The ‘De Souza’ ruling today in Belfast — that it is merely Irish identity, and not Irish citizenship, which the British Government agreed to honour under the Good Friday Agreement — makes this crystal clear. For this reason I welcome it, for to be effective in Republican struggle we must deal in political realities, rather than ambiguous deceits.
It, today’s ruling, confirms — were there any doubt — that the current political arrangements here constitute an internal settlement, whose institutional ‘add-ons’ of an Irish hue in no way impact Britain’s political claims to Ireland.
It is surely now obvious, were it not so already, that we must speed up the business of clearing away that settlement, to stand in its stead the Irish Republic.
Under its writ, the Ulster Protestants can retain British identity (should they desire to do so) but they will no longer be citizens of the United Kingdom, or of whatever British dominion is stood on its territorial remnant post-the Union. That is the political logic of today’s ruling, though perhaps those who sought it are too ignorant to realise.
Though perverse it may seem, this again is to be welcomed. For let it be clear — come the Irish Republic every vestige of the British political connection must be consigned to the dustbin of history, where each and all of them belong.
We can share our country together going forward, cognisant and inclusive of our different identities and traditions, but it will be as free and equal citizens of the Republic — as it always ought to have been.
Any notion of a future political configuration that preserves Britain’s position into a supposed United Ireland, with a compromise to be entered into in the area of national sovereignty, should now be wholly resiled from — just as was the case by the British state today, in regards to our supposed Irish citizenship.
|Sean Bresnahan is an independent Republican from Co. Tyrone who blogs @ Claidheamh Soluis. Follow Sean Bresnahan on Twitter @bres79|