March 10, 2020

Countering the republican refrain "you took our land"

The common refrain from republicans is, "you took our land".

Yet Belfast as a town and later city was only founded in the early 1600s.

It was built in a basin, situated at the foot of a rim of hills and at the the mouth of a river. It became a trading hub and the merchant community and the population grew rapidly from the 1650s onwards.

A mid-century figure of around 1,000 quickly rose to 2,000 by 1660. Hitting 3,200 by 1670, then reaching 5,000 in 1706.

The population grew to about 8,500 by 1760, grew to 13,500 in 1782, then got to 19,500 in 1791.

By 1912, the population of Belfast was nearly 400,000 compared with 174,000 in 1871. Edward Carson said in 1911:
"The men who made Belfast, which was a town of 12,000 when the Act of Union [1801] was passed, and now has something like 400,000 people, do you think they will accept notice to quit?"

March 04, 2020

Before Ne Temere, 30% of presbyterian ministers supported Home Rule, afterwards only 4%



Before Ne Temere was enacted in Ireland, 30% of Presbyterian ministers in Ireland favoured Home Rule. After the implementation of the Ne Temere decree 4% did. (See here).

February 15, 2020

Advanced republicans desire to expel or resettle Ulster's unionists

In 1987, four years into his 34-year tenure as president of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams said:
"Anyone unwilling to accept a united Ireland and wishing to leave should be offered resettlement grants to permit them to move to Britain, or assist them to move to a country of their choice."
J Bowman wrote in his essay, ‘De Valera: did he entrench the partition of Ireland?’:
"On the second day of the convention de Valera returned to the theme of northern policy and put forward a suggestion which he was also to voice privately to diplomats and to a group of Irish historians in the 1960s. Perhaps in the speech he is revealing an important aspect of his attitude to the Ulster unionists. He suggested that a transfer of populations between Irish emigrants in Britain and those in Northern Irland who described themselves as British might provide a solution to Partition. De Valera’s ambivalence and inconsistency is manifest on this, as on so many other topics. Along with stating in parliament in 1951 that ‘no matter how the world goes, these people and ourselves are going to live on one island here’, he also hankered after what had been his earliest prescription, the expulsion of the Ulster Unionist from the island of Ireland. 
He had first advocated this in 1917-1818. In 1943, he confided to the American minister in Dublin David Gray that a statesmanlike settlement was available 'especially since the precedent for the exchange of populations has been established’. Gray was not impressed: the idea was 'about as practicable as expelling the New Englanders from Massachusetts’. After the war, de Valera spoke in a similar sense both in Ireland and on his American tour in 1948. He was also questioned specifically on this point by a group of historians in 1964. 
De Valera told them that a comparison with Cyprus - as it then was - would be instructive. The minority citizen be he Turk or Ulster Unionist 'must decide his priority: land or allegiance. If the former was more important, then he must accept subjection to the political will of the majority of the island; if being Turkish or British was the more important, then he sould return forthwith to the favoured country, Turkey or Britain’. 
That the proposal to expel the Ulster unionists with compensation should recur in de Valera’s thinking between 1917 and 1964 may help in answering the question raised in this article. Is this not an indication that essentially de Valera hankered after an Irish-Ireland State based on so narrow a concept of Irishness that the Ulster Unionists should be either expelled, absorbed or merely tolerated as an un-Irish minority? In fairness to de Valera we should emphasise that he was working in an Anglophobic political culture and in a period when political or religious ecumenism were not only not espoused but were not even discussed. 
Yet, that said, there remains a considerable contrast with today’s broad consensus in the south on the need for a self-critical approach to the south’s policy on unity, epitomised - despite many interparty differences - in the Report of the New Ireland Forum. Although appropriate genuflections are made in his direction, de Valera’s successors as leader of Fianna Fail have all rejected his concept of a narrow Irish-Ireland State."

February 04, 2020

Young politicians in Sinn Fein no different from the past


Sinn Fein councillor Paddy Holohan said on the No Shame Podcast:
"It bugs me to death to understand that he leads this country and that he's so separated not even from society now but he's so separated from the history of this country. Leo Varadkar’s blood obviously runs to India so his great grandfather is not part of the history of this country ... Now Leo, obviously he’s an Irish citizen, but his passion doesn’t go back to the times when our passion goes back to. So we’re in a situation where we have a leader that’s not only separated from the history of the country but separated from the classes in the country now."
Dean Van Nguyen, an Irish-Vietnamese writer, responded:
"Putting value in antique blood links is a cornerstone of racism."

January 07, 2020

The catholic church's colonialism



As recent social media activity has shown, Irish republicans see it as crazy that a catholic priest would accept an honour from the British (becoming 'Members of the British Empire'). As exampled above, Andree and Patricia don't see how Catholic priests could associate themselves with the British Empire and imperialism.

November 07, 2019

The stereotype of the Irish Protestant

The banker from the film Calvary who personifies vulgar excess and the lingering ascendency in Ireland
For the the outsider, every one from Ireland is Irish, Green and Orange and every shade in between. (Except perhaps in the United States, as noted here and here.) The natives suffer from and indulge in the vanity and narcissism of small differences. Irish people all have a notion of "the other". The person who is "the other" is the confessional and constitutional counterpart, the person in the house next door or in the adjoining community. I wrote here about the bias and prejudgement that the protestants of Ireland experience.

June 24, 2019

Two ways to view the republican movement...



And in contrast a News Letter editorial wrote:
"The Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald said yesterday that the UK and Irish governments must “intervene” if the Northern Ireland talks to restore Stormont fail. 
“The current stalemate cannot continue, the current position is simply not sustainable,” she said. 

March 30, 2019

Ireland's "up the 'RA" problem


Recently Declan Rice caused huge controversy after it emerged that in 2015 he wrote "up the ‘RA" on Instagram. Only a few days earlier Michael Conlon entered the ring in New York to chants of "ooh ah up the RA".

February 19, 2019

Ray Davey on the Civil Rights campaign in Northern Ireland



Ray Davey wrote in his book ‘Take Away This Hate’ (pp. 90-92):
"It was, as far as I could see, a time of creativity and optimism among the students that I knew best. The result was that when in the Autumn term of 1968 the whole situation suddenly changed and the academic calm was rudely shattered by protest marches and confrontation, the vast majority of students were deeply shocked and completely taken by surprise. 

January 06, 2019

Ireland was never united


It was written in 1913:
"The Celtic Church no doubt had its golden age. It produced saints and men of learning. It sent out its missionaries to the heathen beyond the seas. So famous were its schools that students came to them from distant lands. But centuries before the Normans appeared in Ireland the salt had lost its savour. The Celtic Church had sunk into being a mere appendage of the wild tribes it had once tried to tame. The chiefs of one tribe would sack the colleges and shrines of another tribe as freely as they would sack any of their other possessions. For instance, the annals tell us that in the year 1100 the men of the south made a raid into Connaught and burned many churches; in 1113 Munster tribe burned many churches in Meath, one of them being full of people; in 1128 the septs of Leitrim and Cavan plundered and slew the retinue of the Bishop of Armagh; in the same year the men of Tyrone raided Down and a great number of people suffered martyrdom; four years later Kildare was invaded by raiders from Wexford, the church was burnt and many men slain; and so on with dreary monotony. Bishops and abbots fought in the incessant tribal wars as keenly as laymen. Worse still, it was not infrequent for one band of clergy to make war on another. In the ninth century, Phelim, who claimed to be both Bishop and King of Leinster, ravaged Ulster and murdered its monks and clergy. In the eleventh century the annals give an account of a fierce battle between the Bishop of Armagh and the Bishop of Clonard. Nor did time work any improvement; we read of bloody conflicts between abbots and bishops as late as the middle of the fifteenth century. What influence for good could such a church have had upon the mass of the people?"

December 05, 2018

"Look to Belfast and be a repealer if you can..."

Illustration depicting Cooke’s Challenge to O’Connell within the context of the Union.

Henry Cooke issued this challenged to Daniel O’Connell when the latter came to Belfast in January 1841:
"Look at Belfast, a glorious sight, the masted groves in the harbour, the mighty warehouse, the giant manufactories, the rapidly growing streets, all owed to the Union. Look to Belfast and be a repealer if you can."

December 03, 2018

"This everlasting teaching of hatred of England..."


Edna Longley observed:
"Irish Catholics and Ulster protestants not only tend to remember different things, but remember them in different ways."
Fiona Kennedy wrote in the Irish Times:
"When I was a child I learned from my grandmother that the Protestant heathens who lived next door had plundered and tortured us, ruined our language and culture and divided our country."

November 19, 2018

American independence was England's second civil war

Poor old England endeavoring to reclaim his wicked american children. And therefore is England maimed & forc'd to go with a staff
Christopher Hitchens wrote:
"I would like to claim the American Revolution as part of an English revolution all the same, it was basically a revolution of highly educated English people against a German monarchy and its German surrogate forces in America. The sad thing to me is that the German monarchy still remains in England."

Neither in Welsh nor in Irish did a word exist for ‘republic’

‘David Lloyd George blessing James Craig’, by Shemus
Kenneth O Morgan in the No 10 guest historian series, 'Prime Ministers and No. 10', wrote:
"He held a series of talks with the Sinn Fein leader, Eamon De Valera, at Downing Street in July 1921, at which key issues in Ireland’s proposed new relationship with the UK, were discussed. Lloyd George, who made a point of speaking in Welsh to his Secretary, Thomas Jones, in the presence of De Valera, successfully argued that neither in Welsh nor in Irish did a word exist for ‘republic’."

November 06, 2018

Britain and Ireland, archipelagic peoples


The one characteristic that has marked Ireland and Britain from time immemorial is proximity and propinquity. During the last Ice Age 18,000 years ago, the British Isles were one island (see here), yet for many, to this day they remain one. 

October 11, 2018

Ed Moloney - The IRA set out in Spring and early Summer of 1971 to exploit circumstances and to force the British into a premature and ill-prepared internment swoop


Operation Demetrius involved the location, arrest and internment of 342 people in three days. These arrests sparked protests and riots in several Catholic areas across Northern Ireland. The worst of the rioting broke out in Ballymurphy in west Belfast. Only hours into Operation Demetrius British paratroopers went into Ballymurphy to arrest suspected IRA volunteers. On their entry into the estate the soldiers opened fire, claiming later that they had come under attack from IRA snipers. Six civilians were shot and killed that day.

Fintan O'Toole wrote:
"This belief encouraged the IRA republicans to adopt in the 1970s a classic terrorist position that violence would produce a reaction which would display the state in its true, fascistic colors. Instead of trying to alleviate the suffering of ordinary Catholics, the IRA was intent on destroying rational reform and provoking repression... A defense of the IRA’s bombing campaign written in 1976 and published in its own newspaper was entirely explicit about this."
Ed Moloney wrote in 2015:

August 22, 2018

George Bernard Shaw wrote - Am I not a protestant to the very narrow of my bones?


George Bernard Shaw wrote, "Am I not a protestant to the very narrow of my bones?" And he also said: "My own family and antecedents are ultra-Protestant; and I am a bit to the left of Protestantism myself."

George Bernard Shaw wrote elsewhere:
"Ulster children still repeat the derisive doggerel, "Sleether slaughter, holy wather”; and the adults are determined as ever that ‘the Protestant boys shall carry the drum’. As a Protestant myself (and a little to spare), I am highly susceptible to the spirit these war cries express."


July 31, 2018

Sinn Fein abstained from the vote on the Good Friday Agreement


David Trimble said to Alex Kane:
"Sinn Fein were heavily opposed to a Northern Ireland Assembly. In December 1997 it was proving almost impossible to get them to even agree to put an Assembly on the agenda. The SDLP wanted it on the agenda but they weren’t prepared to face down Sinn Fein at that stage."

March 27, 2018

The Scots Irish


Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said on St Patrick's Day 2018:
"Ulster-Scots Protestants are as much a part of the history of the Irish in America as the Irish Catholics are. In the same way, they are an integral, respected and valued part of the history - and the future - of the island of Ireland."
John Hume wrote in 1989:

March 05, 2018

Religious apartheid in 1940s southern Ireland


As has been a recent theme on this blog, I've been a little alarmed at the growing narrative that only protestants and unionists are bigoted, something Sinn Fein and republicans appear to be promoting.

As Jenny McCartney wrote in 2004 following the complete exit of protestants from a catholic estate in Belfast:
"Mr Eoin O'Broin - steeped so long in Sinn Fein’s myth that Northern Ireland’s Catholics must always be oppressed and Protestants the oppressors - simply cannot bear to admit the truth about the intense anti-Protestant bigotry in many working-class Catholic areas... It is pure dishonesty, however, for anyone to pretend that the sectarianism flows in only one direction."

February 22, 2018

Yes James Craig said Northern Ireland was a "Protestant State", but why do we forget de Valera said that Ireland was "a Catholic nation"



John Draper wrote in History Ireland:
"Did the Unionist leader James Craig really describe Stormont as a ‘Protestant parliament for a Protestant people’, as quoted by Tony Canavan in ‘A papist painting for a Protestant parliament’ (HI 16.1, Jan./Feb. 2008)? This is at variance with the version given by Craig’s biographer, Patrick Buckland (James Craig, Gill and Macmillan, 1980). Citing Northern Ireland House of Commons records, Buckland says that Craig was making a comparison between the north and the south. Craig is recorded as saying that southerners had boasted and ‘. . . still boast of Southern Ireland being a Catholic State. All I boast of is that we are a Protestant Parliament and a Protestant State.’ Note that in this version there is no reference to the northern state and parliament being ‘for a Protestant people’. Critics may draw that inference, but that does not mean that the prime minister uttered those words. 

Having to speak to republicans like they're a child


James Stephens said:
"It is too generally conceived among Nationalists that the attitude of Ulster towards Ireland is rooted in ignorance and bigotry."
John Hume said that being pro-Union does not make you a bigot. He wrote in his famous 1964 letters for the Irish Times:
"Another positive step towards easing community tensions and towards removing what bigotry exists among Catholics would be to recognize that the Protestant tradition in the North is as strong and as legitimate as our own. Such recognition is our first step towards better relations. We must be prepared to accept this and to realize that the fact that a man wishes Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom does not necessarily make him a bigot or a discriminator. Which leads me to the constitutional question."

January 27, 2018

Sinn Fein is "the Irish for John Bull"

Cartoon by Morten Morland (2003), via the British Cartoon Archive

Presently in Northern Ireland Sinn Fein has worked to make itself synonymous with progress and positive. They have done this to the detriment of Unionism and the wider protestant culture, both of which are perceived as cold and narrow minded.

The creation of Northern Ireland and the Free State gave Home Rule to all of Ireland

'All right—who else can steer?' O’Neill and Chichester-Clark drowning in a cartoon by ‘Mac’, Daily Sketch, 1 January 1971. (British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent)

The Ulster Proclamation of Provisional Government of 1913 signalled the intent of unionists to form their own administration in the nine northern counties of Ireland if Westminster handed powers to a nationalist parliament in Dublin.

It was issued the year after almost half a million people in Ulster signed either the Solemn League and Covenant or Declaration in opposition to Home Rule and as tens of thousands joined the original Ulster Volunteer Force in preparation to resist the move by force. The crisis was overtaken by the outbreak of World War One and a nine-county government was never formed.

January 23, 2018

The vanity of Irish exceptionalism...



I voted agained Brexit, but I believe in democracy. The Brexit vote and the disentagling process can be critiqued, but many commentators and papers have taken a sneering and condescending approach to those who favour separation from Brexit.

January 20, 2018

Irish Republican's lack of self-awareness

Postcard showing the 'Ulster Cow'. A priest and John Redmond portrayed trying to tax an Ulster farmer. The cow, labelled ‘Ulster,‘ belches 'defiance' - 'Now All of you try and milk her, dairymaid Redmond Don't Funk. We have been beaten, not hands down, but horns up, Carson's a Holy terror.'

Alex Kane wrote an article in the Irish Times pointing out that unionists and republicans in Northern Ireland both suffer from having a blind spot in their view of the world.

January 08, 2018

Ethics and Empire, reappraising colonialism?

Shane O'Neill of Tyrone meets Queen Elizabeth of England
Ian d'Alton wrote:
"In 1916 Irish Protestants were looked upon, in the words of novelist Susanne Day, as ‘illegitimate children of an irregular union between Hibernia and John Bull’."
Hubert Butler wrote:
"We protestants of the Irish Republic are no longer very interesting to anyone but ourselves. A generation ago we were regarded dramatically as imperialistic blood-suckers... Our brothers in the north are still discussed in such colourful terms."
Erskine Childers wrote in ‘The Framework of Home Rule’ (1911):
"In natural humanity the colonists of Ireland and the colonists of America differed in no appreciable degree. They were the same men, with the same inherent virtues and defects, acting according to the pressure of environment. Danger, in proportionate degree, made both classes brutal and perfidious."

European report labels Ireland a tax haven, Sinn Fein votes it down



Valerie Flynn wrote in the Times, 'Sinn Fein MEPs help Ireland avoid tax haven label':
"The adopted report criticises Ireland’s role in tax evasion. In it the European parliament notes with “regret” that the latest EU tax haven blacklist focuses only on non-EU jurisdictions and omits “countries within the EU that have played a systematic role in promoting and enabling harmful tax practices”. 
The parliament noted that “at least four member states would be included on the [blacklist] if screened according to the same EU criteria”. Although not named, Ireland was one of the four member states in question. The report was adopted by a large majority of MEPs."

January 06, 2018

The Westminster convention of non-interference in Northern Ireland (1921 - 1969)


'The Lobby of the House of Commons, 1886' by Liborio Prosperi ('Lib'), published in Vanity Fair Christmas Supplement 1886


Paul Rose, MP for Manchester Blackley, helped to set up the Campaign for Democracy in Ulster in 1965. Speaking at a debate on Northern Ireland in the House of commons on 22 April 1969 (just before Bernadette Devlin made her maiden speech) Paul Rose said:

January 02, 2018

Edward Carson - If Home Rule for Ireland, why not for the north-east of Ireland?



In opposition to the third Home Rule bill Edward Carson said:
"What argument is there that you can raise for giving Home Rule to Ireland that you do not equally raise for giving Home Rule to that Protestant minority in the north-east province?"
Lloyd George said:
"I was drenched with suspicion of Irishmen by Englishmen and of Englishmen by Irishmen and, worst of all, of Irishmen by Irishmen. It was a quagmire of distrust which clogged the footsteps and made progress impossible. That is the real enemy of Ireland."

Irish Ireland, not Ireland

'Posting in Ireland', by James Gillray

Republican teaching records that Irish Ireland and the true Irish Nation had nearly extinguished, only the Easter Rising ‘woke up’ the Irish people and unleashed them towards independence.

Todd Andrews wrote that "Dublin [in 1901] was a British city and accepted itself as one", and Ernie O'Malley said, "‘the old hatred of the redcoats had disappeared."

Tom Barry wrote that he had "no  national consciousness" but events of Easter Week gave him a "rude awakening", and "Through the blood sacrifice of 1916 had one Irish youth been awakened to Irish nationality."

Eamon de Valera said in 1926:
"[Clarke, Pearse and Connolly] made sure of an Irish Ireland by dying for it."

August 10, 2017

Unconscious bias against Ireland's protestants and unionists

A 19th century painting by Édouard Debat-Ponsan, depicting Catherine de' Medici (in black) viewing the carnage of the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre (a day of Catholic mob violence and murder in 1572)

Just because you are gay it does not automatically mean that you believe in government control of the economy and large public spending.

Today we live in an identity-politics world where the conservative and centrist is evil and the progressive left is benevolent and virtuous.

And so it is in Northern Ireland, the unionist is bad, the nationalist is good. As Newton Emerson said: "The special problem with Sinn Fein is its ideological imperative to paint unionists as a community defined by prejudice." Unionists are the "despised tribe" and the "despised hangers-on".

June 08, 2017

The Vatican's colonialism and imperialism


I want to look at the Doctrine of Discovery and the conquest ethic of the Catholic Church. I do this because Catholics in Ireland equate conquest, colonialism and imperialism only with Britain, perfectly ignoring these impulses that exist in the Catholic church of the past and present. Surely that is an act of blatant hypocrisy?

In 'Interpreting Northern Ireland' John Whyte wrote:
"The Protestant school flew the Union Jack daily, a practice on which a catholic teacher commented: “They fly the flag down there to show that they are more British than the British themselves. It’s also to let us know that they are the lords and masters and we (Catholics) should be continually aware of it.” 
On the other hand, the catholic school was full of religious symbols, and a Protestant teacher commented: “it’s hard to escape the view that a special show is being put on for our benefit… they must know that these are the very things that we object to, yet still they are flaunted everywhere.”"

May 31, 2017

Paul Gough - Why Ireland Wasn't a Colony


Stephen Howe wrote in his 2008 article, ‘Questioning the (bad) question: ‘Was Ireland a colony?’:
"Might we usefully think of Ulster in certain periods as a Scots colony, or even Wexford as a Welsh one?"

May 30, 2017

After 1916 relations between Carson and Redmond improved


Delivering the John Redmond Lecture in April 2012 in Waterford the Minister of State for Northern Ireland the Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP reminded us that if you walk out of the Members’ Dining Room in the House of Commons and turn right you will pass a bust of John Redmond, continue towards the Members’ Library and you will face a bust of Sir Edward Carson.

Degrees of Irishness?

The Rt Hon Timothy Healy, Governor General of the Irish Free State, by Sir William Orpen
'My dear Boy, come and see me whenever you like in the bee-loud glade,' is what Tim Healy reputedly wrote in a letter response to W.B. Yeats, a story told by Lady Gregory and recalled by Conor Cruise O'Brien.

April 25, 2017

Is the British uniform really foreign?


On April 17 2017 Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy told a Sinn Féin commemoration at the republican plot at St Finbarr’s Cemetery in Cork where lord mayors Tomas Mac Curtain and Terence Mac Swiney are buried:
"Let me just make it clear – it is important that we remember those who fought in world wars; those people who were part of the Irish nation but for whatever reason decided to wear foreign uniforms, it’s absolutely legitimate that they should be remembered and should be commemorated."
Diarmaid Ferriter in ‘The Transformation of Ireland: 1900-2000’ wrote:
"Thousands of Irish soldiers, many of them nationalist, fought with the British army, suggesting a high degree of contentment with Ireland’s place within the Empire."
People suggest that Ireland before independence was a mere colony. However as Edward Carson said, Ireland had county councils and representative institutions. And John Redmond said in 1915:
"[Ireland has] its feet firmly planted in the groundwork and foundation of a free nation."
Read my post on Ireland's social revolution here.

The terrible ignorance of Ireland's unionists


Northern Ireland is the subject of a "terrible ignorance" by the people of the Republic of Ireland. This allows misunderstandings to linger and suspicions to fester. There are stereotypes of what an Irish protestant is like, as I wrote here, but these are incorrect. I wrote in my article, 'A Terrible Ignorance':
"Not only did Ireland of the twentieth century airbrush the constitutionalist tradition, they erased the avatar of a loyal Irish-British person and burnt the hard-drive. 
My Irishness is not singular and prescriptive, I’m Irish and British. Two buckets are easier carried than one, so I stand in-between. 
The unorthodox views of the northern protestant are never considered by the south. The Irish suffer willed amnesia when it comes to the loyal Ulstermen and women who are British and Irish."

TK Whitaker - It is much too naive to believe that Britain simply imposed Partition on Ireland


Diarmaid Ferriter wrote:
"The oft repeated contention was that partition was a British imposition and could only be undone by Britain; that there was no requirement for the Free State, or later the Republic, to come up with a solution."

April 24, 2017

The religious test to be a teacher in Ireland's schools

More information about the Catholic Teaching Certificate here

I previously wrote a blog post 'Irish teachers must be Catholic missionaries', and I also wrote a post, 'Ireland's sectarian schools' here.

I want to explore this matter further...

Ireland's sectarian schools, Ctd


Ireland has passed a new ‘equality’ law that protects Catholic LGBT teachers from discrimination. Via Mick Nugent here.
"This enrolment policy is clearly discriminatory. Discrimination wrapped up in the language of protecting their own ethos."

September 13, 2016

Northern Ireland's image problem


Reginald Maudling, a Conservative Home Secretary, reached destination despair with Northern Ireland, as Eamonn Mallie explained. Having hauled himself up the steps of the plane at Aldergrove after his first visit to Northern Ireland in 1972, he declared:
"For God’s sake bring me a large Scotch. What a bloody awful country."
HBO executive Michael Lombardo also derided Belfast. Jeremy Paxman called the city one of the most “benighted” places in the world. Restauranteur Emma Bricknell called Belfast a “laughing stock”.

BBC reporter Julian O'Neil said an “image problem” may explain a fall in visitor numbers to Northern Ireland from across the border. Grayson Perry made a rather downbeat disparaging comment following a visit to Belfast, when he said:
"[Loyalism is] rooted in a vision of Britain that perhaps doesn’t completely gel with the modern 21st century idea of Britain we have nowadays."

Also read this on my Tumblr here.

The 'Despised Tribe' and 'Despised hangers-on'


In a previous post I wrote that Catholic-Nationalists in Ireland can regard Protestant and Unionists as associated with "Saxon and Guilt".

I also wrote about Northern Ireland's image problem and the Reginald Maudlin moment here. I wrote about Unionism's anglophobia here. I also wrote about Ireland's "big, mad children".

In this post I look at how the British press and mainland opinion often looks with low regard upon the pro-Union community of Northern Ireland. Conor Cruise O'Brien wrote in his autobiography, 'Memoir: My Life and Themes', published in 1998:

September 12, 2016

NIPPLES

Col. Tim Collins, RBAI alumnus and classic NIPPLE
I have written many times before about normal Northern Ireland and the two world's of Northern Ireland, and I've also written about the 'Unionist Gap'. Peter Geogheghan wrote that Northern Ireland is increasingly "janus-faced".

August 29, 2016

When John Steinbeck came 'back to Ireland'


The website Steinbeck Now notes that John Steinbeck "returned repeatedly to his family roots in Northern Ireland". Steinbeck's grandfather Samuel Hamilton was a Scots-Irish immigrant who settled as a farmer in California’s Salinas Valley in the 19th century. The 1962 Nobel Prize winner's Irish forebears hailed from Mulkeeragh, an area outside Ballykelly in County Londonderry. His grandfather was born on October 7 1830 and emigrated 17 years later, leaving for New York at the time of the Great Famine.

August 23, 2016

Northern Ireland's Dance, Ctd

Mandan tribal dance - George Catlin (c. 1835)
I previously wrote about the Northern Ireland dance here. MCB alumnus now in Washington Niall Stanage wrote in the New York Times:

August 19, 2016

The lost Orange of Ireland

Royal Black Preceptory Parade, Cootehill, Cavan, 1920

In a previous post I noted that Martin McGuinness said in March 2015 that "The orange part of the flag is as important as the green", and Gerry Adams said at his party’s Ard Fheis that same year that "We need reminded again and again that our flag is Orange."

August 16, 2016

James Connolly's angry nativist language

James Connolly, by  Mick O'Dea
Hate and racism is a universal trait - it isn't specifically a Protestant or unionist thing. Irish travellers in Southern Ireland were in Southern Ireland what Catholics were in Northern Ireland, second-class, and thet continue to be. As Willie Kealy said, “We [Irish] have always been a bit racist about Travellers.”

August 15, 2016

Protestant, planter and guilt. Catholic, Gael and virtue.

Captain John Smith trading with Virginian Indians. Painting by Sidney E. King, National Park Service.
On Slugger O'Toole I wrote that being protestant is often a byword for outsider and guilt, while being Catholic is shorthand for Erin and virtue. In that I wrote:

August 01, 2016

Irish nationalism's xenophobia against long settled Protestants


Sinn Fein MLA Phil Flanagan tweeted:
"Unionists didn't have a problem with immigration when their ancestors descended on Ireland to grab land from the native population..."
While, republicans don't have a problem with immigration, so long as it's not protestant immigration to Ireland of centuries past. As Eoin O'Malley of Dublin City University wrote in the paper 'Populist Nationalists: Sinn Fein and redefining the 'radical right'':
"Nationalism in Ireland cannot sit easily with anti-immigrant bigotry (as long as the immigrants are not long settled Protestants."
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