Knitting the island’s relationships back together again

I’ve been thinking about knitting recently. It seems a good image for what those of us in the Centre for Cross Border Studies, Cooperation Ireland and other North-South ‘reconciliation’ bodies are trying to do: knitting damaged relationships between people and communities on this island back together again. Knitting is an activity usually done by women: it is slow, painstaking, meticulous, unglamorous and utterly unthreatening. When done well it produces articles of great beauty, which are at the same time useful, warm and comfortable. And more often than not it is done to produce gifts for people – husbands, children and other family members – whom the knitter loves.

The Centre continues to work away quietly and steadily at its knitting, like an old granny in the corner of the parlour. It undertakes practical cross-border research, training, networking and information provision for teachers and health employees and civil servants and people moving across the border to live and work. Some of the initiatives we think are most important and innovative – for example, training public officials in North-South cooperation or bringing children together to learn about the dangers of racism and sectarianism – are always in danger of disappearing with the expiry of EU funding and the failure of cash-starved governments to step in and fill the gap.

But after 10 years we have become used to living on our wits and moving on to new areas – new knitting patterns, if you like. In 2009 we are moving into five areas, three of them extensions of existing work and two brand new. The EU INTERREG IVA programme has funded the Centre to undertake research, information and training projects during the period 2009-2011 in cross-border mobility information, spatial planning, hospital services and impact assessment, along with reviving the cross-border regional economy.

The cross-border mobility information project is an extension of the acclaimed Border People public information website (www.borderpeople.info) , which provides practical information on things like taxation, social security, job seeking, qualifications, health, education, housing and banking for people moving across the border to live, work, study or retire. People living in border areas may have seen our publicity campaign last summer with its motif of question marks in the form of footsteps. A new campaign, with a signposting motif, will start in Enniskillen, Letterkenny and Bundoran (on buses and bus shelters) next month, and will run in various border region towns until Christmas 2011.

The CroSPlaN (Cross-border Spatial Planning and training Network) is being led by our sister organisation, the International Centre for Local and Regional Development (ICLRD). It will train local councillors, officials, business and community leaders in the border region to deal with the new planning powers being returned to them under the reform of public administration in the North, and help them work with their colleagues in the South to use the new non-statutory cross-border planning framework which is currently waiting for final approval from the Northern Ireland Executive.

We are also undertaking a research project – in partnership with the Institute of Public Health in Ireland – to explore what hospital services in the border region might look like if you ignored the border and provided those services on the basis purely of the health needs of the region’s population, the availability of hospital beds and specialities, and the transport network. The start of this study has been held back for a few months because of the departure of the Centre’s versatile and knowledgeable research manager (and health specialist), Patricia Clarke, who, after more than nine years in Armagh, has moved to a senior job in the Health Research Board in Dublin. We wish her well – she will be a hard act to follow.

The final two areas are new ones for the Centre. In the autumn we will be starting a big study (in collaboration with InterTradeIreland) on how the economy of the cross-border region – from Derry and Letterkenny at one end to Newry and Dundalk at the other, and all the largely rural bits in between – might be revived in this new era of peace but also of prolonged economic recession. The study will look in particular at the roles of cross-border shopping (and how the crazy, seesawing distortions caused by currency and price differentials might be offset in some way), micro-enterprises (firms with less than 10 employees) and tourism in developing a region that is almost certainly never going to find another major multinational company to put its people to work in large numbers again.

Finally we are going to attempt to put together a ‘pilot impact assessment toolkit’ which (we hope) will for the first time help politicians, civil servants and others to measure the impact and cost-effectiveness of cross-border cooperation in Ireland. This project – one of the first of its kind anywhere in Europe – will use techniques developed in health and environmental impact assessment to understand this complex process. This project will begin in the middle of next year.

So there you have it: the Centre’s knitting programme for the next two and a half years. Here’s hoping that we can produce some things that are, if not beautiful, at least useful in helping to find new and practical ways in which governments and people in the two Irish jurisdictions can learn to work together for mutual benefit.

Andy Pollak

  • fluffy, soft, divorced from reality and expensive

    ?

  • hah

    the old ‘look at my signiture’ trick

    the old ones are the best eh…. zzzzzzzzz

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]Some of the initiatives we think are most important and innovative – for example, training public officials in North-South cooperation or bringing children together to learn about the dangers of racism and sectarianism – are always in danger of disappearing with the expiry of EU funding and the failure of cash-starved governments to step in and fill the gap.”[/i]

    I would impose the childrens task onto the officials, bringing them together to learn about the dangers of racism and sectarianism.

    11 years and we still don’t have much public and official acceptance of the Orange Order in the South. One parade every year held on the outskirts of a rural village is not enough. Last year was the first time in the existence of the Irish state where the president of Ireland visited an Orange hall. Why has it taken so long to visit the section of the community which makes up 1/3rd of the Irish state flag? Why can’t that community parade in the Capital city?

    What is it the Centre for Cross Border Studies does again?

  • Davros

    Random think tanky quango attempts to justify its nebulous existance by thinking of more cross border issues we didn’t know needed dealt with. Let me try too…

    “Many cross border regions are economically deprived, suffering from being at the periphery of their respective nation states. This has led to a failure from all stakeholders to invest adequately in space exploration and the many economic, technological and social benefits which come with a thriving space programme. The centre will conduct an exhaustive, multi year study on the establishment of the Island of Ireland Spaceport in the Drogheda/Newery region.”

    “The border regions, despite having significantly less people than the urban centres suffer from a much higher incidence of hauntings from banshees, will of the wisp and changelings. For years both Governments dismissed these as the others problem. The Republic was certain these were British troops on night manoeuvres while Special Branch documents reveal they were suspected smugglers. Only now is the true human cost coming to light. The Centre will embark on a multi year research project, including a partnership with the Slovakian Baba Yaga Institute (thus qualifying for 2e Accension Partnership Funding) ” etc

    I can has funding?

  • Davros

    And one for the road…

    “Together with the Island To The West of Britain Foundation the Centre has worked with local communities on both sides of the border to assess the long term effect of gravity on social cohesion and development during daylight hours. Despite differences in culture, health and sentience the Centre is pleased to reveal that post GFA both communties have embraced gravity. The introduction of gravity in Fermanagh was particularly notable and resulted in the creation of many successful small businesses with gravity at their core. The Centre is scheduled to hold a conference in partnership with Board Failte and NITB about how this can be used to stimulate tourism from low gravity countries”

  • Dave

    Of course, knitting was also how generations of otherwise unproductive people earned a living before the invention of the quango. Now, instead of being productively knitting, they form quangos that act as parasites on the productive members of society by forcing them to work harder for less reward in order to pay taxes to the state so that the state can squander their taxes on those who should be knitting. Still, Heaney and ilk have their lovely metaphor of the dry stone wall, so should Pollak and ilk play into that sentimental mindset to justify their otherwise parasitic existence?

  • UMH

    … Last year was the first time in the existence of the Irish state where the president of Ireland visited an Orange hall. …

    Is that an oblique criticism of Gregory Campbell and Nelson MccCausland?

  • fin

    indeed horseman, you beat me to it, just aswell as you put it so much better, possibly the OO should have a think about the reasons why.

    However, as the OO is a celebration of William of Orange and his victories (killing lots of farmers)ove the Irish, is it not a bit of an insult to have a Catholic head of state of a free Ireland visiting, surely the bitter whiff of defeat would abound.

    How are these things dealt with in other countries, how do organisations elsewhere celebrate the defeat of their host country.

  • George

    UMH,
    Why can’t that community parade in the Capital city?

    Something to do with the fine Dublin Protestants of Dawson street refusing to allow the Orange Order to use their church because of that group’s cavorting with terrorists and encouraging child murderers at Drumcree.

    Dublin folk are funny like that.

  • “So there you have it: the Centre’s knitting programme”

    All that money and about all they can do is knit eyebrows 🙁

  • Greenflag

    Sounds laudable and praiseworthy and academic. Anything which can help lesen people’s fear of the ‘other’ is to be commended .

    There has always been since the 12th century or even earlier a gap between economic development between the west of the country generally and the east coast which was closer to British trade and act with the ‘world ‘ beyond. There were of course some small exceptions to the general rule as in Galway , Cork and parts of Kerry .

    How many names do you go by ? Davros ? Dave ?

    When it comes to choosing parasites on the body politic I would think there are scores of bankers , hedge fund thieves, and gangster insurance and mortgage broker types as well as double and treble jobbing politicians who head the parasite list a long way ahead of the likes of Pollak , Heaney & company.

    The ‘cross border areas ‘ particularly in the west are just an extension of a fundamental economic problem that was worsened by two centuries of relative neglect and disinterest by British Governments and since partition by both the Republic and NI administrations .

    Of course when Dave’s hero Mr Trevelyan & Co got to work on their ‘free market ‘ must rule regardless bilge , in the mid 19th century the island lost almost half of it’s population to famine and emigration.

    When it comes to choosing parasites on the body politic I would think there are scores of bankers , hedge fund thieves, and gangster insurance and mortgage broker types as well as double and treble jobbing politicians who head the parasite list a long way ahead of the likes of Pollak , Heaney & company 🙁

  • Greenflag

    UMH ,

    ‘Why can’t that community parade in the Capital city?’

    Two reasons

    1. The OO’s two century ‘reputation’ for mindless violence , thuggery , drunkness, and becoming an occassion for civil disorder in Ulster generally and specifically in NI .

    2) Dublin protestants are too intelligent and too busy making money than to be parading up and down and around for three months of the year every year 😉

  • Greenflag, you seem to be suffering from two ‘infestations’ of parasites 🙂

  • Ulsters my homeland

    horseman

    “[i]Is that an oblique criticism of Gregory Campbell and Nelson MccCausland?”[/i]

    Should it be? What have they got to do with the President of Ireland visiting an Orange hall or the Orangemen not marching in Dublin?

  • Driftwood

    Dave, post 6,well said.

    I hope David Cameron stops all funding for absurd non organisations like the centre for cross border studies and their ridiculous quango speak.

    These people could not hold down a ‘real’ job in the private sector and trot out self indulgent waffle purely for their own feather nesting.

    Davros in post 5 highlighted this nonsense delightfully.

    Taxpayers, this is your money- coronary care units or bullshit?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    fin

    “[i]However, as the OO is a celebration of William of Orange and his victories (killing lots of farmers)ove the Irish, is it not a bit of an insult to have a Catholic head of state of a free Ireland visiting, surely the bitter whiff of defeat would abound.

    How are these things dealt with in other countries, how do organisations elsewhere celebrate the defeat of their host country.[/i]

    How can they be celebrating the defeat of their host country when the Irish state didn’t excist then?

    Little wonder the Nationalist community has such a twisted perspective on the OO, since they don’t spend anytime to understand what its about. They would rather protest against a parade on false grounds than finding out what it represents. I suppose we can’t expect anything else from the Nationalist coummity, especially when their so-called President can’t be bothered finding out about the OO either, or even making an attempt to allow it to parade in the state’s capital city.

    OO parades are about the celebration of the Protestant religion, where they display the wars and sacrifices other Protestants and Orangmen made for the freedom of religion and liberty for all. Its sad when people can’t see this because they’re so bigoted against Protestantism and refuse to acknowledge that the Protestant fight was a correct fight.

  • Driftwood
  • Guest

    “However, as the OO is a celebration of William of Orange and his victories (killing lots of farmers)ove the Irish, is it not a bit of an insult to have a Catholic head of state of a free Ireland visiting, surely the bitter whiff of defeat would abound.”

    I hope David Cameron picks his nose.

  • Greenflag

    Nevin ,

    ‘you seem to be suffering from two ‘infestations’ of parasites 🙂

    Two ? I would say we have more than 2 😉 In any event we have more than enough for now to be going on with ! BTW which two had you in mind ?

  • Greenflag

    UMH ,

    ‘Its sad when people can’t see this because they’re so bigoted against Protestantism and refuse to acknowledge that the Protestant fight was a correct fight.’

    Again you mistake a pimple for the pox . I doubt if you’ll find many Catholics who would not acknowledge Protestantism’s unique contribution to our present day freedoms . But they don’t associate same with Orange Orderism . Call it the gap between perception and reality if you will . The OO is seen as not just anti Catholic historically which is understandable given the local history but it’s also seen as anti Irish in the political and cultural sense despite some of the lodges attempts to belie that aspect of their practices.

    The Irish ‘nationalist ‘ people are perfectly capable of distinguishing between protestantism as a religion and political coat trailing by the OO . The OO needs to modernise some of their more outdated shibboleths not just to placate Catholics in NI but to bring themselves d their organisation into the 20th century ;)? Even their own former members have been saying this for years apparently to little avail.

  • “Two ?”

    Yes, Greenflag, you’ve repeated one of your paragraphs 😉

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]I doubt if you’ll find many Catholics who would not acknowledge Protestantism’s unique contribution to our present day freedoms.”[/i]

    I bet you I could find loads.

    “[i]The OO is seen as not just anti Catholic historically which is understandable given the local history but it’s also seen as anti Irish in the political and cultural sense despite some of the lodges attempts to belie that aspect of their practices.[/i]

    They have a right to be anti-Catholic (the institution not the individual). They have a right to be anti-Irish politically and culturally, especially when Irish politics excludes Orangemen from being a proper member of the Irish state as it demands they be Republicans and pledge alliegience to a Gaelic island nation/State. An alliegence no Orangeman can give.

    Irish politics excluded the Orangemen.

    “[i]The Irish ‘nationalist ’ people are perfectly capable of distinguishing between protestantism as a religion and political coat trailing by the OO . The OO needs to modernise some of their more outdated shibboleths not just to placate Catholics in NI but to bring themselves d their organisation into the 20th century ;)? Even their own former members have been saying this for years apparently to little avail.”[/i]

    I don’t deny that. It has to move with the times and so does the Irish state and its Catholic citizens.

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    “OO parades are about the celebration of the Protestant religion, where they display the wars and sacrifices other Protestants and Orangmen made for the freedom of religion and liberty for all.”

    Yes, but what you blatantly fail to realise UMH, is that the Catholic people of Ireland and more so the Catholic Nationalist people of Northern Ireland were exempt from this “freedom of religion and liberty for all” that you refer to.

    Why do you ignore this fact of Irish history UMH?

    Denial at work again, and just part of the problem why NI is the way it is?

    BTW, ‘knitting’ is a good metaphor for socially uniting the peoples of this island….however too many dropped stitches will make a tattery garment. And there’s plenty of dropped stitches in NI.

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    “I bet you I could find loads.”

    Really….where?…..in NI?

    …..too many wholly heads too!

  • Driftwood

    Greenflag
    Any chance of you addressing the COST, to the taxpayer, of all this ‘cross border studies’ bollix?
    Or indeed the whole phalanx of insitutions that have sprouted up in the post conflict moneygoround. I hope the RoI taxpayer is prepared to dig deep(er) to fund their share of this crap.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Greg

    “[i]Yes, but what you blatantly fail to realise UMH, is that the Catholic people of Ireland and more so the Catholic Nationalist people of Northern Ireland were exempt from this “freedom of religion and liberty for all” that you refer to.[/i]

    You seem to use the word Ireland to describe the historic period before the Irish state separated from the Union. So I’ll start there. During this time there were many wrongs made against Catholic citizens, there is no doubt about that, but if you would care to understand how those wrongs came about, especially when Protestantism fought for freedom of religion and liberty for all, you should look no further than the reaction taken by the Church of Rome and the heads under his control.

    The Counter Reformation proved devastating and those liberties and freedoms Protestants protested for were suppressed, hatred and intolerance won over argument and reason.

    After the bloodless Revolution against totalitarianism in England, the Pope refused to acknowledge William as king. He set about to dispose of his throne and yet again hatred and intolerance won over argument and reason.

    As for N.Ireland, since its creation there has always been violent opposition against it, people hated its existence, they couldn’t tolerate the freedoms that these Protestant/Unionists had created on ‘their’ island. They demanded everyone be Gaelic and republican and pledge allegiance to a 32 country socialist island nation state, and in no way could they support the same type of freedoms that the Protestant/Unionists support. That would mean they would have to accommodate for these Protestant/unionists, that’s just one step too far.

    Hatred and intolerance won over argument and reason, and so the numerous campaigns against the Protestant/Unionist people began.

    We’re now in the argument and reason phase, lets just hope it stays that way 😉

  • Po

    But all this crap was 100s of years ago. Does anyone really still. Chillax.

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    Ha ha ….a history lesson from yourself UMH is always quite entertaining. But given your good track record of having a poor understanding of Irish history, (you’ve demonstrated this many a time before), a history lesson from yourself is no no. BTW, your anti-Catholicism is always present in what ever you say.

    Regarding King Billy, sure didn’t the pope bestow upon him his very own special papal blessing in taking the throne of England as well as popish financial aid.

    http://www.hvk.org/articles/0901/164.html

    “…and in no way could they support the same type of freedoms that the Protestant/Unionists support.”

    BTW, what sort of freedoms are you talking about…coz such freedoms never involved Irish Catholics, hence the discrimation, sectarianiam, racism by the ruling Protestants etc…

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    BTW, the Britsh King James wasn’t our king either, so you can keep him as well as the foreign usurper, the Dutch man William!

  • cpd

    Ahh i wish we could all get back to the religious “freedoms” and liberty enjoyed by all under those penal laws . Gotta love that sense of libertarianism . They were the days eh!!

  • Ulsters my homelnd

    Greg

    “[i]BTW, your anti-Catholicism is always present in what ever you say.”[/i]

    went to the spar today, bought a loaf of bread, a pint of milk, a paper and shouted abuse at a nun on her way to mass. ……Ah darn, your right Greg can’t say or do anything without being anti-Catholic.

    “[i]Regarding King Billy, sure didn’t the pope bestow upon him his very own special papal blessing in taking the throne of England as well as popish financial aid.”[/i]

    …and then when William managed to get the crown the Pope wanted him off it. Makes you think the Pope just wanted to start a fight 😉

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Greg

    “[i]BTW, the Britsh King James wasn’t our king either, so you can keep him as well as the foreign usurper, the Dutch man William!”[/i]

    don’t worry, we won’t throw that in your face. You’s didn’t know any better, well how could you with a Pope, a Catholic nutcase as King and your local Priest telling you those heretic Protestants are excommunicated to hell.

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    “Ah darn, your right Greg can’t say or do anything without being anti-Catholic.”

    Well, you’ve said said yourself, as most of your posts always contain a reference or two that are anti-Catholic.
    Gas, but listening to youself UMH you’d think that we were still living in such times of Reformation/Counter Reformation…..and gas too, but listening to youself you’d never think that the Catholic Church is on it’s knees in Ireland today, with low church attendances and most folk non practicing.

    “don’t worry, we won’t throw that in your face. You’s didn’t know any better, ….”

    Ah thanks for that too. And besides we didn’t know any better either as you say, because the majority of Irish people were reduced by their ruling masters to an impoverished, landless, uneducated peasantry.

    All we were left with was the Catholic Church!

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    “Ah darn, your right Greg can’t say or do anything without being anti-Catholic.”

    Well, you’ve said it yourself UMH, as most of your posts always contain a reference or two that are anti-Catholic.
    Gas, but listening to youself UMH you’d think that we were still living in such times of Reformation/Counter Reformation…..and gas too, but listening to yourself you’d never think that the Catholic Church is on it’s knees in Ireland today, with low church attendances and most folk non practicing.

    “don’t worry, we won’t throw that in your face. You’s didn’t know any better, ….”

    Ah thanks for that too. And besides we didn’t know any better either as you say, because the majority of Irish people were reduced by their ruling masters to an impoverished, landless, uneducated peasantry.

    All we were left with was the Catholic Church!

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]Well, you’ve said said yourself, as most of your posts always contain a reference or two that are anti-Catholic.”[/i]

    LOL. lighten up Pope Gregory I…..Ah darn, there I go again.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]And besides we didn’t know any better either as you say, because the majority of Irish people were reduced by their ruling masters to an impoverished, landless, uneducated peasantry.

    All we were left with was the Catholic Church!”[/i]

    Yip, that state education was a really bad idea back then, don’t understand why so many Catholics agreed with it. Better of being educated by the church [cough, cough]

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    “….don’t understand why so many Catholics agreed with it.”

    Well that’s it you see, you don’t understand or even try to understand!

    ….oh dear, and there’s wee Gregory Campbell named after the 16 Gregory named popes.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    …that was a sarcastic statement Greg, I thought you would have got it, but concidering the seriousness of your posts I should have knew you wouldn’t get it. Still frothing at the mouth are we? :p

  • Ulsters my homeland

    …and it was partly ironic as well 😀

  • Greenflag

    UMH ,

    ‘They have a right to be anti-Catholic (the institution not the individual).’

    I would’nt doubt it .

    ‘ They have a right to be anti-Irish politically and culturally’

    True also . I could also move to England and exercise my right to be anti English/British politically and culturally by making a bloody nuisance of myself for 3 months in every year, singing parodies of God Shave the Queen and Kick the Archbishop of Canterbury etc and publicly burn Union Jacks on top of the nearest rubbish dump.

    However I’d have no trouble in understanding why most English would consider me to be somewhat of an oddball -probably bat shit crazy and my protestations that I behave the way I do merely to defend ‘their ‘ rights and freedoms as being to pardon the vulgarity a load of oul cobblers.

  • Greenflag

    Driftwood ,

    ‘Any chance of you addressing the COST, to the taxpayer, of all this ‘cross border studies’ bollix?

    The cross border region -both sides of the border can do with all the economic stimulus that’s possible particularly given the present ‘economy’. I would agree that post a fair repartition of Northern Ireland most of these bodies if not all would be superflous but we’re not there yet . We’re still tied into the Assembly and making it work for now . The ‘bollix’ as you put it is just part of the price of maintaining the ‘status quo ‘ which appears to be the desire of both main parties .

    I’m sure you can dig out the cost if you are interested enough 😉 .I would imagine that in terms of a percentage of both Government’s revenue take it would be just a fraction of the annual NI subvention .

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Greenflag

    “[i] could also move to England and exercise my right to be anti English/British politically and culturally by making a bloody nuisance of myself for 3 months in every year, singing parodies of God Shave the Queen and Kick the Archbishop of Canterbury etc and publicly burn Union Jacks on top of the nearest rubbish dump.

    However I’d have no trouble in understanding why most English would consider me to be somewhat of an oddball -probably bat shit crazy and my protestations that I behave the way I do merely to defend ‘their ’ rights and freedoms as being to pardon the vulgarity a load of oul cobblers.”[/i]

    what are you chewing dear boy? the froth is overflowing 😀

    There are Labour MP’s in Westminster who exercise their rights against English/British politics, that’s their right to do so. What’s the problem?

  • Swerve

    There are Labour MP’s in Westminster who exercise their rights against English/British politics, that’s their right to do so. What’s the problem?

    Not to mention Scots and Welsh nats.

  • Ulidias_Story

    At least the Third Sector justifies its existence.

  • True also . I could also move to England and exercise my right to be anti English/British politically and culturally by making a bloody nuisance of myself for 3 months in every year, singing parodies of God Shave the Queen and Kick the Archbishop of Canterbury etc and publicly burn Union Jacks on top of the nearest rubbish dump.

    However I’d have no trouble in understanding why most English would consider me to be somewhat of an oddball -probably bat shit crazy and my protestations that I behave the way I do merely to defend ‘their ’ rights and freedoms as being to pardon the vulgarity a load of oul cobblers.
    Posted by Greenflag on Jun 26, 2009 @ 03:02 PM

    Well said Greenflag, but that wanker is so thick and ignorant he doesn’t even know he causes offence, he’s a genuine bona fide anti-catholic bigot, well known in the north east of ulster. maybe he’ll enter the 18th century someday if he’s lucky.

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    “….. he doesn’t even know he causes offence, he’s a genuine bona fide anti-catholic bigot…..”

    I believe so too.

  • Barnshee

    GOF

    “Yes, but what you blatantly fail to realise UMH, is that the Catholic people of Ireland and more so the Catholic Nationalist people of Northern Ireland were exempt from this “freedom of religion and liberty for all” that you refer to”

    I was brought up in NI– as far as I could see (correct me where I err) Catholics had full access to all the professions (my family`s doctor was a catholic, our solicitor was a catholic.) Catholics went to separate (state funded) schools -their choice. Entry to University was based on public exams open to all. State grants were paid to all who qualified. Medical services were open to all via the NHS. Family benefits were paid to all who qualified.

    Perhaps you could schedule the ways in which “the Catholic Nationalist people of Northern Ireland were exempt” from these aspects of life in N Ireland

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Well perceived Banshee, but I suppose I could mention the timeworn old chestnuts of discrimination in housing, the electoral system, employment etc…

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

  • barnshee

    “discrimination in housing, the electoral system, employment etc”
    Please provide examples (wiki wont do)

    1 Independant report (R Rose) showed no discrimination in housing identified cases of “queue jumping ” by both prod and mick councils

    2 Electoral system -by which you mean the “property vote” (held by,amongst others provo mary`s father) discriminated against EVERYONE tho if its everyone its difficult to see how its discrimination.

    3 Jobs no doubt about it where each community could they disadvantaged the other.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    the hash Greg smoked

    “[i]Well said Greenflag, but that wanker is so thick and ignorant he doesn’t even know he causes offence,2[/i]

    Sometimes the only way you will understand things is to be blunt and right to the point. That’s why I talk in your language, you understand it straight, unhashed and honest.:D

    You like it that way Greg, don’t you?.

    Telling the Irish Government/the GAA/the people that they need to change if there’s going to be a united Ireland will upset the most liberal of Irish, but what the heck, it gets the attention of the grass-roots, because that’s who need to hear it. Their the people who need a voice.

    The grass-roots need to hear it, not the politician talking gobbledygook and technical jargon to convince the other politician that the gobbledygook and technical jargon is right.

    Time to tell the Irish person on the street how it is, if they want a united Ireland they’ve got to change and accomodate for the Unionists.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Banshee –

    Ah yes, the Banshee, and so it’s a big wonder then why the Civil Rights movement ever started at all in NI. Hey, but according to you, probably there were no Civil Rights movement!

    The Nile flows through plains in Africa.

    Denial flows through veins in Northern IRELAND.

    UMH,

    I always sign my comments with my name and have never used an alias, unlike some who do here on Slugger and who are either embarassed or ashamed of their contributions.

    “Time to tell the Irish person on the street how it is, if they want a united Ireland they’ve got to change and accomodate for the Unionists.”

    Na, I suppose folk can wait for a United Ireland, and the wait is well worth the while.

    Why deal with the cantankerous bunch of ill educated cranks today?