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The Myth Of Unionist Demographic Decline




rem81

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Antóin Mac Comháin

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NI green voters are not hugely committed to the cause of a united Ireland. But they are even less committed to the union with the UK. The majority lean SDLP rather than SF.
The evidence from opinion polls and voting transfer analysis bears this out.
'The fundamental principles of environmentalism' would probably have been a better choice of words, and again, so to would 'reconquest' and 'Independence' have been better words as opposed to 'Colonialism' in the following post..

In 1600, 98% of Ireland was covered in forestry, but Colonialism has rarely been viewed through the lens of environmentalism or reforestation. Now, I don't mean rewinding the clock 400 years when I suggest that Ireland needs to be re-greened, but it's an aspect of the reconquest struggle that has always been severely overlooked.
For arguments sake and an example, a non-profit reforestation project between Derry and Donegal is an environmental issue that would transcend the artificial border, as is the case with wild-life projects: Reports of Golden Eagles flying high in Strabane
 

rem81

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'The fundamental principles of environmentalism' would probably have been a better choice of words, and again, so to would 'reconquest' and 'Independence' have been better words as opposed to 'Colonialism' in the following post..



For arguments sake and an example, a non-profit reforestation project between LondonDerry and co Donegal is an environmental issue that would temporarily transcend the legitimate border, as is the case with wild-life projects: Reports of Golden Eagles flying high in Strabane
 

Barroso

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In 1600, 98% of Ireland was covered in forestry, but Colonialism has rarely been viewed through the lens of environmentalism or reforestation. Now, I don't mean rewinding the clock 400 years when I suggest that Ireland needs to be re-greened, but it's an aspect of the reconquest struggle that has always been severely overlooked.
I wonder where you got that nugget of information?

Elm had been in decline since 3,000 BC, probably due to a disease that only affected Elm, and had virtually disappeared by the 7th century AD. By this stage too, the early law tracts indicate that the great woods were now confined to marginal land and upland areas. The general picture from these texts is of woods and copses, very often privately owned, whose resources were limited and needed careful protection by the law.
 

Glenshane4

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Nationalists no longer require Alliance support to make changes in Belfast though, they only need to convince 4 green party members to vote with them.
That would be a good idea. Sinn Fein could test out the Green Party's commitment to removing Prod privilege by seeking a total end to the display of flags on the property of Belfast City Council. I suspect that there is, at least, one member of the Green Party who is very anti-Catholic.
 

Mickeymac

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That would be a good idea. Sinn Fein could test out the Green Party's commitment to removing Prod privilege by seeking a total end to the display of flags on the property of Belfast City Council. I suspect that there is, at least, one member of the Green Party who is very anti-Catholic.

SF policy is no flags or both flags which represent both communities in that divided society, makes sense, don’t you think?
 

Antóin Mac Comháin

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I wonder where you got that nugget of information?
Nicholas Furlong; Beresford-Ellis; Eoin Neeson?

Your source claims that 'The first humans arrived around 9,000 years ago. By this time the island
was predominantly covered in a blanket of woodland' and that 'The forests covered most of Ireland apart from exposed coastal areas, lake edges and the more exposed mountain tops', and doesn't offer any explanation for the deforestation in that section, and immediately prior to the extract you quoted it contradictorily claims says 'However, the picture is not simply one of land-clearance – pollen profiles for the prehistoric period show cycles of land clearance coupled in many cases with recovery of forests and by the start of the first millennium AD much of Ireland was still covered with forest. For reasons that are still unclear, it appears that some tree species declined drastically in the early centuries of the first millennium AD', and doesn't offer a precise and irrefutable reason for 'deforestation', before it goes on to claim that 'Nevertheless, there were extensive forests in Ireland before 1600. However, these forests were largely gone by 1800. There is no single reason for the ultimate decline of Ireland‟s forests but it is generally agreed that there were several contributory factors, beginning around the mid 16th century: Industrialisation; Plantations of Ireland; Population..'

Other sources put it at 80%:

'Ireland has great woodland but has the lowest forest cover of all European countries, according to Teagasc. Land cover here is 11% while over 40% of all land in the 33 member states is wooded...Over the centuries, Ireland experienced a near-total destruction of its forests, mainly because of human activity and climate change; from an initial forest cover of around 80% to less than 1%. We are the only country in Europe where such complete destruction took place.'


If you click back into the Forestry Focus site and click onto the section Forestry since Tudor Times, there's a precise timeline of events which offer a far more plausible explanation for the deforestation which took place, and fills in the gaps between the 12th and 19th centuries during which 'Irish Forests - A Brief History', says 'the population increased' and 'the demand for timber increased and the exploitation intensified under the Anglo-Normans and, later, successive English monarchs..'

'Deforestation continues worldwide for the same reasons as once operated in Ireland, from the military tactics that caused the use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War to the drive for commercial gain responsible for the devastation of tropical rainforests. - 'The woods of Ireland

Forestry since Tudor Times:


1171 Arrival of Henry II, the building of Dublin Castle and the beginning of the Norman settlement which was to continue for the next century. The Normans establish a feudal structure.

“In England, the Normans had introduced the notion of ‘forests’ (a term that simply meant a large area of land, not necessarily all wooded) as areas where a special law applied. The Irish idea of land title was very different from the Norman one of absolute ownership, and this much facilitated the Normans. When an Irish lord or king donated land to one of his subjects, he gave not ownership, but dominion subject to recall. Therefore, the Irish nobleman who ‘gave’ land to a Norman was allowing a rescindable dominion in trust. When he learned that the Norman thought otherwise and was prepared to fight for it, the Irish lord fought back, or agreed to the Norman authority under what he saw as duress.” – Eoin Neeson ‘Woodland in history and culture’

It was under the Normans that Ireland first became a source of timber supply for England. Roads and bridges, as well as houses, were among the structures made from wattling, as the name Baile Átha Cliath (‘the Ford of the Wattles’) implies.

1543 Henry VIII’s Forest Act, a new Charter of the Forest enacted. This act is prompted by two factors: The first is the national requirement for shipping, brought on by the increase of colonization led by Drake, Raleigh and Frobisher. The second was the disclosure of corruption in the English forest administration, the result of which is a shortage in native timber. This change in policy is to have a drastic and enduring effect on the Irish woodlands.

1560 Elizabeth comes to the throne and restores Anglicanism. England proceeds to build up her navy which goes on to defeat Spain in 1588. During her rule, Elizabeth I expressly orders the destruction of all woods in Ireland to deprive the Irish insurgents of shelter. The fact that England is to benefit from this isn’t a mere afterthought.

1608 Philip Cottingham first surveys Ireland on behalf of the Crown, and again in 1623. His report states that the country is abounding in timber, mainly ‘noble oaks’ fit for shipbuilding. However, he notes that they were instead being used, contrary to law, to make staves for barrels.

1609 Ulster plantations begin, with the province’s prime lands assigned to British undertakers. The idea of plantation had come from Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince’ of 1513. One would assign prime plots of land of the country you were seeking to conquer to loyal subjects from the home country. These ‘planters’ would, by virtue of their new land, become over time the economic and then subsequently, the political elite. The idea is put into effect in Ireland throughout the 17th century.

“Great numbers of ‘undertakers’ – English or Scots planters on forfeited lands who ‘undertook’ certain developments, or acquired a franchise to do so – spread across Ireland through out the sixteenth and seventeenth century felling woodland at an incredible rate. So profitable was timber that it was often the case that the amount for which an estate was bought was recovered in full, thus ‘making the feathers pay for the goose’, as a contemporary phrase puts it.” – Eoin Neeson ‘Woodland in history and culture’

1666 The Great Fire of London. After the London fire, a law is passed prohibiting the building of houses in Dublin from wood, which was, in any case, now scarce and expensive. The demand for Irish oak to rebuild London was very great.

Four major reasons for the destruction of the forests during the 16th and 17th century:

• The removal of hideouts for Irish rebels.
• A demand for ship-building timber, mainly oak, as England built up its navy.
• The reconstruction of London after the Great Fire of London in 1666.
• The making of barrel staves, many of which were exported to France and
Spain as wine casks.
 

Barroso

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Nicholas Furlong; Beresford-Ellis; Eoin Neeson?

...

1. by the start of the first millennium AD much of Ireland was still covered with forest.

...

2. there were extensive forests in Ireland before 1600.
...
3. Other sources put it at 80%:
.... from an initial forest cover of around 80% to less than 1%.

...
4. 1608 Philip Cottingham ... states that the country is abounding in timber, ...
I think that I have identified the parts of your response that venture a comment on the amount of forest in Ireland; none of them mention anything like 98%.

The highest, 80%, is clearly the maximum forest cover after the Ice ages and prior to the advent of farming – most of the country, bar bogs, bare rock, high mountain and water, I presume.

The other comments are “much of Ireland” - and that’s around 2000 years ago; “extensive forests” - obviously cut off from one another by farmland which would have been most of the country; and “abounding in timber” - compared to England, which had already undergone severe deforestation. I think it is clear – to me at least – that all these phrases represent less than half the country, a far cry from your 98%.

I do not have a link, but the subject is one I have taken an interest in down the years, and IIRC, from the middle ages onwards, the only large contiguous forested area was in the Laois/Offaly area – the Sliabh Bladhma mountains, in my understanding.

This does not mean that forests or woods were uncommon, but that they were limited in area; in this regard, don’t forget the words of the song Cill Chais:

Cad a dhéanfaimid feasta gan adhmad ?
Tá deireadh na gcoillte ar lár
 

Antóin Mac Comháin

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I think that I have identified the parts of your response that venture a comment on the amount of forest in Ireland; none of them mention anything like 98%.

The highest, 80%, is clearly the maximum forest cover after the Ice ages and prior to the advent of farming – most of the country, bar bogs, bare rock, high mountain and water, I presume.

Cad a dhéanfaimid feasta gan adhmad ?
Tá deireadh na gcoillte ar lár
Yip! Agus chomh maith le sin, tá an MOPE seo oifigúil: Bríatharogam

'In Early Irish literature a Bríatharogam ("word ogham", plural Bríatharogaim) is a two word kenning which explains the meanings of the names of the letters of the Ogham alphabet. Three variant lists of bríatharogaim or 'word-oghams' have been preserved, dating to the Old Irish period. They are as follows:

Bríatharogam Morainn mac Moín
Bríatharogam Maic ind Óc
Bríatharogam Con Culainn

The first two of these are attested from all three surviving copies of the Ogam Tract, while the "Cú Chulainn" version is not in the Book of Ballymote and only known from 16th- and 17th-century manuscripts. The Auraicept na n-Éces or 'Scholars' Primer' reports and interprets the Bríatharogam Morainn mac Moín.

Later Medieval scholars believed that all of the letter names were those of trees, and attempted to explain the bríatharogaim in that light. However, modern scholarship has shown that only eight at most of the letter names are those of trees, and that the word-oghams or kennings themselves support this..'

OMG! OMG! Táim ciontach! Haha! Níl clú agam fá dtaobh mo timpeallacht gu mór mhóir, leis an fhírinne a rá! "I'm Scarla-4-Ya", says u! Ach tá focal, 'Ailm', i sean-aibítir mo shinsir, nach bhfuil fios ar a brí, ach tá sé 2,000 bhliain d'aois. B'féidir an rud é ná go chuaigh an brí amú ar, chomh maith le dhá trian de na cinn eile, taobh-le-taobh leis an coilíneachais a bhí in aimsir idir an 12ú - 18ú aois déag. Sciopann 'A Brief History' thart ar an tréimhse sin go h-iomlán, taobh amuigh de abart amháin. Ag meadú an caillúínt tríd lionsa aibítir an sean-gaeilge, d'fhéadfá muid a rá go raibh 66% caillte go cinnte, díreach toisc an coilíneachais. Agus fós níl faic fá dtaobh an 80%..
 

raetsel

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Yip! Agus chomh maith le sin, tá an MOPE seo oifigúil: Bríatharogam

'In Early Irish literature a Bríatharogam ("word ogham", plural Bríatharogaim) is a two word kenning which explains the meanings of the names of the letters of the Ogham alphabet. Three variant lists of bríatharogaim or 'word-oghams' have been preserved, dating to the Old Irish period. They are as follows:

Bríatharogam Morainn mac Moín
Bríatharogam Maic ind Óc
Bríatharogam Con Culainn

The first two of these are attested from all three surviving copies of the Ogam Tract, while the "Cú Chulainn" version is not in the Book of Ballymote and only known from 16th- and 17th-century manuscripts. The Auraicept na n-Éces or 'Scholars' Primer' reports and interprets the Bríatharogam Morainn mac Moín.

Later Medieval scholars believed that all of the letter names were those of trees, and attempted to explain the bríatharogaim in that light. However, modern scholarship has shown that only eight at most of the letter names are those of trees, and that the word-oghams or kennings themselves support this..'

OMG! OMG! Táim ciontach! Haha! Níl clú agam fá dtaobh mo timpeallacht gu mór mhóir, leis an fhírinne a rá! "I'm Scarla-4-Ya", says u! Ach tá focal, 'Ailm', i sean-aibítir mo shinsir, nach bhfuil fios ar a brí, ach tá sé 2,000 bhliain d'aois. B'féidir an rud é ná go chuaigh an brí amú ar, chomh maith le dhá trian de na cinn eile, taobh-le-taobh leis an coilíneachais a bhí in aimsir idir an 12ú - 18ú aois déag. Sciopann 'A Brief History' thart ar an tréimhse sin go h-iomlán, taobh amuigh de abart amháin. Ag meadú an caillúínt tríd lionsa aibítir an sean-gaeilge, d'fhéadfá muid a rá go raibh 66% caillte go cinnte, díreach toisc an coilíneachais. Agus fós níl faic fá dtaobh an 80%..

DOG will running for the hills at this stage. :ROFLMAO:
 

Antóin Mac Comháin

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Murto

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Bangordub ( 'We in Coming Days may be' blog) does a lot of analyses on demographics, showing that the Catholic population of an area correlates closely with the Nationalist vote. The current workforce is very evenly balanced, with Catholic schoolchildren in a slight fairly static majority (51%) with Protestant identifying schoolchildren less than 40%, and shrinking annually, according to his figures, with 'others' growing steadily.

However, as pointed out by other contributors here, there is a big difference between voting for a party, & voting in a (unity) referendum.
Economics & inertia are powerful forces, but the economic argument might be changing in favour of unity. As Lenin once said 'For decades, nothing happens, then in weeks, decades happen'.

Interesting times, (if you're interested, of course).
 

Cai

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NI green voters are not hugely committed to the cause of a united Ireland. But they are even less committed to the union with the UK. The majority lean SDLP rather than SF.
The evidence from opinion polls and voting transfer analysis bears this out.
The evidence of the recent LucidTalk poll certainly does not bear that out.
 

raetsel

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The evidence of the recent LucidTalk poll certainly does not bear that out.
That's a false interpretation.
That poll showed that a significant majority 71.3% of Green transfers would go in the first instance to Alliance.
SF does fare better in the minority of those transfers which go direct to nationalist parties 9.8% to 5.6%, but that is not a reflection of where the onward transfers of Alliance's 71.3% would go. A larger share would go to the SDLP. That is the experience in actual elections. It should be no surprise voters who are generally moderate and less sectarian will have a preference for less sectarian parties. The SDLP are clearly a less sectarian choice than SF.
 

Cai

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That's a false interpretation.
That poll showed that a significant majority 71.3% of Green transfers would go in the first instance to Alliance.
SF does fare better in the minority of those transfers which go direct to nationalist parties 9.8% to 5.6%, but that is not a reflection of where the onward transfers of Alliance's 71.3% would go. A larger share would go to the SDLP. That is the experience in actual elections. It should be no surprise voters who are generally moderate and less sectarian will have a preference for less sectarian parties. The SDLP are clearly a less sectarian choice than SF.
I’m not sure that sectarian is the word I’d use, but I understand your point. However there are areas where SF is closer to Alliance / Green than either are to the SDLP. The SDLP is more socially conservative than the other three parties. That might be starting to be reflected in transfer patterns.
 

Mickeymac

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I’m not sure that sectarian is the word I’d use, but I understand your point. However there are areas where SF is closer to Alliance / Green than either are to the SDLP. The SDLP is more socially conservative than the other three parties. That might be starting to be reflected in transfer patterns.

Stoops were destroyed in WM election, decimated in this latest election and thanks to Mallon and a few others, they hand the third seat in Europe to Long, a study of recent voting trends, results and events should confirm my comments come the weekend.
 

raetsel

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I’m not sure that sectarian is the word I’d use, but I understand your point.
Gerry Kelly engaged in blatant sectarian tactics during a recent Assembly election. Just one example.

However there are areas where SF is closer to Alliance / Green than either are to the SDLP. The SDLP is more socially conservative than the other three parties. That might be starting to be reflected in transfer patterns.
I don't think it will make all that much difference. It's very difficult to find examples of Green transfers where Alliance are no longer in the running but it happened in the 2011 Belfast South Assembly election when both the Green and a UUP candidate were eliminated simultaneously. Predictably the remaining unionists benefited by a very similar number to the number of the UUP distributions. Meanwhile the SDLP received 592 to 183 for Sinn Fein, almost all of which would have come from the Green candidate.
 

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