New Ireland

I don’t speak for anyone other than myself so this isn’t quite an exercise in kite-flying, but…

Isn’t it time we had a new Ireland? Not ‘agreed Ireland’ as defined by boring peace processery but a real discussion about what we want the country to look like. There has never been a better time ֠after all, the institutions from the Church to the political parties and the bodies of the Belfast Agreement are all on their knees, staggering-on more out of habit than anything else.

This is as much a question for unionists as it is republicans. The UCUNF alliance, faltering as it may or may not be, does point toward a realignment that, unlike the official peace process, doesn’t suck the political content out of the process.

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  • There are a number of possible alternative “strand one” models for government in NI which would not condemn us to the type of permanent deadlock which we have experienced and which could parcel off or sideline the Orange/Green issues and make policy based rather than tribally based politics possible. It is time to start considering these.

  • daisy

    Hear, hear. Except, of course, people would never vote for such a thing as they’re too entrenched.

    Perhaps if a visionary leader arose from the ashes we might have a chance, but I don’t see one emerging any time soon.

  • Jason, Ireland is the official name for the 26-county state. Do you mean the island of Ireland? If so, you are really only addressing the Nationalist aspiration. John Hume got us all bogged down in the ‘island of Ireland’ context many years ago.

  • Critical Alien


    “Perhaps if a visionary leader arose from the ashes”

    Maybe we should have a whip round and have Jason fitted for a crown?

    You in, Walsh?


  • “the institutions from the Church to the political parties”

    Do you mean the Catholic Church, Jason? I don’t think many of the denominations are in rude health. And then there are the rude atheists 🙂

  • Marcionite

    An all Ireland constitutional convention where the British would need to be co-sponsers off to encourage unionists to participate, something akin to the process of what happened in post aparteid South Africa

    an element of provincial self government could be discussed and implemented.

    Existing political parties which are perceived to be off axtrubal nature to be encouraged to disband and reform along socio economic lines

    Adoption of the French model of strict seperation of church and state. All education in control of a purely secular state. I tea

    A new national flag, anthem , emblems etc acceptable to at least 90% of each province.

    Rejoin as non-monarchial member of The Commonwealth of Nations on proviso the chair is rotational and perennially under the colonial bottom of the UK

    Forcing GAA to rename grounds and become an exclusively sporting body without pseudo political or cultural espousals.

  • Marcionite

    “not perennially” I meant. Perfidious iPhone

  • Jason Walsh

    Critical Alien, I’d rather chew-off my own elbows than hold office. I don’t have the skin for it.

    Nevin, I’m speaking from an unashamedly republican POV, if one that is a little quixotic. As I wrote, there are questions for unionists, too.

    Yes, the Catholic Church. Wouldn’t say the other ones are in rude health but obviously they’re not as zombified as the RCC ATM.

    I’m a rude atheist, by the way.

  • David Crookes

    Jason, thanks for your act of leadership! Would you like to organize a weeklong conference in August 2010? You could start calling for papers in March. In due time the conference might publish selected papers on its own website.

  • Jason, you’ve left out the Unionist aspiration so I don’t think Unionists would/do have much interest in all-island matters. The amount of interest seems to have been in steady decline for over a century.

  • Marcionite

    I second Mr Crookes. Such a conference would be welcome and neccessary. The current vehicles of policy ie parties, are discredited at worst and ineffective at best at being to persuade and deliver or even attempting to due to historical reasons

    The creation of a new independant non party thinktank on A New Ireland is overdue. It’s time is surely now but Unionist participation is vital.

    By the way, do non-pseudonym postings carry more weight here?

  • Jason Walsh

    Nevin, it doesn’t have to be all-Ireland for unionists. It could be all-UK. I don’t presume to speak for them. All I’m saying is, the peace process (like other Irish institutions, North and South) is hollow and rotten. No-one wants a return to violence so we are in a position to argue for something else. Whatever that happens to be.

  • Impartial Reporter


    A re-unified Ireland as part of a re-constituted union of nations (joining England Scotland and Wales) with shared Defence, healthcare and benefit systems. Each member contributes through their own tax raising powers to pay for a roving parliment which handles union issues.

    The only possible sticking point I can see is HRH.

    How does that tickle you?

  • Critical Alien

    At the risk of repeating myself… Public discourse stalls if it is colonised by political discourse, where ‘political discourse’ is the party-perpetuating dialogue (or lack thereof) that obsesses the media and what the public think should obess them. Too much acceptance of a status quo is as bad as overarching intolerance, and accepting the evaporation of public discourse as a consequence is too much. It’s self and civic-sell out. One solution would be to liberate the domain of public discourse from the familiar political narratives and regain a sensitivity to reasons, to act on reasons as discovered and as relevant to issues. this would just amount to acting on the basis of personal and civic responsibility. Who needs more, who needs less?

    The theoretical historical debating society that passes for politics here is just an embarrassment.


  • Munsterview

    Marcionite Feb 03, 2010 @ 02:13 PM.

    You thinking along the right lines but there is no need to re invent the wheel! Do you know of the Eire Nua ( New Ireland ) political document one of the first detailed papers produced by Sinn Fein in the early seventies.?

    That set out the framework for a four province devolved government with further devolution down to regional and community level. For a while there delegates from various regions ( I was one ) meeting and discussing these issues. That concept still has merit North and South, indeed it is still very necessary.

    In the heave against O’Bradaig et al in 1986. the Eire Nua book was tossed out the door after him as it was too closely identified with the Old Regime. Dropping it was not one of the most astute political acts by the new movers and shapers!

    As for Queen and Commonwealth…… marcionite….. Mamma is gone…. live with it!

  • Chuck Loyola

    Impartial Reporter

    “unified Ireland as part of a re-constituted union of nations (joining England Scotland and Wales)”

    Erm, tried that, didn’t work. Extreme poverty, famine and mass emigration ensued.

    Try again.

  • Impartial Reporter


    Let’s try it in the 21st century sense then shall we?

    You know, social and religious equality, banning of slaves, national health and care, widening ethnicity base et al.

    Or we could just look back the the dark days of the past and say fuck it!

  • tacapall

    IR, We are in the 21st century and we still haven’t got social and religious equality here, so why would it be any different in a “unified Ireland as part of a re-constituted union of nations (joining England Scotland and Wales)”

  • Impartial Reporter


    I thought this thread was discussing the options for a new Ireland.

  • Jason, it’s very difficult to think of anything here in NI that Unionists and Nationalists could jointly enthuse about. They each tend to have an all or nothing approach. I’ve put forward a devolved administration under shared sovereignty (with pro-rata(?) share of expenses) and the merger of our ‘external’ relationships, Strands 2 and 3. It’s gone down like a lead balloon amongst the political apologists!!

  • Nevin asks the same question three times Why? Jason’s question was pure and simple, there can be no mistake about what he meant. If unionists or anyone else has no interest in the future of the island they live on, the best thing they can do is get on a boat to somewhere else.

    Is it any wonder the only people who wish voluntarily to be in the same room as the DUP/UU is the rancid Cameronites, who love the Unionist’s as their fawning makes the Tory toffs feel like live in the same world as F E Smith and Churchill, country house and all.

    I bet the unionists even paid their own fares to get to Cecil’s looted pad.

  • Munsterview

    Unified Ireland, EU., Central, Provincial, Regional and Community Government.

    Politics are working in ireland……. local community politics that is. In many areas in fact this community work, much of it voluntary, is the only thing keeping these communities operative. Our recent floods and the more recent floods just showed how remote and useless even the Co. Councils were to outlying areas.

    If, in the snows, they could not keep Dublin moving where most of the modern resources were concentrated, what chance had Connemara or Donegall.?

    North and South we have Boards and quangos coming out our ears at enormous expenses which are totally wasted as most are little more than provisions providing pension supplements and perks for political hacks that have done the parties some service!

    ” There is no universal idea worthy of the name that cannot be translated through the national and regional scale right down to the local living conditions of each family unit ”
    Allende of Chile.

    There is no reason why we cannot have politics, policies and economies based on that principle. No upper tier of government or administration should reserve to itself, hold or use powers that a lower body could do. Parish pump politics belong in the parish not in a National Parliament.

  • georgieleigh

    Why did Partition occur?

    Well, the root cause was the existing of two irreconcilable political nations in Ireland.

    One identified with an inclusive British state, and its values, the other with a separate Irish state.

    These positions remain, even with 100 years of history passed.

    I don’t think any amount of debating will change this.

  • Ulster McNulty

    “Isn’t it time we had a new Ireland?”

    No, you’re too late, the whole concept is over subscribed – there already is a “New Ireland” – it’s off the coast of New Britain.

    Also, whatever the catholics and the protestants agree to, they can’t call themselves the “New Irish”, because that name must belong to the natives of the original New Ireland (when it doesn’t mean the Poles, Nigerians, Lithuanians, Chinese etc, who live in Ireland).

    You’ll have to come up with something else.

  • Gaudi

    I’ve long been a convinced that a one nation position is the way forward. But then I can say that coming from a position of being a ‘dolly mixture’ graduate with a good standard of living and a lifestyle which would differ little in a ‘united’ Ireland. My views may be very different if I were someone living on the Shankill having had the ‘no surrender’ mantra drummed into me from birth. This is where discussion of a ‘united’ country bothers me. How the hell can we talk of a new Ireland when people have to be separated by ‘peacec lines’ in Belfast and elsewhere for fear that they will tear eachother apart.

  • Awaywithyou


    That may be a very valid explanation of what brought about the occurance of Partition but does nothing to question whether Partition was the most suitable solution.

    The positions remain but the solution (now implemented) is still wrong and ineffective.

  • Critical Alien


    Yes, historically in Ireland people have been stuck in an endless, process-obsessed cycle of purported emblematic realisation, or symbolic assertion. My point above was to change the focus to actual discourse about actual matters and leave the theoretical debating of history out of affective public discourse. The debating will go on, doubtless, but why there is thought to be a link between this and delivering public services, for example, is bizarre and the sort of thing that a New Ireland would shed.

    Politicians will have their ‘histories’ and their traditions just as whores will have their trinkets. Civic life and the decisions that facilitate it requires only the interests of citizens and ingenuity.

  • Springfield


    Dig hole insert head.

    The main problem here is transferring invalid historical contexts into the present-from both Unionist & Republican points of view. Most of the objections used to argue for partition are simply not valid any more; the Republican ideal is patently not attractive to the majority on this island.

    We either continue blindly on-clinging to outdated tribal myths and shibboleths or we try thinking outside the box.

    Marcionite #6 seems to be a good starting point.

  • Springfield

    For “Republican” read Sinn Fein.

  • Mickhall, the notion that anything here is pure and simple is a quaint one!!

    We’re living in disputed territory here therefore any resolution needs, so far as is possible, to accommodate the opposing aspirations.

    I’ve seen the language of bigots on many occasions: “If you don’t like it here, you can leave and go back to England/the South”.

  • fin

    is it me or are posts scooting of into the tired old realms of making a united Ireland acceptable to all of unionism, wouldn’t a new Ireland need to be something revoluntionary enough to replace 1916 and 1690, that flags, emblems, names, etc are changed for something better not to keep a section of the community happy.

  • Jason Walsh

    I’m not quite sure what people are making of what I was suggesting. I’d never suggest anyone leave. My point is that a pro-Ireland or pro-UK political outlook is where it’s at. That is to say, can we get away from “Ulster/6cos/Northern Ireland/North/whatever” and start talking about the national polity.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Would the other 3 counties of Ulster be willing to participate in a federal parliament in Belfast with ties to both Dublin and London if that is really workable.

  • Munsterview


    Republicanism is a universal philosophical concept with a long historical legacy. No one grouping on this island or any other island or country can claim exclusive ownership of it.

    Sinn Fein is political organization with certain ideas and policies to bring this about but they are not the exclusive custodians of it.

    Until yesterday I could speak authority on these matters I considered myself a republican but I made a slip up. Among the 10,000 odd characters that I submitted over the week were two in particular, a u and a k, they were in capitals and dear oh dear they were co joined !.

    That was it, forty years in the trenches counted for nothing. Politically correct Paddy swooped, pointed out that a real republican would not have used a term such as UK and immediately relegated me to the status of a self styled one!.

    Oh Boy ! but politics can be an unforgiving business! Say what you will about attitudes on the protestant side of politics but it appears some at lest can have a bit of fun and frolics before they are tossed overboard!

  • Springfield


    I’m afraid you’ll need to run that by me again.

  • Marcionite

    Perhaps the territory of NI should be evacuated and turned into a giant themepark. Those who see themselves as Irish move to the South, those who are British, to GB.

    an iPhone app with bluetooth and network capability could be written to allow the diaspora to continue the debates and fighting using green and orange avatars.

  • fin

    except Marcionite many people who see themselves as Irish live in Britain and elsewhere and vice versa.

    Would a person living in Fermanagh and considers themselves British feel more comfortable living in Monaghan or Manchester, Louth or Leicester.

    What colour are the avatars that parade on Rossnowlagh beach the week-end before the 12th?

  • Marcionite

    Fin – I was being flippant and tongue in cheek, as if this needs explanation.

  • Reader

    Jason Walsh: That is to say, can we get away from “Ulster/6cos/Northern Ireland/North/whatever” and start talking about the national polity.
    1) No
    2) *Which* national polity?

  • Clanky

    The idea that out of the ashes of a failed peace process could spring a nation with a whole new outlook on life is a fallacy.

    You only have to look at the “new” nation that sprang from 1916, a whole new state complete with all the old religious superstition and social stigma that had been holding it down for years. Even after 90 odd years the republics change from an entrenched catholic nation to a modern secular state is only half complete and has been an evolution rather than a revolution.

    That Ireland (both North and South) will change is inevitable, but it will be a slow process. We will not see the vast majority of people realising by the end of the year that those who have been moralising to us for years about how we should live our lives and trying to feed us fear, uncertainty and doubt about each other are amongst the most corrupt and the least worthy of our respect in society, but it will happen eventually, slowly and a little bit at a time.

  • Kevsterino

    As I approach the end of middle-age, I’ve become mindful of a few things. Two of them are: Young people believe any thing is possible and old folks know how little time they have to do it.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Posted by Kevsterino

    ” As I approach the end of middle-age, I’ve become mindful of a few things. Two of them are: Young people believe any thing is possible and old folks know how little time they have to do it. ”

    Sadly the young people are almost certainly wrong particularly in their own life time but that should be no reason to stop them trying, how else could they be successful.

    Interesting thoughts though.

    It is

  • John O’Connell

    Change is a wonderful thing but is it necessary?

    For example, the SDLP can at present control the politics of the North by virtue of their detailed finger prints on the GFA, etc.

    That goes as far as ensuring the division of unionism over powersharing, which is inevitable while they believe themselves to be superior in many ways and with some believing that their presence in Ireland is divinely ordained.

    So in pursuing powersharing the SDLP are ensuring that unionism is divided and therefore unable to deliver politically in changed times and this makes a united Ireland more likely. Sinn Fein then come into play as smelling victory and taking the credit for the united Ireland delivery (but will they take credit for the Rwanda/Bosnia they risk provoking in the process).

    A smooth transition to a united Ireland involves the SDLP in a strong position. Otherwise the path is strewn with deaths. Enlightened people are seeing this and more will see it eventually.

    The point is that unionism cannot deliver local government except under majority rule, and therefore their time is up as political leaders in a local sense. They may want to go for direct rule without local representative government or they may begin to see the logic in having a considerable political voting strength in all Ireland institutions.

    Unity is inevitable IMHO.

  • David Crookes

    Why should young people be prevented from turning their beliefs into possibilities? Let me talk in purely unionist terms for a moment. Many of our young people display an honest good will that could be harnessed usefully if unionism were to produce three or four culturally and historically literate spokesmen. Don’t ask those young people to be content with the nasty sub-intelligent buffoonery which has characterized most of unionism for nearly two generations. In 1979 we reached rock bottom when Johnny McQuade was sent to Westminster. During the last few days we have started drilling. Read the article which appears on page two of today’s Irish News. That article made me feel thoroughly ashamed, because I knew that every word of it was true.

    We need a modified union in which boorishness, nastiness, and vulgarity will not be regarded as virtues. If we believe in the union, we must live so as to make mainland Britons believe that the union is a good and desirable thing. At the same time, we must live in urbane concord with our non-unionist fellow-countrymen. We must also establish and develop the warmest possible ties of friendship with the Irish Republic. Let us not be afraid to display an affection for our own real culture. Should we all learn the Irish language? Of course. Why? So that we can tell each other in Irish that we have one dog, two cats, four goldfish, and a guinea-pig? No! So that we can read Táin Bó Cúailnge, our own medieval epic. I know that some persons will ridicule the idea without even knowing what Táin Bó Cúailnge is. We must take care to see that no such illiterate persons are ever allowed to represent us in Stormont or Westminster.

    It may be that the squalid conduct of our present representatives will prepare the ground for such a genial leap of the literate imagination as will sow the seeds of a new and genuine relationship between all the people of these islands.

    Let it be our first step to ordain that those who know and think will never again be governed by those who don’t know and refuse to think. Then our young people will have the chance to exercise their good will.

  • Marcionite

    We talk off a United Ireland as if it has world significance that would usher in an era of eternal sunshine and milk and honey and we talk of maintaining Britishness as if we’re keeping Satan himself at bay from the city limits of Belleek and Newry.

    Is it really all that important? Its not as if one of is South Korea and the other is North Korea is it?

    One of us is a democratic member of the EU and the other is a region of a democratic member of the EU.

    I apply this to myself as much to anyone else here but if you apply a sufficiently strong magnifying glass to anything, you will find intractible problems and details.

    Orange Men – you’re the Irish equivalent of morris dancers, ridiculous relics used by Unionists. Where’s your political links in RoI? Dont have any? Then why up here in NI?

    Concerned Residents (Brendan McKenna et al) – Get a life you sad morons. It is not a worthwhile job being a full time indignant. There’s bound to be better things to be doing with your time than whipping up your neighbours into artificial frenzy

    There is nothing Satanic about wanting an United Ireland. Ok, it’s not your cup of tea but get some perspective. Its not as if it would be like living like a Jew in 1930’s Berlin, would it? Do you hold Plaid Cymru and the SNP in such distain? If not why not? Is it simply because they’re not RC? If so, wise up.

    I was going to say you all need a sh*g but from what I hear, the various forms that several of you indulged in both here and in London (oh yes) still hasn’t done you lot any good.

    Sinn Fein
    I’ll let you into a secret, when your erstwhile Oglaigh/Fianna murdered lots of Prod civilians who clearly were not or nowhere near Crown Forces, dont’ be that surprised if Prods think you’re sectarian. No matter what you tell them, they won’t listen. Human nature guys, geddit? You blew it.

    Rubbing the toe of the statue of St John of Hume won’t work miracles. Trying to outgreen SF is as pathetic and mirthful as Paddington Bear in a leather jacket. Talk to socialist Protestants and reconstitute yourselves as a NI SDP and stop talking about the border.

    Protestants will never waive Tricolours but a united Ireland will come about when all sides shrug their shoulders and say ‘why not’, just like a couple who’ve been together 30 years without getting married and without major fallings out. A UI is something that paradoxically may happen by actually not talking about it and making NI work. Doing otherwise will just spook Unionists.
    Ok, we live in the UK and we know what its like. No concentration camps but a UI is an unknown quantity. Protestants fear a UI will be a SF led entity, which is irrational but SF have a lot to answer for for this.

    You’re the Barnsley FC of NI Politics : you won the cup 50 years in row in seasons 1922 – 1971 but you’re now in League 2 with diminishing attendance. Merging with Man Utd or Chelsea will ony enhance Man Utd and Chelsea, not you. I refer thee to the end game of the defunct National Party of South Africa.

    You mean well but you need an edge. Your future is with Noami. You need an extreme centre. I think she can provide that.

    Being top dogs in a few districts in East Belfast will not win you power. Without power or even ambition for power, what’s the point of a party? Being King/Queen of the Newtownards Road is quaint but you’ve 6 counties in NI, not just Belfast. Where are you in Fermanagh, Tyrone, Derry/Armagh/Down? Hmm?
    What the hell happened to you after the GFA? You still saw the DUP as the Daddy and gave it too much respect. You didn’t go for their jugular in Loyalist areas. Don’t say you did because we all know fine rightly you didn’t. And here you are, with one seat. That’ll crack it.

    Ordinary Decent People
    We’re the flames that fan the windbags. Let’s stop talking about them and see what happens

  • David Crookes

    Marcionite (# 20), you’re whetting my appetite fot the constitutional convention that I hope Jason is going to organize.

  • Marcionite

    David Crookes #21 – thanks for that. I too am chomping at the bit for such a People’s Convention.

    Jason Walsh – When and where will it be held? If you need any help with it, I’m more than willing to assist.

  • Munsterview, the original Eire Nua can be found here, I agree that it has a LOT of merit:

  • David Crookes

    Bless you, Marcionite. Let’s NOT meet in some stuffy carpeted hotel-room with no natural light! My church often hires Armagh Royal School for a week in the summer. A bit of austerity never does any harm.

    We need to get moving. I know some of you gang think Clontibret is fearfully important, but the thousandth anniversary of the battle of Clontarf is only four years away.

  • Marcionite

    How about Duesberg in Germany where peace in our time, started all those years ago …….

    Munsterview Sinn Fein’s Eire Nua document is not just about a 4 province Ireland, it espouses a Gaelic Albania. Read The Lost Revolution Besides, I refer you to my posting about SF (Marcionite #20). Because of SF and IRA deeds, whatever good they come out with now simply wont cut mustard with Protestants. They’ve a ‘branding’ problem if I put it delicately but that’s to say the Eire Nua doc itself as a stand alone doc hasn’t anything worthwhile to say.

    Like advertising, 90% of the persuasion is in the name and face of the person who is doing the persuading.

    A man in a swastika armband telling Israelis to wash their teeth twice a day will not be successful even though the advice itself is good advice. Sorry to be crass but a good analogy is like a good analogy

  • David Crookes

    I’m not sure about Duisberg, Marcionite. In 1929 the cities of Duisburg and Hamborn amalgamated to form the city of Duisburg-Hamborn. Only six years later, Duisburg-Hamborn was renamed Duisburg. Some of our delegates (doesn’t that sound snazzy?) might be nervous about such a precedent!

  • Scaramoosh

    The collapse of the Irish economy (and the
    resultant debt noose); the exposure of the Catholic Church as a place that gave refuge to child abusers; the Adams and Robinson fammily woes; Trimble’s call for a secular Unionism; these are multi-generational events.

    It is important for people to not only recognize the uniqueness of our particular situation, but to understand that this is probably our one and only window to really make some significant changes as to how things are done, and by whom.

  • georgieleigh

    Well I got a lot of abuse for stating the historical facts about partition.

    Though I note that no-one challenged the veracity of what I wrote.

    I don’t quote history to win arguments, but rather to elicit truths.

    And the truth of the matter is that Nationalist Ireland developed strength throughout the back-end of the 19th Century to a degree that it could not live in the British State. From about 1911, in the context of nation-state Europe as existed at the time, partition became inevitable.

    Castle Catholics and Gaeilgeóir Unionists notwithstanding.

    The quality of the debate here is as good as I’ve seen in 30 years.

    The tension is between the loyalty to a post-modern UK state and the seperateness of an Irish independent state, and all the baggage and potential of that State.

    I see very little common ground.

  • Munsterview


    Do you think that we in Nationalist Ireland do not have long memories too?

    Twenty years ago I was driving in Beara, West Cork with an Aussie visitor. I had stopped at a scenic spot, an elderly local man came along, he recognized me as historian and asked me as to why I had not included details of their local massacre in a recent book.? I checked, he was right but it was just one of the forgotten countless from that period.

    He pointed across a narrow valley where over half ways up a little trail wound along the shoulder of the mountain. In the late Elizabethan wars where English soldiers came from both directions, in the centre were over one hundred and fifty souls, the young, the elderly but mainly mothers and children. Caught between both forces the mothers covered their children’s eyes and jumped over on dashing themselves on the rocks below on the valley floor as did the rest.

    To just take another incident from that war in that area west, that of ‘Dun An Onora Briste’………. The Fort Of The Broken Honor where two of your great English Culture Heros, Sir Walter and Spenser parlayed the surrender of Hundreds of Continental soldiers and their officers. The soldiers once disarmed were stripped naked, forced back inside the fort and hacked to pieces over the next three hours is an atrocity that send shock waves through a Europe where war brutality and violence was common place.

    I have been to Auzwich, walked down the roads paved with desecrated Jewish Graveyard stones, stood in the ovens and walked through the prisons and workshops. Yes many, many parallels can be drawn but try convincing the famine survivor
    descendants in the U.S.A. that filled the Nor Aid coffers as to who the and those who fled before and after for basic freedom and human dignity, as to who most resembled the Nazi murder machine.

    Our of respect for our President I will not detail what happened to a close member of her family, yet she as a daughter, sister and mother as well as a President of compassion and dignity while not forgetting the horror ( as if she could ) forgave and reached out a hand of friendship.

    We are at a cross roads in this Island, the dysfunctional political cancer that has blighted and shamed the four functioning democracies in our neighboring and the fifth down here cannot be allowed to continue festering into the second decade of the 21th cen. Solutions must and will be found, preferably voluntary or imposed !

    We can do like Kosevo and keep looking back or South Africa and look forward ! Our choice is obvious to the majority of people on this island and indeed the rest of Europe and the world.

  • Munsterview

    Springfield Feb 03, 2010 @ 05:19PM
    This was the serious bit

    Republicanism is a universal philosophical concept with a long historical legacy. No one grouping on this island or any other island or country can claim exclusive ownership of it.

    Sinn Fein is political organization with certain ideas and policies to bring this about but they are not the exclusive custodians of it.

    Elsewhere I have contributed to the Ms Tyrell appeal to Republicans in some quantity…….. others can decide on the quality.

    Organized Republican comment did ( as expected) not engage or debate. There was however one exception, in over 1600 words and 10,000 characters I did once use the term UK. Someone pounced, as no true republican would have used this taboo term, I therefore was but a self Proclaimed Republican and there fore did not have to be taken seriously! Debate over…they wish!

    In short this contributer ‘paddy’ reached into his well stocked live bait fish barrel, pulled out a red herring and tried to set it aswim!

    As to my last point, Paddy could toss me and my four decades of defending republicans over the side for using the term UK while on the unionist/protestant side of the debate at least, or so it would seem, one got the benefit of a little fun and frolics before being cast adrift!

  • Munsterview

    Eire Nua proposal

    The first Eire Nua document was compiled, drafted and published in the early part of the 1970’s. That was over thirty five years ago, of course the details are dated, it did get feedback at the time in that some friendly protestant figures, clergymen etc. did read it and comment, a process that took weeks. ‘Marcionite’ ‘Springfield’ et al and ‘our side’ can now exchange views within minutes.

    Those working on that Eire Nua were at that time a product of their generation and experience. The left view was treated with ultra caution as we were still reclaiming and restoring a movement that had been hijacked by a small but influential elite to sell an ideological pup that had been in a political dogs home with no Irish Takers for generations. Much however still has merit and a redraft is called for.

    Unfortunately the New Regional government structures were before their time, or rather they were well before the period in which they could have got serious consideration. Post 1986 they were seen to be associated with Republican Sinn Fein and that prevented any serious consideration in the larger Republican/ Nationalist political groupings.

    While in France some years back, the kitchen of a school in a small rural village caught fire one morning, the local mayor was there as soon as the fire brigade, he made immediate arrangements, a bus was hired, over thirty kids got dinner every day in a nearby village restaurant, the school repair costs were discussed and agreed within days, the work was contracted for, done on time and the kids were eating in their own school again within weeks!

    That was possible as the Mayor was politically and financially empowered to do it.

    This is the kind of New Governmental structures that we need, local communities empowered and acting, Small looking after infra structures with devolved tax, social welfare offices etc and the manning officers authorized to make immediate decisions, Provincial Government dealing with the concern of their own regions only. A true National parliament is then free to deal with Nation and International matters.

    Parish pump politics belongs around the local parish pump !

    If such a local community council no matter how divided has to get their act together to compete for their share of a regional budget or wait for another year things will get done fast. Who has a right to march down a certain road will quickly take second place to making sure the bloody road is fit to walk down in the first instance!

    Same with regions; one can decide to concentrate on Tourism and services, another on aqua marine projects, another on light or heavy industry etc, depending on its available resources Instead of the current situation where everyone is trying to compete with everyone else, same old same o, everything overpriced and few things done or working as they should.

    Real devolved Government should in the first instance provide a more responsive and cost effective method of administration on this island and secondly, local political cooperation is a given, if there is no agreed program for a budget draw down, then no draw down funds from the next tier up.

    if a problem is also an opportunity then we have no shortage of the latter North and South. Real Government anyone please!

  • Springfield


    Your support for the model for effective local administration as you have outlined is laudable. Nobody would find too many holes there.

    The issues for me are, in no particular order; mindless Pavlovian kneejerk whataboutery, the indoctrinated tendancy for people to claim some immediate relevancy in their lives for the actions of people and “states” centuries ago-where different attitudes, standards, political realities and behavioural norms existed, and the wilful dismissal of the common ground. Applying these criterion to modern day political discourse and administration is not only very obviously complete idiocy but has been tragically played out on this island for far too long.

    And to be clear-Republicanism as a philosophical concept holds no terror for me-however, Sinn Fein’s model of ethno-political Republicanism quite frankly nauseates me, as does the blinkered laager bufoonery of the the likes of the TUV. I think most would agree that the current modus operandi is a beaten docket.

    A New Ireland will emerge. What it will look like nobody knows, but my suspicion (and wish to be honest) is that none of us will/would recognise it.

  • Munsterview


    Thanks for your positive response New Governmental Structures. They are sorely needed. In the South as present if an unemployed person or single mother in Waterford or South Kerry have a serious dispute with the Dep. of Social Welfare, they have to travel to Sligo to sort it out in person for no other reason that Political patronage had the Ad min located there. Final decisions are still taken in Dublin where the top tier are still in residence safe from confrontation by irate plebs.

    This degree of cenerralisation is obviously patently ridiculous and grossly unfair.

    My ‘whataboutery” was far from knee jerk, it was quite deliberate as as I had a considered point to make!

    The Given Beara story has a sequel : the Aussie young woman was weeping and deeply affected by the graphic account and angrily stated that ” The English were right bastards” The man who was in his mid eighties waited fora few moments and then broke the silence….

    ” No” he said ” Most of the English are not bad people, what you had in them years was one group of people with power over another and you will find all through history where ever that happened so did things like that……. Sure our own soldiers, when they put on the red coats and went out to Africa and India with the British Army did not act much better and you are far to young and nice a girl to have hate nesting in any part of you because of things that happened long before you were born”

    On some miles up the road she again began to cry, I pulled in and asked if she was O’K, her reply “Yes, I cannot stop thinking of what that old man said despite what happened to his people, I guess I just learned what compassion means !”

    I am not just popping out of the woodwork with all of this just now, those who have attended all any of my talks over the years or read some of my writings will know that I have continually highlighted the debt that we from the Nationalist Tradition owed to Anglo-Irish Ireland. Each of our traditions have skewed historical narratives regarding our past in this island. Cromwell’s slaughter of the Dundalk garrison involved mainly Native English army from the Royalist side yet Nationalist Ireland has adopted them as our martyrs!. While my extended family generations back were all Fenian out in 67, two became M.P. and their efforts at reconciliation including the founding of the ‘All For Ireland Movement’ are a matter of historical record.

    In Beara some of the other significant massacres were carried out by ‘Queens Irish officered by Irish Gentlemen’ One sept of the O’Sullivans were armed and equipped to wipe out another. British high politics may have been appreciated by Wilmott and his kind but very often on the ground it meant an opportunity to settle old scores. As The late Tipp O’Neill of Boston said all politics are local.

    On a personal level we may be closer to that common ground and share more of it than it would appear to you. If there is a solution found that will give us a way forward to new Politics in a New Ireland. As to the historical narrative, once the searchlight beam is broadened out and the history of this Island is placed in a proper European Context then a new narrative will emerge anyway.

    On a pragmatic level at this point it should be a case we are where we are and where do we go from here!