Category Archives: General

A pessimistic speech on the 20th anniversary of the Centre for Cross Border Studies

The Centre for Cross Border Studies celebrated its 20th anniversary in Dundalk last week with a conference reflecting on the Good Friday Agreement and cross-border cooperation. The importance of the Centre’s work was recognised by the keynote speakers, the three … Continue reading

Posted in British-Irish relations, Cross-border cooperation, General, Northern Ireland | 2 Comments

Why don’t we have a competition to compose a new national anthem?

As a sports fan I find myself singing Amhrán na bhFiann quite a lot at this time of year: whether it is watching soccer or rugby internationals at the Aviva or (less frequently) all-Ireland finals at Croke Park. I belt … Continue reading

Posted in General, Irish reunification | 3 Comments

Two Irish mistakes as we hurtle towards the Brexit cliff edge

Readers of this blog will know that I have been a voice in the wilderness when it comes to querying the wisdom of the Irish government’s ‘backstop’ strategy to avoid a hard border on the island following the UK’s exit … Continue reading

Posted in British-Irish relations, General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Irish reunification, Northern Ireland | 3 Comments

A walk through Ireland’s bloody history in Wicklow’s peaceful mountains

Last month I went on my annual longish summer walk through the Irish hills and countryside. This year I decided, as a change from my usual cross-border itineraries, to go far away from the North to the deep south-east. I … Continue reading

Posted in General, Republic of Ireland, The island environment | 8 Comments

A bit more complexity in Northern Ireland: the rise of the ‘Neithers’

In last month’s blog I was complaining about the simplistic views of many people in the Republic on the complexity of demographic change in Northern Ireland. Too many of them insist on holding to the ill-informed belief that when Northern … Continue reading

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

The simplistic engagement of people in the Republic with the complexity of the North

Earlier this month I attended a session of the Dalkey Book Festival entitled ‘Who’s afraid of a united Ireland?’ It may be difficult to credit, but in nearly 40 years of living (mainly) in the Republic, this was the first … Continue reading

Posted in General, Irish reunification, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland | 1 Comment

Are Northern nationalists in danger of becoming the Most Ungenerous People Ever (MUPE)?

Northern Ireland Protestants and unionists get a universally bad press. They are portrayed as narrow-minded, bigoted, right wing and often racist. They have had to be dragged kicking and screaming to accept the modern concepts of power-sharing democracy, social equality … Continue reading

Posted in General | 1 Comment