Have [or how] the DUP made a United Ireland more likely?

Fintan O’Toole seems to think so. He argues in his column in the Irish Times that the party’s shady dealings – the Iris Robinson affair, the NAMA scandal and the Cash for Ash debacle – make the DUP look like Fianna Fáíl’s northern branch. While the ‘Brexit spree’ gambled the future of NI within the ‘UK’. As O’Toole puts it:

“Before it embarked on its Brexit spree, Northern Ireland was becoming a surprisingly stable political entity.
For the first time in its history, the Catholic minority had been largely integrated into its political structures.
The Belfast Agreement had created a settlement that protected unionism, in the medium term at least, from demographic change.
In December 2012, when census results showed that for the first time the Protestant population in Northern Ireland had fallen below 50 per cent, this might have been an epochal moment. But it wasn’t really.
The institutions were largely working and, for all the rhetoric, there was little appetite on either side of the Border for a radical alteration of the constitutional arrangements.
Those census figures showed something else: that Northern Ireland had become, as Steven McCaffery of The Detail put it, “a community of minorities”.
It had evolved to have not the two strands of historical lore, but at least three.
The census found that 38 per cent regard themselves as British, 25 per cent as Irish and 20 per cent as Northern Irish.
It also found that while 41 per cent identified themselves as Protestant and 40 per cent as Catholic, a striking 17 per cent declined to categorise themselves as either.
This diversity was the greatest long-term protection that unionists could have.”


As I argued here recently, a more positive attitude to the Irish language would help the DUP put United Ireland to bed altogether. But no, they set their face against An Ghaeilge and now they will reap what they sow.
But the Brexit stance was what put the tin hat on it – and Sammy Wilson is now trying to be Trump’s champion in the north in the truly abject way gombeen politicians go about this kind of antic. It reminds of Kerry County Council’s decision last week to invite Donald Trump to their ‘united Kingdom’.    All this combined makes the notion of a Northern Ireland in which the DUP rule the roost more untenable to more reasonable people.     The non deplorables if you like.

According to O’Toole the DUP made a huge gamble on the red, white and blue slot on the Brexit roulette wheel.

It thought it could indulge itself in some ultra-British flag-waving but with no real-world consequences.

It would back Brexit and be secretly delighted when it lost.

The gambit was especially reckless for a party for whom the union is its whole raison d’être.

The English nationalists who drove Brexit don’t really care about the union – under the rhetorical covers, they will ditch Northern Ireland and Scotland if need be.

They were playing with loose change. The DUP was playing with the deeds to its house.

It has thus done more to advance a united Ireland than the Provisional IRA managed in 30 years of mayhem.

There may be a short interlude in which people put up with a border -whether it be ‘seamless’ or ‘frictionless’.   According to O’Toole, however, the likeliehood is that the border will be implemented as between the UK ‘mainland’ and the island of Ireland.

In the short term, there is likely to be a border for the movement of people that separates the island of Ireland as a whole from the island of Britain as a whole.

However loyally British you may be, you will have to show her majesty’s passport when you land in Stranraer from Larne or in London from Belfast – but not when you drive from Newry to Dundalk.

In the longer term, the Northern Irish identity to which 20 per cent of the population adheres and from which unionism could draw its greatest comfort will be profoundly undermined because it was predicated on Northern Ireland being in the European Union.

The EU underpinned the willingness of much of the population to settle down within the current borders for the foreseeable future.

It is breathtakingly self-destructive for unionism to withdraw that certainty.

And that’s even before we consider how those who regarded themselves as British will feel when they go to London looking for English nationalists to make up the €7,533 million in direct investment from the EU into Northern Ireland since 1988 and the 87 per cent of farm incomes that come from EU subsidies.

And the ‘sleazy behaviour’ of the DUP has overturned the [lazy] stereotypes that writers like O’Toole entertained about the north.

As for sectarian stereotypes, it should be acknowledged that the DUP in its period in government has done more to demolish them than we puny pluralists have ever managed.

The stereotype was that Catholics were dodgy and sleazy while Protestants were straight and upright. The DUP selflessly took upon itself the task of reversing these cliches.

In the Iris Robinson affair, in the handling of Nama’s Project Eagle property deal and in the cash-for-ash scandal, it has ensured that nobody can ever again trot out the notion that Catholics bend rules while Protestants respect them without being blown over by gusts of laughter.

There used to be talk that Fianna Fáil would establish a northern branch – who knew that it would be the DUP?

Who would have been able to tell that this would be Ian Paisley’s – rather than that of Gerry Adams or Martin McGuinness –  ultimate legacy?    From my own point of view, the column by O’Toole underlines more than anything else how establishment opinion in the south is coming around to what was a previously unthinkable notion – a United Ireland is definitely back on the agenda.    The times they are a changing.

  • Oggins

    But why was rule from Dublin not an option? So only UK as long as a nationalist majority government was not in power?

    The reason why it was not an option was due to the message of home rule, catholic rule etc. Add in the fact that the souths economy was bonkers, ‘Ulster’ did not want to get pulled into a left socialist government.

    Do you accept by saying partition was the only option you are reaffirming that the cold house for Catholics and the troubles was acceptable?

  • Casual Observer

    Dublin rule by Irish nationalists,primarily SF, would never have been acceptable to British Unionists in what became NI. As the development of the RoI over 95 years has proved.

    The troubles are only “acceptable” if you also concede that an armed insurrection against the Dublin parliament would have been equally acceptable should those Unionists finding themselves on the “wrong” side of the 1921 border felt it appropriate also. All the evidence points to them having a cold house experience in the Free State, then Irish republic.

  • Fear Éireannach

    My commiserations, you obviously do not expect to live long (or prosper).

  • Casual Observer


  • Madra Uisce

    Rodger Id be careful if i was you Mick seems intent on shutting down debate from anyone daring to say that NI is not a country.

  • Roger

    Northern Irelanders think they are v important. Rightfully so perhaps. UKNI will shape thinking on Brexit etc and special stadas for UKNI etc.

  • Oggins

    The funny thing that with partition SF had a majority, then walked away due partition. So we will never know what would happen with SF and the south. So your point isnt correct.

    Actually all arm insurrections are wrong, not a fan of murder, be it in the name of a cause or state.

    In reference your the person arguing that partition was correct even though it was proven to be discriminating against a large section of the community. Your arguing partition was the only option, even thought it lead to the troubles.

    Your the own saying that unionism would not accept a home rule and part of the uk under an irish government. So a bit of ascendancy tone?

    In terms of cold house, what happened to protestants in the south, was wrong, not justifying that.

    So its all ok, if we keep a section to ourselves… On our terms, and thats that…

    Really so do some reading mate

  • Casual Observer

    So in broad terms you cannot dispute anything I said then.

    Ascendency tone my arse. Just a recognition that the British citizens in the North East would never have accepted being ruled by militant republicans in Dublin. As their colleagues in the RoI found out, that’s not a recipe for thriving lives.

    If being caught the wrong side of the border “caused” the troubles, why did Unionists in RoI not revolt similarly?

    NB: I’m fairly well read thanks, mate.

  • Oggins

    Well, you mistakenly highlighted SF demise after partition, when read people know they would not stand, due to partition.

    I have actually disputed everything you said. You said partition was the right choice, and 100 yrs later were on a blog discussing the impact it had today.

    I just like to identify to unionism, that they pick and choose when they feel arm insurrection is justified. Sorry unionists like yourself who like to justify when it suits.

    The bottom line to my points, that got your original comment, was based on the fact that partition happen as there was no other choice given by the British Government. Partition caused sectarianism, and thousands of deaths. The divide between irish unionist and irish nationist, was widened by socialism and capitalism, of the irish nationalist movement and unionist movement. This was then enhanced by bigots on both sides.

    You cant justify partition as it caused thousands of deaths. You cant justify partition because it caused a minority.

    You cant justify partition because home rule became a default for NI.

    Your only reason not to have a home rule Ireland was because it would of been a nationalist government. That sir is sectarian. The best option for all was an ireland parliament under the UK, to keep both sides happy.

  • Casual Observer

    I don’t think I’ve ever defended armed insurrection.

    Partition did not cause sectarianism – quite the reverse.

    And opposing a nationalist government is now sectarian. Quality.

  • Oggins

    So partitioning a nation cause two minorities in two states…. yeah your really on the ball there sir.

    Instead of having a state within the UK but self governing as an island, unionists did want that,because they couldn’t control that. So they threatened violence with formation of the uvf, didnt want home rule for ireland but ended up getting a home rule for a majority state, and you honestly feel that was the best option. Go easy on the ole brandy tonight. I know its actually hard to accept the truth.

  • Casual Observer

    Partitioning an island, which was never one nation. The best option was continuance of the status quo, but violent nationalism killed that. Partition was the next best thing.

    ad hominem is so unseemly btw

  • Oggins

    Was never one nation, lol that old chestnut. Where do you get this? Is there an official DUP hand book! ? Prior to the act of union their was the kingdom of ireland, which had the royal family as the head. Prior to that parliament of Ireland was in place. All be it under the English Kings,the fact remains it was a nation. It even had its own flag, or fleg for yourself,which wait for it is part of the union jack…

    Anyway, what is the definition of a nation,

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

    The beauty of a new Ireland or a united Ireland that was the cornerstone of early nationalism was the above statement reflected their approach. Unionism only wanted and still only wants it’s valves.

    There is some life learning courses at local colleges, or online courses you should look into

  • Oggins

    FYI, it was the larne gun running and statements based on the fact that the loyal Irish Unionists would fight the crown. How ironic. The nationalists wanted home rule under the crown, whilst the loyal Unionists were going fight the crown if they allowed it to happen…..

  • Oggins

    How was the best option the status quo. Ireland as a nation got weaker under the crown, economics have shown this. We bleed our people to foreign fields, our population declined. We had the great hunger, were millions starved, ina fertile land.

    The status quo was a strong Protestant northern business, whilst the rest of the isle suffered.

    Again, do some reading. Challenge yourself. I grew up believing in a different opinion, until I actually read. Researched,and found out the truth. Don’t allow your tribalism to blur the facts

  • Casual Observer

    Have you ever heard the saying “assume makes an ass of u and me”

    1. I am no friend of the DUPes. In fact there is no party further down my list of possible votes. Nor am I a flegger. But don’t go past your prejudice.

    2. Pardon my terminology. I should have clarified that the entire island of Ireland was never a united independent sovereign state. Rightly or wrongly the plantation embedded distinct peoples into the North East of the island. Their descendants are not part of any Irish “nation”.

    3. Glad to see you recognise that the all- island flag is in fact the St Patrick’s Cross. Not the flag appropriated by those who established the ROI. Pity IRFU and GUI and Olympics Ireland won’t use it.

    I won’t rise to your further ad hominem. I am quite content with my level of education.

  • Oggins

    My ad hominem is because your invasive approach and your lack of will to take in the facts. The fact that you cant and wont answer a.question, or see beyond orange tinted.glasses.

    1. I can look at nationalism and identify its faults. Nationalists have to recognise their faults in dividing the nation. I can do that, you seem to not be able to do that with unionism.

    2. Ooo really? It is really down to what you would clarify an irish nation. That itself is open, thus the reasoning for wolfe tone, parnell, childers, emmet, mitchel, just to name few. Many of these protestant, anglo.or planters, were firm believers in an Ireland for all… so think of that when you say partition was correct. You still can defend that? The two minorities in two states. The loyalist rebellion against the crown if there was home rule?

    3. The flag of saint Patrick, lovely flag. To me not for me as I am an atheist. Quick question, you can recognise the flag of ireland, but highlight that the north.east population did.not belong to ireland. Can you tell me why its called the royal irish, not the royal not irish. Why many of the symbols are of irish origin. You can deny your heritage. I won’t I am Irish living in NI. I can see clearly the influence and input ireland has into British culture and viz versa. I can accept this. People like yourself who refuse to acknowledge their ‘irishness or britishness’ be republican or loyalist are kidding themselves.

  • Oggins

    Oo fyi, were the british citizens, not militants themselves? Was there not the formation of the uvf, whem the home rule party (no militants ) was campaigning and winning the campaign from Westminster?
    Also they were called irish unionists at the time. Irishmen, loyal to the crown and the UK.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    If SF wants not to be associated with the IRA, they could try disassociating themselves from it …?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Yes I can understand hatred of the extremes on the unionist side too. I don’t get the hatred of unionist moderates though as I don’t get the hatred

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Well said AG – spot on. Unionism is only weakened by fighting stuff we should have no problem supporting, indeed it strengthens unionism immensely by taking the wind out of the sails of anti-unionists.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    From a very low base though AG.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I assume then you’re reciprocating?

  • The Irishman

    For a significant population of the north east of Ireland, being ruled from London was not desirable but still happened. Surly your logic doesn’t hold up.

  • The Irishman

    He seems to use one logic for one side and a different logic for another.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Don’t worry, the personal abuse always kicks in when the argument is lost (and often before too)

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Yet it’s still a much higher figure than for “Irish”

  • Fear Éireannach

    People in the ROI had no reason to revolt, they were living in a normal democratic society, there was no injustice to revolt against. This cannot be compared by any reasonable person to living in a colony, where a part of the country has been gerrymandered into a sectarian slum where Irish people are second class citizens in their own country.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I have moved from one part of my country to another. I’m still Northern Irish and British as I always have been. I’m in England, not Timbuktu.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Yes, that is true.

    But to talk to some people you’d think they’re being hunted to extinction.

  • BonaparteOCoonassa

    I imagine a united Ireland is a different future from that envisaged by many at present

  • Obelisk

    Personally I think you are discussing things you should have talked about over the past ten years. When Nationalism was apathetic and the DUP ascendant, this the discussion you (Unionists) should have had.

    You didn’t. Your leaders retreated into pleasing the base and enjoying the trappings of power while containing and denigrating Nationalism.

    Yet now, with the threat of a hard border and angry Nationalist communities forcing Sinn Fein to walk on the assembly, you are too late. Your window of opportunity has closed for the time being.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I’m not sure who “you” is there but I’ve been talking about this stuff since the 80s. And I think I have contributed to Slugger on this topic several times over the years possibly going back 10 years but certainly many years.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    But are you willing to open up to a different future than that?

  • Obelisk

    i spelt it clearly in the paranthesis I felt, Unionists in general, particularly the leaders of Unionism as voted for by the electorate. If you feel you actually have been having this debate about building a more open, tolerant and successful Unionism fit for the twenty first century, I’m just pointing out that project appears to have catastrophically failed.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    It’s certainly been hard going. I think when nationalism goes to the extremes, it makes life very hard for centre ground unionism. How to break the logjam?

    At the same time, I sense attitudes among unionist people, as opposed to DUP politicians, actually have progressed in the last 20 years. I think there’s an acceptance of a pluralist idea of NI, as opposed to one of unionist domination, which reflect the newer near 50/50 balance in the population. It’s an under-remarked upon shift in mindset which I sense a lot of unionists have adjusted to rather well. So as ever, unionist people are doing a far better job and are far more sensible than many of their elected representatives. The same goes for nationalism btw. Few nationalists, I suspect, are as aggressive or uncaring towards unionists as the average SF politician. Though of course all these hardline politicians have their nasty hardcore of supporters.

  • BonaparteOCoonassa

    Like what? There are so many possible different futures – the vast majority of which I can have no influence over. Some I will welcome, some I won’t, some I will be open to and some I will reject as far as I am able.

    (Continued subjegation of Scotland to the dictatorial tory greed merchants in Westminster is one I will not be open to).

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Same goes for me

  • BonaparteOCoonassa

    Yes. Reminds me of that quote that prediction is very difficult, especially about the future!

  • the moviegoer

    There were large supplies of peat all over Ireland. This was only exploited after independence when Bord na Mona was set up and provided employment for decades, including to my own father who worked there for 53 years. Shipbuilding and linen production were concentrated in the northeast for sectarian reasons. A third of linen mills were built around Belfast, most of the rest in Ulster. Preferential tenancy rights in Ulster also enabled cottage industry. The Great Northern Railway Company controlled lines over a large part of Ireland and employed almost exclusively Protestants. Bank appointments were also made on religious grounds, ensuring favorable treatment for Protestant enterprises. Ireland didn’t have the mineral resources of Britain but that doesn’t explain why the industry that was here was concentrated in one area so heavily unless you account for the sectarian element.

  • the moviegoer

    It will happen, just not by any great rapprochement. Unionists will just find themselves outvoted and will then have to deal with it. Even if it takes as long as 50 years there is an inevitability about it. The trends show that Protestants are more likely to leave NI and not return. Catholics and those who identify as Irish are more committed to the region on an unconditional basis. The logic of Brexit is a weakening of a British identity across the UK, with English nationalism replacing it in England. The British identity was a fabrication of empire. Post-UI unionists will have the option of embracing a new union with the ROI and an Irish identity or end up like the tragic rednecks in the deep south still waving confederate flags and singing about Robert E Lee.

  • Skibo

    But not in Ireland! You seem to have placed your future in England and abandoned your Irish home yet still believe you have the right to tell us how to run our part of the country. I assume you vote in England.

  • Skibo

    “Two-fifths (40 per cent) of usual residents had a British Only national identity, a quarter (25 per cent) had Irish Only and just over a fifth (21 per cent) had Northern Irish Only.
    • Almost half (48 per cent) of people usually resident in Northern Ireland in 2011 included British as a national identity, while 29 per cent included Northern Irish and 28 per cent included Irish.”
    Straight from the census key statistics from Northern Ireland.
    I make it a total of 48% have some element of British while 57% have some element of Irish.
    I believe it is incorrect to not think of Northern Irish as not Irish just as it would be wrong to not consider Northern English as not English.

  • Skibo

    I am sorry MU but what do you mean you don’t get hatred?
    The normal five eighth Unionist was prepared to stand back and accept the treatment of his fellow catholic neighbours as second class citizens. They were denied state jobs and adequate housing. My father would have told me stories where Catholics who were signing on were not offered jobs in NI but advised of jobs in England.
    “I’d have said launching a self-styled “war” against “Brits”, whose identity you declare to be bogus and who should accept your version of Irishness, or leave, or die, is ultra-nationalist by any definition. If you’re so wrapped in the flag you’re shooting your neighbour for not sharing your nationality, you may have slipped into ultra-nationalism.”
    You have to remember that this is what happened in reverse in previous generations and the very reason that we have a community living in Northern Ireland who have no loyalty to the country they live in but prefer to be loyal to the country who controls them next door.

  • Skibo

    I don’t know what else the IRA can do than say they are no more, they have gone away. They have set aside their warlike ways and have agreed to progress the democratic process to further the project of a united Ireland.
    Perhaps at some stage you could accept their political mandate for what it is. IRA actions have not put them where they are, their mandate has! Is it the actions of Sinn Fein or their presence you despise?

  • Skibo

    We can agree to disagree on that. I would have said two years previous to the referendum that it was a large step for the UK to leave the EU but in two years time we will be there. If Westminster had any moral compunction, they would put the final draft of leaving to Scotland and Northern Ireland on a second vote. Scotland could be offered independence and given the chance to reapply to the EU. We in NI have a much simpler step with unification with Ireland as offering a way of staying in the EU.

  • Skibo

    I can accept your decision and counter you with the fact that you have one vote, just as I have also but if we have a border poll and the majority of 50% plus 1 goes for reunification, I take it you will accept it.

  • Roger

    If they put it to a vote in UKSCOT in 2 years’ time I’ve little doubt (though some) that they’ll vote the same was as in 14.
    As for UKNI, I’ve no doubt whatsoever about what the outcome would be.

  • Casual Observer

    Accept and make swift arrangements to relocate within the U.K.

  • Ciarán Doherty

    The last time we have been in an era of global political and economic change on this scale was before NI even existed so I don’t think the same will apply. Trump and Brexit represent no less than the beginning of the end of neoliberalism and that will bring economic upheaval on a scale that can threaten the constitutional status quo any country, let alone the partition of Ireland, imo.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    “I don’t know what else the IRA can do than say they are no more, they have gone away …”
    The point was about SF’s association with the PIRA’s “armed struggle”, so it’s about what SF’s position should be towards it. Why can SF not just disassociate itself from the IRA’s crimes and condemn them? If it’s not prepared to do that, and continues being apologist in chief for the PIRA, then it will have to continue to live with people continually raising the issue.

    If the Lib Dems say had a well known connection to the Russian Mafia, were led by former leaders of the Russian mafia and continually refused to condemn Russian mafia assassinations and crimes, you would expect other parties and commentators and the media to bring it up in pretty much every interview.

    Are we supposed to stop talking about the pile of bodies because they are now reduced to skeletons – is that the idea?

  • john millar

    More cack

    The “industries brought nothing but poverty wages, squalor in accommodation and poor health


    “Two up and two downs” bursting with the large families of those attracted in from rural Ireland laid the ground for many of the subsequent social problems.

    “the Great Northern Railway Company controlled lines over a large part of Ireland and employed almost exclusively Protestants. Bank appointments were also made on religious grounds”

    Falls about laughing –the Roman Catholics I witnessed in Strabane and Belfast (amongst others) must have been a figment of my imagination.Bank appointments ?

    Provide data (hint try Bank of Ireland, and funnill enough the Ulster Bank)

    ” Ireland didn’t have the mineral resources of Britain but that doesn’t explain why the industry that was here was concentrated in one area so heavily unless you account for the sectarian element.”


    sort of blows the arse out of that

    Ship Building

    Belfast had been largely built on the success of the city’s linen and cotton industries and was all set up by Outsiders who (like Du Pont and Chemstrand later) decided where they would go based on their needs and availability of resources including labour


  • john millar

    “Yes, i’m glad you can see that your phantoms regarding the and as such don’t exist.”

    Since Protestants in the ROI barely exist (4%?) it may be accurate that “treatment of protestants in the modern republic barely needs to exist.”

  • Skibo

    I would be sorry to see you go but have to accept that would be your decision.

  • Skibo

    Rodger if Westminster keeps treating Scotland the way it is, I think you will be disappointed.
    As for NI, if that is the case, we will be resigning NI to seven years of being the backwater of a UK trying to find new markets in the world with trade to the EU severely depleted.
    Seven years of further deprivation and falling budgets should leave the next vote a foregone conclusion.
    All that will happen is NI will fall further behind the South and will take longer to catch up when reunification happens.

  • Skibo

    MU it is attitudes like yours that resulted in WW2. After WW1 if the allies had acted more like they did after WW2, WW2 would never have happened.
    In 1957, 12 years after the end of WW2, the EEC was set up. The IRA ceasefire was in 1994. That was 23 years ago and still you are living in the past. Perhaps it is better that you have went to England. Perhaps too now that the UK is leaving the EU, it will be for the better of the EU.

  • the moviegoer

    “Falls about laughing –the Roman Catholics I witnessed in Strabane and Belfast (amongst others) must have been a figment of my imagination”

    You were alive in the 19th century?

    “Bank appointments ? Provide data (hint try Bank of Ireland, and funnill enough the Ulster Bank)”

    You do realise we’re talking about the 19th century here, right?

    “sort of blows the arse out of that”

    The link you’ve provided is a very basic overview of the linen industry – it has zero relevance to the substantive issue and doesn’t in anyway contradict anything I’ve said. Must try harder.

    “was all set up by Outsiders who (like Du Pont and Chemstrand later) decided where they would go based on their needs and availability of resources including labour”

    So no fields to sow flax anywhere else in Ireland? No fields to build mills in? No people to employ anywhere else? Honestly, this is laughable stuff. The outsiders were Protestants encouraged to go to the Protestant part of the country by Protestant business interests and a Protestant government. .

    Decades after independence certain Protestant companies in the Free State still had a bar on Catholics. Gay Byrne’s father was the first Catholic ever promoted to management level in Guinness. That was the early 1960s, 40 years after the Treaty.

    Here is an exchange in the House of Lords from 1906 about introducing “open competition” for appointments in the railway companies – basically appointments based on examination with no respect to religion. The Great Northern Railway Company, among other companies, resisted it fiercely. It is mentioned that less than 1 percent of the company’s employees were Catholic. Note that this is in 1906, a time when unionist revisionists like to point out that Catholics never had it so good in the Union. It makes for interesting reading, though that might not be your thing.


    An excerpt:
    “one might say of the Irish Unionists that their being, end, aim, existence, was jobs, jobs, jobs. Not content with holding nine out of ten patronage appointments under Government in Ireland they controlled the appointments to all the Irish railways and nearly all the banks, which thus became a close preserve of the little ascendency gang”

  • Casual Observer

    Not to worry. I’ll still come on here slabbering from the mainland! 😜

  • Skibo

    Sure you can always come back when we are successful again. there are over 250,000 British people living and working in Ireland as it is.

  • john millar

    “So no fields to sow flax anywhere else in Ireland? No fields to build mills in? No people to employ anywhere else”

    Read the sources given

    Look at when the industry arose- Look at the small farmers who began/supported it-Look at where the flax was grown and who grew it

    So no fields to sow flax anywhere else in Ireland? No fields to build mills

  • john millar
  • the moviegoer

    So businesses and industries don’t need investment is what you are saying? Must be a great cloud you live on.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    More accurate to say that “most people down south don’t give a stuff”