#IrelandsFuture ➖ An Awakened Nationalism…

From Slugger O'Toole a most interesting piece from Brian O'Neill on a firming up on nationalist opinion in the North.

I shared the scepticism of others about the #IrelandsFuture event, that it seemed a bit pointless having an event were everyone agreed with each other. But I went along to check it out and I was glad I did.

The turnout was astonishing. The hall in the Waterfront conference centre has a capacity of 2000, and it was full. We are happy when we get 100 in the Dark Horse for our Slugger events so to see so many people gather for a political event was an impressive sight and a credit to the organisers.

I had the preconceived notion that the event was just a Sinn Fein proxy campaign and while all the SF top brass were all there, there was also a wide range of people from all sections of society as well as quite a few SDLP politicians. It was particularly interesting to see so many from the professional classes, who traditionally do not like to be so public about political matters.

I don’t think the DUP fully appreciate what a Pandora’s box they have opened by backing Brexit …

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Anthony McIntyre

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

9 comments to ''#IrelandsFuture ➖ An Awakened Nationalism… "

  1. I found this a very worthwhile read. I have felt for a while that the real veto or king making power lies with that section of northern nationalism that Brian O'Neill points out has always been happy with the union; and whether or not it can be persuaded to shift because I have never felt unionism would as a bloc shift on the constitutional question. Unionism is more opposed to Dublin than it is to Brussels whereas the attitude of nationalists towards Dublin and London is not monolithic. Is Brian O'Neill right in his optimism? I am not convinced and would like to see more than the intuitive but he makes a very interesting case.

  2. Having talked to many from that social class that previously were happy with their lot I have noticed a change, some might say a radical change, in their political viewpoint but as always the sceptic in me doesn't believe it will last.....commercialism will decide, not some professor.

  3. Niall - do you reckon commercialism will decide for nationalism in a way that it will not for unionism? Nationalism has always been less of a bloc on the constitutional issue than unionism.
    I am not convinced that nationalism can get their exist number to become a voting number whereas I feel unionism can.

    1. I think it will be a big decider for the middle classes. There has been a seismic shift in thinking over the last few years, where middle class unionist families are now discussing what life would be like in a united Ireland. Ten/fifteen years ago, that would have been such an absurd concept, it would have been akin to discussing a move to Jupiter.

      Ultimately, people will want to know the answer to one question: "will I be better off, financially, in a united Ireland?" If people can be persuaded that they will, they'll vote accordingly. I've always believed that the ambiguity over currency was a big decider in people voting 'no' in the Scottish referendum.

  4. Christopher - and still I am of a view that they will go for the devil they know and plump for London … but then the argument can be made that the devil they know is Europe.

    1. If London manages to pull themselves together in spectacular fashion after Brexit, then there'll be no contest. If it remains a shambles, Europe beckons.

  5. middle class unionist families are now discussing what life would be like in a united Ireland. Ten/fifteen years ago, that would have been such an absurd concept

    Any more absurd than some of the talks that went on inside and outside the H Blocks that Dieter Reinisch recently talked about on TPQ. And from my understanding what republicans offered was something along the lines of a federalized system that as Dieter piece mentioned some Loyalists quietly agreed it was the way to go. Why can't the same thing be on the table today. Does it matter if it is called a New Ireland, an Agreed Ireland, a United Ireland...

    Will people be better off? Only when both London and Brussels leave Ireland so we can sort out the mess they both made here over centuries. First on the agenda is no central banking system of any description.

  6. Frankie

    So you want Irexit on top of Brexit? Do you want an off-shore Singapore minus its shiny thoroughfares or Venezuela plus plus?


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