Common History, Uncommon Remembrance

Peter Sheridan is the CEO of Cooperation Ireland The tangled events of 100 years ago are integral to the history that has shaped our peoples in all their distinctiveness. How we recall and understand these events will continue to shape us and the choices we make into the future. Co-operation Ireland exists to promote reconciliation and to strengthen and deepen relationships on this island and between these islands. Three relationships are important to us. The north south relationship, the internal …

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Partition at 100: the British Problem

Northern Ireland and its history have fascinated me continuously pretty much ever since I first learned how to use an atlas when I was a kid. Looking at political maps, I would internally wonder why this corner of the island of Ireland was a different colour from the rest – though it took me a little longer to query what a “political map” was, and what a “relief map” was, and what exactly is so “relieving” about seeing the outlines …

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Borders and boundaries

Last Monday, the Irish Times published a fascinating article (for map geeks and alternative history fans, at least) describing the various unused options for the route of the Border. The Robinson and Bailey schemes attempted to draw a slightly more sympathetic line for the border than Dougherty’s crude six-county one. It is notable that the Robinson scheme (pictured above), despite explicitly considering transport links, severed the Portadown-Enniskillen railway line, whereas the Bailey scheme did not (it severed the Derry Road …

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The exclusion of Ulster, Mark II?

In the shadow of brexit, uncertainty and rancour reign. Whether or not Remain was Project Fear, the brexit lobby is definitely Project Unclear. We’re still in Europe but with a stay of execution of two years, to use a Carsonism (except we don’t know the terms or extent of severance). All sorts of figures and predictions were made, few have come true. But nobody could have envisaged the savage mortality rate of leading politicians. One thing was certain and predicted, and …

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Ian Paisley – “We are Irish!”

    Of the DUP membership, 1.4% self-identify as Irish. Yet the founder of the DUP was 100% Irish. This is not speculation or conjecture or troublemaking, this is a statement of fact based upon unequivocal and repeated testimony from Ian Paisley. Ian paisley wrote in 2012 on the centenary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant: “Edward Carson was a life-long Irishman, as well as being a life-long unionist, and that made all the difference… On this 28th day …

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UTV Ireland, UTV and the border question

Sometimes you scroll along your Twitter feed and find a small piece of information that just grabs your eye. Today was one of those days as I saw on UTV Ireland’s twitter feed the response that viewers in Northern Ireland would not be able to recieve programming from the new channel. This tweet caused a bit of a stir on Twitter with some folks protesting that the new channel would not be available in Northern Ireland. So, providing the essential …

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#Aras11: Nordies need not apply, the party’s over…

I’ve heard it said in some quarters that quietly, there’s some considerable animus shown southerners in Northern Ireland. It’s not the old sectarian, ‘hey are you from Dublin, whip you off the street and take you to a house just off the lower Shankill’ sort of thing. It’s more of the ‘what the hell would you know’ sort of prejudice. And, I guess, some of that inevitably flows the other way too. At least that’s what Davy Adams argues in …

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“How many school yards now ring out to nationalist or republican songs like ours did?”

One of the most striking things about Barry Flynn’s great evocation of the IRA’s 1950’s border campaign was the degree to which the shooting of IRA volunteers Sean South and Fergal O’Hanlon seemed to galvanise pro Republic sentiment south of the border. That was reprised with the death of the ten hunger strikers of the early 80s. But in the absence of conflict and death from Northern Ireland the south has simply presumed all is well and settled and has …

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What next for Belgium?

While The Observer questions the apparent consensus on the need for austerity in the EU, the next country due to take the EU presidency, Belgium, has been holding parliamentary elections. Belgium’s Flemish separatist party, the New Flemish Alliance (NVA), has won more than 20% of the vote in parliamentary elections, according to early unofficial results. If confirmed, the NVA would have the largest share of the vote, bringing the country closer to a split. But, as RTÉ reports, others are less convinced that a split …

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