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 (http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/YOUR-VIEWS-Would-you-describe.4751380.jp). 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!

  • Mark McGregor

    As always with these NILT polls lets fact check their findings with one of the few things we get a full poll on, political leanings:

    http://www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/2007/Political_Attitudes/POLPARTY.html

    Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) 20%
    Sinn Féin 14%
    Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) 18%
    Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) 20%
    Alliance 8%
    Other party (please specify) 2%
    None of these 15%
    Other answer 1%
    Don’t know 1%

    Excuse me while I think yet again, their sampling is totally flawed and as a result the data highly suspect.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Realistically a permanent all time settlement was never possible. The GFA did however cement the current status quo anti and particularly importantly the Irish republic recognised the legal existence of NI as part of the UK. In that sense the GFA is pretty unionist because it underpins the current status of NI as part of the UK. Obviously a future generation might change that fact but I am doubtful of that.

  • Anne Monaghan

    Yes, I have always wondered at the relative silence over the changes and amendments vis-a-vis Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution!

  • Mark McGregor

    I’m going to go out on a limb here – I’d suggest that the consistent lack of reflection of political identification in the massive ‘Northern Ireland Life and Times’ survey may have something to do with who won’t be responding to a massive document with Northern Ireland written all over it.

    But i supopose it gives some people something to cling to once a year and then I assume be utterly shocked when they see how real people actually vote en-masse.

    Maybe weighting to reflect their inability to actually produce results that reflect reality would be in order?

  • The Raven

    Anne, don’t you mean “the next generation” will have to renegotiate something different…? Or will it be down to us late-50-somethings as we will be then…?

    Just wondering…

    Mark, I’m not sure what your post means. Do you mean that perhaps almost a quarter of Catholics DON’T feel they can call themselves Northern Irish?

    It’s just with the speed of your post in refute of the original, one would almost think that there’s something wrong with so many people considering themselves to be Northern Irish. It’s a good halfway house. It’s increasingly a label – and oh so many people in this region need a label – that many are comfortable with.

    Wouldn’t it be good to have something like that?

    Or are you merely refuting the NILT survey and I shouldn’t read anything more into it than that….?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    If the GFA reconciles the “right” to be Norn Irish with the two national identities, then why can one not choose that identity on a census form?

    The GFA explicitly does feck all for anyone who sees themself first and foremost as “Northern Irish”. It is, of course, a regional identity rather than a national one, and is not recognised in the GFA, or any other way in law that I can think of.

    In fact, if one rejects the labels of (British) unionist and (Irish) nationalist, then it actively discriminates AGAINST those who choose any other identity.

    A bit of a rose-tinted analysis of the GFA there Anne.

    Mark

    The previous survey indicated 20% saw themselves as Northern Irish, while this one puts the figure at 25%, so the figure does seem to be growing, even if the methodology is suspect (and is outside the margin of error).

    And since I don’t think there’s as much embarrassment to admitting to being N. Irish as there is to being a voter for a particular party, the figures are more likely to be accurate.

  • Anne Monaghan

    Yes, I am 34 next month ( I accept e cards) and the march of history seems to be generational at the very least. However, I qualify that with the belief that if we begin the debate now (without having to reach a conclusion) about where we go we can 1. Isolate those who oppose the agreed, constitutional settlement (not that they are not entitled to, but the majority on the island of Ireland voted for It) and 2. Reach a possible consensus on a way forward without creating a gap that can be filled through violence.

    I agree with Mark that I don’t think we can take the NILTS as a guarantee of views but I do think when people vote they vote according to a multiplicity of factors.

  • Anne Monaghan

    It doesn’t have to be a tick box on a form to feel it. But you might have a point Gonzo, that it should be!

  • Mark McGregor

    The Raven,

    I’m just pointing out – as I do every time one of these NILT surveys is released and the media latches onto some aspect that is supposed to show a lack or reducing appetite for Irish unity – if you look at the only aspect that is subject to mass polling in elections, poltical identity, this survey consistently returns results that shows no refection of SF’s true vote.

    SF at 14%. 4th largest support. As close to Alliance as it is the SDLP.

    Excuse me while a I get my salt pinching equipment.

    The day they get political identity near an electoral result is the day I’ll take this guff and their sampling seriously.

    All of it is flawed when the checkable is so detached from reality.

  • Waste of Space

    Tell us Ann.

    How many of the East Belfast DPP Sub Group meetings did you attend when a member?

  • Anne Monaghan

    Without getting bogged down re: the LTS it is still a worthwhile debate to have.

  • Waste of Space

    Answer my question NOW

  • Mark McGregor

    BG,

    The political identification is so outside the margins of error across all the main 4 parties in every singe election it seems to indicate a massive sampling problem that stretches across this survey.

    That kind of continual failing makes every single result highly questionable.

    The day they have SF above the SDLP is the day I’ll start to even consider it credible.

    This nonsense has been going on for years.

    14% they say? Do they sell bridges too?

  • The Raven

    Still, Mark – I find such a near-instant dismissal of the notion – as opposed to the poll – that increasing numbers of people may be happy, or maybe just comfortable with a chosen identity that doesn’t immediately lend itself to orange or green quite to be just a tad quick-off-the-mark.

    It certainly isn’t a national identity – it IS regional. But if it turned out, over time, to be a very easy solution to such an everyday topic – then why *couldn’t* it be an option? And one that many may happily subscribe to?

    Sure, there’s nothing like keeping those interminable problems as being just that – interminable.

    Waste of Space, I’d love to see where you’re taking this in relation to the topic.

  • Mark McGregor

    WoS,

    How about you stop trolling? If you’ve nothing to say on the topic have a go at saying nothing.

  • Mark McGregor

    Raven,

    I’ve been a continual critic of the NILT for this reason.

    It may seem like a knee-jerk but its the first thing I check and until the day they get close to reflecting verifiable reality I’ll be a massive sceptic of the whole project – especially as the unverifiable data is used by many to support political hypothesis.

  • Waste of Time

    Ann-

    What was your attendance?

  • Pete Baker

    Mark

    I’m not convinced that your argument stacks up in the way you think it does.

    Haven’t you heard of floating voters?

    Other party (please specify) 2%
    None of these 15%
    Other answer 1%
    Don’t know 1%

    That’s 19% of the sample.

    Or do you imagine that the population all have fixed major party political leanings?

    Now, perhaps there is an embarrassment factor for Sinn Féin voters.

    But that 19% allows room for much variation in actual voting patterns.

    And it doesn’t, in itself, affect any of the other findings of the survey.

  • The Raven

    Mark, we’ll agree to differ and I will continue to remain an optimist. 😉

    Waste of Space and indeed Time, it is much better to keep your trap shut, and let people think you are fool, than to open it, and confirm the fact.

    Is there a moderator in the house?

  • Mark McGregor

    Pete,

    The poll gives options for all those floating voters or non-voters.

    It still shows SF in 4th fighting a battle with APNI and the SDLP with the people they get returns from.

    Again I suggest if you put Northern Ireland on the front of a survey they are automatically producing weighting.

  • Mark McGregor

    Here’s an idea.

    Try three surveys with the same questions and samping methods and change the title:

    Irish LTS
    British LTS
    NI LTS

    I’d love to see that.

  • Anne Monaghan

    Folks, the main reason for posting the blog was to generate a debate about the GFA and nationality. Is it as acceptable to be Northern Irish, as it is British or Irish – which are two acceptable nationalities? I don’t have the answers or a preference and the NILTS has conducted a small sample that cannot necessarily be compared with electoral results but the ‘poll’ has raised a vital question.

  • Pete Baker

    Mark

    Don’t you accept that the figures I’ve quoted represent those floating voters before they are faced with an election?

    That’s 19% of the sample.

    Or do you imagine that the population all have fixed major party political leanings at all times?

    Perhaps you, and in another forum Sinn Féin, need to consider that point further.

  • Pete Baker

    Anne

    It doesn’t seem as if there was a small sample used.

  • Anne Monaghan

    Pete,

    What was the actual figure? Samples are around 1000 – 2000. I mean small in terms of the electorate.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    I have a holiday home in Tír Conaill. Can I call myself Northern Irish? My inlaws are from Tír Conaill. Are they Northern Irish? And Waste of space has a bone to pick, let him at it.

  • Pete Baker

    Anne

    A survey of 1179 adults is not small in statistical terms.

  • Waste of Space

    Ann would do well to come clean on her East Belfast DPP attendance.

    The truth will out.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Íosa Críost, how many generations have you to be NOT born in Britain before you can stop calling yourself British? If you were born before 1922 and still alive then you were born in ireland, so that makes you irish.What is this constant push to pretend that northern nationalists are ashamed to call themselves Irish? Is this the outworking of the stoop’s mantra about ‘post nationalist Ireland’?

  • Pancho’s Horse

    I meant to include the fact that if your parents/grandparents were born in pre 1922 Ireland, then logically you must be Irish.

  • Objectivist

    This one has been grossly overhyped. N.I. politically-related surveys and opinion polls are notoriously unreliable. The Alliance Party vote for example is usually grossly overstated as people play safe.
    ‘Northern Irish’ would be seen as the ‘safety’ option in this survey a la Alliance party.

  • The % identifying as Northern Irish has not actually changed that much since 1998, if you look at the module page on community relations:

    http://www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/results/comrel.html

    It’s been around 26-27% since 2005, and the lowest it’s been since 1998 is 19% (in 1999 and 2002). The proportion of Catholics describing themselves as Northern Irish has been higher than a quarter in the past. So I don’t see that this story is really news.

    What is interesting, relating to Mark’s point, is that the question on political party support has been changed this year – which wrecks the time series, unfortunately, and it would have been better to add the new question rather than replace the old one. The question used to be ‘which NI political party would you support?’ and the 2006 result is here:

    http://www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/2006/Political_Attitudes/NIPARTY.html

    When it’s changed to the more touchy-feely ‘which NI political party do you feel closest to, even if you do not always vote for them?’ the results are different – the SDLP in particular do a lot better.

    The response to the question on political identity is also interesting, with 40% describing themselves as neither unionist nor nationalist – which again is not new, although it’s increased slightly over the years:

    http://www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/2007/Political_Attitudes/UNINATID.html

    So I think looking at these questions together tells us something about trends in identity and its political expression – but it dones’t translate into changes in voting patterns.

  • Nomad

    Mark,

    So would the only polls you accept be nameless for fear of bias? (Your other points more or less accepted)

    —–

    But to actually go to the heart of the thread- I don’t really like the term Northern Irish. I’d prefer people just accept they are both currently Irish and British. (Or even Irish OR British if they can’t do the former.)

    Irish geographically / ethnically etc. and British until such times as the people in NI vote out of the union and your income tax stops going to Westminster.

    I don’t really see a problem with either if everyone just chills the eff out and accepts the situation in which they live.

    Incidentally I don’t buy into the ‘state of mind’ argument I hear so often from ‘southerners’, ie (s)he ‘considers’ him/herself Irish/British so that’s what (s)he is. You get born in a certain political state and that’s it until you have it changed it is it not?

  • Reader

    Nomad: Incidentally I don’t buy into the ‘state of mind’ argument I hear so often from ‘southerners’, ie (s)he ‘considers’ him/herself Irish/British so that’s what (s)he is. You get born in a certain political state and that’s it until you have it changed it is it not?
    Absolutely not – Citizenship may be a technicality, but Political Identity is personal. In between, we have the fuzzy territory of Geographical Identity. In my view, the GFA took the pressure off those sorts of decisions – and was long overdue.
    There are, of course, people who see no distinction between the three headings above. You can recognise them on Slugger by their odd rhetorical questions, dogmatic statements, and their attempts to nail jelly to the wall.

  • pacman

    One quick question – if so many Catholics define themselves as Northern Irish, then why is there no demonstrable groundswell of support, for example, the Northern Ireland football team? The vast majority of football supporters that I witness in Newry, like myself, wear Republic shirts and are totally indiffferent to Northern Ireland.

  • Charlie

    Another seldom discussed aspect to this is the questionable notion of Northern Protestants being ‘inherently British’ is a relatively modern phenomenon. Those who fought against Home Rule perceived themselves simply as Irishmen/women who strongly supported the union with Scotland, England and Wales ie. they were Irish Unionists – it was never originally about being British and not Irish. Of course a couple of World Wars and the psychological impact of the Troubles changed all that….

  • Dave

    “If the GFA reconciles the “right” to be Norn Irish with the two national identities, then why can one not choose that identity on a census form?”

    No-one wants to frighten the horses at an early stage, but give it time and the new national identity will be engineered by the mandarins who devised the GFA. Constructive ambiguity and stealth, step-by-step design are the applicable terms.

    “The GFA explicitly does feck all for anyone who sees themself first and foremost as “Northern Irish”. It is, of course, a regional identity rather than a national one, and is not recognised in the GFA, or any other way in law that I can think of.”

    How many region identities have an explicitly stated right to self-determination? None, precisely because they are regional identities and are not entitled to separate claims to self-determination. While that right to (national) self-determination is currently qualified in the GFA as being an either/or option of transferring the sovereignty to the Ireland or allowing the UK government to retain it, who would oppose a sovereign nation if the people of Northern Ireland decided on that third option? I think you would find that if the regional identity is transmogrified into a national identity by skilful political engineering (supported by surveys as above), that that implicit third option would not be disputed; and, so, de facto if not de jure, there is a validated claim to national self-determination and a national identity to underpin it. In addition, what would happen to the status of Northern Ireland in the event of the break-up of the union of the UK (not impossibility) and the failure of the people of Northern Ireland to join the Republic in such an event? They’d have little option other than to declare themselves to be an independent, sovereign state.

  • 6countyprod

    WoS,
    I think you have irredeemably offended the lady by continually spelling her name wrong.

    Pacman,
    So, you reckon it is okay to wear a Northern Ireland shirt in Newry? Will you vouch for my safety if I try it this afternoon?

  • I wouldn’t read too much into someone saying they are Northern Irish. I would describe myself as Northern Irish from time to time, because I’m from Northern Ireland, but that doesn’t mean I think Northern Ireland is a desirable entity or that I get all misty-eyed about Scene Around Six.

  • pacman

    I can’t see why you’d feel in any danger, 6CP. I regularly see Rangers and NI tops in all of the main shopping areas and no-one (to my knowledge) bats an eye. Probably best to avoid Derrybeg or Barcroft though (but then they’re housing estates and not that attractive to shoppers). 😉

  • 6countyprod

    Thanks for the reassurance, pacman.

  • Mack

    Dave – Agree with you on your last point about the third option becoming a possibility. I don’t see necessarily how this is bad thing from an ‘Irish’ perspective. If we look at the facts

    1. Nationalist numbers are increasing within Northern Ireland relative to Unionist numbers.
    There is no chance of a return of Unionist domination.

    2. A sovereign Northern Ireland would be as free to be Irish in nature as it liked, and to define it’s own Irishness on it’s own terms. (There is no reason why the state to the south & west should have a monopoly on that). I would expect, for example, official status for Gaelic in such a state.

    3. I would imagine such a state would join the EU and probably also the Euro. Free movement between north and south would remain, along with (hopefully) a fluidity of citizenship.

    4. Such a state would be free to become a Republic if it wished. I imagine if traditional nationalists outnumbered traditional unionists in such a state that would be the case.

    5. Northerners would actually have to work together to run a real country in control of their own destiny – instead of resorting to obstructionism (throwing toys out of the pram and crying for mammy or daddy!) and relying on hand outs from another island!

    My own personal preference, in the long term, is for some form of Irish unity. I’d be happy enough with NI independence as an alternative though – as long as we kept good relations all round. It’s certainly a better option than repartition!

  • kensei

    Pete

    You are being completely disingenuous here. Yes, floating voters do matter, and 19% is a high figure. But what you are suggesting is that SF’s voters are statistically much, much more likely to be floating voters than anyone else. And then they go and consistently vote for SF, in ever greater numbers. Second, if we track SF’s numbers in those polls from about 2000 to 2006, we see it stays in a tight band of 9-11%. Now, given the rise of SF’s vote in this time, you would reasonably expect to see some tick upward in party identification even if it does not cover the full size of that change.

    So, while you might be right, you are on the edges of statistical probability there, if people have polled right. And it also strikes me that many pollsters spend a hell of a lot of time trying to work out ways around these types of factors. But surely you or Mick have some contacts with polling agencies. No way of getting an expert opinion?

    Odd though for someone so interesting in detail you are quite happy to accept this at face value.

    As for the “Northern Irish” or “equally” responses, strikes me as a classic middle of the road answer. Whether or not people actually believe it I don’t know. Though even if not, it’d be revealing they think it the “right” response.

  • DC

    I want to know about Anne’s East Belfast DPP attendance for some bizarre reason.

  • Anne Monaghan

    Not offended at all folks. I am not commenting further on the matter save as to say there was a member of the public who attended meetings whom I had to file an intimidation and harassment claim against previously. For my own safety I did not attend meetings. Anyone else who wishes to comment on this should contact the Policing Board, whom I informed of the situation.

  • 6countyprod

    Hey, you think that we in NI/The North/The Six Counties/Ulster are confused. Spare a thought for Justin Rose. He’s a mess. (2nd paragraph)

  • Dec

    For my own safety I did not attend meetings(of the Policing Board).

    Is nowhere safe these days?

  • Cian MagOirc

    It makes sense to me Im Irish and live on the north of the Island!Friends of mine in Galway call themselves from the wild west of Ireland!Cork people are proud of being from the south! I think people now realise how important it is to be proud of what immediate area townland, parish especially County (of course I say this being from Tyrone)and of course which unique celtic province your from nowadays.
    But i guess without being politically minded ill never understand what the word ‘Northern’ really means!

  • An Ceilleachaireach Rua

    Cian.

    You’ve got it slightly wrong. Cork people are proud of being from Cork 😉

  • foreign correspondent

    These days I´d probably prefer to tick the box: Irish and European. Do we always have to restrict things to our rainswept island(s)? There´s a whole big continent out there that we are part of too.

  • frustrated democrat

    It all depends on your location when asked the question.

    If you are Los Angeles, Dublin or London the answer may well be very different than from standing in Belfast, Newry or Ballymena.

    The answer is in fact geared towards the person asking the question and how it is phrased.

    Q. What is your nationality – the answer is likely to be British or Irish

    Q. Where do you come from – there are several possibilities – Britain, United Kingdom, Ireland or Northern Ireland. In Los Angeles the questioner may well not understand the term Northern Ireland or Unirted Kingdom, so it is probably Britain or Ireland. Although I am a supporter of the United Kingdom I would normally answer Ireland as that is the island in which I live.

    So there is no real answer to the question which will fit all people at all times

  • david

    “One quick question – if so many Catholics define themselves as Northern Irish, then why is there no demonstrable groundswell of support, for example, the Northern Ireland football team? The vast majority of football supporters that I witness in Newry, like myself, wear Republic shirts and are totally indiffferent to Northern Ireland.”

    There is no groundswell of support because the vast majority of Nationalists are happy supporting the Ireland team. I suppose it better reflects their Nationality and has players from all parts of the Island playing for the team, just like the majority of sports on this Island, Rugby, hockey, boxing, cycling etc…

    I would also presume that the almost exclusively Unionist symbolism on show at Windsor Park would be less than attractive to the Nationalist community.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘The Newsletter reported yesterday…..’

    Sorry, I nodded off after that !

  • Brian p

    Yeah we are proud of our own really. Indeed counties as we do differ in ways. Yes we are part of europe but do we personally feel European?
    ..not taking sides here or arguing, but maybe Cian means how Cork people in general are proud of being/been far away from the Dublin parliament etc and how there’s the view that Corks the real capital, more Irish and more significant. ANd very proud of the southern southern accent . – or the deep south! (god we really are influenced by those Americans)

  • RepublicanStones

    The ‘Peoples Republic of Cork’.

  • Dubin voter

    The joke here is that two Dubs were discussing Cork people around the time Keane walked out on Ireland in Saipan.
    “I’ve met a lot of Cork people. Nice people, all of them. Very nice. But… why do they hate the Irish?”

  • catchagrip

    If this survey of 1179 people had been in Irish and Ulster-Scots they would have had a much more accurate result ….. err …maybe not ….do 1179 people actually speak Irish or Ulster-Scots?

  • ggn

    Dublin voter,

    When I am in Dublin I am frequently asked what part of Scotland I am from.

    You begin to wonder.

  • Ri Na Deise

    Bring back the Munster Republic. 🙂

  • Nomad

    Reader: Absolutely not – Citizenship may be a technicality, but Political Identity is personal. In between, we have the fuzzy territory of Geographical Identity. In my view, the GFA took the pressure off those sorts of decisions – and was long overdue.

    You say: “Citizenship may be a technicality” and I agree, your citizenship is technically British if you were born in Northern Ireland post partition, despite the fact you might hold an Irish passport too- and refuse to hold a British one. Holding a passport is not indicative in this instance of nationality. It just means you are eligible for more than one.

    I think at one time allowing for a choice of political identity was a relevant form of protest, I don’t think so anymore. Certainly not since the GFA. If you were born in Portugal could you still be ‘technically’ Portugese, but describe yourself legitimately as having an Irish personal identity?

    This is all of course, against the background that if you were born in Northern Ireland you are Irish anyway. (Just not a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, until such times as a vote may change that).

  • Democratic

    “I suppose it better reflects their Nationality and has players from all parts of the Island playing for the team,”
    Except of course the Protestant majority parts…..

  • Nomad

    To clarify my third paragraph- I used Readers words which have muddled my own a little. I am agreeing that you can and should have an Irish identity, but are also British. Perhaps we should just accept it as a privilege?

    I’m confusing myself at this point. All I originally wanted to say is I think Northern Irish is a bit naff- British and Irish are equally valid. Just like Scottish and British are.

    In the debate about “British” identity it is confusing in each of the home countries as it seems to merely cover over the identities of the Irish, English, Welsh and Scots- identities that have not and should not go away.

    Apologies for confusion.

  • kensei

    Nomad

    I used Readers words which have muddled my own a little. I am agreeing that you can and should have an Irish identity, but are also British. Perhaps we should just accept it as a privilege?

    I’m not British and don’t consider it a “privilege”. You have it exactly the wrong way round. The British citizenship is a technicality, and not my Irish nationality.

    Happy for anyone else to be what they want. I don’t define them. Please don’t try and define me. kthanksbye.

  • Nomad

    Kensei,

    The British citizenship is a technicality, and not my Irish nationality.

    If you are defined by your nationality then I am sorry. I enjoy much of what you write, it’s provocative and often perfectly logical. I agree with much of it. But here I respectfully disagree. There isn’t much middle ground here.. perhaps we’d agree more often on RLLMUK!

  • blinding

    “Except of course the Protestant majority parts…..”

    Posted by Democratic

    Anyone from any part of Ireland is welcome to play for Ireland.

  • Greenflag

    ggn ,

    ‘I am in Dublin I am frequently asked what part of Scotland I am from.’

    You begin to wonder.

    Imagination is all you need . Next time you are asked tell them you are not from Scotland but from North Western Britain 😉

    Whenever I’m asked am I from the North or South I reply in the geographically correct manner by sayin the ‘East’

  • Dec

    I quite liked the News Letter’s final poser for its readership:

    Do the findings(‘almost 1 in four Roman Keth-olics describe themselves as Northern Irish’) indicate an erosion of Britishness in Northern Ireland?

    I don’t know why Darwin Templeton doesn’t get on with it and just relaunch the paper under a new title of Daily Themmuns?

  • lee

    “Except of course the Protestant majority parts…..”

    Posted by Democratic

    Funny how Alan Kernaghan, who grew up in Bangor and supported Linfield and Rangers as a boy was part of the Ireland team who qualified for the World Cup in 1994. The only problem he faced, was having to put up with the vile abuse he got from Northern Ireland fans.

  • Modernist

    Who actually buys the newsletter besides a few loyalist chav types. Its been full of sensationalist rubbish every time i bought it (all two times).(Maybe buying it made me a unionist in the eyes of who ever wrote this article) I dont rate its journalistic integrity much. Its news articles come across to me as the crazed mumblings of a few headjob lunatics. Just a few thoughts there…. feel free to play the man on this one

  • Ulsters my homeland

    How can anyone be Northern Irish? or even Southern Irish? Hopefully, we don’t see much more of this idiotic identity in the future because it benefits noone.

    When N.Ireland was formed we’d have been better giving it a unique identity, instead of being told what to do by Westminster.

    Westminster didn’t give the people of Ulster a say in the naming of their country, the Ulster folk had to loose their Ulsterness and replace it with some sort of Irishness, when the country was officially named N.Ireland. Carson and Craig wanted to call it called Ulster, but Westminster refused.

    Westminster knew fine well the Ulster people couldn’t survive without the Union, so Carson and Craig had no other option but let Westminster decide the fait for N.Ireland.

  • kensei

    Nomad

    If you are defined by your nationality then I am sorry. I enjoy much of what you write, it’s provocative and often perfectly logical. I agree with much of it. But here I respectfully disagree. There isn’t much middle ground here.. perhaps we’d agree more often on RLLMUK!

    I am not “defined” by nationality. It is merely an important component of many that makes up me. And that important component is Irish and Republican. I can’t make myself something I’m not. I don’t ask anyone else to make themselves something they are not. I simply like to have my position respected.

    On rllmuk,… that would depend on whether you’re in the “Wii has no good games camp” or not 🙂

  • paul kielty

    I think ‘hearts and minds’ has run its course, judging by tonights disscussion. The term ‘northern irish’, is a unionist absolutism. The only reason that a small minority of nationalists use that term is simply because they are bombarded with it every single day.
    To try and parade the findings of this poll as some seismic change in nationalist thinking is beyond a joke. So whom do ‘H&Ms;’ decree to be suitable learnered commentators on this subject? Yip, messers McGimpsey and O’Doherty. Two bastions of impartiality!
    Sorry Mr O’Doherty, but nobody that I know, who are from a nationalist perspective…’leapt off the couch..’!
    Also, Mr.Thompson could not contain himself in his interveiw with Reg Empey, to demand a purely sectarian approach to the next general election(some years off). When will the BBC realise that their obsession with fermanagh&south;tyrone and belfast south is so obviously sectarian and devisive?
    If decent people, one day , turn a blind eye to this overt propaganda, then yes, we will all be ‘northern Irish’ and mindless.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Ah tis great to be able to say that I’m IRISH.

    No extra explanations needed!

    UMH, You give the impression that when asked about your nationality you’d prefer to say that your not Irish but your from Ulster instead. Aye indeed like an Englishman saying that he’s not English but he’s from Cornwall! Kinda crazy, but anyway each to their own! I’ll always recognize you as a British citizen in Ireland or Ulster in any way!

    BTW, Remember Northern Ireland could not have been called simply ‘Ulster’ instead, as you suggest, for as you know 3 counties of Ulster are part of the jurisdiction of the Republic of Ireland! Note: Part of Ulster is a part of Eire today!

    Northern Ireland would have to be called ‘Part of Ulster’ or something like that, making refererence to the fact that it is not all of Ulaid that is part of the Anglocentric UK today.
    I think that is why the simple name of ‘Northern Ireland’ was chosen in the end! After all it is northern Ireland!

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    BTW, I dunno how some Irish Nationalists of ‘NI’ might be developing this identity ‘quandary’ (if you could call it a quandary as such) of what to call themselves like the British Ulster Unionists.

    I’m sure ‘Irish’ would suffice as well!

  • Democratic

    “Anyone is welcome to play for “Ireland” (meaning ROI football team)”
    Yeah so long as you stand for the anthem and have no problem with the flag – same main problem Nationalists claim to have with the NI team then……..
    As for Alan Kernaghan – sure such an exception proves me completely wrong of course that Northern Prods choose not to declare for the Republic team – well done…..

  • Reader

    Greagoir O Frainclin: Aye indeed like an Englishman saying that he’s not English but he’s from Cornwall! Kinda crazy, but anyway each to their own!
    Funny you should say that:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mebyon_Kernow
    I would have expected an Irish nationalist to be a bit less dismissive.

  • Democratic

    “I had no problems pulling on the Republic shirt,” he reflects. “I was simply furthering my career. There was always a lingering tension on the periphery. Some Republic of Ireland fans and journalists didn’t like it. I dealt with it as I deal with it now – it didn’t matter to me.”

    An extract from an interview for the Daily Scotsman from Alan Kernaghan…..just for you Lee.

  • Readerq

    Greagoir O Frainclin: BTW, Remember Northern Ireland could not have been called simply ‘Ulster’ instead, as you suggest, for as you know 3 counties of Ulster are part of the jurisdiction of the Republic of Ireland!
    And yet the 26 counties named themselves ‘Ireland’, and still do in the post-GFA era with the new and improved Articles 2 and 3. Same thing.

  • John Whyte published some stats for 1986 on British, Irish, Ulster, Northern Irish, other:

    Protestants
    1986: 65 – 3 – 14 – 11 – 7
    2007: 61 – 4 – 5 – 27 – 3

    Catholics
    1986: 6 – 61 – 1 – 20 – 12
    2007: 9 – 62 – 1 – 23 – 5

    Bearing in mind Mark’s perfectly valid reservations about the reliability of the sample Catholics have changed very little whereas Protestants have moved from the Ulster label towards the Northern Irish one.

    Catholics appear to be a little bit more comfortable with the British label than Protestants are with the Irish one.

    The chasm between each is just about as wide as ever.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “And yet the 26 counties named themselves ‘Ireland’, and still do in the post-GFA era with the new and improved Articles 2 and 3. Same thing.”

    Well the 26 counties has been called alot of things, post partition, as you know – The Free State, Eire, The Republic of Ireland. I think people casually abbreviate the name by simply refering to the 26 counties as Ireland here at home or when abroad. I think most folk here are quite comfortable that they come from the Republic of Ireland and are not always super conscious of the political overtones, unlike some folk.

    WHY?… are Unionists aghast and offended by this as well?

    Would you rather the 26 counties be refered to as just simply ‘the Republic’ instead so as not to offend some of the Unionist community of Northern Ireland?

    Sure why do Unionists say then that Ulster is British when 3 of the 9 counties of Ulster are within the jurisdiction of the Republic of Ireland?

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “I would have expected an Irish nationalist to be a bit less dismissive.”

    I’m sure when Cornish folk are abroad they refer to themselves as ‘English’ – belonging to the country of England. Regional differences are put on hold!

    I doubt very much you’d get a Cornish person booing England at any sport either!

  • Reader

    Greagoir O Frainclin: I think people casually abbreviate the name by simply refering to the 26 counties as Ireland here at home or when abroad.
    It’s time you re-read Article 4 of your constitution. Stormont could have done the same, but didn’t. And as for abbreviations and informal usage – anyone has that right, including unionists. I don’t really use the term ‘Ulster’ myself, but I will defend anyone’s right to use it against someone who will refer to the 26 counties as ‘Ireland’.
    After all, the other 6 of the 32 counties of Ireland are under the jurisdiction of the UK…

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Reader, No need for me to re-read anything. I’m quite happy to say that I’m from ‘Ireland’ to anyway, but just for you and so as you won’t be offended, I will say that I am from ‘the REPUBLIC of Ireland’ Sure you can say that you are from ‘Ireland’ too if you want, since you are from that northern part of the island of Ireland, known as Northern Ireland!

    🙂

    BTW there is a substantial amount of folk from Northern Ireland who would use the term of just ‘Ireland’ as well!

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    ****Reader, No need for me to re-read anything. I’m quite happy to say that I’m from ‘Ireland’ to anyone, but just for you and so as you won’t be offended, I will say that I am from ‘the REPUBLIC of Ireland’ Sure you can say that you are from ‘Ireland’ too if you want, since you are from that northern part of the island of Ireland, known as Northern Ireland!

    🙂

    BTW there is a substantial amount of folk from Northern Ireland who would use the term of just ‘Ireland’ or ‘Irish’ as well!

    (Delete previous post moderator, pleeze)

  • EagleEyes

    @Greagoir O Frainclin

    UMH, You give the impression that when asked about your nationality you’d prefer to say that your not Irish but your from Ulster instead. Aye indeed like an Englishman saying that he’s not English but he’s from Cornwall! Kinda crazy, but anyway each to their own!

    A strangely argument undermining place to pick. If you go to Cornwall you’ll actually find a good lot of people who say they are Cornish and not English.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “A strangely argument undermining place to pick. If you go to Cornwall you’ll actually find a good lot of people who say they are Cornish and not English.”

    Still, there’s plenty of English jerseys to be seen there when England are playing in soccer, or rugby.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]It’s time you re-read Article 4 of your constitution. Stormont could have done the same, but didn’t.”[/i]

    Good point reader, the change in Article 4 is intriguing. It shows how the Dublin Government were still after N.Ireland’s territory and they would use every trick in the book to get it. If they continued to call the state ‘Eire’ this would give credibility to two different countries on the island, but the Dublin Government wanted it all and they called their state after the island.

    It’s a wonder they didn’t go one step further and call their state the British Isles.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    UMH,

    Oh BTW Ulster is your homeland, which part is that then Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal etc….?

  • 6countyprod
  • RepublicanStones

    ‘It’s a wonder they didn’t go one step further and call their state the British Isles.’

    Why would they, assuming ownership of land and people against their will isn’t a particularly Irish trait now is it?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]Why would they, assuming ownership of land and people against their will isn’t a particularly Irish trait now is it?”[/i]

    Ulster isn’t there’s, it never was, so they can keep their landgrabbing hands off it, and the quicker they learn this, the quicker their humiliation will last.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “Ulster isn’t there’s, it never was, so they can keep their landgrabbing hands off it, and the quicker they learn this, the quicker their humiliation will last.”

    In other words UMH, what you really mean is keep Ulster for the English and an English administration in London!