Fianna Fail’s Northern Invasion Will Save Unionism

Just because the DUP is the largest Unionist party doesn’t mean the myth of Unionist unity has become a practical reality. Commentator Dr John Coulter uses his Fearless Flying Column to maintain that Fianna Fail contesting polls in Northern Ireland is precisely the shock treatment Unionism needs to bring about genuine unity. 

For more than a generation, unionists have indulged in the politically suicidal luxury of infighting and splitting.

But there is still the real fear that even though the DUP has now firmly established itself as the single biggest Unionist party, the Unionist family’s unpredictable liberal clique could engulf Northern Protestantism in the mother of all civil wars because Big Arlene is planning to hop back into bed with the Shinners at Stormont.

Unionism needs a massive shock short of a united Ireland to knock some sense into the parties so the war cry of ‘unionist unity’ becomes much more than empty rhetoric.

Naturally, years ago, knee-jerk unionism has poured out its verbal diarrhoea condemning then Fianna Fail boss Bertie Ahern’s desire to organise in the North. 

Even current Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of Fine Gael has been greeted with a polite ‘clear off’ following his recent Pride trip north. Could Emperor Leo be planning to save the election-crushed SDLP by suggesting a potential all-island merger between their two parties?

But Fianna Fail can actually help maintain the Union because many Garden Centre Protestants will be encouraged to return to the polling booths to combat the Southern republican party’s Northern onslaught.

Unionists – and especially the DUP camp – have been forced to pussy foot with Shinners because they lacked the brains to share power with constitutional nationalists at Sunningdale in the 1970s.

These same unionists need not complain because they have to ‘sup soup’ with Shinners.

For a generation, unionists snubbed chances to create a voluntary coalition at Stormont with Eddie McAteer’s Nationalist Party; Gerry Fitt and John Hume’s SDLP, and even John Turnley’s Irish Independence Party.

So who did Catholic voters flock to in their tens of thousands? The Shinners as the only party which would force unionists to sit up, take notice of nationalists, and above all, form a power-sharing Executive with republicans.

Unionism has one last iceberg to sink the all-Ireland political Titanic once and for all. It must seek a power-sharing arrangement with Fianna Fail and shaft the Shinners at the same time.

Political mergers must become the flavour of 2018 between the DUP and UUP in the unionist camp, and a new pan nationalist front of Fianna Fail and the SDLP to isolate the Shinners in republicanism. Yes, I did say between Fianna Fail and the Stoops!

While the natural merger may seem to be between Fine Gael and the SDLP, Emperor Leo is buoyant at the moment with his Northern agenda that he can outgun the Shinners and form the next Dail government without the help of Gerry Adams’ TDs.

Talk of the Shinners in government simply brings many unionist voters to the ballot box to plump for the DUP, but mention Fianna Fail, and all of a sudden, a united Ireland is just a referendum away.

For unionists, it would be better to deal with a Fianna Fail which competently represented the Northern Catholic working and middle classes and paid lip service to a united Ireland, than a vibrant, re-organised Sinn Fein which dogmatically pursed the goal of a 32-county socialist republic.

A Fianna Fail/SDLP merger is just the perfect carrot to lure the rapidly emerging Garden Centre Catholics away from the redesigned, non-Provo dominated Shinners.

The vast majority of people who voted for Sinn Fein in the Republic defected from Fianna Fail.

Smash the Shinners in the North, and even Fianna Fail could be in line to form a future Dail without the need of another coalition partner in Leinster House.

At long last, Fianna Fail colleagues have realised the only way to permanently send the Sinn Fein bandwagon off the rails is to go head to head with the Provos’ political wing in its own back yard of the six counties.

Unionism and Fianna Fail are both in win-win scenarios by forming a power-sharing deal in the North. Roll on a future Stormont poll with Fianna Fail on the ballot papers – and, hopefully, perfect peace in Ireland.

  • Follow Dr John Coulter on Twitter @JohnAHCoulter

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

3 comments to ''Fianna Fail’s Northern Invasion Will Save Unionism"

  1. I think it's gas how the Unionist perspective sees Sinn Fein as a constant Republican Unit still resolutely fixed on a 32 County Socialist Republic while most current non Sinn Fein Republicans see them as diluted moving towards centre "agreed Ireland" championing sell outs. The focus needs to shift back to making the place a socialist Island first, divided the rich will always dominate.

  2. It's about time Unionist parties started thinking about better partnership with the south anyway.

  3. very interesting read. really enjoyed it. I would agree that unionism would need a merger between the two parties, UUP & DUP. It would give unionism a stronger presence in stormont and of course will give them the majority. Perhaps even the TUV would jump on board?

    It will be interesting to see if Fianna Fail get a mp seat and would they take their seat in westminster? I think Fianna Fail will be met with the same inequality and bigotry Sinn Fein got off them. FF will get a rude awakening while the shinner stand back and say ''we told you so''

    I dont think we will see a merger of SDLP and Fine Gael. Dont think they would stoop that low but contesting seats in the south I think will be a good idea. Although they are affiliated with Labour, Their disgruntled voters may lean towards Eastwood's party. Campaigning in the south will give its nationalism a revival and may swing Sinn Fein voters their way.


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