Dramatic New Initiative

Martin Galvin (MG) interviews Sean Bresnahan (SB) of the 1916 Societies via telephone from Co. Tyrone about the Societies' One Ireland One Vote initiative. Thanks to TPQ transcriber.

WBAI 99.5FM Pacifica Radio

New York City

20 June 2015

(begin timestamp ~ 27:30)

MG: And we're talking with Sean Bresnahan. Sean is in Omagh, Co. Tyrone. He's with the group the 1916 Societies, who this week relaunched a dramatic new initiative. Sean, how are you doing?

SB: Hello Martin, how's it going... Good to hear from you.

MG: Sean, this week you relaunched what's called the One Ireland One Vote initiative – there were full pages ads in the Irish News, the largest selling paper in the North of Ireland, there was a launch done by the Dublin Lord Mayor, formerly with Sinn Féin now he's an independent, Christy Burke. Could you tell us what the One Ireland One Vote initiative is and what you're trying to achieve?

SB: Alright. Well, One Ireland One Vote is a campaign we've launched. It's about, we're looking to get a thirty-two county democratic referendum on Irish Unity. We would see it as a means to determine the national aspirations of all the Irish people, free from outside interference – basically when we're talking about that we talking about the British not being involved in the process. We think that all the people of the country have the right to decide together what should happen to the country.

MG: Well Sean, there is a proposal for a referendum under the Stormont Agreement. And under that referendum six counties would vote and then if there was a majority within the Six Counties, which would include a Unionist veto, but if you got past that then the votes in the rest of Ireland, the other twenty-six counties, would be counted whether they wanted to accept the North. How is your proposed referendum, the One Ireland One Vote, different?

SB: Well, our vote is different obviously because in that process you just described Irish Unity needs the consent of a majority within the Six Counties before anything can happen. And we would say that that's not self-determination, we think that all the people should vote as one on this issue. For us partition, the partition of the country, was done without mandate – Britain had no right to do it. So to say that, at this stage, that territory which they created has the right to hold off on reunification for the whole of the country – we would go against that. Our argument would be that people in Monaghan or Tipperary, in Dublin or wherever, should have as much of a say in what happens to Ireland as anybody living up here, in Tyrone or Derry, in Belfast or wherever.

MG: Alright. Now Sean, one of the things that you're doing: you're having launches, you're having meetings in Dublin and other places, you're trying to get debates so that people within the Twenty-Six Counties are talking about a United Ireland as well as doing the same thing, having those debates, within the Six Counties. And you're trying to do this – build-up the lead-up to 1916 and the commemorations – all of that feeling – to get this going, to drive the process forward. Why is it that some people who are Nationalists or Republicans are against that? Against having debates, against having discussions, against even considering that type of initiative for one vote in which all Irish people count as one?

SB: Well, only they can really answer that. My thinking on it is they're tied into this process, they've agreed to this process involving those restraints we've already spoken about, what we call the Triple Lock. You know, they negotiated that agreement so they're tied into that process. And I suppose the way I would look at it is that maybe they see the emergence of a group like the 1916 Societies, a group that's prepared to have these debates, and really we're about contesting those mechanisms that they’ve went along with, we're in contest with those. So for them, I suppose, if they were to see our line of politics starting to gain traction their concern would probably be well how's this going to affect us? Their whole strategy is based on continuing to grow their support and part of that obviously involves a need to hold onto their core republican base. But as we've seen with developments in Tyrone, and starting now to spread through other parts of the country, the republican base is starting to move away and beyond all that and towards this agenda we're pushing, which is for self-determination unrestrained – you know? Where the British don't really get to...

MG: ...Alright. Sean, we're talking with Sean Bresnahan of the 1916 Societies. Sean, there is a concern that some Nationalists have expressed to me that the British will use the fact Sinn Féin members are in government, that they're on policing boards, that they're on other structures of government to say that, you know, British rule isn't really so bad. Nationalists now share in it, Republicans now share in it. If it comes to a referendum they'll use that as an argument to make sure that within the Six Counties the vote would go against such a proposal – a support for a United Ireland. What is the feeling of your group about that?

SB: Well, I'm not sure of all what you said there but my thinking would be that in terms of this idea that British rule now is all okay, we really only have to look at the situation in the prison – in Maghaberry at the minute – where we have Republican prisoners still being abused, still having their human rights, you know, all these violations ongoing. We have Scotchy Kearney, he's in gaol at the minute for an offence as they call it that took place thirty years ago. So if we’re saying that everything's moved on and things are all great now well you know, things aren’t so good for the likes of Scotchy Kearney who’s sitting rotting away in Maghaberry at the minute.

MG: As they were not for Gerry McGeough and Ivor Bell is still under charges and there'll be other examples to come. Sean, I want to move on quickly – a few weeks ago there was a development that the Irish Flag and the Proclamation Flag were raised over Stormont – they were only up for about twenty minutes. A statement appeared on the 1916 Societies' website claiming credit for doing that. What was the reaction to having an Irish Flag over Stormont for those twenty-odd minutes?

SB: Right well, the flag on the roof basically for us was about a peaceful protest, to challenge this normalisation agenda you were just referring to – ongoing at the minute. For the powers that be, they don't want any thought that the Six Counties is actually a part of Ireland, they want that kept outside people's thinking. So in a way what we were doing was trying to break through that censorship. The response of Unionism was just typical, unfortunately. Hysterical would be a fair way of describing it – just the old fear politics as usual coming to the fore. But what I really took out of the whole thing, out of this reaction, was this idea that there were seven detectives charged with investigating this – it was just all so sensational. And this at a time when they say they don't have the resources to look into the crimes the British committed in Ireland over the course of The Troubles. So on the one hand they're saying we don't have the resources to deal with what happened in the past yet at the same time they're saying there's seven detectives available to investigate a flag going up on a roof.

MG: And at the same time also in the lead-up to July 12th there are Unionist flags going up – no one's getting arrested for that. Alright Sean, I know that you have a website, if you hit up Tyrone 1916 Societies you'll be able to get it. There's a place to sign that petition, read about it in depth and we're encouraging everybody to read that petition, look at that website, sign on and support this effort. We want to move, as we move to 1916, we want to start having debates, having more and more people within the Twenty-Six Counties as well as the North think about a United Ireland – debating – moving – doing the work that's necessary to get that referendum. Sean, I want to thank you. We're moving ahead very quickly. We want to thank you for being with us today and telling us about this very important initiative, One Ireland One Vote, about that petition and about what Americans can do for this new political strategy.

SB: No problem. (end timestamp ~ 36:43)


  1. Sean Bres

    no one can fault your drive and focus. Always liked Martin Galvin too. Goof for you Sean.

  2. Cheers Larry, and thanks Anthony for transcribing and carrying the interview, you're a gentleman!

  3. You are welcome Sean but the thanks always must go to our transcriber who does a great job on these things

  4. These 'One Ireland' articles get very few comments. I would be interested to know how the campaign is going down in the wider CNR community. Obviously it will fail but I suspect the idea is to spark debate rather than succeed constitutionally. With that in mind, is it striking much debate? Is there much desire to strike for victory and a 32 county republic? If a 32 county referendum were to be held how would the unionist boycott be treated? Would it not damage the legitimacy of the project?
    I understand the desire for victory but do you really want 1 million defeated prods in your new republic? Do the 1916 Societies not see the possible changes to the EU and the SNP's rise as an opportunity to progress things without the need to defeat anybody? Would the efforts of the Societies not be better spent in trying to improve community relations rather than embed division? If there is a 32 county settlement it will come from historic compromises between Dublin, Belfast and London, is that not good enough? Must the settlement come from a republican victory?
    A lot of questions, I know! And I apologise, but I just don't understand how current republicanism is thinking.

  5. 1 million prods"..
    Two questions.
    Where were they when WW2 was happening?...I shall leave this as a rhetorical question.
    And 2) the Bel Tel..surveys upon which everyone seems to rely from Ruth "didums" Edwards..through to Cue bono and every gombeen in between; states that ONLY 60% of these " 1 million prods " are happy to call themselves "bRitish".
    Which means that as many as 40% are at least flexible or free thinkers.In terms of National identity.

    As bRitain becomes ever more distant and ever less to be "proud" of.This does not bode well for unionism.
    A sinking de industrialised mess where there are MORE over 65's than under 16 year old..The Grey pensioner Nation of Euroope. A Nation that engages in illegal wars and lost. A nation addicted to arms spending without any clear enemy in sight.
    A nation that bribes foreign government to buy it's crap products. ( Typhoon jets..A Cold War jet..with NO Cold war to fight- imagine the spitfire been unveiled in 1955 for example )
    A Country that has destroyed it's agri business by BSE and Foot and Mouth.
    A Country that couldn't get it's sums right over changes to how the EU calculates it's fees.
    A country on the skids..quite frankly.
    The only thing that's a puzzle is why only 40% have yet to see things as they are.
    Must be a generational thing.
    As the auld friuts die off..One suspects this 40% figure will only rise.

  6. Ozzy
    Thanks for your constructive input. "Two questions"? There is only one. My answer to that is: who gives a fuck? As for the second "sort of question" how many CNRs called themselves British or Northern Irish? How many CNRs didn't want a UI? Oh those silly gombeen, jackeen, west Brit muppets!!!

    So you don't like Britain? Does it really get under your skin? Does it give you anger issues? How did such a crap country get so powerful? Do you stamp your wee feet when you think about that?

  7. Peter,

    the campaign is a standard expression of the republican assertion that national self determination should be national. The realpolitik of it is that it is more symbolic of that assertion than it is a means of applying it. Even if the vote was taken what power would it have to effect any change in the constitutional change of the North? I think there should be a national referendum on the matter that would ask two questions: should the country be united? If so should force of arms be applied to unite it? The answer to the first will almost certainly be yes and the answer to the second will almost certainly be no. If the yes vote is to claim any legitimacy it can only do so to the extent the no vote does as well.

    I signed the petition but I did so with no more expectation of it succeeding than were I to have signed one calling for the return of the Latin mass.

    It is wrong to characterise it per se as a means to simply defeat unionism although that might be a consequence of it were it to be effectual, and certainly unionism would see it as such.

    Why would unionists boycott it rather than use it to express their opposition to it and dissent from the suggestion that the country should be united?

  8. "How did such a crap country get so powerful? Do you stamp your wee feet when you think about that?"

    Yes peter..When I see the bRitish RAF breaking it's guts out just to provide 6 Tornado jets to not bomb ISIS over Iraq ..The first word that comes into my head is power...Not.

  9. I would like to see an independent Socialist Ireland in my lifetime. Not quite the same as a 'socialist republic' as I think that that idea was fine 100 years ago but now we need to rid ourselves of capitalism completely and a republic with co-operatives which still retains the profit motive and tiers of inequality, although an improvement in what we suffer currently is not the end game.

    I happily signed the petition today!

  10. AM
    Why sign it if you don't believe it is going to get anywhere? This does nothing for cross community relations and only keeps unionists voting for the DUP. I don't understand why republicans want to continue to keep the fires burning, it only keeps unionists in their trenches. Any referendum will be a 6 county one and acts like "One Ireland' make it much harder to win. Militant republicanism is a hindrance to reunification in my opinion.
    Why would unionists take part in any such vote? By boycotting it it renders it meaningless, like the SF boycotting of the 1981 census. We have an agreement for a 6 county poll should there be significant support for it and that was voted for by the vast majority north and south. Why give legitimacy to anything else?

    Last month you tried to tell us the Iranians were arming Sunnis in Falluja, this month you have got your panties in a bunch about the RAF. You off your meds again?

  11. Peter,


    Why sign it if you don't believe it is going to get anywhere?

    For the same reason that I would sign a petition calling for the British state to accept that it tortured people in custody. Because it is the right thing to do.

    Your perspective seems to amount to giving unionist bad temper a veto over what nationalist or republicans should do: lets not do it because unionism might throw a tantrum. That encourages the strategy of threat.

    Republicans have every right to ask for a national referendum: wholly legitimate to do so. What you suggest is that only one type of referendum has legitimacy, that the republican view should be of a lower order, that republicans should be castigated when they advocate peaceful means because it might spook the unionist horses. To many nationalists that would sound like a croppy lie down perspective.

    Any referendum will be a 6 county one and acts like "One Ireland' make it much harder to win. Militant republicanism is a hindrance to reunification in my opinion.

    This is a practical suggestion of a different order from the rest of what you say and should be considered on its own merits.

    Why would unionists take part in any such vote? By boycotting it it renders it meaningless, like the SF boycotting of the 1981 census.

    Why give legitimacy to anything else?

    That sounds so much like the Gerry Adams statement that no one should be allowed to think that there is an alternative to the GFA.

  12. Peter

    one million prods...? away and change the record ffs Shower of pensioned off trash milking the UK for 'security' money. Old farts not happy with the land their ancestors stole but who wanted high paying jobs annoying local RCs. Then the wife cries on tv when the hubby is found slumped over in the tractor at tae time.

    The Unionist community, when the time comes will do fuck all. Once the Brits decide it is over and there's no money in it, you lot will head back to Edinburgh, or wherever. All 600,000 of ye, including the 10,000 who are under 60 years of age.

    Breaking news, Spanish police intercepted a 4ft dinghy with 500 people in it ... 499 were from Finchley, coz Tunisia is as British as everywhere else lmfao rite up them.

  13. Another issue to consider here is the nearly absolute indifference of the Republic's population to the elusive goal of a united Ireland. I can't even begin to count the number of people that I have encountered in my many sojourns to the Rep. of Ireland (over 20 now, have lost count of that as well) who express an utter apathy about the nationalist community in the North. They seem blithely unaware of all that has gone down since the late 60s. Maybe it can be chalked up to weariness, to Troublesfluenza. Whatever the case, there doesn't seem to be any great desire in the South to see the unification of the island.

    Numerous folks have told me that they're simply afraid of northerners, Protestant and Catholic alike, and really don't want to have to deal with all that electricity coming out of their pores. And not just the West Brit Battalion, those with Fianna Fáil attachments too. To me this seems a terrible cop-out, a kind of cruel abandonment and just plain sad. The people of the North, of West Belfast in particular, have shown me nothing but warmth, hospitality, and undying friendship. They deserve so much better than the cold shoulder from those Irish with whom for so long they have wanted to share a single nation. Even if as mentioned above the referendum is merely symbolic, the results will show the gauling apathy of many in the 26 counties while giving expression to a dignity and pride that northern nationalists fully deserve. They didn't go through purgatory just to lie down and die with cap in hand, a Lambeg drum echoing in the distance and the Toff Brigade counting up the spoils.

  14. Peter.
    You may remember George Dubbya Bush and his "Axis of Evil" speech.
    And that Iran was on it.
    Do you think the Iranians cared which tribe got guns in Irak????
    After all they were next on the list had Irak been "pacified" by the USA.
    Also, my info came from a book "Losing Small Wars". So there you go.

    And the point about the RAF...and Britain is that those 6 jets represent the limits of bRit airpower in terms of a long term overseas deployment.
    Hardly a big deal is it? And the bRits spend £30 odd Billion on this?????

  15. AM
    There is no alternative to GFA because Dublin, Belfast and London are all right behind it. Winding up the prods may be good fun but it will hinder any progress to acceptance of change, ergo counter-productive. The same on our side of the fence, resistance to any greening of the north is counter-productive for unionism as the more comfortable the CNR community feels the less likely they are to want change. A big of magnaminity from both sides would do us all a power of good.

    Ok my mistake, I should have said 1 million unionists. You left footers are out breeding us, pity for you you're churning out west Brits by the dozen.

  16. Larry
    I chose to ignore your pathetic jibe at the innocent dead in Tunisia but on second reading I can't. I bet when your not being a keyboard asshole you are a small man, small and weedy, possibly with a drink problem and definitely with anger issues. Have another read of your comment and then have a look at yourself in the mirror. You and Ozzy need to see a shrink. Any whiff of a unonist on here and you can't help yourselves but show yourselves up to be assholes. Wise up.

  17. Peter

    Innocent dead in Tunisia? Tourists or locals? The UK/USA global warmongering menace has the region in ruins and tens of thousands needlessly dead. But the UK citizens feel no irony or shame in sunning themselves on cheap holidays there. Despicable and ABHORRENT people they are. Something quite Mountbatten-ish in the superior mentality. Not so superior now are they Peter.

    1 million was no mistake Peter, we have been having that figure rammed down our throats since Adam was a boy. No one being intimidated by that hogwash these days. Your lot will do what they did in Rhodesia and every other colonial out-post when Westminster decides its interest is no-longer being served, you'll bail out or lap it up. What ever happened to the stiff upper lip old chap? They cannot get out of Tunisia fast enough, they are overtaking Libyan refugees in boats doing the butterfly!! lol

    I do think Michael Mahoney is on the money. Regardless of political pressure from elements in the North, there is practically ZERO interest in the South for any referendum. Bottom line is the euro here and Dublin wont be taking on Britain's political and financial mess in the wee 6 in my life time or my grandkids. They would fight another civil war to avoid that in my opinion.

  18. Peter,

    what was it Baumann said about the undesirability of "living without an alternative?"

    It is not in your gift to deny. People have the right to argue for alternatives. It is a crucial component of democratic culture. How can any claim be made on behalf of the GFA that it is based on consent if we are not free to give our consent? And the freedom to consent means to give or withhold consent. Consent has no meaning if it does not at the same time legitimise the concept of dissent. Much like night has no meaning without day to consider its against.

    I don't think any of us unionist, nationalist, loyalist or republican should ever buy into the totalitarian notion that there can be no alternative.

    Are people to desist from democratically arguing their case for fear of "winding up the Prods"? What next - don't criticise religion in case it annoys the faithful? I doubt an atheist such as yourself would argue that position? The "Prods" are like the rest of us, nothing sacred about them or us.

  19. We need to look at this as building a new republic rather than joining the North onto the South. A new republic which serves all of its people, regardless of artificial divisions resulting from our shared political past. Maybe the wider Irish people are not ready for that, as some seen to suggest here. I say there's only one way to find out. The current arrangements are without legitimacy, partition is the product of conquest not the will of the people. A Border Poll is a mechanism which derives from the forced position of Ireland and is in turn illegitimate. It is based on force. A true democratic solution can only be realised when the Irish people are free to determine their own future as one. I would like to see an Eire Nua-style arrangement replace partition but for me any new all-island state must have as its defining principle that the interests of the people will always be of primary consideration when it comes to the decision-making process

  20. Sean,

    how would the referendum be organised and how binding would the result be? And if it is designed to coerce the unionists out of the current UK arrangement who then will put the bell around the cat's neck and decide to initiate a referendum and why would they do so? We know what the result of a referendum would be if the question was a UI, yes or no? But what if the question included the proviso should Ireland be united against the wishes of the people in the North? That would most likely produce a different result.

  21. Should reunification be subject to a majority in the North is the position of the Good Friday Agreement, its mechanisms are simply different with a view to ensuring everything is framed around British sovereignty as norm. The bottom line here is that you cannot allow for such a thing, Britain is Britain, Ireland is Ireland. The Irish people have the national right to self-determination. It is not self-determination and never be if you have an external body involved in the process

  22. which seems to evade rather than engage the question. Can the Irish people decide in one vote (which was not the GFA where 2 separate votes were held) that the North can stay out of a unitary framework until such times as it decides to come in?

  23. AM
    I'm not syaing that you don't have the right to dissent just that "One Ireland'" is not a very smart or productive move for republicans at this time in my humble opinion. I would like to know more but there doesn't seem to be many comments on these articles. We'll leave it there, thanks

    UK/US intervention in Tunisia? You're taking ballix. If you disagree with a government's politics it is ok to shoot dead their civilians? You are a sad and twisted little troll.

  24. If they were to do so then that of itself would conflict with self-determination. One Ireland One Vote for me should be seen as a means to restore the right of the Irish people to determine their own future, without external impediment. The introduction of that proviso you speak of is an external impediment, itself in conflict with self-determination. It sounds somewhat semantical but it's the way I see it. I'm heading out for dinner here so if you don't hear back from me till later then you'll know why. Enjoy the evening y'all

  25. Peter,

    that is a different form of argument, has its own internal coherence and is a practical appraisal of the proposal. That was not what I was querying, but the notion that nothing should be done that might frighten the unionists. But fair enough, we'll leave it there.

  26. Sean,

    self determine has to be precisely that - done by the self without external or internal pressures. It is about people determining for themselves how they might organise themselves politically. If a majority of the Irish people determine as a unit that they wish to have an arrangement that a minority of the Irish people do not want what then is the to be the determining factor in self determination? Until such times as republicans address that question they are going to be vulnerable to the accusation that they contain a fascistic strain which seeks to trample over people's democratically expressed wishes. Not something we like to hear but hear it we will.

  27. Sean,

    enjoy your evening. I am on the cider!!

  28. You too. I would love to debate this further, maybe later. I think Eire Nua offers something along the lines of what you're suggesting

  29. AM

    I see you're on the cider (Saturday night right?), maybe this will post on Sunday morning. As you suggest, even a vast percentage of the Republic would not vote for a united Ireland that seems coercive and is unpopular or totally unacceptable to a sizable number of citizens in Northern Ireland. There's a real threat of violence there, and though Sean has said before that the island as a whole cannot be held hostage by a Unionist threat of violence, the projected consequences of this violence would probably scare off fence-sitters in the South, and the North as well. At least that seems the likely scenario if in fact the referendum had the power to change the political landscape of Ireland.


    Do you think that a good number of Unionists could one day warm to a political proposal resembling Ruiarí Ó Bráidigh and Daithi Ó Connail's Éire Nua if the name were changed from Gaelic to 'New Ireland' - or something similar - and the union became too precarious to preserve? The Éire Nua document seems to have a carrot of sorts: "Dail Uladh would be representative of Catholic and Protestant, Orange and Green, Left and Right. It would be an Ulster parliament for the Ulster people. The Unionist-oriented people of Ulster would have a working majority within the Province and would therefore have considerable control over their own affairs. That power would be the surest guarantee of their civil and religious liberties within a New Ireland."

    Perhaps the Ulster parliament of the ancient province would be too green for Unionist tastes. In respect thereof, would some arrangement that excluded Donegal, Monaghan, and Cavan make 'New Ireland' more palatable to northern Unionists? Those three counties could break with ancient tradition and join other provinces. By warming to this old but resurrected idea Unionists could also stick it to Gerry Adams, who essentially sunk Éire Nua (I mean O'Brady & O'Connell's New Ireland) in the 70s. Here's a chance to kick Gerry while holding sway in an Ulster provincial parliament. Your thoughts much appreciated.

    (Not that it much matters but for information's sake, I'm an American with an MA from Queen's - 1997)

  30. Michael,

    had no intention of touching but the kids persuaded me given it is my birthday. So, I picked up 2 litres in town to sip but it is almost guzzled so it will be whiskey before midnight and then I'll probably turn my nose up at it for a while!

  31. Slaínte mhaith Mackers, adh mór mo chara. Go for it dude!

  32. Thanks Michael - fully intend to

  33. Happy birthday Anthony, may you enjoy many more!

  34. Just finished a beautiful meal and a bottle of Pinot to boot - might hit the bar for a few! Eire Nua with a six county Ulster? Be worth a debate if nothing else but why would Derry and Donegal be in separate systems, it doesn't make sense geopolitically at a local level (if that makes sense)

  35. Peter

    The destabilization of the entire N. African region which has spilled into Tunisia has UK/USA fingerprints, money and weapons all over it. Get yer head out of your Brit Unionist hole and face up to what your idols are doing. YOU lot are doing all the destabilizing from Ukraine to Syria and beyond. No one else is doing it. You may not like the reality I put before you about colonial reality and your worthless evil place within it. So what. Not trolling Peter, placing your mirror in front of your own face. As for disagreeing with a government's politics and shooting dead its citizens... oooh Peter you really are so blinkered and mushroom like. Bloody Sunday Ballymurphy were a government killing its own citizens for demonstrating, at best. Drone strikes of course, globally, are clinical, necessary and admirable. Yes Peter, you really are something to behold. Is your wee rubber dinghy inflated yet?

  36. Peter

    there's a small and insignificant number of people still struggling with the reality of how things worked out ... at least from a theological republican perspective.

    They're stuck in their obsession. Don't worry yourself about any of it. Don't even try to understand it ... for it's all delusional. The lack of commentary on these articles is a reflection of that.

    To me, at least, there's an embarrassing sadness about Martin and Sean's exchange.

  37. Sean Bres

    On the question of a referendum. Sean if one was given and the 26 counties sunk the notion beyond repair would republicans accept the result? I very much doubt it. The GFA for all its faults was the will of the people on this island. Yes a big push factor was an end to violence. That should tell us something too. And whilst I may totally disagree with Peter on UK foreign policy and personally hold them responsible and duplicitous in much of the global evil going on, I accept the country is disinterested in unity. In that regard I would hope unionists would accept democracy in generations to come should a vote go against them. But I doubt it. Our national flag is unwanted in the wee 6. Parity of esteem my rear end. Though as I said, if and when the time comes, without a Westminster backing the Unionists will be exposed as the paper tiger they are.

  38. Thanks Michael, and not even a hangover!!

    Sean, good to see you enjoyed the meal and hopefully the bar!

    while Eire Nua with a six county Ulster might sound good to some it might not to more.

    Same as Derry and Donegal - which if part of a national project can hardly claim a parochial right to trump the determination of the national will. And that might well be to keep them apart until such times as there is sufficient change in the national desire to bring them together.

    The Societies might find more mileage in pushing for the right of Northern counties like Derry to secede from the union with Britain. If the six can secede from the 32, then the 1 can by the same logic secede from the 6. That, arguably (with more counties bound to follow), would seriously weaken the entity of the Northern state, as well as demonstrating that the territorial integrity of the UK state is not fixed forever and a day.

  39. Michael
    Personally Eire Nua is interesting as many Ulstermen from both sides would love to see the full 9 together. At Ulster rugby games you hardly ever see a 6 county Ulster banner but loads of 9 county ones. However, as a legacy of the Troubles there are still many in my community who hate anything Irish. Gestures like Ireland rugby ditching the Soldier's Song and the Tricolour for Ireland's Call and the 4 Province banner go along way to build bridges but much more needs to be done.
    I have been over this before on previous threads so I don't want to repeat myself ad nauseum but with the rise of the SNP and the changing relationship between the UK and EU there is a window of opportunity for Eire Nua fans to offer unionists a new deal. Any new deal would have to include the Republic rejoining the Commonwealth which would probably be a deal breaker for many republicans. Unfortunately the continuation of armed struggle and stunts like 'One Ireland One Vote' keep unionism in the trenches. When I speak to young people who never experienced the Troubles I get the feeling nobody wants change. Many young catholics seem content to accept partition and the Block Grant, the amount who ticked either 'British' or 'Northern Irish' on the census form was surprising to even me. Many republicans like to antagonise unionists, in a previous comment AM said republicans should not take unionist sensibilities into account but it is republicanism that wants to change the status quo. Unionism can keep saying 'no' for the foreseeable future.
    My own personal choice is that the UK negotiates a looser union with the EU; Scotland, Wales and NI negotiate a looser union with England; and the Republic joins the party i.e. takes the pound and rejoins the looser (possible federal) UK. For me this is a win-win for everybody. In that context Eire Nua or something similar would be more than acceptable.

    You have the gall to mention Bloody Sunday and Ballymurphy in the same thread that you laugh at innocent civilians killed in Tunisia? Innocent Irish people killed: bad; innocent British people killed: good? You are a sick bastard.

  40. Pater,

    my argument is not that republicans should ignore unionist sensibilities but that it should not allow unionist prejudice to determine what republicans do. In the latest comment you object to both armed struggle and unarmed struggle - even placing them on a par - as being upsetting to unionists. What a great weapon to give to unionists - anytime they claim they are offended, republicans or anybody else must back down. Nobody could suggest anything for fear of unionism sticking its fingers in its ears and throwing a hissy fit. Politics does not work like that, should not work like that and should not be allowed to work like that.

  41. Peter

    You fail to address drone strikes and regime change along with the absolute carnage being deliberately instigated by the west. As I said not even a shred of irony or shame that UK citizens would sun themselves on those beaches at this time. Sky and BBC news getting 'experts' on in a pitiful attempt to feign mystification that anyone could attack UK nationals in these places merely undermines UK/USA credibility even further ,if that were possible.

    No point getting angry with me Peter for pointing out YOUR beloved government and its actions in response to your lamenting of UK casualties. Unionist blinkers are amazing. Blind you to all death except your own casualties. Don't upset the wee prods. PRICELESS. In 200 years Peter the Brits will be bleating shock and dismay that anyone could possibly attack them, and in 200 years people still wont believe a word they say.

    As for the border/unity question, I cannot argue with very much of what you say. You are seeing the reality where-as some on both sides, 1916 Societies and Twaddle Avenue people cannot accept today's reality. I think a referendum should be held, after sufficient time without violence so that issue does not cloud the vote result. Even a GFA type referendum both sides of the border on a simple yes - no to unification. Then it could maybe be put to bed for good.

    'Sick Bastard' ... why thank you my good man, dust yourself down, stiff upper lip again and some decorum old chap. Must say reading that comment made my day, had me in stitches... and it is only 10.28 am.

  42. Larry
    The fact is you would not laugh at the innocent dead in Tunisia in public, you would not shout "rite up them" to anyone involved, but you will do it from behind your keyboard. You have no more ethics than the Brits you constantly drone on about.

  43. AM
    I'm not saying you should pussy foot around unionists, but youse are the ones trying to change the status quo. Do you want to manoeuver unionism into a UI or do you want to persuade people like me? What exactly will 'One Ireland' achieve? A rehash of a failed ideal doomed to fail again that antagonises rather than persuades. Don't you want to try something new? At least admit that you want a victory rather than a compromise.

  44. Peter,

    the whole thrust of your discourse here has been that republicans should pussyfoot around unionists and refrain from doing whatever they might take umbrage at.

    Unionism did not persuade people like me; the coerced people into partition. But I am not going to go on a revenge mission to punish them for it. If people want a united Ireland it is entirely legitimate for them to be allowed to say so. What will "One Ireland" achieve? I doubt it will be any more successful than calling for Israel to be brought before The International War Crimes Tribunal. But it is better than it be called for than not. A united Ireland is, whether you like it or not, a wholly legitimate position.

    Everybody wants a victory in politics: that is what it is about. The question is how far are people prepared to go to have that victory. I tend to think that people if they are really serious about compromise on the constitutional issue rather than wanting all out victory will opt for joint sovereignty.

    You complain about armed struggle and you complain about unarmed struggle. What should republicans read into that?

  45. AM

    Unless one can step out with a reasonable and considered expectation of success, why bother? Especially so given the difficulties and pain of the recent past.

    Advocates of the 1916 Societies proposal haven't offered any evidence of 'stepping out in full confidence of victory'. Neither have they offered any evidence from focus groups nor preliminary research soundings as to the wishes of the voters which might legitimise the inherent risks involved. They haven't outlined a detailed plan which includes proposals as to how to deal with any anticipated roadblocks and de-railers. They also have, I believe, a responsibility to reassure citizens that there're won't be serious unanticipated consequences to their actions. Republicans haven't a great record in this regard. Only fools would consider buying a pig in a poke. Peter has requested that the pig be run out ... yet no one obliges ... any independent bystander would be suspicious!

    Furthermore, its a moot point to say that Unionists coerced CRN's into partition. Its an equally valid position to state that they coerced The Imperial British Government from 'abandoning' them to a system of government that they feared and partition was a measure of consequence rather than intent. Their position on 'Home Rule' was clear for several years before the signing of the Ulster Covenant in 1912. I'm not disputing that the Northern State was maintained by coercion but your implication that Unionists coerced CRN's into a partitionist state is somewhat dubious considering that the heroes of '16 proclaimed a sovereign and indefeasible republic that just was never on the cards then or now because of clearly stated and obvious Unionist opposition. Partition was as much the outcome of their actions as those of Unionists.

    Some people will go to no ends to defend their precious mythical history of 1916. Fortunately as evidenced by GFA referendums the vast majority of adults in both States have matured out of such nonsense!

  46. Henry Joy,

    why bother?

    Same could be said about trying to get the Israelis into the dock for war crimes. It is the more expression of an aspiration than a strategic expectation.

  47. AM
    I seemed to have piqued your ire on this one! For the last time, I am not saying republicans should pussyfoot around unionism, I am saying that 'One Ireland' is a doomed rehash so why bother unless you have no intention of trying to persuade. You seem to think it is a flawed idea but you still signed it, as is your wont. If I were a republican I would be calling for some new thinking, something that actually has a cat in hell's chance of working.
    Are you sure you don't have a hangover?

  48. Peter,

    I seemed to have piqued your ire on this one!

    Funny, there was me thinking the same thing about yourself!

    I didn't say it was a flawed idea. Perfectly reasonable idea. The problems lie not in the idea per se but in the conditions of its enactment some of which I have tried to tease out above with Sean. A bit like the flaw in calling for an end to brutality against prisoners? Do I think such calls will be successful? No. Does it stop me making them? No. Should it stop me making them? No. I ask frequently for the details of torture by the RUC in the mid to late 70s to be made available to the public. Is the call flawed? No. Will it succeed? Not a chance.

    There are of course situations in life where we won't pursue a goal that has little chance of success? But the degree of energy and time required to sign a petition is not so much as to serve as a deterrent. If I was asked to go out knocking doors and asking for signatures would I do it? No.

    I am not in the 1916 Societies nor do I support them and ultimately what their campaign amounts to does not concern me a great deal. It is a totally legitimate, non violent approach. It is aspirational. Your view is as welcome on this site as is theirs. I think there should be a referendum but with the questions I posed to Sean earlier included, if you have been following the debate. They are the sort of questions I would want answered were I a unionist.

    The nature of the beast is such that it leaves us either taking a partitionist approach to the matter which see us would oppose in principle the type of referendum the societies are advocating or the anti-partitionist approach which the societies are taking. What could possibly be wrong with the peaceful advocacy of a position? Once we accept that we can debate the practicalities. I have already asked Sean about these.

    Ultimately, the matter is not going to tax me too much one way or the other. There are more pressing matters to be dealt with, for me at any rate. I suppose it is when we get into discussions like this we sort of get the measure of how minimal a part of the daily landscape it occupies for us.

    Ultimately, I would much rather have the Societies advocating a referendum than armed struggle.

  49. AM
    No I'm not upset or anything like it! Yes I was following the discussion above. You said there should be more than one question which I interpreted as you thinking it was flawed as it is. If you revisit my original comment I was asking for some opinions from your followers as these articles attract little in the way of comment, only to be trolled by Ozzy and Larry as per (the tedious) usual. I have no contact with republicans since leaving QUB bar this site and was curious as to how 'One Ireland' was being received. I'm stilll none the wiser!

  50. Peter

    NO I simply refuse to afford YOU and UK citizens any more empathy or credit than you do globally to other 'lesser' people. Rite up ye is correct, your screams prove where the correct medicine lay all along, fire with fire. When you begin your guerrilla campaign against a united Ireland get plenty of patches for your rubber dinghy, its along way to the British border from Larne come the 32 lol.
    check out why Vietnamese won but Malaya failed. You lot will be a modern Malaya if it ever happens.

  51. Larry,

    it bewilders me how anybody can say rite up them in respect of average Joe holiday makers being murdered by theocrats on a beach. It just sounds as if you are actually deriving pleasure from it rather than being indifferent to their fate. It could just as easily be your sister or my own and each holding the same degree of interest or lack of it in respect of international politics. These people are innocent non combatants on holiday not the Thomas Cooke special forces wing of some invading army. Some theocrat could murder you in the Philippines touring with your wife solely because you are a white European and it would be as without justification as the Tunisian attacks. If it happened I would not like to hear somebody saying rite up him.

  52. Peter,

    good. No point in upsetting each other is debate if it can be avoided.

    I don't think the question is flawed in the sense that there is anything wrong with it. I think as a referendum it would be limited and if that amounts to a flaw in the concept then you are right. I think it is a perfectly legitimate question to put in a referendum. But I would not like to see a referendum where that was the only question put. And if that sounds too much like semantics to you then I concede the point.

    Because an article does not get many comments, does not mean it is not getting interest. One of the most read at the minute is Ed Moloney's on the Irish News and Joe Lynskey but it has no comments. Some that get plenty of comments get few page reads and it looks as if the only ones reading it are those commenting. I don't think the petition is capturing the popular imagination by any stretch. At the Dublin launch the most interesting contribution came from the mayor of Dublin and it was when he was talking about the homeless not the petition. In my honest opinion it had the feel of calling for the return of the Latin Mass: legitimate but legless. I am much more interested in the questions that flow from it. I am also interested in the manner in which it might impact on people who come to it and as a result of doing so start to consider what might actually constitute national self determination. Was the GFA an act of national self determination? Technically we can argue not but if you press me to explain the difference I would be stuck to give you an answer.

    My own view of republicanism is this: it should be thoroughly democratised; it should not use force in pursuit of its goals; it should be rights driven rather than power driven. Is my priority a united Ireland? I would rather see the bodies of the Disappeared recovered. Is a united Ireland worth any of my children's lives? No. Why then would it be worth the lives of somebody else's children? Wars should be fought because they have to be not because we want them to be.

  53. AM

    EXACTLY the point I am trying to drive home. UK and USA populations are anesthetised to suffering via 'superior' weaponry, technology and budget to the extent they can go sun bathe in regions THEIR governments are in the deliberate process of destroying with mass murder. Loyalists here pretend the RUC/Brits were honest broker (Peter continues to reside in that locality) as we all knew different the world now has been left with no blind eyes to turn. In no small part down to articles here. PLEASE don't join the ranks of those determined to rule by fooling. Nagasaki, Dresden, Derry, Ballymurphy, Batang Kali, Mai Li..... what are a few civies between 'friends'? Bring it on. They scream a lot but get out pretty quick you know when the going gets tough, it is their track record. Muslims may fare better than we did. I am not talking people I'm talking tactics, collateral damage and a lack of empathy and total duplicity. GOOSE AND GANDER.

  54. Mackers

    We don't travel to Mindanao it is a wee thing called common sense.

  55. Larry,

    but then we are reduced to saying people deserve to die at the hands of butchers because they lacked common sense.

  56. AM

    is that your answer? don't let your foot touch the ground, stay in the saddle of your rainbow unicorn and champion Peter and the huns lol

  57. Larry,

    Peter seems to be doing quite well in that exchange without any help from me.

  58. If BBC and SKY news are your level, then yes Mackers. Good for you. SF lickspittle seems to be catching.

  59. Larry, unfortunately for yourself, your hate filled rants and insults have no purchase here. We are more than capable of dealing with them. Told you before about the little bully: means nothing to us.

  60. don't remember you ever saying any of that.

    at no stage did anyone attempt to address or connect the attack in Tunisia with UK/USA foreign policy. Your 'educated' alignment with the official position is eliminating. As is you final post. Head up big lawd yer a credit

  61. Larry,

    I doubt I wish to engage with such unalloyed hatred of the innocent.

  62. Mackers

    I don't hate those poor people, my posts are an attempt to open eyes to how little consideration is given to hundreds of thousands of victims of UK/USA. HARSH yes, personal? NO! A scream for recognition of parity of pain. Are you telling me you believe that guy on the beach with an assault rifle was an isolated serial killer USA style? I beg to differ. Mackers, I fear you are in Peter's dinghy out of sight of the shore, temporarily.

  63. maybe I should have said 'rite up the uk/usa governments' ... I have no empathy, I'm all out.

  64. While I dozed in deepest sleep way over here in Kentucky, you boys went into extra time with no hope of a penalty shoot-out! The time difference always lands me in the boot room long after the final whistle. And yes I was a soccer (I mean football) player and coach. Some Americans are just weird that way.


    I kind of like the idea of a single upstart county seceding from Northern Ireland and creating a precedent. I'm not sure how such a secession could be initiated and carried to fruition, but the idea is superb. County Derry would be a good place to start, the Bogside and Creggan crawling back to the lap of Donegal with Strabane and a good chunk of Tyrone yearning to do the same. It's the "take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs" approach, slow but organic.


    Thank you for responding to my questions about Éire Nua. That's pretty much what I anticipated. You're probably right, any invitation to return to the Commonwealth or for that matter to a federated British Isles concept would be a deal breaker for the Republic. Even the toney folk in Dundalk, Malahide, Howth and horsey Meath and Kildare might get their Irish up if such a proposal came down the pike. But maybe not.

    Happy Sunday evening to you all from not so Old Kentucke.

  65. AM

    Heightism is the 'lowest' form of attack

  66. 'The Societies might find more mileage in pushing for the right of Northern counties like Derry to secede from the union with Britain. If the six can secede from the 32, then the 1 can by the same logic secede from the 6. That, arguably (with more counties bound to follow), would seriously weaken the entity of the Northern state, as well as demonstrating that the territorial integrity of the UK state is not fixed forever and a day.'

    That is a position I've heard argued by Gerry McGeough elsewhere and is highly interesting. Beyond all that, there's a lot to catch up with, and I wasn't avoiding answering the questions, just hadn't the time. If the Irish people were to determine that the Six Counties were to remain under the UK until such times a majority within that entity wished to rejoin the rest of the country then that is something that would need to be acknowledged and given due consideration. What would be key here in this instance though is that they were allowed to decide whether they wanted this or whether they wanted a United Ireland, with both options allowed for and given equal place in the debate. This did not happen with Good Friday, the only option was whether it was to be accepted or not. Even in the South they did not actually vote on the Good Friday Agreement but on making changes to the constitution in the 26-Counties, changes that would allow the government there to endorse the British-Irish Agreement. The Agreement itself was never subject to a vote in the South. Tony, you said earlier that the notion 1998 did not represent self-determination could be made but that it was a weak argument, not clear how, or words to that effect (hope I didn't pick that up wrong). Well I'd say this demonstrates how it is not self-determination. The Good Friday Agreement itself was never put to the joint-referenda we hear so much of, never mind to an all-Ireland vote. As Larry says, have the vote, if you's are so sure it will fail then let us deal with the consequences. We are more than confident that such a vote would succeed. More than confident. I find the idea the Irish people would reject their own independence, if given the option to endorse it in a free vote, incredible. The debate such a referendum would open up alone, never mind the pre-existing desire of the Irish people to live in and control their own country for and in their own interest, would see a vote pass and bring this country forward no end. The entire process would allow us to go on and create an Irish Republic in which all the children of the nations were treated equally. We want the Unionist community to be part of that debate, we want them to realise an all-Ireland state does not necessarily equate to second-class citizenship for them. We want to work together in a fair arrangement that ends the longstanding conflict between the people on this island. This will only ever be realised in an all-Ireland republic. When you have the current situation, whereby half the population in the Northern state is simply waiting on the numbers to join the rest of the country, then both sides will of course have their backs up, especially those in the Protestant community who fear they are going to lose out. Working together everyone can win but what we have now simply fosters division and is in truth the absence of violence, not peace. It does not work - as we see every day with the shape of politics up at Stormont - joke politics - and it will never work. For the simplt reason that it CAN'T work. It is a means to keep a lid on violence not to resolve political differences and that's as far as it goes. we the Irish people, of whatever persuasion, deserve better

  67. Sean,

    a campaign organised on a county at a time basis would allow the concentration of resources on a smaller project. There is no reason for the principle of consent to be applied to six but not one without invalidating the principle of consent. Local county culture might prove more amenable than 32 county wide nationalism. It would amount to repartition which from a republican perspective is anathema but against that republicans can hardly be seen to be opposing the right of Irish people to secede from the union.

    If the Irish people were to determine that the Six Counties were to remain under the UK until such times a majority within that entity wished to rejoin the rest of the country then that is something that would need to be acknowledged and given due consideration.

    But what does that actually mean? Would the referendum contain that question and would the outcome be accepted as constituting national self-determination?

    Who would organise the referendum and why might they be motivated to do so? What status would it have other than that of an opinion poll? If there was agreement for unity would the outcome be enforced? Who would enforce it?

    As opposed as I was to the GFA I am under no illusions about what it meant. No matter how we might dress it up and recoil from it, what it did was to endorse the continuing position of partition by agreeing to a consensual framework for effecting any constitutional change. The people in the South knew what they were voting for in as far as they ever do. They were in effect voting for the structure that would support and legitimise the GFA. Had there been a vote in the South for the GFA I don't believe the outcome would have been any different. Why would it be? Arguably it might have been higher although what higher than 94% would have been needed? 94% of the 26 voted in favour of constitutional change that would allow the GFA to come into place. That to me is a refracted vote for the GFA. A referendum is not going to change that in my view. The electorate will vote for unity but with that one crucial proviso - that it is with the consent of the North. This is the version of national self determination Adams was working towards and I said as much at the RDS conference in 1995.

    I find the idea the Irish people would reject their own independence, if given the option to endorse it in a free vote, incredible.

    They will exercise their right to behave independently. But that might mean independently from political force used to resolve the constitutional question; and independently from the wishes of people who want the North trundled in regardless. It seems pretty clear to me that is what they are asserting time and time again. And they most likely independently decide that the nation will only unite when it is ready for it; and being ready for it means when the North too is ready for it. It is the realpolitik of our day: what I might think of it matters not to its tangible effect.

    The remainder of your post is PR and I doubt is going to be a factor in people's considerations.

    My line of reasoning here might help explain why I have thought for some time why republicanism is not the answer to the question of partition. The Brits have an answer as do the unionists and constitutional nationalists: unity by consent of the North. We have no answer. We can't persuade, we can't coerce (I no longer want to), we are a strategic anachronism. What do we do?

    Keep at the One Ireland-One Vote campaigning. It is legitimate, it is not war making, it will produce discussion and get people thinking, amongst them republicans thinking about the limitations of republicanism as we practiced it.

  68. The Scots voted against independence and the southerners and substantial northern RCs would vote against unification. People are happy enough. I have enjoyed the Quill since 2009 very much. But I think it is time for me to join the Grouch. Best of luck to you all and THANKS.

  69. Sure took a while to get the pig out of the poke, but courageously stated eventually by Dr Big Mackers. Well done sir.

    Bye Larry, give my best to Grouch.

  70. Henry Joy,

    it is just opinion: really not much courageous about it

  71. Don't be daft Larry, a spat like that is hardly worth pulling the plug over. I can understand the point you were trying to make - as I'm sure others can too. It's just the language used would fairly be described as controversial (to say the least). And let's remember Anthony and Carrie have a duty to uphold the integrity of the site - not that you were really clamped down on in fairness to them. This is just plain silly. As for that obnoxious lick spittle Henry Joy it's starting to seem like 'job done' for whoever this troll is. Bravo

  72. You are too modest AM, you positively got Deliverance on the OIOV pig.

  73. Maybe ... though breaking free from cultural and historical conditioning requires no amount of courage.

    That sort of 'thinking for oneself' is rare enough and is often of itself radical and courageous ... certainly not to be minimised.

    Its the outworn hand-me-downs that are the essence of our problems.

  74. AM writes, "My own view of republicanism is this: it should be thoroughly democratised; it should not use force in pursuit of its goals; it should be rights driven rather than power driven."

    To me this seems like a rational and effective strategy, a mixture of good sense and the basic decency of all movements that have as their primary objective the protection of individual rights and freedom of speech. It allows for dissent, invites it in fact, but of course reserves the rights of supporters and enemies alike to fire back within those hazy boundaries that separate respect from frothing hate mongering. With that in mind, Republicanism, Irish or otherwise (there once was a moment in Spain, there are meant to be many moments in the United States), needs to show tolerance where it is in short supply, magnaminity in the face of triumphalism, and plain old brains - a show of cerebral dexterity and creativity - during the give and take of the dialectic. There's plenty of this on display on the Quill, thank goodness. Go over to YouTube to be reminded of the contrast, the sewage in the sceptic tank. No surprise right?

    Obviously, Irish republicanism has become calcified and dissent is shouted down by a gang of bullies, by Bangers and Company. The two books by Richard O'Rawe give depressing testimony of how undemocratic Irish republicanism has become. The threat to the Sinn Féin narrative of 1981 has definitely sent down a cleaver: good healthy meatiness on one side, fat and gristle on the other. Here's hoping 1981 continues to attract scrutiny and discussion. Peter comes back to the idea of Unionists hunkering down in the trenches as a reaction to republican rhetoric of the hackneyed or vitriolic sort. This message should be heard because it suggests the prudence of allowing Ulster Protestants to display their identity as long as it doesn't interfere with the health and safety of northern nationalists. Tolerance for all those usual summer shenanigans, the marches and bonfires, shows that the nationalist/republican community is bigger than all that, the tolerance becoming a weapon in itself, like Atticus Finch coolly wiping Bob Ewell's spit from his face while looking his bigoted and hateful abuser straight in the eye. One day, in a one island state or in something else (who really knows what it will look like decades from now?), Orange marches might be viewed as quaint expressions of folk culture, as museum pieces full of reenacters engaged in harmless anachronism. Easter parades like the recent one on the Falls Road will have to enter the same realm, their provocative nature reduced while their acknowledgement of history remains intact.

    AM continues, "Is my priority a united Ireland? I would rather see the bodies of the Disappeared recovered. Is a united Ireland worth any of my children's lives? No. Why then would it be worth the lives of somebody else's children? Wars should be fought because they have to be not because we want them to be."

    These are essential questions at all times. It's a damn shame more Americans didn't address these questions before the latest round of wars in the Middle East. What terrible mistakes were made! We sat on our hands, me included. Did the Roman Catholic community of NI (working class primarily that is) have to fight a war of sorts beginning in the late 1960s? I would say yes. There was an absolute right there to defend life, liberty, and property. Did that defensive instinct morph into something else? Yes, but for a whole variety of reasons. Maybe now it's time for Irish republicanism to go back to a pre-1969 place, to a time when a demand for civil rights was marching strong and had not yet reached a wall of RUC or Burntollet Bridge. Convincing and coercing the unreceptive has indeed hit a wall. Defending human rights and democracy always finds the weak spots in that wall, the places of a potential breakthrough.

  75. DaithiD, who or what is the 'OIOV pig'? Fuck but you just can't contain yourself, a hateful wee bastard is all you are! I can see why Larry is full-blown tired with the comments section on here, seems to be a crowd of smarmy, uppity, UCD-type Free State know-it-all's with you leading the way ya arrogant prick. Slan

  76. sean, the metaphor was established earlier : English at UCD not for you then? Larry can speak for himself, but you have (by some margin) thrown the most invective his way this year, you just have, i cant be arsed to embarrasse you with all the quotes (but i will when i get a few guinnesses in me and you keep this up). Its so telling that the only person to butt heads with Larry on here was Anthony (but hardly worth noting) but you instead jibe me and HJ, because you are a rim licker mate. Man up and call Anthony out on it, Im sure his wont mind.

  77. Unfortunately, the discussion has hit the descent button and is now into name calling. Is that what it is about - jibes and jags?

  78. Call him out on what? If there was something to call him out on I would have no problem in doing so, it would not be the first time. A rim-licker? Doubt you must be looking in the mirror ya fucking gobshite

  79. Apoligies AM, any further name calling wont be from me. Apoligies to Sean, on third reading i can see how you might of thought i was calling you a pig, i really wasnt.It was totally un-Catholic for me to respond like, I wont delete it, ill leave there as a warning to my self. Pesky pride.I loved your Loughall article Sean, genuinely.

  80. Alright well fair enough, I'll take your word on it and we'll leave it at that. There's not one thing you could drag up that I said to Larry which I'd retract, I never pass personal comment unless there's good reason to. I'd repeat it all to him and to his face without issue if it were ever needed. You mentioned Henry Joy in your comment, whoever the fuck that bundle of shite really is. The only reason I brought him up is I can see his trolling of my comments, articles or what-have-you, and those of others, for what it is. Not that this waste of space bothers me with the endless shite he spouts (how can anyone take this RSF-cum-Ruth Dudley Edwards shape-shifting ballwasher for real?) His 'bye bye Larry, say hello to grouch' was what done it for me and enough to break my vow to ignore this reptile. But among you's be it from this point on, I've better things to be at with my evening

  81. This comment has been removed by the author.

  82. Sean

    All this feuding aside (nationalist politics in microcosm), you deserve a lot of credit for sticking your neck out to promote One Ireland, One Vote and the resurrection of Éire Nua. And too for going on the radio. I was interviewed on BBC Northern Ireland back in 1996 on the night when Clinton was re-elected. Sitting next to that big mic, I was scared shitless and babbled. Twelve Budweisers later I felt no better about the whole experience. The folks at Queen's the next day said it went fine. They were just being kind. So good on you for braving the interview and the detractors. We don't always agree, but here's hoping we continue to pick apart Ireland and the United States. You generated a lot of debate here. Isn't that the point? Like you I really would prefer that contributors to the Quill and other similar blogs used their real names. Anonymity has its place (essential sometimes), but there's nothing like a real name for engendering that little bit of trust needed to ensure candor and to keep conflict, the slagging, right sized. Sean, I know where you live . . . and it's a fine wee place, the heart of proud Tyrone.

  83. SB

    'lick spittle, ball washer, bundle of shite,' and previously 'human garbage' ... Sean I can understand that creative people have strongly held passions, I can also appreciate that we all need a modicum of righteous anger to deal with some of the innumerable threats posed to the quality of our lives ... some of your outbursts are something else.

    I am personally and painfully aware that chronic anger, like addiction, is sometimes a symptom of untreated trauma so I'll not respond to your insults and hostilities any further than that.

    Sean you have every right to pursue your 'One Ireland, One Vote' campaign, as I have every right to critique it. Drop the insults, they add no weight to your cause ... rather they diminish it.

  84. Hopefully the last comment, a measured one, will bring an end to much of the nonsense that has gone on above.

    Michael, you are right about anonymity and commenters should not use it to be crude and crass. But anonymity has not been the problem on this thread. It has been the abuse dished out by upfront people. And on reflection I think the Bates/Wilkes slot was a more fitting home for it.

    There comes a limit to patience in having to wade through this stuff on a blog that supposedly exists for the purpose of facilitating rational exchange. My patience is almost exhausted. People hopefully come to this blog not to read screamers knocking lumps off each other, but to get something calm and reflective they might not get on another site. There are any amount of toilet door sites that have that sort of rubbish scrawled all over them. We don't want it here. Free speech for us is about spreading ideas, not spraying muck.

  85. I have to hold my hands up and admit that I rose to Ozzy's bait and that seemed to set the tone for the whole thread. I understand you all don't like the UK or unionism but I have a genuine interest in trying to understand republicanism. However, ranting at me (and HJ) is tedious and adds nothing.

  86. Yes Peter..You must hold your hand up..
    to go right ahead and blame somebody else.in this case myself.
    Unionist Playbook..(since forever.)

    Whilst you are not/ accepting responsibilty..Let me give you a few pointers.
    1 million prods.
    A politically loaded term since before Carson...and used by several demagogues/asshats including Paisley and James "Vanguard" craig. The latter of "Let's round up the dis loyalists..Take their names and shoot them." fame

    But you can continue with your babes in the wood routine..Somebody else made me do it.
    It works for everything..From British State sponsored terrorism (When you lot are not denial ofc)
    Through to throwing Urine at Holycross.
    Through to Camp Twaddle..Through to putting racist graffitti and Tricolours on bonfires.
    Themunnss...Made me do it.
    Same as it ever was.
    Still Bored Peter.
    Than change the freaking record.

  87. Peter

    whatever about your skift with Ozzy I thought your request for comments from republicans as to their attitude to OIOV was legitimate and useful. Getting a response was slow!

    Republicans and loyalists are equally challenged by the new realities. Many are confused as to what constitutes a legitimate target under the current dispensation. Any wonder some of the keyboard warriors are a bit gung-ho. Expect verbal skirmishes to continue and maintain your position. I value your contribution.

    All wise folk need to think through their stances, particularly in this time of flux. In this regard respectful exchanges are welcome.

  88. "I have to hold my hands up and admit that I rose to Ozzy's bait"
    Also Peter...I find your attempt to connect my name to a thread which just happens to have drawn the ire of the Blog's creator as a nice Machavellian touch.
    Are you hoping that the stink raised will somehow stick to me?

    Did you think I wouldn't notice??..LOL.
    I am smarter than most Peter.
    You'll have to either a) try harder or b) get up earlier
    I ain't nobodies fool.
    Nice try though..Maithu.
    I can see thru you,,like a pain of glass.
    Just remember that.
    Just like I know that your opposition to the O.O. is founded on the changing demographics of the Wee 6.
    You want them gone coz they cause Catholics to vote green. That is your primary concern.
    Just like you make lovely sounds about a UI..
    But you'll ratchet up ever increasing demands to make one acceptable.
    And if those demands even look like been met...You'll just create some new ones.
    No wonder ya want me removed.
    Consider yourself sussed.

  89. Peter and Ozzy, you both might have gone at it a bit rough and ready but nothing OTT and certainly nothing that drew my ire. All blogs have to be able to cope with that type of exchange as people defend or promote their positions.