Thursday, January 13, 2005


Thursday Thoughts:Future Ponderings

I like to contemplate about the future.Not just the near future but the far distant future.
I like to contemplate what life will be like 100 years from now.How will Ireland have changed by then?Will we be a unified island?Will we be part of a unified Europe?
Will Ireland have won a World Cup by then?Will Irish people have been to space by then?(See previous post!)
Or,will the world still be around by 2105?!
Permit me to comment on what I hope Ireland will be like by 2105.

Let me set you a scene.It is a bright sunny morning in Belfast and in a classroom some young schoolchildren are about to learn some Irish history.
The teacher begins to speak to the kids about how their country became a united state.
They are told about significant moments in the 21st century leading up to Irish reunification such as the emergence of Fianna Fail and the SDLP on a 32-county basis which cost Sinn Fein votes and cost the party to lose ground.
They are told about how the Provisional IRA chose to disband and how efforts by the Irish Government in the twenties and thirties to make Ireland north and south as indivisible as possible had a big effect.
They learn about a great man who successsfully argued for and achieved the unification of Ireland prompting huge celebrations worldwide and are told that this great man would likely be regarded by their parents as the greatest Irishman who ever lived.
And they're told he was a unionist.End of lesson for the day.

It is my belief that when Irish unity does occur that the people who manage to argue for it effectively and who succeed in attaining it will be regarded as great figures who history will honour.
It stands to reason to me that a key figure in such a situation would have to be a unionist.Someone who sees beyond petty anti-Irish attitudes and who is willing to acknowledge Britishness but also Irishness and to work in a 32-county state to achieve such a polity.
It is my belief that a great place in Irish history awaits a unionist.
I question whether this great unionist,this great Irishman exists at this point in time but I believe one day Ireland will have this figure and he will be pivotal in bringing to this island the greatest day in its history.
The day when the border is brought down,the day when division and alienation are replaced with unity and co-operation.
A day that schoolchildren can be proud of.


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