Category Archives: General

Why demography is no way to solve the Northern Ireland problem

We need to talk about demography. In an Irish Times article last month the economist David McWilliams reminded us of some basic facts.¹ As we all know, the Protestant population of Northern Ireland is falling while the Catholic population is rising. But … Continue reading

Posted in Cross-border cooperation, General, Northern Ireland, Protestantism, unionism and loyalism | Leave a comment

Could an all-island economy be part of the Brexit deal?

Perhaps the most interesting phrase in the 8 December agreement between the UK and EU was that, in the absence of agreed solutions, not only would the UK maintain full alignment with the rules of the Single Market and the … Continue reading

Posted in British-Irish relations, Cross-border cooperation, General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland | 1 Comment

Northern institutions crumbling as Leo rides high in Europe

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is understandably cock-a-hoop in the run-up to Christmas. There is widespread recognition that it was his and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney’s steely steering of Irish diplomatic efforts that resulted in the masterful sleight of hand which … Continue reading

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

Home thoughts on a journey through India

India has been a place I have wanted to visit ever since as a teenager I read my father’s account of being interned by the British (for being a communist) in the Himalayan foothills in the 1940s.¹ My wish was … Continue reading

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

Brexit: a novel agricultural opportunity as the nightmare approaches?

As October ends all is confusion and uncertainty over Brexit:  the first round of UK-EU talks on the exit bill, citizens rights and Ireland are stalled; Brussels is worried that Britain’s weak prime minister and feuding Conservative leadership will mean … Continue reading

Posted in British-Irish relations, Cross-border cooperation, General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland | 1 Comment

The anti-colonialist bullies versus the reconciliation persuaders

Gerry Adams is a majoritarian bully. He showed his true colours in a letter to the Irish Times last month when he wrote that the Good Friday Agreement “allows for Irish reunification in the context of a democratic vote: 50% + 1. … Continue reading

Posted in General, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Sinn Fein | 2 Comments

Among the poetic and pugnacious people of South Armagh

Last summer, during my Belfast to Dublin walk, I spent two days walking through south Armagh: over the Cooley mountains into Ravensdale, then across Slieve Gullion to Mullaghbane and Forkhill and over the border into Dundalk. It was the most … Continue reading

Posted in General, Northern Ireland | 2 Comments