Michelle O'Neill - A Stroke Of Genius

Political columnist Dr John Coulter, a former Blanket columnist, analyses the impact which Sinn Fein’s appointment of Michelle O’Neill as Stormont leader will have on republicanism and Unionism now that Stormont has collapsed and the North is heading for a snap poll on 2nd March. 

Unionist unity, not Irish unity, could be the long-term consequence of the appointment of Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill as Martin McGuinness’s replacement as the party’s Stormont leader this week.

With a snap Stormont poll looming on 2nd March, O’Neill’s appointment is a tactical short-term stroke of genius which could well see Sinn Fein emerging as the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly – and thereby laying claim, on paper, to the coveted First Minister’s post. 

Under the terms of the 2006 St Andrews Agreement, the party with the largest number of MLAs is entitled to the First Minister’s post, the position which has been held by the DUP since 2007.

Mrs O’Neill, aged 40, was first elected to the Assembly for Mid Ulster in 2007 and has held ministerial posts in agriculture and health. 

She is the latest in a number of parties to appoint a woman as their leader, including British Prime Minister Theresa May of the Tories, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party, and Arlene Foster of the Democratic Unionists. 

Mrs O’Neill’s appointment also represents the latest step in Sinn Fein’s transformation from the apologist for the Provisional IRA to a democratic republican party. 

Not only is she much younger than many in the current Sinn Fein hierarchy who would be in their 60s, she also represents the so-called ‘draft dodger’ faction – namely those republican politicians who have no prior terrorist convictions or links to the IRA.

When Sinn Fein emerged as a serious political movement following the 1981 republican hunger strike, the stereotype of candidate was for the most part, a male ex-prisoner. 

While Mrs O’Neill has only a matter of weeks as Sinn Fein Stormont leader before the March poll, her politically squeaky clean image of the purely democratic republican will be a major factor in persuading Catholic middle class voters to remain, or defect to Sinn Fein.

Sinn Fein overtook the moderate nationalist SDLP by eating into the latter’s middle class Catholic voter base while at the same time retaining Sinn Fein’s support among its traditional working class republican heartlands. 

Sinn Fein has also emerged unscathed from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme debacle, which will reportedly cost the Northern Ireland taxpayer at least £490 million over the next 20 years. 

If Sinn Fein can continue to eat into the SDLP vote, along with voter apathy and protest voting over RHI against the DUP in the pro-Union community, Mrs O’Neill has a very strong chance of edging out the DUP’s Mrs Foster as First Minister.

With Mrs O’Neill leading the Sinn Fein push, the DUP will have its political guns spiked if it campaigns on trying to keep a diehard republican with IRA links out of the First Minister’s post. 

Ironically, if Mrs O’Neill does succeed Mrs Foster as Stormont First Minister, it could well be the political shock treatment which Unionism needs to bring about party political unity in its ranks – a unity not seen since the Unionist Coalition of the early 1970s. 

A Sinn Fein First Minister could well lay the foundation stones for a merger of the DUP and the rival Ulster Unionists to form a single movement known as The Unionist Party – the name of the movement which dominated Stormont in the days of Unionist majority rule until 1972. 

Likewise, an O’Neill-led Sinn Fein north of the border will be ideally placed to combat the expected move by Southern parties to contest elections in Northern Ireland. Fianna Fail is already organised and planning to fight future polls. 

Mrs O’Neill could also be the political catalyst which persuades Fine Gael to enter a coalition government in Dublin’s Leinster House with Sinn Fein, thereby laying to rest Sinn Fein’s Southern stereotype of the party which was linked to the anti-Treaty IRA during the Irish Civil War of the 1920s. 


  1. Tactic and Short term gain at the ballot box may mask what may end up being a turbulent time ahead for Sinn Fein in the six counties without Martin McGuinness who was a powerful man for a long time in Republicanism over the last 40 years and more.

    Although I accept that yes there have been some gaspingly difficult to watch gestures of reconciliation to the Unionists and Monarchy and obviously deliberate ostracizing of former activists by Sinn Fein and their members and at risk of the wrath of many here who contribute to this blog and some who were directly betrayed by the Provisional movement can I just ask some searching questions:

    Is there any real alternative that can achieve the way to a United Ireland today?

    Can any other tactic other than democratic lobbying towards a referendum succeed?

    Can Sinn Fein be used as a vehicle to take us to an ultimately successful Unification vote even if its not the first or even second attempt and then can we not re-assess who delivers for society?

    The mandate that Sinn Fein have enjoyed in the six counties and lately in the twenty six cannot be ignored, can any other Republican group get those numbers?

    Is there an understanding that Sinn Fein in the 26 counties represents something very different to what it represents for many in the six and that as a National Party its policies are the best in tune with Sothern Nationalists if not Northern republicans?

    I accept the strong views of all who suffered and I would love to believe that the outright Victory and achievement of the Ultimate Goal of a 32 County Socialist Republic could be won in one go but I don't see it that way.

    It saddens me to see continued occupation and especially when I think of the many Dead Volunteers who gave their lives as well as the many innocents on all sides who lost theirs, I agree it wasn't for an internal settlement but that is where we are.

    GFA Provides for a Poll, lets do what ever it takes to get one and whatever it takes to win that poll peacefully. If we can ever get that far then let the class war begin. Republicans need to Unite first at least on the single issue of Unity.

    Interested to read feedback here and respect to all opinions.

  2. Paddy,

    while I don't have the time just now to comment on the issues you raise, you must be free to pose whatever questions you like without incurring the wrath of others. I think they are very good questions and need answered in plain wrath free language.

    That said, I think most people here will accept the questions for their intrinsic value even if they provide answers that you don't feel are persuasive.

  3. Paddy,

    decision making requires choosing between what one wants and what one wants more.

    The Irish people collectively chose safety and security over and above the all-Ireland republic. They endorsed the removal of constitutional aspirational claims for unity and in its stead accepted that that could only come about subject to the approval of a majority within the six-counties.

    Ultimately nationalism focuses on difference. Sinn Féin and the DUP are strongly nationalistic parties and therefore are mutually dependent. To maintain their dominance in each community each requires the success of the other. This facilitates continued polarisation and delays probability of persuading Loyalists of possible benefits of unification (even in tumultuous scenarios such as Brexit might bring about). And remember, regardless of whether a majority in favour of unity is achieved there is a sizeable section in the 26 who won't be too pleased to accept an angry Loyalist minority to their bosom's.

    Continuing to re-elect SF and DUP representatives, in all likelihood, only ensures more of the same bickering and divisiveness that went before.

    And unfortunately because conservative and parochial people tend to experience great discomfort at the loss of the familiar, one can only predict yet more of the same old bollix.

  4. I think everyone struggled with those issues for a long time, even voting SF in spite of personal distaste of their Croppy antics. However it is getting to the stage now that demographics and a vote on unity are a more appealing option than the SF 'Armani Project Failure'. SF have done well for themselves their families and no doubt to some lesser extent the cult membership. As long as there are 100 DUP voters they will shun SF and the 'mere-Irish'. Stormont serves no purpose for nationalists. Gerry Kelly stated last night he is OK with the RUC convicting ex IRA people now. Obviously only those non aligned with the SF Armani project. He has nothing to fear, he spent the war in jail. ENOUGH of the SF negotiating skills methinks.

  5. Unfortunately the GFA is the only show in town and with the support of Sinn Fein and the DUP neither government will entertain any re-negotiation nor does there appear to be any popular demand to from the people or look likely any time soon. I agree that the Sinn Fein machine has become something of an animal which shows very little good will for anyone who dares challenge it and this is unhealthy indeed.

    As it stands there is only one party crying for the Border Poll while at the same time outing the right wing governmental parties in the 26 counties. They are also talking a good game in terms of the Social re-distribution of wealth in the 26/32 and of Health and the Indebtedness to Europe undertaken in our name by those Civil war parties whos time in power really is long overdue to expire .

    I'm well aware and share a lot of the suspicion and disappointment with the settlement entered into I'm always thinking of how the Republican movement was manipulated from within to follow certain directions and of how many courageous and unrepentant patriots that would not have allowed the movement to go down this route were assassinated or jailed under what does appear to have been a parallel British strategy of Eliminating the hardliners and infesting the political side with those who would settle internally even if they didn't know it themselves.

    The proven and documented number of agents who infiltrated the movement is a sickening legacy and yes you do wonder how many are still involved within Sinn Fein.

    I often wonder too about some of the actions of the IRA that I think any of us would call atrocities, were they actually carried out deliberately to damage the movement to alter the direction of the movement towards constitutionalism I mean how dirty is a dirty war?

    I suppose the thing is for now the mileage that we can use from the current Sinn Fein policies are a journey I think worth making without having to like the animal that is Sinn Fein. They do have some good TDs in Leinster house. Nobody else is really talking up the Border Poll and for them it is something they see as possibly justifying everything else if we can just get the Poll, they can blame the electorate if it fails or point to how close Unity will be if their is a 40% + Yes Vote.

    I think a Unity Vote would be resounding from the 26 county electorate. There is a strong sense of patriotism that can be roused here with good campaigning but that would require buy in from the establishment too. I agree that the Loyalists would bring fear and trepidation to some who would display no patriotism at all but overall I think it would pass in the 26.

    Sinn Fein in the six counties actually need to make a similar path that the SDLP once made and actually encourage peaceful political debate even if it opposes Sinn Fein itself. The biggest problem in forming a real Republican alternative to Sinn Fein is that Sinn Fein will sit in Stormont and their opponents obviously will not leaving Sinn Fein unopposed from their community. All this would change if we can pass a border poll as even if its still Stormont you are elected to in the six counties it would be not under the Crown any longer.

    I'm very optimistic about the next few years in terms of Unity. Forgive me if this seems wrong but I think that if the following things happen we may just get it. If we get a hard border returning coupled with extra austerity due to Brexit and there are many Protestants who are maybe only traditionally Unionist that may see that a return for them to Europe is only possible through re-unification they may be open to Unity. I think how Scotland votes in its next Leave Campaign will have an impact too. I'm also convinced that the Social movement in the Southern part of the Island can damage the establishment enough that we can package all these things together to promote Unity as our best and most popular option.

  6. Paddy Mooney

    I think the GFA being the only game in town would be fine if it was implemented. For example an Irish language Act has been on the cards since 1998. What has SF been doing for nineteen years? Seemingly the DUP want details regarding the extent of the Act between insults from the likes of Campbell. For example will all council and government business require statutory interpreters and will all documentation be required to be presented in Irish also? This is not simply bigotry it is logical questioning of costing and common sense. Comparison with Wales does not wash, the Welsh have no shortage of people speaking the language. Why has SF not addressed these issues? Street signs should be up in both languages, obviously not just Irish as even RCs need to know where they are going. The point being, lack of detail and implementation. One thing is for certain, photo ops and skimming and scamming has ran its course. TWENTY years later with the IRA dead and buried surely someone can do some proper work?

    People are fed up to the back teeth with the lot of those MLAs and for the first ever people may actually be about to show at the ballot box they are fed up with the bigotry electioneering scam too. Time will tell. Unionists have security in the north, there is peace and in the only thing galvanising the RC electorate may be the DUP toxic attitude towards all things native. Reversely I think the only thing that will galvanise the Prod electorate behind the DUP is talk of a border poll or vote of any kind on unification. It's a funny old game. Politics is potentially coming out of the trenches in the wee 6 and that has to be a positive. The PEOPLE may finally have had enough of scoundrels taking them for granted while making life more difficult than it need be.

    I notice here that even in my 'ribbing' with Peter there is no sense of the old 'not an inch' attitude from him. He embraces the democratic political option and the need to attract the RC votes for the union. That also has to be a positive sign whatever way things pan out long term. But we wont know until the results come in. Regardless, the 'hoods on the hill' need a severe clear out. ALL of them.

  7. Paddy,

    I can see where you're coming from and agree that GFA is 'the only show in town'.
    Its important to remember though that inherent to the Agreement was the copper-fastening of a southern nation-state. One of the pre-qualifiers for nation statehood is the absence of disputed territory. The removal of constitutional territorial claims has had and will continue to bear subtle identity consequences both North and South.

    Though provision is made for border plebiscites in the GFA they are solely implementable dependent upon the pleasure of the British NI Secretary of State. Its most unlikely that one will be called anytime in the immediacy nor the medium term. Indeed most would assert it would be irresponsible if one were facilitated. There'll be no border-poll until there's almost no possibility of resulting rancour nor deepening of division. The political climate will have to have changed to such a degree as that it would either ensure a resounding warm acceptance all round or on the other hand forecasts for a substantial and decisive result for maintaining the status quo existed. Though some playful rocking of the boat may be put up with, no possibilities of capsizing us back into the waters of the past will be entertained. And most decent and reasonable people will say 'rightly so'!

  8. If I was a mad Mullah, a perverted Priest or a rancid Rabbi and said "My religion is the only show in town..." Most if not everyone here and beyond would say "Frankie, stop smoking weed and drink less Jack Daniels.."

    Then why can't the same logic be applied to the GFA? Just because a British Gov. says "It's the only show in town etc..." Doesn't make it so.

  9. I take onboard your comments Frankie but its not anything the British Government says which influences me its simply the current playing field as I see it.

    Buy in is needed from the Southern Establishment to put pressure on the British Government to declare a poll, I know that Conservatives are less likely than Labour governments to concede anything but surely they are going to have to assess at some point how long can they leave it, I mean the PIRA are no longer a threat to them so cant they show Democracy works and honour their commitments.

    I agree whole heartedly Larry that Sinn Fein needs to deliver the GFA in full because that was what was endorsed by the people and that is their responsibility to their electoral base. No one envisaged having to live on the whims of the British Government or the DUP 20 years after the agreement, so maybe its right that the Institutions came down so we can get back to some clarity on what the mandate is.

    Henry Joy you are right about the removal of article 2 and 3 from the Irish Constitution and that it no longer contests the territory but was it holding much weight anyway I mean after the borders were defined across Europe after World War 2 it was designated as part of the UK and our claim was not doing much for us. I understand that the trade off was remove these constitutional claims and the British Governmental Veto was removed and a clause for Unity or continued UK membership was left as at the wishes of the majority. I also accept that this still amounts to a Unionist Veto.

    Very happy with the comments lads, what I would love more though is engagement from the Unionist/Loyalist community to really debate at the mere lone citizen level to see can the average man across the divide see any merit in each others arguments.

    I would love to see more and more highlighting of the Unity issue as I'm afraid that times passage will see it become less important to incoming generations.

    Partition makes no sense, it is failed and while we should enshrine every protection for the traditions of the Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist side we need only get enough support to pass Unity and then continue post Unity with reconciliation, which I think Sinn Fein will argue they have tried to lead with some of the gestures of the last 10 years.

    I've got to say the most striking thing to me about some of the imagery attached to Martin McGuiness and the Royal Meetings is how hard was that to do given you can almost hear the remarks from Republicans in your head. If its all be done for the right reasons I don't think he had a queue behind him to do it.

  10. Frankie

    If you were a mad Mullah, a perverted Priest or a rancid Rabbi and 85% of the worshippers, that's six out of every seven, were turning out for your gigs then who could fault you for the odd spliff or the occasional JD?

    If your enterprise had 85% of the market cornered could you not rightly claim to be the only show in town?

    If there is another show going on Frankie, pray do enlighten us. Name a few elected representatives on the island who have campaigned against the GFA.

  11. Henry Joy

    Except the GFA if it is a show or a gig isn't functioning. So as a political vehicle we are all on foot. Pass the bottle Peter... fuckit.

  12. Henry why does it have to be elected reps...? Why not include learned people like Anthony for example? Tommy McKearney. I could rattle of a host of others who all came to the same conclusion years before the GFA and said it is the wrong road to go down and any internal settlement will only reinforce partition. They all got laughed at, ridiculed and slandered. But they were all proven right.

  13. Paddy,

    What's wrong with dusting down and re-tweaking if necessary Eire Nua for example..? And sell it to the PUL-ers as part of their Common Sense paper (the McMichael version not the Paine original)..?

    I don't trust the Dublin Gov. any more than I trust the British Gov. Apart from pissing in the same pot, they are simply different cheeks of the same arse.

    Whats wrong with taking the parts of what works for Iceland, Norway..and merge it with an update Eire Nua? Iceland for example doesn't have a Rothschild central bank..an almost none existent murder crime rate...Jails bankers, unlike London and Dublin who evict families and bail out bankers...

  14. Larry,

    I refer back to my original post on this thread and elaborate further:

    I think looking back to May 1998 most sensible people deep down had no huge political expectation. My hunch is that a majority of ordinary decent people were more concerned with what they were moving away from rather than any great sense or expectation of where we were headed. They were for the largest part motivated by security and safety needs for themselves and their loved ones. They were jaded with the violence and killings and they really didn't give a fiddlers for all the implicit fudges the Agreement contained. They were content enough with a pig in a poke. And they bought it with their eyes wide open and they bought it with hope.

    Apart from the 'anoraks' most people I'd hazard are still comparatively content with their choice ... content that their loved ones aren't at risk of assassination, content that our young people in their hundreds aren't going to jail and more than content that no innocents are becoming 'collateral damage' in what had become a senseless and contrived war in pursuit of a mythical political ideal.

    That the vehicle is sort of banjaxed is for many irrelevant ... it wasn't as if it was definitely going someplace new anyhow. It was only possibly going to move if a majority of passengers could come to some sort of consensus anyway. They haven't been able to manage that yet.
    And if people have to trudge along on foot for another while then so be it ... there are fewer on crutches, fewer in wheelchairs and a lot less in their graves.

    Sláinte Larry.

  15. Paddy,

    would it be possible you could consider working a little harder at seeing things from a PUL perspective first rather than expecting them to understand the Republican position. Put a bit more effort into undoing your own prejudiced attachments and conditionings.

    Though I'm not a man of faith myself there is I believe some social and humane wisdom in the prayer of Francis of Assisi.

    "Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

    O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life."

  16. Paddy
    Very few people outside of republicanism are even talking about unity and the irony is that I believe republicanism is the biggest bar to unity and always has been. While Adams remains alive and the dissos are doing their thing there will always be resistance to a UI within unionism. Republicanism needs to persuade not only unionists but also many, many middle class catholics that life will be better in a UI and it is failing badly at doing so. I, personally, would have no problem with a UI if the people of this country vote clearly for it. Dublin will bend over backwards to accomodate us and I"m sure we would get a great agreement. (Including Ireland rejoining the commonwealth! Maybe Larry's new Ireland flag will have a union jack in one corner!!!)

    Poll after poll shows catholic support for the union at around 50%. That is where the future of Northern Ireland lies and it pains me to see the DUP trample all over those people. I would rather see a SDLP first minister than a DUP one. The question is whether brexit will change things. Personally I think the UK will do ok outside the EU and that the EU will go down the shit can very soon. There are serious systemic problems at the EU and Germany cannot keep bailing the PIGS out. Why would anyone rather stay with the slowly rotting corpse of the EU? I think republicanism needs to take a long hard look at itself. It has failed to persuade and needs a bad brexit for the UK to get anywhere near a border poll.

  17. Frankie, my personal preference is actually Eire Nua it really feels like the best solution leaving local governance in the region which is what will be required in Ulster it's just that it's something that RSF holds as policy that I think it gets sidelined and I have nothing against them.

    Regards the profecies of internal settlement again I think back to Ruari O Braidigh in the 1986 Ard Feis and he called it right then so yes Adams and Mcguinness were flagged early.

    Henry Joy, absolutely I would like to listen to and debate with people of the PUL but would make no apology for having a position, ironically isn't appreciating your neighbors position part of the journey to compromise that has us agreed on the GFA as the Centre point for future discussion.
    Henry I also find it curious that you would quote words of Saint Francis despite claiming not to be a man of faith. I am a man of faith and again this always helps bridge debate with our Unionists neighbors who practice theirs though not all do of course.

    Henry I categorically refute any assertion that I hold prejudiced views. I am intrigued by their history and I see it as part of ours and I do love to see steps of reconciliation.

    Peter it is the job of Republicans to engage this debate with you and see if we can look past the elements which remain that make it unpalatable to have conversations with at present. The pioneers of the United Irishmen led the way and I hope that personalities removed the merits of Unity can be explored.


  18. Peter

    I will address you and Henry Joy both here if I may as like SF to date 'Our Enery' has become more unionist than the unionists themselves. The entire political situation within the EU GB and Ireland is certainly in a state of flux, the extent of which may speed up shortly with the French election in a few short months and Brexit. From a never ending corruption point of view that cannot come quickly enough. Unfortunately we see the true nature of devolved government within the UK where the supreme court tells the rest they are devolved enough to do what London tells them. Not good. As for unionists in the 6 counties Unlike Henry Joy I think it is down to them to come to terms with the majority on this island and to show a capacity to do so. Until now they have shown nothing new. At their present rate of going they will be like the 300 only at Bangor county Down, in the Irish rain. I think you are correct, Dublin would bend over to accommodate unionists more embarrassingly than McGuinness did. No doubt about that. Northern nationalists whilst having no desire for conflict or revenge will be less likely to bend over as either SF or Dublin knowing the true nature of the unionist beast. Live and let live, move on. The national territory will be reinstated though in time. As for Commonwealth and flag... would that not be a good starting point for debate about a new ALL-IRELAND reality?
    Slainte/Cheers Peter... get it down yer neck!

  19. Frankie

    Did it ever cross your mind there is a form of Eire Nua in Partition? Six counties getting wadz of dosh from both EU and London and it could have been a nice little paradise for everyone only the MLAs wanted to scam and fleece the public purse for themselves whilst continuing the divide and stay conquer routine only as a keep divided and remain in Stormont routine?

    Nationalists need to get off their knees to unionists in the wee6 whether there's unity or not. They are at the very least of equal number. Enough bull shit from the likes of the DUP thank you very much. Hopefully Michelle O'Neill will start from that position. Then maybe SF could be worth a vote again.. Unionists are uninterested in meeting anyone half way. Waiting for that is delusion.

  20. Larry,

    Eire Nua and partition are very different. Eire Nua means the Irish decide for themselves. Partition means ruled by Westminster. As for the wads of dosh as you put it. Problem is the wads never reached the working class on either side if the oxymoron's. All you have to do is look at the numbers. Some people got rich, most didn't. What Nationalists need to do is vote for fresh blood like PBP.

    If people vote for the same people on 2nd March as last time. Then don't expect a different outcome.

  21. Peter...

    You said...

    "Very few people outside of republicanism are even talking about unity.." Only Irish Republicans talk about a united Ireland..?

    Then you said..

    Poll after poll shows catholic support for the union at around 50%.... Does this poll count for you Peter...74% want a border poll and 69% want a United Ireland..

    Peter, Brexit is going to be a major game changer. What will happen is once article 50 is finally invoked and the break with the EU is done and dusted, farmers in the liberated zone of Donegal etc will still get loads of common dog fcuk (money) for not making hay while their unionist neighbours who are also farmers and fund the Loyal Orders..as Brendan Hughes once said..Get Fcuk All.

    Difference between us Peter is you are in your own words are an economic unionist. I am Irish...

  22. Frankie

    If after 20 years of photo ops' back scratching and unabated mutual fraud and corruption at Stormont the RCs and Prods cannot get things sorted why would it be any different in a federal Ireland answerable to Dublin? If they all vote the same on 2nd....fukn nuke em.

  23. Frankie
    Another angry head. Can't you have a conversation without ranting? Capital letters and bold to get the shouting across. Sad

  24. So I've been away sweatin' my ballix aff in 47oC heat to come back and find the illustrious Mr Hughes has been on the swally and decided to nuke the wee 6.

    Come on away out to Oz, plenty of room for ye all out here! One 'Station' owner (which means cattle) had a property as big as the 32 counties, he uses helicopters to round up his stock it's that big.

    Still, one place that sounded a bit like 'Derry' was a bit of a sh*thole which came as no surprise!

  25. Steve R

    Derry is a great wee city/town. I can't imagine why you wouldn't feel comfortable in it. I would move to it in a blink if Donegal wasn't so good. I was talking figuratively regarding frustration at voting patterns possibly remaining the same even after all the obvious scandals and transparently fraudulent behaviour of MLAs as a policy. As I am sure you know. As for huge wide spaces in the blistering heat, you can keep that for all you compatriots presently wedged in and around Belfast in North Down and S. Antrim when the big vote on unification arrives in 2021. I expect it wont be appealing for large numbers of them to remain in a place they never identified with in the first instance. A place they have been told from birth is actually a different country. I will be going nowhere other than on holiday, because unlike Sammy Wilson and Co. I'm a native.

  26. Peter,

    I am too squiffy and chilled to be angry tonight. You said only Irish Republicans are talking about Irish unity. I posted a link to prove otherwise, same as the polls you keep referring to...I posted a link to say otherwise.

    And you got pissed off at me because I pointed out the obvious that unionist and castle catholic farmers, who voted to stay in Europe and get paid today for not making hay are about to be porked by Brexit and as Brendan Hughes once said will soon Get Fcuk All.

    You are an economic unionist. Just for talk sake, a UI is called tomorrow. What would you call yourself then? We know I am Irish.

  27. frankie,

    I can't speak for Peter but I have also said on a previous post that indeed I am an 'economic unionist'..but as I have also pointed out I am ethnically IRISH. Even the odious twat Paisley said you 'can't be an Ulsterman WITHOUT being Irish'.

    Hypothetically speaking, if a UI is called tomorrow what happens to maintaining the infrastructure? Policing? The Judicial system? It always seems to me that those who call for a UI have no other plan for the day after. All talk about what people like myself choose to refer to themselves as is a big pile of pish when the nuts and bolts for the now near mythical UI.

    If a UI is voted for democratically I for one will embrace it, but for f*ck sake looking at Dublin it looks like they could f*ck up a fine day so God knows how they would go about administering it!


    In my defense it has been many moons since I was there and I always found it fecking dreary and raining, maybe the years have been kind. The people were absolutely spot on though, and I mainly talked with people from the Bogside up there.

    And political corruption is not the sole preserve of Up Norf. You wouldn't believe the perks and rorts the politicians do down here. My personal favourite was an old bag Speaker of the House chartering a helicopter for a return trip to a Party function at the tax payers expense. 5000 bucks. The same destination in a car would have taken ONE hour!

  28. Steve R

    Agree with you re corruption. As for a UI and what next in the north, I find it interesting your infrastructure is Police and judiciary. Get away from railroading Catholics and get real fucking jobs. That is the challenge the wee prods will face. But sire they have done OK without H+W so I for one have confidence in them.

  29. Larry,

    When I say infrastructure I am referring to the roads, council works, and numerous other items that require maintaining like the health service and associated social services to boot. Policing and the judiciary were separate articles in my paragraph.

    And come on now, you know as well as I do there are plenty of RC's already in those roles, the hypothetical I postured was regarding the mechanics of a transition to a UI, something which until relatively recently even the Societies had a complete blind spot about!

    For years all I have heard from the Shinners was TAL, what about the day after?

  30. Steve R

    I don't think there will be much noticeable change the day after. Certainly no more than the day after the Anglo Irish Agreement when the dust settled and people realised some clowns were getting hysterical about very little. When they drew a line across part of Mexico and said this is now Texas and California USA the people didn't go anywhere. The place was still inhabited by the locals/natives. Spanish speaking Mexicans. It never ceases to amaze and humour me that people act surprised when told there is a Spanish speaking majority over that direction in the USA with a like WOW how did that ever happen? reaction. Similarly like the Basque region they have a federal type situation, their own police force for local day to day issues and then the Spanish federal police oversee major stuff. I'm not sure how that works exactly but it works. I don't expect RUC/PSNI careers to be cut short or people jumping about laughing at out of work peelers over night. Unionists are not going away you know whatever happens and why would they? But the likes of Arlene and Givan need to be going away you know, or at least their attitude toward others needs curtailed with a bill of rights. They cannot be trusted with any child's welfare and future never mind a heating scam/scheme, THAT is for definite.

    No Steve, I don't see any huge change over night or even in the longer term. For me it is about national territory being restored and a bill of rights for everyone. Dual citizenship is a reality, I have cousins in the police in Australia who have all 3, Australian, Irish and GB passports. It seems to work very well for them indeed. The crucial thing, all jesting aside is that nationalists NEVER treat unionists the way they did to our parents and grandparents. That's where the law comes in. Law for all the people not a weapon against half of them.

    The economics are a positive too, the 26 counties whilst getting itself into serious pickles has an economy that can at least redeem itself in time. The wee 6 alone doesn't. So it is all plus for the wee 6 and the EU can continue pumping money in as I am sure they will. Hopefully Arlene and the likes will eventually be able to crack a smile on her bitter wee face, and make her arse jealous.

  31. Larry,

    You are probably right, it would be business as usual for everyone while the polipricks tried to work out if they had to drive to Stormont or the Dail!

    But are really sure the 26+6 can survive on a par economically to what the UK can? I think everything is in a state of flux with Brexit, Herr Trump, et alli.

    Interesting times.

    The cops down here are an interesting bunch, recently read a few good books on them, will dig out the names when I get back later for you.