Decoupling religion from political identity a necessary pre-requisite for any unification project

Sinn_Féin_logoIt’s always hard to get whether Gerry’s referring to the chicken or the egg when he talks about a united Ireland. In any case, his party has been campaigning for a referendum they almost certainly don’t want (at this stage), and which, thankfully, the Secretary of State will almost certainly not grant.

Happy days. With a conference on Irish unity coming up this weekend, he had the opportunity to welcome the new questions about nationality so that we might now dispense with the glib calculation:

…that Protestants are unionists and Catholics are nationalists or republicans. It was never that simple. Now, for the first time, statisticians have been able to ask a question about identity.

His way of stacking up those indices of identity was interesting:

Less than half the population (48 per cent) designated themselves as British and northern Irish or Irish, while 40 per cent stated that they had a British-only identity.

A quarter stated that they had an Irish-only identity and just over one-fifth (21 per cent) had a Northern Irish-only identity. That’s 46 per cent with some form of Irish-only identity.

What’s good is the apparent intent to decouple religion from political identity, but he’s hardening a whole class of what I’ve crudely termed ambivalenters as non British.

He may be right to hint at potential there, buut if we are no longer an Orange state nor can we, on these figures, be convincingly cast as politically Green either.

Game theory suggests that the kind of intercommunal trust needed to pull off Irish unity will only likely develop through actions rather than words.

Given where we’ve been (and how unionists have struggled to convince even the press of their own sincerity), and how slowly our progress towards anything approaching real politics has been thus far, I’d venture a guess that that that necessary trust may be some time yet in coming.

Still, I’d love to be a fly on the wall in Dublin this weekend.

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  • Alias

    “A quarter stated that they had an Irish-only identity and just over one-fifth (21 per cent) had a Northern Irish-only identity. That’s 46 per cent with some form of Irish-only identity.”

    He’s not great at simple addition, is he? It is only 26% with an Irish-only identity. The 21% who are Northern Irish-only identity excludes an Irish identity. The clue is in the word ‘only’: without others or anything further; alone; solely; exclusively.

  • Kevsterino

    People see what they expect to see. Works pretty much every time. I guess that is why magicians can still find work.

  • BluesJazz

    100% of the voting population are apes. Territorialism kicks in terms of access to resources. How many of the voting apes (like me) regard themselves as ‘Subventionists’ Everyone, eventually, follows the money. (Resources) In the forthcoming decades, that means following the English taxpayer.
    ‘National’ identity is only a veneer. We all have common ancestry.
    Though the desperate charade that constituted ‘The Nolan Show’ tonight was both depressing but compulsive viewing for someone outside the reservation.
    Desperate stuff.

  • Red Lion

    but fact is fact-it was ‘Northern Irish’ on the census form that people ticked(capital N), not ‘northern Irish'(small n) .

    The capital N is fact, the small n is wishful thinking

  • Obelisk

    Why quibble Alias. Surely in your eyes the 26% are ‘Brits deluding themselves they are Irish’ and the 21% are ‘Brits with a strong regional focus’ and of course the 40% would be ‘Brits with a strong National focus’ leaving a remainder that could be classified as ‘Brit in some fashion’.

    In regards to what Mick Fealty wrote, what can I say. The Man is correct. I mean sure, there’s a chance we could bide our time and wait for the starts to align so that the section of the community that is open to being persuaded on the merits of Unity all fall into line as a monolithic bloc and vote for it but that’s really unlikely.

    As mean as it sounds, Nationalism does have to convince a section of the Unionist electorate to embrace unity. Not a majority, just enough of them to carry us over. And that counts that everyone from a Nationalist background votes for unity, which isn’t really a given any more either. Maybe Gerry figures that if they ever do get to the point where they have convinced that section of the Unionist community to his point of view that the vast majority of Nationalists will already have fallen in behind.

    So how do we get there? How do we do this de-coupling of constitutional objective and religious/community background?

    Might I suggest that naming public spaces after former IRA members is not a strategy going to win hearts and minds amongst your target?

    Might I suggest that voting to free a man convicted of attempted murder while his victim sits in the same room might JUST smack of insensitivity?

    I don’t count taking the flag down from Belfast City Hall among these actions by the way. I firmly believe we had a good case pressing for the removal of the flag to create a neutral/shared space. I don’t agree with anyone who thinks we shouldn’t press our electoral advantages on this issue when we can, WHEN WE HAVE A SOLID CASE, as I believe we do over the display of certain symbols.

    What happened in Newry and with Mr.Sammy Brush by contrast where shockingly sectarian and offensive incidents that are simply some Nationalist councillors wallowing in the excess of power and displaying offensive behavior similar to that meted out by Unionists on their own councils in regards to the minority communities there. I am disappointed people from my own ‘tribe’ could be so narrow minded, petty and stupid. Which brings me to my next point.

    I suggest that we are never going to make the unification project the cross community enterprise it needs to be so long as Sinn Fein’s leadership consists of people who either were members of or were linked to the provisional IRA.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’ve voted Sinn Fein for about ten years now, once it became clear to me the SDLP was on the downward slope and would no longer be the dominant voice in Nationalism. By voting for this party, I support Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams. I don’t support EVERYTHING they do, but they receive their mandate to do what they do partially from me and I bear some indirect responsibility for their actions.

    However, I clearly recognise they are an impediment to the overall goal. Unionists will never engage with these two men. I can fully understand why. If we are ever going to decouple the Unity Project from Religion it really has to await the day when Nationalist leaders are no longer tainted by any association with violence. And even then, the persuading will take decades.

    It’s going to be a very long slog this.

  • ayeYerMa

    “and how unionists have struggled to convince even the press of their own sincerity”

    I think that says more about our local press than anything else. A press who seem to act increasingly to promote an Irish Nationalist agenda as if we had signed up to joint-sovereignty despite this not being the case.

  • 6crealist

    “A press who seem to act increasingly to promote an Irish Nationalist agenda as if we had signed up to joint-sovereignty despite this not being the case.”

    I know: and sure did you see Nolan tonight? Absolutely crawling with taigs it was. Not a Protestant about the place.

    Remind me, I missed the 10.30 Newsline: what did they say were the scores in the McKenna Cup tonight?

  • “his party has been campaigning for a referendum”

    Martina Anderson MEP has been speaking out [Jan 16]:

    We were led to believe that there would be an all-Ireland dimension to this Presidency. But there is little evidence of it. Where is it, Taoiseach?

    “Transforming the conflict in the north of Ireland is as important today as it ever was, as recent events in parts of Belfast have borne out. Your government has a key role to play. The EU still has a role to play. ..

    “Finally I call on you to support the holding of a Border Poll as provided for in the Good Friday Agreement.”

  • ayeYerMa

    I also have to laugh at these attempts to claim Northern Irish as a form of “Irish only” identity by those who can’t bear to utter the “partitionist” phrase “Northern Ireland”. Using the same geographical logic we can claim an almost 100% British identity given that we reside in the British Isles.

    Not to mention a greater % British than England, Scotland or Wales.

  • BluesJazz

    I know Down won, but most people in the ‘taig’ bar I was in were watching Man Utd and laughing at Chelsea’s result.

    And then there came Nolan. It was worse than watching a euthanasia documentary. And the audience were just embarrassing. Chris Donnelly and Gerry Lynch i’ll leave to others to comment on. But Jamie Dryson, Jesus f***king Christ! McDevitt, Kelly ,Ford and Jeffrey Donaldson were almost as bad.

    Then we had the News at Ten ‘kitten rescued from tree’ nice story at the end about a kidney transplant to presumably try and lift the fog.

    It didn’t work.

  • David Crookes

    Interpreting the census answers is bound to be very difficult. Psephologists who are complete outsiders to NI and its history will not fully understand the language of the questions. Psephologists who live here may be inclined to give partisanal interpretations.

    The idea that everyone who filled in a census form was at pains to say exactly what I think he meant proves only one thing. I am a lunatic.

    Politicians play a classical booby-trick whenever an interviewer confronts them with some unpleasant piece of truth. “No, I don’t think the figures are telling us that at all. What I DO think the figures are telling us is that…..” Then the politician comes out with his own version of reality, which may be fantastical.

    Let’s get real.

    One person doesn’t get worked up about questions of nationality, but he loves our wee country.

    A second person is an Irish nationailist in his heart, but he is at the very least tolerant of the status quo.

    A third person is an out-and-out Irish nationailist, but he is happy to acknowledge that the north of Ireland has a certain distinct quality.

    A fourth person is British in every way, but he feels obliged to define himself in terms of his ‘own’ part of the UK.

    After drinking several tins of beer, a fifth person is filling in his census form while watching a football match on television. He is unable to employ either the intellectual acuity, the civic earnestness, or the patriotic precision with which solemn psephologists endow him.

    It is quite possible that all five of the above persons will describe themselves as ‘Northern Irish’.

    It is equally possible that the use or unuse of a capital letter will mean far less to all of them than it means to a solemn psephologist.

    A solemn psephologist may choose to regard the filling in of a census form as a quasi-religious act. Many ordinary people regard it as an irritating job, and get the job out of the way as fast as they can.

    Let me conclude. There is only one question which will tell you how people might vote in a referendum about Irish unity. Here it is. “If there was a referendum tomorrow, would you vote for a unified Ireland?”

    That question didn’t appear on our last census form.

  • BarneyT

    I think we need to separate this out Mick…decoupling religion from political identify is one thing….but the unification debate is another animal altogether.

    The historical irony is clearly the presbyterian link with Irish republicanism. I believe prods are the fathers of that wee joust.

    If we understand the history of Ireland and understand that, if we drank enough pints together we would realise that (despite the obvious brotherly links we all get from our Scottish neighbours) we all on the isle have more in common with each other.

    Everyone needs to develop a social claim to all parts of Ireland. The enclave of the north and and south has to stop. We perhaps need to introduce different identities to the religions… starting with sport. Hockey at the CBS. Gaelic football at the institutes?

  • Is there anywhere a cross-tabulation table of religion versus national identity? That would resolve a lot of the speculation above.

  • BarneyT

    The Irish Language is a major causality. It surely predates religion as we know it today and I believe both the settlers and those that claim to be indigenous shared the same language at one time. A variant is spoken in Scotland. That is borne out by a recent recognition in East Belfast

    Irish has been weaponised perhaps to exclude those that lost or never gained the tongue. It has sadly been aligned with Catholicism which is ironic, since its church leaders served to erode it in favour of the Latin.

    The Irish language offers us a chance I feel. It would be lovely to have the language re-emerge, but even better if we all had a crack at it. I long for the day when a belligerent nationalist delivers a few lines to a perceived protestant in the hope of alienation, to be met with a retort and a critical and educational correction

  • David Crookes

    “It would be lovely to have the language re-emerge, but even better if we all had a crack at it.”

    Agree 100%, BarneyT. The people who talk about a ‘leprechaun language’ are barbarous users of the English language who know nothing about English literature. It will be a great blessing if genial people of intelligence have a crack at the Irish language. The East Belfast phenomenon to which you allude was most encouraging.

    To anyone who asks me, ‘Why would you?’, I always reply, ‘Why wouldn’t you?’

    Think what might happen. Access to our medieval literature. A fresh, sturdy, and authentic new literature. People talking to each other in Irish on the buses, for fun…..

  • David Crookes,

    I think your post @ 12.56am is perhaps the best explanation of the census results and those who self-designate as ‘Northern Irish’ to date. I have talked it over with Sammy McNally elsewhere where he has played around with the numbers, much to my annoyance tbh, and as I have said before some independent research needs to be done to figure out what designating as ‘Northern Irish’ actually means, as opposed to what we would like it to mean.

    I also note Paddy Reilly’s number re Nats and seats that may be up for grabs depending on swings of population, tbh, there doesn’t appear to be much in it.

    Further, I always wonder what will happen when politically, unionism is no longer the majority or even if Nats have a majority up on the Hill? Will unionism start to deal in real politick or will this Mexican stand off continue for sometime to come?

  • “The historical irony is clearly the presbyterian link with Irish republicanism. I believe prods are the fathers of that wee joust.”

    BarneyT, this needs a much finer brush approach; Presbyterians are prods but prods belong to numerous denominations. A reference to Brethren could be to that small sect or it could be confused with membership of the Loyal Orders 🙂

    The chief movers of the UI project appear to have been men of property in Belfast: Presbyterian middle-class businessmen. The leaders up by Ballymoney also included better-off Presbyterian farmers. Their antagonists in the district were the landlords, mainly of Scottish and Church of Ireland backgrounds, and Catholic clergy [eg Loughguile]. In the Ballymoney district, there were close family ties with the fledgling USA and there had been protests against CoI tything forty years earlier. [Info on my NALIL blog].

  • David Crookes

    Many thanks, footballcliches You say, “…..I always wonder what will happen when politically, unionism is no longer the majority…..”. Indeed. Often we come up against an intellectual NO ADMISSION sign when we ask unionists about the future.

    PLUMBER Mr McNair, you’re still using the old lead plumbing that was installed in your home nearly one hundred years ago. Have you thought about having your house replumbed?

    WILLIE JOHN McNAIR Not at all. If it was all right for my grandfather, and for my father, it’ll be all right for me, and for my son, and for my grandchildren.

    PLUMBER But what will you do if your plumbing system fails?

    WILLIE JOHN McNAIR It won’t fail.

    PLUMBER It won’t last for ever, you know.

    WILLIE JOHN McNAIR It will, I tell ye. My father and his father used it in bygone days of yore. I’m using it now. The young boy’ll be using it when I’m not here, and his children’ll be using it when he’s not here. I tell ye, that plumbing system is safe for centuries to come.

    PLUMBER Mr McNair, I have to warn you that those old lead pipes are bound to let you down before long.

    WILLIE JOHN McNAIR If ye don’t shut your gub, I’ll fell ye.

    Do I need to go on? The #flegs protest is crying out to Danny Boy and Willie John McNair and anyone else who will listen that the pipes, the pipes are leaking.

  • 6crealist. Judging by the noise from the audience when a unionist in the audience made a point they were mainly unionist, [ and I get that you were being sarcastic], as Nolan finished with the flags after 45 minutes and went on to the Joe Brolly kidney donation he had to tell some members to stop barracking. It was an illtempered debate from both the panel and the baying hordes in the audience.
    No mention was made by Nolan that there was a crowd outside, but then he had taken the precaution of recording the show at an earlier point. More heat than light emanating from the discussion.

  • Banjaxed

    Nolan’s TV show was highjacked last night by a gang from the flag protesting street brigade. Nolan tried to apologise for it on this morning’s show but no amount of self-justification that the show had to go ahead can mask the fact that he had no control whatsoever on their bully-boy tactics inside AND outside of the studio. These people are zealots. They are on ‘send’ 24/7. There’s no attempt at all of trying to understand how the ‘other side’ feels or its point of view. ‘We’re right and everyone else is wrong’. Very depressing as the last thing we need in NI is another bunch of fundamentalists.

  • ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    FFS Mick, even on the likes of that would be sent to the Zoo.

  • 241934 john brennan

    Gerry Adams preaching Irish Unity is risible but not funny. Like charity, unity should begin at home.

    Where are the signs of budding unity between Ardoyne and Shankill, between Castlereagh and Short Strand, or between West Belfast and East Belfast?

    If Sinn Fein lacks both the empathy and the credible political plans to unite such small neighbouring communities in its own back yard – and shows no signs of wanting to do so – why on earth should anyone give Gerry the time of day, when he grandly proposes to unite the whole of Ireland?

  • tacapall

    Fundamentalists indeed Banjaxed I was surprised at the “our people have died and still are ” statement from a young member of the audience who didn’t seem to either know or understand, maybe not even care, about the vast number of Irish people who died because of that flag over the centuries. Unionists demanding that it fly over our government buildings 365 days a year is really only a two fingered gesture to Irish people who have paid in lives and suffering, a lot more than those who would identify with the Union flag.

    Decoupling religion from political identity is a necessary pre-requisite for any unification project, that is correct, but the flip side of that coin for republicans like me who is also an atheist, is the unionist belief in privileged birth, the monarchy. Is that not a religion in itself, a sect even apart from their belief in a vengeful god or creator. I really dont give a fk who runs the country or what identity people want to observe but privileged birth and a monarchy is as outdated as the pope being gods representative on earth.

    I think Unionism should reflect on what agreements they should have aimed for in the GFA, like if nationalists can change the constitutional status quo in this part of Ireland through majority rule, then surely they can, within an united Ireland context, work to change the mindsets of the greater number of Irish people that it would be in their best interests for all of Ireland to rejoin the Union, in my eyes they are fellow Irishmen who have a different political opinion on who should decide our laws but with a perculiur belief in what being born equal is. in other words if Britain and unionists wish to keep that union together or encourage others to join it then the monarchy must be abolished.

  • between the bridges

    Ulick ”FFS Mick, even on the likes of that would be sent to the Zoo” wanna bet?!! anyway political satire is the foundation of civilization since the likes of Aristophanes…

  • David Crookes

    Thanks, john brennan. “I love humanity. What I can’t stick is people.” The SF outreach is like the DUP outreach: it doesn’t exist.

    There will be no UI until we have a party that draws votes equally from East and West Belfast in very large numbers. Ordinary working people of both ‘sorts’ will welcome the leaders of that party into their homes.

    Where will it all start? In the “small neighbouring communities” of which you speak. The shiny-suited dullards who make big eyes at us from behind their microphones are wasting everybody’s time.

    Mr Adams appears to believe that when he addresses an audience of Irish Americans he wins their favour by force of argument. That is stupid. A green sock puppet will win the favour of people who go to hear what they want to hear.

    There is zero leadership about lecturing a foreign audience. If Mr Adams likes the USA all that much, he should go and live there. The rest of us live here, and we’re not going away.

    Mr Adams needs to persuade the unionist people who live in NI. The fact that he feels obliged to recruit the USA as a powerful persuader for a UI shows how weak and cowardly he is.

    A UI will have some chance of getting off the ground when Mr Adams and the politburo get out of our way.

    Their vacuous vision is the product of untutored minds.

    A UI will not be created by bar-room intellectuals.

  • Mick Fealty


    I’ve taken it down, pour encourager les autres and to keep us to topic, but that reference to was way below the belt.. 🙂


    Aristophanes? Really? Keep trying, but don’t give up the day job!!

  • between the bridges

    mick blame google… anyway i got a thread out of it on, our southern cousins are a tad less discerning when it comes to us nordies…

  • “if we are no longer an Orange state nor can we, on these figures, be convincingly cast as politically Green either.”

    Would it not be more accurate to portray NI as an Orange v Green state – with the occasional Red intervention? All three have indulged in cronyism and discrimination in local government and will continue to do so, whenever the opportunity arises.

  • SK

    Remember that scene at the start of “A Space Odyssey”, when a troop of chimps go into fits of hysteria as soon as that mysterious slab appears? Well swap that tall slab with a studio “On Air” light, and that’s pretty much what we saw on the Nolan show yesterday.

    Where the [language please? – Mods] did he find those people?

    Because if that [text removed] is representative of the Loyalist community at large, then there is absolutely no hope for them. It goes to show that there’s no propaganda campaign against the loyalist community of that part of Belfast.. There’s no media conspiracy. [text removed – mods]

  • SK

    That said, Chris Donnelly played an absolute blinder though.

  • tacapall

    SK you get what it says on the tin with those people, puppets on strings, they act the way their told to act and think the way their told to think and the furthest their history and empathy goes is the end of their noses, what did you expect, it was all choreographed right down to the haggling when anyone other than Jefferey and Steven Nolan responded to their questions. Rednecks, they just dont seem to get the idea of promoting a positive image or articulating any sort of rational excuse for their demands.

  • Mick Fealty


    I hear no sympathy here. In fact, no complaint from Ulick either, given the content in parts was verging on the racist.

    Now, back to the subject?

  • Davenewman,
    “Is there anywhere a cross-tabulation table of religion versus national identity? That would resolve a lot of the speculation above.”
    Yes there is plus some very good comments.

  • tacapall

    Mick you cant put the horse before the cart in terms of reaching out to others who dont agree with your ideas. Sometimes you have to grab the bull by the horns to bring public awareness to your cause, which in regards to the flag issue is what Sinn Fein done. Was it the right time I dont know, but with people like Willie Frazer and the flag protestors when would it ever have been a good time. Those type of unionists believe in using the British flag on top of government buildings just like this –

    Calls have been made to remove Parachute Regiment flags which have been erected in Londonderry ahead of the anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

    The flags, which are overlooking the Bogside estate, were put up in the past 24 hours.

    Thirteen people died when British paratroopers shot civil rights marchers in Derry in 1972.

  • FuturePhysicist

    Sinn Féin doesn’t have any say in personal liberties, or indeed the national identity … so unless it reverts back to the sort of Marxism of Tito and imposes constraints on personal liberties like Tito, I fail to see how it does anything.

  • Banjaxed. I had written that post before I learned from the radio that the protesters outside were brought in to fill the seats in the studio left vacant by ticket holders,that their antics had caused to stay away.

  • Reader

    davenewman: Is there anywhere a cross-tabulation table of religion versus national identity? That would resolve a lot of the speculation above.
    There will be, as the census results are released in waves. I see Bangordub has referred to an interesting graph and analysis, which is as near a proxy as can be done without *actual* cross tabulations.
    The suggestion in the article is that the Northern Irish category is mostly composed of Catholics; the problem is that the numbers in that category seem to bear no relation to the number of Catholics left over excluding those self-declaring as Irish.
    The actual crosstabs will be interesting, but until then, I seem to remember some discussion on Slugger when the census was being run, and a lot of the Slugger nationalists seemed to have their fingers on the pulse of their community. Did many of them suggest at the time that a lot of nationalists would identify themselves as Northern Irish? Or did that come as a surprise?

  • Reader,
    In the absence of cross references which will be available at the end of the month, us number crunchers are looking at figures which seem to add up to correlations that actually mean something. The question is interesting which is why it has been posted on above. This is speculation at the minute but the cross referencing points to a definite religious / political correlation. Does anyone disagree based upon the facts as set out on my blog ?

  • Dixie Elliott

    Gerry Adams now and again talks about Irish Unity because, like a bald man wearing a topee to cover up his baldness, he thinks it’ll fool people into believing he’s a Republican.

  • Dixie Elliott


  • Gopher

    The most decoupling I have seen in a while was the look on on Gerry Kelly’s face when Conall McDevitt kept repeating the words “Northern Ireland” on the Nolan show. Whilst I can’t agree with some of his policies. that was worth a transfer at least. I like the idea of agreeing a Northern Ireland flag a bit more after that.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Just watched The Carpetbagger on some new programme with Tara Mills. He was preaching away about the border poll thingy and as he, several times, brushed away the questions of the nice schoolteacherish Tara, I couldn’t help but think that he’s not the same without the thugs standing at the side glaring at anyone who’d dare question.

    Talking about questions, when is some interviewer going to ask Gerry….

    Were Mairead and Betty, the Peace People, right after all?

  • David Crookes

    Many people in Ireland who would love to see a UI hate the thought of SF having any say whatever in its governance.

    Talking about questions, Dixie Elliottt, when is some really competent interviewer going to ask Gerry twenty hard questions about economics?

    Poor Gerry wouldn’t know a quasi-rent if he had one in his trousers.

    A diploma in knee-capping doesn’t qualify you to talk about the world of rate-capping.

  • Viridiplantae

    “Is there anywhere a cross-tabulation table of religion versus national identity? That would resolve a lot of the speculation above.”

    There has always been one in the Northern Ireland Life and Times survey.

    NILT in 2010 said (can only choose one)

    British 37%
    Irish 25%
    Ulster 4%
    Northern Irish 28%
    Other 5%

    The census in 2011 said

    British only 40%
    Irish only 25%
    Northern Irish only 21%
    British and Northern Irish only 6%
    Irish and Northern Irish only 1%
    British, Irish and Northern Irish only 1%
    Other 5%

    Seems pretty consistent if you allow for the difference in question, with also perhaps some unionists saying “British” when filling in an official government form and saying “Northern Irish” when asked by a nice young lady with a clipboard.

    As for the breakdown by religion in NILT 2010 it was

    For Catholics
    British 8%
    Irish 58%
    Ulster 1%
    Northern Irish 25%
    Other 8%

    For Protestants
    British 61%
    Irish 4%
    Ulster 5%
    Northern Irish 28%
    Other 2%

    I suspect that the census breakdown will be similar to NILT except with a few more Protestants putting down “British” and a few less putting down “Northern Irish”. Why suspect anything else?

    The age breakdown is also very interesting in the NILT figures which suggests that it will be similarly interesting in the census figures.

  • ayeYerMa

    6crealist, yes I did see Nolan: only one out of 4 panelists from a Unionist PoV despite an overwhelming Unionist population. It seems to me that you shinnerbots are now actually taking your own dominant cyber-propaganda so seriously that you have forgotten that the real world in NI isn’t as it is presented online, and should the real world ever present itself on a rare occasion on the BBC then you can’t understand what is happening. I really think you’ve failed to grasp the level of feeling that you’ve successful lay unleashed here.

    That contrasts a quite a lot with the BBCNI that bombards us with promotions of Irish Nationalism day in and day out, despite the glorious border poll never actually having been won, and despite the agreement that nationalists could now receive RTE across NI should they wish to avail of such news. Some days all 3 presenters on the main news are speaking with southern brogues, telling us random stories from south of the border and I wonder just what fucking country’s news this is supposed to be, and where in Amy agreement that this was mentioned?.Then sports news is dominated by all-Ireland games/teams, with endless GAA. I remember recently they even had the cheek to report some news on training of the RoI football team before an emphatic victory of the Ulster rugby team!

    And don’t even get me started on our now Dublin-owned largest paper… I don’t even know any more what planet that is supposed to be reporting from, never mind what country. It’s as if they has an English editor who learnt all he knew about Northern Ireland from internet blogs like this or something…

  • Coll Ciotach

    Barney T – “It has sadly been aligned with Catholicism which is ironic, since its church leaders served to erode it in favour of the Latin.”

    Interesting point as the Catholics clearl;y had Gaelic in its sights and never had its services conducted in Latin anywhere else.

  • Coll Ciotach

    Aye Yer Ma – The sheer disgrace of it all – them fenians on our TV and owning our paper. What has the world come to

  • Banjaxed

    One further question, Aye Yer Ma, which 8 records would you choose for your little desert island, Paranoia-land?

  • Barnshee

    “Thirteen people died when British paratroopers shot civil rights marchers in Derry in 1972.”

    Incorrect– Thirteen people died when British paratroopers murdered 13 members of a rioting mob who had attacked the AFM soldiers for hours prior to the murders.
    I know cause I was there

  • Reader

    viridiplantae: There has always been one in the Northern Ireland Life and Times survey.
    The NILT survey gets some serious slagging here on Slugger because it isn’t so great on matching voting intentions. The discovery that it matches the Census so well is important because of the way it illuminates the breakdown of the ‘Northern Irish’ in advance of the census crosstabs.
    And if it also adds credibility to the NILT survey, then NILT can show a lot about *non* voters, who appear to be more-at-ease or less-engaged (pick one…) than their voting neighbours.

  • 6crealist

    A bit tired and emotional there, ayeYerMa?

    Come over and I’ll give you a hug. Be warned though: I have a Donegal lilt.

    If I was being charitable, I’d nearly say you were part of a black ops / false flag initiative.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Where exactly were you Barnshee – Cloud-cuckoo-land?

    Murdering civilians is ok if they were rioting? If you cared to check some of the 14 were murdered going out to help others….

    Bernard McGuigan was gunned down waving a white hankie while going out to help Patrick Doherty who was fatally wounded while crawling away….

    Jim Wray was wounded and lying face down on the pavement when a Para stood over him and shot him in the back to finish him.

    Gerard McKinney was murdered with his hands in the air shouting ‘Don’t shoot’.

    William McKinney [not related] left cover to help Gerard McKinney and was shot in the back.

    These and others were the heroes of Bloody Sunday not the murderous paras who took their lives under orders from above.

  • Dixie Elliott

    I’ve argued in the past against flying the Tricolour and painting kerbs green, white and orange in our areas because it not only mimics loyalists it demeans our flag.

    I believe that promoting our language, culture and sport and instilling a love for it among our young goes a lot further than flying a flag from a lamp post. Also the use of Gaeilge on street signs and shop fronts.

    All those things were being encouraged back in the 1970s and 80s having been brought from Long Kesh. Sadly this is lost today with so called Republicans now more concerned with pushing Derry~Doire as a UK City of Culture.

  • David Crookes

    Dixie Elliott, that is a most important point. Language, culture, and sport are things that you have to work at. Putting flags or flegs on lamp-posts is fooling about. People who are really loyal to their heritage will want to work at it

    Some dogs pull sledges, herd sheep, and help blind people to get about. Other dogs mark out their little urban territories by micturition.

    I hate do-goody little ‘articulate-your-hatred’ courses, but I wonder what would happen if ten loyalists and ten republicans attended a one-day harp-making course together. Real culture is a potent thing.