Thursday, September 29, 2005


Thursday Thoughts: Unity aim corrupted

'United Ireland'. Two words that hold great significance to the people of this island. Regardless of your religion, political persuasion, or whether you're from the North or South, these two words conjure up something in you.

However, as we Dubliners recover from the 'Make Partition History' rally last weekend, it seems to me that, judging from people I've spoken to here, the thing that those two words conjure up at this moment in time more than anything else, is apathy.

When talking to some people the other day, the Sinn Fein rally came up. I myself was not in the City Centre when the rally took place but from listening to the opinions of those who were, it's clear this rally brought out a fiercely strong sense of revulsion towards the party.

I learned about how young children were marching through the streets of my city carrying guns (presumably fakes) and how there were chants for the IRA.

It's clear that those who witnessed this first-hand were disgusted.

Now I could care less about those who are disgusted at Sinn Fein, indeed I strongly oppose the party myself as visitors to United Irelander will know, but I do care about how the issue of Irish reunification is being damaged as a result.

I think the words 'United Ireland' evoke a sense of apathy in alot of Irish people as people have come to associate the words 'United Ireland' with Sinn Fein. Sinn Fein have, in my opinion, corrupted the noble goal of Irish unity.

Who is to blame for this? In my opinion, the southern parties should take alot of the blame. Fianna Fail are the 'Republican Party' apparently and Fine Gael are also said to be interested in reunification (when do they get involved in northern issues?) and the other southern parties make similar claims.

Sadly, it seems the only party that Irish people think are serious about this issue is Sinn Fein.

Considering that many Irish people in the south still want an all-Ireland State, why aren't southern political parties making a 'United Ireland' more of an issue? By not doing so, they run the risk of losing votes to the Sinners.

Presumably the point of a rally is to draw attention to something. Hopefully, in that sense, the rally has drawn the attention of the southern political parties and hopefully they'll pull the finger out on this matter.

To me, the words 'United Ireland' conjure up alot of things but one thing more than anything else - destiny. It is the destiny of this country to be reunited in the form of a 32-county all-Ireland State.

Let's not have that noble objective be tarnished by a few thousand people who are too ignorant to let go of the past and to embrace the future.

Sinn Fein won't ever get their version of a United Ireland, so why then should we let them impose their ignorant version of a United Ireland on the rest of us?

It's time we all looked within and asked ourselves what a 'United Ireland' means to us.


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