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Human Rights in Ireland >>

Re-Britishing the Irish State

category national | rights and freedoms | opinion/analysis author Monday January 05, 2009 19:43author by Tom Cooper - Irish National Congress Report this post to the editors

The Irish State, by way of government indifference, is moving stealthily towards rejoining the British Commonwealth. This must be confronted and reversed before it is too late. We can and should be on friendly and neighbourly terms with Great Britain, but as equals, not as a lesser or subservient state. We are a sovereign Republic, not a British council.

Sooner, rather than later, society in the Irish State must make fundamental decisions regarding its political identity, ethos and future policy directions. Will we continue along the path of nation building, slowly and painfully asserting a distinct post-colonial Irish identity in alliance with our European neighbours, or do we instead see ourselves as part of the so-called 'Anglosphere', re-aligning ourselves ever more closely with Great Britain?

This is a serious question, and is posed because recent actions and trends suggest that the Irish state is involved in a significant shift away from the type of political identity that has been projected since the establishment of the Republic of Ireland in 1949. I refer to a process whereby the Irish state is changing the way it projects itself politically and symbolically in order to accommodate aspects of political Britishness. The distinction between what is Irish and what is British is so blurred as to make the two terms synonymous with each other.

On December 21st 2008, Minister Martin Cullen, speaking on the RTE 2FM Sports Bag programme said he would like to see a Dublin soccer team playing in the UK premiership. The fact that no such league exists does not appear to be a deterrent to Mr Cullen's wish list for 2009. Presumably Minister Cullen was referring to the English Premiership. I know of no faster way to kill domestic soccer in Ireland than to have a team from Dublin participating in the English Premiership. Not to be outdone, Dick Bourke, chairman of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation called for an invitation to be extended to Prince Charles and his wife Camilla to visit Ireland as an "appropriate gesture to mark the 150th anniversary of Queen Victoria's visit to Kerry". Surely we can be more imaginative in commemorating the visit of the 'Famine Queen' to Ireland in 1861?. Such a visit, if it takes place, will be used to 'test the water', so to speak, and to psychologically 'soften up' Irish public opinion in advance of a full state visit by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. All the indications are that an invite will be issued by President Mc Aleese in 2009.

Also in 2008, Minister Eamon O' Cuiv sanctioned a grant of €250,000 to the Orange Order. Such largess to a blatantly sectarian organisation, particularly in these recessionary times, is an affront to those who are made endure unwelcome Orange marches in their areas.

In the past five years or so, the British state has been bestowing titles and honours upon selected Irish citizens as if they were her own British subjects. Bono, front man for U2 and Bob Geldof of the Boomtown Rats, have both been made "Knight Commanders of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire". Not only should this be seen as an infringement on Irish sovereignty, but also an attack on the republican and egalitarian ethos of Bunreacht Na hÉireann. The awarding of these 'titles of nobility' must be seen as part of the cultural re-incorporation of this state into the British sphere of influence and one must question the motives of those who accept such archaic badges of post-colonial subservience. It is my view that no Irish citizen should be allowed accept a British 'title of nobility' unless they are prepared to renounce their Irish citizenship and
surrender their Irish passport.

Recently, Irish Navy personnel participated alongside their British counterparts in the Royal Navy to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Admiral Nelson's defeat of the French and Spanish fleets at Trafalgar, while the Irish Air Corp, alongside the Royal Air Force, took part in the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. The Irish state now participates with the Royal British legion in Remembrance Day ceremonies, and once again British military funerals, with the pomp and pageant of the British military ethos, are taking place on Irish soil. This amounts to no less than a surrender of sovereign control over State ceremonial to our former colonial masters.

In August 2006 Fine Gael MEP Gay Mitchell, speaking at the annual Michael Collins/Arthur Griffith commemoration in Glasnevin Cemetery, posed the possibility of a future Irish Government agreeing to a role for the British Monarch in a 'New Ireland', perhaps even as joint head of state. Such a measure would mean the Irish state rejoining the British Commonwealth. Mr Mitchell's proposal is probably the first time that any Dublin politician has openly challenged the continued existance of the Republic of Ireland state seperate from Britain. A political taboo has been broken, so to speak.

The Irish Government has a duty to uphold the value and dignity of Irish citizenship, and to oppose any British encroachment into our political and civic space. It could be argued that our elected representatives are not only failing to uphold Irish neutrality, but are participating in the erosion of our sovereignty.

author by 1publication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 21:18Report this post to the editors


and I think I recently saw a television ad in which Graham Norton was wearing a union jack jacket......might sound harmless but I believe it is a sign of the continuing attempts to re-anglise Ireland........which MUST be opposed.

author by FDpublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 22:33Report this post to the editors

When I want to visit England, I'll visit England.
When I want to visit Ireland, I do hope it will still be the Republic of Ireland.
When I want some very interesting confusion, I'll go to the northern, still occupied province.
"England out of Ireland" -- all of it, PLEASE.

author by A10publication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 23:51Report this post to the editors

Just about every high street shop and bank and TV programme,newspapers and anything else then.
We all spout we want to be Irish,but are we willing to give up the "British" comforts or debateable benefits in our lives coming from the UK.Fine all for this.But what will replace the comfortors that the average Paddy and Mary in the street take for granted??

author by Ronocpublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 00:55Report this post to the editors

... to tell the truth it wouldnt surprise me. I dont believe much of the electorate are actually acting on behalf of the Irish people. And i also believe that ever since the creation of the free state, there has been English secret service infiltrating Irish life and politics. I have no evidence nor read much on this topic(but would be happy if someone might post on this topic), but i cant believe that the English would just stop interfering here after all the effort they put in. I think they just got wiser and got with the times, they discovered that force breeds hatred against and them and they can only control through more cunning means... I dont put it as good as James Connolly but this is what he says and what I mean and is what's happening -

"If you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organisation of the socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain. England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole army of commercial and individual institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs. (...) Nationalism without Socialism - without a reorganisation of society on the basis of a broader and more developed form of that common property which underlay the social structure of Ancient Erin - is only national recreancy." (Connolly, Socialism and Nationalism, p25)

I'll give one example and let others comment. Have you noticed that Tesco seems to sell lots of Irish products?? Some Irish and some products produced in Ireland (meaning it could be just packaged here). 'BE IRISH BUY IRISH', produced in Ireland, mmmm? that must mean its an Irish product, oh and its cheap too. Now every year I come home, I always notice that in Tesco, Irish products on the shelves are getting less and less. Is it just me??? Thats just one little thing...

author by Edwardpublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 09:31Report this post to the editors

Some sample information relating to the socially destructive ways that unconstitutional legislation produced in the Republic of Ireland is being used to benefit large multinational companies, and their associated banking organisations of course, can be found in the two examples provided below.

=========
   
(1) SIAC/Ferrovial/Eurolink Construction Company:
   
Destruction of Barrontown Heritage Site near the "Hill of Tara" (using National Monuments Amendment Act 2004):
http://www.humanrightsireland.com/IndyMediaIreland/4Jul...e.htm 
   
=========
   
(2) National Toll Roads/Greenstar/Celtic Waste Superdump at Kilconnell, East County Galway (using Waste Management Amendment Act 2001):
   
   a) http://www.annmariekelly.org/LegalAidApplication/3Novem...4.htm
       and
   b) http://www.finnachta.com/BordPleanalaAppeal.htm 
   
=========

Related link: http://www.humanrightsireland.com/PrimeMinisterCowen/9M...l.htm

author by Pat Ohara.publication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 09:51Report this post to the editors


I note that all the above comments have been posted in the ENGLISH language !

Can't imagine French people having a similar discussion about Germany using the GERMAN language.

Almost all continental visitors to this country comment about how culturally British this country has already become.
(Man United stickers on every car . Radio ads in English accents. Housing estates called "Aylesbury".etc. etc. etc..)

We lost.

Brian Boru would agree.

author by Mike Novackpublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 13:07Report this post to the editors

"I dont believe much of the electorate are actually acting on behalf of the Irish people"

What could you possibly have meant by that? Presumably not that your electorate was composed of people other than Irish people.

Take another look at what you are saying if what you meant was along the lines "the people making up the electorate are voting for what they perceive to be their own (private/individual) best interests instead of subordinating their own interests to those of some mystical collective "folk". If so, just who gets to decide what those "real" interests are if you believe that "the people" can't be trusted to make that decision for themselves.

author by Pat Ohara.publication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 14:53Report this post to the editors

I presume "elected" was meant.

Take Beverley Flynn for instance.

Beverley, poor woman, is a model of self sacrifice.

Like a lot of the rest of them.
.

author by southern comfort - Judean Popular Front (People's Brigades)publication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 15:06Report this post to the editors

We have always kinda been Brit Lite, or Brit plan B.

Consider that 1916 wouldn't have happened without nice Mr Childers (Royal navy, DSM holder) arming the Volunteers in the first place. Did any of us natives have the nous to find, buy and ship the rifles? Nope.

Then the 1918 election landslide for Sinn Fein became a landslide because of the English first-past-the-post system. 48% of the vote allowed for over 70% of the seats. Very good of them.

The English 303 rifle was another handy item in 1919-21. No Thompson guns arrived in time for 1916 or the "Tan war" - they only "echo" in our pub songs.

Then the Irish Republic neglected to appoint a head of state until late 1921. In the mean time, the default head of state, George V, suggested a truce in June 1921 and we jumped to obey. Then half of us had second thoughts a year later.... Then almost all decided in 1926 that it was AOK. All the British civil service was co-opted, with a few new jobs for the boys added on top.

Let's not get into Dev's idea of neutrality in WW2. The given excuse for not joining NATO was the Border, but the real reason was a lack of money.

The language has been "Hiberno-Engish" for centuries for most of us, and the notion that we are better speaking Gaelic is a novelty that has not worked. Belgium speaks French or Dutch, Austria speaks German - each has a separate dialect without feeling any less Austrian or Belgian. None of my ancestors came from Galway, so why should I have to speak an updated IarConnacht-Galway-Gaelic to make anyone else feel better about themselves? Nein danke.

Most people don't want to live on cuddly small farms, and say the rosary every day, and twitch our net curtains when the neighbours go by. If our northern unionist fellow-islanders want to live in peace and worship false gods, let them do so. They can't be falser than our gods.

The northern "nationalists" have been eating from the UK's social welfare pot for decades. They don't boycott a cheque with a crown printed on it. O Cuiv was wrong to give (my) money to the orangemen, but that's just tokenism.

As for the Commonwealth, it is now just a third world talking shop. We have been trying to escape the third world. It has nothing to do with us and unionists won't think the better of us for joining it.

The historical aspects are convoluted and we have been lied to by the PR people on all sides. But here we are, and it was nice to have the chance to vote No to Lisbon.

author by dissidentpublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 15:12Report this post to the editors

He who controls the eye controls the mind. Look at the boobtube, the majority sit in front of it for an average of six hours a day, who provides/controls the content/messages?

author by Michaelpublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 16:13Report this post to the editors

How the Irish Saved Civilization, by T. Cahill ...

"Around the beginning of the 4th century the mighty Roman Empire began to crumble and fall, the lamp of civilization was about to go out and the long dark shadows of the approaching night of the Dark Ages began to appear. It was at that time that God raised up a small nation in the West - at the ends of the earth - to keep the torch burning and be a light to the nations. That island - far from Rome - was Ireland, and the man chosen by God to begin this glorious work was St. Patrick." (From http://www.reformation.org/ireland.html )

Now civilisation needs to be saved again, and the world looks to Ireland again.

Step 1: "NO" to The Lisbon Treaty. (This was a truly MIGHTY start!!)

We must try to keep up the good work here in Ireland. Unlike the vast majority of all other nations, we already have a proven track record here for being able to rise up from (and above) the "Rome/Washington" type cesspits of global corruption, crime, cover-ups, and eventual collapse: and, hopefully, to "be a light to other nations" once again, at what is really a very tricky time for the whole of the human race.

Related link: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Ireland%3A+Island+...f&oq=

author by Pat Ohara.publication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 17:17Report this post to the editors

But wasn't that fella St. Patrick a Brit?

Shame on "Niall of the Nine Hostages" for bringing them Brits into Ireland.

Niall is also an ancestor of Daniel O'Donnell ,according to RTE last night.

Niall's crimes are indeed manifold.
.

author by Lannpublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 17:30Report this post to the editors

"While the great libraries of Europe fed the bonfires of barbarians, the fate of Western civilization rested on the shoulders of the humble Irish monks who labored over their writing tables and saved for posterity the classic works of Greece and Rome. Had they not, twelve centuries worth of writers such as Plato, Homer, Virgil, Sophocles and Cicero would today be only names to us...lost forever in the fires of ignorance." (From http://www.mccelticdesign.com/scribe.htm )

Related link: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Celtic+Culture&btn...earch

author by Melpublication date Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:38Report this post to the editors

They were decommissioned by Rome -- "ethnically cleansed" -- and written out of history (almost completely): with, among many other things, the result that there is nobody around today, or for the past several centuries for that matter, who knows how to produce the fantastic quality of artistic workmanship found in the Book of Kells (for example).

For those who might not already know, the Celtic Monks of the Middle Ages are often referred by the term " Céile Dé " (which is believed to have meant "Partners of God" in the Middle Ages, or something very similar), and that these days the term also appears in a number of anglicised forms -- which includes "Culdees".

Related link: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Ceile+De%2C+Culdee...f&oq=

author by Pat Ohara.publication date Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:26Report this post to the editors

The people of Switzerland have not forgotten.

One of the Culdees was St. Gall
He founded what is today the great Swiss city of St. Gallen....named after him..

The year was 612 ad.

Today St. Gallen is a "UNESCO World Heritage Site" and considers itself to be the "Cultural Capital" of Switzerland.

http://www.myswitzerland.com/en.cfm/home/citytrips/offe....html

In just 3 years the Swiss,and hopefully the Irish, will celebrate the 1400th anniversary of the day that a bear helped out our Gall.
That bear is still the emblem of St. Gallen:

http://www.hunterjumpernews.com/?p=2678

.

author by Trine 14publication date Wed Jan 07, 2009 15:41Report this post to the editors

“the British state has been bestowing titles and honours upon selected Irish citizens as if they were her own British subjects”


Surely it’s up to the British state to whom it bestows honours? Are you arguing that Irish people in Britain ought not to be eligible? Should an Irish school dinner lady in Cricklewood or Luton be debarred? Bono has accepted honours from the governments of Chile and Portugal as well – are you bothered about that? If not why not?

“The awarding of these 'titles of nobility' must be seen as part of the cultural re-incorporation of this state into the British sphere of influence”


Must it, really? Could one not see it as a silly exchange of baubles without any such massive geopolitical significance?

author by tom cooperpublication date Sun Jan 11, 2009 22:06Report this post to the editors

'Trine' - The reason I have no objection to Bono accepting honours or awards from Portugal and Chile is because last time I looked, I saw no Portugese or Chilean soldiers patroling Irish streets, just British. Bono is undoubtedly a very talented entertainer with a worldwide following, and that is precisely why he was selected for a British award. Gombeenism is still alive in Ireland.

author by southern comfortpublication date Sun Jan 18, 2009 13:22Report this post to the editors

I went up north in the summer, all over, and didn't see a border, and didn't see any soldiers. Just some faded murals in Derry beside the shiny new shopping centres.

The brits are so anti-Oirish that the head of their civil service is Gus O'Donnell, Irish papist - see link below. Get real, children.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gus_O%27Donnell
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