Category Archives: General

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

The tragic breakdown of relations between Dublin and London and a 1998 Agreement that was not the last word

The most tragic element of Brexit and its aftermath – for me as a Northern Irish person who is also a happy citizen of the Republic of Ireland – is the total breakdown in relations between the Irish and British … Continue reading

Posted in British-Irish relations, General, Northern Ireland | Leave a comment

The NI Protocol is a mess but Boris’s bill to scrap it is a divisive disaster

The Northern Ireland protocol is a problem and it is back with a vengeance. As Taoiseach Miche├íl Martin, a man who is extremely careful with his words, put it, the British government’s new bill to unilaterally scrap large parts of … Continue reading

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

British legislation in the North is not always deceptive, oppressive or persecuting – it can be made better

Despite what Sinn Fein and other ‘advanced’ nationalists would have us believe, British government policy in Northern Ireland (and towards Ireland) is not always motivated by the wish to deceive and oppress and persecute. One benign effect of the peace … Continue reading

Posted in General, Northern Ireland | Leave a comment

Sinn Fein’s stunning victory does not signal any kind of unlocking of the Northern deadlock

It was a stunning and historic victory for Sinn Fein. In the 2017 Northern Ireland Assembly election commentators had made a lot of noise about Sinn Fein being 1,200 votes behind the DUP. This time the party of the IRA … Continue reading

Posted in General, Northern Ireland | 1 Comment

Poverty in Northern Ireland is not an election issue: society just ‘shrugs’

Last month I sat in on a webinar organised by the Glencree Peace and Reconciliation Centre in which we listened to two very impressive youth workers from the most deprived areas of nationalist West Belfast. They told a shocking story … Continue reading

Posted in General, Irish reunification, Northern Ireland | Leave a comment

Discussing Irish unity over dinner with Trinity College politics students

I had an interesting dinner with five political science students from Trinity College Dublin last month at which we discussed Irish unity and Southern Irish attitudes to it. I had met them three weeks earlier when I was giving a … Continue reading

Posted in General, Irish reunification, Republic of Ireland | 4 Comments