McWilliams on EU economic re-alignment driving a possible United Ireland

David McWilliams has an interesting column in today’s Sunday Business Post which muses on whether a United Ireland may not be that far away.

The essential premise of McWilliams argument is that looking through history we have seen rapid changes, some of them very unexpected. Even in our own history, McWilliams points out the seemingly clear run that the Irish Parliamentary Party had in 1915 which would be abruptly destoryed in 1918 by the Sinn Fein sweep. Furthermore, he points out the shift in the dynamics within the Nationalism away from a Home Rule parliament towards an independent republic.

McWilliams muses on the impact of Britains membership of the European Union and economic splits within the EU on our domestic politics. He argues that in the context of a EU and UK relignment the willingness of the UK to prop up Northern Ireland could possibly change.

Speaking about a United Ireland McWilliams writes about some demographic issues;

As I write, I am looking at demographics in Northern Ireland from the 2011 census. The most interesting statistic shows  the proportion of Catholic vs Protestant in various age groups. Of the over 90 population in the North, 64 per cent are Protestant and 25 per cent Catholic. A total of 9 per cent had no declared religion.

This reflects the religious status quo when these people were born in the 1920s and more or less reflects the realities of the Treaty.

Now look at the same figure for the under 4s, those children and babies born since 2008. This corresponding figure is 44 per cent Catholic and 31 per cent Protestant. In one (admittedly long) lifetime, the Catholic population in the youngest cohort has almost doubled., which the Protestant one has more than halved.

Even given the fact that 23 per cent of parents of infants declared themselves as have no religion. we seem to be en route to a united Ireland.

The entire column is worth a read and you can get it in the Sunday Business Post today or the author normally blogs his pieces on his website here

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  • Kevin Breslin

    Since partition Unionism has always discussed unity, Nationalism has always discussed partition. Just because it wasn’t in positive terms or highly critical terms doesn’t mean that it wasn’t discussed.

    You have to deal with people as they are, that’s politics. There’s no hive mind in England, Scotland, Wales or the Republic of Ireland either. Expecting one in Northern Ireland or a United Ireland is clearly unrealistic.

    The GFA worked because it actually dealt with the one issue where nationalism and unionism overlap … the desire for self-determination by the people for the people. Some would argue that a lot of the common ground between these islands that Stormont could agree to ( e.g. the “more that unites us” crowd) but that has actually become ignored regardless.

  • Chingford Man

    I think Tim Pat Coogan and The Horseman did the “Count the Catholics” routine with more aplomb.

  • james

    Robin, Robin…..this is indeed a rich irony. Forgive me, but are you not an Irish Republican? The stated aim of the Republican project IS to live in the past – at least what they believe the past to have been, though ’tis a dubious pastoral scene – and turn the clock back 400 years.

    Incidentally, I believe the MOPE thing stands for Most Oppressed People Ever, and was initially minted to poke fun at the Irish Republican habit of believing that no other people havw suffered as they have, historically,and that they (uniquely in world history) should thus be entitled to reset the clock of history to a time of their choosing.

  • james

    “Ever heard of WolfeTone or Sam Maquire who the GAA All Ireland cup is named in honour of?”

    Ever heard of Raymond McCreesh?

  • Robin Keogh

    James, James u are blinded by prejudice and a hostage to a past that none of us can change.

  • james

    Then why do you seek to pretend that the last 100 years hasn’t happened?

  • Robin Keogh

    This is interesting so i will humour, explain how in ur view i pretend that the last 100 years hasnt happenned?

  • james

    What do you call the state in which I live? (Hint: it includes counties Fermanagh and Tyrone, and neighbours your country)

  • Kevin Breslin

    I’ve always defined myself as a “res publica” republican, rather than tied to ideological notions of what Ireland is and isn’t.

    I can see the anti-despotic principle of republicanism in the spirit that Terence O’Neill’s “What Northern Ireland do you wan’t to live in?” speech was made.

  • Virginia

    Brilliant!

  • Zeno

    Deluded about what? Desperate about what?

  • Robin Keogh

    United Kingdom?

  • Zeno

    “Even if what u say about your childrens religion is true which i doubt,”

    I don’t need to lie Robin, and I can detest who I want. I follow no flags, worship, no Leaders and don’t have to rush to slugger to defend any party everyday.

  • Zeno

    “dying breed”

    My people are the largest group in Northern Ireland by far.
    We don’t vote for sectarian parties, or act as apologists for sectarian murderers. We make up over half of the population. Join us and free yourself.

  • Robin Keogh

    Over half the population of NI are haters and detesters? I dont think so Zeno

  • james

    It is part of the UK, yes, but Northern Ireland is the name for this specific chunk. Isn’t it?

  • Robin Keogh

    At the moment yes why?

  • james

    “Only a complete idiot would regard what has happened between then and now as in any way a success.”

    Well, Gerry Adams certainly feels that it was a roaring success for the IRA. Won the ‘war’, he reckons.

  • james

    And while we are about it, I take umbrage to your daft assumption that the people of ROI would be stupid enough to want to hook themselves up to the “ongoing cost and embarrassment ” of an unwilling NI. Alarming contempt you have for the good people of the Republic.

  • james

    He was linked to one of the weapons used in Kingsmills which, like most IRA actions, was decidedly sectarian.

  • james

    I was just curious to see whether you would break the seemingly set-in-stone SF diktat and use the name ‘Northern Ireland’, given that that has been the correct name for almost the last 100 years. I see you haven’t.

  • puffen

    I suppose at some stage in the next 20~30 years there will be a nuclear exchange somewhere in the globe, and then everything will be changed utterly, Futile to argue about a UI with so many variables, after all it was the First World what done for the IIP.

  • Robin Keogh

    Well why didnt u just ask me to say northen irelabd instead of going round in circles

  • james

    “Not taking part in running ( however badly ) the place”

    Excuse me? Are you saying the IRA are in government here?

  • james

    “They will have been mostly dealt with”. Please elaborate.

    “you know where you can stick your umbrage.” Is that me specifically, or unionists generally?

  • Zeno

    “Deluded to believe the British people have any regard or empathy for NI unionists.”

    Why would I care? You’ve already said the people at the top make the decisions.

  • Zeno

    You are calling me a hater and detester? It’s you who goes to a website in a jurisdiction you don’t live in and have no knowledge of to goad the unionists. What shall we call that?

  • Robin Keogh

    You said u ‘hate’ the 59 plus 1 brigade and ‘detest’ republicans. Added to the The fact that you challenge my right to engage in a blog in any jurisdiction other than where i live is more proof of your sectarian prejudice.

  • barnshee

    “NI is a cobbled together piece of someone else’s country which was deliberately drawn up for sectarian purposes.”

    NI is “cobbled togther” to protect the protestant from the fate of his co-religionists in the ROI ensuring that they did not suffer the Murder Boycott and property theft imposed on those stupid enought to believe the “all children of the nation sh1te propoganda”

    For their pains they have subjected to a murder campaign of varying intensity since

    “It is not in Britain’s interest to hang on to this costly embarrassment.”

    The “costs” arise from two areas

    ! The AFM murder campaign -continues at low level

    2 The Massive social costs education, health, unemployment severely skewed towards a particular section of he community

    “And yes the British Army will join with ROI forces to quell any idiots”

    The British army will be gone they will have no part to play

  • barnshee

    “The protestant people voted in 1918 for a free N Ireland would part of the UK, but would be free of Dublin rule.”

  • Paddy Reilly

    My observations of the data lead me to the conclusion that the unreligious vote in fairly equal numbers for

    1) The Union

    2) Against the Union

    3) Neither one nor the other

    Consequently, their existence has no effect on the final outcome. To think they are all Unionists is merely wishful thinking. However, people who put themselves down on the census as ‘Protestant’ are apparently Unionist voters to a man.

    The only exception might be that in certain areas there are persons brought up as Protestants, who have married and given birth to Catholics, and who are no longer Unionists, if they ever were. This may be why Unionists are unable to win a Stormont seat for West Belfast.

    However, at the same time these mixed families may be the reason why Sinn Féin has not won a Westminster seat in North Belfast, despite its feeling that it is demographically entitled to do so.

  • barnshee

    “Have any of you managed to work out why the Scots are ‘Jocks’ and the Welsh are ‘Taffs’ and the Irish are Paddy’s but there is no pejorative word for the English”

    And the natives of Newcastle are Geordies then we have Tykes and Brummies .. the list is virtually endless

    Pejorative ? the “chip eaters” of Crewe might not agree as would those in Monkey town or the Scabs of Mansfield

    the list is virtually endless

    A poor knowledge of (Especially) England (along with everything else)

  • Zeno

    “In this particular case they have decided that their interest is best served by divesting themselves of any involvement in your particular nightmare.”

    Have you any evidence of that at all? When was this decision taken? Was it before MI5’s back up HQ was sited in Northern Ireland?

  • barnshee

    Enniskillen

    Shankiil Bomb

    Bayardo bar

    La Mon

    Abercorn

    Claudy

    Kingsmill

    Darkley church massacre

    All totally innocent civilians murdered by tthe IRA for the possession of the protestant faith

    “When it comes to sectarian killings the IRA would have had to work overtime in order to approach anything like the work of the Shankill butchers or the Glenanne gang wouldn’t they”

    hardly

  • Barneyt

    I think the general consensus is that Northern Ireland is not a nation in itself, as it is a people collective with a common identity that make up a nation and it can span jurisdictions. For example a nation has been described as

    “A large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular state or territory”.

    I’ve seen others such as

    “A nation is a large group of people with strong bonds of identity – an “imagined community,” a tribe on a grand scale”

    So I don’t think NI falls into any nation category as it has two main communities that fall into either the Irish nation or British nation….generally speaking. Now if you are asking is Northern Ireland a country, then that is a slightly different debate…and again the general consensus is that it is not, but instead a region of the UK as things presently stand. Disenfranchisement is rife in the UK and it affects all

  • Barneyt

    Its not the way to do it. Two wrongs don’t make a right. I would prefer a voluntary union…just sits better. No point starting a new future off with another fight.

  • Barneyt

    Fair point. I maintain that many of the issues in NI are not about “what” needs to be done. Its about “who” is doing it or forcing it..or worst of all trying to take ownership of it. Linda Ervine may prove to be more successful in restoring the Irish language, that most of our ancestors spoke at one time, than any political entity. Some other body may achieve more with regard to a united Ireland that those that currently wear that goal as a badge. I’d love to look back into the minds of the 20% and get a view of the united Ireland they saw.

  • Gingray

    I think I get your point, tho it reads like you’ve been drinking 😉

    I get that the descendents of the settlers who colonised parts of Ireland, and who had ruled the island did not want to subject themselves to majority rule.

    So I ask again, would you have supported partitioning South Africa for the whites who did not want to be ruled by the blacks?

  • sk

    Demographics has a bearing on the constitutional situation. You may lot like it, but does.

  • Zeno

    I agree, but no one is making any effort to make it happen.

  • Chingford Man

    If it keeps the republicans quiescent for another 20 years as they wait for their beloved united Ireland to appear, fine with me.

  • Zeno

    That is all wishful thinking as far as I’m concerned. There is not a shred of evidence that the UK is going to ditch NI. It costs them nothing in real terms.

  • Zeno

    Call me what you like. I don’t care, but the point was what shall we call you? Is all the goading a new Sinn Fein tactic since the bombing and murdering didn’t work.

  • Zeno

    It achieved nothing that was not previously possible.
    Now from the Brit perspective, I bet they are wishing they had thought of giving them all nice jobs 30 years ago and saving billions. If only they had known it was so easy.

  • Zeno

    The Civil Rights Movement had achieved most of their goals before the Provisional IRA were formed. Look it up.
    The bombs, the murders,even the use of human bombs achieved nothing other that to stop any possibility of a United Ireland.
    In 1998 the SDLP were the biggest political party in Northern Ireland. They never used bombs or murders. They killed no one. They were against sectarianism. So what did the murders and bombs achieve?
    Zilch, except Jobs working for the Brits.

  • barnshee

    Enniskillen

    Shankiil Bomb

    Bayardo bar

    La Mon

    Abercorn

    Claudy

    Kingsmill

    Darkley church massacre

    “The balls to attack armed men” LOL

    Cowardly back shooting thugs who ambushed children and ran away on the occasions they met armed men

    Fled when a postman fired back

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/sammy-brush-40-attacks-yet-tormenters-remain-free-victimised-councillor-says-thugs-are-shielded-by-a-climate-of-fear-30535810.html

    “720 catholic civilians were killed whilst protestant civilian deaths totaled 350?”

    which community rioted ?

  • barnshee

    i`d be awfully worried if I were the “1” jasus exiled to the IOM or GB and we would have a stalemate and if they took their partner and adult children – -the whole arse out of the pro UI vote

  • Reader

    Anglo=Irish: Had they lost by my definition the IRA members would have been killed or imprisoned or exiled.
    And a British defeat would have been all of the British Army killed or imprisoned or exiled? You have a very strange definition! But there’s no need to make up your own definitions:
    The IRA war aims were *always* “A United Ireland”. The war is over, where is the United Ireland?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Thanks very much, but I’m not going to rule the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland or any united Ireland, and I’m not been put into a political position where broader scrutiny might cause you to change your mind. 😀

  • Zeno

    “The PIRA basically came into existence to protect the nationalist people against the sectarian run state.”

    That would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic. They murdered more Nationalists than any loyalist gang. They protected no one.

    They disappeared people, almost all of whom were Catholic. They used Catholic people as human bombs. The achieved none of their aims. Why do you think there is support for the Dissidents?
    You really have no idea.

  • Zeno

    They murdered more that the UVF.
    The murdered more than the UDA.
    The Red Hand Commando.
    The UFF.
    What part of “any loyalist gang did you not understand”?

  • submariner

    Typical PUL bullshit. The UDA and the UFF are one and the same organisation. The UDA used the UFF name as a flag of convenience when claiming their sectarian murders. The UVF and RHC are also one and the same.

  • Zeno
  • submariner

    Your link also shows over 200 murders committed by Loyalists but not claimed Its safe to assume that they were committed by either the UVF or UDA which sort of shows your claim to be crap.

  • Zeno

    I can only go by the official figures. The IRA murdered Catholics, disappeared them and even used them as Human Bombs. They were not formed to protect Catholics. They were formed by people who wanted power and would kill anyone to get it.

  • barnshee

    “In the unlikely event that they did, the ROI would be laughing, the only state in Europe with English as their first language.”

    I suggest you listen to the natives of (particularly) Limerick before you claim “English as their first language.” Then move on to Cork

  • Zeno

    What argument are you trying to make? I mean facts are facts.
    The IRA murdered more Catholics than the UVF, the UDA. the Security Forces. The UVF at one time said they would kill Catholics every time the IRA killed a member of the security forces and somehow they didn’t manage to kill as many Catholics as the IRA who you say were formed to protect Catholics and Nationalists. They protected no one.

  • barnshee

    The English stereotype each other and Other races

    Nicknames are “imposed” by outsiders. Thus the English cannot impose a nickname on the English (tho they do stereotype the regions and others (Paddy Jock Taffyetc

    Nicknames ( originally ekenames) for the English include “Limeys” from USA– Rosbifs from France -Poms -Australia Tan– ROI and BRIT -from Irish benefit claimant from West Belfast
    Then we have “sassanack” A pejoritive term by Scots for the English and ” “Sais” from Welsh meaning roughly an effeminate toff.

    “As for my knowledge of England I’ll hazard a guess it’s pretty comprehensive in comparison to someone who apparently can’t understand the basics of the language”

    Hmmm don`t think so

  • barnshee

    “I wanted to know what pejorative name the Scots Irish or Welsh use for the English.”

    See above

    Tan– ROI and BRIT -from Irish benefit claimant from West Belfast
    Then we have “sassanack” A pejoritive term by Scots for the English and ” “Sais” from Welsh meaning roughly an effeminate toff.

    Note your quick change of subject when you demonstrate (not for the first time) you know SFA about the subject

  • barnshee

    Had the white south africans contented them selves with their own space and labour and stopped using black tribes as cheap labour- who knows?
    And SA has been such a roaring sucess since?

  • Zeno

    “I’m not trying to ‘make an argument’ I’m presenting you with the facts.
    Loyalists killed more Catholic civilians than the IRA, those are the facts.”

    Yes indeed but all your facts do is prove something I didn’t say. I’d call that a strawman. I did not say the IRA killed more Catholics that loyalists.

  • Zeno

    What I said was quite specific. It was in response to your claim that the PIRA was formed to protect Catholics. If you misunderstood it, that is hardly my fault. Why did they murder so many if they were protecting them? Why did they disappear them, why did they use them as human bombs? What protection exactly were they offering?

  • Zeno

    The British Army was here to do that (protect Catholics). That was a huge problem for the IRA……. or as the graffiti said at the time IRA…. I RAN AWAY.
    The IRA failed to protect Catholics in 69 and have been the same ever since.
    They murdered Catholics for power.

  • Pint of Plain

    How very funny. Ballymena yoursel? UK does fine with most of the phone answering being done in Liverpool and Glasgow. Lot of corporation tax paid via Cork, by.

  • Gingray

    Are you seriously trying to imply south Africa was better under racist white rule?

    That explains your non democratic view point I suppose, but like racist south Africa, northern Ireland won’t last.

  • Zeno

    The deployment of the British Army in Northern Ireland had nothing to do with civil rights. Dear oh dear.