Category Archives: Protestantism, unionism and loyalism

Whatever happened to Northern working class Protestant radicalism?

There is an interesting conference taking place in Dublin this weekend (Saturday 6th May, 11 am-5.15 pm) entitled ‘The radical working class Protestant tradition in Northern Ireland’, which I am involved in organising, along with veteran inner-city Dublin community workers … Continue reading

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Are there really 150,000 unionists who are persuadable for a united Ireland?

Last month’s blog was based on a most interesting conversation with the widely-read unionist commentator Alex Kane, in which he estimated that there were now 150,000 ‘soft’ unionists who were persuadable of the merits of Irish unity,and that he expected … Continue reading

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The most interesting conversation I have had about Irish unity for a very long time

Last week I had the most interesting conversation about Irish unity that I have had for many long years. It was with Alex Kane, the North’s most widely-read unionist-minded columnist: he has opinion columns in both the Belfast Newsletter¬†and the¬†Irish … Continue reading

Posted in General, Northern Ireland, Protestantism, unionism and loyalism, Republic of Ireland, Sinn Fein | 2 Comments

The DUP’s bigotry and incompetence bring the house down

In last month’s blog I wrote that Northern Ireland was now “a modern region with a power-sharing government in which nationalists enjoy a new equality and confidence.” I was wrong. A fortnight later the Stormont Executive collapsed when Martin McGuinness … Continue reading

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

My politician of the year is a lesbian loyalist from Belfast

The most impressive politician I met in 2015 was Julie-Anne Corr Johnston, a 28 year old member of Belfast City Council, representing the small left-of-centre Progressive Unionist Party (PUP), many of whose members are former UVF prisoners. Julie-Anne is a … Continue reading

Posted in Cross-border cooperation, General, Northern Ireland, Protestantism, unionism and loyalism | 5 Comments

Why Northern loyalists are running scared of a shared future

Returning to the fearfulness and narrowness of loyalist Belfast after a trip through the magnificent landscapes and massive social contradictions of South America is to come back to earth with a bump. But I had promised myself back in January … Continue reading

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

What happened to the North’s Progressive Presbyterians?

My summer reading in recent weeks has been a fascinating book called Dissenting Voices: Recovering the Irish Progressive Presbyterian Tradition1, by the former head of the Simon Community in Northern Ireland, Roger Courtney. It features short biographies of 300 ‘progressive … Continue reading

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