A response to Conall McDevitt

Since Conall seems to have decided not to moderate my comment on this blog post from last week, I reproduce it here. I don’t think I’ve said anything particularly objectionable. [UPDATE: it’s been moderated now]

The question goes from being whether there will be a united Ireland to how
Ireland will be united

You overstate your case. The GFA is quite consistent with Ireland never being
united, if the people continue to vote that way. This kind of presumption is
what drives unionists away. The Forum for Peace and Reconciliation is a prime
example – any hint of a preordained outcome and you end up preaching to the

Irish nationalism can take the old road of a “one size fits all” future or it
can walk into a new one in which unity is neither a unionist nightmare nor a
nationalist pipedream.

It doesn’t matter how you dress up nationalism, it is nationalism itself (or
nationalisms, as we have at least two) that is the problem. You must accept that
there will be multiple national identities in NI for the foreseeable future. So
the question is, do you want to build a fair society regardless of the national
identity of the individual, or do you want to build a new national identity? If
the former, then you have to accept the separation of nation and state, the same
way we have the separation of church and state. If the latter, you will be
waiting a while.


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