Sean Donlon: five steps towards Irish unity

Speak to any Irish-American, especially any Irish-American republican (no, not the Trump sort, Virginia – the Shinner sort) and they’ll tell you former ambassador Sean Donlon is one of their favourite people. The very mention of his name brings a smile to their faces and a song to their lips. So you may be sure it was with leaping hearts they opened their Irish Times yesterday and read a column by Sean titled ‘Sinn Féin missing a life-time opportunity to set the agenda.

Sean tells republicans that while the Irish and British governments, the EU and the US are all motivated by the same central concern as Sinn Féin, the party must realize that the problem lies with persuading unionists of the desirability of a united Ireland. This will not come easy, so Sean has helpfully laid out five steps the Shinners should take immediately to help unlock unionist opposition. (No, Virginia, he doesn’t list meeting the queen – that’s been done already.)


The five steps are


  • Shinners must take their seats in Westminster. Look what Gerry Fitt and Seamus Mallon achieved by taking their seats, Sean points out. (Quiet at the back, please.)
  • Shinners must “tone down the commemoration of the IRA dead and the attendant rhetoric. Not all of us want to be reminded of your atrocities”.
  • Shinners must stop talking about being in the endgame of Irish unity. He raps Mary Lou McDonald’s knuckles particularly in this matter: “Does she ever stop to think about unionist consent?” In support of his argument, Sean points out that 71% of voters in the north and 94% of voters in the south “endorsed the need for that consent.” (Any more shouting and I will have to place some people on report.)
  • Shinners must stop thinking about achieving a majority in favour of unification. “There is no attraction or prospect, Brexit or not, of unity by numbers and without consent.”.
  • The Shinners must stop “weaponizing “ the Irish Language. Sean says the language’s development should be left to grass-roots development.

I could comment at some length on Sean’s imaginative, not to say fictional take on several matters, but I’ll confine myself to two.

Sean a chara, the Good Friday Agreement did not declare that unionists in the north must agree to a united Ireland before such a state can be formed. It said that when a majority of people in the north desire a united Ireland, steps should be taken to set one up.

Sean a chara, “unity by numbers” is an odd phrase, but I’m guessing you mean “a majority in favour of unity.” That’s actually democracy in action. Republicans made a massive stretch in 1998 and agreed that steps to establishing a united Ireland should be taken when a majority of people in the north, not a majority of unionists, gave their assent.

Sean a chara, it’s really not a good idea to sign up to an international agreement and then urge that its terms be ignored. Nor is it a good idea to say that a majority of unionists must be in favour of Irish unity before it gets the nod. I remember a few years ago making this point to the late Martin McGuinness: that even when there was a majority in the north favouring reunification, a hold should be put on it until the unionist population here felt positive towards it. He gave me one of those blue-eyed looks, shook his head and said firmly “I wouldn’t be in favour of that at all.”

But here: I don’t want to sound ungrateful, Sean. It’s always helpful when a long-time friend of Irish republicanism offers his/her thoughts, regardless of how daft they are.



96 Responses to Sean Donlon: five steps towards Irish unity

  1. Bridget Cairns August 2, 2017 at 9:27 am #

    Time for Sean to visit the grassroots throughout the six counties methinks, so out of touch…

  2. Sherdy August 2, 2017 at 9:29 am #

    Did Sean ask Nelson McCausland to write those suggestions for him?
    On the question of a majority for Irish unity, if we waited until there was a 5% vote in favour of staying subject to the UK, they would still not consent.
    Unionists don’t do compromise, so when the conditions of the GFA are met there will be no reason to wait for the DUP, TUV, UDA and UVF to embrace an all Ireland.

    • huge Celt. August 2, 2017 at 10:15 am #

      Emmm……doesn’t history prove, repeatedly, that if they don’t give their consent, they will burn the place rather than hand it over to Themuns?

      • Sherdy August 2, 2017 at 1:38 pm #

        Well, if they threaten to burn the place, we’ll just sit back and let them control us!

        • huge Celt. August 2, 2017 at 1:45 pm #

          Normally, when the burning starts, there’s nothing to take control of.
          It’s too late.

  3. huge Celt. August 2, 2017 at 9:55 am #

    I’m fairly sure that Gerry Fitts abstention had the net effect of bringing down a British government in 1979.

    Has Sinn Fein, or the Provos, ever managed that?

    • fiosrach August 2, 2017 at 10:14 am #

      To be replaced by a. ………… British government. Was it a Tory government that he brought down? Of course he classed himself as a socialist so that’s all ok. Ethical,even.

      • huge Celt. August 2, 2017 at 10:20 am #

        Were you expecting Gerry Fitt to install Chairman Mau and the Chinese Politburo, instead of a British government?

        Whatever happens, its always going to he a British government heading a British Parliament.

        • James August 2, 2017 at 12:58 pm #

          Thanks for sharing that with me HC. ”Whatever happens, its always going to he a British government heading a British Parliament.” Surely that is the perfect reasoning why Sinn Fein will never sit in Westminster. Let me repeat that HC, to paraphsrase the late Ian Paisley, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER. The day that they do will see over 50 years of support going down the drain.

          • huge Celt. August 2, 2017 at 1:10 pm #

            @ James.
            My comment was merely pointing out the fact that Gerry Fitt collapsed a British government., something that Sinn Fein and the Provos clearly failed to do, regardless of their best efforts.

            If you’re looking for a debate on the folly of Abstentionism in it’s entirety, then I’m up for that.

            Let’s start you on an easy question first… Abstentionism a principle or a tactic?

          • emmet August 2, 2017 at 1:28 pm #

            Has to be both- but swearing an oath to the queen is repugnant to most nationalists. Until this changes not even worth looking at the next 10 barriers to sitting in a foreign parliament that claims an undemocratic right over part of another nation.

            Criticise SF all you want but give them credit for sticking by their principles. The electorate are sick of career politicians changing their principles like dirty underwear. They have stuck with their strategy and people have clicked to them in large numbers.

          • James August 2, 2017 at 1:43 pm #

            Thanks for your offer HC, but having read your previous posts, they are a bit on the long side and at the end of the day, in my opinion, offer no real and original ideas for debate. However, I would be interested in hearing your reasoning on why any Irishman or woman should demean themselves to sit in a foreign parliament. It seems that Sinn Fein are striking the right chord seeing the massive show of support which they receive. Makes me wonder HC why your take on things is not getting the same support from the nationalist and republican people. Can it be the case that we are all out of step?

          • huge Celt. August 2, 2017 at 1:55 pm #

            @ Emmet.
            Y’see, Comrade Gerry claims it’s not about the Oath, it’s about Sovereignty.

            But Sinn Fein take their seats in Stormont, a devolved Assembly.
            And where does the Sovereignty to Stormont get devolved from?
            That’s right.

            It’s a devolved Assembly within the United Kingdoms.

            If Gerry was being consistent, Sinn Fein wouldn’t ever have gone into Stormont.
            To claim otherwise is political posturing and dancing on the head of a pin.

          • huge Celt. August 2, 2017 at 2:02 pm #

            @ James.
            I think you’ll find that socialists like Michael Davitt, Tony Benn and Bernadette Devlin mumbled that Oath in order to progress their politics in one of the only places that matters.

            James Connolly took that Oath to a Monarch.

            Are these people somehow less worthy than the giants of Sinn Fein like Paul Maskey, and Eilish McCallion?

          • Emmet August 2, 2017 at 10:12 pm #

            Ha that old argument ‘I mumbled the oath’ or ‘I had my fingers crossed’. Lol. It is an oath of loyalty. If you are a republican and you are committed to principles then the oath is a non-starter. You don’t swear an oath of loyalty to a regime that occupies your land and has tried to kill you, your family or your comrades. Most people (I assume?) don’t trust people who can openly lie.

            I am not going to judge anyone who took an oath as less worthy, that just wouldn’t be the type of person I would vote for.

          • huge Celt. August 3, 2017 at 11:46 am #

            @ Emmet.
            You’ve jumped horses mid-race.

            My point to you was about Sovereignty -.but you replied about Oaths.

            My point to you was that Gerry says it’s not about Oaths, it’s about Sovereignty. Yet Sinn Fein merrily take their seats in a devolved UK parliament, Sovereignty for which is devolved from Westminster.

            Can we have a little bit of consistency here please – do you accept British sovereignty in the 6 Counties, or do you not?

  4. Eolach August 2, 2017 at 10:02 am #

    Sean should try co-existing with these people .Their antediluvian attitude and reasoning has no comparison in the western world except maybe for their hillbilly cousins in America but there are certainly ,progressive and necessary studies that Sinn Féin urgently need to address and bring to the vanguard of their thinking….we need a costed appraisal of a UI , we need contemporary ideas on formation and structure ……robotic repetitive demands for border polls and talk of 50 +1 demographics etc are meaningless without the obligatory backbone in place …..nobody would purchase a house if the plans weren’t even drawn up ! We need intensive and exhaustive studies of the consequence of uniting all our peoples , the effect on governmental infrastructure , on social security payments , on the sick and elderly , on the amalgamation and integration of health services , police… all-Ireland army etc etc. I know these are things of the future but If these type of discussions are instigated now , people will have an idea how things may progress…..we need more action !

    • Tam August 2, 2017 at 12:55 pm #

      What if the costed appraisal demonstrates that it’s not feasible?

      • huge Celt. August 2, 2017 at 3:35 pm #

        Nay-sayers will be shot.

  5. fiosrach August 2, 2017 at 10:06 am #

    As the theoretical majority of nationalists starts to edge closer, you hear the small voices – on all sides – warning of a violence just waiting in the sidelines. Whose purpose does this serve? Democracy? It is cast in stone (well the British have signed up to it) that 50%+1 is the trigger. You don’t hear the unionists saying well we are happy to move to a UÍ at 45% . Why should it be changed on the nationalist side? If we let the threat of violence decide what should happen, where would it end? If we say that it’s against the law to light bonfires here there and everywhere but we can’t stop it for fear of violence, what does it say about this ‘state’? When/if the 50% is reached will the unionists say we didn’t sign this. It will happen sooner rather than later and will be very interesting especially you have people like Donlon acting as cheerleader for intransigence.

    • huge Celt. August 2, 2017 at 12:37 pm #

      You are living in Fantasy Land.

      The vast vast majority of ordinary Protestants, good honest folk, will undoubtedly accept, no matter how sullenly, the democratic mandate a successful Border Poll would bring.

      This notion, however, that the wild men of Unionism and militant Loyalism will simply rollover at a 50%+1 is uber-republican pie-in-the-sky.
      A dangerous folly.

      In the 20 years since the Good Friday Agreement was signed, Sinn Fein have been the joint-architects and the beneficiaries of a re-sectarianising of electoral politics along tribal lines. They have made ridiculously little effort, and hence no in-roads, into attracting Protestants to the notion of a United Ireland.
      We have therefore evolved into two non-competing, antagonistic electoral monoliths – the Green versus the Orange. And the pattern suggests that it will get worse.

      As you rightly say, the DUP, the lead bastion of “Not an inch” Unionism did not sign up to the Good Friday Agreement. And they have made it repeatedly and abundantly clear that they won’t be delivering anything that doesn’t suit them.

      So where does that leave a Border Poll?

      Well, in the first instance, it’s entirely at the discretion of a British Secretary of State to call such a poll – how Sinn Fein ever agreed to such an important sweetie being left to the whim of an unelected, partisan, and unaccountable British Viceroy is beyond comprehension.
      They will have to explain themselves on that one.

      The mere granting of the key to access part 1 of the triple-lock, a Border Poll, is Nationalisms first hurdle.
      And Viceroy Brokenshire isn’t going to cough it up readily, certainly not until the demographic and electoral wolves are at the door.

      The last thing that Britain wants is an enflamed 6 Counties on it’s door-step, so it’s fair to say they will delay any Border Poll until they are under the maximum pressure to do so.
      At present, Sinn Fein don’t have any leverage.
      The guns are gone.
      And they are currently frozen out of Stormont, the Dail and Westminster.
      Quite an achievement.
      They need a political life-jacket.

      Now, that might come from a Jeremy Corbyn victory in the short- to medium-term or it might come from an alliance with Fianna Fail, if they were both to poll well in the South.
      Mehole Martin is notoriously and personally hostile to Sinn Fein.
      So it won’t be him that invites Sinn Fein in from the cold.
      Mehole will need scratching.
      Constitutionally, following any successful Border Poll in the 6 Counties, the people of the 26 Counties must also confirm their agreement.
      This is part 2 of the triple-lock.
      Who, besides the most committed republican, would honestly want the prospect of tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of openly hostile, well-armed, well-trained militant Loyalists with a long history of sectarian slaughter, within their new borders?
      That spectre, whether real or imagined, could be enough to a scupper the grand project without a trace.

      Moving to part 3 of the triple-lock, Jeremy Corbyn whilst sympathetic to the notion of a United Ireland is still hamstrung by the right-wing, unionist Blairites in his own party.
      He can certainly give the green light to a Border Poll, but, as Brexit proved, he still would have to ratify it through the House of Commons.
      The Conservatives are unabashed unionists.
      Whilst they would love to save the £10 billion squandered every year on this sectarian cesspit to use it on their pet projects in the English shires, they also still hanker for past Imperial glories.
      They will not ratify the break-up of the UK, and the Colonel Blimps and wilder heads amongst them will give every encouragement to armed Loyalism.

      In the meantime, Sinn Feins particular brand of nationalist moon-dust is proving to be barely enough to keep their core people happy. Their core base wants to see progress towards their Green Nirvana, but progress is remarkably absent.
      So The Leadership will continue to make grand -standing gestures, and pay lip-service to the notion of a United Ireland. But they won’t actually do anything meaningful about it.

      Hence Gerry Adams will 2003, that 2016 will be the year for Unity, but we are all entirely underwhelmed by their delivery, and we are still waiting – in 2011, the Shinners will merrily promise in their election manifesto the mythical Border Poll, and yet again, we are still waiting – and undaunted by their multiple failures to deliver something that is not in their power to deliver, they make the same promise their 2016 manifesto, with unsurprisingly the exact same outcome.

      Now Gerry tells us with great sincerity that he wants a Border Poll….
      HURRAH, the Faithful roar.
      …..but not just yet, 5 more years will do the trick.
      And once again, the sheep Baa their approval.

      It’s all just posturing.

      When will Sinn Fein come clean and simply admit that they don’t have a strategy to unite Ireland.
      They are merely waiting for the demographic tide to come in, and hoping to politicise their tribe enough to get a vote out of them..
      In the meantime, the Shinners will continue to hoover up the salaries, expenses, and community grants for themselves alone.

      Im any case, Sinn Feins united Ireland won’t be an Island of Equals – and it certainly won’t be the mythical Republic – it will just be the next round of Usuns versus Themmuns, only this time, it will br played on a bigger pitch.

      And certainly not worth a drop of blood.

      • emmet August 2, 2017 at 12:50 pm #

        Re-sectarianising??? That seems like a strange statement as most would say sectarianism is at an all time low.

        Kevin, you have always pushed that we should be afraid of hardline unionist violence- I see this as a cowardly stance and why would you help spread the loyalist threats- this is reminiscent of Paisley’s tactics. I have already explained to you why loyalism could not sustain a campaign without an external ally offering close support- I don’t think Brit intelligence can offer the same level of support as they received in the past.

        Your description of loyalists is somewhat flattering compared to your criticism of the IRA.

        The new Ireland will have to be an Ireland of Equals Your hatred of SF blinds you to the fact that SF are the only party that can bring a united Ireland. PBP have no strategy and will never have support or ever find unity within the party never mind the nation.

        • Tam August 2, 2017 at 12:59 pm #

          Why will ‘the new Ireland’ have to be an Ireland of equals? And what is meant by that phrase?

          • emmet August 2, 2017 at 1:15 pm #

            Equality. It has to be because most people want it.

          • huge Celt. August 2, 2017 at 2:08 pm #

            @ Emmet
            Will that include Economic Equality?

            Or will it just be like the 26 Counties is now, a free-for-all, oligarchy- and Catholic Church-dominated, tax haven for the Rich whilst the Poor pile up in the shop doorways?

          • Tam August 2, 2017 at 7:01 pm #

            Equality of what?

            Does it an Ireland of Equals exist presently in ROI? If not, Why not – presunably because the people don’t want it. If they don’t want it now why would they want it in a united Ireland?

          • Emmet August 2, 2017 at 9:58 pm #

            I would say equal rights. Equality of wealth is ‘living in fantasy land’ even though I would still push for it. Their is a appetite for change and Sinn Fein are the party that can deliver it. FF and FG at the minute are full of career driven politicians who don’t care about the wealth gap. SF should have a policy of narrowing that gap and protecting the most vulnerable if they get into govt.

          • huge Celt. August 3, 2017 at 11:56 am #

            @ Emmet.

            But FG and FF are the parties that Sinn Fein are appealing to in order to forge a pan-Nationalist front.

            They are the two parties that drove the 26 County economy over a cliff, indebted our grandchildren with a debt that wasnt theirs, and continue to make the Poor pay the price.

            How can they ever be trusted to deliver a United Ireland that we can all be proud of, and why would Ulster Protestants ever trust them with their destinies?

        • huge Celt. August 2, 2017 at 1:38 pm #

          @ Emmet.
          Read my whole quote – I said “re-sectarianising of electoral politics along tribal lines”.
          In the 50 years of Unionist post-partition domination, the Catholics largely didn’t bother voting, it was a pointless exercise.
          And the (broadly cross-community) NILP was the second biggest party when the Troubles erupted.
          So, yes, whilst it’s obvious that the guns have gone quiet, sectarianism has become generational, and now entrenched electorally.
          And those walls just get higher and higher.

          So, my point is, that never before have we had two non-competing tribal monoliths on the electoral battle-fields.
          It’s not a controversial point.

          On the subject of loyalist militias, you may have your own ideas, but they’re largely based on nonsense.
          The Specials, RUC (and Reserve), the UDR (and Reserve), and the tens of thousands of people who have been through those organisations, and the loyalist paramilitants didn’t just disappear into the ether when the GFA was signed.
          Nor did they go back to Britain.
          They live amongst us.
          Their training didn’t get scrubbed from their frontal cortex when they were dismantled.
          Their allegiances and their readiness to fight didn’t just disappear.
          And they remain armed.
          Legally armed and dangerous.
          Some of whom, have the most ridiculous weaponry and explosives, perfectly legally.
          My sister is one of the civilian staff that goes round these 6 Counties counting every weapon and bullet.
          Some of the holders are entirely honourable and decent.
          And some are not.
          If Nationalism tries shoving 50% plus 1 down their throats, they will fight.

          • Dr Michael Hfuhruhurr August 2, 2017 at 2:29 pm #

            @ huge Celt.

            Can I suggest if you wish to remove sectarianism, then remove its cause. NI only exists to stroke the egos of Orange Supremacists and this is bolstered further through apathy and fear. I blame the current existence of sectarianism squarely on Unionism and equally on Alliance / SDLP / PBP for refusing to stand up to clear unambiguous sectarianism, criminality, homophobia, racism etc… Pushing the ‘letsgetalongtogethism’ is what has keep NI in stasis, its the pathetic weak and scared people who vote for these parties is what’s holding modernity back. Open your eyes man, can’t you see the hate emanating from their ‘Twelfth Celebrations’. The fake narrative that you can accommodate sectarianism has been proven time and time again to be a busted flush. To kill it you need to starve it of its oxygen, that oxygen is largely this sectarian state.

            I’m no Shinner and very far from it, but its clear they are the only party prepared to fight sectarianism, homophobia and the rest of the qualities of DUPism. The inability of other parties to jump on board speaks volumes that they are more interested in playing party politics than addressing the core issues in society. Not surprising as these parties would be lost in a UI, no wonder they contort to maintain the status quo.

            Here is an analogy you might struggle with. If you see a man beating and abusing his wife or child, do you act to stop? Or do you keep your mouth shut for fear he will turn his attentions to you?

            I know what I would do and what is the right thing to do regardless!

          • huge Celt. August 2, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

            @ Dr. Michael.

            I don’t know what planet you’re inhabiting, but it’s not this one.

            For a non-Shinner, you seem to have a highly partisan approach. But let others decide for themselves.

            You’re talking to someone who stood on the front lines in the 1980s with striking workers when they were threatened by paramilitaries of all hues.
            So I’ll advise you now, you’re on a beaten docket.

            Although, they’ll never admit it, Sinn Fein benefit from the very same Sectarianism that Unionism does.
            They are the green response to it.

            And they know they can appeal to their baser elements when required.
            I could redirect you to Gerry Kelly’s 2015 election leaflet as an example is such base appeals.
            That leaflet was condemned as a “sectarian disgrace” at the time.
            Would you condemn it now?

            More recently, Councillor Ciaran Beattie labelled Gerry Carroll as “Gerry The Brit” because he said he would take his seat in Westminster, if elected.

            Councillor Beattie was Paul Maskeys election agent in West Belfast so this wasn’t the rantings of a nobody.
            Other elected Shinners rushed to endorse his comments including a Senator.
            Curiouser and curiouser.
            So what did Councillor Beattie mean by this prejorative use of the word “Brit”?
            A “Brit” in West Belfast used to be a British soldier.
            Was Gerry Carroll, or had he ever been, a British soldier.
            So that can’t be it.

            So was Councillor Beattie calling Gerry Carroll a “Brit” because he was pro-Partition, or pro-Repression, or an apologist for British policies and horrors in Ireland.
            Gerry Carroll is to the Left of Sinn Fein on all those issues.
            So that can’t be it.

            Did Councillor Beattie mean Gerry Carroll was a British citizen?
            Well, we are told the GFA entitles everybody to whatever citizenship they want – its one of those Rights that Sinn Fein so proud of.
            So it makes no sense to attack an electoral opponent on that basis, particularly since there are about 10,000 in this constituency that regard themselves as British.

            More sinister still, the last “Gerry The Brit”given that name by Sinn Fein, in this constituency was Gerry Fitt who was burned out of this area.
            Was Councillor perhaps dog-whistling to the thuggish elements to physically attack an opponent?

            Whats your diagnosis Doctor?

    • Colmán August 3, 2017 at 2:48 am #

      Superb point a Fhiosraigh

  6. Perkin Warbeck August 2, 2017 at 10:45 am #

    As one who grew up during the Fabulous Fifties in the Free Southern Stateen and emerged into Examination mode as the Fifties merged into the Styx-crossing Sixties the name of Tomás Ó Domhnalláin bode ill.

    For it struck a particular bodkin of terror into the heart of the indolent scholar.

    (Indolent is dosser in Louis Copeland get up)

    For that was the name of the PriomhChigire of An Roinn Oideachais, Rannóg na Scrúdúchán, whose lengthy sweeping signature swept across the bottom of the front page of every Secondary School examination paper, including Inter and Leaving Certs. And in doing so managed to sweep all remnants of courage from the cowardly heart of the dull, sublunary dosser.

    In his obituary O Domhnalláin was described as ‘ small in stature but an intellectual giant’. Like father, like son.

    To this day, the signature of the father being visited upon the son, one still cannot read anything by Sean Donlon ( for it is he!) except through splayed fingers, preferably from behind the Queen Anne Couch, that not inelegant stick of furniture with the cabriole legs.

    Yet, in fairness, going forward, it is the sheer chutzpah of Donlon Minor which cancels that fear from The Perkin , having witnessed it on numerous occasions, as an eye-witness, going backward.

    Any man, be he small or tall of stature who can swagger through the gates of Government Buildings in Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2 with a bulging briefcase in one hand, and (gulp) a bulging bouquet of red roses in the other, is one thing.

    But to then continue his strut across the courtyard, rounding the ornamental fountain with all the panache of a dytopian Diarmuid Connolly sashaying around a Mayo back, and next to saunter up the steps two at a time (his boss, G. FitzGerald being taller in stature but no more of an intellectual giant, could take those same steps three at a go, but no matter) with his head, bulging with brains, still bent low, deep in thought, with no apologies, must remain an object of profound admiration and awe for the average romantic but self-conscious Paddyman.


    The Perkin, and not for the first time, has been prompted into composing a no-gimmic Limerick.

    And not just because both Boss and Underling (Garrett and Sean) ended up in GPA, the biggest aircraft leasing company on Planet E, at Shannon Airport . That was the brainchild of Tony Ryan, whose name is still commemorated in the Tipperary Blue and Primrose colours of a low-cost ufo -bossed airline.

    Sadly,one fine day in 1992, GPA crashed nose down, and disintegrated in smithereens, leaving 10 bill-un (Noonan-speak) squids in debt, by Dad.

    Oddly enough, GPA does not stand for THE most innumerate Irishman ever: Gerry ‘President’ Adams. But rather, for Guinness Peat Aviation.


    Yes, indeed. As in: Keep the Turf Fires burning while Conor Cruising at 26,000 feet over the Bog Oak Monolith.

    Abandon Gandon !

    Let us meandeer with a bouquet of coliander
    Through S.D’s views expressed with candour
    Sauce means anlann
    Rhymes with Donlon
    What’s H.P* for the goose is not for the gander.

    (House of Parliament)*

    • Colmán August 3, 2017 at 2:41 am #

      You blow us all out of the water Perkin with your well polished words and refined imagination. A Ó Nualáin of the modern age. I hope, I so much hope, that you write outside of this blog. Maybe we’ll see ‘Perky’ in print some day.

  7. Emmet August 2, 2017 at 10:54 am #

    I have always gone with the Sinn Fein idea that we must convince Unionists that a United Ireland is best. I think I am losing patience because I don’t think we need to make the argument anymore.

    The International agreement (Anglo-Irish Treaty) should be questioned on legal grounds. It is well documented that Britain threatened a resumption of violence if they did not agree to some of the terms i.e partition. It is usually easy to make the case that an agreement is not binding if it is made under duress and the threat of violence certainly undermines the agreement’s legitimacy.

    We should be pushing for justice to prevail and give Ireland the democratic right to self determination without a threat of violence or punishment if the vote goes a certain way.

    Once justice is restored then the outreach to unionism can occur. But at the minute Unionists are paralysed by the belief that makes things better means making things worse for some.

    • huge Celt. August 2, 2017 at 1:02 pm #

      You’re forgetting that the Sinn Fein line to Unionism used to be “The IRA will set you free”, and they claimed that the IRAs armed struggle was the only thing that would unite this country.

      For Sinn Fein and you, Year Zero might have been the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, but Unionism has a longer memory than that.

      Unionism and unionists might be persuadeable to the concept and benefits of a united Ireland – but not if the persuader is Sinn Fein.

      Sin é.

      • emmet August 2, 2017 at 1:21 pm #

        I think that message was meant for the deprived Protestant working class – Connolly had exactly the same message. He became exasperated by their inability to break free from the Ascendancy masters and their fear of anything socialist or even progressive forced him to abandon hope of uniting the working classes. I have read over some of his works and his words were even more damning than I previously remembered

        I don’t think any persuader will persuade unionism- as I have said I no longer see the need to convince Unionism.

        • huge Celt. August 2, 2017 at 1:43 pm #

          There you go confusing “Unionism” with the “Protestant working class” again – two separate but overlapping entities.

          Sinn Fein have no appeal to the Protestant working class. They are repulsed by them.

          • Emmet August 2, 2017 at 10:04 pm #

            No, I am clear on the difference between Unionism and the Protestant Working class- unfortunately Protestants do not. They are brought up with the believe they have to be loyal to prevent the Taigs from taking over and discriminating against them

            SF have no appeal to the Protestant Working Class, but neither does any other nationalist party (including PBP). There are a small number of progressive Protestant Working Class people who I know vote SF- maybe this will grow as Unionism loses its appeal and Ireland is united. At the minute the only party that will (and realistically can) defend Protestant Rights is Sinn Fein.

          • Ceannaire August 2, 2017 at 11:07 pm #

            “There you go confusing “Unionism” with the “Protestant working class” again – two separate but overlapping entities.”

            Ah, I take it you mean confusing Unionism with Loyalism? If so, why did you not say that?

            So tell us the difference between Unionism & Loyalism or the ““Protestant working class”, as you appear to deem it.

            Keep the answer short, please, as some of us can only get snapshots of your answers during our break in work.


          • huge Celt. August 3, 2017 at 12:25 pm #

            @ Ceanmaire.

            Just imagine a Venn diagram.
            Draw one big circle – that will be the Protestant working class.
            Then draw a smaller circle interlocking, but not wholly contained, with the original circle – that will be political Unionism.

            Then draw another smaller circle, and interlock that one, but not wholly contained within, with the existing two circles. Call that one Loyalism.

            If you’ve done it right, you will have a better idea of the relationships between Unionism, Loyalism and the Protestant working class.

            And that will explain how a party like the PUP still retains the Old Labour Clause 4 demand and David Ervine could claim his father was more left-wing than Che Guevara, but at the same time their paramilitary wing, the UVF, were happy to murder innocent Catholics in their hundreds.

            Anyone who accepts the Fleggerati’s incessant claim to speak for the ‘PUL community” is falling into a trap.
            There is no such thing as a “PUL community”.
            Like any community, it is an amalgam of competing and varied ideas and philosophies and sectional interests.
            Hence why I was listening last night to a Feminist, pro-Abortion, left-wing, pro-Union, ex-PUP member.
            Willie Fraser would have a fit.

            If you want to persuade people into a United Ireland, you need to be making an appeal that is on common interests, whether it be on the basis of Class, or Feminism, or whatever.

            But Sinn Fein aren’t doing that.
            They are selling the notion of a United Ireland on the basis of tribalism – a sectarian headcount – Usuns versus Themuns.

            That’s why its doomed to failure.

  8. Eolach August 2, 2017 at 11:23 am #

    The only party on these islands with “Democracy” in their title are the ones who fear democracy the most. When that imminent day dawns and the democratic will of the people is voiced , whether these pseudo”Democrats” opine ….”we didn’t sign that…we didn’t agree ” etc etc or whether , as usual , they threaten violence by proxy ….they must be faced down ! It’s imperative that the British government , before then , stipulates its intentions and leaves no ambiguity about the attempt to redraw borders. The next few years could be the most complex and convoluted in Britain’s history…..she may end up with third-world status…..she’s already verging on bankruptcy.
    Before demographics play a hand she may be unable to afford , or unwilling to pay for her offshore appendage. In ten years time I believe that the relationship between these islands may have changed unrecognisably and the ones most affected will be the ones most unwilling to change….the Unionists.

    • Emmet August 2, 2017 at 11:35 am #

      Just like the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (aka N. Korea)- when they have to say they are democratic be worried. I think you are also right about the impending economic collapse. I think with the rise of China and India many other ‘wealthy’ nations will be dragged under by the realization their debt is never going to be repaid.

  9. navanman August 2, 2017 at 1:12 pm #

    An alternative 5 steps:
    1. Obtain the criteria to be met for a referendum to be held – gives something concrete to aim for, it will also hold everyone (including those that do not want a referendum) to account.

    2. Campaign for the full disbandment of all loyalist paramilitaries – many in the south are worried about a violent reaction from the unionist side eg bombs in Dublin could hurt our economy. The Dublin/Monaghan bombings made a lot of people in the south very wary of us having anything to do with the North.

    3. Publish a detailed report on how both health services are going to work and be managed.

    4. Get non Sinn Fein People involved. De-sinner-ise the debate. Economists, as many English voices as possible.

    5. A party in the south needs to be directly engaged in the North. Either Sinn Fein get in Government in the South or the SDLP and Fianna Fail merge. This merger will result in Fianna Fail having direct input into northern politics.

    • fiosrach August 2, 2017 at 1:50 pm #

      There is another alternative, navanman, to your interesting post. We could stock up with tinned goods, pull the duvets over our heads and abandon our fate to the Tooting Popular Front. The free staters and their British allies fought the IRA to a standstill with utter ruthlessness in the civil war. Do you think they couldn’t do the same with recalcitrant loyalists?

      • huge Celt. August 2, 2017 at 2:14 pm #

        @ Fiosrach.
        So a descent into sectarian civil war could well be part of the Reunification strategy?

        That’s the point at which the vast majority of people North and South will say, No Thanks..

  10. fiosrach August 2, 2017 at 2:53 pm #

    So you think that a militant section of loyalisn should be allowed to hold the rest of us to ransom? Like the bonfires? And the flags? And the parades?

    • huge Celt. August 2, 2017 at 3:33 pm #

      @ Fiosrach.

      Those problems were allowed to fester because of a lack of political will, and a police force that was never reformed.

      “Give us influence on the Councils, we will make a difference”, they said.
      They delivered nothing.

      “Give us seats on the Policing Boards, we will put manners on them”.
      They delivered nothing.

      “Give us power at Stormont, we will change this”.
      They delivered nothing.

      In the meantime, Sinn Fein have engorged themselves on salaries, expenses and grants. The Leadership have accumulated large fortunes and property portfolios.

      Is there a moment in time where you will recognise those basic facts?

      Because, if you don’t, this will just go round and round in circles.
      And you will forever be disappointed.

      • fiosrach August 2, 2017 at 3:48 pm #

        They haven’t got the numbers. How many times has this to be repeated until it gets through to you? And does everything have to boil down to how pathetic you think SF is? What have you done? Nothing! Know why? You haven’t the support.

        • huge Celt. August 2, 2017 at 4:38 pm #

          Who hasn’t got the numbers?
          Sinn Fein are the largest group on Belfast City Council, and it’s only in the last fortnight that they’ve discovered that they can use Injunctions to stop the dangerous bonfires.
          Mind you, they even made a balls of that.

          Similarly, the Twaddle Hate-Camp could have been dismantled within 28 days if the Shinners had their heads screwed on.

          And, again, the British Supreme Court have confirmed that the Fleg protests were completely illegal.

          The Laws exist.
          There is no shortage of laws.
          Get your new mates in the RUC/PSNI to enforce them.
          And stop cheerleading for them until they do.

  11. Navanman August 2, 2017 at 3:08 pm #

    No it shouldn’t but the people in the south place get value in our economy. We don’t want it threatened by nutters from the north. See how easy it is for us to think leave well enough alone.
    A united Ireland has to progress very carefully.

  12. fiosrach August 2, 2017 at 3:26 pm #

    So do you think that the free state should stand by and watch us being attacked and do nothing in case a bomb exploded in Dublin? Oh I forgot. You did that in 1969. So we are on our own again? I’m all right ,jack. Let the nutters fight it out? Unbelievable! I was really looking for an answer from the huge Celt.

    • huge Celt. August 2, 2017 at 3:44 pm #

      @ Fiosrach.

      When exactly were the pogroms?

      You can rail all you like about the bonfires and the flegs obsessives, and the contentious parades – these are all admittedly abnormal manifestations of a faecal society – but your hyperbole doesn’t swing the argument.

      There is a Peace of sorts now.
      Imperfect though it is.
      Don’t be nostalgic for Civil War, or a replay where Ireland can only lose.

  13. fiosrach August 2, 2017 at 3:56 pm #

    Try to answer. How would YOU deal with a bunch of militant loyalists who would not accept the result of a referendum?

    • huge Celt. August 2, 2017 at 4:49 pm #

      It’s really very straight-forward, but clearly beyond Sinn Fein.

      Talk to them. Now.
      Educate them. Now.
      Listen to them. Now.
      Be educated by them. Now.
      Reconcile difficulties. Now.
      Allay fears. Now.
      Dispel myths. Now.

      Don’t send Gerry out to shake hands with anyone.
      Gag him.
      Bind him.
      Rightly or wrongly, he is a Hate-figure to them.
      He, and Sinn Fein, don’t seem to have any appreciation for just how toxic their message is.

      And just hope that whatever alliances have been made survive whatever Constitutional earthquakes come our way.

      I’m off to Duncairn now to take part in a discussion involving a whole load of Themuns.
      Will I see you there?

      • fiosrach August 2, 2017 at 5:03 pm #

        Anybody who stands up and says I’m a republican, I want a United Ireland and I want to promote the Irish language becomes a hate figure. Don’t be picking on Gerry. Good on you for trying to communicate with our British neighbours.

        • huge Celt. August 2, 2017 at 5:42 pm #

          Does Mary-Lou generate the same wrath?

  14. Colmán August 2, 2017 at 4:09 pm #

    I have heard this phrase ‘weaponising’ the Irish language used before in reference to Sinn Féin and as an Irish speaker I can’t think for the life of me what it means? Do they mean pushing for a language act? Standing up for Irish language education? Using the Irish language in their party literature? Speaking Irish in parliament? If so I think they should be doing more not less. Maybe the other parties could take a leaf out of Sinn Féin’s book and use the language to promote their party message. We wouldn’t mind a bit more support from the Irish government either who seem to be trying to ignore Irish out of existence. Note that their Minister for Gaeltacht affairs does not speak Irish. Are we to say that the other parties weaponise the English language? This is about as stupid as saying that SF or any other party ‘weaponise’ the Irish language.

    • huge Celt. August 2, 2017 at 4:18 pm #

      I think it comes back to a Sinn Feiner in the 1980s claiming that every word of Irish was s bullet for the revolution.

      The Shinner wasn’t high profile, and he had no encouragement or endorsement from Irish language groups, but Unionism seized on it and have been flogging it ever since.

      • Ceannaire August 2, 2017 at 11:30 pm #

        “Unionism seized on it and have been flogging it ever since”

        Unaware of the irony that you are the one flogging it now. Anyway…

        The Irish language existed before the 1980s and before Sinn Féin. Yes, everything went so swimmingly well until the nasty Shinners, naming their party over 100 years ago, in that ame language just turned people off it. Nothing to do with anything that happened before that.

        Guess who weaponised it?

        “I think it comes back to a Sinn Feiner…”

        Reading your posts suggests that is where you start and then you work backwards from there. I have my own issues with Sinn Féin at times but I’m not so obsessed by them to constantly make them the thrust of my posts. People with a singular focus like yours is, in my view, obsessive, if not a litle, creepy.

        This approach garners replies, not converts. You are wasting your time, essentially You will likely translate this as being a Shinnerbot because it criticises you..

        • Colmán August 3, 2017 at 2:55 am #

          I’d say the decision not to teach through Irish in majority Irish speaking areas in 1831 was as political as you get. Unfortunately this was a decision taken by the British government under the influence of Maynooth. How different Irish history might have been if people had have been educated in their own language, to read and write and develop the sciences through a unique Irish perspective. Alas we still live with apologists that think that to even utter a word in Irish is a political act. Shame on them.

        • huge Celt. August 3, 2017 at 12:53 pm #

          @ Ceanniare.

          I was merely answering Colmans question, don’t attempt to foist the bigotry against the Language as being anything to do with me.

          I made the point last night that the Protestant community needed to stand up and defend the language against the bigots like Grand Master Whizz Bang Flash George Chiddick when he claimed that Irish was a republican language and Protestants shouldn’t learn it.

          They needed to slap down the crazies with the facts that it was largely Protestants that revived the language in the 19th Century, that the Orange Order used to have a Lodge that spoke entirely in Irish in the 1970s, Gusty Spence and Carson were very proud Gaelgoiri.

          Something has indeed hardened within the Orange Order since the 1970s. It has reduced in size from about 100,000 to an organisation of less than 20,000 (less than 25 Orange Order members use Clifton Street Orange Hall, for example).
          As it has reduced, the blind ignorant bigotry has become ever more distilled and purified.
          They may well have seized on that random Shinners comment about the language, and indeed Gerry Adams Trojan Horse comment, but only because it suits their Them versus Us narrative.
          Without that division, they disappear.
          Hence why they march incessantly, and fight with imaginary windmills.
          We need to stop financing them, North and South, and let them march themselves into oblivion.

          Now, does that make you feel better?

  15. Colmán August 2, 2017 at 4:21 pm #

    And by the way what has the Irish language got to do with Irish unity and how will Sinn Féin’s possition regarding Irish effect the constitutional question? Are we to say that because political parties across the board in Wales supported language legislation that it makes them in favour of Welsh independence? One should also note that the majority of the largely Protestant Gaelic speaking part of Scotland in the Western Isles (Scottish Gaelic being the sister language of Irish Gaelic) voted against independence. Linguistic rights and the contitutional question are not connected.

  16. fiosrach August 2, 2017 at 4:48 pm #

    It is just plain intolerance of anything or anybody who is different from them. Different here means inferior. They sneer at all differences from religion to sexual orientation to social behaviour. To accept other people as equal demeans them and lowers their self esteem. This does not apply to a large section who are intelligent,well read and tolerant but unfortunately this section is in hock to the ‘not on my watch’ brigade.

  17. Eolach August 2, 2017 at 5:18 pm #

    Huge Celt, apart from your admiral ideas for working class unity and solidarity , which having lived with the venomous hatred spewed from Unionism for many decades , is nothing more than childlike naivety for this part of the world…..( they don’t even consider fenians /catholics human ) , your only other raison d’être seems to be a constant , almost maniacal , verbal tirade against Sinn Féin…..I know people like that , they know better than most , they can nit-pick with the best, they can denigrate at 20 paces but all the hot air quickly evaporates in the face of adversity ! PBP , SDLP , Labour, Fianna Fail , Fine Gael etc etc…..I’ve witnessed them all , I’ve listened to their spineless rhetoric and I know where my trust lies …..they mightn’t be perfect but , by a long shot , Sinn Féin are the best we’ve got !

    • huge Celt. August 2, 2017 at 5:48 pm #

      If you want to view a whole diverse community as one homogenous block of congealed bigotry, then I would suggest the problem lies with you.

      You’re beyond redemption.

      • Emmet August 2, 2017 at 10:07 pm #

        Great point Eolach- Kevin, if you put forward some of your ideas we can all rubbish them for you. I suggest you go and live in a loyalist area and see what they think of you. Again a party created by humans can not be perfect- I am not sure what type of party you are holding up. You did try to promote PBP on here but that fail badly and you just went back to attacking SF.

        • huge Celt. August 3, 2017 at 10:34 am #

          Well, it’s strange that you mention that because Im here at my brothers house on the Cregagh Road looking out the window at 2 enormous Union Jacks and two equally enormous Ulster banners. The George Best mural is in the background, and the scorch damage from the 11th bonfire is still visible on the football pitch.
          Just up the street, the new Orange museum – as paid for by those very generous, though unwitting, taxpayers of the 26 Counties (£2.6 million in 2014), which by a strange quirk was the same year as Carole Ni Chulain as Culture Minister was slashing the budgets and grants for the Irish language in the 6 Counties – twinkles in all it’s splendour, with 21 national flags flying briskly outside.
          Obviously, the one flag that is notable by its absence is the Irish Tricolour, which is ironic since this, after all, is the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, and it was an Irish government department that financed the whole project.

          I’m ruminating about the Feile meeting last night with the ex-PUPer, the ex-Para who now advocates for Peace, a religious minister of some description, and Alan McBride who lost his wife in the Shankill Bomb.

          Very different perspectives. Some points I could strongly agree with, some that were self-delusional. But interesting none-the-less.
          I was particularly impressed by the ex-Para. He described growing up in the Shankill, 150 yards from where the peacelines with the Falls would soon form.
          He described a pivotal incident where an IRA sniper was shooting into the area, and a British soldier went running down his street towards the gunfire.. He said that was the moment he decided that he would join the British Army.

          And at 16, that’s what he did. He ended up joining the Parachute Regiment and done 5 tours in what he called Northern Ireland.
          He claimed that Bloody Sunday is still referred to within the Paras as the way NOT to conduct yourselves in a riot situation. When I spoke to him privately afterwards, he said that there were 5 Paras, in his opinion, that were pre-set to run amok that day. They were determined to.”teach the Fenians a lesson”.
          He opined.that they should have been thrown to the wolves there and then, but the.British military.and political establishment simply couldnt let the Truth be known. He talked in terms of “Imperialism”, “militarism” and made comparisons to the Amritsar slaughter, and the deliberate starvations in Bengal.

          He stated a statistic that I found both incredible, and terrifying about the militarism amongst young Protestant men – apparently, “Northern Ireland” has s population of 2.9% of the UK, but provides 19% of the British Armed forces.
          That statistic is even more shocking to me because 50% of the population of the 6 Counties would never ever consider joining a British Army.
          So, essentially, 1.5% of the UKs population supplies 19% of it’s armed forces – the Paddy Gurkhas.
          For those that believe that “50% plus 1” can br shoved down Themuns throats, perhaps those statistics should serve to cool their jets.

          Rightly or wrongly, we have a unique unwanted legacy in the 6 Counties where one section of the population feels protected, and is succoured, by the Empire – a community that are both defended by the Empire, and active defenders of it.
          And one section of the population that is completely repulsed by the same Empire.

          It only takes a significant minority of those highly trained, highly armed, and highly motivated personnel to resist, and all notions of a United Ireland will go up in smoke.

          Time to think again……

          • huge Celt. August 3, 2017 at 11:06 am #

            @ Emmet.

            By the way, Im a Cork-born (cultural) Catholic, brought up in the Ballymena Bible-belt.
            Believe me, you soon lose your Cork accent when you’re brought up in Ballymena.
            So, please, don’t presume to lecture me about “living in a loyalist area”.

            And despite that, I can still happily identity the fact that Protestants are not the enemy.

            Our mutual enemy is a hard-core, ultra-sectarian, ultra-right wing, racist, fascistic rump, that obsesses about Flegs, Immigrants, Bonfires, and Parades.
            The squeaking hinge that gets the oil.
            The last sting from an angry WASP.

            They will be on display at Donegal Square on Sunday morning.
            A couple of hundred of the most moronic, regressive savages ever put on this Earth.
            Representative of no-one and nothing but their own absurd mediaeval hatreds.

            As I said last night, political Unionism doesn’t fear Republicanism, that’s just a handy bogey-man to get the votes out – Unionism fears it’s own unionist mob. Until it confronts it, we will continue to go round in circles, to the detriment of us all.

          • Eolach August 3, 2017 at 11:10 am #

            Interesting and ponderous point HC , but my memory has not abandoned me yet . From 1970 until 1998 , the IRA , with limited resources but with a wealth of ingenuity , fought all that Britain could throw at it …… their much superior manpower numbering in countless thousands , their much superior armaments , Kitson’s counter insurgency tactics , their torture centers , their FRU , their renowned SAS , their locally trained militias with intimate and detailed files , their international intelligence networks and assistance from the CIA , FBI , Interpol , Mossad etc etc…. they took and absorbed all this and much more and still fought them to a standstill….. so a few bitter and discontented flag-wavers yearning for non-existent glory days will hardly conjure nightmares of Armageddon.

          • huge Celt. August 3, 2017 at 2:07 pm #

            @ Eolach.

            I’m afraid you’ve just inadvertently made my point for me.

            The Provos showed that a small group of dedicated, and highly committed fighters could go from a base level of three men and a bike in 1968, to sustain a 35 year campaign using small arms and modern explosives against one of the most modern, well-trained armies in existence.

            Using their ingenuity and resourcefulness, they could strike at the heart of the British financial and political centres of power. They could inflict significant losses in spectaculars against one of the most saturated, well-equipped militaries on this planet.

            They could do this in an environment where they largely had no political cover,
            and where a majority of their natural support base opposed them.
            They were indeed the “significant minority” that James Connolly referred to in his Death Speech.

            Ok. Fair enough.
            Let’s apply those lessons to the Protestant community in the North in the event of an affirmative Border Poll result, the 50%+1 that Sinn Fein tell us is enough for a United Ireland.

            The vast majority of the Protestants will accept that vote.
            Sullenly, perhaps, but they will accept it.
            But a significant minority will not.
            That significant minority have access to legally held guns, 140,000 was the last statistic I seen, and commercial explosives scattered all round the 6 Counties.

            In addition,we all know the loyalist paramilitaries never decommissioned their illegal guns.
            The guns of Ulster Resistance for example have never been accounted for.

            In addition, 70 legally held weapons, including bizarrely an AK47, have been “stolen”in Larne in the last 4 years.
            Who, do you imagine, is stealing all these guns.

            A quick look at an electoral map of the 6 Counties shows that there is a broad corridor from Coleraine, through Ballymoney, Ballymena, Larne, Antrim, that then forks southwards to Lisburn and Portadowm and eastwards to north Belfast and North Down.
            That is the Loyalist hinterland.
            Essentially, everything east of the Bann, and north of Banbridge, contained in highly cohesive, separatist communities.
            Within that territory are two ports, and two airports.
            And only 12 miles from easy re-supplies from Scotland.
            As for personnel, they have current and ex-Servicemen, perhaps nudging towards 100,000 highly trained and experienced men.

            They have about 20,000 ex-paramilitants, that have been through the jails.

            Now, nobody is saying that they will all answer Ulsters Call To Arms – as mentioned before, the vast majority of Protestants value Democracy very highly.

            But let’s say 10% do answer the call in a final showdown for the very existence of “Northern Ireland”.

            Could any current republican militia match either those numbers, or that expertise or experience?
            Could the Irish Defence Force quell any such rebellion?
            The answer is a spectacular NO.

            Ok, then.
            Are we reduced to asking the British Army to quell the Unionist rebellion?
            Would the British Army, some 19% of which are from “Northern Ireland”, put down their most loyal adherents?
            I would have my doubts.

            In the meantime, the Unionists would be more than capable of scoring their own successes. They have shown before that targetting Catholic bars, and City Centres with no-warning bombs is a tactic they would be happy to employ.
            They would make it their business to ruthlessly expunge any defenceless Catholics from their territories.

            This is their Doomsday scenario.
            It’s what the UDA were planning for in the 1970s in response to modest demands from the Civil Rights movement – demands that ever Paisley himself said in later life were reasonable – demands that offered no challenge to the existence of the Statelet.

            The demographics haven’t changed much since, but the Reunification issue has been raised to a whole new level.

            If you stick this notion of 50%+1 down their throats, this is where we are heading.
            And Ireland won’t be united for another hundred years.

            I’m not saying it’s fair – and I’m not saying it’s right.
            I’m saying that we are miles away, light years away in fact, from making a coherent, consensual case for a united Ireland.

            The current path that Sinn Fein are pursuing ends either in humiliating defeat in a referendum, or a catastrophic defeat in a sectarian civil war.

            All Power comes ultimately from the barrel of a gun.
            And if you haven’t got guns, a democratic mandate makes a pitiful shield.

          • fiosrach August 3, 2017 at 3:13 pm #

            So when we wake up some morning,after a referendum that went against the division of this country, do we say to the unionists ‘ ah boys it’s only a joke. It wasn’t a real referendum. Just carry on as usual and don’t be shooting at us.’?

          • huge Celt. August 3, 2017 at 4:29 pm #

            @ Fiosrach.

            This is Sinn Feins vision that we are exploring here…..

            you tell me how the end-game works out…..

  18. Eolach August 3, 2017 at 7:08 am #

    HC , until that ” one homogeneous block of congealed bigotry, ” shows me a different face , I have to accept the one on show ! When have their public representatives , ( politicians , churchmen , trade unionists , businessmen , etc etc ) shown any feelings or considerations for my community , shown any remorse or contriteness for the vile sectarian displays and supremacist marches , for their 50 years of apartheid , murder and ethnic cleansing , condemned any one of the base and satanic burnings of effigies and religious artifacts… HC , Martin Mc Guinness and Sinn Féin spent years trying the civil and friendly approach , trying to peacefully co-exist with their “neighbours” … what avail ?…..sackcloth and ashes , rogues and renegades , crocodiles etc etc…….. I know there are good Protestants …I’ve me them , but I’m always reminded of Martin Niemöller’s poem…. ” First they came for the Socialist’s “……If you don’t condemn , you condone !

    • Tam August 3, 2017 at 7:27 am #

      I think you’ll find Martin Mc Guinness and Sinn Féin spent more years in a murderous sectarian campaign to defeat unionism by force than they did trying the civil and friendly approach or trying to peacefully co-exist with their “neighbours..

      And even today they still try to justify and celebrate that murderous campaign.

      That might give you a clue why unionists don’t like them.

  19. Eolach August 3, 2017 at 8:40 am #

    Tam ,your skewed and illogical reasoning does your intellect no justice. The war from 1969 onwards was instigated by Unionism….They saw the growing Nationalist population and imagined a mucky little bit of sectarian warfare would send us scurrying southwards…..another attempt at ethnic cleansing . Their plan began with the UVF setting of the first bombs in 1966 , perpetrating the first catholic murders in 1966 , killing the first RUC officer in 1969 etc etc . I could go on , pointlessly , as it seems , because the same old mantras are regurgitated daily from your community. The war the IRA fought , was against Britain solely , and for the re-unification of our country ……the squalid sectarian campaign was waged by Loyalism , puppets of Britain , in an vain attempt to turn nationalism , through fear , against the IRA. The RUC , B-Specials , UDR , etc were legitimate targets , in the pay of , wearing the uniform of , and carrying the gun of Britain. If you need another lesson in your history , just ask….I’m sure myself or someone else will oblige !

    • huge Celt. August 3, 2017 at 11:14 am #

      @ Eolach.

      You must have missed the “Grace and Reconciliation” meeting at Duncairn last night.
      4 Protestant speakers giving their own very different analyses, and viewpoints. Very interesting.

      Spike Murray and Laurence McGeown were there in the crowd, but maybe they arent republican enough for you?

      Anyway, perhaps you should come out of your bunker occasionally to hear what’s going in the World.
      The pogroms are over.

    • Tam August 3, 2017 at 2:29 pm #

      ‘Unionism’ did not instigate a ‘war’. While Paisleyites may rightly be attributed with most of the blame for instigating the Troubles, they did not represent ‘Unionism’ and there was no desire or intention on the part of ‘Unionism’ for any war.

      ‘Unionism’ did not have any ‘plan’ for ‘ethnic cleansing’. The UVF did not represent ‘Unionism’ either and was proscribed by the Unionist Government and its members convicted.

      Also the ‘war’ the PIRA ‘fought’ was not ‘against Britain solely’. There were many sectarian and random attacks and murders as part of it.

      So it seems it is you who needs a lesson in history and who has engaged in skewed and illogical reasoning.

      Oh, and there were no ‘legitimate targets’: all murder is wrong.

      There is a great deal of hate expressed on this site. It is quite depressing.

      • fiosrach August 3, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

        There’s a great deal of hate in this nasty little ‘state’ and that IS depressing. But I suppose you have to accept that from a ‘wee country’ founded on hate.

  20. Eolach August 3, 2017 at 1:24 pm #

    His name is Lawerence Mc Keown and his republican credentials are beyond reproach .I’m sure he was interested in the dialogue , as I would have been….for I believe you can only progress by interaction with others ….especially of a differing viewpoint. I’m far from ” bunkerised” , but I won’t tolerate insidious people stuck in a time warp and mentally insulated from reality because of their inbred prejudices and hatred. When those people accept me as an equal , entitled to everything believed to be solely for themselves and accept my Irishness to be of equal value to their Britishness then perhaps we’ll progress.

    • Tam August 3, 2017 at 1:29 pm #

      You should re-read your contributions, Eolach. I think a disinterested observer would discern that you have ‘prejudices and hatred’ as much as, if not more so, than the people at who your blanket accusations are aimed.

    • huge Celt. August 3, 2017 at 4:36 pm #

      In that case, I do apologise to Laurence McKeown. There was no slight intended.

      And, until you take a peek outside of your bunker you’re not very likely to meet those Protestants that you claim are silent.

      The pogroms are over.

      Let’s build a Peace.

  21. Eolach August 3, 2017 at 3:40 pm #

    Having been on the receiving end of both British and Unionist aggression and having, very unwillingly , visited the hospitality suite in Castlereagh , more than once, you may vaguely understand that I may have some antipathy towards same. Regardless,I embraced the GFA as a new beginning in equality and normality and eagerly played a part in carving out a future for everyone only once again to witness everything being stalled and destroyed by the negativity and sectarianism of Unionism . I am one person who will tread carefully and prepare well for the future.

    • Stephen Kelly August 3, 2017 at 7:11 pm #

      Eolach Please keep up the great posts.

  22. Stephen Kelly August 3, 2017 at 7:13 pm #

    That wee man in the picture has a very red nose maybe explains his five steps maybe.

  23. moser August 3, 2017 at 7:35 pm #

    Huge Celt, who was behind the meeting in duncairn you attended, and what was your role ? Could you tell us more ? Well, those that are interested. Thanks.

    • huge Celt. August 4, 2017 at 12:07 pm #

      @ Moser.

      Hiya bud.

      It was all part of Feile an Phobail – the West Belfast Festival.
      There’s loads of discussions* etc over a ten-day period.
      I was at one last night where Mary-Lou was telling us that a United Ireland was inevitable.

      *i use the word discussions very very loosely – Sinn Fein very quickly close down any dissenting voices. For example, I pointed out last night that the SNP produced a document 600+ pages thick to outline their vision of how a independent Scotland would be better. Full of academia and facts.
      All that Sinn Fein were offering was ONE economists study that was financed by Sinn Feiners in San Francisco. I said that if this was a 3rd level dissertation it would be laughed at and refused in academia.
      Until Sinn Fein do the hard miles in producing a coherent case for a united Ireland they would be as well to forget about it.
      Mary-Lou was obviously flustered and admitted more work needed to be done and then descended into a misty-eyed talking call for dear old Ireland again.
      It’s all balls.
      I put my hand up again to make a rebuttal, but the Chair studiously ignored me – there shall be no dissent in a Sinn Fein United Ireland.

      The sheep dutifully baaed at the end and we all left.
      I spoke to a few people afterwards and they complained at Sinn Feins corporatist vision.
      But they didn’t dare say it in the meeting.

      There’s a couple of meetings later today.
      Mike TV Nesbitt is at one prattling on about Reconciliation.
      And then there is a Sinn Fein love-in for Martin McGuinness.

      See you there!

      • moser August 4, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

        Thanks for that reply, huge celt. I appreciate you taking the time to answer.

  24. dedeideoprofundis August 3, 2017 at 11:04 pm #

    The pogroms are over.

    If people fall in behind your thinking HC, then maybe so. let’s hope so. We need to get away from sectarian voting and start by getting Labour to organise here.

    • huge Celt. August 4, 2017 at 12:29 pm #

      Id certainly agree that a Left Labour party would be a huge step forward.
      Whether it originates in Britain or Ireland, or both, would be an issue.
      So too, incredibly, would be the fact that the SDLP are the current bearers of the Socialist International mantle.

      But, anything, would be better that the sectarian paralysis that we see now.

  25. fiosrach August 3, 2017 at 11:54 pm #

    Yeah! That would be great. The huge would have somebody else to pick on.

    • huge Celt. August 4, 2017 at 12:17 pm #

      @ Fiosrach.

      I’m sorry if you’re feeling picked on.

      I’ll be nailing Mike Nesbitts feet to the floor later on in St. Marys at 5pm.
      That will maybe prove to you that I treat all the Green and Orange Tories with the same disdain.

      Believe me, I have chips on both shoulders.

  26. Chris August 4, 2017 at 1:55 pm #

    @huge Celt.

    If ever there was a man more so indoctrinated with unionist blab I have not seen.

    A United Ireland shall be delivered with a 50.1% majority. No amount of scaremongering can take away the most important aspect of the GFA. By peddling the notion that there would be some kind of civil war instigated by extremists in loyalism, you are in the same vein giving Republicans validity to wage their own sectarian civil war in order to break away from the yolk of the British Empire. Democracy will not be subverted by this tiny minority.

    You talk about being from Cork and raised in Ballymena, but from your assessment of the “26 Counties” it is clear that you have no real knowledge of life in the jurisdiction.

    • huge Celt. August 5, 2017 at 10:37 am #

      @ Chris..
      You’re completely barking up the wrong tree.

      I suggest you write a strongly-worded letter to the Pat Finucane Centre and tell them to stop scare-mongering about how a loyalist rebellion would have to put down with State violence.
      The nice kind of State violence that only kills people gently, of course.

  27. moser August 4, 2017 at 2:34 pm #

    huge celt, thank you for your reply to a previous question on another thread. I’m all for broader debate.

    • huge Celt. August 5, 2017 at 10:43 am #

      No problem, mucker.