Category Archives: Ireland, Europe and the world

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

Do we need a bit of Chinese ingenuity to solve our Irish puzzle (or could Chris Patten be the man to unite Ireland)?

Christmas 2018 sees an anxious Ireland starting seriously to prepare for Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal. It finds the United Kingdom in a state of constitutional agitation and division not seen since the Suez crisis in … Continue reading

Posted in General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Views from abroad | 2 Comments

Could a four-party pro-EU Executive govern Northern Ireland?

In a letter to the Irish Times earlier this month Martin Mansergh, one of the principal architects of the Good Friday Agreement, issued a plea to nationalists and republicans to recognise some positive aspects of Northern Ireland’s past, ranging from the contribution … Continue reading

Posted in Cross-border cooperation, General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Northern Ireland | Leave a comment

I am a disillusioned disciple of the Good Friday Agreement

Disillusionment. That’s the feeling these days among many people like myself who have been the most passionate advocates of the Good Friday Agreement. When I hear Arlene Foster’s extraordinary choice of words (‘the red line is blood red’) in talking … Continue reading

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

A bloody Finnish cautionary tale for Irish Republicans

The independent presidential candidate Sean Gallagher has recently joined Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Sinn Fein among the growing list of people who have said they expect to see a united Ireland in their lifetime. The two new factors behind their … Continue reading

Posted in General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland | 4 Comments

Are parts of Europe coming to resemble Northern Ireland?

I imagine that few people outside Northern Ireland would disagree with the statement that the North is one of the most politically backward regions in Western Europe. The reasons are numerous and well-known: 30 years of destabilising and for a … Continue reading

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