Category Archives: Irish reunification

In this still deeply divided country, should we be talking about confederation?

The former T├ínaiste and Progressive Democrat leader, Michael McDowell, has been writing recently about confederation.1 I may not often agree with his views on social and economic issues, but I have always found his political analysis of the North to … Continue reading

Posted in General, Irish reunification, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland | 3 Comments

A united Ireland will have to include unionists – so let’s get on with the difficult task of including them

I will be surprised if I see a united Ireland in my lifetime (I am in my early seventies). But the direction of travel is unmistakable. The history-changing reasons have been well rehearsed: the growth of the Catholic population – … Continue reading

Posted in General, Irish reunification, Northern Ireland, Protestantism, unionism and loyalism | 8 Comments

A brilliant, hard-nosed look at moves towards Irish unity. Unionists beware!

I have been reading Making Sense of a United Ireland by the University of Pennsylvania-based Irish political scientist Brendan O’Leary. This is an important book, rich in detail, truth-telling but also hard-nosed. It is the first deeply considered exploration of … Continue reading

Posted in General, Irish reunification, Northern Ireland | 4 Comments

Is Ireland’s Future effectively a front for Sinn Fein? Or is that the wrong question?

I was at the big Ireland’s Future ‘Preparing for a United Ireland:Together we can’ event at Dublin’s 3 Arena earlier this month. There was very little ‘preparing’ in the proceedings – it was more like a ‘Forward to the Promised … Continue reading

Posted in General, Irish reunification, Sinn Fein | 7 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

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

Fintan O’Toole, Leopold Bloom and me

I have been reading We Don’t Know Ourselves, Fintan O’Toole’s marvellous personal and political memoir of Ireland over the past 64 years. I am an unashamed admirer of O’Toole’s writings, and his brilliantly insightful, left-wing views on multiple aspects of … Continue reading

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

Majority of Southern voters think united Ireland “not very important” but they would like to see it “some day”

That is the headline I would like to have seen on the Irish Times front page lead story on 11th December about the paper’s latest opinion poll on unity and other issues. Its editors went instead for the much more … Continue reading

Posted in Cross-border cooperation, General, Irish reunification, Republic of Ireland, Sinn Fein | 1 Comment

My single transferable blog: the people of the South are not ready for reunification

In his long and distinguished political career, John Hume many times gave what came to be known as his ‘single transferable speech’. He used to say that as a former teacher he realised that for even the smartest pupils, the … Continue reading

Posted in General, Irish reunification, Republic of Ireland | 5 Comments