Category Archives: Republic of Ireland

A cautionary tale: could this be the next phase in our island’s history?

Just over a century ago there was a northern province of a small western island off the coast of Europe which threatened to cause mayhem for the powerful and far-flung empire of which it was an insignificant (although then economically … Continue reading

Posted in General, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland | 2 Comments

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

Getting ready to be governed by Sinn Fein in the Republic

Politics is a strange business. One word and one man’s name that were almost entirely unknown a few years ago now look as if they are going to change modern Irish politics and history: they are ‘Brexit’ and ‘Maurice McCabe’. … Continue reading

Posted in General, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Sinn Fein | 1 Comment

A Presbyterian republican Ulsterwoman and the ‘sister states’ of Ireland

For the second year running my politician of the year is a Protestant Ulsterwoman. This year it is Heather Humphreys, Irish Minister for Arts, Culture, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, a Monaghan Presbyterian whose grandfather signed the 1912 Ulster Covenant and … Continue reading

Posted in Cross-border cooperation, General, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland | Leave a comment

What the North can teach the South about welcoming refugees

The Irish government seems to be finally and belatedly moving to make its small contribution to tackling the worst humanitarian crisis faced by Europe since the Second World War: the influx of millions of refugees from war-torn countries in the … Continue reading

Posted in General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland | Leave a comment

Three positive things to make us feel good about Northern Ireland (and Ireland)

“Be positive, Andy” said the former Sinn Fein Lord Mayor of Belfast, Tom Hartley, when I met him at ‘Amazing the Space’, a splendid Cooperation Ireland event on the old Maze prison site last month, which brought together 3,500 young … Continue reading

Posted in Cross-border cooperation, General, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland | Leave a comment

Can we have a bit of realism about the border, please?

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am one of those rare Irish people – outside Sinn Fein – who thinks quite a lot about the border. I don’t talk about it much: there’s nothing more likely to … Continue reading

Posted in British-Irish relations, Cross-border cooperation, General, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland | 2 Comments