The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Federalism

 

Michéal Mhá Dúnnáin • 24 August 2006

In the past the idea of a federal republic of Ireland was considered a purely republican ambition, one can go back to the early 1970s when Daithi O' Connell revealed his plan for a federal Ireland. This plan was generally given credence by loyalist paramilitaries, but was totally rejected by the so called constitutional parties of the day namely the SDLP and the Unionist party. If they had embraced the idea a lot of lives would have been saved, but because they thought they knew better the conflict continued, the rest is history.

Now we have Michael Gillespie's articles on federalism as if it is something new and republicans never thought about. I think he should read Éire Nua. The only difference been that he proposes that federalism take place within a united kingdom context and total recognition of the British culture, this republicans have always acknowledged from the onset. It is failure of the British culture to fully accept the existence of Irish culture as been equal that has proved to be the stumbling block .

In a federated Ireland unionists would properly muster up to 30% of the seats in any federal assembly and senate. In a state or provincial assembly unionist would also have a majority even within a nine county Ulster. This would give them a great deal of power and influence over legislation in a federal Ireland instead of the less than 1%. they have at present in the english house of commons, of course unionist will always point to their close relationship with the conservatives and the influence they can exert in times of crises to influence policy in favor of the union. but this only happens once in a blue moon, instead as Gregory Campbell stated recently the electorate would have to accept the ups and downs of been part of the UK within the E.U and basically accept their lot with regards to funding, rather than presenting an unified (United Ireland) case to justify greater funding and thus representing their constituency as elected representatives should. They could represent their constituency more to what their needs required rather than relying on political favors from their british masters. In the E.U for example under a federal Ireland the north would be entitled to vastly more european aid than at present.

Of course how a federal Ireland is made up would be the result of REAL negotiation among the parties involved (i.e a two state federation or a provincial federation). A referendum could be held to see if Ireland should rejoin the commonwealth of nations, it should be remembered that de Valera was opposed to leaving the commonwealth in 1946 but because of the rules that prohibited republics from been members of the commonwealth, the republic of Ireland was forced to leave, not until India gained independence and the rules changed were republics permitted to remain within the commonwealth of nations.

Not all commonwealth members recognize the crown as the head of state, nominal or otherwise. So this should not be and issue. To use the crown as a bribe for a united Ireland does not fully respect the ideals of what true independence is about. This idea that the crown should be nominal head of state again shows Mr Gillespie's lack of respect of Irish culture with regards to been treated equal. Ireland can have close relations with it neighbors across the Irish sea within the commonwealth of nations and E.U if the electorate so decide.

I believe that unionists should enter into talks that will lead them to take a greater role in the role in Irish politics rather than been a kept culture at the behest of the english. Whether this leads to a federal Ireland who knows, but what we need is some form of united states of Ireland that respects each culture equally and benefits its people and communities rather than using religion to gain political points and inciting sectarianism and then claim these people are not true unionists like jack boot unionist do.


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Index: Current Articles



27 August 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

The Price of Our Memory
Anthony McIntyre

In the Balance
John Kennedy

The Time for Revolutionary Marxism is NOW
Darren Cogavin

No! To A Holy War
Liam O Comain

Rendition Collusion
Eoin McGrath

Rendition Flights
John Kennedy

An Open Letter to Martina Anderson
Dr John Coulter

An Honest Writer: Cristóir Ó Floinn
Seaghán Ó Murchú

A Dual Presidency: An Improbable Solution to the Irish Problem
Michael Gillespie

Federalism
Michéal Mhá Dúnnáin

Petition Calling for a Referendum on Irish Unification
Patrick Lismore

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 5
Michael Gillespie

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 6
Michael Gillespie

Number Crunching
Dr John Coulter

PFI Ventures Show the Con in all its Sordid Splendour
Anthony McIntyre


21 August 2006

Throwing the Book at Gerry
John Kennedy

The Man With the Planter Name
Liam O Comain

Diplock Delay Equals Justice Denied
Martin Galvin

Kevin Lynch, INLA Volunteer
Ray Collins

1981 Hunger Strike Commemoration in Chicago
Richard Wallace

The Question of Paisley's Legacy
Dr John Coulter

Turf War
John Kennedy

Eoin O’Duffy’s biography by Fearghal McGarry
Seaghán Ó Murchú

The Proclamation to Me
Mick Hall

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 3
Michael Gillespie

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 4
Michael Gillespie

House on Notting Hill
Dr John Coulter

Courage, Muslim Leaders
David Adams

Middle East Conflict Has Abandoned Rules of War
Anthony McIntyre

A Warning From History
John Kennedy

Cartoon Commissar
Anthony McIntyre

The Letters page has been updated.

 

 

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