Irish Politics (Part 1)

Civil rights no?

I would argue the war was a stalemat with the Brits seeking peace behind the scenes for years due the war on mainland Britain. They couldnt ignore bombs going off in London and around Parliment.

With more than three thousand people dead I think it’s a stretch to say that anyone ‘won’

It was the Unioinists, through the Ulster Workers Council Strike that brought down Sunningdale… Sinn Fein opposed it as was their legitimate political right to do so and if you can look at the differences between it and the GFA and Sunningdale you may understand why…
The GFA contained the following which Suningdale did not…
●The Britsh Govt no longer had any legal right to impede the achiement of Irish Unity

●The recognition of the Irish Identity

●The principle of self determination for the Irish dimension

●Inter Island Co-operation

● British legislation did expressly foresee the possibility of a United Ireland

● A full equality and human rights agenda

●The entire Island got to vote on it.

● The incentive to cease-fire for paramilitaries by inviting them in to talks
● Provision to deal with prisoners in the event of an agreement…

The differences are seizmac and in the end it was these differences that brought about the agreement…

Yes all life is so valuable but it’s too simplistic to say it was one side who prolonged it when this original debate started off agreeing that both sides were compromised by British Intelligence… Maybe they couldn’t stop it… Maybe Adams and co realised this and why they started the back channel talks with Hume etc… Probably both knew the dirty intelligent war that was going on… That they succeeded probably deserves more credit…


It was a secret poll :grinning: Just because your historical knowledge is deficient does not mean something did not take place, Google is your friend here,

I also suspect you haven’t read the GFA. The only time a SOS can call a poll is when he has evidence that it would be likely to provide a change in NI’s status.

That would be election results. There are two nationalist/unity parties and two main unionist parties and one smaller pro union party alliance. The electoral breakdown between the pro and anti blocs has barely shifted since GFA so there will be no poll and if there was one, no evidence on a large turnout that it would favour unity.

You obviously haven’t read Sunningdale either, It contained nothing of substance that GFA did not. The reason unionists disliked it was because it opposed power sharing in Stormont. So does GFA.

Difference was that unionists came to accept it as did republicans who in 1973 shared the common objective with loyalists of making Sunningdale unworkable. The IRA had brought Stormont down in 1972 and was committed to no settlement short of a British intent to withdraw.

The IRA surrendered and disbanded without achieving its objective. The difference between 1973 and 1998 was that the IRA accepted that it was beaten.

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is that the one boycotted by nationalists?

Could election results be looked at in more depth and total the vote by nationalist/unionist as opposed to simple seat tots?

Here we go again… where do I start… I’m finding it hard to understand you - honestly… first line…" A secret poll held in 1973? Jeez I must factor that in… Have you ever watched the elections in the North over the last 20 years… maybe my eyes and ears are failing me but did Unioists not lose their majority for the first time ever in the last election… I remember seeing all the front pages the following day declaring same… oh wait maybe I didn’t… Maybe this ould head of mine is seeing things lately… So if the evidence is there in an election the British Govt is legally bound to call a border poll on Irish Unity… I don’t remember seeing anything like that in Sunningdale… Jesus maybe it was, maybe it’s this head of mine again… I saw a poll done last month, not a secret one now, done by Lord Ashcroft that showed 51% in favour of unity… and the breakdown of all age groups showed only one (65 plus) that were not in favour… Oh jeez maybe I didn’t see that at all. I’M WORRIED NOW…How do you evidence a big or small turnout for a border poll that hasn’t happened yet…Or maybe it’s a secret I don’t know about… You say I haven’t read this and I haven’t read that… I made a number of bulleted points above about the differences between both. Can you please deal with them rather than generalities… If you believe that IRA were defeated that’s you’re prerogative… Well under your criteria, Wolfe Tone lost, Robert Emmet lost, Pearse and Connolly lost, Collins lost, The Irsh Govt lost… because all those set out to establish a 32 county republic… Why didn’t we just roll over and adapt the British culture… would have saved all this hassle


It’s probably churlish to even mention it, but that is absolutely a QOTW nominee. Brilliant post. Eloquent and on point.

Article 5 of Sunningdale:

  1. The Irish Government fully accepted and solemnly declared that there could be no change in the status of Northern Ireland until a majority of the people of Northern Ireland desired a change in that status. The British Government solemnly declared that it was, and would remain, their policy to support the wishes of the majority of the people of Northern Ireland. The present status of Northern Ireland is that it is part of the United Kingdom. If in the future the majority of the people of Northern Ireland should indicate a wish to become part of a united Ireland, the British Government would support that wish.

So they held a poll, not a secret one - that was me referring to the fact that you had never heard of it,

GFA, Article 1 (i) on constitutional issues:

(i) recognise the legitimacy of whatever choice is freely exercised by a majority of the people of Northern Ireland with regard to its status, whether they prefer to continue to support the Union with Great Britain or a sovereign united Ireland;

Practically same wording as in 1973.

2. Subject to paragraph 3, the Secretary of State shall exercise the power under paragraph 1 if at any time it appears likely to him that a majority of those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland.

Basis for that is commonly understood as vote share in an assembly or Westminster election.

In 1998, the vote share for explicitly pro union parties was 53.9%
In 2017 the vote for explicitly pro union parties was 50.1%

In 1998 the vote for explicitly pro unity parties was 39.6%
In 2017 the vote for explicitly pro unity parties was 39.8%

So the balance as I said has barely shifted.

If a poll was held then it would be massive turnout and that would reflect the above which is based on existing demographics.

The only valid poll for unity would be a 32 county poll on the same day. That is what republicans have always argued for.

@Tumbles thanks for posting.

In order to prove you correct, i have to read both documents now.

GFA here, Or as John British Bruton calls it the DUP Belfast agreement -

Do you have a link to the Sunningdale document?

A hateful man.

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Tumbles, first of all I am not sure what you are arguing for or against… Are you arguing that the IRA should have continued the war or are you saying that they should have given up in 1973?
Elsewhere are you saying that the Sunningdale Assembly Elections were equivalent to a border poll? How you come to that conclusion is beyond my comprehension. Only a minority of Nationalists voted in that election and it had nothing to do with a vote or a poll on a United Ireland.
You must be lumping in the Alliance Party in those “exclusively pro union” numbers. The Alliance Party has moved on from that and many Nationalists are both members and voters. Throw in the Greens, People before Profit etc that were not around in 1998 and I would imagine that the balance for Unity slants further…There are only a couple of percentage points in the difference with all demographics showing one trend only…
The Unionist vote has only one projection and that is downwards… It is not going to resurface in any demograph. Antrim and Down are now the only two counties that have a Unionist majority… Throw in the Brexit chaos and those numbers are accelerated in one direction only…
If people want to have a go at the IRA for continuing the war that is a very valid argument… Suggestions as to why that might have happened are offered here on this thread but to put it down to “Sunningdale for slow learners,” in my view is a lazy analysis… They are completely different settlements, involved all the protagonists and was internationally and independently chaired plus all the other points I made earlier…
It was a terrible, terrible time and I grew up through it all as I would imagine a lot of people posting here did…but to suggest that we are no nearer to a United Ireland now than in 1998 is simply rubbish!!!

We are reminiscing on another thread about old times… in relation to this one we beat Kilmacud in an U15 A league Final on Bloody Sunday morning in 1972… It was snowing during the match… after we won we were brought to a local pub for lemonade and crisps, as you do… All the parents were having a gargle and suddenly they started running into the bar as the news came through on the television of the killings in Derry… The faces on the adults when they came back in was telling… My father and other parents were openly crying… That day changed everything…


I’m really not going to get into this any more than I have.

Suffice it to say there was a border poll in 1973 and it was boycotted by all the nationalist parties including SF. Republicans never accepted any internal settlement from 1921 up to 1998.

The GFA is an internal settlement no different than 1973 or 1985. The only difference is that republicans agreed to it. That’s all. Republicans could have accepted an internal settlement at any stage after 1921.

Are Catholics in better position now than 50 years ago? Yes, they are. That was neither the objective nor the result of the republican campaign.

Am not going to retail personal anecdotes regarding it all as they are more personal in my case,


ah come on now, you didn’t fall for that line of shite and don’t pretend you did. has to be a majority in both parts, in other words if the unionists in the north reject it, it makes not a spot of difference what the other 84% of the country want, they get their way. historically known as the unionist veto. the heart and sole of the entire struggle. indifferent southerners are more than willing to accept that that is a 32 county vote cos they couldn’t give a shite either way but anyone with skin in the game knows what their “vote in the north and south” is- a pathetic little pantomime and an exercise in partitionist shamology. croppy lie down.

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The Provos were always tactically clever but strategically stupid. Other than the unique circumstances of 1919-21 physical force republicanism has always been about Hail Mary efforts. Needing a fucking miracle to succeed does not lend itself to strategic thinking about achieving goals

but yizzer looking at it from the wrong perspective, it’s about Unionism not the Provos.

The Provo’s rejected the Sunningdale agreement but more importantly so did Unionism, it took another 20 years of bombing, killing, and demographic shift to drag them kicking and screaming to accept Sunningdale Mk II (along with Blair baiting them up the road like Dorans ass). No sooner was the ink dry they were trying to row back on the compromises they had made and have been doing so ever since.

What’s interesting to me is up until now Catholics in the North have been happy enough with the status quo but now they’re learning the hard way what History could have always told them:

A) Stalemates never last, and power sharing was a deliberate stalemate
B) The English will always f***k you over in the end. You need them gone
C) The only way they’ll ever be out from under the DUP is to dilute them into some kind of 32 country setup. They will never reform themselves

Brexit is bringing all of this to a head, be interesting to see how it works out. Who’d have thought Fine Gael and the EU would do more to break partition than the Shinners :rofl:

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I agree with a lot of your analysis there.

It is clear from reading insider accounts of the talks which led to GFA, decommissioning, Shinners running the north with DUP, IRA disbandment that a lot of the unionist and British foot dragging was designed to extract more concessions from SF. And it worked. Defeat of the IRA and acceptance of partition. Game over.

There is no evidence that a poll would favour unity now, or in the foreseeable future and once the Brexit thing is sorted, as it will be, there will be no great push for any change,

As for the EU. It suits it to play the nationalist card in Ireland, Scotland and Wales as pressure on Brits to stay in, which will most likely be successful. Last thing it wants or would tolerate are unpredictable shifts in borders among the 27. Just look at their attitude to Catalan independence as opposed to their playing up of possibility of Irish unity - or rather allowing others to play it up - as part of the Brexit game. As for FG, they want unity like a hole in the head. Would completely change the electoral rules and no party of government wants that.

Be interesting to track that polls results over the next year or so

Yes, but an opinion poll can’t be used as basis for a border poll. It would have to be evidence in substantive shift electorally towards pro unification parties, and there has been none. Pretty much unchanged other than shifts between SF/SDLP and UUP/DUP.

Personally I would like to see republicans/nationalists pushing for a 32 county poll but with dialogue with unionists on basis of how a 32 county state would be run. Proper safeguards and maybe regional autonomy which would benefit whole country,

Its a long way away, and pretending that it might happen in a crisis situation on foot of Brexit could have pretty nasty consequences.

Brexit is a farce, and there will be some sort of compromise with a bit of Brits eating humble pie. Then Irish unity will no longer be part of day to day political manoeuvring. Unfortunately.

What were the 5% of unionists who did nt vote to remain in the union in favour of so? And the 2% of nationalists not in favour of unity ?