Nuclear options

We’re not at this point yet – not even close, truth be told- but shall we have a natter about the nuclear options?Previously unionists have been threatened with Joint Authority, effectively co-rule by London and Dublin. It’s extremely unlikely that Gordon Brown would pursue such a strategy so close to a general election. If it happened David “Call-me-prime-minister” Cameron would make a lot of Labour-destroyed-the-union hay and the SNP would, presumably, be cook-a-hoop. Still, it’s worth talking about, isn’t it?

And what about repartition? That’s been suggested a few times but never got terribly far up the political agenda as it doesn’t really suit either republicans or unionists. But it may, at some point, suit the British government to get the scissors our along the Bann (and Newry as well as, presumably, turning West Belfast into West Berlin – or perhaps east Berlin if you’re a unionist).

This is all aimless musing. Anyone care to join me?

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  • As a matter of general comment I have become slightly suspicious of unionists posing as ROI citizens in Slugger in the belief that arrows fired from this direction will penetrate further.

    But unionists are ROI citizens. And many of them may be ROI residents too.

  • First, my previous effort (@ 06:15 AM) should be an awful warning against posting before the second mug of coffee takes full effect. More apologies.

    Second, I went back to the very start of this thread, and was caught by Stephen Ferguson @ 06:13 PM: not just because of the sheer callousness of that mind-set (did we not learn the lesson at Indian independence, and various moments since?), but because of that faux-innocence:

    Why couldn’t repartition suit everyone?

    * because it is a relic of the long-gone, dead days of imperial pretentions;
    * because it denies every shred of European liberal thought since 1945, since Churchill and Monnet, since we began to recognise the sterility of artificial national boundaries;
    * because it ignores the day-to-day business that’s happening on the ground — were it not for the £/€ billing (and the superior legacy of the public services the Westminster government imposed on a reluctant UU-Stormont), most of us would hardly register trivialities like the colour of the stamps and the post-boxes;
    * because any further fission of the six counties makes even more obvious that the present status of the Assembly ranks about a middle-ranking UK county council (below West Yorkshire and above Kent — both of which, by the way, are mature enough to run a constabulary);
    * and so on.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    “As a matter of general comment I have become slightly suspicious of unionists posing as ROI citizens in Slugger in the belief that arrows fired from this direction will penetrate further. ”

    Bizarre. Who are these people? They’ll soon learn chuckies don’t care what we think either.

  • Malcolm:

    English and Welsh counties do not run the police. Police forces are answerable to the Home Office, with oversight by local policing boards (some of whose members may be local councillors). The fact that their boundaries sometimes match those of local government is a cartographic convenience.

  • Greenflag

    comrade stalin,

    ‘How will changing the “present format” get us around the fact that here we think of ourselves as prods and taigs who don’t get on ?’

    It won’t . But it’ll make it easier for most of you to get along . A 10 or 15% Irish minority in a smaller Unionist State will be less threatening politically and constitutionally than a 48% Irish minority in the present 6 county NI. Likewise a 3% new unionist minority (150,000 ) approx in an enlarged Republic will be less of a problem to manage financially or accomodate politically than say 850,000 alienated ‘unionists .

    ‘How will eliminating the border get rid of the burden on the exchequer imposed by the six ? ‘

    I’m not arguing for elimin ating the border but redrawing it .

    ‘Donegal is probably a greater burden on the Irish exchequer than any single one of the NI six would be.’

    I can’t answer that as I don’t have the numbers – but it’s beside the point . We need permanent political stability to address the economic problems of the western areas of Northern Ireland which would be the responsibility of the Dublin Government post any repartition .

  • Greenflag

    jason walsh ,

    ‘The UN is not a democracy.’

    Did I say it was ? It is a recognised multinational institution which has overseen political settlements around the world -Cyprus -the Balkans etc .

    ‘The EU is insufficiently democratic.

    That may be but it’s also a recognised international institution and along with the UN is likely to be less biased in any future ‘redrawing ‘ of the border than say either the British or or Irish governments or any of the political parties in Northern Ireland .

    I assume you would not be in favour of a redrawing of the border being executed by the paramilitaries of both sides ?

  • Greenflag

    jason walsh ,

    ‘This is our problem. It’s up to us to fix it.’

    So fix it then . It’s been a running political and economic and social sore on and off now for 90 years and in particular the past 40 years.

    Do you need perhaps another 50 years to form a genuine power sharing government in NI ?

    A decent cartographer could do the job in 2 months .

  • Andrew Gallagher @ 02:26 PM:

    Ahem: the last time I looked the seventeen-member Kent Police Authority had seven members from Kent County Council, and two from Medway Borough Council. The rest are “independent local” members, mostly with long, strong records in local administration and government. I think you’ll find that is the “norm” across provincial forces. You do the math.

    Moreover, Kent is an international force: it maintains a station and officers at Coquelles. Eat your heart out, Bloody Mary.

  • Slartibuckfast

    Jimmy,

    Yes, Puckoon is a classic. I must have read it about 4 times down the years. There’s a film version of it staring Sean Hughes but I’ve never been able to get hold of it.

  • Malcolm:

    The Kent Police Authority is an oversight body, just like the NI Policing Board (which is similarly composed). This does not mean that Kent County Council “runs” the police, nor does the NI Assembly currently “run” the PSNI. Statutory powers remain with central government in both cases.

  • Greenflag

    andrew gallagher ,

    ‘Remember, Solomon didn’t cut the baby in two in the end.’

    True but that’s because the baby’s real mother was present and spoke out . Northern Ireland alas is a motherless political entity, sired by that longtime leader Sectarian Privilige out of Imperial Hubris and is now left racing on two legs instead of four in a steeplechase event backdropped clouded by semi colonial camouflage and economic dysfunction .

    Worse than that there’s no Solomon within sight .

  • Andrew Gallagher @ 03:31 PM:

    You properly correct me on the loose use of “run”. I forget Sluggerdom finds no nit too insignificant to pick.

    Of course day-to-day running lies with the Chief Constable. Your starter, five points each: to whom is Chief Constable Michael Fuller answerable? and by whom does his budget need to be agreed?

    OK? Now, the Peter McCann memorial round. Suggest a couple of reasons why Michael Fuller would fail acceptability tests for Northern Ireland. I will allow his attitude on the right of marching and protesting at Kingsnorth as one reason.

  • Malcolm:

    OK, I’m confused. You said:

    (below West Yorkshire and above Kent—both of which, by the way, are mature enough to run a constabulary)

    If you were not implying that Kent constabulary is run in a significantly different manner to the PSNI, then I have obviously been arguing the wrong point…

  • danielmoran

    Jaggers msg 5 You might have heard of the case of the State Papers which related to certain Tories involvement in the 1936 gerrymandering of the corporation, which were to be released under the 50 year rule [in 1986], and at a late stage, switch to the 75 year files as some tories implicated were still alive then. I wonder if they’ll think it safe to release these incriminating files next year in accordance with the 75 year rule. I’ll not be too hopeful unless said tories are now dead.

  • @ Daniel Moran. You said:
    “If you make the case that the situation for catholics in the north didn’t justify the deaths of 3’600 people over the next thirty years [Bavarian seeks to attribute all of them to IRA]”

    No I certainly did not. I´ll assume your misunderstanding was an accident on your part. For the record, I think that Loyalist murdering trash are as bad as Republican murdering trash.

  • danielmoran

    Bavarian OO. 15. By suggesting that the Provo caign costing the lives of ALL those murdered, you are holding Republicans to blame for ALL of them. That seems excessive, since the state murdered hundreds in collusion with the loyalists, and theres the victims of loyalist also. It doesn’t suit your point to acknowledge those paramilitaries for murders THEY committed. It’s not the work of a brain surgeon to admit that.

  • Greenflag

    slartibuckfast ,

    there’s a film version of it (Puckoon ) staring Sean Hughes but I’ve never been able to get hold of it.

    I believe there’s a youtube trailer of same film as well as a more modern update .

    They haven’t done one yet on ‘repartition’ worse luck ;(

  • Stephen Ferguson

    Malcolm,

    History shows native Irish and people from Great Britain have trouble co-existing in Ireland without violence surfacing. The past 800 years proves that. Do you genuinely believe there will never be shots fired in anger in NI at some point in the future?

    Greenflag states it perfectly that a 90% Unionist NI would not have to worry about the ‘enemy within’ – likewise with the Republic of Ireland. We could then get down to dealing with proper politics.

    I’d much prefer the nationalist people of NI realised they are better off as Irish people in the UK than ‘nordie bastards’ in a United Ireland and worked to strengthen NI rather than try to destroy it. Perhaps 2008’s poll showing support for a United Ireland runs at 18% in NI shows that attitude is taking hold.

    http://alturl.com/xuu5

    But we need to have a Plan B ready in case the GFA doesn’t work. Joint Authority is a sticking plaster which doesn’t settle the issue once and for all. Repartition would do that.

  • Kevsterino

    As I see it, the trouble with repartition is the same as its principle benefit: it would force people to acknowledge things have changed. Demographics, birth rates, aging populations, migrations and geopolitical fortunes have all combined to make Northern Ireland a different kettle of fish than in 1920.

    At that time, the creation of Northern Ireland may very well have been the least worst option for the majority within her borders. The factors that made that so, however, were not immutable.

    Maybe it is time for some genuine original thinking to come up with some new ideas to make the place acceptable to those who are living there. As it is, they don’t seem remotely satisfied with the politics of the place, and that goes for orange, green, blue, purple and plaid.

    At the moment, from where I sit, it resembles a couple who have already sued for divorce forced to live in the same house until the case is heard.

  • If the repartitioned territories were to be based on a sectarian head count (and let’s face it..of course it would) then it would probably be better demographics-wise for the nationalists to hold out for a while longer.

  • @ Daniel Moran, 16. You said:
    “By suggesting that the Provo caign costing the lives of ALL those murdered, you are holding Republicans to blame for ALL of them.”
    —–Not at all. If i had wanted to say that, I would have. Every killer, bomber, kneecapper,protection racketeer, drug dealer and ethnic cleanser in Ulster is responsible for his actions. The Brits didn´t make the Provos go out and kill any more than the Provos actions made the UVF murder. Each had a choice and they made it for themselves.
    To come back to the point. Over 3000 people died. Was it worth it? Was it justified? And while we are on the matter, would it be justified if any of them started it again and if so, what would justify it? I can´t think of anything. Can you?

  • Greenflag

    stephen ferguson ,

    ‘History shows native Irish and people from Great Britain have trouble co-existing in Ireland without violence surfacing.’

    Not true and a gross generalisation . There are over 150,000 British people living and working in the Republic of Ireland and they don’t cause any violence . There are some 500,000 to 600,000 people from ireland living in England Scotland and Wales and I believe very few of them if any have been at ‘war’ with their British neighbours . I believe one of them a Mr Wogan was very popular with some 8 million daily listeners to his radio show .In addition some 25% of all the British people have Irish ancestry from the 26 counties going back to second and third generation and probably more going further back .

    The ‘violence ‘ you refer too is not between people from Ireland and Britain but between people from within Northern Ireland towards each other . There are many reasons economic , political and historical for that state of affairs .

    ‘We could then get down to dealing with proper politics.’

    Precisely . As long as you have the current sectarian divvy up with each party having a veto over the other then NI has a permanent recipe for eternal political and economic stagnation .

    Has it ever dawned on you that HMG might prefer it that way i.e eternal stagnation ?

  • Greenflag

    shane ,

    ‘If the repartitioned territories were to be based on a sectarian head count (and let’s face it..of course it would) then it would probably be better demographics-wise for the nationalists to hold out for a while longer.’

    Why ? So they can outbreed and outvote unionists by a few thousand votes . That would still leave 850,000 alienated ‘unionists ‘ in a UI . Why on earth would you want to import so much trouble . Can’t you see thats exactly what Unionism did in 1920 i.e corralling 500,000 Irish nationalists into a state they did not wish to be part of ?

    A fair Repartition would be a lot fairer and a better fit for all the people of Ireland and sooner rather than later imo.

  • ‘Why ? So they can outbreed and outvote unionists by a few thousand votes’

    No, so they can take more land in a repartition scenario. There are a lot of Protestant majority areas with Catholic majorities in the younger demographic. Though I suppose any prospective repartition commission could take that into account.

  • Greenflag

    kevisterino ,

    ‘Demographics, birth rates, aging populations, migrations and geopolitical fortunes have all combined to make Northern Ireland a different kettle of fish than in 1920.’

    Very true but ‘unionism ‘ does not want to recognise the fact that it’s not 1920 nor even 1965 nor 1980 .

    ‘At that time, the creation of Northern Ireland may very well have been the least worst option for the majority within her borders. ‘

    NO it was’nt . The least worst option would have been a slightly less than 4 county Unionist State with Fermanagh and Tyrone being in the Free State along with South Armagh , South Down and Derry City . A fair Repartition now would cede those areas to the Republic .

    ‘Maybe it is time for some genuine original thinking to come up with some new ideas to make the place acceptable to those who are living there. As it is, they don’t seem remotely satisfied with the politics of the place, and that goes for orange, green, blue, purple and plaid.’

    A very honest and intelligent comment -good man .

    ‘At the moment, from where I sit, it resembles a couple who have already sued for divorce forced to live in the same house until the case is heard.’

    Spot on . The kicker is of course that the jury will remain out and the case will never be heard . The powers that be don’t want it to be heard . They prefer the cover up -the sleight of hand -the nod and wink and the pretence of a permanent sectarian settlement disguised as a power sharing democracy .

    And frankly as long as there is a 6 county NI that’s all it’s ever going to be . Can people live with that ? Of course . As long as HMG foots the bill and nobody notices that the local emperors have no political clothes or none that they can afford anyway !

  • Greenflag

    ‘so they can take more land in a repartition scenario.’

    What percentage of people in Northern Ireland are farmers or agricultural workers 3% ? Any international commission could presumably take account of future potential demographic changes in some districts by allowing ‘future ‘ border polls at say 10 year intervals for the next 30 years after which such an option would be closed .

    I would expect that

  • Greenflag

    I would expect that the vast majority of NI farmers would stay where they are regardless of any ‘new ‘ border .

  • Stephen Ferguson

    ‘History shows native Irish and people from Great Britain have trouble co-existing in Ireland without violence surfacing.’

    Not true and a gross generalisation . There are over 150,000 British people living and working in the Republic of Ireland and they don’t cause any violence . There are some 500,000 to 600,000 people from ireland living in England Scotland and Wales and I believe very few of them if any have been at ‘war’ with their British neighbours . I believe one of them a Mr Wogan was very popular with some 8 million daily listeners to his radio show .In addition some 25% of all the British people have Irish ancestry from the 26 counties going back to second and third generation and probably more going further back .

    Posted by Greenflag on Jan 28, 2010 @ 08:51 PM

    I never mentioned Irish people in England, Scotland or Wales. I was talking about ‘in Ireland’ – as I said in the very sentence you quoted. Perhaps you didn’t read it closely enough before responding.

    I’m also describing the past 800 years as a single period of time. There were, of course, plenty of periods throughout those 800 years which were entirely peaceful.

    You mention British people living peacefully in Ireland AT PRESENT. One only has to journey back a few years for many examples of persecution of Unionists/Protestants/British citizens since the formation of the Republic of Ireland.

  • georgieleigh

    Alan,

    “How many protestants are in the Dail? Have there been many prods who have held senior ministerial posts in goverments? How many protestants are in the police? How many are in the irish Army?”

    They don’t count these things in Dublin. That’s cause no-one really gives a shit down there.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I find it both fascinating and disturbing how, whenever our politicians fall out, everyone seems to regress back to the stone age. Here we are right here, having an argument about prods and taigs and the detail of events over 800 years.

    Why aren’t we talking about how we can secure agreement and obtain progress ?

  • Stephen Ferguson

    Why aren’t we talking about how we can secure agreement and obtain progress ?

    Posted by Comrade Stalin on Jan 28, 2010 @ 10:43 PM

    Well I think agreement is most people’s preferred option but this thread was to discuss possible alternatives if the GFA is deemed no longer unworkable.

  • Comrade Stalin

    There are no alternatives to the GFA except conflict. None of the options that have been outlined during the course of the discussion have even attempted to address the underlying problem, which now seems to have been reopened like a scab on an old wound, namely the distrust between communities in NI.

    So given that, why don’t we talk about what aspects of the GFA you think make it unworkable, and about how those can be fixed ?

    I would hasten to point out, as I have already, that we would be reading about agreement and stability in the newspapers if the issue of the Parades Commission and whether or not it should be retained or abolished could be addressed. Why does that have to be a deal breaker ?

  • Stephen Ferguson @ 07:38 PM:

    A disclaimer: I have just returned from an extended, lubricated, and wholly enjoyable evening at London’s Irish Club. I was trapped in a reception room with numerous graduates of all the Irish Universities, old and young, new and old, North and South, faiths not identified, political adherence not questioned. Curiously, nobody took to violence (though severe damage was done to the bar stock).

    Now, totally divorced from my contributions to this train-cash, I find this question specifically addressed to me:

    Do you genuinely believe there will never be shots fired in anger in NI at some point in the future?

    To which there can be just the one response:

    You’re joking, right? We didn’t stop the Turks and Greeks, the Somalis and whoever, taking pot-shots at each other in North London, over control of the latest drug of choice. It’s been Dodge City in parts of Manchester and Liverpool.

    I don’t predict the result of the 3:25 at Lingfield tomorrow (though a little birdie whispered not to bother about Chosen Son), so … how the hell do I know if one eejit is going to aim lead at some other bod?

    Now, is there any chance of a decent discussion round here?

  • Greenflag

    stephen ferguson,

    ‘One only has to journey back a few years for many examples of persecution of Unionists/Protestants/British citizens since the formation of the Republic of Ireland.’

    Well the Republic was established in 1949 and I’m unaware of any ‘persecution’ of ‘protestants ‘ We’ve had a couple of Protestant Presidents one even elected by a majority of Catholic voters over his Catholic opponent (Childers v O’Higgins ) . We’ve had several Protestant and Jewish Ministers of State and had young Ivan Yates remained in FG politics we might even have had our first protestant taoiseach .

    georgeleigh has it right when he says people down here are not concerned about a person’s religion. It has no political significance . Thats why we had a few years back if I recall 3 jewish TD’s one in each of the three main parties FF, FG and Labour and all elected by a nominally 90% catholic electorate .

    Unfortunately in NI a person’s religion is politically significant . Thats why you’ve never had prior to power sharing a Catholic Government Minister even though they made up 35% of the electorate in the past and probably 45% now .

    ‘I’m also describing the past 800 years as a single period of time. ‘

    Irish history goes back a good deal further than 800 years . I’d guess at least 5,000 years i.e Newgrange culture . For present purposes only the past 200 to 300 years are politically of relevance and even then the past 40 is significant in terms of reaching a permanent peaceful settlement .

    ‘there were throughout those 800 years which were entirely peaceful.’

    Usually because the native Irish had received such a hammering /culling that they needed a few decades to recover their ‘resistance capabilities . That and the ‘inconsistencies ‘ in british policy towards Ireland helped to to keep a few embers burning .

    Of course Irish independence was never predetermined or inevitable . It arose out of a juxtaposition of circumstances both local , international and historical and was speeded up by recalcitrant ‘unionism ‘ which led the way in being the first to import arms from Germany to resist Home Rule !

    History happens all the time .

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    To Malcolm Redfellow

    Don’t be coming in here reeking of alcohol, you all inclusive university snob.

    You will get all the key board violence you can handle in here.

    I am only joking in case you are in kind to get lairy after a few vases.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    “So given that, why don’t we talk about what aspects of the GFA you think make it unworkable, and about how those can be fixed ?”

    I’m very strongly pro-GFA. I campaigned heavily for a Yes vote in the Unionist community at the time and agree it is the best and only show in town.

    I have posted my thoughts on the possibility of having a man or woman convicted of killing policemen being placed in charge of the PSNI as P&J Minister in another thread. In my view it should be Alliance, and Alliance only, holding the post until we get to a point in the future where there are no longer convicted police killers in Stormont.

    “I would hasten to point out, as I have already, that we would be reading about agreement and stability in the newspapers if the issue of the Parades Commission and whether or not it should be retained or abolished could be addressed. Why does that have to be a deal breaker ?”

    Posted by Comrade Stalin on Jan 28, 2010 @ 11:03 PM

    It doesn’t for me. I believe people should march where they are wanted. If a traditional parading route goes through an area where it might cause conflict then the loyal orders MUST talk to residents to work out a way to reach an agreement.

    “Now, is there any chance of a decent discussion round here?”

    Posted by Malcolm Redfellow on Jan 28, 2010 @ 11:31 PM

    Well Malcolm, while you enjoy a delightful night’s drinking in London I’ll remain in the real world in Belfast. A real world where violence erupts at least 3 or 4 times a year at the bottom of my street because of the huge gulf and hatred that still exists between NI’s two communities.

    You can learn a bit more about these things when you witness them first hand on a daily basis Malcolm – it’s a bit harder when your time is spent in private member’s clubs in London righting the world’s wrongs over a ‘roasted salmon fillet with salad and hollandaise sauce’.

  • Alias

    “Why ? So they can outbreed and outvote unionists by a few thousand votes . That would still leave 850,000 alienated ‘unionists ’ in a UI . Why on earth would you want to import so much trouble . Can’t you see thats exactly what Unionism did in 1920 i.e corralling 500,000 Irish nationalists into a state they did not wish to be part of ?” – Greenflag

    That’s the core problem right there, Greenie. That’s the fatal flaw in the romantic unity project whether it is proposed by plebiscite or by sovereign edict.

    But I don’t agree that the problem is simply one of managing what is, to us, a foreign nation who are forced into a state that is, to them, a foreign state. The problem is that one nation has no right to determine the affairs of another nation. So even if structures could be devised by the state to manage the foreign nation, the state would still have no legitimate right to manage them.

    It comes back to Article 1 of the UN’s ICCPR: “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.”

    The clue to the meaning of the collective right to [b]self[/b]-determination is helpfully in bold. Clearly the nation cannot determine its own affairs if those affairs are to be determined by another nation. 😉

    Now this is where manageability takes precedence over principle: the British nation already has a validated right to national self-determination that will not be altered by whether or not Northern Ireland remains within the UK. Why? Because Great Britain will continue to exist as the British nation’s homeland, i.e. the sovereign territorial entity by which the nation exercises its right to self-determination. Since no nation is entitled to two separate homelands under international law, it cannot be successfully argued that the British nation in Northern Ireland would be disenfranchised of its right to self-determination if Northern Ireland was annexed by Ireland. It would, however, be denied the right to exercise that right if the sovereign territorial entity wherein they reside ceased to exist. If they found it impossible to live within the foreign territory without being able to exercise that right then they could relocate to the territory where that right is exercised, i.e. Great Britain.

    So on what basis is it then asserted that the right of the British nation to self-determination on the island of Ireland must be protected? Well, it is asserted pragmatically for the reasons you outline and it is also asserted as a matter of principle. The principle comes back into play because technically Great Britian is not a nation-state but as a state of nations, meaning that you must be another nation before you are British. So it is this other nation that may assert its right to self-determination.

    It’s debatable about exactly what this other nation is but what is not debatable is that it largely defines itself by not being the Irish nation, so it is substantially different from that nation being closest to the British nation and mostly adopting this common nationalism as its identity. Some other variants are Northern Irish, Ulster Scots, Ulsterman, or Irish (but meaning a nation which is loyal to a British state and not a nation that has a right to self-determination as it is expressed in Article 1).

    At any rate, whatever it is, it isn’t loyal to the Irish state and it doesn’t want to live among an Irish nation that exercises its right to self-determination “to develop its life, political, economic and cultural, in accordance with its own genius and traditions.” Accepting that it is a different nation that has never lived within an Irish nation-state, and accepting that as a nationalist, then it follows that it has a right to national self-determination.

  • danielmoran

    BavarianOO I’ll give you that. if any of them started it now, it would not be justified, but, as I said, I don’t justify it from the provos in 1970 and onward. Not one death caused by the IRA was justified by the state of affairs up till then in NI, just to be clear. The provos couldn’t believe their luck in may 1974 when unionists and loyalists brought their [not catholics] wee country to the brink opf infrastructural collapse rather than share power [and in the process recognise the mandate of the SDLP and by extension the catholic voters]with those unreconstructed terrorists, Gerry Fitt and John Hume,and now they wonder why catholics switched to SF. surreal.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    “Well the Republic was established in 1949 and I’m unaware of any ‘persecution’ of ‘protestants”

    Until 1970 ALL children born into mixed marriages in the Republic had to be brought up as catholics. This was enforced by the courts.

    In Fethard-on-Sea in 1957 a local priest oragnised a boycott of all protestant owned businesses including shops, farmers and a self-employed music teacher because of a marital dispute between a protestant wife and her catholic husband. A catholic teacher employed in the local state protestant school was intimidated by catholic residents to stop giving the protestant children lessons.

    Irish Independent poll in 2005 reported that a quarter of all protestants in the Republic’s border areas had suffered verbal abuse at work or school from their catholic neighbours.

    What about employers refusing to accept students’ qualifications from Trinity College (attended mainly by the ever decreasing number of protestants in the Republic) as proper qualifications – thus discriminating against protestants who were applying for jobs?

    Or care to explain the 100,000 protestants who ‘disappeared’ from the Republic between 1926 and 1991? Forced assimilation or violent intimidation? Take your pick…

  • “Until 1970 ALL children born into mixed marriages in the Republic had to be brought up as catholics. This was enforced by the courts.”

    Only where the Protestant partner had signed a pledge to raise the children Catholic. The courts were upholding the validity of a voluntarily entered contract.

  • Erasmus

    Every month or so there is a misinformed diatribe against the ROI and I, and others, are forced to spring to its defence. I will now deal at length with the contributions of Messrs. Alan and Ferguson.
    As a WW2 general said:
    “They came at us in the same old way and we stopped them in the same old way.”
    . There are in five Protestants in Dáil Éireann which roughly equates with relevant population proportions:
    Jan O’Sullivan
    Seymour Crawford
    Trevor Sargent
    Brian Hayes
    Martin Mansergh
    This is exactly five times the number of Catholics that ascended to cabinet office during the 1921-1972 Stormont regime. Here’s the beef if you want to satisfy your curiousity:
    http://www.oireachtas.ie/members-hist/default.asp?housetype=0&HouseNum=30&disp=mem
    The number of Protestants in the Gardai/Army is lowish but nowhere near the level suggested by serial ROI-bashers like Eric Waugh. This is largely because these areas tend to be below the radar of a highly prosperous and elevatedly aspirational southern Protestant community – in this regard please chew over the data (cited below) showing an overrepresentation in managerial and higher professional positions.
    To satisfy your curiosity please go into the Central Statistics Office website (http://www.cso.ie) , type ‘religion, into the search engine, access the 2006 data (4th down), and scroll down to pages 112 and 114.
    There have been a number of Protestant cabinet ministers and two deputy prime ministers (one of whom was Lisburn Presbyterian – Ernest Blythe) since the inception of the state. Contrast that with the record of the Stormont regime 1922-1972. This is also a jurisdiction where, unlike the U.K., religion is not a bar to the office of head of state.
    There has been a cut to all private schools – Catholic and Protestant. To argue for exclusion of the latter is elitism/exceptionalism. However as things stand even this unconvincing propaganda brickbat will be substantially reversed.
    The funerals:
    1. Douglas Hyde. These men were obeying a Vatican and *not* a state rule. A Catholic member of the British cabinet of that era, for example, would have been bound by exactly the same stricture on attending a state funeral; because of the obvious preponderance of Catholics in the Irish parliament this stuck out like a sore thumb.
    2. Erskine Childers. This regulation had been rescinded long before.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    “There are five Protestants in Dáil Éireann which roughly equates with relevant population proportions:”

    Actually 7 members of Dail Eireann would reflect the 4% of the population which comprises Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist protestants but we’ll not nit pick over small numbers like that – especially when it’s such a drop from the 8% in 1922.

    You haven’t really answered any of the points I made referring to widespread discrimination of protestants in the Republic. Just because a few have managed to make it to a senior level in politics doesn’t mean all the other things I’ve mentioned can be ignored.

    By comparing discrimination against protestants in the South to catholics in NI doesn’t make it any better. We all know there was discrimination against catholics and the entire working class in Northern Ireland until 1969 – at least Unionists will admit to that. You seem to want to stick your head in the sand and refuse to accept protestants were treated so unfairly in the Republic that many had to leave to avoid their children being forcefully assimilated into the Catholic faith.

  • RG Cuan

    REPARTITIONISTS

    Is it time we put together an official proposal and made this very valid solution part of the wider public/political debate?

    I’m in anyway, email me.

    COMRADE

    None of the options that have been outlined during the course of the discussion have even attempted to address the underlying problem, which now seems to have been reopened like a scab on an old wound, namely the distrust between communities in NI.

    This distrust will take at least three more generations to eradicate. While i agree it is a very noble goal, the timeframe is simply not workable. As recent developments have illustrated, more immediate, tangible solutions are needed.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    “What about employers refusing to accept students’ qualifications from Trinity College”

    Can you tell me more about this? The Sands clan contains a number of alumni so I’d better warn them of the difficulties they may face.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    “Until recently, there was discrimination against Protestants in the labour market of the Republic of Ireland. For example, Trinity College, although a Dublin University, was mainly attended by Protestants. (Even today it is a stronghold of Irish Unionism.) In many jobs, Trinity College was not accepted as a source of education, so applicants who had attended Trinity were automatically rejected. This had the effect of preventing most Protestants from applying for the jobs. There are other, more specific, cases of discrimination. For example county Clare library service was told by the Irish President, Eamonn de Valera, that it should employ a Catholic chief librarian. This discrimination meant that many Irish Protestants had to migrate to Northern Ireland or Britain to seek employment. This also contributed to the trend between 1926 and 1991.”

    http://alturl.com/5o2s

    I think things aren’t too bad these days Jimmy so they should be ok.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Well I suppose if it’s on the internet it must be true.

  • Kevsterino

    RG, regarding moving the border, it would no doubt be resisted by unionists west of the Bann. Can you imagine Gregory’s reaction to such a proposal?

    But it is the essence of the principle of consent that the same unionists have taken as a mantra for nearly an hundred years.

    If you can create a border where 90 or more percent of the people are being governed in the way they see as natural and just, isn’t that a better way? And if not, why not?

  • Erasmus

    Continued from above.
    This was posted some time ago but most of it is applicable here:
    This canard has already been done to death-deja vu all over again.
    The claim has been made that the Protestant minority was alienated, humiliated and largely silenced.
    This is nonsense.
    With the setting up of the Irish Free State, the Protestant minority remained in as strong a position as ever and were, if anything, more secure.
    They retained their land and property rights and maintained a very much over-representative position in the law and the judiciary, banking and insurance and in the professions, commerce and industry.
    This was certainly very different to the treatment meted out by the winning side in the aftermath of the Elizabethan wars, the Cromwellian period, the Williamite wars and after 1798.Fourteen Protestants were elected to the Dail in 1927 and special appointments of Protestants – many of whom had been militant unionists – were made to the Seanad to ensure more substantial representation there.
    Proportional representation was retained and this provided a political voice for the small minority of Protestants.
    There were some 60 English peers who still held Irish titles and lands in Ireland.
    In later years Protestants went on to hold the position of President of Ireland.
    It’s worth pointing out ,even if it’s not mentioned here that the Ne Temere decree usually pops up at this stage in this specific debate.
    This decree was issued in 1908 and – while certainly insensitive – was intended more as a control measure for Catholics rather than an attack on Protestants.It also emanated from the Vatican and not the ROI.With this rule in force,over which the ROI had no control,it was Catholic pulchritude and not Catholic oppression that ate away at Protestant numbers -at least until about 1980.
    Insensitive it may have been, but it did not rate in the same realm of cruelty as did the Penal Laws introduced in the early 18th century after the Glorious Revolution.

  • Erasmus

    Have a read of Marcus Tanner’s ‘Ireland’s Holy War’ where you will find a detailed account of the why’s and wherefores of the relative decline in Protestant numbers during that period i.e 1922 to 1970 in ROI.
    It is my contention that there was no mass-pogrom of Southern Protestants in the oft-quoted years of 1911-26. I contend that there was already a decline in Southern Protestantism from the late 19th century arising from the Land Acts in particular those of the Salisbury and Balfour govts, which broke up the aristocratic estates and gave loans to Irish tenants to buy out their landlords. This led to mainland British men (and their families) who had previously been sent over by absentee landlords in Britain to run their estates, returning to Britain. This accounts for a decline in the Protestant numbers from 356,000 in 1891 to 326,000 in 1911 (based on Census data). Then there is the Home Rule issue, brought to the fore by the Parliament Act’s removal of the House of Lords veto. This made it clear that Home Rule would pass at some stage. This lead to many more Southern Protestants leaving out of imagined fears of life under Home Rule. These fears had been drilled into them by irresponsible Unionist political leaders like Craig and Carson, evoking memories of wars like 1641 etc. to portray Catholics as enemies with slogans like “Home Rule is Rome Rule”. Then came WW1, partition, and the Boundary Commission. The latter two led to Southern Unionists mostly from border areas moving North. This was overwhelmingly simply because they were Unionists and wanted to live in the UK.
    During the same period following the setting up of the state the entire British army and the British government administration pulled out of Ireland – mostly, it appears from contemporary news coverage, in an orderly and in some cases a carnival atmosphere – which strongly influenced the religious statistics..
    The remainder had the choice of staying in the state where they were treated just like everybody else or going northwards where they were guaranteed preferential treatment in jobs,housing
    etc..Not surprisingly many took the latter option.(cf Marcus Tanner’s ‘Ireland’s Holy War’
    The census also shows that since the foundation of the state that the population of Mayo has dropped dramatically, that the number of Irish speakers in the Gaeltacht has declined dramatically and that the number of farmers in the country has declined dramatically. I don`t think it could be argued that any of those groups suffered systematic abuse at the hands of the state.).

  • Erasmus

    The second most powerful politician in the state at its inception time was a Lisburn Presbyterian ,Ernest Blythe, which does to exactly tie in with the state-sponsored sectarianism model.
    I would suggest that most Protestants in the Republic perceive themselves as Irish and feel no need for the patronage of some of their more extreme co-religionists in NI. This would seem to be supported by a recent survey of Protestants in Donegal where most perceive their identity as Irish Protestants.
    Certainly the Irish Free State was no paradise for the first 50 years or so of its existence but arguably Protestants fared better economically than Catholics who left in their hundreds of thousands.
    However the stability developed during the years following independence was almost unique in western Europe and in recent years the Republic of Ireland is emerging as a prosperous and hopefully more tolerant and mature society.
    No Protestant family gets attacked here as happened in NI to a clergyman who wished a Happy Christmas to a Catholic priest and was forced to leave the country.
    No Protestant family gets attacked here as happened to the family of Eddie Ervine in the north when he went to live in Dublin.
    Irishmen of the Protestant denominations have not abandoned their faith and their country because they ceased to have the support of the English government.
    The decline in numbers of Protestants in the south in the early years had perfectly understandable reasons and has nothing to do with any fear of hostility.
    They possess almost the same amount of property which they had when the state was set up.
    Though they are less than five per cent of the population they retain 30 per cent of farms over 100 acres and some well known concerns,which were Freemason bailiwicks, did not employ a Catholic in administrative positions until after the second world war, a matter which was only remedied by the emergence of the trade unions.
    Two of the first presidents of the state were Protestant.There have been two Protestant deputy Prime Ministers – Ernest Blythe and Erskine Childers. Contrast that with the record of the Stormont regime 1921-1971.
    In an article in the Irish Times published on 7th September 1996, Dr Garret FitzGerald explains that previously, nobody seemed to examine emigration from the south in religious terms. However he highlights a distorting factor, namely the higher rate of attrition in the early days of the state when life expectancy was not as long as it is now. The number of people dying before reaching their 30s or 40s was as high as 15%, half as great as emigration itself. It’s a lot smaller now, thanks mostly to improvements in medical care, hygeine, nutrition etc.
    As for the emigration rate, there was a significantly higher level of emigration by Protestants than by Catholic young people in the pre-war period. Since 1945 this has been reversed, the Protestant emigration rate is now much lower than that of Catholics. Dr FitzGerald continues:
    >>”It may be recalled that in this column of November 8th last year, I reported that the latest (1991) census data for religion shows that 40 per cent of Protestants here are engaged in higher-income employments, (viz. administration, management, the major professions, or ownership of large farms) as against 20 per cent of Catholics. It might be helpful if these facts were better known to unionists in Northern Ireland. “

  • Erasmus

    In other words, southern Protestants are actually prospering and doing very well for themselves. There is no evidence of any maltreatment in this day and age.
    A former fundamentalist Free Presbyterian, who used to contribute to the talkback board, once went tentatively to Dublin to examine the ‘plight’ of southern Protestants. He found no ‘plight,’ only a group of contented people who were living out their lives in peace.
    Here in the Republic no oppression of the Protestant population has occurred similar to that endured by Catholics in NI 1921-1972.. It is offensive to citizens of the State to suggest otherwise. The Republic has been based on equality from top to bottom. Hence, unlike Britain, a Catholic, Protestant, Hindu or Jew is free to seek election to the office of President. However look eastwards to Britain and a totally different state of affairs exist. Under the antiquated Act of Settlement a Catholic cannot inherit the throne. That is but one example of a state not completely purged of sectarianism..
    Concrete verifiable instances of anti-Protestant sectarianism in the southern state were so few and far between that they can be individually documented and have acquired, in no small measure following on unionist propagandising, a certain cult status; the time-honoured triad of Fethard, the Hyde funeral,and the Mayo librarian tend to be milked for all they are worth. The fact that you have to go back over five decades to find an instance of serious communal sectarianism speaks for itself.
    Thankfully we here in the South can say with not just a tad of pride, that since 1920 we have established a State that has made all feel welcome and valued.
    Since the early 1990’s the Protestant proportion of the ROI population has been rising and the Catholic proportion falling (Central Statistics Office,
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0214/1233867937744.html).

    Since the early 1960’s the Protestant proportion of the ROI population has been rising and the corresponding Protestant proportion in NI falling. It looks, if you are a Protestant in Ireland, as if the ROI is the place to be.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    “…the Ne Temere… …was issued in 1908 and – while certainly insensitive – was intended more as a control measure for Catholics rather than an attack on Protestants…”

    – Surely it would only be protestants affected by said law as their children would be forced to be raised in the catholic faith?

    “Insensitive it may have been, but it did not rate in the same realm of cruelty as did the Penal Laws…”

    – No one here is denying catholics have suffered over the years in Ireland – the discussion is about the suffering inflicted on protestants since the beginning of the Free State until today. Just because catholics suffered doesn’t mean it was OK for protestants to suffer the same or to deny it ever happened.

    “It is my contention that there was no mass-pogrom of Southern Protestants in the oft-quoted years of 1911-26.”

    – Have a read of Peter Hart’s ‘The IRA and it’s Enemies’ which documents the sectarian slaughter of protestants in West Cork 1916-1923. http://alturl.com/kru6

    – Or read the personal account of Ian Beamish who’s grandparents slept in fields in the area for fear of IRA men coming to murder them in their beds while they slept. http://alturl.com/wwmd

    – Or have you heard of the cold blooded murder of protestant woman Mary Lindsay and her servant James Clark on Feb 17th 1921 as well as the other 11 protestants murdered in the same area around the same time? http://alturl.com/gweo

    – Historian Peter Hart estimates the Free States protestant population dropped 34% in the same period you claim there was ‘no mass-pogrom’. Were these protestants abducted by aliens? http://alturl.com/5t4b

    “irresponsible Unionist political leaders like Craig and Carson… …to portray Catholics as enemies with slogans like “Home Rule is Rome Rule”…” “It (Ne Temere) also emanated from the Vatican and not the ROI.”

    – Some might say they were right then…

    “The census also shows that since the foundation of the state that the population of Mayo has dropped dramatically, that the number of Irish speakers in the Gaeltacht has declined dramatically and that the number of farmers in the country has declined dramatically. I don`t think it could be argued that any of those groups suffered systematic abuse at the hands of the state”

    – All by 34%???

    “The second most powerful politician in the state at its inception time was a Lisburn Presbyterian, Ernest Blythe, which does to exactly tie in with the state-sponsored sectarianism model.”

    – I could say that the appointment of catholic James Flanaghan to the post of RUC chief constable from 1973-1976 showed catholics suffered no discrimination in Northern Ireland – doesn’t mean it would be true though.

    – Or remind you of G.B. Newe – a catholic who served as the Minister of State in the ‘anti-catholic’ Stormont parliament from 1971-1972.

    “No Protestant family gets attacked here as happened in NI to a clergyman who wished a Happy Christmas to a Catholic priest and was forced to leave the country.”

    – Again I’ll direct you to the survey taken by the Irish Independent claiming that a quarter of protestants in the border counties have suffered abuse at work or school because of their religion. http://alturl.com/yh9y

    “Though they are less than five per cent of the population they retain 30 per cent of farms over 100 acres…”

    – Could you have picked out a more obscure fact to try and back up your argument?? Apparently catholics in Northern Ireland are twice as likely to own a 40″ plasma TV as protestants – does that mean everything’s fine and dandy in NI?

  • Stephen Ferguson

    “Here in the Republic no oppression of the Protestant population has occurred similar to that endured by Catholics in NI 1921-1972.”

    – As I’ve showed you above that is wrong. Different levels when comparing the two communities but they BOTH definitely suffered from oppression.

    “The Republic has been based on equality from top to bottom.”

    – Again I’ve showed you that is wrong.

    “However look eastwards to Britain and a totally different state of affairs exist. Under the antiquated Act of Settlement a Catholic cannot inherit the throne.”

    – An outdated law which any right thinking British citizen would agree should be changed as soon as possible.

    “The fact that you have to go back over five decades to find an instance of serious communal sectarianism speaks for itself.”

    – Well there’s not going to be much chance of it now when half the protestants in the country have left in the past 90 years. Though we seen what happened when the ‘Love Ulster’ victims group came to Dublin for the day. Is that not classed as serious communal sectarianism?

    “Since the early 1960’s the Protestant proportion of the ROI population has been rising and the corresponding Protestant proportion in NI falling. It looks, if you are a Protestant in Ireland, as if the ROI is the place to be. ”

    – Silly me. There was me thinking the protestants leaving NI were travelling to universities in England and Scotland…

  • Then came WW1,
    partition, and the Boundary Commission. The latter two led to Southern
    Unionists mostly from border areas moving North. This was overwhelmingly
    simply because they were Unionists and wanted to live in the UK.

    Or because they were cops and wanted to live. I know this is anecdotal, but my great grandparents moved from Cavan to Portadown after their RIC son was targeted by the IRA. Maybe there wasn’t a campaign against Prods, but there was one against the police, and in many cases that amounted to the same thing.

  • Greenflag

    Andrew Gallagher ,

    ‘I know this is anecdotal, but my great grandparents moved from Cavan to Portadown after their RIC son was targeted by the IRA. Maybe there wasn’t a campaign against Prods, but there was one against the police, and in many cases that amounted to the same thing.’

    No it did’nt amount to the same thing not prior to 1920 anyway .

    The RIC was overwhelmingly RC in it’s make up pre the establishment of both the Free State and Northern Ireland . This was probably because police work at the time was considered ‘dangerous ‘ and it was low paid and required large bodied tough ex peasants to grapple with unruly urbanites.

    The vast majority of RIC men killed in the Irish War of Independence would have been southern Catholics . It was only after the establishment of the State of Northern Ireland that the ‘police’ in that part of the island became overwhelmingly ‘protestant ‘ presumably to fill the role of ‘defender ‘ of the state .

  • Greenflag,

    My understanding was that the RIC membership generally reflected the demographics of the local area. In any case, my great-grandparents obviously felt that Portadown was a safer place for policemen than Cavan. The effect is the same.

  • According to Carson the RUC was 95% Catholic.

  • RIC****

  • “the police of Ireland, who are 95 per cent. to 98 per cent. Catholics”

    http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1918/jun/25/statement-by-chief-secretary#S5CV0107P0_19180625_HOC_311

  • Wikipedia says 75% and royalirishconstabulary.com reckons 80%. I wouldn’t put it past Carson to exaggerate the numbers for effect.

  • Greenflag

    andrew gallagher ,

    The RUC in it’s early days had about 40% Catholics but that soon changed . many former RIC joined the Garda and the RUC in the new States and many retired . Also some emigrated to the colonies and joined the police . Some even joined the Palestinian Gendarmerie .

    shane,

    Carson was winging it for effect . At most I could imagine 85-90 % . The RIC were more likley to be from the countryside than the big towns ; so they had fewer Dubs and Belfast men in their ranks

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    >>We all know there was discrimination against catholics and the entire working class in Northern Ireland until 1969 – at least Unionists will admit to that.<

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    >>Catholic middle-class in the norm is pretty much a modern phenomenon<

  • Erasmus

    From Stephen Ferguson:
    Have a read of Peter Hart’s ‘The IRA and it’s Enemies’ which documents the sectarian slaughter of protestants in West Cork 1916-1923.
    I read this book years ago from cover to cover. I find it even less convincing now then when I first read it. Peter Hart is a man of many talents including, it would appear, an ability to get through to the afterlife. However his credibility as a historian has been irreparably damaged – his central contentions being torn to shreds by local historians such as Meda Ryan and Brian Murphy and in the pages of History Ireland.
    In a more readily accessible stream might I suggest that you read through the following series of excellent articles and discussions in Indymedia. Mind you it will take about three hours but it’s worth it to see Peter Hartism being forensically dissected..
    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/66994
    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/75885
    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/72403
    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/71352
    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/70063
    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/69172
    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/67769
    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/67661
    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/66456
    If you read through all of this carefully you will see that that Hart was forced through the rigors of debate to concede that there was no ethnic cleansing of Protestants in West Cork and to adopt the fall back position that Protestants actively cooperating with British forces were significantly more likely to have met a sticky end than those of the Catholic variety; he failed to provide evidence to support this contention.

    Or read the personal account of Ian Beamish who’s grandparents slept in fields in the area for fear of IRA men coming to murder them in their beds while they slept. .
    The Hartists often plug the following line:
    ‘I spoke to x who said y happened to z back in 1922. All this has to be disentangled from the transgenerational fog of distortion, preselection, and amplification. As Conor Cruise O’Brien said in ‘States of Ireland’ family witness is notoriously unreliable; you’ve seen the conflicting evidence in the Saville Enquiry about an event that happened relatively recently and within the television age.

  • Erasmus

    Some relevant quotes from around that period:
    Mr J.W. Biggs, a wealthy Unionist, wrote:

    “I feel it my duty to protest very strongly against this unfounded slander (of intolerance on the part) of our Catholic neighbours … I have been resident in Bantry for 43 years, during 33 of which I have been engaged in business, and I have received the greatest kindness, courtesy, and support from all classes and creeds in the country”.

    Some days later, as reprisal for these comments, his business premises were burnt down by the RIC.

    The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church wrote:

    “it is a notable fact that nowhere has a hand been raised against one of our isolated Church buildings, nor against a single individual Presbyterian in the South and West”.

    One Protestant letter-writer stated:

    “One would imagine from the speeches of [Unionist leader] Sir Edward Carson in the North that we in the South, because of our differences in our religions, were at one another’s throats. No greater mistake was ever made”.

    Read the rest here:
    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76966

    The psychological modus operandi of the Hartists reminds me of the fallacyenunciated by the psychologist Cordelia Fine:
    The brain’s ignoble use of stereotypes blurs our view of others to an all but inevitable bigotry.
    Inevitably we are confronted with challenges to our beliefs ,be it the flat-earther’s view of the gentle downward curve of the sea at the horizon , or a weapon’s inspector returning empty-handed from Iraq. Yet even in the face of counter-evidence our beliefs are protected as tenderly as our egos. Like any information that pokes a sharp stick at our self-esteem evidence that opposes our beliefs is subjected to close, critical and inevitably dismissive scrutiny.
    Being confronted with the evidence of these slick and resourceful window-dressings of the brain is unsettling ,and rightly so. Evidence that fits our beliefs is quickly waved through the mental border patrol. Counter-evidence on the other hand must submit to close interrogation and even then will probably not be allowed in..

    In relation to Irish Protestants circa 1922/1923 it is important to appreciate the crucial distinction between being forced out, a la Belfast Catholics 1922, and upping and leaving (at worst) because of a loss of privileged status and/or anticipation of persecution which did not in fact occur.
    In their failure to consider all plausible hypotheses as to the drop in Protestant numbers since the inception of the state and examine the relevant evidence in each instance instead of just focusing on one, the Hartists have subverted cold, hard logic. For example why not write about the mass expulsion/ethnic cleansing of self-declared Catholics from the ROI from about 1980 onwards who have, based on census figures, dropped from 95 to about 60% of the population?
    In addition I have to take my hat off to a politics.ie contributor who posted the following:
    We were so good and sneaky at it that there isn’t a single account of refugees running for safety to Britain or NI to escape the terror. I mean, when the loyalists had a go at their own ethnic cleansing in 1969, there were refugee camps set up south of the border to help those fleeing from the violence. All in all 35,000 people fled south that time. Amateurs. Not a single news report or government enquiry when we had our fun. We are proud of this because we are the first and only people to ever get away with genocide without the world ever finding out.

  • Erasmus

    Historian Peter Hart estimates the Free States protestant population dropped 34% in the same period you claim there was ‘no mass-pogrom’. Were these protestants abducted by aliens? ,
    Please re-read my comments above and in previous postings. If you are really curious read Marcus Tanner’s ‘Holy Wars’

    “The census also shows that since the foundation of the state that the population of Mayo has dropped dramatically, that the number of Irish speakers in the Gaeltacht has declined dramatically and that the number of farmers in the country has declined dramatically. I don’t think it could be argued that any of those groups suffered systematic abuse at the hands of the state”
    – All by 34%???
    In the case of farmers and Irish speakers in the Gaeltacht it is considerably more than 34%. Log into the CSO site and do your homework.
    “The second most powerful politician in the state at its inception time was a Lisburn Presbyterian, Ernest Blythe, which does to exactly tie in with the state-sponsored sectarianism model.”
    – I could say that the appointment of catholic James Flanaghan to the post of RUC chief constable from 1973-1976 showed catholics suffered no discrimination in Northern Ireland – doesn’t mean it would be true though.
    The relevant point here being that this was post-Stormont,. There is also a big difference between Chief Constable and the second most powerful politician in the state.
    – Or remind you of G.B. Newe – a catholic who served as the Minister of State in the ‘anti-catholic’ Stormont parliament from 1971-1972.,
    I have already acknowledged Dr. Newe:
    “This is exactly five times the number of Catholics that ascended to cabinet office during the 1921-1972 Stormont régime.”
    Dr. G.B. Newe was the ONE – unique, unelected, parachuted, and luridly tokenistic.
    “Though they are less than five per cent of the population they retain 30 per cent of farms over 100 acres…”
    – Could you have picked out a more obscure fact to try and back up your argument?? Apparently catholics in Northern Ireland are twice as likely to own a 40” plasma TV as protestants – does that mean everything’s fine and dandy in NI?
    There’s a big difference between 100 acre farms and plasma TVs.
    “The fact that you have to go back over five decades to find an instance of serious communal sectarianism speaks for itself.”
    Though we seen what happened when the ‘Love Ulster’ victims group came to Dublin for the day. Is that not classed as serious communal sectarianism?
    Here’s the Webster definition of the noun ‘community’ of which ‘communal’ is derivative:
    .the people with common interests living in a particular area
    Not exactly applicable to the footloose, antisocial, ‘Love Ulster’ arrivistes. It can however be applied to the residents of Glenbryn; it is worth comparing and contrasting the ‘Love Ulster’ and Holy Cross confrontations – this is not whataboutery – just illumination through contextualisation:
    In terms of their respective catchment areas the Dublin rioters represented only a minuscule fringe. The Holy Cross brigade by all accounts comprised a fair percentage of the Glenbryn residents.
    The Dublin fracas arose in no small part because the Gardai were unable to nip it in the bud – their hands being tied after the May Day fiasco of the previous year. If for arguments sake another Love Ulster march were to be held any rumpus would be promptly strangled at birth. Holy Cross went on day after day, week after week.
    From my reading of the serious reportage of Dublin the original group of pure sectarians was latched onto by anarchists/malcontents with a specific grudge against the police. This latter group could not tell the difference between an Orangeman and a Shiite Muslim. By contrast the Holy Cross mob were not a combo of sectarians and RUC-haters – they were sectarian to a man/woman.
    I could be wrong but AFAIK there was no substantial number of arrests in the Holy Cross aftermath. By contrast a large number of ‘Love Ulster’ miscreants were painstakingly tracked down, dragged through the courts, and given extremely severe sentences (and rightly so IMHO).
    The Dublin business was resoundingly condemned across the full spectrum of political opinion in the South including SF- to give credit where credit is due. Holy Cross was followed by a cacophony of unionist hemming and hawing.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    “series of excellent articles and discussions in Indymedia.”

    There’s a phrase you don’t see very often.

    I’m not going back over it again but my recollection is that Hart wiped the floor with them. You’re making the wrong argument. It’s nonsense to suggest that there was no sectarian violence against protestants in the early 20s. In the circumstances it might have been remarkable had there not been. The more important distinction to make between the two parts of Ireland is that in the South it stopped.

  • Erasmus

    I’m not going back over it again but my recollection is that Hart wiped the floor with them.
    !!!!!!!!
    It looks like you have some serious reading to do.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Erasmus

    The patience of a saint.