Interesting piece from Brian Feeney in yesterday’s Irish News on the Community Relations Council’s Peace Monitoring report (see Alan’s post here, and Chris’s follow up here). Let’s just say, he’s not impressed:
Look there isn’t going to be cohesion or integration. If there were, then we wouldn’t be talking about a politico-ethnic conflict. What the executive needs to be doing is addressing sectarianism and that doesn’t mean abolishing diversity as the Alliance party wants or trying to wish away the two communities as the Peace Monitoring Report seems to have as its ideal.
On the contrary it means enhancing diversity. Let’s face it, a substantial proportion of the population doesn’t even recognise the legitimacy of Norn Irn, so for the report to pose the question ‘One Northern Ireland?’ is fatuous and redundant. What the report’s statistics show is that the Catholic community, particularly educated Catholic women, are at last taking their rightful place in the north’s society.
The questions the report’s authors should be asking are how to ensure Protestants feel secure and not threatened by this phenomenon. Instead they talk gibberish about cohesion and integration and one society, which only makes the Protestant community feel it is going to be swamped in a Fenian tide.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty