Monday, January 24, 2005


Joint Authority in NI

Would Joint Authority for Ireland's north be a good or bad thing?Do we have it already?
Who would benefit from it the most?

These are interesting questions and I find the subject of Joint Authority quite fascinating as it seems to be quite taboo for either community to talk about.
As a nationalist I tend to think it would be a bad thing.Why?Because I think nationalists would end up quite content from the arrangement and as a result the desire for Irish reunification would decrease!

Do we have it already?In a way,yes.If one listens to statements on the North by Paul Murphy and Tony Blair,frequently we hear of efforts by the "British and Irish" governments suggesting that the Irish government's role is seen as being one of a partner as opposed to a sidekick.
Perhaps some nationalists would be delighted to attain Joint Authority in an official sense,but I would not.

Who would benefit most from it?The unionists,of course!If nationalists are being ruled in part by Dublin then it will be easy for them to simply discard the notion of Irish unity since,in their eyes,they would have enough influence already from Dublin.
While most unionists would probably detest the idea of Joint Authority,I feel it could safeguard their union with Britain and could conceivably destroy the hopes for a united Ireland in a very quiet and efficient manner.
As for nationalists in the south,knowing that Dublin would have a role in Northern affairs would surely see an increase in apathy over the North.

As I say,I do not like the idea of Joint Authority.It would be interesting to know what the details of the arrangement would be.Presumably the border would stay in place anyway!
However it is not something nationalism should be attracted to in my view.
After 1937 the Irish Free State was a Republic in all but name yet after 1949 it was a Republic officially and what did that achieve?Nothing.It made the prospect of Irish unity much tougher.
In 2005 the Irish Republic has Joint Authority in all but name;let's not make it official or we risk destroying the prospect of Irish unity forever.


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