64 Responses to He ain’t heavy, he’s my cousin…

  1. Patrick April 12, 2016 at 8:43 pm #

    I read this earlier on twitter. Daniel is a fantastic writer. There must be something in the Collins genes 🙂

  2. jessica April 12, 2016 at 10:02 pm #

    Perhaps we should just embrace the fact there are two Irelands now.

    The Republic of Ireland has no interest in its citizens from the north other than the money it gets from flogging passports.

    Perhaps a new independent country just called Ireland, separate from the Republic of Ireland is the way to go?

    We might not like to think we are foreign to one another, but maybe its time we woke up and smelled the coffee.

  3. BYC April 12, 2016 at 10:24 pm #

    Daniel talks a lot about southern guilt regarding the northern nationalist population. Is it not possible that southerners who have friendly relations with their own Protestant population, or with British friends and relations, just don’t share the northern republican view of things and resent being bullied into accepting what they see as a one-sided and sectarian position?

    • Jude Collins April 13, 2016 at 7:39 am #

      Southerners “resent being bullied into accepting what they see as a one-sided and sectarian position” – are you kidding, BYC? Vice versa is the case…

      • BYC April 13, 2016 at 8:50 am #

        Not really joking Jude. I’ve family in the south who are up all the time and I can just see their eyes glazing over if they were out for a meal or a drink and some northern catholic started lecturing them on the nationalist plight. I think they might say try and unite with your neighbours (as they have in the south) before demanding that the south weighs in one side of the argument. Back to the Rising – how much abuse has been pouring south from the real republicans of Sinn Fein because there was too much reconciliation and not enough revolution in the state’s events. Daniel says his Dad joked that the south were “nearly as Irish” as the north. Maybe Daniel’s Dad was only joking for the sake of his son’s self-esteem but it’s clear that plenty of republicans really do believe that. It’s the mirror image of DUP types lecturing the English on what it means to be British because they’ve have to fight to maintain their nationality. As Jessica says above; no-one really cares.

        Except Ms Hough of course! She’s standing at the Giant’s Causeway with a head-full of myths thinking about Fionn and the Fianna and this shore being as Irish as Kerry – as it is. But when some of us go to the Giant’s Causeway the story is about a giant who could walk across from Staffa and how Scotland and Ireland nearly touch here. So we swap stories with the kids about Rathlin and Robert the Bruce and his spider or about Cuchulain training in Skye and jumping across from or we go along at Dunluce and it’s the home of the chief of the Irish McDonnell’s and the Scottish MacDonalds. And that makes you ask who the Irish are to impose a border down the middle of the north channel when it’s always been a bridge.

        • Jude Collins April 13, 2016 at 9:51 am #

          So …are you really saying Scotland and Ireland should be one country??

          • BYC April 13, 2016 at 10:05 am #

            I was just saying (as usual) that even on Ms Hough’s Irish mythology bit there’s more than one point of view so she shouldn’t be getting all misty eyed on the banks of the Moyle.

          • jessica April 13, 2016 at 10:47 am #

            “there’s more than one point of view ”

            You wouldn’t think it these days BYC

        • jessica April 13, 2016 at 10:18 am #

          “I think they might say try and unite with your neighbours (as they have in the south) before demanding that the south weighs in one side of the argument. ”

          And do you think this is possible with Ireland under British rule BYC?

          You seem to believe the RUC were a police force, I assure they were never a police force to my community.

          Do you think the conflict is being portrayed fairly? I and anyone who grew up in a republican community knows perfectly well it is not.

          Hardly encouragement to unite with our neighbours, yet regardless of the growing disillusionment with their efforts, that remains what Sinn Fein are trying to do, and what are they getting from their neighbours in return? Stench, rogues and renegades.

          What are they getting from the britsh in return?

          Cover up after cover up on grounds of national security.
          Lies and continued recruitment by MI5

          What are they getting from the Irish government in return.

          Hysteria and media frenzy regardless of the hurt to the population of Irish citizens in the north of which there are quite a few.

          Yes, it is quite clear that no one cares and we are on out own. What’s new?

          I would like nothing more than for all Irish on this island to unite together, but I no longer believe it is ever going to happen.

          There is no will to accept the truth and all we can do is our best to tell our side of the story and leave others to make their owns minds up.

          What else is there?

          • BYC April 13, 2016 at 2:27 pm #

            “And do you think this is possible with Ireland under British rule BYC?”

            I do Jessica. Because I don’t think you and I are actually defined by our views on the past even if its fun to talk about it with Jude. Plenty of other things we can agree on and share.

          • Jude Collins April 13, 2016 at 2:36 pm #

            Not JUST with me, BYC. I’m a busy man…

        • Daniel Collins April 13, 2016 at 9:06 pm #

          Thanks for your thoughts, BYC.

          The reaction to republicanism using its voice or emerging as an electoral force in the south has been more hostile than how republicans are treated in the north by unionists or even by British politicians and, indeed, monarchs. What reason do they have in the south to be more angry than, say, unionists or British politicians/monarchs have to be? That’s why I suspect there may be some deeper underlying psychological complex at root. Call it an irritable or unresolved hang-over from partition maybe.

          Republicans are a “nuisance” for the southern establishment because republicans force the state to self-reflect and ask deep questions of its origins, its legitimacy and its very existence. Republicans, by their very existence, expose the reality that the southern state is a failed attempt at putting the principles of the 1916-proclaimed republic celebrated every Easter by the state into practice. Anger, indignance and rejection perhaps helps deflect from this uncomfortable fact and from southern establishment hypocrisy.

          Just to correct you on one point; it was Joe Brolly’s da who said that to Joe. It wasn’t my da to me. My sense of national self-esteem is holding up just fine.

          As for “who are the Irish to impose a border…?” As is recognised in the GFA (democratically-agree by a majority across the island and even within the northern statelet, remember), the people of the entire island have what you might call an unconditional entitlement to an exclusive say over the constitutional status or future of the two states on the island. Sure, plebiscites would be conducted separately, assuming procedures under the present agreement would be followed, as opposed to performed on a single all-island basis, but that is what has been broadly and commonly agreed, by nationalists and unionists alike.

          If you really insist that Britain should have a say on this matter, well, it kind of already has had its say, hasn’t it? The UK government is fully committed to the principles outlined in the GFA, as I understand it. In effect, it has agreed, on behalf of Britain, with the notion that the Irish people across the two jurisdictions in Ireland are entitled to realise full island-wide independence if they so wish once certain political conditions on the island are satisfied.

          • MT April 13, 2016 at 9:35 pm #

            “The reaction to republicanism using its voice or emerging as an electoral force in the south has been more hostile than how republicans are treated in the north by unionists or even by British politicians and, indeed, monarchs.”

            Unionists and British politicians are used to “republicans” by now. When they first emerged on the political scene they treated in a more hostile way than they are now by southerners.

            “What reason do they have in the south to be more angry than, say, unionists or British politicians/monarchs have to be? That’s why I suspect there may be some deeper underlying psychological complex at root. Call it an irritable or unresolved hang-over from partition maybe.”

            They’re happy with their peaceful and broadly.consensual and ‘normal’ politics. They don’t want that disrupted by a bunch of extremists.

          • BYC April 13, 2016 at 10:35 pm #

            Thanks Daniel. I was thinking more about people’s sense of themselves, and not putting artificial borders between peoples, than actual legal boundaries. I know it’s for we ourselves to decide. I was just suggesting that the Giant’s Causeway’s as good a place as any to think about the different mindsets up here as well as to be reminded how close and how similar the north of Ireland is to the south.

            Anyway – thanks for the piece – very honest.

            Now how do you think the South can practically address this sense of exclusion some republicans are obviously feeling without undermining reconciliation between north and south and amongst people in the north? I don’t think they’re going to retrospectively endorse the armed struggle. What else can they do? Are northern republicans seeing electoral attacks on SF as attacks on them as a community and if so, is that reasonable when SF are trying to putting just as much effort into attacking the Southern parties?

        • Daniel Collins April 15, 2016 at 4:55 pm #

          No problem, BYC. For what it’s worth, I think Brian Patterson’s proposal of joint authority from Dublin and a (potentially) independent Edinburgh is quite an interesting thought. Although it wouldn’t equate to my ideal, it might be seen as an upgrade by many. At least culturally-speaking, there’s the Celtic link and also the Ulster-Scots link, so both communities are connected, and Dublin has an input too. Would unionists object strongly to that, you reckon? Unionists’ connections tend to be more with Scotland than with England, don’t they? Something to mull over anyway. (That’s not to pretend political, social and economic considerations wouldn’t still hold strong in people’s minds either.)

          As for what the southern state could do to address the sense of abandonment, here are some thoughts:

          i) I seriously think it could pressure the UK government more on truth and legacy issues. The UK remains in violation of its ECHR obligations, after all. There are outstanding suspected collusion cases, alleged torture cases and others relating to suspected British army misconduct where victims and their families, as Irish citizens, would be very appreciative of the southern state’s assistance in securing some form of closure. I think the northern nationalist community generally would appreciate it. The southern government’s present silence on the “hooded men” is deafening, for example.

          When the Bloody Sunday families first went south for help long before the Saville Inquiry was set up, they were shunned and their appeals for meetings with the then-president Mary Robinson and cardinal Cahal Daly were flat-out rejected. The southern establishment had not the slightest bit of interest interest in meeting the families or in listening to what they had to say. Is this a prevailing attitude?

          There’s a superb dissection of the Saville Report here by Eamonn McCann where he mentions how the families were treated like dirt until the PR-savvy British establishment saw re-opening the Bloody Sunday matter as a means of buttering-up or making a sort of cover-all reconciliation-offering to the nationalist community whilst simultaneously insulating itself from ultimate blame: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x83lt5zDRbg

          McCann talks about southern rejection of the families at 12:30. He comments that there was a perception in the south that the families’ cause to have the names of their sons, fathers and brothers cleared was “tainted with Provo-ism”.

          I also describe the Inquiry itself in rather cynical terms above because, as McCann discusses from 06:40, the families had initially crafted a statement to make to the public upon the announcement of the Inquiry’s findings; it was set to state that the victims had been vindicated and that the parachute regiment had been disgraced. After this was heard by the senior NIO official, Mary Madden, in the Guildhall that day (the statement had been read out inside the Guildhall to the families for their final seal of approval right before they were to go outside and announce their feelings to the public from the stage in Guildhall Square), she took McCann aside and said whilst quivering, “That will have to be changed. That statement will have to be changed. Everybody had agree that this was to be a day of reconciliation.”

          What a strange thing to say. Everyone had agreed to no such thing. In reality, or at least for the families and community anyway, it was to be a day of finally having forced the British state to admit to the truth about a massacre that had happened on the streets of Derry – a truth it had been denying for decades – but here was a state official still attempting to stage-manage or sanitise the victims’ families’ collective response for the benefit of the state.

          (The British state also has special or particular obligations to those it deems its citizens, but I acknowledge that for a truth and reconciliation process to be practical and workable in the north, there will probably have to be a mutual two or even three-way process. Personally, I think it’s important to moving on because without truth and transparency, there’s no room for the emergence of trust, which is the foundation of reconciliation. Suspicion, doubt and resentment otherwise remain, as the elephant in the room, or festering away under the carpet; however you wish to look at it. The idea of clemency for all participants – republican, loyalist and British army – might be a necessary “carrot” for truth-revelation and conversation. I’m well aware that would be difficult and controversial for many – it would also somewhat undermine the notion that sincerity have motivated the volunteering of information-disclosure – but I think having the difficult conversations regardless would help with healing in the long-term and might ultimately allow people to move on. People would comprehend better then where they stand with one another. Some say it would open old wounds that are best left alone, but the truth commission they set up in South Africa is generally viewed as having been a success.)

          ii) The south could think more seriously about giving northern Irish nationals a vote (at least in presidential elections), although some sort of official representative, for whom people in the north could vote too might be a thought. I’m aware there’d be a fear of unionist sabotage – maybe that’s over-stated and unfounded – but, if not residence, then perhaps possession of an Irish passport could be the qualifying mechanism.

          iii) More cross-border initiatives such as school-exchanges where students from the south might visit the north for a few days and vice-versa for students from the north.

          iv) Get thon bloody motorway built from Dublin to Derry.

          v) Ditto, a train-line (and cover Donegal whilst they’re at it).

          vi) Less of the hypocrisy, pontification, victim-blaming and general sense of moral superiority. The Irish state was founded through violence and bloodshed too. Trying to understand the root causes of violence or trying to empathise with those who felt driven to it, be it in the early or latter half of the 20th century, is entirely conceptually different from endorsing, justifying or even revelling in it. The former does not equate to the latter. Violence is always regrettable and should rightly be scrutinised if and when employed, but the idea that people engage in it because they’re inherently “evil” or so as to quench a blood-thirst often tends to lead to a rather simplistic or mythical cartoon-villain sort of understanding. Material conditions are what compel people into such action and very few people (bar perhaps psychopaths or sociopaths) commit “evil” for the sake of committing “evil”; most people rationalise what they’re doing as being for a greater cause or for what they believe to be the greater good.

          In the case of the conflict in the north, many of those engaged were doing so for what they felt were reasons of self-defence or existential threat. That applies on both sides. I don’t have to be a loyalist to sense that they felt and no doubt still feel deep fear and insecurity as a community too. It doesn’t mean I support particular responses they may choose and I might think some of their fears are more paranoia than substance, but they still exist and are very real in their minds; that’s still worth collectively addressing with compassion. If reassurances can be given, then they’re worth giving. Having an open empathic conversation will get us all much further than getting into the politics of one-upmanship, mockery and condemnation will. The latter approach, more often than not, leads to a backfire effect of further entrenchment and polarisation of opinion. It’s very easy to mock the “fleg” stuff, for example, and I’ve no doubt ridiculed it in the past myself, but, maybe we could do more listening instead of laughing (and I’m applying that to myself too).

          The most peculiar thing about the southern establishment position on those who felt driven to conflict, however, is not that it is simply cold and detached; it’s that it justifies and celebrates one type of violence – that of the “old (good) IRA” – whilst pro-actively condemning latter “bad IRA” violence. Reality is more complicated and nuanced than such an approach. Recognising that reality rather than maintaining a sense of moral superiority for what I can only assume are ideological, self-validating reasons would be a more credible approach. The Good Friday Agreement was confirmation by all parties to it that nationalist grievances had validity.

          vii) Most importantly, outline or at least start making noises about a credible unity strategy that can bring the island and everyone in the north together.

          Obviously, that’s a difficult one and it’s what the south has shied away from for a century for that very reason, but moral courage is needed to command the respect of northern nationals. I think the south could also begin thinking of changes or compromises it could make in order to, not merely accommodate the unionist community, but to make them feel as equal Irish partners in a potential future united Ireland.

          A federal or sub-autonomous system of government with a northern assembly retained is a thought if the fact that unionists would amount to a much larger and influential bloc in any new Dublin parliament than they do in Westminster doesn’t appeal. We demand parity-of-esteem in the north; maybe its something then to consider too for a future all-Ireland state.

          There’s some Ulster-Scots poetry by United Irishman James Orr on the current Irish passport design. That sort of symbolic recognition is only positive too as it asserts a more embracing, inclusive, secular and pluralist Irish identity which is no longer just the preserve of the Catholic Gael. Whatever your views on the Ulster-Scots “is it a language or a dialect?” debate, it’s still undeniably a part of the heritage of a community of people. I’d like to think we can respect that and embrace it as another Irish identity rather than see it as a threat.

          Along similar lines, the Irish government could petition the British government to have it officially recognise the British identity of the people of east Donegal’s Ulster-Scots community. This community is like a mirror-image of the nationalist community in the north in that they too were marooned on the “wrong side” of the border post-partition; the difference was that they ended up on the southern side, obviously. Some prominent members of this community are Basil McCrea, Maurice Devenney and Willie Hay (who has had no luck acquiring a British passport in the past despite his British identification).

  4. BYC April 13, 2016 at 10:14 am #

    Buy yeah Jude – why not. You Tyrone people have a different perspective on these things than us east coast seasiders. I can see what they’re growing in Scotland and how many windmills they’ve put up on a good day from my house so, as you’ve asked, why should some incomprehensible Ó Brosnacháin from Kerry have more say in what goes on in Belfast than a Beattie or a Wilson from Ayrshire that would have more in common with us than the Kerryman ever would?

    • Jude Collins April 13, 2016 at 1:55 pm #

      I think that’s one of the joys of Ireland – you have Kerrymen and right next door, Cork men (and women, and women..)and you have Mayo and you have Galway and you have Dublin and you have Meath and you have Tyrone and you have Derry – each pairing loudly and emphatically different from the other.

      Ayr? I’d never heard of it until I moved east of the Bann…

  5. fiosrach April 13, 2016 at 10:46 am #

    Point out again, BYC , how your views and Ms Hough’s conflict. Ah, jessica, I see the theory of the two Irelands has finally wormed it’s way into your brain. You see, republicans believe that this is one country. That Moyle is as Irish as Kerry. That we are one people. That we are a sovereign nation. That Britain and the British state has no no moral right to be here. That partition was illegal and wrong. And there is no such state as the Republic of Ireland. Perhaps you’re mixing it up with the 26 county soccer team. At least now you have ‘come out’ as a status quo supporter. Of course you may be a very intelligent poster winding people up.

  6. paddykool April 13, 2016 at 10:50 am #

    It is really very simple. It’s not difficult at all but people will believe any old tosh and garbage…. from statues that move to faeries in the garden . ….Fact is ireland is a small island and everyone on it is Irish if they should happen to be born there. It doesn’t matter their politics , religious persuasion ,or none…. or their skin colour …. or sexual preference come to that .. It’s that simple . They were Irish when Britain ruled them before partition for hundreds of years. They were Irish from the wee dog’s head to the his toes …nationalists and unionists all proud to be Irish…..and that divvying up of territories a few years ago didn’t change anything at all.

    When Britain sometime in the fullness of historical time dumps their jurisdiction over the six counties of the northern part, the people there will still be Irish…and should Ireland decide to divide itself up into neat little federations or four self-governing provinces …it’ll still be Ireland and everyone born there will be Irish. …Just like my little grand-daughter , born in Liverpool to a Welsh dad and an Irish mother will be English because she was born in England .Why is that so hard to figure out?

    • Jude Collins April 13, 2016 at 1:50 pm #

      You do know, Paddy, that the southern government have seen to it that being born in Ireland doesn’t entitle you automatically to be Irish?

      • paddykool April 13, 2016 at 3:16 pm #

        …and who the fuc are the southern government to tell us who we are then? There isn’t even one at this moment in time, come to think of it, Jude…..

        • jessica April 13, 2016 at 5:30 pm #

          “and who the fuc are the southern government to tell us who we are then”

          Now you’re talking Harry

          • paddykool April 13, 2016 at 6:22 pm #

            Well that’s it Jessica. If those in the southern counties want to call themselves the “Republicans(!) of 26 counties of Ireland ” that’s perfectly fine …. if they truly believe that they are really proper(!) republicans (and there is some dispute as to whether or not some of them understand what that actually means)….. but we in the northern bit can call ourselves “The Anything We Damn Well Please” Irishmen and Women of Ireland and paint our arses blue , if we want to …because that’s where we actually live and have been born into. At the moment the south has only got jurisdiction over 26 counties of the Ireland landmass so that’s all they can lay claim to as far as being Irish people .You can’t say they’ve got the whole bag of sweeties yet…. because they haven’t …..only a part of it. See it’s a two-edged sword

          • paddykool April 13, 2016 at 6:28 pm #

            In other words you could easily argue that those in the 26 counties jurisdiction are only “partially ” Irishmen because they can only lay claim to part of it.

          • jessica April 13, 2016 at 9:47 pm #

            “In other words you could easily argue that those in the 26 counties jurisdiction are only “partially ” Irishmen because they can only lay claim to part of it.”

            I like it Harry 🙂

            They have lost their way
            We have a responsibility to keep them on the right path

  7. Brian Patterson April 13, 2016 at 11:50 am #

    I think that if Scotland goes independent, as I hope it will, serious consideration should be given to promoting joint rule of the 6 counties by Edinburgh and Dublin.

    • Jude Collins April 13, 2016 at 1:49 pm #

      Now THERE’S a thought…

    • Daniel Collins April 13, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

      An interesting proposal, which I think many would find more palatable than the present arrangement.

  8. Wolfe tone April 13, 2016 at 2:08 pm #

    The six counties is like the black sheep of the family to some southerners. Like most black sheep the six counties was treated differently to the rest of the family(26 counties). By being treated differently the black sheep tended to be a bit more outspoken and troublesome much to the embarrassment of the family, especially in the company of other ‘respectable’ families. Rather than face up to the fact that the family, by neglecting the black sheep and treating them differently, they bear responsibility for how the black sheep has ended up, they make excuses to cover their neglect. E.g there was no talking to the black sheep; they can’t behave and they have done bad things etc etc. The family want nothing to do with the black sheep cos of their behaviour. Again making excuses to cover their neglect and responsibility for abandoning the black sheep.
    When the black sheep gate crashes the wider family’s public functions it irks them as it again is a reminder of the of the shameful abuse/neglect they afforded to one of their own. They really wish the black sheep would go away and thus take away their shame.
    Thankfully the black sheep won’t go away as it is their right to be afforded the same entitlements and respect as the rest of the family receive. Thankfully some within the family break away and stand up for the black sheep much to the chagrin of wider family. Again these family members, by standing up and fighting for their unwanted black sheep, embarrass the clan as it brings home a reminder of their neglect and shame. The shame is even more stinging when younger family members make it their business in standing up for the black sheep. It reminds the older family members what they should’ve done all those years ago but due to laziness,selfishness,cowardice etc they didn’t. Alas rather than face up to its guilt, some family members continue to make excuses for their selfishness,cowardice etc. Sadly for them the black sheep is continuing to remind them and won’t go away any time soon.

  9. Am Ghobsmacht April 13, 2016 at 5:25 pm #

    Pardon my coldness, but, is this not ‘business as usual’?

    The north has always been a troublesome attachment to Ireland and if people are feeling like this after a century of tremendous Irish homogenisation ( at least on the nationalist side of the fence) then perhaps it’s time for a rethink?

    Irish nationalists of the north try to be more ‘Irish than Irish’ and the unionists try to be more ‘British than British’.

    Could we all not try to be more ‘Ulster than Ulster’ and create a middle ground for those who wish to tread there?

    E.g. Emphasis on Ulster Irish dialects especially Antrim Irish, it has overlaps with Scottish-Gaelic and that would at worst confuse people on the unionist side, at best it would build a bridge.

    The same could apply to a lot of pre-Gaelic league ‘reforms’ eg Ulster dancing, Ulster Hurling (more like shinty), Ulster fiddling (until recently found in many Orange halls), more bag pipe bands, more Hibernian lambeg drums etc etc.

    Forget Dublin, forget London, concentrate on Belfast.

    Forget the tricolour, forget the union flag, concentrate on THE HAND.

    You never know your luck, we may get to the stage where people don’t care who is in charge at the top…

    • jessica April 13, 2016 at 5:58 pm #

      AG, what has Britain got to do with Ireland other than try to be our colonial masters?

      Build a bridge with who?

      I will never accept Britain occupying a blade of grass in Ireland.
      If they want to build a bridge, fine, but don’t try to occupy and control the land on either side of it.

      • Am Ghobsmacht April 14, 2016 at 7:22 am #

        “Build a bridge with who?”

        Um, Catholics and Protestants.

        • jessica April 14, 2016 at 8:05 am #

          “Um, Catholics and Protestants.”

          I don’t know any single person who has a problem with Protestants.

          We just want to be irish.

          Britain is the problem so if the bridge doesn’t even go there it is building a bridge to nowhere and for nothing.

          Our problem cannot be resolved internally.

          • MT April 14, 2016 at 8:19 am #

            Nobody’s stopping you or anyone else being Irish, British or whatever you want to be.

          • Am Ghobsmacht April 14, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

            “I don’t know any single person who has a problem with Protestants.”

            It’s not like Protestants and Britain aren’t intrinsically linked is it? If it wasn’t for Northern Protestants then there’d be no British presence in Ireland.

            What is the nationalist plan for dealing with place like North Down and East Antrim IF the British decide to leave?

            I think you’ll find having ‘bridges’ in place to the Protestant populations there would make a united Ireland a more workable place.

          • jessica April 14, 2016 at 6:09 pm #

            It’s not like Protestants and Britain aren’t intrinsically linked is it?

            No I don’t believe it is, perhaps once but not any more.
            Tony Blair didn’t seem to think so anyway.

            “If it wasn’t for Northern Protestants then there’d be no British presence in Ireland.”

            If you are saying Britain’s presence here is purely sectarian then I agree whole heartedly.

            There are a growing number of Irish protestants, there is a church of Ireland so no, Protestantism is most definitely not intrinsically linked with British rule in Ireland.
            You don’t believe so yourself either, you said you believed Pentecostalism would be the fastest growing religion in Ireland which I would have no problem with.

            “What is the nationalist plan for dealing with place like North Down and East Antrim IF the British decide to leave?”

            It will remain controlled by the same people who live in that council today. Why should a plan for location specific areas be needed?

            A British withdrawal would take between 5 and 15 years so its not like there will be dramatic changes.

            You are simply scaremongering AG.

            “I think you’ll find having ‘bridges’ in place to the Protestant populations there would make a united Ireland a more workable place.”

            The only bridges needed I can see are between the north and south where relations have gone to hell.

            The relationship between these islands east west has never been better.

            Once British intelligence get their dirty tacticians and warmongers out of Ireland we will be just fine.

          • Am Ghobsmacht April 15, 2016 at 5:58 pm #

            Jessica

            What I wrote and what you’ve interpreted are very different things….

          • jessica April 15, 2016 at 6:29 pm #

            “What I wrote and what you’ve interpreted are very different things….”

            Then in what way are Protestants and Britain intrinsically linked?

            I don’t believe they are.

            Some of Irelands greatest republicans were protestant.

            Religion was brought into the mix by Ian Paisley to entrench opinions as religious fervour and zeal make people more obedient and determined. There is no religious link with Britain, only a commonality that both Ireland and Britain are Christian countries.

  10. MT April 13, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

    There’s a bit of an irony in northern nationalists on the one hand proclaiming the apparent natural unity of the Irish people while on the other expecting southerners to side with them rather than unionists, when doing so implies an acceptance thst there are in fact two peoples.

    As for a feeling of abandonment by the South, what did they expect them to do?

    • Daniel Collins April 13, 2016 at 9:54 pm #

      Do you mean two peoples in the north (nationalists and unionists) or two peoples on the island (northerners and southerners)?

      Ask most southerners if they’d swap 26-county independence to be under British jurisdiction and they’ll strongly reject your proposal. They wouldn’t be happy to have applied to themselves what they’ll contently expect northern nationalists to accept and get on with. Self-interest trumped principles. If principles still mean anything, you can surely appreciate the sense of resentful abandonment. Ulster Protestants marooned on the southern side of the border – in Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan – felt much the same in reverse.

      • MT April 14, 2016 at 8:13 am #

        “Do you mean two peoples in the north (nationalists and unionists) or two peoples on the island (northerners and southerners)?”

        I mean nationalists and unionists: two peoples on the island and also in NI.

        “Ask most southerners if they’d swap 26-county independence to be under British jurisdiction and they’ll strongly reject your proposal.”

        What proposal? I didn’t make a proposal.

        “They wouldn’t be happy to have applied to themselves what they’ll contently expect northern nationalists to accept and get on with. Self-interest trumped principles. If principles still mean anything, you can surely appreciate the sense of resentful abandonment.”

        True, but then they didn’t and don’t share where they live with unionists.

        And anyway it doesn’t mean there isn’t an irony in northern nationalists on the one hand proclaiming a single Irish people and on the other expecting southerners to distinguish between two peoples in the north and side with one of them against the other.

        “Ulster Protestants marooned on the southern side of the border – in Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan – felt much the same in reverse.”

        Though unlike nationalists in NI they accepted the political settlement and got on with their lives.

        • Daniel Collins April 15, 2016 at 5:36 pm #

          “I mean nationalists and unionists: two peoples on the island and also in NI.”

          Where’s the irony exactly? I have no issue whatsoever recognising that the unionist people identify as British and have contrasting political aspirations, whilst many also identify as Irish, but as a regional or sub-national British identity. It’s a different Irish identity from my own national 32-county one, but they’re still Irish.

          The United Irishman, who were made up of Ulster-Scots and Presbyterians of the exact same origin as many unionists in the north today, were able to employ the term Irishman as a cover-all term for “Catholics, Protestants and Dissenters”. I don’t see why the different traditions cannot be reconciled again under the one umbrella in future. When the national rugby team plays, do unionist supporters not view it as the country team? They view the entire team as Irish collectively, don’t they? (Maybe they don’t; just asking because I’m not certain.)

          “What proposal? I didn’t make a proposal.”

          Heh, no, I was referring back to the hypothetical scenario I presented. The proposal was the idea of “asking most southerners if they’d swap 26-county independence to be under British jurisdiction” and I was suggesting that they’d strongly reject that proposal.

          “True, but then they didn’t and don’t share where they live with unionists.”

          Prior to partition, they did; Ireland was a political unit. Also, there were unionists marooned on the southern side of the border post-partition. There were plenty of unionists in Dublin as well as round the border region.

          “Though unlike nationalists in NI they accepted the political settlement and got on with their lives.”

          Not quite. You should read up on their history before presuming their feelings. Plenty on it here: http://darachmac.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/trapped-by-border-ulster-protestants-in.html

          Just one example of their discontent: “Yet as late as 1934, East Donegal’s Protestants drew up a petition for transfer north with 7,000 signatures.”

          • MT April 15, 2016 at 6:34 pm #

            “Where’s the irony exactly?”

            I already explained it: northern nationalists proclaiming there to be a single Irish people yet at the same time expecting southerners to distinguish between two peoples in the north and side with one against the other.

            “Prior to partition, they did; Ireland was a political unit. Also, there were unionists marooned on the southern side of the border post-partition. There were plenty of unionists in Dublin as well as round the border region.”

            But not now. Not for decades.

            “Not quite. You should read up on their history before presuming their feelings. Plenty on it here: http://darachmac.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/trapped-by-border-ulster-protestants-in.html Just one example of their discontent: “Yet as late as 1934, East Donegal’s Protestants drew up a petition for transfer north with 7,000 signatures.”

            Thanks but what I meant was they didn’t maintain their own private army and kill people.

        • Daniel Collins April 16, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

          “I already explained it: northern nationalists proclaiming there to be a single Irish people yet at the same time expecting southerners to distinguish between two peoples in the north and side with one against the other.”

          I acknowledge that southerners aren’t a monolithic group either. Likewise, neither are the Irish nation or other Irish people who don’t affiliate with the 32-county, independent conception of it. I think you’re erecting a strawman in order to try and argue that there’s some sort of contradiction in my position.

          Southerners are of the 32-county Irish nation (this concept exists in minds and in law). Northern nationalists identify with this concept. Northern unionists tend not to; they see themselves as British citizens primarily, with their version of Irishness perhaps as a sub-national or regional identity. Considering the southern state is the nation-state of the Irish nation through which that nation’s identity is officially channelled (although the southern state is not necessarily the gatekeeper, nor is its rubber-stamping essential to validate northerners’ identity), it’s only fitting that northern nationalists (Irish citizens) would expect some sort of connection, rather than abandonment or hostility, from fellow nationals and the nation-state which supposedly represents and cherishes them as “children of the nation”. Unionists identify with another nation, which is their entitlement.

          “But not now. Not for decades.”

          As mentioned in another comment, many of east Donegal’s Ulster-Scots community still identify as British/unionist. Willie Hay, Basil McCrea and Maurice Devenney, for example. Anyhow, just because the unit was partitioned doesn’t mean the principle changes.

          “Thanks but what I meant was they didn’t maintain their own private army and kill people.”

          Rejecting a settlement (which can be expressed politically/constitutionally) and maintaining a private army are two completely different things. You should have been clearer.

          By the way, some Donegal Protestants were more than happy to assist their brethren across the border who did maintain private armies: http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2003/apr/20/northernireland

          Henry McDonald wrote of the killing of Buncrana Sinn Féin councillor Eddie Fullerton:

          “The Lisburn UDA’s most prestigious ‘hit’ occurred on 25 May, 1991, in the middle of a supposed loyalist paramilitary ceasefire called for the duration of political talks involving Unionists and the moderate nationalist SDLP. Such was the reputation of Greer’s unit that several were chosen to take part in a murder bid in what loyalists regarded as enemy territory – the Irish Republic. Their target was Sinn Fein councillor Eddie Fullerton, who the UDA suspected of setting up a Protestant man killed by the IRA near the border the same year.

          The four-man murder squad sailed across Lough Foyle in a dinghy and were taken to Fullerton’s home in the back of a farm trailer, provided by Donegal Protestants who nursed a loathing of Sinn Fein and the republican movement. Among the team was the UDA’s then South Belfast brigadier, another close colleague of Greer. This man directed the killers, including the gravedigger, into Fullerton’s home at Cockhill Cottages in Buncrana. After bursting into the house the Lisburn UDA men shot Fullerton in his bedroom in front of his English-born wife. They then fled in a hijacked car.”

          • MT April 17, 2016 at 8:53 am #

            “I think you’re erecting a strawman in order to try and argue that there’s some sort of contradiction in my position.”

            I was referring to northern nationalists generally.

            “Southerners are of the 32-county Irish nation (this concept exists in minds and in law). Northern nationalists identify with this concept. Northern unionists tend not to; they see themselves as British citizens primarily, with their version of Irishness perhaps as a sub-national or regional identity. Considering the southern state is the nation-state of the Irish nation through which that nation’s identity is officially channelled (although the southern state is not necessarily the gatekeeper, nor is its rubber-stamping essential to validate northerners’ identity), it’s only fitting that northern nationalists (Irish citizens) would expect some sort of connection, rather than abandonment or hostility, from fellow nationals and the nation-state which supposedly represents and cherishes them as “children of the nation”.”

            And the irony is thst, in doing so, they expect southerners to side with them against unionists, thus inadvertently acknowledging that there are, in fact, two peoples (or ‘nations’) on the Island. Something they ordinarily prefer to deny.

          • Jude Collins April 17, 2016 at 10:21 am #

            Bacause people are your political or even military adversaries, MT, doesn’t mean they’re from a different nation.

          • MT April 17, 2016 at 10:45 am #

            Surely it’s up to people themselves to decide whether or not they want to belong to a particular ‘nation’?

          • Jude Collins April 17, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

            Are you suggesting that if I wanted to belong to, say, the Blackfoot nation, I just sort say that’s what I want? And can I change my mind – be a serial nationalist, so to say?

          • MT April 17, 2016 at 12:53 pm #

            “Are you suggesting that if I wanted to belong to, say, the Blackfoot nation, I just sort say that’s what I want? And can I change my mind – be a serial nationalist, so to say?”

            People would probably think you were an idiot, but I don’t see why you shouldn’t have autonomy over your own identity.

            But the point really was that it can’t be right that one people can point at another and tell them that they belong to a particular ‘nation’ regardless of what those people believe themselves. That appears to me to be something rather undesirable and potentially dangerous.

          • Jude Collins April 17, 2016 at 2:34 pm #

            I notice you didn’t respond to my question, other than to engage in insult, WT. As I’m sure you know, that’s a clear sign of..well you know the rest. I hope.

          • MT April 17, 2016 at 2:36 pm #

            “I notice you didn’t respond to my question, other than to engage in insult, WT. As I’m sure you know, that’s a clear sign of..well you know the rest. I hope.”

            Eh? I did answer it and I didn’t engage in insult.

          • jessica April 17, 2016 at 3:59 pm #

            “But the point really was that it can’t be right that one people can point at another and tell them that they belong to a particular ‘nation’ regardless of what those people believe themselves. That appears to me to be something rather undesirable and potentially dangerous.”

            You cant MT, you can only point out the obvious.
            Its only a really problem when you aren’t happy with the nationality you were born with, you have to learn to live with it.
            A bit like a man who would prefer to have been born a woman or vice versa.

            You can I support renationalise, but you would need to leave Ireland if it is a departure from Irishness you seek.

            It only gets dangerous when you try to create a new nation over the top of an existing one at the expense of those who were happy with the original, i.e. Ireland will never be within britain, it is physically impossible.

          • MT April 17, 2016 at 10:14 pm #

            Eh?

          • jessica April 17, 2016 at 12:29 pm #

            “Surely it’s up to people themselves to decide whether or not they want to belong to a particular ‘nation’?”

            Not always MT.

            Nations can get complex apparently.

            The only inalienable right to nationality is the one linked to territory. That cannot be denied by anyone.
            If you were born somewhere you were born there and that’s it.

            It seems to be when statehood, taxes and such come into play then it gets much more complicated.

            You cannot simply switch unless a group of nations agree to this, as in the EU and as with the brexit, not everyone likes that.

            The GFA guarantees your British identity MT, you don’t need any such guarantee to be part of the Irish nation, that it a birth right because you were born in Ireland. It doesn’t matter what tyrant holds the jurisdictional legalities, that is what an inalienable right means.

            I would dare say there is a few on this island would like that not to be the case.

            It doesn’t stop you having a sub nation I suppose if you really wanted to, such as north eastern Irish, but you would still be Irish all the same.

          • MT April 17, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

            Eh?

            We’re discussing membership of ‘nations’, not citizenship of states.

      • MT April 14, 2016 at 8:23 am #

        By the way you didn’t answer my question about ‘abandonment’ by southerners What did/do northern nationalists expect southerners to do?

        • jessica April 14, 2016 at 8:42 am #

          “By the way you didn’t answer my question about ‘abandonment’ by southerners What did/do northern nationalists expect southerners to do?”

          It would be nice to have their official support in getting Britain to come clean on its past, perhaps bringing it up in the EU as a human rights matter.

        • Wolfe tone April 14, 2016 at 1:09 pm #

          ‘What did/do northern nationalists expect southerners to do?’

          They should’ve stopped making excuses and tried a bit harder to stop partition for starters. They should/have not succumb/succumbed to threats of violence from the British state and its lackeys.

          They have no excuses now and yet some still camouflage their selfishness,cowardice by blaming northerners for their shameful neglect. Pull the ladder up jack I’m alright should be printed in their present day proclaimation.

          • MT April 14, 2016 at 1:22 pm #

            “They should’ve stopped making excuses and tried a bit harder to stop partition for starters. They should/have not succumb/succumbed to threats of violence from the British state and its lackeys.”

            You’re suggesting war?

        • Daniel Collins April 15, 2016 at 5:13 pm #

          MT; I posted some thoughts on how I think the south could start practically addressing the sense of abandonment (with consideration of the unionist community too) in a fairly lengthy comment in response to BYC further up the page. This link to it might work, although it’s still awaiting moderation at the time of me posting this scomment: http://www.judecollins.com/2016/04/he-aint-heavy-hes-my-cousin/#comment-314591

          For a start, a dropping back down of the ladder they pulled up after achieving independence would be most welcome. That means devising and voicing a credible unity strategy that will appeal to both nationalists and unionists in the north. The could also stop pretending the aspirations outlined in the 1916 Proclamation have been realised.

          • MT April 15, 2016 at 6:46 pm #

            Can’t see how a unity strategy could ever appeal to unionists. It would have the opposite effect.

          • jessica April 15, 2016 at 10:37 pm #

            “Can’t see how a unity strategy could ever appeal to unionists. It would have the opposite effect.”

            Now there’s a surprise

  11. Wolfe tone April 14, 2016 at 6:11 pm #

    ‘You’re suggesting war?’

    It was the British and their lackeys who suggested/threatened war as you well know. Now rather than blame northerners, for not pursuing a 32 county republic, they should hold their hands up and admit they calved to those threats. There’s no shame in walking away from a battle but for gods sakes let’s not pretend they achieved what they set out to achieve and then further down the line blame the nordies for that continuing failure.
    It takes a man to admit he is wrong but unfortunately some in the free state refuse to acknowledge the shameful deal they gave their fellow countrymen in the six counties. They still continue to use the history of the troubles to deflect their shame.

    • MT April 14, 2016 at 11:21 pm #

      “It was the British and their lackeys who suggested/threatened war as you well know. Now rather than blame northerners, for not pursuing a 32 county republic, they should hold their hands up and admit they calved to those threats. There’s no shame in walking away from a battle but for gods sakes let’s not pretend they achieved what they set out to achieve and then further down the line blame the nordies for that continuing failure.
      It takes a man to admit he is wrong but unfortunately some in the free state refuse to acknowledge the shameful deal they gave their fellow countrymen in the six counties. They still continue to use the history of the troubles to deflect their shame.”

      So you are saying war – i.e. the nationalists should have continued their ‘war of independence’ after 1921?