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Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Old Oct 25th 2019, 3:38 pm
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by SultanOfSwing View Post
No, only a country who deeply cares about all corners of its lands would unleash a genocide that would forever reduce the population of said corner by 2 million, while forcing them to export all their good crops.

Mm.
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Old Oct 25th 2019, 5:02 pm
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by SultanOfSwing View Post
No, only a country who deeply cares about all corners of its lands would unleash a genocide that would forever reduce the population of said corner by 2 million, while forcing them to export all their good crops.
Ah, the famine .... for those who didn't imbibe the gall of the famine with their mother's milk, take a look at the film "Black '47", released last year.....

The "great famine" of of 1845–1852 was one of the darkest episodes of imperial rule...... which is pretty good going when you consider the horrors wrought elsewhere. But worse, the authorities already knew what a disaster it would be, because an earlier famine in 1740 had killed between 13-20% of the population. It's hard for us to imagine the sheer desperation of having nothing, no power, no voice, and watching your loved ones die in misery due to the intolerance and malice of others and the blight alone was a disaster, but allied to the conditions in Ireland in 1845, the outcome was far worse than we could imagine.

Vast acreage was under grass to raise cattle for export, leaving little arable land to grow crops. Then the landlord system saw a third of tenant farmers unable to support their families after paying rent to the landlord, yet 25% of Irish farms were under 5 acres in size and another 40% were under 15 acres. Due to the small plots, potatoes were an ideal crop to provide sustenance and by the C19th, the average Irish worker consumed 10lb of potatoes every day and some 40% of the population were solely dependent on the potato. The result of the seven years of the great hunger were that over a million died and many others emigrated in desperation. The bald facts speak for themselves - in the 1841 census the population was over 8m, whilst the population 178 years later is still under 7m. (in the same period, England's population had grown from 16m to 53m up to 2011).
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Old Oct 25th 2019, 5:09 pm
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
Ah, the famine .... for those who didn't imbibe the gall of the famine with their mother's milk, take a look at the film "Black '47", released last year.....

The "great famine" of of 1845–1852 was one of the darkest episodes of imperial rule...... which is pretty good going when you consider the horrors wrought elsewhere. But worse, the authorities already knew what a disaster it would be, because an earlier famine in 1740 had killed between 13-20% of the population. It's hard for us to imagine the sheer desperation of having nothing, no power, no voice, and watching your loved ones die in misery due to the intolerance and malice of others and the blight alone was a disaster, but allied to the conditions in Ireland in 1845, the outcome was far worse than we could imagine.

Vast acreage was under grass to raise cattle for export, leaving little arable land to grow crops. Then the landlord system saw a third of tenant farmers unable to support their families after paying rent to the landlord, yet 25% of Irish farms were under 5 acres in size and another 40% were under 15 acres. Due to the small plots, potatoes were an ideal crop to provide sustenance and by the C19th, the average Irish worker consumed 10lb of potatoes every day and some 40% of the population were solely dependent on the potato. The result of the seven years of the great hunger were that over a million died and many others emigrated in desperation. The bald facts speak for themselves - in the 1841 census the population was over 8m, whilst the population 178 years later is still under 7m. (in the same period, England's population had grown from 16m to 53m up to 2011).
Kind of telling as well that us Nordies don't learn about the Famine in school, either. Well I didn't take A-level history so I can't say for sure but beyond the Viking and Norman conquests and a lot of history very local to Carrickfergus itself, we learned very little Irish history at all in school. In fact, most of what I know (beyond the basics I already did anyway) about the Famine today is from the early sections of a book my wife's granda lent me about Thomas Meagher that I read last year.
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Old Oct 25th 2019, 5:49 pm
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by SultanOfSwing View Post
Kind of telling as well that us Nordies don't learn about the Famine in school, either. Well I didn't take A-level history so I can't say for sure but beyond the Viking and Norman conquests and a lot of history very local to Carrickfergus itself, we learned very little Irish history at all in school. In fact, most of what I know (beyond the basics I already did anyway) about the Famine today is from the early sections of a book my wife's granda lent me about Thomas Meagher that I read last year.
I can't say I'm surprised that the famine wasn't on the curriculum in the North. Even for me, the events were just taught as one more "example" of the tragedy of the "Shan Van Vocht" (an tseanbhean bhocht, the poor old woman, i.e. Ireland) - Plantation, Cromwell, the "war of the two kings", 1798, Union, 1805, the Famine,1848 , the Fenians and on to 1916)

Then, back in the late 70's, I worked in north Tipperary ...... a few Km from the 1848 "warhouse" Famine Warhouse – Slieveardagh Rural Development ...... so Thomas Meagher is a connection....
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Old Oct 25th 2019, 5:51 pm
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
I can't say I'm surprised that the famine wasn't on the curriculum in the North. Even for me, the events were just taught as one more "example" of the tragedy of the "Shan Van Vocht" (an tseanbhean bhocht, the poor old woman, i.e. Ireland) - Plantation, Cromwell, the "war of the two kings", 1798, Union, 1805, the Famine,1848 , the Fenians and on to 1916)

Then, back in the late 70's, I worked in north Tipperary ...... a few Km from the 1848 "warhouse" Famine Warhouse – Slieveardagh Rural Development ...... so Thomas Meagher is a connection....
Oh wait, now you mentioned 1916, I think we did touch briefly on the Easter Rising in GCSE History, but that was mainly focused on the inter-war years and Ireland was largely ignored.

But then again, we used an English examination board for that course for some reason, so that might explain it at least for those two years. No real excuse in primary school, or 1st - 3rd year of secondary school though.
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Old Nov 4th 2019, 12:32 pm
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

On another thread, this link to a tactical voting site was posted https://tactical.vote/all

If you scroll down to Belfast, you'll see just how tenuous the DUP's position is...... one safe seat, one seat in Sinn Fein hands and the other two where the unionists are in the minority, but have won due to divisions in the nationalist vote. So Belfast could easily see 3 out of 4 seats going nationalist.

It makes you realise how untenable the DUP's insistence on having a veto was and is.....
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Old Nov 5th 2019, 11:17 am
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
Ah, the famine .... for those who didn't imbibe the gall of the famine with their mother's milk, take a look at the film "Black '47", released last year.....

The "great famine" of of 1845–1852 was one of the darkest episodes of imperial rule...... which is pretty good going when you consider the horrors wrought elsewhere. But worse, the authorities already knew what a disaster it would be, because an earlier famine in 1740 had killed between 13-20% of the population. It's hard for us to imagine the sheer desperation of having nothing, no power, no voice, and watching your loved ones die in misery due to the intolerance and malice of others and the blight alone was a disaster, but allied to the conditions in Ireland in 1845, the outcome was far worse than we could imagine.

Vast acreage was under grass to raise cattle for export, leaving little arable land to grow crops. Then the landlord system saw a third of tenant farmers unable to support their families after paying rent to the landlord, yet 25% of Irish farms were under 5 acres in size and another 40% were under 15 acres. Due to the small plots, potatoes were an ideal crop to provide sustenance and by the C19th, the average Irish worker consumed 10lb of potatoes every day and some 40% of the population were solely dependent on the potato. The result of the seven years of the great hunger were that over a million died and many others emigrated in desperation. The bald facts speak for themselves - in the 1841 census the population was over 8m, whilst the population 178 years later is still under 7m. (in the same period, England's population had grown from 16m to 53m up to 2011).
10 lbs a day - that's a lot of potatoes - 3,500 calories a day of just spuds.

On the bald population facts, the population of Ireland (ROI) seems to reduce slightly from 1916 to the mid-1970's - is this like bits of Africa where domestic issues are still the fault of the British even decades after they left?
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Old Nov 5th 2019, 11:53 am
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by Cape Blue View Post
10 lbs a day - that's a lot of potatoes - 3,500 calories a day of just spuds.

On the bald population facts, the population of Ireland (ROI) seems to reduce slightly from 1916 to the mid-1970's - is this like bits of Africa where domestic issues are still the fault of the British even decades after they left?
The same mentality plays out in Scotland quite a bit too.
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Old Nov 5th 2019, 2:27 pm
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by Cape Blue View Post
10 lbs a day - that's a lot of potatoes - 3,500 calories a day of just spuds.

On the bald population facts, the population of Ireland (ROI) seems to reduce slightly from 1916 to the mid-1970's - is this like bits of Africa where domestic issues are still the fault of the British even decades after they left?
Don't make excuses for the famine and the atrocities that the British of those times were responsible for. It happened in other Empire countries also.

However I do find it strange that now, the people of Northern Ireland can't live in peace with each other, when Ireland has moved on and ahead!!
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Old Nov 5th 2019, 2:34 pm
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by Cape Blue View Post
10 lbs a day - that's a lot of potatoes - 3,500 calories a day of just spuds.

On the bald population facts, the population of Ireland (ROI) seems to reduce slightly from 1916 to the mid-1970's - is this like bits of Africa where domestic issues are still the fault of the British even decades after they left?
I don't think anyone is claiming it was a balanced diet, just what was available - and the calorific input was presumably burned by manual labour. The numbers are readily available, as are the reasons for the potato being so important at that time, so I see no reason to doubt them.

Whilst I am sure your comment regarding Britain's responsibility for ongoing emigration was not a request for information, I will treat it as such, if only to blunt your barb. The partition of Ireland saw most industry in Ireland retained as part of the UK, leaving the Free State as a largely agricultural economy. Added to this, Ireland was starved of resource and finance and spent decades building the necessary infrastructure for growth. (Scotland should take note of this, the road to independence is a hard one). So, emigration became an easier route for those with few other options - and the advances in travel made it more available.

My father always denied that Angela's Ashes was a true reflection of our home City, but I recall the Ireland of my childhood as a poor country, with little industry and a habit of emigration established since the famine. He had first travelled to the UK in 1941 because his job as an electrician was given to a married Englishman who had arrived with his family in order to avoid conscription. At that time (which in Ireland is classified as "The Emergency" as they were as much concerned by invasion by the UK as by Germany), unemployment was high and after a short time on the dole, he was offered two choices (and the "invisible" third),, either to join the Irish Army, or to cut turf with Bord Na Móna, or (unspoken) to emigrate. That started a ping-pong between the two countries which continued until my education made it important for my family to stabilise. However, should it seem to have been an "easy" option, perhaps you might consider that my father was unable to attend his mother's funeral because he couldn't get back in time and that my grandfather's declining health caused him to forego any chance of the career, which, as a radio spark who had cut his teeth on PA installations in the late 30's, was open to him. Not all emigrants were unskilled.

In my own case, I was lucky enough to get a place at an English University, because at that time there were limited places available in Ireland. Although I returned after graduation, it became apparent that there was little chance to follow my career in the Ireland of the late '70s, so I too followed the emigrant's route. Happily, since then (therefore equating to your timeline - and to Ireland's association with the EEC/EU), educational opportunities in Ireland have soared and the establishment of technology and financial companies has seen employment and career progression vastly increased, to the extent that Ireland now has slightly more immigrants per capita than the UK. That's some change in the last 40-odd years!

So, no, the UK is not "to blame" for ongoing emigration from Ireland in the C20th and the subsequent reduction in population, but it does bear some responsibility. Whilst it may seem to you that the clock gets reset when the UK leaves its colonies, on the other side of that transaction there was always residual impact - and the African ex-colonies have not yet reached the time where that impact diminishes - it took Ireland over 60 years to re-establish itself.
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Old Nov 5th 2019, 2:37 pm
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by Cape Blue View Post
10 lbs a day - that's a lot of potatoes - 3,500 calories a day of just spuds.
3,500 calories for a manual laborer who probably worked 18+ hours a day in the field isn't unreasonable. I just looked up my TDEE calculation and even with 'moderate exercise' my requirement to maintain weight is just under 3,000. That goes up into the mid-upper 3,000s the higher the activity level.
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Old Nov 5th 2019, 2:49 pm
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
I don't think anyone is claiming it was a balanced diet, just what was available - and the calorific input was presumably burned by manual labour. The numbers are readily available, as are the reasons for the potato being so important at that time, so I see no reason to doubt them.

Whilst I am sure your comment regarding Britain's responsibility for ongoing emigration was not a request for information, I will treat it as such, if only to blunt your barb. The partition of Ireland saw most industry in Ireland retained as part of the UK, leaving the Free State as a largely agricultural economy. Added to this, Ireland was starved of resource and finance and spent decades building the necessary infrastructure for growth. (Scotland should take note of this, the road to independence is a hard one). So, emigration became an easier route for those with few other options - and the advances in travel made it more available.

My father always denied that Angela's Ashes was a true reflection of our home City, but I recall the Ireland of my childhood as a poor country, with little industry and a habit of emigration established since the famine. He had first travelled to the UK in 1941 because his job as an electrician was given to a married Englishman who had arrived with his family in order to avoid conscription. At that time (which in Ireland is classified as "The Emergency" as they were as much concerned by invasion by the UK as by Germany), unemployment was high and after a short time on the dole, he was offered two choices (and the "invisible" third),, either to join the Irish Army, or to cut turf with Bord Na Móna, or (unspoken) to emigrate. That started a ping-pong between the two countries which continued until my education made it important for my family to stabilise. However, should it seem to have been an "easy" option, perhaps you might consider that my father was unable to attend his mother's funeral because he couldn't get back in time and that my grandfather's declining health caused him to forego any chance of the career, which, as a radio spark who had cut his teeth on PA installations in the late 30's, was open to him. Not all emigrants were unskilled.

In my own case, I was lucky enough to get a place at an English University, because at that time there were limited places available in Ireland. Although I returned after graduation, it became apparent that there was little chance to follow my career in the Ireland of the late '70s, so I too followed the emigrant's route. Happily, since then (therefore equating to your timeline - and to Ireland's association with the EEC/EU), educational opportunities in Ireland have soared and the establishment of technology and financial companies has seen employment and career progression vastly increased, to the extent that Ireland now has slightly more immigrants per capita than the UK. That's some change in the last 40-odd years!

So, no, the UK is not "to blame" for ongoing emigration from Ireland in the C20th and the subsequent reduction in population, but it does bear some responsibility. Whilst it may seem to you that the clock gets reset when the UK leaves its colonies, on the other side of that transaction there was always residual impact - and the African ex-colonies have not yet reached the time where that impact diminishes - it took Ireland over 60 years to re-establish itself.
In general the residual impact is a level of civilisation and infrastructure they would not have developed on their own - railways, government, etc.

It's very true that Ireland has developed amazingly over the past 20-30 years, from a backward little place to a developed progressive country - The EU has been important in this, both is shovelling many millions of German and British money into their eager hands and in enabling a tax-avoidance economy that meant US and other businesses headquartered there paying lower ROI tax than when they really should pay in the UK, France, Germany etc.

That Ireland has experienced large-scale immigration as opposed to emigration is doubtless a source of pride to the locals, and that it seemingly has shaken off the Catholic Church when it comes to gays, abortion etc is similarly impressive.
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Old Nov 5th 2019, 3:15 pm
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by materialcontroller View Post
The same mentality plays out in Scotland quite a bit too.
Please don't attempt to equate the situation in Scotland with that of Ireland. Scotland entered the union willingly and has derived far more benefit than Ireland ever did. Whilst I deny no nation the desire for independence, it is, as I said before, a hard road with a high cost. For that reason, I do not see the Scots as truly desirous of independence, as it became apparent at the time of Indyref that they have no stomach for the cost and discomfort that it might cause. The same was largely true of Ireland, prior to 1916, but all that changed due to the attitude of the British authorities. If you want a lesson from history, it could be argued that Ireland was more lost by the British than won by the nationalists.......
Originally Posted by Bipat View Post
Don't make excuses for the famine and the atrocities that the British of those times were responsible for. It happened in other Empire countries also.
There are no excuses to be made, the great famine was not the first and it was exploited to further the goals of the ruling class (a recent film, Black '47, gives some flavour of this). As you say, there were similar experiences throughout the Empire - and, to our shame, Irish troops played their part in the "success" of colonial expansion. Just as we recall the Scots as being the tools used by the British to suppress the generational rebellions in Ireland, so the Irish regiments used by the British to garrison the colonies (with the added advantage that it kept them far from home...)
Originally Posted by Bipat View Post
However I do find it strange that now, the people of Northern Ireland can't live in peace with each other, when Ireland has moved on and ahead!!
You should recognize in the six counties a similar gameplan as in the Indian subcontinent leading to partition. Divide and conquer was always a tool in the colonial armoury, and it was used to no greater effect than In ireland. After being frighted by a non-sectarian uprising by the United Irishmen in 1798, Britain enacted policies to favour protestants at the expense of catholics, thus driving a wedge into the common cause of their alliance against the British. This worked all too well resulting in the problems we see today (although they are far fewer than short decades ago). Hopefully, the blind prejudice on both sides is diminishing, though it will take a long time to disappear. At least now there are more kids playing together irrespective of their tradition - as Bobby Sands said "Our revenge will be the laughter of our children" and my overarching hope is that this comes true.
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Old Nov 5th 2019, 3:37 pm
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by Cape Blue View Post
In general the residual impact is a level of civilisation and infrastructure they would not have developed on their own - railways, government, etc.

It's very true that Ireland has developed amazingly over the past 20-30 years, from a backward little place to a developed progressive country - The EU has been important in this, both is shovelling many millions of German and British money into their eager hands and in enabling a tax-avoidance economy that meant US and other businesses headquartered there paying lower ROI tax than when they really should pay in the UK, France, Germany etc.

That Ireland has experienced large-scale immigration as opposed to emigration is doubtless a source of pride to the locals, and that it seemingly has shaken off the Catholic Church when it comes to gays, abortion etc is similarly impressive.
Off topic----- but some Empire countries were civilised when the British were still in caves! You can have no idea how they would have developed if not 'taken over' by British for economic gain. Governments were already in place---railways were for the British own use, would have developed, as already scientific advances been made.

Ireland developed over last 20-30 years???? The wealth of literature, arts, music etc etc, from 1800s. Four Nobel literature laureates.
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Old Nov 5th 2019, 4:47 pm
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by Cape Blue View Post
In general the residual impact is a level of civilisation and infrastructure they would not have developed on their own - railways, government, etc.

It's very true that Ireland has developed amazingly over the past 20-30 years, from a backward little place to a developed progressive country - The EU has been important in this, both is shovelling many millions of German and British money into their eager hands and in enabling a tax-avoidance economy that meant US and other businesses headquartered there paying lower ROI tax than when they really should pay in the UK, France, Germany etc.

That Ireland has experienced large-scale immigration as opposed to emigration is doubtless a source of pride to the locals, and that it seemingly has shaken off the Catholic Church when it comes to gays, abortion etc is similarly impressive.
Thank you for this classic example of imperial condescension and sour-grapes - sadly, you are not alone, see HERE. I'm sure you also think I should be tugging my forelock out of respect for your insight, but I'll have to disappoint you.

As usual, you trot out the suggestion that the beneficent colonists built infrastructure to improve life in the colonies..... whereas such infrastructure was rarely built for the benefit of the native population. Railways were built primarily to carry freight (and/or troops), not native travellers, as were the roads. These were tools necessary for the governance of the colony and the extraction of its wealth.

I will not respond to your generalised comment, but with reference to Ireland (no surprise). As a "home colony", Ireland had a large Anglo-Irish population (out in the sticks we still call Dubliners "West Brits" or "Jackeens" (from 'wrapped in the union jack'), much to their chagrin. The "Pale" around Dublin and major cities were almost more British than the British (in order to distinguish them from the savage natives, you understand). Yet, outside the Pale and major conurbations, many pre-independence roads are either military roads (created for the rapid transport of troops to suppress unrest) or "famine roads" (built as a means of utilizing forced labour)..... plus those that connected the major towns. The railways were installed for similar reasons - but if you look at a pre-independence map, you will note there are far more stops per distance of track in the province of Ulster than elsewhere - and as I have said before, this area contained most industry. After Independence, much of the Free State was still without electricity and it was the Ardnacrusha hydroelectric project, started soon after Independence, that saw electricity rolled out across the south - not anything created by the colonialists.

Perhaps you are not aware that Ireland had its own parliament for the whole of the island until it was forced into the Union. Perhaps you are unaware of the scholars and writers who came from that "backward little place". Or perhaps you just choose to ignore things that don't fit your argument.

Your sour grapes about the aid given to Ireland through the EU is telling, though your timescale is shite. Whereas Ireland has indeed been a net recipient of EU funds, this was to offset the poor state of the economy on accession and to build the required infrastructure for growth (whoops, surely not after you left us soooo much!) You ignore the success of successive Irish governments in attracting private capital from the likes of Bosch, Siemens, Philips, etc. to help establish new colleges and universities - and the impact of their graduates on European commerce (quelle surprise). Your further sour grapes about the success of Ireland in attracting foreign investment by creating a business-friendly environment also begs the question why the UK didn't do the same..... obviously the EU wasn't stopping you, so what's the new excuse? You also ignore the success of the Irish government in attracting foreign companies to base themselves in Ireland for reasons other than the purely financial - i.e. a relatively young, well-educated, English-speaking workforce in a green-field area, free of the paranoia and begrudgery of similar sites in Britain. NO, it was all done for us, wasn't it - poor Paddy, helped out of the muck by strangers? But that's OK, we're used to you underestimating us ..... and we've used it to our advantage - so I'm a little concerned that you now view Ireland as a progressive, developed country.

Your comments regarding immigration and the Catholic church play to other areas I choose to ignore, you score no points there.

Ireland has indeed built on its opportunities over the past decades - and again, this was built on foundations laid after Independence. It took almost two decades to formulate the constitution, but it has given us the tools to progress by referendum, rather than seeing a meltdown as in the UK. I am inordinately proud of (and a little surprised by) the position that Ireland has now achieved, from our voting system, to the makeup of the government and the civilized position of the President. You should also feel some pride that much is based on it's commonality with the UK - the use of common law, the overall structure of the political system, even our armed forces (although in each we have had the opportunity to improve the model we inherited). Were you to forget your constant striving for one-upmanship (something I'm sure Freud might have had thoughts about) you'd notice that we actually share many things in common...... but "in common" doesn't mean subservient, which is something England needs to think about when it comes to treatment of the other home nations.
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