An Independent six county Ulster?

SevenStars

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A supporter (or possibly a member) of the Alliance Party suggested another thread that Irish unity would come about through first a six county Ulster becoming Independent and than eventually re-joining the other twenty six counties of Ireland.

Its a scenario that I had put forward before though obviously it wouldnt be my ideal still in the real world I think there is a lot to said for it.

Firstly it would remove maneuverings of the British State and make Ireland if not one at least free from British rule. Secondly northern Republicans and nationalists tend to be a lot more progressive than most people in the Free State so it could be said at least in the short term that it would be good for them to be unfettered by the Staters after they just got out from British domination. Thirdly it could well allow the re-emergence of a unitary regional identity that transcends the sectarian divide that might not be possible if the six were straight rejoined to the twenty six.
 


Antrim

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There is no way that the six counties of Northern Ireland will ever join the 26 counties of the south. The Government of the Republic of Ireland is a complete mess. Another reason is that Unionist would never go for it for no more than the simple reason of the gloating of the Nationalists. Personally, I see Northern Ireland moving towards a liberal and secular society. The old divisions are slowly melting away. As Northern Irishness prevails the people could well want an independent state, free from the British and Irish governments. Perhaps in time when all the hostile feelings have died down there may be the will to unite this Island but it will not be the six counties joining the twenty-six, it will be the twenty-six joining the more stable and secular Six Counties.
 

SevenStars

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The 26 counties doesnt have "Peace walls" (which have doubled since the GFA was signed) so in reality it is more stable (and has been historically since the late 20s). Also in real terms the south (at least in urban centres) is more secular. The GFA was designed to "handle" but also to cement sectarian tensions (which the British state has always viewed as necessary).
 

Tedkins

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Well a united Ireland will certainly only come if a united Northern Ireland comes first but I see that happening under devolution in the UK, I don't ever see an indepedent Northern Ireland (Ulster??) and I wouldn't particularly want to.

Your "secondly" point seems a bit off colour too, if I may be so bold. You wouldn't, in your scenario, be unfettered from Unionists who tend to be more conservative and you wouldn't be dominating an independent Northern Ireland if there was one. But perhaps you just wish to behave as the Unionists of old.
 

Darren H

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The 26 counties doesnt have "Peace walls" (which have doubled since the GFA was signed) so in reality it is more stable (and has been historically since the late 20s). Also in real terms the south (at least in urban centres) is more secular. The GFA was designed to "handle" but also to cement sectarian tensions (which the British state has always viewed as necessary).
Please explain. I could do with a laugh.
 

Scipio

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Perhaps in time when all the hostile feelings have died down there may be the will to unite this Island but it will not be the six counties joining the twenty-six, it will be the twenty-six joining the more stable and secular Six Counties.
Organized religion has, of course, functioned as little more than a cancer in the Six Counties, but it is part of the culture of both communities, and deeply so for one side.

I think you shall be waiting long indeed if you're hoping for a classically secular Six Counties to emerge from what exists at the moment, despite the major advances that have been made.
 

DerryBee

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For what it is worth, I actually asked a few of my friends in Dublin recently if they would even want a united Ireland and they were all completely against the idea: they already have enough trouble in the south without the north adding to the problem. For them, there is just too much uncertainty involved in Irish unification and very few have any interest in the north or any desire for the country to join with the Republic.
 

Antrim

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Organized religion has, of course, functioned as little more than a cancer in the Six Counties, but it is part of the culture of both communities, and deeply so for one side.

I think you shall be waiting long indeed if you're hoping for a classically secular Six Counties to emerge from what exists at the moment, despite the major advances that have been made.
Historically Protestant and Catholic leaders have used the people of the whole of this Island as pawns for their own gains, neither of them having the good of the people in their thoughts. I work in an environment of mixed Catholics and Protestants but I use these terms loosely because none of them are church goers. I would also say that of every person that I know of my age (30‘s) that none of them go to church and none of them could care less about the Unionist/Nationalist divide, these people include GAA players and Orangemen.

From what I see in my day to day life is a secular society.
 

centauro

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Historically Protestant and Catholic leaders have used the people of the whole of this Island as pawns for their own gains, neither of them having the good of the people in their thoughts. I work in an environment of mixed Catholics and Protestants but I use these terms loosely because none of them are church goers. I would also say that of every person that I know of my age (30‘s) that none of them go to church and none of them could care less about the Unionist/Nationalist divide, these people include GAA players and Orangemen.

From what I see in my day to day life is a secular society.
That's pretty much my experiance as well, however, there are a few "loyalists" in my workplace who do the old chest puffed out thing. They are big boys in their housing estates and won't let go. Most unionists are actually pretty moderate politically, the DUP do well because they are hard workers on the ground. Everyone knows the names of our local DUP councillors/MLA because they are the ones they run to with problems.
 

tyke2010

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For what it is worth, I actually asked a few of my friends in Dublin recently if they would even want a united Ireland and they were all completely against the idea: they already have enough trouble in the south without the north adding to the problem. For them, there is just too much uncertainty involved in Irish unification and very few have any interest in the north or any desire for the country to join with the Republic.


Quite saddening to read that, I think. In my opinion, it would imply that English divide and rule has deeply wounded Irish identity and unity.
 

Darren H

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Quite saddening to read that, I think. In my opinion, it would imply that English divide and rule has deeply wounded Irish identity and unity.
The sectarian war that Republicans waged eroded the Irish identity of Irish Protestants.

The incompetence of their own government is responsible for waning 32 county aspirations in the south.

Not everything is the fault of the English, though it may pain some simple minds to hear it.
 

tyke2010

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Hmmmm....I'd say divide and rule has been a catalyst. I doubt Irish identity would have been eroded in Protestants had an entirely unifed Ireland been granted independence in the 1920s, no?
 

Darren H

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Hmmmm....I'd say divide and rule has been a catalyst. I doubt Irish identity would have been eroded in Protestants had an entirely unifed Ireland been granted independence in the 1920s, no?
Impossible to say, though a very interesting scenario to speculate on. The Civil War would have been far, far bloodier and I suspect Dublin would never have had control over the North East. The border, to whatever sort of state was formed, would have been very different too.

This board is full of people who will speculate though!
 

centauro

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Hmmmm....I'd say divide and rule has been a catalyst. I doubt Irish identity would have been eroded in Protestants had an entirely unifed Ireland been granted independence in the 1920s, no?
I'm sure their British identity would have been eroded though. Thats certainly what happened in Eire.

YouTube - The Angelus
 

tyke2010

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Hmmmmm, catch 22 here! I understand what you mean: minority protection, etc, and then on the other hand one could argue that Catholocism had always been the dominant sect.

Very interesting to ponder upon!
 

Tedkins

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If anything one could argue that 32 county independence then would have entrenched the Unionist siege mentality even further.
 

centauro

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Hmmmmm, catch 22 here! I understand what you mean: minority protection, etc, and then on the other hand one could argue that Catholocism had always been the dominant sect.

Very interesting to ponder upon!
I think sometimes that Catholicisim is the main barrier to a united Ireland, rather than any real love of the Union. If the Republic was a Protestant nation, or at least genuinely secular, would the border exist?
 

Tedkins

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I think sometimes that Catholicisim is the main barrier to a united Ireland, rather than any real love of the Union. If the Republic was a Protestant nation, or at least genuinely secular, would the border exist?
It certainly fed into the Unionist paranoia anyway, "Rome Rule" and so on, but I'm not really sure if there's much can be done about that, other than founding a purely secular State. I would say De Valera's 1937 Constitution was a step backwards in that regard.
 


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