The year the shinners died

I had been trying to work on a republican focused review of 2009, there is no point. No point looking at how the myriad of ‘dissenting’ republican groups are progressing, no point looking at how armed struggle is going, no point looking at the touts or agents, no point in examining successes or failures.

For republicanism five six words show the year that was:

“traitors to the island of Ireland” – Martin McGuinness

Thats SF judgment on republican volunteers that kill members of the British Army and police force.

With those few words SF eventually ended any connection with republicanism or revolutionary politics and finally became a full party of the British state

The only moment of the year for me.

  • Alias

    Didn’t he win a Slugger award for making that statement? The “island of Ireland” is of course two sovereign states: Ireland and a sovereign region of the British unitary state. Anyone who believes that British sovereignty should be removed from the “island of Ireland” is therefore a traitor to British Rule. The British state did a fine job of consolidating itself in that region and also in extending its sovereign rule into Ireland via the NSMC.

  • pinni

    Mark,

    Northern Irish republicans voted in huge numbers for SF, before and after the murders. The dissidents act and speak for no one, apart from the few hundred maybe thousands of disillusioned republicans who retain the warped notion that republican objectives can be accomplished by violence.

    Those who killed a member of the police service and 2 members of the British army who were not on duty in NI, but merely picking up pizzas, are, most definitely, traitors to the vast majority of people in both parts of Ireland who want a peaceful future for their children.

  • iluvni

    Mark,
    Thats 6 words!

  • Fabianus

    Inasmuch as one can be a traitor to an island. Did the Birdman betray Alcatraz?

  • Mark McGregor

    iluvni,

    If there is one thing I love more than dissent, it is pedant. Correcting now. Cheers.

  • Mark McGregor

    pinni,

    Indeed, your post is a testament to the journey SF nationalists have now traveled.

    As I said, the words were the only real story for republicanism this year despite some deaths via ‘traitors’.

  • Mark McGregor

    Alias,

    My opinion is those words and nothing else resulted in McGuinness being lauded by the Slugger judges panel.

    Others may disagree – I can’t recall anything of note he has done to gain plaudits beyond once dismissing those who do what he did as ‘traitors’.

  • wild turkey

    ‘the vast majority of people in both parts of Ireland who want a peaceful future for their children. ‘

    pinni,

    for me, you have struck something. i remember clinton 1995 at belfast city hall. my office at the time was across from the Europa. I was so moved at the time I hung a 4 king size sheet banner out my window that said

    ‘Ulster Says Yo’

    this was, and is, a divided society. but that evening i noticed a new divide… there were very few people in the crowd under the age of 40, and lots and lots of families with kids… a few years later i had too children. they now grow, happy and safe, and will hopefully prosper, in an area of belfast formerly seen to be a serious warzone.

    the cynics may dismiss the above as hopeless sentimentality, as they did Kennedys remarks about ‘our hostages to the future’. be that as it may.

    may the laughter of our children persist.

    Mark McG.

    I do often agree with your political analysis. (shit i don’t agree with anyones politic analysis all that often)… but I do empathise with your dilemna. below is a link that says it better than i ever could

    oiche m’haith

  • Mark McGregor

    WT,

    Love that song – the violinist demonstrates some movements I haven’t been in/expelled from (yet)

  • Eoin

    Quote:
    ‘With those few words SF eventually ended any connection with republicanism or revolutionary politics and finally became a full party of the British state’
    I shall provide you with some advice Mr McGregor:
    1)Look up the ideology republicanism
    2)Look up Sinn Féin’s current electoral position
    I ask you do that before you make any further comments on that issue.
    Republicanism, as you seem to think is armed volunteers targeting ‘members of the British Army and police force’. That is wrong.
    As you should know, before you make a statement such as the one i have just read, please read up on Sinn Féin and their current electoral strategy.
    Since the PIRA ceasefire in 1994, Sinn Féin have completed a huge transition from political violence to achieve and implement their ideology, to purely electoral methods.
    This is not a contradiction of Republicanism.
    I believe you are correct in stating:
    ‘For republicanism five words show the year that was:
    “traitors to the island of Ireland” – Martin McGuinness’

    Fortunately I have the ability to draw positive conclusions and believe the significance of that statement lies in the huge change which the north of Ireland has seen.
    Sinn Féin have, to the resounding support of the Republican community, adopted a political method and have denounced the continuation of violence. They now have a political path which leads straight to a 32 county Republic.
    Times have changed Sir, I suggest you change with them.

  • Ulick

    Mark you are so wrong it’s extremely sad. Republicanism has never been about killing Brits. If the likes of you really believe violence to be the only way forward, we really did hatch a monster.

  • aquifer

    Sectarian separatists and cultural chauvinists have stolen the term ‘republican’.

    They are traitors to the new Ireland that is, and that we alone have made.

    These small minded thugs, economic criminals, and ethnic opportunists make Cromwell look very respectable.

    Luckily, the persistence of loyalist sectarian murderers and extortionists make internment an equal opportunity for us all.

  • Alias

    “My opinion is those words and nothing else resulted in McGuinness being lauded by the Slugger judges panel.” – Mark McGregor

    I agree – and I stated as much at the time. It was the moment when the Shinners called anyone who opposed British sovereignty traitors to the Irish nation, making it explicit that it is the duty of the Irish nation to be loyal to the British state. It is not, of course, simply militant opposition to British rule that is wrong but political opposition to it too. How could it be otherwise when the words were uttered by a minister of the British state?

    So they were celebrating the moment when the leadership of NI ‘republicanism’ fully endorsed the British state, making its conversion from a party that formerly promoted the right to Irish national self-determination of members of the Irish nation in that part of the United Kingdom into a party that formally renounced it complete and final.

  • Danny O’Connor

    Yes Mark, all those deluded people who used to think that they could shoot and bomb their way to a united Ireland have finally realised just how wrong they were.

  • Danny O’Connor

    Eoin
    People got fed up with violence,all it was doing was condemning a new generation to the misery of the “long war”which would leave them either dead or in prison,they’re not great options, are they?

  • Mick Fealty

    What gets missed in this is a central dilemma that has confronted Irish Republicans for generations, but which Irish Republicans have seemed unwilling, or unable to find the means, to confront themselves.

    It’s perfectly tricked out in Barry Flynn’s excellent book on the 1950s campaign, “Soldiers of Folly”. That is that in taking up arms against the will of a feasibly large number of your would be fellow country men, you defeat the prime governing principle of ‘uniting Irishmen’.

    The reasons why this has remained unapproached (and possibly unapproachable) are too obvious (and perhaps too painful) to bear glib repetition here. But when you launch a military assault on British power in Northern Ireland the dead bodies you must crawl over to effect the liberation you want are almost all of them those of Irish men and women.

    And not just ‘Protestants’. The first three victims of the border campaign were all Catholics. The Ballycastle born policeman, who died before South and O’Hanlon, is the one whom popular history has found it most convenient to forget.

    That’s not an argument against armed struggle per se. But it seems to me that there is somewhere buried in McGuinness’s easy to parody or ridicule statement at the steps of Stormont Castle that day, a semi-formed, slightly inchoate recognition that killing non conformist Irishmen is not a viable way to the independence of the island.

  • Alias

    That’s all reasonable common sense, Mick, and it doesn’t take a historian to tell you that polarising Catholics and Protestants in an internal civil dispute is an odd way of uniting them. But then again, who was actually trying to unite Catholics and Protestants – or even trying to divide them? PIRA will tell you that they aimed their campaign at the British state, and even RIRA will tell you that since they targeted an installation of the British state and its soldiers (notwithstanding the convoluted logic that converted immigrant pizza delivery workers into a legitimate target) at Massereene Barracks rather than targeted a religious community. They will point out that the British state cannot be allowed to conflate itself with a religious community, hiding behind it and declaring that any attack on itself is actually an attack on that religious community.

    But the reality is that the British state has inextricably interlinked itself with that religious community, so that religious community is in fact a British nationalist community. It has always been that way in the majority. The GFA makes that explicit since it is the British state within Northern Ireland that is legitimised along with British nationality. Likewise, it isn’t a protestant community that has gained joint-sovereignty over institutions of the Irish state but the British state itself, so this ‘parity of esteem’ is not extended to another nation but to that other nation’s state. It is, however, presented as being parity between two nations – it is parity of esteem between two nationalisms. This is the British state conflating itself with a community in order to consolidate its sovereign territory and to expand it.

    The British-Irish Agreement is a treaty that imposes a legal obligation on the government in any unified entity to exercise the powers of the state with “rigorous impartiality” in regard to both British nationalism and Irish nationalism. That explicitly rules out Irish self-determination and an Irish nation-state since a government that is required to act with “rigorous impartiality” between two competing nationalisms cannot be partial to Irish nationalism, the default of the Irish nation-state (as a nationalism is the default of every state), or partial any aspect of Irish culture or national interest that conflicts with British national interests. In effect, the British nation will retain its state (Great Britain) while the Irish nation will forsake its nation-state. In reality, this would lead to a deadly civil war.

    As British nationalists in Northern Ireland, they require a British state in order to exercise their right to national self-determination. The Irish nationalists in Northern Ireland also require an Irish state in order to exercise their right to national self-determination. However, they have renounced that right, declaring that another nation has the right to veto it at its sole discretion in perpetuity. Indeed, even if the other nation decides to support a united Ireland under the terms specified in, it won’t involve the attainment of the right to national self-determination for the nation in NI that has formally renounced that right but rather it will involve the Irish nation in Ireland dismantling its own nation-state and declaring its own right national self-determination void – British state remains intact while the Irish state is dismantled.

    So this consolidation of the British state and of British citizenship that occurred in the GFA means that it is no longer presented that the objective is to unite two traditions of Orange and Green (but one nation) but rather it is now presented that there are two nations and that ‘parity of esteem’ between them requires the presence of the British state. The sleight of hand was to conflate a religious group with a tradition and then to conflate a tradition with a nation and then to conflate that nation with a state. Unity is not now about the extension of Irish rule into NI but about the extension of British rule into Ireland.

    So all this means that the Irish nation in NI is so utterly defeated – no longer even claiming to have a right to a nation-state – that the militants are engaged in a hopeless ask in asserting their own right to national self-determination by force – or, indeed, by political means. Ideologically, the self-determination is a collective right so individuals have no right to assert it by force. It is always owned by the collective so if that collective can be manipulated into renouncing that right… well, the right to self-determination includes the right to renounce the right to self-determination.

  • Alias

    [b]Continued[/b]

    The gameplan was to get them to endorse the sonstitutional legitimacy of Britsh sovereignty. Having been led to do that, they have accepted that the British state has a right to rule the Irish nation. And as a British minister of a British state pointed out after the British state was attacked at Massereene, any member of the Irish nation who does not accept the legitimacy of British sovereignty and who is not loyal to the British state is a traitor to the Irish nation.

  • Danny O’Connor

    Alias
    It is not another nation state exercising a veto,most are at best ambivalent,but a majority in this region.
    History proves that a significant minority cannot be subdued into acceptance as was shown during 50 years of Stormont rule and the troubles.What makes anyone think that Unionists would just lie down and roll over,when a majority would want to subsume them into a united Ireland .Let us start uniting our people street by street and town by town and then unity will be a realistic goal.

  • Alias

    Danny, I understand where you are coming from but if it quacks then it probably doesn’t belong in a kennel. If they were members of the Irish nation then they would not resist living in an Irish nation-state anymore than an Italian would demand that his country should be ruled by Mexico. They are British, not Irish. It is British culture and traditions that they identify with, not Irish culture and traditions, and it is a British state that they wish to live in.

    They wish to live within a British state because it is controlled by a British nation who use that state to live according to their own laws, customs, values, culture and traditions, etc. As Article 1 of the UN’s ICCPR puts it: “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

    Living within an Irish nation-state would cancel their right to self-determination, since the state would not be ordered to in accordance with their “cultural development” but in accordance with the “cultural development” of a different nation.

    A united Ireland, as it is envisaged by the British government in the GFA, involves the dismantling of the Irish nation-state and its replacement by an entity that gives parity of esteem to a different nation and its state, so is not about promoting Irish nationalism but about defeating it. Likewise, it is a not about granting the former Irish nationalists in NI the right to national self-determination that they have declared that they have no right to but it about encouraging the Irish nation to follow their British-led example and renounce their right to national self-determination too, declaring that another nation should have a veto over their “political status” and their ability to “freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

    So, while a British minister in a British state may declare that any member of the Irish nation who is not loyal to the British state should be regarded by that nation as a traitor, the actual definition of a traitor is any member of a nation who is not loyal to his own nation’s state but who declares himself loyal to another nation’s state.

    Anyway, I wish you the very best of luck as you go about the curious business of persuading members of the British nation that they should live within an Irish state and renounce their own validated right to self-determination. I suspect, however, that you will find that task a lot harder than the ease with which the British state persuaded you to renounce your own right to self-determination since you do not have the benefit of an entire political class and its media to successfully indoctrinate the other nation with the same self-defeating propaganda with which it successfully indoctrinated you.

  • Rory Carr

    While the Good Friday Agreement in itself did not give legitimacy to the words of Martin McGuinness quoted by Mark above the overwhelming endorsement given to that agreement in referenda in both jurisdictions in Ireland most certainly did.

    The whole of the Irish people when asked clearly stated their desire to move forward to whatever future they might peacefully negotiate or come to accept and rejected the use of physical force as a means to further any faction’s will.

    In that sense any group that rejects the will of the people and resorts to arms to further their political ends can be said in McGuinness’s words to be “traitors to the island of Ireland”.

    It would seem that McGuinness’s recent popular acclaim as manifested in success in awards by the Belfast Telegraph and Slugger would support that view. Of course if you don’t like it you could always take it to the people for discussion, but then that might not prove as exciting as firing off guns and blowing things up. Much too adult.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    That’s a hell of a challenge to throw down Alias. Any other takers?

  • Alias you seem to portray all of the events you describe as being the work of the devious Brits.

    Looking at it another way, however, the recognition of two nations in the island of Ireland is as much a consequence of the failure of Irish nationalism to come up with a convincing national narrative that makes the Prods unequivocally part of the Irish nation.

    The idea, for example, that the Plantation is a great injustice against Ireland clearly leaves no room for the descendants of the Plantation to be part of the nation. I use this example because when we look at English history, as a counterexample, we do not normally find historians saying that the Norman conquest or the Danelaw were injustices against England and we do find that the descendants of the Normans and Danes are assimilated into the English nation.

  • Turgon

    Alias makes a good point but I would disagree with one point which in my view flaws the whole analysis. That is this sentence:

    “But the reality is that the British state has inextricably interlinked itself with that religious community, so that religious community is in fact a British nationalist community”

    The British state has not done this. We the unionist population feel and are this. I strongly suspect that on a number of occasions the British state would have happily agreed to a united Ireland (Churchill during the war being simply one example).

    Alias is of course correct that such has been the IRA’s campaign of murder that very many members of the unionist community (British community /Prods / whatever one wishes to call them) will never feel Irish in the way the republican movement wish them to. Indeed as I suggested a number of years ago the republican movement has absolutely no concept of even beginning to do this. Their persistence with idiotically old fashioned and now functionally irrelevant comments like “Protestants Catholic and Dissenters” being only one example.

    The fact remains that the IRA has been the most effective mechanism to make many unionists of my generation reject any manifestation of Irishness. The fact that Dr. Paisley was willing to call himself Irish, yet younger unionist politicians simply will not, is itself emblematic of this.

    The simple fact is that the IRA also targeted Protestants for their being members of that community (British community if you will). I do not want this to descend to whataboutery but the simple fact is that many unionist families (especially in the border areas) personally knew people who were murdered by the IRA solely and purely for being Protestants.

    Hence, not only is Adams and McGuinness’s legacy to this island the loss of thousands of its citizens but also the loss of any chance that many of my generation can see themselves as Irish and clearly my children will be brought up in an environment in which they too may well unconditionally reject Irishness.

    I cannot pretend any regret about this but I suspect Adams and McGuinness have few regrets either: they have their power and money and influence to tend and my neighbours and in laws have their graves to tend.

  • Democrat

    Alias wrote:”while a British minister in a British state may declare that any member of the Irish nation who is not loyal to the British state should be regarded by that nation as a traitor…”
    Distortion. M McG did not denounce all nationalists and republicans. He denounced those who commit murders. I agree with him whole-heartedly, even though my political outlook is very different from his. What we have in common is our respect for democracy and for human rights.

    I have no desire to live in a united nationalist republic of Ireland. I prefer to live in secular Britain, rather than in Catholic Ireland. I am also glad that Britain subsidises the NI economy and thereby enables us to have good public services and a reasonable standard of living. No doubt I lack that strong sense of national identity which others find so appealing – Irgun, the Taliban, Germans of the 1930s, etc – but it does mean that I accept democratic decisions and make a point of not murdering people that I do not agree with.

    What is it about democracy that Alias and the Die-Hards cannot understand?

  • Fabianus

    Democrat,

    “What we [M McG and I] have in common is our respect for democracy and for human rights.”

    I like to think he has. I suspect Turgon believes that certain men cannot change. I differ. Many of us change a great deal in the course of a lifetime. McGuinness is a grandfather and reaching the end of his career if not his life. I detect genuine change in him.

    Has he regrets? A rhetorical question; all of us have. He no doubt regrets that the Republican dream of a UI is unlikely to be realised in his lifetime. I do hope he regrets the loss of life and untold misery the pursuit of that dream by violent means left in its train.

  • Democrat

    Alias wrote: “The Irish nationalists in Northern Ireland also require an Irish state in order to exercise their right to national self-determination. However, they have renounced that right, declaring that another nation has the right to veto it at its sole discretion in perpetuity.”

    “In perpetuity?” Nonsense. When there is a democratic majority in favour of union with the RoI, then political negotiations will begin.

    However, since the minority who favour submerging the NI state in the Catholic theocracy of the RoI is shrinking all the time, I cannot see that there will be any democratic mandate for union for years to come. Indeed, since the Catholic church seems on the point of collapse and the economy of the South is in free fall, there may be more likelihood of the RoI seeking reunion with Britain, helping them to achieve the secular state and the economic stability which many of the citizens there desperately want.

  • Danny O’Connor

    What is being missed is the word SELF determination,just because it suits Unionists today to choose Britishness,it does not mean that if circumstances were different the SELF might be for something different.
    The challenge is to create those circumstances where Unionists who currently deny their Irishness can be more comfortable with it-even in something as simple as supporting the Irish rugby team,without any feeling of being unwelcome.

  • Turgon

    Guest,
    You have just said that it is for unionism to decide on its Irishness. Now that seems at first glance genuine and progressive.

    However, what you do not allow unionists (or indeed nationalists) to decide on is their responsibility for the past. In comment 6 above you state “.We have always considered past failures to be the failures of all Irish people/Irish and Irish/british people.the responsibility lies with us.”

    Now there is a major logical disconnect there. You permit me to decide that I am not Irish yet you define me as responsible in part for the violence of the past.

    Of course you are correct that some who may wish they were not guilty actually are: a number of names spring rapidly to mind. However, for those of us, unionist or nationalist who were never involved in violence and never supported it the simple fact remain that we were not and are not responsible.

  • Rory Carr

    That’s all right, Turgon, relax. We’re all guilty except you. However I’m about to get meself washed in the Blood of the Lamb and I’ll then be as innocent as a newborn babe. Well, more innocent in fact as I wil be free of original sin as well as anything else that I may or may not have done over the last six decades or so.

    Of course I don’t expect ever to be quite as innocent as yourself so your title as champion of innocence remains undisputed as ever. But, still, it will be fun being able to join you in pointing the finger at all the other guilty parties from the high moral ground of our own purity.

  • Turgon

    Rory Carr,

    Now I did not say everyone was guilty except me. That is of course the opposite of what I said. What I said is that everyone is innocent except the ones who are actually guilty.

    Not that you and the truth have ever had much kinship.

    If you are guilty of any crimes of the Troubles (or any others) that is for you. Unfortunately for you I along with the vast majority of people in NI am innocent.

  • Eoin

    I Quote Democrat:I have no desire to live in a united nationalist republic of Ireland. I prefer to live in secular Britain, rather than in Catholic Ireland.

    Can i put this question to you ‘Democrat’?

    What is so scary about a 32 County Republic of Ireland?

    You claim it would be a Catholic Ireland. I shall quote the 1916 Easter Proclamation of the Irish Republic:
    ‘The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of it’s parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally’

    Irish Republicans, true Irish Republicans believe in Religious freedom. No Protestant would be discriminated in favour of a Catholic. The Irish Civil rights campaign of 1968-72 was so that Catholics could obtain the civil rights denied by the Protestant people. We know, only too well what religious discrimination does to families and communities, which is why as a Republican, I am determined to see the destruction of such bigotry.
    The Republic of Ireland (32 Counties) would not be a Catholic State, serving Rome: It would be a nation with the population predominately Catholic, but with no official affiliation with the Catholic Church.

    You have nothing to fear. ‘Come, follow me’

  • Fabianus

    Rory,

    You’re being very hard on Turgon. If he tells me he’s innocent of any wrongdoing then I’ll take him at his word. So should you.

    Many of us in Northern Ireland are equally innocent. I for my part had no hand in violence, never even glassed a chap in a pub.

    To follow your reasoning to its logical conclusion would be to accuse all Iraqis born before 1993 of being complicit with Saddam Hussein and his foul regime. We know that’s quite untrue, just as we know that many Iraqis have blood on their hands.

  • Turgon

    Fabianus,
    Thanks you for that.

    Eoin,
    In the current climate I do not think that you are on very strong ground arguing that the 1916 proclamation had much validity in creating a secular state.

    The reality of the outworking of the RoI from its inception until the extremely recent past hardly gives one cause for anything other than terror. That is especially so if one was a Catholic child in the Dublin archdiocese.

    As to the discrimination in NI yes it was completely unacceptable and indeed Catholics were not properly treated in NI prior to 1972. Stormont fell in 1972. Tell me which rights do Catholics not have which I currently enjoy?

    On the topic of the RoI it does seem worryingly that Home Rule was remarkably close to Rome Rule. The only thing I would disagree with is that I do not think Rome can be blamed for not sorting out the ghastly mess the Irish Catholic Church managed to make in the RoI, colluded with as it was by the Gardai, the state and its institutions.

    With the tongue in cheek might I suggest that maybe the B specials helped save the innocence of some Catholic children?

  • Eoin

    Turgon
    On that grounds, you may suggest that the B-Specials, as bigoted and sectarian as they were, may have protected some children, either Catholic or Protestant from Clerical abuse, but that was (if indeed true) not out of love for Catholics, but simply because they would have taken any opportunity to shame the Catholic Church.

    If that was true, the B-Specials certainly did a good deed, but that will always be overshadowed by their disgusting brutality on many innocent civilians in the north.

    The Proclamation of Ireland, 1916, is relevant, as it applies (in theory) to the inevitable Republic. We all know promises are not always kept, and indeed that was demonstrated by the institutional abuse in the Free State.

    Can I point out, that in recent weeks, the Fianna Fail government announced major cuts in funding for Protestant schools in the south (non-parallel with Catholic schools) which does defy the proclamation. Sinn Féin immediately rejected this decision and have subsequently campaigned against the implementation.
    Republicans do not wish to discriminate against any community.
    Quote
    ‘As to the discrimination in NI yes it was completely unacceptable and indeed Catholics were not properly treated in NI prior to 1972. Stormont fell in 1972. Tell me which rights do Catholics not have which I currently enjoy?’

    Are you under the belief that civil rights magically appeared in 1972? On 30th January 1972 the British Army shot 27 innocent civilians, murdering 14, who were marching for civil rights. Internment was introduced later that year; on the first day of internment 99% of men illegally detained were Catholic. That was no co-incidence.

    It was not until 1998 when, under the Good Friday Agreement, Catholics obtained equal opportunity and full civil rights. This came in the form of the equality commission and other bodies established.

  • Turgon

    Eoin,
    Now since you have started the whataboutery, I find this comment fascinating:

    “Republicans do not wish to discriminate against any community.”

    Tell me was it that commitment to not discriminating against Protestants which led to the murders in Darkely? Or maybe the murder of my father in law’s friend Douglas Deering the last Protestant shop keeper in Rosslea?

    To suggest that equal opportunity was gained in 1998 is interesting. I seem to recall that the Patten Report in 1999 ended any such Nirvana as it enforced state sponsored discrimination (against Protestants). Incidentally even that was not enough for Martina Anderson as there was the danger that the PSNI might employ the wrong sort of Catholics. Anderson’s comments demonstrate (not that any such demonstration is needed in view of the Troubles) that republicanism as practised by Sinn Fein is irremediably sectarian: violently and murderously so.

  • I do not feel Mark’s statement has anything to do with taking up arms, or the legitimacy, or not of those who do. What it is about is Martin McG turning to the armed forces of the British State to solve a political problem he disagrees with.

    It is quiet legitimate, indeed given the political situation, sensible for Irish Republicans to venture forth without arms, what in my judgement is not legitimate for a republican, is to ask the British government to smooth his path, let alone do there bidding.

    However, if McG sees his main function as being a Government minister of the Crown, he is quite in order to call the police and security forces to come down hard on the enemies of the UK state.

    SF ministers like Mr McG on entering the Stormont administration have always denied that is what they are. They have claimed still to be Irish Republicans, who have decided to hold ministerial office, from where they will continue more effectively their fight against the best interest of the crown. If this is so, it is at the very least crass hypocrisy to come to the Crowns defense when its servants came under attack.

    That at such a time, Mr McG stepped up to plate alongside the PSNI can only be interpreted as defending the UK State he once swore an oath to destroy. It is impossible to interpret this in any other way, no matter what gymnastics went on in Mr McG head. That he chose to make this controversial and unnecessary statement, unlike other shinner’s at the time, and refused to go down with a diplomatic dose of the flue, to my mind reinforces this.

  • ‘Nations’ are not primordial entities but synthetic and man-made perceptions of community, arising out of the material transmission of cultural and linguistic norms, facilitated by geographical contingencies such as natural borders and the development of state or other entities with the capacity to connect disparate group of people, and reinforced by ahistorical ideological nationalism. With that in mind we should stop arguing, accept that there is no a priori reason ‘nation’ and ‘state’ should be congruent and set about building a state where we can all feel comfortable and focus on important issues.

  • Democrat

    Concerning a 32 county republic, Eoin wrote:”You claim it would be a Catholic Ireland. I shall quote the 1916 Easter Proclamation of the Irish Republic:..” etc.

    Ireland turned into a Catholic state as soon as it got its independence. Catholic social policies became the law of the land. Divorce, contraception, education, the health service, .. the lot. In 1924 the law on divorce was changed from secular British law to suit Catholic dogma. So much for the idealistic propaganda in the Proclamation! So much hot air! The reality was exactly as the unionists had foretold – Home Rule was Rome Rule. And it still is. Compensation payments following the abuse cases? 10% to be paid by the Catholic church. 90% to be paid by the State. Catholic hierarchy found guilty of covering up paedophile rapists – no criminal charges as yet!

    No thanks. I prefer the secular British state to any colony of the Vatican empire.

  • Fabianus

    Democrat,

    Good man. Hard to argue with any of that. I’ve said elsewhere that the bishops who moved criminals from parish to parish were accessories to very serious crimes. The day the Gardai start bringing them in for questioning is the day I’ll start believing that the Republic is, as you so rightly put it, a colony of the Vatican empire.

    Me, I’d rather have my testicles cauterised by a mad nun than join the flawed nation south of the border. One could just as well team up with a Middle Eastern religious state such as Saudi Arabia. At least one could benefit from the oil wealth.

  • regimental 1912

    Eoin,your comments re the welcome to all without discrimination in the South of Northern Ireland is completely without foundation.Since its conception it has ethnicaly cleansed vast areas under its juristiction of protestants and is doing so at this present time,it also and still does give shelter to those who were responsible for cleansing the border area of Protestants,we all hear of the down trodden catholics,what about the people of Rasharkin,Dunloy and many other villages who have been hounded out,some of them well into pension age,their only crime being a protestant,I beleive in democracy and if the majority vote for a united Ireland I will have choices to make,stay or go,or is there a third,take up the gun and the bomb for 40 years and murder innocent women and children,be responsible for the deaths of 10 prisoners (hunger strikers),call a few ceasefires,get invited to peace talks,betray the people who followed me and get a cushy well paid job.Sounds good to me.The only way that there will be a united Ireland is if Her Majesty decides to take back the South an the name of child protection.

  • Fabianus

    reg 1912,

    “The only way that there will be a united Ireland is if Her Majesty decides to take back the South an the name of child protection.”

    LOL. Keep going. This I like!

  • Eoin

    reg 1912:
    “The only way that there will be a united Ireland is if Her Majesty decides to take back the South an the name of child protection.”

    What makes you think the Monarch of the British Empire has such authority? She is merely a figurehead. Furthermore, you statement is untrue: Through Democratic Referendum, as reiterated in the Good Friday Agreement.

    The Nationalist population is increasing and has been at a rate far greater than that of the Unionist community. The 2011 census will show the ‘gap’ has closed further.

    ‘The sun is setting on the British Empire’

    I once more ask those that criticise Sinn Féin’s involvement in ‘British Institutions’ as an abandonment of Republicanism, to explore the fabric of Republican ideology.

    In 1927, Fianna Fail, the anti-treaty movement, under the leadership of Eamon De Valera, took office in a British institution ie/ The Free State. This occurred after a civil war, in which the pro-British forces fought the IRA (anti-treaty force) and after a ceasefire, the military opposition decided to pursue a political strategy. In approximately 20 years, Éire was declared a Republic and had complete sovereignty.

    Deja vu?

    Irish Republicanism must be pragmatic. We have fought a long and brutal conflict and have actively sought an end to such a situation. Can Sinn Féin not receive commendation for their truly admirable step towards political development?

  • Mark McGregor

    I’m loath to interrupt such a good conversation but will clarify my blog had nothing to do with supporting current armed struggle – I don’t.

    However, I think a former protagonist/militarist like McGuinness declaring armed struggle treachery is a major event.

    SF stating attacking British troops and/or policemen is treason against Ireland finally moves them fully into the constitutional camp and legitimising British control of a part of Ireland.

    SF left Irish republicanism behind with those few words – it was a major moment in Irish history.

  • RepublicanStones

    The British state has not done this.

    The British state did indeed do this Turgon. From the plantation right through the ‘free hand’ given from 1921/22 until 1972 and beyond. Of course this was also reinforced with unionisms unqualified support for british armed forces and their blatant and not so blatant murders.

    ..will never feel Irish in the way the republican movement wish them to.

    Pause for a moment Turgon and apply that to British armed forces history in Ireland (which long predates the IRA).

  • Fabianus

    “The 2011 census will show the ‘gap’ has closed further.”

    Aha. Now I understand Guest’s closure of the gaps between his sentences. It’s symbolic 😉

  • regimental 1912

    My dear Eoin if the members of the PUL community follow the lead of the illustrious freedom fighters of that well known peaceful republican institution that eventually seen sense and surrendered,namely the Provies then it makes no difference re the nationalist population as they may merely exterminate them to keep the numbers down.I must take umbrage with your definition of a nationalist,as this part of the Island is Northern Ireland,which is aligned and under the juristiction of the British Establishment,of which Gerry and Martin are now openly paid up members to,does this mean that the nationalist community are in support of being part of the Uk,what happened to not a bullet not an ounce,we will never stop the campaign until all British elements are removed from the North,bull,they got their asses whipped had had no other choice than to sell out their well duped supporters and try the path of democracy.What has been achieved with all the needless deaths other than get Gerry and Matin @co nice holiday homes and well paid BRITISH jobs.Once again on the nationalist population,it has been known for a while where the nationalist brains are on the tip of their reproductive organs and also the roman catholic clergy weighing in with a few offsprings.

  • Eoin

    ‘ SF left Irish republicanism behind with those few words – it was a major moment in Irish history. ‘

    I beg Mr McGregor, that you research republicanism.

    A republic can be created through military revolution or political revolution.

    After 40 years of attempts to create a republic through an armed campaign, Sinn Féin and the overwhelming majority of the Republican community have accepted political revolution represents the only hope for Irish Republicanism..

    ..in 1927, Eamon DeValera realised this, and swore an oath to the Crown and entered the Free State government to achieve his goal- a republic. In 1949, the Irish Republic separated from the British Empire.

    Sinn Féin have done the same.

  • Turgon

    Guest,
    Your position seems to have changed. Are you now telling us that the “responsibility” of which you write is that of the republicans? That is different from the idea that it was the “failures of all Irish people/Irish and Irish/british people”

    As to your suggestion that: “I believe profoundly that republicanism is doing what is necessary to rid itself of the maladies that leach themselves to any philosophy.”

    The problem is that it is not for republicanism alone to self congratulate itself on ridding itself of any maladies. Instead it is at least in part for non republicans (including the victims of republicans: Unionist, nationalist, British and Irish) to tell republicans of their maladies and how to rid themselves of them.

    It is not for the guilty party to change a little in its own eyes and then demand that those whom their crimes were against accept the changes. By the same token it was not for the NI state to tinker with its processes and then demand that nationalists give allegiance to NI. The Orange state is long gone: the moral duplicity, support for and justification of murder by republicans are still there.

    You are pretending some for of “unionist outreach.” However, like all outreachers before you, you tell us that you have changed and we should see that. In reality we do not feel you have changed. Your murderers were defeated and largely gave up: good (except of course for the murderers of Messrs. McCartney and Quinn). However, the same ideology which drove those sectarian murderers is still nakedly on display. Martina Anderson’s comments about the wrong sort of Catholics are only one example; another is the endless republican commemorations of murderers and lauding those who decided to kill themselves. Republicanism in the SF tradition is irremediably sectarian and wedded just as irremediably to a violent blood lust and criminality which seems to be its major defining characteristic.

    Eoin,
    I see you have given up trying to persuade us into your 32 county secular paradise: maybe just a few too many paedophiles lurking about there and are back to the demographics to gain your state. Forgive me if I find that recourse to sectarian headcount amusing when just a few posts ago you stated: “You have nothing to fear. ‘Come, follow me’ “

    You will forgive unionists (well you will not actually) if they regard your protestations that we have nothing to fear and of the secular nature of your new state in a somewhat jaundiced fashion considering how you propose to achieve it.

    As to nothing to fear: well not unless you disagree with Adams; nurse a dying young man; go to a Protestant church; own a shop; cross any republican; attend a remembrance service; be an Australian holiday maker or do anything else for that matter. I think if you are the parent of a young child there is also quite a lot to fear.

  • Mark McGregor

    Eoin,

    ‘Political revolution’….that gave me a laugh. A revolution under Unionist control. How is it going? The 11+, the ILA, workers rights? Some revolution – the Brits gave more when in direct control than SF are managing with their ‘political revolution’

  • Eoin

    What i find hard to believe, is why unionists have such loyalty to a government that has openly expressed the 6 counties no longer serve the needs of the British Population.
    ‘We have no further political, economic or strategic need for Northern Ireland’

    I think unionists should wake up and smell the coffee. Unionists live on this false belief that they are loved and the priority of the British Monarchy and her Government.

    You should take comfort from the truth, which is Republicans welcome Protestants and unionists to a 32 county state.

    As for the statement regarding the clerical abuse, which is downright appalling.
    Turgon:
    ‘I think if you are the parent of a young child there is also quite a lot to fear.’

    The Murphy report has ensured nothing of the sort will happen EVER again.

  • Eoin

    Quote:

    ‘Political revolution’….that gave me a laugh. A revolution under Unionist control. How is it going? The 11+, the ILA, workers rights? Some revolution – the Brits gave more when in direct control than SF are managing with their ‘political revolution’

    Unionist control? Are you actually serious?

    Do you understand the term ‘mandatory power-sharing’?

    What i find funny, is the fact a IRA OC Volunteer who left school at 15 is the Joint First Minister. That is correct-IRA/Sinn Féin have a veto on every Unionist proposition.

    Who says terrorism gets you nowhere?

  • Turgon

    Guest,
    I think you may be making progress though I am afraid the syntax makes it a bit hard to understand what you are saying. I know that all may sound patronising but actually I do mean it. However, you state “I have said that the responsibility lies with all of us”

    It simply does not. I bear no responsibility for the murders here, nor do most nationalists. Just as an innocent priest cannot be fairly tarred with the paedophile brush because some priests were perverts. If you personally committed no violence and opposed it then you have noting to apologise for in terms of the Troubles. It is as simple as that.

    I see that you are sorry for everyone who died. Indeed I agree. I am sorry it ever happened. I said a long time ago and still feel that if unionists accepting a united Ireland would have avoided the deaths I would have supported it. Now I do not believe that would have avoided violence and I must admit that the recent paedophile thing makes me even more glad I am not in the RoI. However, I do not think that anything which has been won or lost here in NI in the last fifty years was worth a single human life.

    I do think that nationalists and republicans do need to understand that most unionists even those who support the current arrangements will never accept SF’s bone fides: not whilst they contain those who murdered their kith and kin.

    I know a number of slightly older than me unionists who argue convincingly that but for the IRA campaign there might well have been a united Ireland. Many younger unionists like myself seem more opposed to a UI than them and I think it is very possible that we will pass that opposition on to our children. That is one of the legacies of Adams, McGuinness et al: the copper fastening of unionists’ views; that and the graves across our churchyards. I suspect, however, that with their positions of power Adams, McGuiness and the rest do not really care. People who were willing to climb over the bodies of their comrades; tricking them into a horrible death by suicide to launch their political careers are unlikely to care much about increasing division.

  • Turgon

    Eoin,
    “The Murphy report has ensured nothing of the sort will happen EVER again.”

    I am sorry but I simply do not accept that. Which priests have been arrested, prosecuted and gaoled? Which bishops have had the same for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice / withholding information etc.? Which Gardai members have been prosecuted for the same?

    Considering the sheer scale of the abuse it is inconceivable that members of the Irish establishment, government and judiciary did not know what was happening; some most likely were abused and what did they do? Nothing.

    I am sorry but to say that one report means it will never happen again is unbelievable naivety. In addition even if it were true I suspect you can see why as the parent of two young boys I would not willingly allow them to grow up under a state which seemed to connive and tolerate such systematic and monstrous perversion.

    Just as the IRA murdered their way away from a united Ireland; some of Ireland’s priests seem to have abused their way in the same direction.

  • Fabianus

    Guest,

    Pay no attention to my last post. That was simply me being silly. No offence meant and I hope none taken.

  • Fabianus

    Eoin,

    “What i find hard to believe, is why unionists have such loyalty to a government that has openly expressed the 6 counties no longer serve the needs of the British Population.”

    I have no loyalty to governments. You think I feel any loyalty to the like of Tony Blair? I do, however, have loyalty to my nation, and that is the British nation. I’m actually quite proud to belong to it. I like its secular nature, its intolerance of child rapists and the clerics who aid and abet them.

    I know I keep on returning to that last, but until the Irish get their act together and move against the dog-collared criminals in their midst they will continue to alienate themselves from me and so many others.

  • Fabianus

    Guest,

    That’s very interesting stuff. Many thanks for the heads-up. I’ll certainly read it at my leisure.

    I can’t really comment on it here as I’ve no wish to disrupt the thread. One item caught my attention however.

    According to the CEP various powers now held by the UK would be devolved to an English parliament. They list defence among “reserved” matters, i.e. stuff that England could not and should not engage in alone.

    But how would this work? They tell me the whole of the UK is prosecuting a war in Afghanistan because of the terrorist threat to Britain. Fair enough, but leaving aside that botched bombing of Glasgow airport by the mad medics, isn’t it England that’s at most risk? So in the event of a devolved English parliament, how would that work if, say, Wales was threatened instead?

    But as I say those are matters for another day and another thread.

  • Democrat

    Eoin wrote:”You should take comfort from the truth, which is Republicans welcome Protestants and unionists to a 32 county state.”

    Even more jam tomorrow! The Republic that you are so proud of, Eoin, has had 80 years to create the pluralist secular state which you say “welcomes” non-Catholics. 80 years. And what have we got? What really exists now (as distinct from your idealistic hand-waving gestures)? A deeply Catholic state which in its recent introduction of a blasphemy law (????!!!) shows that it has zero understanding of the principles of secularism. A Catholic state which exports its rape victims to the UK for abortions (after prolonging the agony by preventing victims from leaving the country).

    Why would any unionist listen to your tales of an imaginary secular 32-county republic when we have seen the reality of Catholic control for the last 80 years? Catch yourself on!

    The decent thing to do, after all the murders and bombings which were intended to drive us into a 32-county chaos by brute force, is for republicans to go away and create a 26-county pluralist secular republic and then INVITE the North to join it. Don’t give us any more froth about secular pie in the sky and the 1916 Fenian Fantasy, etc. Just do it. Make a secular 26-county republic and then you will have some evidence of your good intentions that we can believe.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    It would be a good year if it is the last year that anyone died for Ireland/Northern Ireland/Britain.

    With the knowledge/education that most of us have, are any of the above entities worth a single human being dying or even being seriously injured for.

    Too many are willing to fight to the last drop of some one elses blood.

    Is any of it worth your own life or the life of one of your own children. If you are not willing to sacrifice yourself or your children then please refrain from Sabre Rattling.

  • Nic01

    Seems a bit pointless to be commenter no 77, but what the hey. At the risk of repeating what’s already been said in the previous 76 posts and referring to Mark’s opening contribution, I would like to note the following…

    The dissidents were contravening the IRA Army Council diktat not to pursue military operations at the present time. And since in Sinn Fein philosophy the IRA Army Council is the de jure government of the island of Ireland, McGuiness’ statement was absolutely logical, consistent and not at all remarkable. I would have hoped the navel gazers expounding at length here would have grasped that simple fact, but it seems we’re still in love with constructive ambiguity around these parts.

    As others have pointed out, resistance to British rule can take many forms, not just booby trapping and sniping. Currently, IRA “influenced” areas particularly in Norn-Iron but also to an extent in the costa provo in Donegal and Ferris controlled North Kerry are engaging in passive aggressive non-compliance, non-engagement and non-cooperation with authority to undermine the ruling state. Preferring to submit instead to republican established “community” bodies and justice. This parallel, de facto ruling system is the festering sore which will continue to exacerbate mistrust, segregation and sectarianism in particular in Northern Ireland.

    So while the commentariat continue to write books, articles and generally congratulate themselves that the IRA has decided it was no longer convenient to booby trap and snipe, the real world moves on and the crucial battle for the hearts and minds, not necessarily of the unionist, but of the catholic, man united following, xfactor watching working joe is being lost. To those with influence who care about that I say: get up off yer arses and started countering the romanticists or condemn another generation to insular, regressive stasis.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Guest said

    “the logic of your argument is that the IRA had the right to claim that they were right,or leastways that they had the right to sabre rattle.I belive that this is wrong.”

    I believe that the logic of my argument is that life experience/events/education and some interaction with those of differnt opinions than my own have convinced me that none of the entities of Ireland/Britain/Northern Ireland are worth the lives of myself or any of my children or the lives of any one else or their children.

    I have not always held these views but what is the point of getting older if one is not getting smarter.

  • Chuck Loyola

    Democrat

    So living in “secular Britain” is much better than the “Catholic theocracy” that is Ireland?

    Might you be able to tell me in which state there is an Established church? And in which state the head of state is always the head of same church? And in which state the Prime Minister may not profess a certain religion? And which state has 26 bishops in its Upper House?

    Ireland has already had two Protestant presidents in its short existence (two and a half if you count Mary Robinson). I eagerly await the next Catholic King of England. Protestants occupy many top positions in Irish public life in gross disproportion to their small population (the current DPP and many of the judiciary for example). Indeed four of the “Big Five” law firms in Dublin were founded by Protestants and continue to expound a Protestant ethos, with many Protestant partners (although thankfully they now admit Catholics).

  • Turgon

    Guest,
    Republicans could begin by specifically apologising for all the murders they committed. They could state to the absolute best of their knowledge who committed each murder. Here in Fermanagh we could be told who planned, made, planted etc. the Enniskillen bomb and the same for the failed one at Tullyhommon. They could tell us who murdered each of the people they murdered here; why each Protestant family forced out was forced out etc.

    Yes that would be difficult, yes it would involve pain it might involvement imprisonment but it would be the very beginnings of showing to unionists that republicans were serious.

    From where I was brought up the same could be done about Claudy and all the other atrocities. In addition I would like the collusion between the RoI state and the IRA to be fully admitted to.

    Now that may be whataboutery and nationalists can legitimately point to loyalist murders. I for one would like to hear about who committed various loyalist murders. In addition I would have no problem hearing about collusion by the British state. However, the point is you asked what unionists might ask of republicans and initially a full and frank admission of the who, what, why, when and where of the murder campaign would be beneficial.

    In no way, however, should republicans expect that such revelations would bring them closer to a united Ireland; I suspect they would lessen the chances of such. For many (?most) of my generation there is absolutely nothing republicans could ever do to make me want a united Ireland or feel even remotely Irish. Republicans destroyed that with every single murder. In addition realistically unless my children reject everything we teach them (which is entirely their right) they will be brought up to regard themselves as British and not remotely Irish.

    What such from republicans would do is begin (and only begin) to make unionists think about trusting republicans when they say they want to rid themselves of their maladies.

    I am sorry but for republicans of your generation you might get a united Ireland by demographics (thought I doubt it) but you will never get an Ireland in which the unionist / British / Protestant population feel united to your state. That is the poisoned legacy which in large measure Adams, McGuinness, Kelly and the rest have handed to you. I sort of feel sorry for you if you truly want a united people. However, I am afraid I feel more sorry for my neighbours and in laws with their graves to tend and the empty spaces around the table this Christmas.

    You did ask and that would still leave our overwhelming reservations about the nature of the RoI; reservations which have massively increased in the last few weeks for obvious reasons.

  • Turgon

    Guest,
    You asked me what I thought republicans could do to rid themselves of their maladies. I told you. Had you not wanted my opinion on the matter you should not have asked for it.

  • georgieleigh

    It’s all fine and well saying we’re British and Irish and whatever.

    Already those terms mean different things to different people.

    British: a Sudanese asylum-seeker with a new UK passport living in a Plaistow hostel.

    Irish: claimed Cindy McCain during the US Presidential election.

    And God knows who will claim what in 20 years time.

    Change is certain.

  • Alias

    Aldamir, you miss the point of the Plantations: to plant a [i]different[/i] nation within the state. Massive confiscations of land by the British state from the indigenous nation and the importation of three other nations to whom the confiscated land was granted tends not to be done by that state to promote peace and harmony between all four nations but tends, rather obviously, to have the opposite outcome. The Plantations and the Penal Laws resulted in – go figure – mass uprisings by the displaced and disenfranchised nation against the state that had displaced and disenfranchised them.

    How could the imported nations have asked redemption from the aggrieved nation? Perhaps by petitioning the British state to return the land to that nation that was stolen from them or by demanding the repeal of the Penal Laws? Perhaps by I wonder why they didn’t like that option? Perhaps it was because they rather enjoyed being a privileged social class and the bonus packages of free land weren’t too bad either?

    There could never be reconciliation between Catholics and Protestants here because the latter group were promoted by the British state while the former group were discriminated against by that state. The gains of the latter group came at the direct expense of the losses of the former group. This was zero-sum engineering where one group advanced by being loyal to the British state and the other group was only there to enrich the Protestant Ascendancy.

    Indeed, why would the imported nations ever want to ‘turn native’ and thereby receive the suffering that was inflicted on the indigenous nation by the British state? It was only when nations could no longer be put to the sword at the whim of monarchs did some Protestants look at what their state had done to the Irish nation and begin to say that this was a great injustice upon another nation.

    But that was then and this is now…

    We now have this connection between religion and nationhood, such that most Protestants are Unionists and most Catholics are Nationalists. I take the view that if they are loyal to the British state then they are British. Obviously, British is a nation that is comprised of members of other nations, but they can get around that by declaring themselves Ulstermen or Northern Irish. That’s fine by me since neither label makes the claim that an Irishman is someone who is loyal to a foreign state. It is an invention of the British state that another nation should be loyal to the state of the nation that has colonised it.

    In regard to unity between these two nations of Irish and British: why? I have no intention of ever voting for two nations to compete for control of one state, nor do I have any intention of colluding with any sinister and repugnant attempt to commit cultural genocide against either nation by attempting to engineer those two distinct and great nations into one. The proper function of the state is to protect and to promote the culture of the nation – not to engineer its destruction. Any government that attempted this in earnest (and the Irish state is getting dangerously close to this agenda by stealth) should be destroyed by the nation it seeks to betray.

    My view is that if Unionists don’t want to live within an Irish nation-state then I’m not going to force them to. To be honest, who wants them? Nobody I know has ever expressed the view to me that they simply cannot live as a nation without this group among them. That is not to disparage Unionists – it is just to express the view that most of us in Ireland couldn’t care less about unity. Under international law, no nation is entitled to two states.

    As Great Britain will continue to exist independently of Northern Ireland, the claim of the British nation in that territory to self-determination would not be removed if Northern Ireland ceased to exist. The exercise of that right would be removed however. But if they felt they couldn’t live without the exercise of self-determination then they have the option of living within Great Britain. So morally and legally they have no right to the territory of Northern Ireland (in my view but not in the view of the overwhelming majorities in two sovereign jurisdictions obviously) but they do have the benefit of being a rather large and unmanageable number, so if they want a separate state on the island of Ireland in which to have a second ‘homeland’ and exercise their right to self-determination then they can have it. My agenda is a fair repartition and nothing more.

    Turgon, I think this post to Aldamir also addresses your post, so we may have to disagree about why most Protestants are Unionists and not Irish nationalists.

  • Democrat

    Alas Alias,

    All your talk about nations is only a short step away from racism. No doubt you think of yourself as a pure specimen of the nation – why not declare yourself a pure specimen of your race while you are at it? And denounce all us mongrels in terms of nations and races as outsiders and inferior to the Chosen People.

    Your history is so much bunk too. Claptrap on a foundation of claptrap. The Plantation was simply an attempt by Britain to solve the problem of a dangerous traitor at its back. When England (later Britain) turned Protestant in 1530, it was threatened by a Catholic country at its back. The Protestant revolution was insecure and in danger of following in the footsteps of the Cathars who had rebelled against the Vatican earlier and been exterminated. So Catholic Ireland, which was allied to England’s enemies, France and Spain, as was shown clearly during the Spanish attack in 1588, had to be rendered safe – hence the attempt to Protestantise the Irish and to seed the country with Protestant settlers. Nothing personal, just a by-product of the Wars of Religion which ravaged all of Europe for much of 300 years.

    I am glad there was a Protestant revolution. I do not believe any religious mythology myself, but I see the Vatican empire as a far greater threat to secularism and free thought than the civic society which Protestantism produced. The Vatican empire has been a huge obstacle to the advance of enlightenment and progress – and it still is. It is on a par with Islam. You can work out who are the equivalent of the Taliban for yourself.

  • Nic01

    Guest, please don’t (maliciously or otherwise) misrepresent what I wrote.

    In case you really don’t get it, let me be clear: there is no fight for Irish independence, since Ireland is already as contentedly independent as can reasonably be expected in a small open economy in an open trade world.
    Flag-waving, ballad-singing nationalism is no longer relevant outside of Sky Sports and the eurovision. The only “fight” is a woolly romantic one in the heads of those that lost the booby trap and sniper campaign.
    Which is hardly the previous experience and expertise to recommend one for the job of leading a community into a future of peace, integration and prosperity, now is it? And what do you get when you appoint people to positions of responsibility who are wholly unsuited to the job?
    That’s right. Mistrust, segregation, regression. No meaningful economic activity. Stalled living standards. Limited opportunity for advancement. All that bad stuff.
    When it comes down to it, that is decidely not what “the people” want.

    So my issue is with the commentators who don’t seem too bothered that while this nonsense is going on, another generation of academic, professional and entrepreneurial potential is stifled or shipped abroad for the betterment of others. *shrug* Maybe they like it that way.