“There are tens of millions of people across the globe..”

The International Representative for West Belfast has been sketching out the details of his future world tour global campaign for a united Ireland, no dates or locations yet – “Sinn Féin will be inviting Irish-America to discuss with us how we can advance a united Ireland campaign . . . Our intention is to engage with the diaspora and seek to marshal its political strength.” [Adds Cuckoo, cuckoo..]. Meanwhile, in the Belfast Telegraph, Eamonn McCann offers a timely corrective to some perceived ‘common knowledge’.

But a united Ireland, the stated aim of the struggle, was never sine qua non. The shift in the line of Sinn Fein towards acceptance of the legitimacy of the Northern State did not come about by visionary leaders coaxing reluctant foot-soldiers away from war onto the path of peace, but, rather, by the party leadership bringing their policies deftly into alignment with the underlying views of their own rank-and-file as discovered by de Valera when he couldn’t win the Falls 90 years ago.

That’s likely to remain a problem for “a member of the British parliament [attempting to intervene] in the domestic political affairs of this State!”
The Irish Times report also mentions this little snippet.

The party also published a commemorative pack, to be sent to schools around the country, containing reproductions of the documents adopted by the first Dáil.

[Have they run that past the Department of Education? – Ed]

, , , , , , ,

  • edward

    I know its convenient unionist gobbledy gook to claim SF has accepted the legitimacy of the nIreland statelet but gobbledy gook is all it is

    What they have accepted, and the unionist’s have accepted as well, is a nonviolent process for the destruction of the nIreland statelet

    I am sorry if the nonviolent solution upsets the unionists, and pseudo-unionists like mccann and a few others here, but much better than wondering if the next trip to a fish shop will be your last isn’t it?

    SF has clearly negotiated the end of nIreland and now its just a matter of lining up the ducks in a neat little row

  • kensei

    I am admire greatly Eamonn McCann’s ability to extrapolate the entire thinking of Northern Nationalism from one election result. Paticularly one where there is a popular incumbent, with crucially, his own power base and organisation. And neat how he knows that all thos epeople that were voting SF in Unionist dominated constitutencies (see here: http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/h1918.htm) really wanted IPP representation.

    It’s also amazing how the Nationalist IPP is relegated ot a Catholic grievance party, as if those electoral pacts and boycotts of Stormaont and indeed, statements form the likes of Joe Devlin don’t count.

    Now, Constitutuional Nationalismw as probably a fair bit stronger in the North, particularlyin Belfast, with its complications of greater urbanisation and Unionist dominated politics than the South. But Republicanism was there from the start, and reared up a few times before 1969, and it is as much of a lie to ignore it. But the really beautiful thing is, a Republic was never a sine qua non for Southerners either. The vast bulk settled for substantially less than that, and the hope that perhaps more could be won. Of course a mionority caused a lot fo trouble. Look! We’re not so differnet after all.

  • ulsterfan

    Gerry can travel around the world as much as he wants talking to all and sundry about his fantasy and no doubt some out of pity will give him encouragement.
    The task facing him is to persuade the Unionists population but he knows they will not even listen and why should they.
    In a few years the Shinners will end up in the corner talking to themselves because everyone else in either bored or not interested.

  • Mack

    Edward

    What they have accepted, and the unionist’s have accepted as well, is a nonviolent process for the destruction of the nIreland statelet

    Not so. The Agreement allows for a transfer of sovereignty into some form of agreed United Ireland. The terms of which would not be up to Northerners to decide alone. Given the safe guards required within that new state, under the terms of The Agreement – how likely is it that the government of Ireland (Republic) or her electorate would vote Northern Ireland out of existence? Or to spell it out, how could you govern a sovereign nation effectively with the kind of consocational arrangements that are currently in place at Stormont?

    It’s much more likely that a vote in favour of a United Ireland would result only in a transfer of sovereignty. The Northern Irish state would continue as a devolved statelet with a British and Irish character, consocational arrangements, parity of esteem etc. but would be able to take advantage of the superior tax system in Ireland (Republic) (it’s lower overall dependency ratio than the UK).

  • Mack

    Ulsterfan
    The task facing him is to persuade the Unionists population but he knows they will not even listen and why should they.

    Actually it’s not. For those in favour of a United Ireland, the task is to persuade at least 50% +1 to vote in favour for it – which is not as big a mountain to climb as you might think. Of course, it would be better if many more could be persuaded it was a good idea, or at least not a bad idea.

    Given demographic change, I don’t think there’s any room for either side to rest on their laurels and make assumptions about how the electorate will vote. Time for both sides to reach out – the UUP are beginning to head along the right track for Unionism, btw.

  • Dave

    I agree with that, Kensei. That extrapolation is silly, especially when you consider the influence of the catholic church in supporting the four IPP candidates in the north and the very real threat of sectarian terrorism from Carson and his (Germany-armed) ilk. It is northern nationalists who would have felt the full force of that unionist terrorist campaign.

  • Alan

    What planet is Edward on ?

  • mnob

    “I am admire greatly Eamonn McCann’s ability to extrapolate the entire thinking of Northern Nationalism from one election result.”

    well its funny but isn’t modern republican thinking based on one election result that went the ‘right’ way ?

    😛

  • veritas

    Nothing to do with Dev also standing and winning in two other constituencies!

    As to the UU`s take away the union and hey presto, Fine Gael.

  • George

    Mack,
    “Given the safe guards required within that new state, under the terms of The Agreement.”

    This is a misconception that appears on Slugger every once in a while. The Republic did not sign up to such safeguards for a future unitary state.

    We passed the British-Irish Agreement Act in the Oireachtas, not the Good Friday Agreement. Ireland practises duality in relation to international agreements.

    As they are not listed in statute, the only other source could be the Constitution and there is no mention of safeguards in the amended Articles 2 and 3.

  • kensei

    mnob

    well its funny but isn’t modern republican thinking based on one election result that went the ‘right’ way ?

    Perhaps, and cute’n’all but this is not nearly the same thing as what I am saying.

  • eranu

    surely the world knows that a settlement has been reached in NI and we’re all living happily ever after. so much so that george mitchell is off to the middle east to do it all again.
    how is it going to look to the world when ‘that ira leader’, as they’ll probably know him, goes around trying to start it all up again? cant see any serious politician or civic leader wanting to get involved in wrecking peace in NI.

  • Mack

    George

    I don’t buy the extreme interpretation, proffered by Dave, that the safe guards in The Agreement apply to the Irish state itself – any more than you do.

    However, I don’t see those principles established and agreed upon for Northern Ireland being reneged on. Given that power sharing in the Dail is unworkable, I think that leaves some form of Northern state remaining as the most likely outcome.

  • FurtherInformation

    The commemorative pack mentioned in the Irish Times report is available at http://www.firstdail.com/?page_id=198

    A video of Gerry addressing the crowd outside the Mansion House last night (it was packed to capacity) is available at
    http://daithimckay.blogspot.com/2009/01/republicans-pack-out-mansion-house-for.html

  • kensei

    Mack

    the assumption would be people want it. Speaking very hypothetically here, if you were leader of a party, would you want to be head of Stormont, or a minster in the Dail? That is a realistic, regular possibility in a way it simply isn’t within the UK, Tories or no.

  • Mr Tumnus

    Most organisations provide for some form of ‘gardening leave’ for those who once held senior positions but have, as a result of changing times, been found to be no longer required in the decision making process.

    Let Gerry travel the world and enjoy the airmiles and the free entertainment. He at least probably feels he has earned it and Sinn Fein’s large (Northern?) bank balance can easily fund his cushioned descent into absurdity and oblivion.

  • mnob

    Um I’m a bit confused as to what Gerry is trying to achieve. There may be “10s of millions around the globe”, but the only ones that count are the ones in Ireland, north and south who can vote in a referendum.

  • Mack

    Kensei

    There is no reason why they could not be both. In relation to Edward’s post – that hasn’t been negotiated at all yet.

  • circles

    “his cushioned descent into absurdity and oblivion”
    Ahh yes – how absurd indeed that the leader of Sinn Fein should suddenly take it into his head to campaign for a united ireland. He must be loosing it!
    Next thing we know Paisley will come out of the closet and tell us all he’s a unionist!!!!

  • Dave

    George, Article 1(v) of the British-Irish Agreement restates Article 1(v) of the GFA under ‘Constitutional Issues’ verbatim. It is a straight copy-and-paste. Ergo, you can’t claim that the offending clause in the GFA isn’t applicable because the Oireachtas only passed the British-Irish Agreement when the offending clause is repeated in the British-Irish Agreement, can you?

    Also, the GFA is an international agreement between the British and Irish government. The power to make treaties in the UK is exercised by government using the royal prerogative, with no requirement for parliamentary ratification. Likewise in Ireland, an international agreement doesn’t require the approval of the Oireachtas before it has legal affect (it may, however, require the approval of the public if alters sovereignty). The British-Irish Agreement, on the other hand, did require the approval of the Oireachtas because, err, it’s an act and not a treaty. The only conditions in the GFA that were dependent upon either national parliament were inserted by the governments and specified in Annex A and Annex B. If they had not inserted them, the agreement between the two governments would have stood without supporting legislation from the respective parliaments.

  • Greenflag

    The world doesn’t care about a United Ireland. If the people of Ireland i.e the 85% both North and South who reputedly are assumed to favour a UI can’t be bothered, apart of course from a vociferous minority in Northern Ireland and a much smaller and less vociferous minority in the Republic then what’s the point of traipsing around the world blowing hot air ? .

    A fair repartition of Northern Ireland is the that can be accomplished and even that would be an expensive ‘add on ‘ in these challenging times .

    There will never be a UI until such time as there is a significant Irish nationalist majority in Northern Ireland . Anybody who thinks any different is indulging in wishful thinking . As there is based on present demographics no sign of that happening for another generation or more if ever – why bother with all the hot air ?. Did’nt some gobshite do the same back in 1948 under the Clanna Gael banner . And what did he come back with ? A suntan iirc 🙁

    Time for Irish nationalists of all shades and stripes to pick up whatever is left of any remaining national self respect on this useless 80 year ‘Waiting for Godot ‘ project and instead seek a practical solution in a fair repartitioning of Northern Ireland administered and executed by a neutral international agency.

  • Dave

    Actually, Article 29.5.1 states “Every international agreement to which the State becomes a party shall be laid before Dáil Éireann.” *slaps own wrist*

    By the way, you can compare two clauses here.

    http://www.nio.gov.uk/agreement.pdf

    http://foreignaffairs.gov.ie/uploads/documents/treaties/docs/200018.pdf

    Greenflag, I agree that “world doesn’t care about a United Ireland.” It might have done when folks declared that another nation improperly held a veto over the right of the indigenous nation to self-determination, but not when that nation changed its mind and said that there was nothing impoper about that veto whatsover. At that point, the world lost interest.

  • Greenflag

    ‘At that point, the world lost interest.’

    The world was’nt going to do anything anyway . Apart from a little leaning by the Clinton administration on some of the ‘nuttier’ British Conservatives in London who have never reconciled to the idea of an ‘Independent ‘ Ireland anyway-the world has generally looked at Ireland as being under the British ‘umbrella ‘ of nations . Only in recent decades have we been able to come out from under that umbrella to any great extent and that has been via EU membership . You may say out of the frying pan into the fire whereas I’d say out from beneath a boa constrictor into a multi national field of ‘opportunity ‘ and stability.

    Anyway are Unionists entitled to self determination or are they not? I assume you accept that they are people just as Northern Irish nationalists are ?

    There is no 100% solution to this issue and even a fair Repartition would still leave about 3% of the population of the island on the wrong side of the political border .

    But we must be realistic . The border between NI and the Republic is not like the border between Gaza and Israel or even Germany and Poland much less France and Belgium .

    Sometimes people prefer a ‘muddle ‘ to the possible cost of ethnic and national exactitude.
    People are people before they are or were or will be ‘nations ‘ states or empires .

  • Dave

    “Anyway are Unionists entitled to self determination or are they not?”

    They already have a validated claim to self-determination as part of the British nation: an entity called Great Britain exists. What is actually being proposed in your familiar sermon is the validation of a second claim to self-determination.

    I don’t think anyone is going to support an ethnic cleanout of the Irish nation in that region to make way for a second British homeland. If repartition was possible without abhorrence, however, I’d lean very much toward it. My view is that a repartitioned second homeland for British people would collapse as the only reason the UK supports it financially is because it is seen as an intractable problem. If that final solution was imposed, the rest of the UK would cut and run. Therefore, it might not be as final as it seems, leading instead by a curious road to our wayward brethren seeking to join the Irish nation at some future point.

    At any rate, there is a love that dare not speak its name in this (and I’m not referring to your bizarre worship of Labour’s Joan Burton as a MILF): it is that loyalist culture is built on supremacy, and I’m not sure they could function without another nation to be at odds with (and being small enough to bully).

    Personally, if it is possible of civilised terms, I’d like nothing better than repartition. The Irish nation hasn’t grasped that unity means that they must renounce their nation state and agree to another nation holding a veto over their right to self-determination even if the language of ‘rigorous impartiality’ ‘parity of esteem’ and ‘shared future’ should have clued them in by now.

  • 33rd County

    Perhaps Gerry has a massive ‘return to the homeland’ planned, in which he will travel the world looking for people of Irish descent willing to move. He’s already surmised that this plan will not only bring about a united Ireland, but also will be a much needed boost to the real estate industry. Some people are just forward thinkers.

  • frustrated democrat

    Hello all, it is an amusing spectator sport watching the navel gazing activities of self delusionists who are addicted to the idea of a United Ireland, that just isn’t about to happen. The only remote possibility is if, due to insolvency, the RoI has to apply to rejoin the UK.

    The sad thing is that the reality that a group of dour unwavering unionists just won’t be bought, shot or taught into a UI.

    So it will continue as all addictions tend to do.

  • Billyo

    Gerry has finally found his place in life – Chief of the Republican Circumlocution Office. I wish him a productive future.

  • PaddyReilly

    When someone is strapped to the electric chair and a current of electricity passed through him, very often he does not die from the first application and the process has to be repeated. But, if still technically alive, we may say with certainty that he is on the way out.

    We are just four and half months away from an election which will be like this first jolt of electricity for the Union. Every election from now on will, for Unionist optimists, function like a jolt of high voltage current.

    5 years ago the 2nd Unionist candidate got in with 9,738 votes above a quota. This time round those votes won’t be there: there will be less than two Unionist quotas. The side that takes the last seat will be the one with the best transferring, and with the Unionists so far running 3 candidates, and Nationalists only 2, there is a strong possibility that it will be the latter.

    Never say die till you’re dead has some sense to it I suppose, and Unionists will continue to console themselves with their belief in overflowing garden centres and armies of crypto-Unionist Papists, but the objective view must be that the dark eleventh hour is very nearly upon us.

    What the gallant member for West Belfast is doing is attempting to drum up support for the will of the majority when the majority begins to espouse the idea of a United Ireland. Unionism is essentially an anti-democratic movement, though this fact has been disguised by partition. Obviously it will take a great degree of arm-twisting to get many Unionists to accept the will of a majority if it is not a Unionist majority.

  • cynic

    Is this Gerry’s farewell world tour so he can then retire in peace to obscurity (and the world after speech circuit) before the voters all catch on?

  • Quagmire

    how is it going to look to the world when ‘that ira leader’, as they’ll probably know him, goes around trying to start it all up again? cant see any serious politician or civic leader wanting to get involved in wrecking peace in NI.
    Posted by eranu on Jan 22, 2009 @ 04:16 PM

    Trying to start what up again? The GFA provided a mechanism where by all sides in Northern Ireland could compromise, live in peace and pursue their political aims via democratic processes. It doesn’t say anywhere in the GFA that Republicans have to stop being Republican because it hurts Unionist’s feelings. Sinn Fein are a Republican party for God’s sake. They want a United Ireland. They’re not going to discard their political goals just because u don’t agree with it. How silly. The joint First Minister of “our wee country” is an Irish Republican who seeks,ultimately, the destruction of the northern state-let. He is on the inside pissing out instead of being on the outside pissing in. It may take 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, but there is no doubt we are headed for eventual unification with the rest of the Island. It will not come down to a sectarian head count either, as seen with the northern state-let, but will evolve naturally and organically as time passes by because ultimately it makes sense.

  • why

    “…. because ultimately it makes sense.”

    Why?

  • eranu

    quagmire, i was thinking of links to newspaper articles on newshound from papers in far off countries. they are amusing for their wild inaccuracies, out of place words and phrases, and attempts to summarise the reasons for conflict here in a few lines. im sure you’ve read a few. with that in mind, i think that any serious attempts by people to cause the destruction of the NI institutions, which would be seen as a fair compromise between 2 traditions in NI, would be reported fairly simply as one side starting up trouble again.
    imagine if we had peace in the middle east, and then 10 years later there were reports of rumblings from hamas remnants about wanting to destroy israel again. it wouldnt go down well anywhere in the world.
    most people here probably saw george mitchell on tv last night mentioning NI as a peace success as he prepared to head off to the middle east. its only going to be mentioned more when he gets there. the americans will want to portray him as being on a roll. i cant see anyone in obamas america wanting to be associated with being against a peace settlement in one of the worlds old trouble spots (NI). GA may well be told to shut up and behave in america because they want to use NI as an example to help move things along in the bigger middle east picture.

  • good grief

    “Obviously it will take a great degree of arm-twisting to get many Unionists to accept the will of a majority if it is not a Unionist majority.”

    Ireland of Equals.

  • Plastic Paddy

    There seems to be a lot of support for repartition on this thread. It’s not a practical solution, folks.

    Unionists are only in the majority in Antrim and Down. (We’re not suggesting partitioning individual counties now, are we?) Would it be worth anyone’s bother to keep two measly counties separate from the other thirty? How much of our nonsense are the British public expected to take?The same problems would exist, of isolated communities on the wrong side of the border, of irredentism, of smuggling, of resentment.

    The border will vanish eventually, whether deeper European integration in coming decades makes it irrelevant or Irish integration occurs first – the people of this Island have a shared future, like it or not.

    What about a federal Ireland solution? (Maybe Ruairí Ó Brádaigh was right with his Éire Nua policy – I just wish it didn’t sound so scary to Unionists.)

  • PaddyReilly

    Unionists are only in the majority in Antrim and Down.

    An erroneous belief, widely held, due to the fact that no-one has resurrected County Antrim recently to ask it which way it votes. Actually, because of the enormous reserve of Republican votes in West Belfast, the historic County Antrim does not have a clear Unionist majority any more. Maybe if you count Alliance voters as Unionist it might just scrape a majority, but this is unlikely to last. The Unionist Majority area lies the Northern part of the County Down, and that’s it.

    I am just reading a biography of J.M. Synge. Interestingly, in his day there was a Protestant and Unionist majority in much of the South of Dublin, Rathmines, Kingstown, Bray and part of County Wicklow. Fortunately there was no Greenflag around in those days to propose the partitioning of Dublin, a ludicrous notion the unworkability of which would be obvious even to him, because he is familiar with the territory. Having a mere majority (i.e. over 50%) is not enough to set up a separate state: you need upwards of 90% on your side for this to be workable, or failing that, a clearly defined and distinct geographical area.

  • Mack

    Paddy Reilly

    Paddy the problem only really exists in Northern Ireland, Eire Nua is a solution (4 state federation) to a problem that doesn’t exist.

    We’re not suggesting partitioning individual counties now, are we?

    Yes, I think they are. I wonder if they think non-contigous stretches could be included in the other state – e.g. Glens of Antrim ?

    Greenflag, Frustrated Democrat

    I tend to think a united Ireland is only possible in the long term, but the dates discussed could be informative – the will of the people of the Falls in 1918 or Gerry Adams in 1983. This is a long game, I think.

  • Mack

    First part of my reply was in reply to what Plastic Paddy had written not Paddy Reilly

  • Greenflag

    paddy reilly ,

    ‘The Unionist Majority area lies the Northern part of the County Down, and that’s it.’

    Fine paddy . Thanks for keeping us all updated on the changing demographic balances in the eternal Great Northern Ireland Sectarian Breeding Handicap Hurdle now running for over 50 years and being held daily at maternity units and funeral homes all across Northern Ireland ;(

    Anyway I digress . If North Down is where a neutral international agency decides a new border should be drawn that’s fine by me . . I believe said area even has a name already in waiting i.e the Gold Coast ‘ . A touch of oul empiritis there as iirc there was a British Gold Coast colony in west Africa now Ghana which if memory serves me right even has some very dark hued Orangemen :)!

    Mind you the people of North Down in my experience tend to be the nicest kind of Unionists and would be a loss to a UI . But there you are you can’t have everything can you ?

    Unless your name is Bernard Madoff of course :(?

    plastic paddy ,

    ‘What about a federal Ireland solution? (Maybe Ruairí Ó Brádaigh was right with his Éire Nua policy’

    He was off his head .Complete and utter shite . Ireland is too small a country for another tier of government and bureaucracy. It’s bad enough as it is with almost 300 elected TD’s and MLA’s between the Dail and Stormont for a total of some 6 million people on the island while the UK makes do with 636 for 60 million .

    (I just wish it didn’t sound so scary to Unionists.)

    It sounds even scarier to 90% plus of Irish people in the Republic who would have to fork out even more taxes than we already do ! In Northern Ireland it does’nt matter that much as they have the ‘daft ‘ English to pay for the ‘circus ‘ !:(

  • Greenflag

    dave ,

    ‘ an entity called Great Britain exists’

    It’s called the United Kingdom of Great Britain AND Northern Ireland .

    ‘ I don’t think anyone is going to support an ethnic cleanout of the Irish nation in that region to make way for a second British homeland.’

    There is only one ‘british ‘ homeland and a part of that homeland happens to be for historical reasons in Northeastern Ireland . I may not particularly like it but there you are .

    ‘ If repartition was possible without abhorrence, however, I’d lean very much toward it.’’

    No idea what you mean by abhorrence but I suggest that having an Ireland where less than 4 % of the population is resident in their ‘second ‘ preference State would be a lot more stable than one in which you have a 48% religious /cultural political minority (Northern Ireland ) and a 32 county UI with a n 18% cultural quasi religious minority .

    ‘ My view is that a repartitioned second homeland for British people would collapse’’

    If it was ‘totally ‘ independent of UK financial and poltiical support I’d agree . But that situation is even less likely to occur now than it might have been back in the 1970’s .

    ‘ the only reason the UK supports it financially is because it is seen as an intractable problem.’

    True they have been trying to leave since 1922 or so it’s assumed .

    ‘If that final solution was imposed, the rest of the UK would cut and run. Therefore, it might not be as final as it seems-‘

    Your imagination is running riot 😉

    ‘there is a love that dare not speak its name in this (and I’m not referring to your bizarre worship of Labour’s Joan Burton as a MILF):

    Eh ?? Bizarre indeed . While I have a good deal of respect for Joan Burton Greenflag does not worship any God nor for that matter any of his supposed representatives on earth be they cleric or monarch or man or woman . It’s true I do worship my mother in law but that is a worship engendered merely by fear 😉

    ‘it is that loyalist culture is built on supremacy,—and being small enough to bully).’

    Well this is not just a ‘loyalist ‘ phenomenon . It is alas part of mankind’s collective history . As my da used to say you’ll always get tuppence hapenny looking down on tuppence. The Russians have always bullied the Poles , the Poles the Ukrainians , the Hungarians the Slovaks . The Germans and Russians and Poles and nearly every other european country has bullied the Jews , as well as their own political and religious minorities . The Israelis bully the Palestinians and the Gazans and the Chinese bully the Tibetans . The English have bullied the Scots , the Welsh and the Irish over several centuries for their own good of course

    ‘Personally, if it is possible of civilised terms, I’d like nothing better than repartition. ‘

    I don’t see why not particularly if this present Assembly performs as previous Assemblies have by self imploding over some point of ‘principle ‘ . Any repartition would have to be administered by a neutral international agency such as the UN and/or EU and would have to have the political support and backing of both governments and their armies /defence forces /police etc etc .

    ‘The Irish nation hasn’t grasped that unity means –etc ‘

    The Irish nation is not getting it’s knickers in a financial or political knot over any prospective UI . I sense that we are as excited about the prospect as we are at seeing grass grow right now .

    ‘even if the language of ‘rigorous impartiality’ ‘parity of esteem’ and ‘shared future’ should have clued them in by now. ‘

    In the end just words which can mean whatever you want them to mean !

    Never mind what they say –just watch what they do !

  • Mr Tumnus

    What is a “statelet”? I only ask because it has come up on this thread, and it also seems to be a close run second to “the North” as Republicans’ favourite description of Northern Ireland.

    Is it to do with population size? Therefore, for example, Iceland with less than half a million people is it a ‘statelet’?

    Or is it about size? So little Lichtenstein, is it a ‘statelet’?

    Or is it something to do with a disagreement about partition, and if so does that make North Korea and South Korea two separate ‘statelets’?

  • Plastic Paddy

    “Paddy the problem only really exists in Northern Ireland, Eire Nua is a solution (4 state federation) to a problem that doesn’t exist.”

    Mack – your insight throughout this thread has been brilliant and I’ve been challenged by your ideas, thank you. I humbly submit that the “Northern” Ireland problem is Ireland’s problem. The Irish nation did not create the problem, centuries of British misrule did, but the Irish nation can solve it.

    I wonder if they think non-contigous stretches could be included in the other state – e.g. Glens of Antrim ?

    A very good question indeed – see Liam Kennedy’s “Two Ulsters: The Case for Repartition” (1986) for some options that have been discussed.

  • Plastic Paddy

    Mr Tumnus:

    What is a “statelet”? . . .

    Yes, “statelet” is a loaded term that identifies the political leanings of whoever uses it; a shibboleth, if you will. Some other loaded terms are: Ulster, the Province, the North, the Six Counties, etc. In fact, neutral language is very difficult, if not impossible.

    The late John Whyte made a very good case for using the term “region” to refer to Northern Irland in the preface to Interpreting Northern Ireland.

  • Mr Tumnus

    Thank you Plastic Paddy.

    BTW, are you any relation to Plastic Bertrand?

  • Mack

    Mr Tumnus

    I used the term in the context of a Northern state within a united Ireland. I used it deliberately to denote a non-sovereign devolved entity – pretty much NI’s current status, to make it clear I was not suggesting that Northern Ireland would be a sovereign state or a state with greatly increased internal political responsibility.

    The difference between Northern Ireland and Iceland currently is that Iceland is a sovereign independent nation state and Northern Ireland is an administrative region of the UK with a devolved parliament, Westminster remains sovereign. The parliament has more responsibilities than a county council in most countries, but much less than a federal state.

    Statelet, I’m sure you’ll agree is more succint than the preceding paragraph.

    Incidentally, while my personal preference is for some form of united Ireland, I think a soveriegn independent Northern Ireland would be a fair compromise and of course a proper state worthy of the title in every respect.

  • Mack

    Plastic Paddy

    That’s true, but it complicates matters as southerners would need to be motivated to think along those lines. Outside of border areas and other isolated pockets, they don’t really care. I would submit that it would make the task of creating a united Ireland harder (more people to persuade).

    A 2 state federal solution would be easier to achieve (as it doesn’t require major structural change in the south), but I suspect that the Dublin government would be very wary of accepting the unproven (and volatile) Northern Ireland as an equal partner in the governance of a sovereign nation / Union.

    ———
    Who knows what will happen in 10,20,50 or 100 years. I calculate if current trends wrt to Catholic population growth in the North and Protestant population growth in the South were to continue, in around 100 years the North would be nearly 100% Catholic and the south nearly 100% Protestant. (Of course that’s one major set of assumptions, but it demos that perhaps anything is possible.).

  • Mack

    Sorry, 150 years for the South to become 100% Protestant. (Based on a 30% growth rate between 1991 and 2006).

  • PaddyReilly

    Sorry, 150 years for the South to become 100% Protestant. (Based on a 30% growth rate between 1991 and 2006).

    Yes but you don’t make such predictions based on growth below 10% or even 20%, especially when its starts at 0%. Otherwise we would have to concede that Ireland will be in 150 years time populated solely by Black Protestants bilingual in Chinese and Polish.

    0% Protestants In NI in 100 years is a bit more likely. They may all have moved over to Buddhism, Hinduism and Scientology.

  • Mack

    Paddy –

    It’s not a prediction, merely an extrapolation. Stranger things have happened though, most of Europe’s Protestant countries converted at a quicker pace than that.

    But, just for the sake of it. The drivers of growth of the Polish community are likely to be slightly different (mostly immigration, also births – but the kids are Irish), either way if you go far enough forward in time it’s likely everyone in Ireland will have ancestors from each one of our new immigrant groups. (Nearly every Protestant in Ireland today will have a huge number of Catholic ancestors).

  • edward

    Incidentally, while my personal preference is for some form of united Ireland, I think a soveriegn independent Northern Ireland would be a fair compromise and of course a proper state worthy of the title in every respect.

    Posted by Mack on Jan 23, 2009 @ 10:49

    Mack the only way a place as small and isolated as nIreland could survive as an independant state would to become a debauchery destinatio like Monaco.

    And really do you expect the northern god botherers would allow that.

  • Mr Tumnus has a brother

    “Statelet” is a nonsense term, you may as well call Northern Ireland a fish pie.

    NI is a region of the United Kingdom. Plastic Paddy nailed it correctly, calling it a “statelet” is just a petty insult.

  • Mack

    Mr Tumnus –

    Plastic Paddy said no such thing. He agreed it was a loaded term. ‘let’ is a dimunitive. You can either believe my motivations for using the term or make up reasons to be offended.