Category Archives: Protestantism, unionism and loyalism

Is this the kind of ‘new conversation’ Northern Nationalists want?

Earlier this month 1,000 nationalists – although their spokesman claimed they are not nationalists – signed an open letter to the Taoiseach calling on the Irish government to set up a ‘citizens assembly’ to discuss reunification. In an advertisement listing … Continue reading

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

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

Why demography is no way to solve the Northern Ireland problem

We need to talk about demography. In an Irish Times article last month the economist David McWilliams reminded us of some basic facts.¹ As we all know, the Protestant population of Northern Ireland is falling while the Catholic population is rising. But … Continue reading

Posted in Cross-border cooperation, General, Northern Ireland, Protestantism, unionism and loyalism | Leave a comment

Lovely people, close neighbours, parallel universes

A year ago I walked along back roads, hill paths and beaches from Belfast to Dublin to raise money for homeless charities in the two cities. I then sat down and tried to write a book about my experiences. By … Continue reading

Posted in General, Northern Ireland, Protestantism, unionism and loyalism, The island environment | 2 Comments

The DUP may be paranoid, but we still have to befriend them

It should come as no surprise that beleaguered identity appears to have once again trumped economic well-being in Northern Ireland (for the moment, anyway), as inter-party talks meant to agree a return to power-sharing missed their British government-imposed deadline this … Continue reading

Posted in Cross-border cooperation, General, Northern Ireland, Protestantism, unionism and loyalism | 1 Comment