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> What do y'all know about Ireland, NI & the IRA?
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JingleBellJüpes
post Nov 25 2019, 11:09 AM
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Thought this might be an interesting thread given NI's recent prominence in UK politics and the recurrent attack line on Corbyn, while the Tories are literally allied with the DUP.
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Holly and Izzy
post Nov 25 2019, 11:39 AM
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Not as informed as I could be. I know the historical background, the basic timeline of the Troubles, the terror attacks the IRA carried out at their height (car bombings). The current political situation I'm not quite sure how to parse - with conflict within living memory my guess is that there is more weight attributed to whether you are a unionist or nationalist in NI than other parts of the UK. So I always try to be careful when making comments on the value judgments of particularly Northern Irish parties - though as can be expected, I'm certainly no fan of the DUP.

I would say I'm as informed on the domestic politics of the Republic of Ireland as much as I am any other Western European country, which is to say I'd know the head of government and their position on the political spectrum but not much else (Varadkar, centre-right - incidentally the differences between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil somewhat escape me).
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Harve
post Nov 25 2019, 11:46 AM
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I can understand the differences between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil but what I don't understand is how they've remained the two main parties for so long after the Anglo-Irish treaty, and why the divide hasn't become a left and right one like it is in most democracies.

(I know that there's also Labour and Sinn Féin as other large-ish parties)
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Brett-Butler
post Nov 25 2019, 07:21 PM
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I know a little bit, given that I'm from Northern Ireland and my grandfather was Vice-President of Sinn Fein.
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JingleBellJüpes
post Nov 26 2019, 03:13 AM
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QUOTE(Brett-Butler @ Nov 25 2019, 07:21 PM) *
I know a little bit, given that I'm from Northern Ireland and my grandfather was Vice-President of Sinn Fein.


I figured you might have quite a bit to say!

Didn't know that last bit tho ohmy.gif that must be interesting as an influence?
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ChristmaSteve201
post Nov 26 2019, 08:15 AM
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I'm from NI and did a MA in Irish Politics.
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ChristmaSteve201
post Nov 26 2019, 08:17 AM
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QUOTE(Harve @ Nov 25 2019, 11:46 AM) *
I can understand the differences between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil but what I don't understand is how they've remained the two main parties for so long after the Anglo-Irish treaty, and why the divide hasn't become a left and right one like it is in most democracies.

(I know that there's also Labour and Sinn Féin as other large-ish parties)


Up until the 1970s it was basically an arguement about who was the most republican with Fianna Fáil normally being the clear winner. There after they mainly have been both populist parties usually having to go into coalition with a smaller party.

They both hate SF not because of any principle but because SF represent a threat to their control of the populist nationalist vote in the ROI.

Another big reason is that irelannd developed differently than the uk - its always been a rural democracy with few industrial areas making left right politics a bit more blurred and distinctive.


This post has been edited by Steve201: Nov 26 2019, 06:58 PM
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vidsanta
post Nov 26 2019, 08:31 AM
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QUOTE(Steve201 @ Nov 26 2019, 08:17 AM) *
Up until the 1970s it was basically an arguement about who was the most republican with Fianna Fáil normally being the clear winner. There after they mainly have been both populist parties usually having to go into coalition with a smaller party.

They both hate SF not because of any principle but because SF represent a threat to their control of the populist nationalist vote in the ROI.


If/when Ireland is reunited, surely there will no longer be a role for SF anyway?
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ChristmaSteve201
post Nov 26 2019, 06:57 PM
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There probably will depending on how smart they are politically - theres a lot of SF members in NI who are right wing in rural areas and Marxist in urban areas like Belfast where they are competing with PBP etc.

Depends how things work out and who gives the most brown paper envelopes tongue.gif
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Brett-Butler
post Nov 26 2019, 10:17 PM
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QUOTE(LaJüpe @ Nov 26 2019, 04:13 AM) *
I figured you might have quite a bit to say!

Didn't know that last bit tho ohmy.gif that must be interesting as an influence?


Definitely, I grew up with the stories about what happened to him in the 60s and 70s from my mum, and how Ian Paisley directly led to his business being destroyed and him being imprisoned (one of the reasons that I could never in a million years vote for the DUP). He'd left Sinn Fein by the time I was born (he objected to its absentionism, among other issues), and as a staunch Catholic he definitely would not have liked it in its current form, but remained fairly well known in republican circles, as well as being a dedicated advocate of the Irish language.

I guess that my interest in politics does come through him a little bit, although I'd never call myself a republican and have never been involved in any of that stuff myself - I'd say I'm more of an "apathetic nationalist" than anything else when it comes to the constitutional question of a United Ireland.
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ChristmaSteve201
post Nov 26 2019, 11:17 PM
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Would he have had Aontu sympathies?
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Brett-Butler
post Nov 26 2019, 11:26 PM
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I believe he would (although he died 10 years before they were formed), although I don't know how he'd feel about their absentionist policy.
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ChristmaSteve201
post Nov 26 2019, 11:31 PM
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So his attraction to SF was due to his life experience during the defining years of the troubles rather than being a doctrainaire republican I would guess?
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Brett-Butler
post Nov 26 2019, 11:36 PM
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I couldn't answer that for sure, but he was involved in Sinn Fein well before the Troubles began.
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