Category Archives: Northern Ireland

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

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

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 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

The courage and generosity of Seamus Mallon: a book introduction

This is my abridged introduction to a new book, ‘A Shared Home Place’ by Seamus Mallon (with Andy Pollak) which is published today by Lilliput Press. Courage and generosity: those are the two words that come to mind when I … Continue reading

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

On local election day give the DUP and Sinn Fein a bloody nose: vote for someone else

This blog is not in the business of telling people how to vote. But after the utterly predictable responses by the DUP and Sinn Fein to the two governments’ announcement of new talks to try to restore Stormont (following priest … Continue reading

Posted in General, Northern Ireland, The island environment | 3 Comments

A kind of tribute to Lyra McKee: the need for a new conversation

What more can one say about the marvellous young journalist and human being who was Lyra McKee, and about her killing on Good Friday eve by the murderous losers of the so-called ‘New IRA’? As a former journalist from Northern … Continue reading

Posted in General, Northern Ireland | 1 Comment

Letter from Virginia: a time is coming when Ulster Protestants will have to be brave and smart

I have just returned from a stay in the US state of Virginia, mostly in the town of Lexington in the county of Rockbridge. Rockbridge is one of the two American counties which claim the highest proportion of inhabitants descended … Continue reading

Posted in General, Northern Ireland, Protestantism, unionism and loyalism, Views from abroad | 1 Comment

Mutual contempt and ignorance are no way to build relations between peoples (especially in Ireland)

As the crisis deepens in Britain, the old negative stereotypes are back. The right-wing British press is full of fury at the treacherous role of the Irish in the ‘backstop’ to keep the UK hobbled and handcuffed indefinitely to the … Continue reading

Posted in British-Irish relations, General, Northern Ireland, Protestantism, unionism and loyalism, Republic of Ireland | 3 Comments