Thursday, June 23, 2005


United Irish Republicans?

I've been browsing around The Blanket tonight (it's too warm to sleep) and I found some interesting articles, one of which being this article by Dr John Coulter whose views I find quite interesting. He argues republicans should form a single party for the island. The article is a few weeks old but I thought I'd offer a belated commentary on some of his comments:

"Just as the DUP needs to deliver on power-sharing with nationalists, so too Sinn Fein can shake off the perception it is merely the IRA Army Council's wee political puppet by having the vision to scrap abstentionism and take the oath at Westminster."

Interesting thought. I do think it's something Shinners should consider.

"Sinn Fein needs to look to the example of Eamon de Valera. As a vehement anti-Treaty activist, he lost the Civil War. But he became leader of the South by joining Fianna Fail and going into democratic government. Now that Sinn Fein has moved from the perceived 'extremes' to the middle ground of Northern politics, it is imperative abstentionism is ditched otherwise it will become a Biblical mill stone around Sinn Fein's neck."

A good point. Dev ended up becoming, in my opinion, Ireland's greatest Taoiseach. Yet beforehand, he had hated the system in place. By entering it, he changed it. Something worth thinking about...

"Eventually, too, Sinn Fein once it is totally democratic could merge with the SDLP to become a united, single movement known as The Republican Party of Ireland."

Not sure about this one. I can only see this happening if we end up seeing a united Unionist party.

"Long-term, Ireland should have only one republican party. In the South, Fianna Fail pushed the ethos of 'The Republican Party'. Now is the time to start building the foundations of transforming the pan-nationalist front into this single republican party."

I think questions remain over Fianna Fail's republicanism. I think if Sinn Fein becomes completely democratic and severs all ties with the Provos, many Fianna Fail republicans could simply jump ship to Sinn Fein. Along with alot of voters I might add.

What I do agree with Dr Coulter on most though is that Sinn Fein need to be open to new and radical ideas if they are to further Irish nationalism. I don't think it will happen though as they are enjoying political success by doing what they're doing now. A shame really.


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