And now for something completely different – Irish, British or Northern Irish?

The Newsletter reported yesterday that almost a quarter of Catholics consider themselves Northern Irish ( This throws up an interesting question as to how NI is changing (and for the better). I have no doubt that it is and the rapidity of that change is more acute when the Executive meets than when it doesn’t. The GFA’s brilliance was it reconciled the right to be Irish, British and Northern Irish within an agreed constitutional settlement for at least a generation. Its greatest defect was that it allowed one to be British, Irish or Northern Irish (or a mixture of the same) and argue for each position – a united Ireland, the Union, the good of NI – for at least a generation. Perhaps the future should not be seen in absolutes or for all time. Perhaps, in our situation, a generation is as good as it gets. And our generation will have to renegotiate something different!