Friday, July 29, 2005

Meanwhile, back in Belfast...

Seems like just as one campaign is firing up, another one is winding down. Yesterday, the Irish Republican Army announced it would be putting its weapons beyond use in front of representatives from the Protestant and Catholic communities of Northern Ireland, and renouncing violence as a means to achieve political ends...

The leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann has formally ordered an end to the armed campaign. This will take effect from 4pm this afternoon.

All IRA units have been ordered to dump arms.

All Volunteers have been instructed to assist the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means. Volunteers must not engage in any other activities whatsoever.

The IRA leadership has also authorised our representative to engage with the IICD to complete the process to verifiably put its arms beyond use in a way which will further enhance public confidence and to conclude this as quickly as possible. We have invited two independent witnesses, from the Protestant and Catholic churches, to testify to this...


Speaking as someone with roots in Ulster who hopes to live to see a united Ireland, I greet the news with hope and joy. The refusal of IRA to take these steps has always been used by Unionists and Loyalists in Ulster to frustrate the progress and implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. That excuse is removed. Now the world must turn to them and demand an end to obfuscation.

As Sinn Fein, the only cross-border political party in Ireland and thus the only one with any claim to speak for the whole people of the island, grows in popularity in both sections of the country, the time when a united Ireland could be democratically realized draws closer. But at the same time, Unionists turn, increasingly, to Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party. They are like King Canute, both in clinging to royalty and attempting to command the tide back from the shore alike. Time is not on their side. And now that the IRA has announced its intention to take these unprecidented steps, I don't believe history will be, either.

Here is a link to the full text of the announcement.

And here is a link to a video presentation of the announcement as read by a former IRA prisoner.

9 comments:

United Irelander said...

"As Sinn Fein, the only cross-border political party in Ireland and thus the only one with any claim to speak for the whole people of the island"

That's rubbish and you know it. The Orange Order are organised throughout the island of Ireland. Does that mean they speak for everybody? Give over. Sinn Fein don't speak for this Dubliner.

"As Sinn Fein...grows in popularity in both sections of the country, the time when a united Ireland could be democratically realized draws closer"

How will Sinn Fein achieve a United Ireland?

"Time is not on their side"

Actually it is. If you think nationalists will outbreed unionists in the north you're wrong. Census results have shown this to be a myth.

I want a United Ireland. However I know that the odds are against Sinn Fein delivering it.

Lone Primate said...

That's rubbish and you know it.

Ah, that reputed warm Jackeen handshake. Nice to make your acquaintance too. :)

The Orange Order are organised throughout the island of Ireland. Does that mean they speak for everybody?

Well, if the DUP were, I might have to agree. But since the OO isn't anything like a cross-border political party seeking rapprochement and equality of right regardless of ethnic or religious background, and since the Orange Order is, in fact, rather the antithesis of these things, I'd have to say your example is not parallel or apt.

How will Sinn Fein achieve a United Ireland?

Rather, what will prevent a united Ireland?

If you think nationalists will outbreed unionists in the north you're wrong. Census results have shown this to be a myth.

I'd dispute this, but it's moot, finally. The wishes of something less than a million people in six counties is not, finally, going to carry the day if the majority of the people in all 32 counties vote for it and the people of Britain wash their hands of the place at last, which they ought to have done in 1922, no later.

Lone Primate said...

Incidentally, I'm not sure exactly what census results to which you refer, but those of Northern Ireland itself clealy dispel your suggestion that this is a myth.

See for yourself.

United Irelander said...

"Ah, that reputed warm Jackeen handshake. Nice to make your acquaintance too. :)"

Jackeen my arse! Dublin was where the Rising kicked off my friend.;)

"Well, if the DUP were, I might have to agree. But since the OO isn't anything like a cross-border political party seeking rapprochement and equality of right regardless of ethnic or religious background, and since the Orange Order is, in fact, rather the antithesis of these things, I'd have to say your example is not parallel or apt."

I'm sure Protestants who have lost family members due to the IRA would find the example very apt and would strongly dispute your claims of Sinn Fein seeking 'equality of right'.

"Rather, what will prevent a united Ireland?"

What prevented a United Ireland was the organisation which apparently will be going out of business - the IRA.

"I'd dispute this, but it's moot, finally."

I don't know how you can dispute it. See you seem to think that 'Catholic' automatically means 'Nationalist'. This is not so. Guess how many Catholics vote for pro-Union parties and who consistently say they would vote AGAINST reunification? 25%. The figure for Protestants who are pro-Unity is under 10%. This ensures unity won't happen through outbreeding. 43% of the North might be Catholic but they're not all nationalists.

"The wishes of something less than a million people in six counties is not, finally, going to carry the day if the majority of the people in all 32 counties vote for it and the people of Britain wash their hands of the place at last, which they ought to have done in 1922, no later."

Under the Good Friday Agreement, which Sinn Fein have signed up to, there must be a vote in favour of unity in the North followed by one in the South meaning that the North must decide its future first and foremost. In other words, unity won't happen without unionists being convinced that it's a good idea.

I hope unity does occur and that they will be convinced. Blowing them up like the IRA did for years was never going to work...

Lone Primate said...

Jackeen my arse! Dublin was where the Rising kicked off my friend.

Yes, and whose "support" was historically limited to bitching about the mail not getting through, until fourteen men perished under the gun and spitting on the prisoners as they were paraded past; among them a future president of the Republic was saved only by his birth in the United States.

I'm sure Protestants who have lost family members due to the IRA would find the example very apt and would strongly dispute your claims of Sinn Fein seeking 'equality of right'.

The relatives of any victims of a struggle are bound to be partisan against it. Surely the families of American slaveowners murdered by their "property" in the 18th and 19th centuries were stung by the words of abolishionists. That did not rob their words of either justice or prophecy. And I would be remiss if I did not point out to you that the families of Ulster Catholics who, for centuries, have been murdered, disenfranchized, and driven to the New World in their millions might have a different opinion in the long run that is at least as compelling.

See you seem to think that 'Catholic' automatically means 'Nationalist'. This is not so. Guess how many Catholics vote for pro-Union parties...

Would it follow, therefore, to suppose that Protestants uniformly vote for Unionist parties?

Catholics vote for pro-Union parties and who consistently say they would vote AGAINST reunification? 25%.

According to whom? And yet we have it on good authority that that the Catholic community of the six counties voted 93% in favour of the Good Friday Agreement; the implementation of which can only lead, with little doubt, to a reunified polity in the island.

I hope unity does occur and that they will be convinced. Blowing them up like the IRA did for years was never going to work...

There is little question in my mind that the armed struggle postdating 1969 is what resulted in the Good Friday Agreement. Britain did not arrive at this point out of the goodness of its heart. Sectarian violence in Ireland did not begin in 1969, but in the 12the century. Its most recent manifestation is nothing more or less than the historical outcome of forces shaped centuries ago. But it has borne fruit. Likewise, the recent events in London may serve to give force to the majority of Britons, who see their country's involvement in Iraq as illegal and provocative, in bringing the troops home from that imperialistic escapade as well.

United Irelander said...

"Yes, and whose "support" was historically limited to bitching about the mail not getting through, until fourteen men perished under the gun and spitting on the prisoners as they were paraded past; among them a future president of the Republic was saved only by his birth in the United States."

You will find that the main figure of the Rising, Padraig Pearse, was a Dubliner. As for people spitting, a normal reaction considering their city had been torn to pieces. Also let's not forget that during the Rising, 'Ulster', did nothing.

"And I would be remiss if I did not point out to you that the families of Ulster Catholics who, for centuries, have been murdered, disenfranchized, and driven to the New World in their millions might have a different opinion in the long run that is at least as compelling."

Quit living in the past. I'm sure there are Native Americans still unhappy that their ancestors land now occupied by Americans decended from immigrants.

You are embarassing yourself by saying that nationalists will outbreed unionists in the North. Here's some reading you'll find interesting:

http://www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/2004/Political_Attitudes/NIRELAND.html

It states that only 22% of the North's population would vote for Irish unity in a referendum.

"There is little question in my mind that the armed struggle postdating 1969 is what resulted in the Good Friday Agreement"

The Good Friday Agreement states unity can only happen if a majority in the North vote for it. The IRA's campaign was not for what the GFA gave them, it was for a united Irish Republic.

"Sectarian violence in Ireland did not begin in 1969, but in the 12the century. Its most recent manifestation is nothing more or less than the historical outcome of forces shaped centuries ago"

Ireland was relatively peaceful prior the Easter Rising. As you say, most Dubs were angry that their city was destoryed. The British messed things up by the way they handled the aftermath by executing the leaders.

"Likewise, the recent events in London may serve to give force to the majority of Britons, who see their country's involvement in Iraq as illegal and provocative, in bringing the troops home from that imperialistic escapade as well."

I don't think the Brits are that spineless. They won't do what the Spanish did.

In relation to Ireland, I suggest you read up on things pertaining to the population. I run my own site and link to many otehr Irish sites and people there will be sure to dispel your idea that outbreeding is going to work. It won't. We msut convince unionism through the force of our arguements.

I'm not trying to sound pompous but this is just a basic fact and you are wrong in your way of thinking as the above link shows. Overall though I like your site and your writing style and don't wish to cause consternation.

Cheers.

Lone Primate said...

You will find that the main figure of the Rising, Padraig Pearse, was a Dubliner.

Wow, it's nice to know someone from Dublin did his bit for Irish independence...

Quit living in the past. I'm sure there are Native Americans still unhappy that their ancestors land now occupied by Americans decended from immigrants.

Indeed there are; and were we to take your suggestion to heart, we would forget our history and be disinclined to redress their grievances in our constitution and in the courts, or to (in Canada, at least) provide the Assembly of First Nations a place at First Ministers conferences that chart the course of Confederation. Forgetting one's past is a sure recipe for repeating it.

It states that only 22% of the North's population would vote for Irish unity in a referendum.

Sadly for your case, that isn't the result of a referendum. Why don't we wait till there actually is one, and see what the result will be? It's the only one that actually counts.

The Good Friday Agreement states unity can only happen if a majority in the North vote for it. The IRA's campaign was not for what the GFA gave them, it was for a united Irish Republic.

And the GFA provides the means to achieve it.

Ireland was relatively peaceful prior the Easter Rising

As anyone with even the most cursory knowledge of Irish history is aware, Ireland was racked by independence struggles roughly every two generations from the 17th century onward. Beyond that, it was also a place of ongoing misery for the disenfranchized Catholic population who were, for long periods, at risk of their lives and liberty in merely observing their religion. In the process, they largely lost their language, and survived as an indentifiable nation only by a constant reiteration of nationhood by perennial uprisings, which ultimately resulted in the achievement of an Irish Republic in the early years of the last century. None of this came about easily or cheaply. Nor will, I think, the completion of the Republic.

I don't think the Brits are that spineless. They won't do what the Spanish did.

Really? So what's the name of your MP in London? I wonder if India sends MPs to Westminster yet. Do you suppose Egypt will ever get the Suez Canal? And imagine if those American colonists ever get the British to sail home... wow. Come on. It would hardly be the first time the British -- or anyone else -- realized a situation was losing proposition and had the good sense to cut their losses. If conscience won't do it, blood loss might.

United Irelander said...

"Wow, it's nice to know someone from Dublin did his bit for Irish independence..."

And what did the people of Ulster do? Besides look on...

"Sadly for your case, that isn't the result of a referendum. Why don't we wait till there actually is one, and see what the result will be? It's the only one that actually counts."

I never stated it was the result of a referednum. The only way a referendum will be called is if the Secretary of State for the North feels that most in the North may want Irish unity.

"And the GFA provides the means to achieve it."

The means to achieve it under the GFA are through Unionists consenting to it. This was never the IRA's goal.

"Really? So what's the name of your MP in London?"

Irish people don't require MPs in London.

"Come on. It would hardly be the first time the British -- or anyone else -- realized a situation was losing proposition and had the good sense to cut their losses. If conscience won't do it, blood loss might."

Why would the British leave Iraq when they are there for a noble purpose? They have freed the country of a dicttor and provided the means for democracy. It is insurgents who are killing innocents over there. The British and Americans should be commended for their noble efforts and I'm sure when they succeed, Iraqis in the future will pay homage to them much in the same way germans do for the Allies ridding Germany of its vile dictator.

The very idea that they would leave the country to scumbags who have beheaded civilians, including Irish ones, is a sickening thought.

Lone Primate said...

And what did the people of Ulster do?

Suffer abandonment, essentially.

I never stated it was the result of a referednum. The only way a referendum will be called is if the Secretary of State for the North feels that most in the North may want Irish unity.

The way you've phrased it strikes me as rather a Catch-22. He won't call a referendum unless he thinks people want something. But there's no way he could know that for sure without a referendum (that's what referenda are held for, you see). Spot the logic bomb.

The means to achieve it under the GFA are through Unionists consenting to it.

Which is facilitated by the very action by the IRA prompting this posting. Now the Unionists and Loyalists don't have that fiddle to play anymore. Opposing the GFA now comes down to naked bigotry, in front of the whole world.

Irish people don't require MPs in London.

You don't say. Do you suppose that fact has anything to do with the success of an armed struggle in removing the British administration from 4/5 of the island... and hence, the possibility it might do the same for the Middle East?

Why would the British leave Iraq when they are there for a noble purpose?

The British gave, as their official reason for supporting the invasion, the detection and removal of weapons of mass destruction we now know never to have existed. In truth, the invasion is about controlling oil in the Middle East and the access of the Eurozone and China to it.

If people bust into your house and shoot your father while pocketing the silverware, I think it's a bit much for them to expect you to thank them when they announce that, oh, by the way, from now on, you'll all get to vote about who does the dishes instead of being told. Irish history is full of the "noble" attempts by the British to civilize (i.e., anglicize) the place. They seem to have done well indeed with the likes of you, in fact. Somewhere, Michael Collins is thinking, "How soon they forget."

The British and Americans will be remembered in Iraq and elsewhere as Vikings who took a quasi-First World nation (albeit one under charismatic rule) and reduced it to a land of rubble, unsafe water and four-hour-a-day electricity, where hundreds of thousands of children have starved to death and thousands more are growing up to become the next generation of Al Qaeda terrorists.

So what's the next move for these heroes of yours? If they don't like Bertie, sending back the Black and Tans to straighten you guys out again, and let the Stormont crowd work their magic in Cork, Galway, and Meath? Better make sure the Brits approve Ireland's next raft of military purchases.