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Sinn Fein Win in Ireland

Sinn Fein Win in Ireland

Old Feb 10th 2020, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: Sinn Fein Win in Ireland

Originally Posted by SultanOfSwing View Post
Thanks

I guess, to be fair, there really would be no Republic of Ireland without the IRA in some form, and of course the IRA that was is not the same as the drug dealers and spides up north today, in the same way that the UVF of today is about as far removed from the 'Boys of Ulster marching to the Somme' as one can get. But, that being said, if Sinn Fein are becoming a louder leftist voice in Ireland, then we must look at the positives. Ireland has gone through a lot of change for the good of late, long may it continue.

This is still a journey for me, as I continue to let go of the prejudices I am ashamed to admit I held in the past. Recent enough that I made some edgy jokes in this forum that I am not proud of, so I have much atoning to do yet. As time goes on though, the more attractive the prospect of one Ireland starts to become.
My family history makes me conflicted over the struggle (which might come as a surprise to many of this parish!). I am a republican, in that I see no benefit in the retention of old imperial structures, but I don't actually see any great difference between An Uachtarán and a constitutional monarchy (although th latter is a bit of an odd term in the UK). I certainly believe that Ireland would be better united, but I would want this by consensus.... so any struggle could only be with an imperial power trying to retain control by force. I also have huge concerns on the impact unification would have (as I've expressed before).

As you say (and as history shows), the IRA was necessary to gain independence, but then things got "complicated" - and seeing my Pop, who was as proudly Irish as you could be, defamed as pro-British due to his service in the Free State Army doesn't endear the anti-treatyites to me (although I do see their points..... "The Wind that Shakes The Barley" gives a good breakdown of those). I also met up with a few "characters" in my early life who put the fear of God into me and I never trusted the "string pullers" who either displayed a cynical attitude to life, or indulgence of crime, or both. Dominic Behan's "Patriot Game" is pretty close to my experience (apart from the obvious!) but I think (and/or hope) that those days are behind us.

To me, the future is all about improving the situation in Ireland and making it a place that the vast majority of people, from all four provinces, would be happy to call home. If Sinn Féin can make a fist of doing that, then power to them - but equally I'll support any organization that has that aim.
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 5:08 pm
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Default Re: Sinn Fein Win in Ireland

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
My family history makes me conflicted over the struggle (which might come as a surprise to many of this parish!). I am a republican, in that I see no benefit in the retention of old imperial structures, but I don't actually see any great difference between An Uachtarán and a constitutional monarchy (although th latter is a bit of an odd term in the UK). I certainly believe that Ireland would be better united, but I would want this by consensus.... so any struggle could only be with an imperial power trying to retain control by force. I also have huge concerns on the impact unification would have (as I've expressed before).

As you say (and as history shows), the IRA was necessary to gain independence, but then things got "complicated" - and seeing my Pop, who was as proudly Irish as you could be, defamed as pro-British due to his service in the Free State Army doesn't endear the anti-treatyites to me (although I do see their points..... "The Wind that Shakes The Barley" gives a good breakdown of those). I also met up with a few "characters" in my early life who put the fear of God into me and I never trusted the "string pullers" who either displayed a cynical attitude to life, or indulgence of crime, or both. Dominic Behan's "Patriot Game" is pretty close to my experience (apart from the obvious!) but I think (and/or hope) that those days are behind us.

To me, the future is all about improving the situation in Ireland and making it a place that the vast majority of people, from all four provinces, would be happy to call home. If Sinn Féin can make a fist of doing that, then power to them - but equally I'll support any organization that has that aim.
Since my family history is Scottish, we were likely part of the Plantation of Ulster, so I'm not sure how that fits in to the grand scheme, but I have read a lot of opinion pieces about where the Ulster-Scots would fit in in a united Ireland, since they would be a rather large (if not the largest) minority population. Ideas of a fedaral Ireland, with Ulster being one of likely four semi-autonomous provinces float around as well though I'm not sure how that would work. Either way, the vast majority of things I have read seem to suggest that the unionists of old will be well taken care of, so to speak. And sure didn't big Ian himself not say that to be an Ulsterman is to be an Irishman, or words to that effect? It's not as if there aren't prods in the RoI anyway.

I can actually see more of an argument against reunification coming from people living in places like Limerick, Galway or Cork - because the increased significance of the Dublin-Belfast corridor will take a lot of focus from those cities, I would imagine.
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 5:29 pm
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Default Re: Sinn Fein Win in Ireland

Originally Posted by SultanOfSwing View Post
Since my family history is Scottish, we were likely part of the Plantation of Ulster, so I'm not sure how that fits in to the grand scheme, but I have read a lot of opinion pieces about where the Ulster-Scots would fit in in a united Ireland, since they would be a rather large (if not the largest) minority population. Ideas of a fedaral Ireland, with Ulster being one of likely four semi-autonomous provinces float around as well though I'm not sure how that would work. Either way, the vast majority of things I have read seem to suggest that the unionists of old will be well taken care of, so to speak. And sure didn't big Ian himself not say that to be an Ulsterman is to be an Irishman, or words to that effect? It's not as if there aren't prods in the RoI anyway.

I can actually see more of an argument against reunification coming from people living in places like Limerick, Galway or Cork - because the increased significance of the Dublin-Belfast corridor will take a lot of focus from those cities, I would imagine.
I'd hope that any "differences" would be no more than the animosity between Dubliners and anyone from the real Ireland (ahem!) or between Limerick and Cork (at every level!). Seriously though, the plantation crap is something "planted" (excuse the pun) to divide and conquer - the whole of the Pale was planted, the Geraldines were everywhere, the incidence of Norman "Irish" surnames is widespread...... Ireland was a conquered and planted country and we didn't all go "to Hell or Connacht". Time to leave that be.

You might be right about the Dublin-Belfast corridor..... but less so than 40 years ago. These days, Limerick, Cork and Galway have their own identities - I hardly recognize shannonside these days. Yes, Belfast would knock them all back a bit - maybe Derry too, but it's all part of growing up.
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 5:38 pm
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Default Re: Sinn Fein Win in Ireland

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
I'd hope that any "differences" would be no more than the animosity between Dubliners and anyone from the real Ireland (ahem!) or between Limerick and Cork (at every level!). Seriously though, the plantation crap is something "planted" (excuse the pun) to divide and conquer - the whole of the Pale was planted, the Geraldines were everywhere, the incidence of Norman "Irish" surnames is widespread...... Ireland was a conquered and planted country and we didn't all go "to Hell or Connacht". Time to leave that be.
The Scots all originated in Ireland anyway, so we're all good. I also have a bit of Viking. A very small bit, but it's there.

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
You might be right about the Dublin-Belfast corridor..... but less so than 40 years ago. These days, Limerick, Cork and Galway have their own identities - I hardly recognize shannonside these days. Yes, Belfast would knock them all back a bit - maybe Derry too, but it's all part of growing up.
Well your motorway network is better than ours, of course, so that helps connect the cities. We don't even have a full dual carriageway connecting Belfast and Derry (yet, the A6 is being dualled the whole way), let alone a fully fledged motorway. And if you'd have seen the original plans too, it would have been great. Provided you didn't live in Enniskillen, or anywhere between Dungannon, Derry and the Donegal border, poor Mid-Ulster/Fermanagh always got forgotten about. I believe the Irish rail network is much more expansive too. I'd love to see the old lines in the west of Ulster be reopened, and some improvements to the road. You guys better get the checkbook out though, NI doesn't come cheap

But things would change, not least by Belfast becoming Ireland's second city by a large margin. Five of the top ten largest settlements on the Ireland are in the North, and even my lowly Carrickfergus makes the top-20 island wide (which was quite a surprise). I think it would be good in the long run, we're much better as a people united, than divided in my opinion.
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 1:25 am
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Default Re: Sinn Fein Win in Ireland

Given the three-way split between the major parties I can't help thinking that Ireland will be heading back to the ballot box before too long.
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 5:21 am
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Default Re: Sinn Fein Win in Ireland

Originally Posted by SultanOfSwing View Post
The Scots all originated in Ireland anyway.
I think there'd be a lot of folk who'd disagree with that statement....

As for the rest of it..... I have no idea. Good luck to them whatever happens.
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 2:25 pm
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Default Re: Sinn Fein Win in Ireland

Originally Posted by jam25mack View Post
I think there'd be a lot of folk who'd disagree with that statement....
It was a bit of a simplification, but I meant the stone age peoples who migrated between Ireland and Scotland, not anything in recent history.

Originally Posted by jam25mack View Post
As for the rest of it..... I have no idea. Good luck to them whatever happens.
I have no idea either. I just wish Northern Ireland could get their shit together and realize they have more in common with their brethren south of the border, than they do with the ones across the Irish Sea. I don't mean that in a bad way, they just do.
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 3:04 pm
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Default Re: Sinn Fein Win in Ireland

Originally Posted by SultanOfSwing View Post
It was a bit of a simplification, but I meant the stone age peoples who migrated between Ireland and Scotland, not anything in recent history.



I have no idea either. I just wish Northern Ireland could get their shit together and realize they have more in common with their brethren south of the border, than they do with the ones across the Irish Sea. I don't mean that in a bad way, they just do.

Well Yes that's what I mean't about it being a wake up call for Boris... If Ireland reunifies ... Never mind Scottish leavers... This could be a bigger blow. to the Union.
and by saying that SF had 'won' ...I mean't they had got the right to form a government .. which it seems to me at least.. would have to be a coalition ..
It is indeed very complicated ..but more democratic with Proportional Representation...Brexit the UK might be astonished to know, is not occupying anyone really... except the UK.
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 3:59 pm
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Default Re: Sinn Fein Win in Ireland

Originally Posted by GeniB View Post
Well Yes that's what I mean't about it being a wake up call for Boris... If Ireland reunifies ... Never mind Scottish leavers... This could be a bigger blow. to the Union.
and by saying that SF had 'won' ...I mean't they had got the right to form a government .. which it seems to me at least.. would have to be a coalition ..
It is indeed very complicated ..but more democratic with Proportional Representation...Brexit the UK might be astonished to know, is not occupying anyone really... except the UK.
I don't know how it will all shake out because if reunification is going to happen, it will require a referendum as part of the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. Brexit might push things a little more in that direction, but there are a lot of things that need to happen first, not least the elimination of the petty sectarian bullshit that has plagued Northern Ireland for decades and never seems to want to go away.

Sinn Fein in the RoI might be one thing, but up north they essentially form a two party duopoly with the DUP, and even though we have proportional representation there too (or at least we had in the last election I voted in anyway, but that was prior to 2004), none of the other parties get much of a look in. Though the next largest parties are Alliance and SDLP and they're just neoliberal flavors of the other two, so not much better I suppose.

We are heading in the right direction, a lot of old sectarian murals have been replaced by culturally significant ones around Belfast and it makes the place look better, but the hoods are all still there.
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 4:01 pm
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Default Re: Sinn Fein Win in Ireland

Originally Posted by SultanOfSwing View Post
It was a bit of a simplification, but I meant the stone age peoples who migrated between Ireland and Scotland, not anything in recent history.
"Recent" is debatable, but certainly not stone-age. The Gaels from Antrim supposedly established a new Dal Riata in Argyll in the C6th, displacing the previous Brythonic or Pictish community. Continuing expansion led to the complete takeover of the Pictish kingdom in the C9th to create the united kingdom of Alba which became Scotland.
Originally Posted by SultanOfSwing View Post
I have no idea either. I just wish Northern Ireland could get their shit together and realize they have more in common with their brethren south of the border, than they do with the ones across the Irish Sea. I don't mean that in a bad way, they just do.
Well. given that the border is just a line drawn on a map in the early C20th and that 3 counties of Ulster were "abandoned", that has to be true, in general. People in Derry and Donegal are the same, divided by the stroke of a pen - except some people in Donegal live further north than people in Derry!. Scotstown, in Monaghan is in Ulster, but in the Republic
Originally Posted by GeniB View Post
.... by saying that SF had 'won' ...I mean't they had got the right to form a government .. which it seems to me at least.. would have to be a coalition ..
It is indeed very complicated ..but more democratic with Proportional Representation...Brexit the UK might be astonished to know, is not occupying anyone really... except the UK.
They have the right to try to form a government, since they got the most first preference votes, but Fianna Fáil got the most seats - and the fine margins (no pun intended) mean Fine Gael can have a crack too. Sinn Féin's problem is that they can't get the required 80 seats without support from one of the other big 2 parties - and neither of those are likely to want to se SF in power (or as kingmaker) - indeed, a renewed alliance of some form could see them box SF out completely. A repeat election is something the FF and FG will try to avoid, because it would allow SF to stand more candidates and, potentially, win more seats. On the other hand, if it was a protest vote, the electorate might decide they're not yet ready for SF in power........It's up in the air.
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 4:05 pm
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Default Re: Sinn Fein Win in Ireland

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
"Recent" is debatable, but certainly not stone-age. The Gaels from Antrim supposedly established a new Dal Riata in Argyll in the C6th, displacing the previous Brythonic or Pictish community. Continuing expansion led to the complete takeover of the Pictish kingdom in the C9th to create the united kingdom of Alba which became Scotland.


Oops, you're right, thanks. But I do remember seeing in an old history book somewhere a map of the British Isles with 'Scots' placed in Ireland with an arrow indicating their migration to Scotland. I messed up the timelines, though as pointed out


Originally Posted by macliam View Post
Well. given that the border is just a line drawn on a map in the early C20th and that 3 counties of Ulster were "abandoned", that has to be true, in general. People in Derry and Donegal are the same, divided by the stroke of a pen - except some people in Donegal live further north than people in Derry!. Scotstown, in Monaghan is in Ulster, but in the Republic
Now I know a few people in Derry might take exception to being described as being the same as people from Donegal, but that's for different reasons

But you are correct. We are all more alike than we are different. The people of Belfast and Dublin are the same, just as the people of Lisburn and Athlone. Larne and Waterford have the Viking connection, but if I were from Waterford (or any city or town in Ireland, or indeed the entire rest of the world) and someone compared me with someone from Larne I would be very offended.
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Old Feb 12th 2020, 7:44 am
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Default Re: Sinn Fein Win in Ireland

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
"Recent" is debatable, but certainly not stone-age. The Gaels from Antrim supposedly established a new Dal Riata in Argyll in the C6th, displacing the previous Brythonic or Pictish community. Continuing expansion led to the complete takeover of the Pictish kingdom in the C9th to create the united kingdom of Alba which became Scotland.
Displacing or amalgamating with....?

Wiki says they joined together to form Alba.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_people
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Old Feb 12th 2020, 3:03 pm
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Default Re: Sinn Fein Win in Ireland

Originally Posted by jam25mack View Post
Displacing or amalgamating with....?

Wiki says they joined together to form Alba.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_people
No short answers - Wiki chickens out! (this is a bit of a diversion from the thread, but is definitely about "We Ourselves")

As there is little reliable or written evidence, the "edges" of celtic migration are blurred - obscured by raiding and trading - and don't always follow what appears to be a logical progression as there were no established unitary kingdoms and a complex system of local and regional power. But there was a friction between the Brythonic celts who had swept through Britain and the Gaelic celts who had swept through Ireland. The Picts are a greater mystery - even the name we use for them - but there were obviously pre-celtic populations who were "absorbed", so it's possible that the Picts were a "hold out" group, pushed to the edges of the island. As well as the Pict-controlled areas of north-east Scotland, there were also "Pictish" settlements within the "Gaelic" kingdom of Ulaid (Ulster) - so as they say "it's complicated". Added to this, the later invasions of the Norse, Angles, Saxons and Jutes, which impacted the Brythonic territories also affected the Gaelic areas (Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Wexford) during the same period of history. All of this is about the dominant leadership, language and culture of areas - the "common people" were simply absorbed into the "new" construct or did not survive the change.

However, as Argyll derives from "Coast/Edge/Ridge of the Gaels", it supports the west of Scotland being part of Dál Riada, based in Ulster, so I think it's safe to conclude that the Gaels "displaced" in Argyll, due to the close proximity. Through the rest of Scotland, Gaelic influence expanded by whatever methods were available, including intermarriage, but the result was that it was the Dál Riada Gaels who came to rule the unified Gaelic/Pictish kingdom of Alba and then incorported the Brythonic areas closer to the border - so "Scotland" became a Gaelic construct (Scoti refers to Gaels, not Picts or Brythonic inhabitants) - although the divisions between the language groups may help to expain Highland/Lowland frictions (as well as pre-plantation Ulster and the rest of Ireland). Time to hammer the lid back onto the can of worms, methinks!

PS - referring to an earlier topic of discussion on the board, this "history" also helps to explain the current situation. Given that the Picts "disappeared", Scots have a choice between considering themselves Gaels or Britons, but the use of "British" to cover Ireland is incorrect as the Brythonic culture was never in control there - Vikings, yes, Normans, yes, Britons, no. However, the intermixing of the inhabitants of these islands precedes plantation, invasion and war and makes them closer than our continental cousins - if only we could get over ourselves!

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Old Feb 14th 2020, 8:30 am
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Default Re: Sinn Fein Win in Ireland

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
Given the three-way split between the major parties I can't help thinking that Ireland will be heading back to the ballot box before too long.
And I wouldn't be surprised if pressure grows for:
1. A united Ireland; and
2. Irish exit from the EU.
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 12:37 pm
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Default Re: Sinn Fein Win in Ireland

Originally Posted by paulry View Post
And I wouldn't be surprised if pressure grows for:
1. A united Ireland; and
2. Irish exit from the EU.
Pressure grows where, why and with whom? If you are commenting on the Irish election, your thoughts project British concens onto Irish politics, because polls suggest that the drivers were domestic, not external. The only impact of the "external" was the distraction it caused from tackling issues at home - votes for Sinn Féin were largely from those who saw it as an alternative to the centre-right duopoly of Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael.

Ireland is committed to the GFA - which mandates self-determination for the six counties, so it is both lazy and incorrect to assume that a vote for Sinn Féin was in support of Irish unity. Whilst it is obvious that a party committed to a 32-county republic will try to use its electoral success to press for movement on the border issue, it was not part of their published agenda and they will have no power to do anything more unless they form a government. Even were this to happen, focus on a united Ireland, rather than tackling domestic issues, would see them punished at the next election just as the duopoly were in this last one. Brexit is far more likely to drive Irish unity than the success of Sinn Féin, north or south of the border, as again it projects British concerns onto the island of Ireland.

As for withdrawal from the EU, I would not hold your breath. Ireland has benefited greatly from membership and there is no appetite to leave, so it was not even a factor in the recent elections. Certainly I would expect the EU to become less popular in Ireland as conditions change - but that's because its current popularity is unsustainably high. However, the people of Ireland do not delude themselves that they are a major player and do not hark back to any time of supposed prosperity outside the EU. Ireland aligns itself with the small nations of Europe, not the "big boys", because the EU offers access to a world stage that would otherwise be denied to them. The young know nothing else and the old remember the time before accession, when Ireland was seen as an isolated island off the west coast of Britain -so why would they ever wish to return to that? People in Ireland are focused on its transformation from an uncomfortable past that drove its young to emigrate due to a lack of opportunity at home - and membership of the EU is part of that transformation.

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