereign nation” ROTFLMAO! It’s as British as Liverpool. The wee pretendy parliament at Leinster House is pathetic. At least Wales has a decent building.

    Is that supposed to constitute an argument? My house is bigger than yours?

    BTW Paddy, you, and any Southern Irish citizen are welcome in the Irish regiments of the British Army anytime. Rather than the Irish defence force Dads Army.

    Considering part of Ireland is still in the UK, I’m not surprised they still have an Irish regiment for those in that region who want to sign up.

    But in case you didn’t realilse, all the southern Irish ones were disbanded over 80 year ago when the British loss the War of Independence.

    By the way, anyone from Mozambique, Canada, Australia, India, South Africa etc. can also join the British Army.

    So your point is?

    At least Mozambique doesn’t have a nasty bigot as a president.

    A bit rich from someone whose entire post permeates with imperial superiority and nastiness. But heh we southerners can take it.

    Good luck with getting those tax-raising powers and I hope for the sake of your potential water rates bill that you get a good price for Belfast Port when the Republic eventually buys it.

  • Well done George.

    You destroyed that ignorant nasty cretin’s case in one fell swoop. Shooting fish in a barrel, I think they term it.

  • Driftwood

    George (good Irish name BTW).
    The real point is, that travelling in Southern Ireland is not much different than anywhere else in the UK. People have the same fashion sense, listen to the same music, support Man Utd and Liverpool. Paddies are just like geordies or scousers. There is no significant difference.

    I suppose renaming Vauxhalls as Opels is a biggie, but there you go.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Driftwood, much as it pains me I have to agree with you that society in the Free State is virtually indistinguishable from that of Britain. But perhaps you could make a distinction between the westBrits living here and the Irish. It is pretty close to USA behaviour too.

  • antichrist

    BonarLaw states

    “the final settlement is here and now and does not involve the breaking of the Union”

    You wish BonarLaw.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘and he should respect the nationality and culture of the greater number of people in Northern Ireland’

    so what exactly were unionists at then when they stamped their feet and ripped this country apart in 1921/22, don’t even try and tell me they were listening to the majority of people in Ireland. you have just argued your political postion out of existence there P&J;, good man !

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