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Northern Ireland wracked by week of riots

24 Comments
By Joe STENSON

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Just give Northern Ireland back to the Irish. Problem solved.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Just give Northern Ireland back to the Irish. Problem solved.

Sounds so easy. It isn't. About half the population of Northern Ireland consider themselves to be British and claim allegiance to the government in London. What happens to them? They have shown repeatedly they will engage in great violence to prevent Ulster from becoming part of the Irish Republic.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

The protestants in Ulster are feeling deserted and cheated by London so the connection is being weakened. They want no borders between them and mainland UK. Johnson promised but lied. Economically Ulster would be better off in a EU Ireland than part of the UK. There are many protestants in Ireland who have no problem living there.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Zichi, I don't think you appreciate how stubborn the Protestant Northern Irelanders are or how hard they will fight to prevent becoming part of the Irish Republic.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Instead of blaming Harry and Meghan (and most probably Hillary) for the death of Prince Phillip, perhaps Nigel Farage can get his backside over to Northern Ireland and sort out this problem created by his wonderful idea called Brexit. Didn't anyone think about this or any of the other numerous problems that would come up instead of just proceeding with the Brexit referendum or did they just think of the consequences after voting Leave?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Desert Tortoise

Just to put you in the picture. I am of Irish descent. Entitled to an Irish passport. Born in Liverpool, one of the most Irish of English cities. Have Northern Ireland Orange Lodge family members too.

For more than 40 years, the youngest sister of my mother a devoted Catholic who attends her church daily is married to a man, my uncle, from Northern Ireland and a member of the Orange Lodge. They have both keep their separate religions and identities. She goes to her church while he goes to his Orang Lodge meetings. They have both enjoyed a peaceful loving marriage.

I have always stated I would like to see a united Ireland but probably not possible while we still have the Ulster situation. But the Brexit border is changing the protestants opinion of the mainland, and especially Johnson and is cronies.

There will be a united Ireland one day. All the people North and South are already Irish. Northern Ireland is a separate country from England. Both Northern Ireland and Scotland voted against the Brexit.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Just give Northern Ireland back to the Irish. Problem solved.

Nope.

Let the people of NI decide at the ballot box.

Even then, I don’t see that being problem solved but at least there is a democratic mandate to work with.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Unfortunate, but the obvious result of an occupation.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Of course, no Brexiteer politician will take responsibility for the mess they created.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Sounds so easy. It isn't. About half the population of Northern Ireland consider themselves to be British and claim allegiance to the government in London. 

The other half of the population of Northern Ireland are not British. No one denies that it’s Irish territory. The English will still have a vote in their local governance. Have a referendum - let all of the people of Ireland have a voice in their countries future.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Brexit and the GFA are fundamentally incompatible. The GFA was built upon the assumption that the UK and Eire would both be in the EU. Any fudge to make it work would require some sort of border between GB and NI or between NI and Eire. To some extent, both. That's why May's regime collapsed - she lost her majority and had to rely on the support of the DUP (NI Unionists).

Boris did what he always does - announced that there would be no border (appeasing the DUP and their supporters) and then agreed to one. When things looked a bit sticky (trade collapsing and threats to border posts), he suggested maintaining transition rules that exclude border checks. The EU took this about as well as the Unionists took the new borders and began court action against the British government.

Few traders in Britain are certain as to what the situation is or will be, so they are doing the sensible thing and blocking many 'exports' to NI. This is shafting the NI economy. A lot of trade from Eire used to travel by truck through the UK, sometimes via NI. Much of this has stopped too, leaving NI out of the economic loop.

The GFA was built on economic benefits and a rise in tourism. The pandemic and lockdowns have added to the new borders to ensure that NI may now be suffering from Brexit even more than GB is.

As NI has two disaffected groups, they will start by targeting the security forces, but will eventually start tit-for-tat violence against each other. This will be interesting, as pre-GFA sectarian violence was old school. Now they have the internet, it will be Sectarianism 2.0 using tactics learned from HK, mixed with the old staples such as punishment beatings, executions, kangaroo courts, nail bomb attacks and increasing social division.

Trade and tourism generally keeps the peace. When you limit both and start building walls, everything goes to hell.

The next inevitable consequence of Brexit will be the demand for Scottish independence. It's possible that a recent split in the nationalist Scottish political parties may save Boris's skin there. Otherwise the drive for self-determination will begin.

Unlike the Catalans, who will get cold-shouldered by the EU as Spain is a member state, the Scots may get a more positive response.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Brexit and the GFA are fundamentally incompatible. 

The European Union and self determination are incompatible. There is a solution to Northern Ireland’s troubles - reunification with the Irish state. The UK is long past it’s power to force colonialism on an unwilling population. It is inevitable that Ireland will be reunited. The longer it is delayed the more harm and suffering the English cause the people.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The European Union and self determination are incompatible. There is a solution to Northern Ireland’s troubles - reunification with the Irish state. 

I think that's a solution most in Britain would like to see, although the motive may be simply to get rid of a problem. (And there are those in the Irish Republic who worry about being landed with the mess of the north if Ireland were united.)

If you go by the self-determination principle, then is it not up to the people of Northern Ireland?

Personally, I can't see any good solution while that whole Orange Order institution hangs around. I've found it about the ugliest element of my life in central Scotland. But instead of trying to remove it, perhaps we should look for ways to make it friendlier. Some pink decorations on those bowler hats perhaps. (Sorry, but I often despair with memories of those parades.)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If you go by the self-determination principle, then is it not up to the people of Northern Ireland?

All of the people of Ireland deserve a voice in the fate of Ireland’s future. The Irish haven’t been able to determine their own destiny since the Anglo-Norman invasion in the 12th century.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

WolfpackToday  05:32 am JST

If you go by the self-determination principle, then is it not up to the people of Northern Ireland?

All of the people of Ireland deserve a voice in the fate of Ireland’s future. The Irish haven’t been able to determine their own destiny since the Anglo-Norman invasion in the 12th century.

Give Ireland Back To The Irish.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

WolfpackApr. 11  10:17 am JST

Just give Northern Ireland back to the Irish. Problem solved.

No, the problem is the Unionists who don't want Britain to give Northern Ireland back to the Irish, and who know there would be no chance whatsoever of it remaining part of the UK if everyone in Ireland got to vote in a referendum on reunification. In case you didn't know the same Unionists have MPs representing them in Westminster that governments sometimes depend on to get legislation passed, so their opinions are not going to get ignored. If it hadn't been for them Britain would probably have allowed a united Ireland to become independent at least a century ago.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Trade and tourism generally keeps the peace. When you limit both and start building walls, everything goes to hell.

The above idea, briefly stated, was the foundation of the post WWII economic order envisioned through the Bretton Woods Agreements and manifest in the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, the original Common Market (which in time became the European Union) and the UN. Build a global economy that ties the world together in trade and increasing prosperity and reduce the likelihood of a resumption of the beggary thy neighbor trade polices, the Smoot-Harley Acts and similar, that laid the ground work for the rise of populist tyrants and eventually led to WWII. The "globalism" some complain so bitterly about was designed to tie countries together in trade and shared businesses hoping these would in time reduce the mutual hatreds and petty rivalries that were the source of so many tragic wars especially in Europe leading up to the two great world wars. We destroy those global institutions and ignore the lessons of the world that led to their formation at great peril.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Simon is saying exactly what I was trying to say, only he said it more cogently than I. Those hard core unionists in Ulster will never accept being part of the Irish Republic and will fight to the death to prevent it. It is very far from a simple problem to resolve and I honestly do not believe the unionists would respect a plebiscite / referendum that favored unification with the Republic of Ireland.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Wolfpack is correct.

The Unionist population in the North is one million. In the whole of Ireland it is still only one million. The nationalist population in the North is one milion. In the whole of Ireland it is almost six million.

Even if we count dissenters on top of unionist voters in an all-Ireland vote, if only half of the nationalist population voted for a United Ireland it would pass by a country mile.

Over h last week and today the UDA has been accused by Unionists (e.g. Geoffrey Donaldson and several others) and Loyalist community workers as drug-dealers and as orchestrating the violence to distract from their day-jobs as drug dealers. Yet the UDA, part-time terrorists and part-time drug-dealers, not only have not been outlawed; not only are they allowed to have shop-fronted offices on main streets all over NI with the name of their UDA paramilitary battalions emblazoned outsde on signs but they are also in receipt of peace-dividend funding from the UK and Rep of Ire, EU and USA. Couldn't make it up. These offices are open-legally facilitated recruiting grounds for the UDA.

Finally, I was listening to a Podcast from Irish radio and one of the Loyalist rioters - this is no joke- Blamed "Story" for being responsible for the border across the Irish Sea. ( Mr Story was the subject of an entirely different issue connected with funerals and covid). These kids are recreational rioters with limited intelligence being cynically exploited by gangsters.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

PaulToday  06:22 am JST

Wolfpack is correct.

The Unionist population in the North is one million. In the whole of Ireland it is still only one million. The nationalist population in the North is one milion. In the whole of Ireland it is almost six million.

Even if we count dissenters on top of unionist voters in an all-Ireland vote, if only half of the nationalist population voted for a United Ireland it would pass by a country mile.

Why should it be an all-Ireland vote? Because nationalists are certain it will deliver a result they like? The people that reunification would have the biggest impact are in Northern Ireland, and as it would be a foregone conclusion why even have a referendum? The Ulster unionists would end up feeling as angry and disenfranchised as the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish who voted to remain in the EU but lost out due to the majority of English people voting to leave. It doesn't bother me at all if Ireland is reunified and the north becomes part of the Republic, but an all-Ireland referendum would be a travesty of democracy. Better to have two - one for the people in Northern Ireland to decide if they want reunification or not, and other for the people in the Republic to decide if they accept the result.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If the unionists still claim they are "British" (after 400 years on the make, contributing nothing but bigoted orangism mascarading as "culture" in Ireland) they should really go back to....Britain (Daw), and peace would prvail, at last. THAT is the only permanent solution.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

FonzyToday  08:20 am JST

If the unionists still claim they are "British" (after 400 years on the make, contributing nothing but bigoted orangism mascarading as "culture" in Ireland) they should really go back to....Britain (Daw), and peace would prvail, at last. THAT is the only permanent solution.

What do you think the chances are of anything like that ever happening? Got any realistic suggestions?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Better to have two - one for the people in Northern Ireland to decide if they want reunification or not, and other for the people in the Republic to decide if they accept the result.

Perhaps three. Another for the people of mainland Britain to decide whether Northern Ireland should remain part of of the UK.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Albaleo writes: "Perhaps three. Another for the people of mainland Britain to decide whether Northern Ireland should remain part of of the UK."

I agree. Great idea. Why not start a campaign. And I also wonder if those Unionists did indeed return to what they se as their motherland Britain, would English, Scottiah ans Welsh people put up with their marches every two weeks and provoking minorities etc. I think most British people would not tolerate their fanaticiam.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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