Irish PM calls for urgent restoration of Northern Ireland government


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His first name is Leo, btw.

It's the DUP stalling because the idea of recognising Gaelic is so repugnant to them. Nobody's forcing you to speak it, Arlene.

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I've no problem with people speaking Gaelic if they want, though to force it down your throat and to have the Government forced to produce bilingual documents is a sheer waste of time and money - money that could be put to better use elsewhere.

As to the DUP, they probably view is as a foot in the door towards a unified Ireland, so yes they would naturally oppose it.

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A unified Ireland is going to happen. Maybe not this generation but it's a sure thing.

The most important thing is that it is an inclusive Ireland, one that celebrates both traditions and lays sectarianism finally to rest.

I don't thing the old "as gaeilge" is going to be forced down peoples throats and a bilingual document is not the thin end of the wedge.

I had admiration for the late David Ervine, a former loyalist who came in from the cold and joined the democratic process, supporting Sinn Fein's stance on making speeches in Irish in Stormont. I believe he was even able to converse in the lingo?

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Northern Ireland Politics is always a dangerous topic for discussion, more-so since there are two violently opposing sides, so saying the wrong thing could lead to you being shot, just as being of the wrong religion and living in the wrong place could...

I wouldn't say it's Unification is a sure thing, the current situation has been ongoing for a very long time - and as the 2016 polls suggested herein, it could go on for much longer:

Though, some would have us believe that the whole situation could flip suddenly if BrExit goes badly wrong:

And should that happen, I hope the Irish Government is ready with some plans on how to handle the situation.

In an ideal world, people wouldn't hold grudges against each other, and things would follow their Natural course. Through as soon as your mix in Politics and Religion, you're back to the start again. I feel somewhat that the Northern Ireland's situation is a bit like that between Israel and Palestine, all have in common .... the UK.

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Personally, I'm not afraid of having a discussion about NI/6 counties. The days when you got intimidated, beat up, slandered etc have lessened. Did you see Mary Lou on the Late Late? It's on the RTE player. The only person who came out of it badly was Tubridy with metaphorical egg on his face. I guess he was playing to a certain section of the middle class southern audience, voicing some of their baseless fears about SF. He's out of touch. I'm sure Mary Lou will be a successful presence, be it in Stormont or Kildare St.

Anyway, you could well be right and a united Ireland may still be a while away. What's refreshing to see is a stronger and broader focus as regards all the peoples of Ireland. She is all for an inclusive Ireland, north and south. There's no going back to the old days and the Unionist traditions cannot be ignored.

Please forgive me for not clicking the Express. That paper has never been a friend to the Irish people. But yes, the Brexit situation throws up a whole plethora of unknowns. All I can do is hope that the people of the north can get a decent deal. They always seem to be an afterthought of successive British and Irish governments over the years.

The religion things has blighted politics for years. But I feel (certainly in the Republic) that it no longer plays as big a part as it once did. It can't be allowed poison discourse - on either "side".

I reckon the ball is the DUPs court. The Irish language isn't going to dilute their culture, imho.

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I would love to see a united Ireland before I pass away in a decade or two.

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Please stick around zichi.

In the meantime, I could be pedantic and say Ireland is already united and the remaining 6 counties are British but I know what you mean.

It's going to take a lot of will power, discipline, commitment and compromise. And it's extremely unlikely to happen under a Fine Gael administration.

But it's encouraging to see young blood with open minds take centre stage. Very encouraging.

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I think the whole Brexit thing will do more for uniting Ireland than anything else to date. People of two sides of a coin agreeing for very different reasons.

I'm two parts Irish, one part Welsh, and one part Scot so pure kelt with previous red hair. Still got the hair but the reds gone.

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Whatever comes from the Brexit debacle, you can be sure that pressure will be on the governments in Dublin and London to ensure the people of NI/6 counties are not forgotten.

As an aside, did you read about Welsh independence being a real thing? Sadly, it's only in the Marvel Black Panther universe...

A united Ireland would be a very curious beast, politically. Aside from encompassing Republican and Unionist traditions, there's the whole direction where to go on the progressive spectrum. Sinn Fein is unashamedly left wing, although in recent years they've tried to tailor it to middle class voters but the socialism is there.

Still. The Republic has had various coalition govts over the decades, I'm pretty sure Democratic Left and/or the Workers Party once had a say in previous administrations. Although, they may be defunct or absorbed back into the Irish Labour Party at this stage. The Sunday Independent readership got a real scare when Mary McAleese became President back in '97. The horror - a Northerner who had first hand experience of "the troubles". I think it brought home to the southern middle classes that you can't ignore the North any longer.

In the meantime, the revolving door of Fine Gael, Fianna Fail administrations prove frustrating for those actually looking for change, for a better Ireland. It's hard to differentiate between the blueshirts and soldiers of destiny. Although, I imagine the former's members would be spinning in their graves at the thought of Leo Varadakar as leader. The latter are still mistrusted because of their fondness for brown envelopes and the excesses of the Haughey era.

As I've said - new blood is what it will take to move forward.

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Sadly, if you live/lived North of the Border, particularly in the areas that were once known as Bandit country, you may have a slightly different view. 

From experience, those further South of the Border, do have a more idealistic view upon the situation, and I honestly wish that their views would come to be. Though the harsh reality is quite different, you only got to visit some of the more renown areas in Belfast to get an idea of that - for example Sandy Row/Shankill or Falls Road. Go further out into the sticks, and you will find further divisions. You only have to google areas names in order to see the first statement of ... "predominantly a ... Catholic or Protestant Area...." - not something you see much elsewhere in the World.

The Express article was just an example, I don't really focus upon them either. 

Religion sadly still plays a part in Irish politics (both North and South of the Border).... just look at the Abortion and same sex Laws as an example. As of late 2015, It's now legal to have same-sex marriage in the South, but not in the North. And as to Abortion .....

I think, that as time goes by, what you say "@Toasted Heretic", may possibly become a reality - though I think it will take a number of generations for memories to become diluted, and for a more non-sectarian political framework to exist in both Countries/Regions before this is realized. So as you say, new blood, is what is required, everywhere.

All we have now, is to try and aim towards that goal, by avoiding conflict through friction between communities, and to reduce the influence of Politics of Religion and vice-versa between all there. Ireland has a Wonderful History, and a Rich Culture to share with the World, I hope in my lifetime I see some real progress being made.. but that may require the proverbial Miracle....

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There are 6 Counties in Northern Ireland.... Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Derry and Tyrone.

And there were 5 Provinces within Ireland of past: Leinster, Munster, Connacht, Ulster (and Mide).

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I don't know N.Ireland and have never visited. The south many times. I have a Protestant uncle from the north married to the youngest Catholic sister of my mother. More than 40 years now. Come Sunday's, they go to different churches.

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I, as you could imagine, come from the Province of Ulster.

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@zichi - I wish, all could just be normal people, just as you've experienced. Sadly, I have experienced the opposite end of the stick.

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Oh, I'd love commentators on all "sides" to visit the Falls or Shankill Road. That goes to the Noraid types who dished out money for "the boys" back in the day.

There was an old joke that still holds true in some parts - asked whether or not the visitor is a Catholic or a Protestant, the visitor explains that, actually, he's an atheist.

"Aye", the resident says "but are you a Catholic or a Protestant atheist?"

Yes, UlsterBoy, the frictions need reducing. Some of those frictions come from the poverty and poor conditions for working class and marginalised peoples, no matter what their religion. Nell McCafferty said in her autobiography that working class Catholics and Protestants had a lot in common. In the early days of the Civil Rights movements there was dialogue between some Bogside communities who recognised that they were being repeatedly shafted by the Brtitish government. But all the dialogue fell by the wayside when violence reared its ugly head.

Nell was one for the first feminists who sought to challenge the stranglehold the RCC had on the people. She joined the Irish Women's Liberation Movement on board the infamous "contraceptive train" up to Belfast and back to Dublin to wave various birth control devices/pills in the face of the authorities. How times have changed. Almost. The abortion debate rages on but with the referendum coming up in May, we may see a huge change. For sure, the old guard will rage and villify as is their trademark but this is not the Ireland of 1971. Or the X case of 1992.

Yep, Ireland has a wonderful, fascinating and often sad history. But it is inspirational as well and long may it continue. North and South, together or not.

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way too much pain caused and suffered on all sides. My uncle and aunt could never have married and remain happy for more than 40 years if we had been in the N.Ireland. They are in Liverpool and my uncle returns to the north frequently.

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There are 6 Counties in Northern Ireland.... Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Derry and Tyrone.

Which always got me when I heard the refrain "Ulster says no".

I was like, what, Monaghan, Cavan and Donegal go along with that? ;-)

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Return North Ireland to the Irish.

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Toasted Heretic

I've been a life long Buddhist and traveling in Ireland old people always ask what religion you are and when I told they always asked

"but are you a Catholic or a Protestant Buddhist?"

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After having had a gun held to my head, and being told to Leave.. I don't think I've heard anyone else here who is qualified to say the truth about N.I.

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In regards to giving "North Ireland" back to the Irish... it already belongs to the Irish. That being the men and women of both traditions. And you cannot just give countries away without the will of the people.

The time will be right when people from the Unionist community are convinced and comfortable that they will be allowed to maintain their own culture.

And then we can all argue about fundamentalism till the cows come home.

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UlsterBoyFeb. 20  05:46 pm JST I've no problem with people speaking Gaelic if they want, though to force it down your throat and to have the Government forced to produce bilingual documents is a sheer waste of time and money - money that could be put to better use elsewhere.

I re-read the article four times trying to find any reference to language. Less than half of the people in the Republic of Ireland can understand or speak Gaelic with less than 5% using the language daily. Where did you get the idea that the south was going to force the north to become bilingual after reunification?

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The Republic cannot force anyone in the 6 counties to speak Gaelic. It has nothing to do with them. The confusion (if any) arises because Sinn Fein are pushing for the language to be made "official" in NI, as it were.

Sinn Fein are a pan-Ireland political party but the language focus is concentrated in the North because it's seen as a principle right of identity and they feel it is being marginalised by the majority Unionist identity.

SF don't have to push for a focus on the language in the Republic, as kids are taught it throughout their school days, they need it to pass their Leaving Cert and certain professions require it. For example; RTE, the national broadcaster. There are also Gaeltachts, mostly concentrated in the West.

That said, English is the spoken language and it's highly unlikely that the Irish language would ever replace it.

It won't decline, however, as there are enough people who have a healthy regard for the language, whether they speak it on a daily basis or just have the cúpla focail.

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