Subject: Coleman at Large – Nationalism and the Queens Visit

Tonight I may have been a bit hard on one of the guests Seanan O Coistin formerly of the Celtic League and now of Fianna Fail who displays quite a dicotomy between his solidly middle class choirboy appearance and speech and his hard nationalist rhetoric. He ran in Leinster as an independent in the 2004 European Election. The cliche ridden whining about Irish unification irritates the hell out of me. The Good Friday Belfast Agreement is in action in Northern Ireland and it seems to me that Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness are doing a good job. The atmosphere has changed considerably and the changes are incremental. Rob Browne, a senior lecturer in journalism at Independent College and former member of the Scottish National Party made good sense. But the green fields anti- English whinge of the Celtic twilighters irks me greatly.

For a Fianna Failer, to fail to recognise Albert Reynolds achievements in the Downing Street Declaration is simply unforgiveable ignorance .Article 4 of the 1994 Agreement is quoted below.

The Prime Minister, on behalf of the British Government, reaffirms that they will uphold the democratic wish of a greater number of the people of Northern Ireland on the issue of whether they prefer to support the Union or a sovereign united Ireland. On this basis, he reiterates, on behalf of the British Government, that they have no selfish strategic or economic interest in Northern Ireland. Their primary interest is to see peace, stability and reconciliation established by agreement among all the people who inhabit the island, and they will work together with the Irish Government to achieve such an agreement, which will embrace the totality of relationships. The role of the British Government will be to encourage, facilitate and enable the achievement of such agreement over a period through a process of dialogue and cooperation based on full respect for the rights and identities of both traditions in Ireland. They accept that such agreement may, as of right, take the form of agreed structures for the island as a whole, including a united Ireland achieved by peaceful means on the following basis. The British Government agree that it is for the people of the island of Ireland alone, by agreement between the two parts respectively, to exercise their right of self-determination on the basis of consent, freely and concurrently given, North and South, to bring about a united Ireland, if that is their wish. They reaffirm as a binding obligation that they will, for their part, introduce the necessary legislation to give effect to this, or equally to any measure of agreement on future relationships in Ireland which the people living in Ireland may themselves freely so determine without external impediment. They believe that the people of Britain would wish, in friendship to all sides, to enable the people of Ireland to reach agreement on how they may live together in harmony and in partnership, with respect for their diverse traditions, and with full recognition of the special links and the unique relationship which exist between the peoples of Britain and Ireland.

The referendums passed north and south

                                 Turnout           Yes                 No                         Totals
Northern Ireland 81%  676,966 (71%)  274,879 (29%)  951,845 (100%)
Republic of Ireland 56%  1,442,583 (94%)  85,748 (6%)  1,528,331 (100%)

The figures are an overwhelming endorsement.

Calling the Queen, Mrs Windsor, or an 80+year old old dear etc is pseudopatronising immaturity. Having Fianna Fail Councillor Jim O’Callaghan expose himself on this issue is interesting. Fianna Fail are closer to Eirigi than Sinn Fein on this issue.

I don’t agree with royalty as a concept but I am in no position to dictate to another state how they wish to appoint a Head of State.