A United Ireland

The only answer

A cliff edge next to the sea.
Photo by Vincent Guth on Unsplash

One of my first work experiences was bridge-building between the Catholic and Protestant communities in Northern Ireland. We visited schools and youth clubs, having discussions and using drama sketches to illustrate the tough questions.

Almost all of the youth, who would be over 30 now, wanted peace in Northern Ireland.

It seems peace is not enough. Due to what we term Brexit, there is now a customs border in the Irish Sea. It was impossible to put a border on the island of Ireland, as border checks were what The Troubles were about.

The Troubles means the bombings, murders, and deployment of British troops. It is a very Irish expression but minimizes the terrible warfare that went on.

Since the UK left the European Union, each EU member is part of the Good Friday Peace Accord and must do all they can to preserve it.

Now, goods arriving in Northern Ireland from Britain must go through customs. Some businesses, because of this, have stopped trading with Britain and only trade with the EU. Some goods are no longer available in Northern Ireland.

Note that the United Kingdom includes Northern Ireland. Britain does not include Northern Ireland.

There was an election in Northern Ireland last week. For the first time, Sinn Fein won a majority. The Democratic Union Party (DUP) refuse to sit in government with Sinn Fein because, they claim, the trading protocol with Britain is not working.

Everyone agrees it is not working. The answer is to talk it out. The Good Friday Agreement states that power must be shared.

Since the DUP, who are renowned for being difficult, will not take up their posts in government, I think it is time for the people to vote on a united Ireland. The population did not want to leave the EU. A united Ireland would be entirely EU.

It is only ideology that keeps Northern Ireland separate. The ideology of the DUP. Obviously, they are now less voted for. Other smaller political parties ate into their constituency too.

One cannot please all of the people all of the time. Right now, people are angry that London is governing them, and nothing is being done to address local issues. Thus, I believe that although some will vote nay, the majority will see the logic and vote yes.

Last year there was some violence about the trading protocol, i.e. the border in the Irish Sea, using 11-year- old boys so as not to be known. It was obviously not Sinn Fein. Buses were set alight with petrol bombs made in bottles

If violence is that pathetic, a united Ireland is an obvious answer to Northern Ireland’s problems.