Category Archives: Ireland, Europe and the world

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

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 Micheál 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

Is Ireland neutral in this battle between good and evil?

Sometimes (rarely) wars are seen as battles between the forces of good and evil. The war of the Allies against Nazism is the classic example in modern times. Except the Irish state chose to sit that one out, unwilling to … Continue reading

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

Whatever the Unionists wish for, the Protocol looks like it’s here to stay – and it can be good for all of us

One year on, the Northern Ireland Protocol looks like it’s here to stay. Its fiercest opponent (and chief negotiator) in the British government, Lord David Frost, has gone. Before that the British had dropped their demand that the European Court … Continue reading

Posted in General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Northern Ireland | 3 Comments

Could North-South agri-food cooperation help cross the rural-urban climate change divide?

So in the end the political will did not exist among world leaders at COP26 in Glasgow to radically tackle global warming. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned at the end of the conference: “We are still knocking on the … Continue reading

Posted in Cross-border cooperation, General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, The island environment | Leave a comment

Listen to the wisdom of the man who was rejected by the voters of South Belfast

In democratic societies it is not always the best and wisest people who end up as politicians and political leaders. We have seen that in the USA, the UK and, not surprisingly, little Northern Ireland in recent years. Sometimes the … Continue reading

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

Is the UK exit from the EU an opportunity to turn Northern Unionists towards Europe (and Ireland)?

So, four and a half years after the fateful Brexit vote the United Kingdom finally left the European Union on New Year’s Eve with a trade deal in place. The sometimes unfathomable Northern Ireland protocol (which is separate from this … Continue reading

Posted in General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Northern Ireland, Protestantism, unionism and loyalism, Sinn Fein | 2 Comments

In evil times the rule of law does not matter

I fear we are living through evil times: climate catastrophe coming down the road; facing into a second winter surge of the Corona virus; the insanity of Brexit yet to hit home, and ultra-nationalist ‘strong men’ in charge of most … Continue reading

Posted in General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Irish reunification, Sinn Fein | 1 Comment

Now they’re going to be on the losing side again, is it time to be nice to the Unionists?

Writing this on 24 October, I forecast that Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, despite parliamentary delays and perhaps a general election,  will eventually pass through the British parliament (the 30 vote Commons majority for the second reading of the Withdrawal Agreement … Continue reading

Posted in General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Irish reunification, Northern Ireland, Protestantism, unionism and loyalism, Republic of Ireland | 4 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