It is quite clear to me that the southern 26-county Irish free state has officially disowned its Irish citizens in the northern territory of Ireland.
Unionists see the GFA as support for partition, legitimacy for British rule in Ireland. To be honest, so did I when I refused to participate in the referendum and they are right, that is the truth of what it is. It has given legitimacy to British rule in Ireland for the first time in Ireland’s history.
So we are where we are.
At the same time, the GFA offers a means of peacefully ending British rule in Ireland in a way that will guarantee independence while maintaining trade links and cooperation between our nations north-south and east-west, which like it or not is the only way we will eat.
Sinn Féin are the only party seeking independence through this mechanism. The alternative would be for all Irish citizens to avoid voting altogether to prove the brutish state cannot rule in Ireland with the support of its people. With the changing demographics and a nationalist catholic majority around the corner, that sounds the much more difficult and unlikely option to achieve.
So we have a choice as to whether or not we participate.
To be honest, I am becoming more and more tempted with the option of avoiding voting altogether. What I have decided is I will support Sinn Féin until there is a nationalist majority. Then, if Britain refuses a valid and informed referendum for independence – not unity – then my voting days are over. The GFA is already toast as far I am concerned. I am finding in hard to understand why we should want unification with Dublin at all?
I would prefer more options discussed than are outlined in the GFA, including 9-county independence, free from London and Dublin misrule.
The biggest law in the GFA, 32-county unification is the only option. If Dublin want partition, who says it has to be a 26- to 6-county border. A 6-county state is not economically viable.
I also want the flag of our nation to be the tricolour.
Unionists may not like that, but as they have shown us over the years, if it is what the majority wants, nothing else matters. Also, in the late 19th century the Irish Unionist Party used the slogan ‘Éirinn go Brách’ on a banner at one of their conventions, expressing pride in their Irish identity.
As Irish identity goes, it is a symbolic flag of reconciliation between orange and green, the two Irish traditions on this island, one of which does not exist in the 26-county state.
The southern state has no interest in Irish unity and has encouraged the support for a 26- county Irish republic through its media and its propaganda machine. That is fine, but this was not the ideology behind the flag of the Irish nation and they should find a flag more fitting for their new aspirations. I no longer have any interest in a 32-county Irish republic.
I want to see the flag of the Irish nation and that flag of reconciliation flying over council buildings throughout Ulster. I want it to represent the Irish nation to which I belong which is the vast majority in Ulster.
If Dublin wants to support partition and disown the Irish citizens in the north then so be it. But do not take our flag and do not assume Ulster will accept a border through our province.
I dispute that the tricolour is the legitimate flag of the 26-county state without the support of Ulster. Why not keep your 23-county state and let us seek a 9-county united Ulster instead, and if other counties wish to join us then why not, if traditional national boundaries mean so little?
Does anyone disagree?