Distributed to Congress by Irish National Caucus
Irish unity ‘inevitable’ and DUP has itself to blame, says Joe Brolly
Joe Brolly has been critical of Arlene Foster’s DUP
– Brendan Crossan. Irish News. Belfast. Thursday, January 23, 2020
Joe Brolly, during his RTE days, has never shied away from the big issues in society. The Derryman insists the DUP has missed the boat to make Northern Ireland work. Joe Brolly claims the DUP has “squandered” the chance of making Northern Ireland work and claims northern nationalists are now psychologically wedded to becoming part of a United Ireland.
The Belfast-based barrister says the Good Friday Agreement was unionism’s best hope of making the north a viable state.
“They’ve blown it. Any opportunity for a pluralist Northern Ireland has been squandered and deeper down this wouldn’t have been the case at the time of the Good Friday Agreement,” said Brolly.
“Deeper down now, the Catholic people of the north say: ‘Well, look, it’s a United Ireland now. That’s where we are and that’s where we’re moving to now.’
“Psychologically, I think the DUP has played a huge role in creating that because they really did make it a cold house for Catholics.
“And there was no need for it. [In relation to an Irish Language Act], they should have been saying: ‘Of course, there will be an Irish Language Act because it’s very important to a lot of people in this community and that it’s a vibrant language in some parts of the north. Of course we want to facilitate that and protect that,’ and get out there and to be seen publicly supporting it.
“That’s a civilised society. That’s what a peace process is, and that’s what it should look like. So they’ve screwed that up.
Subscribe to our most read headlines in the evening newsletter
“Beyond the traditional nationalist communities there has been a distinct change of attitude,” Brolly added. “I detect it all the time, about the DUP, the old testament sort of stuff, the inhumane stuff that they espouse, it is no longer acceptable.”
Derry’s 1993 All-Ireland winning forward also cited the DUP’s policy stance on ‘Brexit’ and the “inevitable errors” they made in negotiations with British Prime Minster Boris Johnson and predecessor Theresa May.
Joe Brolly, during his RTE days, has never shied away from the big issues in society. The Derryman insists the DUP has missed the boat to make Northern Ireland work
“They made fundamental but inevitable errors with Boris Johnson and Theresa May because they don’t have any long-term strategy; they are more an emotional movement than they are a political party, and that emotional movement is something that we know only too well – that triumphalism, treating you as inferior, that Arlene Foster-Jim Allister style: looking down their noses at people. And it’s not acceptable.
“And these losers who are recruited by the DUP, because they’re tub-thumpers and they’ll get elected; increasingly the unionist community has got to be saying: ‘We’ve got to be doing better, we’ve got to do better.’
“Increasingly, people of talent are going to emerge who see a pluralist, sensible, civilised future and will work towards that.”
After a three-year absence of local government, Brolly feels the reconfigured Stormont Executive will not sate the appetite of Catholics/nationalists for a United Ireland
“The DUP were, in effect, neutered and are left all of a sudden powerless,” he added. “They had no choice but to make the deal, and put the gloss on it that there is an Ulster-Scots officer, and that’s fine. We’ve no issue with that. But no-one forgets that they’ve been dragged to this kicking and screaming…”