‘The Celtic Union’ by Jessica McGrann


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Will Brexit harm the EU?

I guess that remains to be seen.  I feel it certainly has the potential to do so.

TTIP is bound to be on hold to see how things play out with the US no 1 ally Britain.

If the UK remains united, other EU nations such as Ireland and Netherlands may feel they too would be better off outside of the EU and in a closer trade relationship with Britain, which would put further strain on the Eurozone and Italy and Greece in particular.

In Ireland, the divisions caused by the EU and Brexit go even deeper.

Unionist see the challenges for the ROI as problems for another country.

Nationalists see them as challenges for the whole country which includes the north and put the relationship between both parts of our country as more important that the relationship with England..

I had initially felt this was an opportunity for both communities to put aside our differences and unite not only Ireland but try to mend bridges between Scotland and England also in a new union of these islands.

I now don’t think that would be possible, unionism will see it as a choice to be made by another country (ROI) and they can simply decide to do what they choose, none of our concern basically.

Well, following that logic through, I am now thinking England is not really our concern either, they didn’t give a damn about the border and potential for a return to violence when they voted for brexit.

Perhaps there are alternatives.

What if Ireland led by Dublin and joined by Scotland to form a Celtic Union which would break away from England and dissolve the UK.

The North of Ireland could hold a referendum to join the new unions or to remain in the UK without Scotland.

All of Irelands energy imports come via Scotland and the two nations have a lot in common already.

I love Glasgow and sending time there.

There are sections in the north of England who I imagine would also be interested in joining, perhaps even North Wales.

Such a new union could easily through Irelands membership be approved speedily into the EU.

Economic and political reforms could give the EU new direction and together we could pursue the same trade agreements with India, Australia, Canada, US and so on the Britain wants to make now.  A disunited UK or solo England outside of the EU would be less attractive than a revamped EU with new imperative.

Dublin could eat into London’s financial sector and do very well out of it.

The truth is, both England and Unionism have a supremacist attitude which will endure so long as we back them.

Perhaps it is time the Celtic nations united and looked after our own interests instead?



21 Responses to ‘The Celtic Union’ by Jessica McGrann

  1. Ryan July 27, 2016 at 7:43 pm #

    “Dublin could eat into London’s financial sector and do very well out of it”

    Well according to the New York Times Dublin is 3rd favourite (out of around 40 different cities) to succeed London as the World’s Top Financial Centre. Only Amsterdam and Frankfurt rank higher but by only by a few points. The downside for Financial Institutions investing in Dublin is mainly infrastructure that isn’t as good as Amsterdam’s and some other cities and a small population (around 1 million people).

    A country’s population is vital to its economy, that’s why I think there should be a promotion of the family, marriage, etc to influence greater growth in our population. Emigration, which is an age old problem in Ireland, is the curse of our society and needs tackled. Our brightest and most talented leave these shores at the first sign of economic trouble and their talents are used to benefit other nations, especially the like of England, Canada, USA and Australia. We need to destroy this culture of emigration and create a sort of “Patriotism” if that’s the correct term, that urges people to stay put in their home country and build our country up no matter what.

    I like the idea of a Celtic Union but why would Ireland want to join yet another Union? I don’t think we would be dominant in such a Union either, for reasons I have mentioned previously, a small population, etc. Scottish and Irish society may be similar but there is stark differences too. Scottish society is much more left wing. Irish society, contrary to perception, is much more right wing or conservative. How? Well the SNP (previously Labour) completely dominate Scottish politics. Anyone Conservative is very unlikely to be elected. Contrast this to the Republic where the two largest parties are Right Wing to Centre. Even Sinn Fein has had to move a little to the right to get elected. In the North politics is tribal but still the DUP is very right wing and conservative on issues and they are the largest party. I think if we had a normal society in the North conservative parties would dominate. Of course abortion is available in Scotland but illegal in Ireland. Public opinion in Scotland would be largely supportive of Abortion whilst in Ireland public opinion is mostly anti-Abortion.

    I think Unionists in the North might be supportive of such a Union, I think many see that Irish Unity is inevitable and would feel much more comfortable with a few million Scottish Protestants standing with them instead of just 4.5 million extra Irish Catholics, not to mention nearly a million Irish Catholics from the North. But would the people of the South and in Scotland support such a Union at the ballot box? No, I don’t see them wanting it at all. Scottish Nationalists want an Independent country, not another Union and its the same for most Irish Nationalists.

    • paddykool July 28, 2016 at 8:58 am #

      I would say that much of what you say is correct, Ryan. Ireland is a very conservative place. It’s possibly why many people choose to leave it . When you get past the undoubted beauty of the landscape that is the thing that has confronted generations of people. The conservatism has driven young folk away in droves to every corner of the globe.Attitudes are glacially slow to change here and there is still , improbably , after hundreds of years of knowledge accrued, even superstition evident.
      Take a city like the Amsterdam,which you ‘ve already mentioned. It is very easily about forty or fifty years ahead of us here in virtually every social respect.In the republic of Ireland politics are basically dominated by right-wing thinking and there is no doubt that the same is apparent in the north .We have two dominant parties, equally conservative in tone ,although one is almost medieval in its thought -processes. It’s almost beyond parody.

      • jessica July 28, 2016 at 1:22 pm #

        I would not agree with that Harry.

        What drives people away is lack of jobs and prospects, especially outside of Dublin.

        We have the potential to triple our all island tourism industry which is being held back by lack of hotels and infrastructure. If we could seize on the momentum to unite this island and invest in our future but more importantly correct the poor governance inflicted on us by Fianna Fail who have distorted and screwed up the economy.

        It was not through conservatism but bad management and selfish greed they allowed the banks to over inflate the economy, pushing house prices beyond the extreme and then raising wages and cost of living to match, it was totally unsustainable inflation and will take a hundred years to rectify without major reform which would only be possible by major reform such as that which would be possible through unification if the will was there.

        Do you know Ireland is among the most socialist economies on the planet based on the percentage of GDP spent on welfare and public services.

        This money is being squandered and it is the fault of Fianna Fails past leadership.

  2. PF July 27, 2016 at 8:15 pm #

    Nothing like a quick change of clothes, Jessica!

    • jessica July 28, 2016 at 9:14 am #

      Always good to have options PF

      I am sure there are many alternatives being consodered

  3. billy July 27, 2016 at 9:03 pm #

    leaving he custom union is now being pushed so i wouldnt worry about a celtic union that will never happen.

  4. Scott July 27, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

    What powers would this Union share at the federal level, Jessica?

    • jessica July 28, 2016 at 9:16 am #

      There are no pre-set rules in any federal union Scott.

      It would be up to the negotiators of the nations involved to agree terms that would suit all involved and it would be only then we would know if an agreement would be possible

      What is clear is that the UK no longer has majority support in either Scotland or Ireland and that needs to be addressed.

  5. Ryan2 July 28, 2016 at 1:31 pm #

    1. what have the Scots ever done for the Irish? It’s not that long ago that Scottish regiments were on Irish streets.

    2. just read the comments section in any British newspaper and you will soon realize that most British still dislike the Irish for reasons only known to themselves. That includes the Scots and Welsh.

    3. NI is a very sectarian place, so is Scotland, so is Wales. These regions will never be able to get over this sectarianism. Sectarianism is primarily a Protestant thing. And British Protestants dislike the Irish intensely.

    4. NI, Scotland and Wales are way poorer than Ireland.

    5. Most sensible people ought to run a mile from any Celtic Union. That boat sailed centuries ago.

    Ireland is no more a conservative place than any other country in Europe. If people actually believe that the Dutch are light years ahead in their social thinking, they do not know the Dutch or The Netherlands. Don’t mistake the Red Light District as forward thinking or the legalization of soft drugs. No-one asked the Dutch if they wanted this.

    To this day the Dutch run two amateur football leagues. One for the Calvinists played on a Saturday as they won’t play on a Sunday and Sunday leagues for everyone else.

    If religious views are considered forward thinking, then don’t look towards the Dutch.

    Ireland’s future is either in Europe or as is my preference, a stand alone independent country, open for business.

    • jessica July 30, 2016 at 7:39 am #

      I hope you will stick around Ryan2, I would very much like to hear more of your opinions and views.

      A lot of the talk here is really down to frustration, not sure if you live in the north or south of Ireland but there are a lot of us in the north east who feel disenfranchised from the rest of our country and are being left behind over unionist hegemony and British rule in Ireland.

      As I say, it would be nice to hear more from you

  6. PaulG July 29, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

    The Celtic Union should only be considered as a short term vehicle (5-10 years) to allow the Scots to achieve Independence without leaving the EU and to bring NI protestants into Ireland without terrifying them that they could be out-voted and stuck in a Rome based society, should the Catholic population ever again fall under the priests control.
    They would need the option to leave with Scotland or stay with Ireland, and southerners probably wouldn’t accept them anyway, unless there was a clear majority of Protestants wishing to stay.
    I think in that scenario they will have politically matured and been reassured enough to make the logical choice.
    A scenario which should also be considered is that if most protestants want to go and Catholics want to stay then a partition of the 6 counties may need to be employed.

  7. Ryan2 July 30, 2016 at 2:04 am #

    Paul, Celtic union my aras. That will never happen. NI & Scotland are in the UK. That’s your choice and you have to live with the consequences of the English & Welsh vote.

    Ireland should do nothing to aid Scotland as we owe them nothing. In fact, it’s in Ireland’s interest to veto Scotland’s application to join the EU.

    Partition NI again, after 100 years, have you learned nothing?

    • PaulG July 30, 2016 at 10:40 am #

      Agreed, a Celtic Union is extremely unlikely, but assessing the attitudes to it and other hypothetical scenarios can help to tease out peoples real hopes and objections and determine real bottom lines.

      I also don’t think the Republic would be keen on the turmoil involved in establishing a Celtic union and the Scots would likely not see it as fitting behaviour of a newly independent state or risk opening up a sectarian divide in their own society.

      On re-partition though, I think events and circumstances could transpire which make it a least worse option for most NI residents. It is afterall, the logical conclusion of the principal of consent and when recent demographics and pro EU Protestant farmers are considered, the vast majority of people could be in their State of choice with an admittedly long and winding, but completely uncontested border.
      While you may want all 6 counties re-united (and there may be a C majority soon and a Nationalist/pro EU majority soon after), most southerners would take the Catholic Irish Nationalists out of a sense of guilt or fairness or commonality, but have no desire to accommodate the harsh, bitter, violent and costly ulster loyalists and do not want to incorporate their dreary towns, culture or territory.
      They will have the final say and if they vote against, then it’s back to England with the begging bowl because nobody else is going to foot the bill for the wee 6 basket case.

      • Ryan2 July 30, 2016 at 6:05 pm #

        PaulG, it’s difficult to understand the never, never attitude of many NI Protestants. I suspect, deep down that an UI would work and the last 100 years would have been for nothing.

        The real problem as I see it is that the hard core loyalists have never been to the ROI and their vision of it, is the GPO is still smouldering and the politicians are still running to the arch bishop for approval of legislation.

        An outside bet for next leader of FG is Heather Humphries to be the first Protestant and Presbytetian and the first female Taoiseach.
        She slso happened to be one of the first TDs re-elected ar the last election. In fact, she romped home. She was elected primarily by Catholics votes. The first TD reelected was Shane Ross, a member of the COI.

        The surprise wouldn’t be the fact that she is Presbyterian but the fact that she is female.

        You see Paul, for us down south, neither religion or gender enter the equation when we vote. We vote for either the party or the person.

        The problem for NI is the fact that the concentration of Protestants in such a small area. In an UI for instance, I’d envisage a dispersal of this population all around Ireland, through attendance at university and work. A gradual natural realignment of the Protestant population, if you will. People from the Rep will move north and northerners will move south in increasing numbers. Thats the natural realignment I speak of.

        If Scotland leaves the union and NI remains, NI students will not be able to attend Scottish universities unless they pay through the nose.
        They pay through the nose now to attend English universities.

        What future do you want for your children? Re-partition will not be allowed by either government and is an insult to the democratic ideals of the west to create a mini NI on another sectarian headcount. Such would do untold damage to Britain’s repution on an international stage. It will not happen as it goes the very principles of all western democracies. For that reason alone, it cannot happen. The Rep is far more important to Britain than NI is and maintaining our trade is vital to both our economies.

        Another alternative is moving loyalists back to Britain via a monetary bribe. Don’t rule such a crass option being put on the table though. It would be far cheaper in the long run for England as repartition is only creating the problems of NI all over again and it would only be a matter of time before the Catholics overtake the Protestant population again.

        My vision for Ireland is a country thriving on social democratic and republican principles, with a thriving indigenous industry. With a growing population because the immigration of our people must end.

        Whether this Ireland is inside the EU or not doesn’t really matter to me because if the EU doesn’t reform itself, it will destroy itself.

        You also have to consider the fact that England could very well vote itself out of the union.

        • jessica July 30, 2016 at 9:06 pm #

          More interesting thoughts Ryan.
          There is more and more dissent arising within the EU membership and eventually it will have to be addressed but I suppose we should leave that to the powers that be and focus on our own issues.

          I can also well see England getting fed up with the union and Scotland in particular.

          I also share your vision for Ireland. Our knowledge industry and technical services are among the best on the planet and with investment especially in the renewables industry could lead to innovative solutions which could be manufactured and assembled throughout Ireland, Belfast has already assembled new turbine technology in this sector. The troubles needs to be marketed and milked, there is major tourism demand which is not being maximised, can you imagine Poland not marketing Auschwitz over German sensitivities?

          We need a conclusion to the conflict started by unionism here which could very well be that those who are not prepared to get behind Ireland should leave Ireland.

          The conflict resolution centre and maze project was a great idea and could easily be Irelands biggest tourist attraction, the land was given free and it is a squandered opportunity over unionisms refusal to face up to what really happened here. There should be a stadium, hotels and industrial centres. There is an unused train station and it is next to the motorway which links the ports and the airports. There is land enough to build a warehousing and distribution centre which could distribute to all of Ireland and attract drop ship companies such as Amazon.

          There is so much potential for a united Ireland, but unionism is holding us back and that cannot be allowed any more.

          You are absolutely right about England being more interested in the relationship with the south over trade than they are in the north.

          But can you say any different about Fine Gael?

          Do they care any more about the Irish citizens in the north. We already now Fianna Fail would cripple our economy if it meant they could be in power.

          What party do you think has your vision of Ireland in mind?

    • jessica July 30, 2016 at 11:21 am #

      Ryan2, I would never have expected Ireland to give up so much of its sovereignty that it has already to Berlin through their proxy in Brussels.

      If there is no reform and the EU continues the way it is going, i.e. becoming a united states of Europe and expanding through Turkey ever eastwards. Do you think Ireland should give up totally our soverignty and pursue this course?

      I can tell you as an Irish citizen in the north I object to it strongly.

      Which leads to another question, you claim NI & Scotland are in the UK and that it was our choice so we have to live with the consequences.

      First of all, it was not our choice that we are in the UK.
      Ireland voted for independence and it was denied resulting in partition which led to a civil war. Ulster nationalists also fought in the war for independence along side our country men and women who have been fortunate to have had 100 years of freedom.

      The war ended with partition being accepted, 50 years of discrimination towards northern nationalists before unionism started a conflict which led to a military attempt to free the north which failed leaving us with the GFA as the only means to achieve unification.

      Are you saying because of this, completing Irelands independence is no longer important to the more sophisticated southern population and the north can just get lost?

      I can also tell you that there remain many republicans in the south who would not agree with treating the north in this way.

      While you may have a point about Scotland, it most certainly does not apply to the north and partition will not be allowed ever again.

      I would rather fight than accept another partition and if Dublin rule supports such partition I don’t see how any resulting conflict will not be fought throughout Ireland.

      Ireland, all 32 counties is as much my country as it is anyone’s in the south. There have been many conflicts to achieve a 32 county sovereign Ireland which has yet to be achieved, the EU is not taking us in this direction and it was never our choice to be in the UK.

      • Ryan2 July 30, 2016 at 7:58 pm #

        Jessica, I understand what you are saying but you must also understand that you must temper your language when you are dealing with people from the Rep. You must also remember that we have been independent for nearly 100 years and our history and expierences have diverged.

        That is the reality.

        The problem as I see it now, is that a political vacuum has occurred in CNR community. The GFA has not delivered you to the promised land.

        SF haven’t fully understood this either or if they have, they are impotent in their response. With one leg in both jurisdictions and two different set of voters to please, they lack the leadership to bind them together. For SF to progress, GA has to go with either Mary Lou or Pearse to replace him. They must distance themselves from the past, while aligning the objectives of both sets of voters. To put forward an UI with a coherent white paper, a fresh face with no links to the past is a must. They must also be prepared that to lose some of their older core of supporters but the other side of that is that they would gain more support in the Rep and more appeal for the younger CNR in NI.

        A gentler approach with softer language is required. Paramilitaries wearing balaclavas on the streets of Dublin does not threaten or scare us but it will anger us. That approach will not work in the ROI.

        But I get the impression that FF/FG are beginning to realise that history may just have landed in their laps via Brexit. The negotiations of which NI will be central.

        FF/FG have a chance to sideline SF permanently for they may have been gifted history but do they have the statesman/woman to see it through to its logical conclusion?

        A change of approach by all Ireland’s nationalist parties and your promised land may be less than a decade away. I not believe Britain will take NI with it through Brexit.

        • jessica July 30, 2016 at 10:38 pm #

          I agree once again Ryan

          I attended the centenary celebrations in Dublin and the Monday events with the Irish army allowing people into the vehicles etc…

          I was talking to one of the participants who had dressed up in old army uniforms from 1916, everything was fine until he asked where we were from.
          I told him country Armagh and the response was ah well and turned away.

          It was later online I heard about the comments from some guy from Limerick saying the north was British and basically disowning us.

          It was heart breaking but I have since accepted it is out of my control.

          I just don’t know where that leaves us, but I can tell you it will not endear us to the unionists we have to live with that they have caused us to become outcasts in our own country.

          As for use of language, I could say that works both ways and no one in the north wants Paramilitaries wearing balaclavas on our streets never mind in Dublin.

          There is indeed an opportunity now for Fine Gael and Fianna Fail to not only unite the country post brexit if they have the courage to negotiate hard with England who put money above all loyalties and could indeed stop Sinn Fein in their tracks. But their track record in dealing with England has been weak to pathetic in the past and unionism is not making it easy for them to make a deal with them.

          I have also said on this site that Gerry Adams should step aside and that Sinn Fein has to be led from Dublin from here. Our fate is indeed in your hands.
          Sinn Feins electoral strength in the rep is down to the hard working young people who have proven they have the peoples interests at heart, in particular Mary Lou who us by far the most passionate Sinn Fein TD there is. I would like to see her as leader of the party.

          Martin McGuinness I think would make a good president and should leave Stormont politics after the next presidential elections in which I hope the Irish citizens will have the right to vote in for the first time. Hopefully another major change.

          I appreciate your comments here Ryan, it is a pity more people in the south would not engage with us before casting us aside.

        • jessica July 30, 2016 at 11:04 pm #

          “SF haven’t fully understood this either or if they have, they are impotent in their response. With one leg in both jurisdictions and two different set of voters to please, they lack the leadership to bind them together.”

          You are very right. I have always voted Sinn Fein but was unable to bring myself to vote for Stormont this year. It did not feel like a vote towards Irish independence but a vote for a unionist parliament so I didn’t bother and put my polling card in the bin at the school instead, I am not planning to vote for Stormont again unless there is something to vote for in terms of movement towards unification and many of their core voters feel this way in the north.

          It is not being lazy or stupid but because we have been abandoned by Dublin and it will eventually lead to another political vacuum. Even our president snubbed us over the DUP refusing to attend a dinner. Unionists are evil selfish fuckers incapable of tolerance or compromise.

          We may soon have a catholic nationalist majority but it will never manifest itself in a majority vote for British rule in Stormont and why should we even bother if Dublin and our country has no interest in us?

          I would rather the institutions were collapsed and the lot of them sacked.

          • PaulG July 31, 2016 at 1:35 pm #

            We could do with another Nationalist Party to attract disillusioned SF voters. The SDLP are too inept and tainted by doing the Brits bidding.
            Conservative Catholics also have nowhere to go.
            The drop in nationalist vote is largely due to this and pre-Brexit, had led the Unionists to believe the status quo was secured.
            A vote spoiled has the same effect as giving a half vote to unionism.
            We need to come up with something better if were not going to drop the ball again.

          • jessica July 31, 2016 at 3:07 pm #

            I would never vote for or support the SDLP but the Stormont charade is not worth supporting.
            I would honestly prefer the institutions were collapsed altogether than listen to any more bigoted remarks by politicians paid considerable salaries out of our public money