Author Archives: andypollak

Why Micheál Martin’s speech was inspirational and why the Shared Island initiative matters

Nobody would ever accuse the former Taoiseach, Micheál Martin (now Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs), of being an inspirational public speaker. But listening to his speech at the big Shared Island event in Dublin Castle earlier this month, I … Continue reading

Posted in Cross-border cooperation, General, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland | 6 Comments

Ulster loyalism feeling abandoned, betrayed and in perpetual crisis

Ulster loyalism is in crisis – but then when in recent years has it not been in crisis? Opinion in working class and rural areas has hardened against the Northern Ireland Protocol, which has given DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson … Continue reading

Posted in General, Northern Ireland, Protestantism, unionism and loyalism | 3 Comments

A brilliant, hard-nosed look at moves towards Irish unity. Unionists beware!

I have been reading Making Sense of a United Ireland by the University of Pennsylvania-based Irish political scientist Brendan O’Leary. This is an important book, rich in detail, truth-telling but also hard-nosed. It is the first deeply considered exploration of … Continue reading

Posted in General, Irish reunification, Northern Ireland | 4 Comments

Is this columnist’s frightening republican vision shared by young Irish people?

Una Mullally is a high profile Irish Times columnist: a gay left-wing feminist (although I have never seen or heard her describe herself as a socialist) who is particularly popular among the young. This is not surprising given that one … Continue reading

Posted in General, Sinn Fein | 5 Comments

Is Ireland’s Future effectively a front for Sinn Fein? Or is that the wrong question?

I was at the big Ireland’s Future ‘Preparing for a United Ireland:Together we can’ event at Dublin’s 3 Arena earlier this month. There was very little ‘preparing’ in the proceedings – it was more like a ‘Forward to the Promised … Continue reading

Posted in General, Irish reunification, Sinn Fein | 7 Comments

The results of the census and the revolt of the masses

Firstly, and briefly, the 2021 Northern Ireland census results. We know the headline figures well by now, that the number of those who are Catholics or from a Catholic background (at 45.7%) now outnumber the number of people who are … Continue reading

Posted in General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland | 1 Comment

Sinn Fein are winning the peace, as people forget the IRA’s war

Sinn Fein are winning the post-1998 peace. They are now the largest party in Northern Ireland, and almost certainly will be the largest party in the Republic after the next election. A combination of internal and external events have come … Continue reading

Posted in General, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Sinn Fein | 4 Comments

Mary Lou McDonald and the forgotten people of the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’

The title of this blog,  ‘Two Irelands Together’, was not chosen by accident. My core contention in writing this column is that for more than 400 years there have been two clashing politico-religious cultures on this island – Catholic nationalist … Continue reading

Posted in General, Irish reunification, Northern Ireland, Sinn Fein | 13 Comments

Will the United Kingdom under Liz Truss be in danger of stepping out on the road to fascism?

From an Irish viewpoint, the prospect of Liz Truss becoming Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is deeply worrying. This is the woman who as Foreign Secretary has outdone Boris Johnson in her aggressive rejection of the Northern Ireland protocol, … Continue reading

Posted in British-Irish relations, General | 3 Comments

From Rebel Cork to Orange Antrim: a cyclist’s journey through the gorgeous heart of Ireland

In the first eleven days of July I cycled with my friend David Ward from Mizen Head in west Cork to Fair Head in north Antrim to raise money for Concern’s work for girls’ education in Afghanistan. The journey confirmed … Continue reading

Posted in General, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, The island environment | 4 Comments