What do the Irish really think on unification?

Cobbler91

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
41
Hello, relatively ignorant British person here. Please don't take this to be pro-Union or nationalist. I'm neutral on the issue and looking to understand the argument more.

In lieu of Brexit, the prospect of Irish unification has come upon us faster than we all otherwise would have predicted I think, but I have some questions for people on here about how the Irish feel on the issue. From what I know, your leaders will always publicly call for Northern Ireland to become part of the Republic, but in private they are apparently more cautious and more reserved about it. In fact, it may not be Britain trying to hold onto it that could cause issues, but persuading Ireland to accept a poisoned chalice from an economic and political standpoint.

According to the most recent figures, the UK ran a £9.2 billion deficit on Northern Ireland and that was in 2013-14. It's probably safe to say that is now over £10 billion, which begs the question of can you guys actually afford it? It will likely get better in time but that bill is going to be there for years. You will also have to contend with half the population not really liking you. I did go to Belfast and Antrim last year and you still see plenty of signs of Loyalist support which while not militant, does appear to be there in force. It's probably not an unrealistic scenario that the Irish government might be forced to deploy troops and/or a significant police presence which will cost more. Not defending or encouraging a Loyalist uprising to be clear.

Are these thoughts on people's minds or is this a price worth paying in terms of unification? I just commented as some people just seem to assume that when and if Ireland unifies, everything will be nice and rosy but if you've read or seen anything regarding The Troubles, you know it's a load of tosh.
 


rainmaker

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
22,659
Hello, relatively ignorant British person here. Please don't take this to be pro-Union or nationalist. I'm neutral on the issue and looking to understand the argument more.

In lieu of Brexit, the prospect of Irish unification has come upon us faster than we all otherwise would have predicted I think, but I have some questions for people on here about how the Irish feel on the issue. From what I know, your leaders will always publicly call for Northern Ireland to become part of the Republic, but in private they are apparently more cautious and more reserved about it. In fact, it may not be Britain trying to hold onto it that could cause issues, but persuading Ireland to accept a poisoned chalice from an economic and political standpoint.

According to the most recent figures, the UK ran a £9.2 billion deficit on Northern Ireland and that was in 2013-14. It's probably safe to say that is now over £10 billion, which begs the question of can you guys actually afford it? It will likely get better in time but that bill is going to be there for years. You will also have to contend with half the population not really liking you. I did go to Belfast and Antrim last year and you still see plenty of signs of Loyalist support which while not militant, does appear to be there in force. It's probably not an unrealistic scenario that the Irish government might be forced to deploy troops and/or a significant police presence which will cost more. Not defending or encouraging a Loyalist uprising to be clear.

Are these thoughts on people's minds or is this a price worth paying in terms of unification? I just commented as some people just seem to assume that when and if Ireland unifies, everything will be nice and rosy but if you've read or seen anything regarding The Troubles, you know it's a load of tosh.
I think the issue of reunification cost has been widely discussed, and I sense that the majority in the 26 generally feel it would be a cost worth paying.
 

McSlaggart

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 29, 2010
Messages
17,671
Hello, relatively ignorant British person here. Please don't take this to be pro-Union or nationalist. I'm neutral on the issue and looking to understand the argument more.

In lieu of Brexit, the prospect of Irish unification has come upon us faster than we all otherwise would have predicted I think, but I have some questions for people on here about how the Irish feel on the issue. From what I know, your leaders will always publicly call for Northern Ireland to become part of the Republic, but in private they are apparently more cautious and more reserved about it. In fact, it may not be Britain trying to hold onto it that could cause issues, but persuading Ireland to accept a poisoned chalice from an economic and political standpoint.

According to the most recent figures, the UK ran a £9.2 billion deficit on Northern Ireland and that was in 2013-14. It's probably safe to say that is now over £10 billion, which begs the question of can you guys actually afford it? It will likely get better in time but that bill is going to be there for years. You will also have to contend with half the population not really liking you. I did go to Belfast and Antrim last year and you still see plenty of signs of Loyalist support which while not militant, does appear to be there in force. It's probably not an unrealistic scenario that the Irish government might be forced to deploy troops and/or a significant police presence which will cost more. Not defending or encouraging a Loyalist uprising to be clear.

Are these thoughts on people's minds or is this a price worth paying in terms of unification? I just commented as some people just seem to assume that when and if Ireland unifies, everything will be nice and rosy but if you've read or seen anything regarding The Troubles, you know it's a load of tosh.

Firstly after Brexit the UK wil
Hello, relatively ignorant British person here. Please don't take this to be pro-Union or nationalist. I'm neutral on the issue and looking to understand the argument more.

In lieu of Brexit, the prospect of Irish unification has come upon us faster than we all otherwise would have predicted I think, but I have some questions for people on here about how the Irish feel on the issue. From what I know, your leaders will always publicly call for Northern Ireland to become part of the Republic, but in private they are apparently more cautious and more reserved about it. In fact, it may not be Britain trying to hold onto it that could cause issues, but persuading Ireland to accept a poisoned chalice from an economic and political standpoint.

According to the most recent figures, the UK ran a £9.2 billion deficit on Northern Ireland and that was in 2013-14. It's probably safe to say that is now over £10 billion, which begs the question of can you guys actually afford it? It will likely get better in time but that bill is going to be there for years. You will also have to contend with half the population not really liking you. I did go to Belfast and Antrim last year and you still see plenty of signs of Loyalist support which while not militant, does appear to be there in force. It's probably not an unrealistic scenario that the Irish government might be forced to deploy troops and/or a significant police presence which will cost more. Not defending or encouraging a Loyalist uprising to be clear.

Are these thoughts on people's minds or is this a price worth paying in terms of unification? I just commented as some people just seem to assume that when and if Ireland unifies, everything will be nice and rosy but if you've read or seen anything regarding The Troubles, you know it's a load of tosh.

"Northern Ireland" has suffered badly being in the UK and not part of the wider Irish economy. For example the types of inward investment have been of a much poorer standard than in the rest of the Island. Greater Belfast is in an excellent opportunity to take the overflow of work coming into Dublin. A upgraded rail line would help this in particular.

The border counties have suffered badly due to the imposition of a border on a small Island. The idea that it will come back will be a factor after Brexit.

Life is never nice and rosy.

The best outcome would be for the UK not to leave the EU.

The British do not have any plan for post Brexit.

If the Northern Ireland economy is damaged it will hurt all the Islands economy. In that outcome reunification is the best outcome for all.
 

Newrybhoy

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
3,557
As you addressing your question to the Irish and not the Northern Irish, your thread is in the wrong section.
 

Cobbler91

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
41
Firstly after Brexit the UK wil



"Northern Ireland" has suffered badly being in the UK and not part of the wider Irish economy. For example the types of inward investment have been of a much poorer standard than in the rest of the Island. Greater Belfast is in an excellent opportunity to take the overflow of work coming into Dublin. A upgraded rail line would help this in particular.

The border counties have suffered badly due to the imposition of a border on a small Island. The idea that it will come back will be a factor after Brexit.

Life is never nice and rosy.

The best outcome would be for the UK not to leave the EU.

The British do not have any plan for post Brexit.

If the Northern Ireland economy is damaged it will hurt all the Islands economy. In that outcome reunification is the best outcome for all.
Come back to me when the EU stops trying to become a superstate. Until then, I and most British citizens will accept a breakaway from the EU, Customs Union and Single Market at any cost.
 

Wasmanormouse

Member
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
43
Hello, relatively ignorant British person here. Please don't take this to be pro-Union or nationalist. I'm neutral on the issue and looking to understand the argument more.

In lieu of Brexit, the prospect of Irish unification has come upon us faster than we all otherwise would have predicted I think, but I have some questions for people on here about how the Irish feel on the issue. From what I know, your leaders will always publicly call for Northern Ireland to become part of the Republic, but in private they are apparently more cautious and more reserved about it. In fact, it may not be Britain trying to hold onto it that could cause issues, but persuading Ireland to accept a poisoned chalice from an economic and political standpoint.

According to the most recent figures, the UK ran a £9.2 billion deficit on Northern Ireland and that was in 2013-14. It's probably safe to say that is now over £10 billion, which begs the question of can you guys actually afford it? It will likely get better in time but that bill is going to be there for years. You will also have to contend with half the population not really liking you. I did go to Belfast and Antrim last year and you still see plenty of signs of Loyalist support which while not militant, does appear to be there in force. It's probably not an unrealistic scenario that the Irish government might be forced to deploy troops and/or a significant police presence which will cost more. Not defending or encouraging a Loyalist uprising to be clear.

Are these thoughts on people's minds or is this a price worth paying in terms of unification? I just commented as some people just seem to assume that when and if Ireland unifies, everything will be nice and rosy but if you've read or seen anything regarding The Troubles, you know it's a load of tosh.
I’d say that since the Good Friday Agreement, all but a few fanatics were happy with the status quo. Brexit has brought on the need to ask ourselves the same question you pose.

There are many and varied views on it as an abstract or theoretical question, but, in the event of a real referendum we’d probably say yes by a fairly wide margin. No doubt there would be quite a bit of horse trading done in regard to the bearing of the costs and the rights of those who want to remain British to do so etc.

The one thing I’d push for politicians to be strong on in negotiations would be, that behaviour that wouldn’t be acceptable in Finchley, won’t fly in the new Ireland either.
 

firefly123

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
28,086
The "maigical inflating subvention cost" is the second last line of defense in the unionist playbook followed by the "we will burn it all down if you win" defense.

Unlike Newrybhoy I believe you were asking the Irish in the republic what our view was so you are in the correct forum.

I believe the vast majority of Irish in the south will vote in favour of unity when the time comes despite a sustained campaign of negativity from the status quo merchants who see unity as a threat to their cliques, cartels and vested interests.
I have no doubt the above mentioned lines of defense will be rolled out as the last vestiges of unionist pride are thrown away and screams of "you can't afford us and anyway we will burn everything " are screamed from the rafters.

The reason I believe we will vote for unity is that most people know the north has been an artificial construct from an era that created many similar around the world that have been the root cause of most conflicts of the last century... middle east, balkans and, Africa etc. It remains a barrier to the natural integration and development of the region's surrounding it as any economic examination of the area will show.
Bear in mind the north was the richest part of Ireland on partition and is now far behind. The north hasn't worked.
Irish people will not abandon other Irish people to what was always a temporary solution to a political problem.
Check out all recent polls on the matter.
It will cost money to fix the inherent problems and bring the north up to speed with the south. It will create some violence but as long as the British establishment can keep their nose out of it it will be low level and dealt with.

I don't see a future ireland as just an integrated north. I see some form of federal system as more likely to succeed.

The question I always ask is once unity happens what exactly will loyalists be fighting for? The British will never want the north back. I mean they will run a bleedin mile from it.
 
Last edited:

rainmaker

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
22,659
The question I always ask is once unity happens what exactly will loyalists be fighting for? The British will never want the north back. I mean they will run a bleedin mile from it.
It's a point I always raise as well when I encounter any reference to loyalist violence.

It would, in the most literal sense of the word, be pointless. Remaining within the UK would absolutely not be an option, and neither would independence.

It makes the DUP stance & record on Brexit as incomprehensible as it is suicidal.
 

Newrybhoy

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
3,557
It's a point I always raise as well when I encounter any reference to loyalist violence.

It would, in the most literal sense of the word, be pointless. Remaining within the UK would absolutely not be an option, and neither would independence.
Independence within the EU?

There are far smaller independent countries than NI.

What outsiders completely fail to grasp is the Northern Ireland unionist mindset. In regards to being subsumed by the Irish republic, a large cohort will do anything and everything to resist that, whatever the consequences.

Once outsiders understand that, they may start to comprehend the reality of the situation they wish to happen in NI.
 

an Toimíneach

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
379
You will also have to contend with half the population not really liking you.
Only half?
Plenty of nationalists/republicans from the north have a perfectly obnoxious and belligerent attitude towards people from the south.
That, in itself, is another barrier to reunification.
 

rainmaker

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
22,659
Independence within the EU?
There are far smaller independent countries than NI.
Well, they wouldn't be within the EU in an independence scenario.

As for far smaller countries being independent, unless they're in the EU or have an offshore haven thing going on, I would imagine they are damn site poorer than NI.

Financially NI cannot support itself - then there's the reality that if a majority voted for reunification, an independence vote would not be able to win an majority.
In regards to being subsumed by the Irish republic, a large cohort will do anything and everything to resist that, whatever the consequences.
But resisting to what achievable aim? Do you think the British would ever give in to a campaign of violence and stay?

Or that it would tear up an international agreement and the now long held principle of self determination - No, there would be nothing achievable to fight for.
 

Paddyc

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2009
Messages
9,737
Independence within the EU?

There are far smaller independent countries than NI.

What outsiders completely fail to grasp is the Northern Ireland unionist mindset. In regards to being subsumed by the Irish republic, a large cohort will do anything and everything to resist that, whatever the consequences.

Once outsiders understand that, they may start to comprehend the reality of the situation they wish to happen in NI.
Oh, so now you want to be in the EU? Make up your minds for God's sake!

Would that be a six county independent country within the EU with a nationalist majority?

Would it be a four county independent country within the EU with a significant nationalist minority?

Would that be a two and a half county independent country with East Belfast as its capital and very few nationalists?

Seeing as you would be outside the EU before this happens (remember Brexit?) and would need the permission of the Republic of Ireland to join the EU, how likely do you think this is to come about?

For a bunch of people who keep prattling on about how much it costs the rest of the UK (okay England) to subsidise you, are you seriously proposing an independent NI is going to be able to pay for itself after next Tuesday?

I've heard some crackpot ideas in my time, but this one takes the biscuit barrel.

Edit: what countries smaller than a 6 county NI are in the EU?

None of Andorra, Lichtenstein, Monaco, San Marino or (shudder) Vatican City are in the EU.
 
Last edited:

Cobbler91

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
41
Only half?
Plenty of nationalists/republicans from the north have a perfectly obnoxious and belligerent attitude towards people from the south.
That, in itself, is another barrier to reunification.
True, I do remember reading in Making Sense of the Troubles that Northern Irish Catholics were almost universally disliked, even by the South due to not fighting hard enough. Don't know if it stems from that
 

Cobbler91

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
41
It's a point I always raise as well when I encounter any reference to loyalist violence.

It would, in the most literal sense of the word, be pointless. Remaining within the UK would absolutely not be an option, and neither would independence.

It makes the DUP stance & record on Brexit as incomprehensible as it is suicidal.
How much of that is down to The Troubles pushing investment away?
 

firefly123

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
28,086
Independence within the EU?

There are far smaller independent countries than NI.

What outsiders completely fail to grasp is the Northern Ireland unionist mindset. In regards to being subsumed by the Irish republic, a large cohort will do anything and everything to resist that, whatever the consequences.

Once outsiders understand that, they may start to comprehend the reality of the situation they wish to happen in NI.
But soon enough the majority IN THE NORTH will be nationalist in outlook so even if you declared it an independent Northern Ireland the majority within it wouldnt want that.

The only other alternative is some sort of Donbass style repartition? Would the British sponsor that do you think?
 

Newrybhoy

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
3,557
But soon enough the majority IN THE NORTH will be nationalist in outlook so even if you declared it an independent Northern Ireland the majority within it wouldnt want that.

The only other alternative is some sort of Donbass style repartition? Would the British sponsor that do you think?
The minority didn't tie the line in NI and look at the chaos they caused to the UK.

What chaos do you think a bigger minority could cause for the far less capable RoI?

The Republic could neither financially nor militarily deal with any unrest in NI.
 


New Threads

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top