Book Reviews
& Book Forum

Search / Archive
Back to 10/96





ireland, irish, ulster, ireland, irish, ulster, Sinn Féin, Irish America

Ireland needs Celtic Alliance: we should work together

(John Coulter, Irish Daily Star)

The Celtic Alliance of Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh MPs must now be formed to prevent the Tories' austerity bandwagon rumbling across the island.

With all the pundits' polls predicting a hung Westminster Parliament now being flushed down the loo, the shock Conservative victory means the next five years will be among the most financially biting in the history of the British Isles.

And Stormont can provide a shining example of how former opponents can work together for the supposed benefit of the people of Ireland.

Southern Irish citizens can take a lot of comfort from these results and should prepare themselves for an eventual referendum on leaving the European Union.

Newly-elected Brit Prime Minister Dandy Dave Cameron will almost certainly re-negotiate the UK's EU role plus implement an In/Out referendum.

Given Tory sceptics and 3.5 million votes for Ukip, British voters are on course to dump the EU in favour of boosting the role of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

And if the UK abandons the EU, Ireland must follow otherwise the economic nightmare suffered by the collapse of the Celtic Tiger will be a Sunday School picnic compared to the financial holocaust which the Republic will face if it does not run with Britain.

The Republic must take the view – we've milked the European cow dry, it's time to move on with the Brits in the Commonwealth.

Comfort number two for Southern voters – even though Sinn Féin lost its prized Fermanagh South Tyrone bolthole to the Ulster Unionists, overall 'draft dodger' candidates did really well across the North, especially Mick Brady in Newry and Armagh and Catherine Seeley's performance in Upper Bann.

So-called 'draft dodgers' are Sinn Féin politicians who have no known connection, or have never served an apprenticeship in the Provisional IRA.

With the Shinners on course to make gains in next year's Dáil General Election, Southern voters can rest easy knowing that Sinn Féin is now a mature political movement which is capable of playing a sensible role in the next Leinster House coalition government.

The time has now come for Sinn Féin to dump its outdated policy of abstentionism and take its Commons seats if the Celtic Alliance is truly to work.

Sinn Féin has proven that it can run a Parliament with opponents such as the DUP. The Stormont power-sharing Executive is a beacon of how former foes can bond.

With the Scottish nationalists set to dominate the much-needed Celtic Alliance, that Alliance will need the experience and expertise of Sinn Féin and the DUP to keep the Tories in check.

As for the Unionist community, the scene has now been set with the Ulster Unionist revival of the reforming of the once-influential Unionist Coalition. The DUP and UUP proved that pacts work.

UUP boss Mikey Nesbitt may have saved his leadership ahead of next year's Assembly poll, but in spite of winning two MPs, his new-look party now has two clear wings.

The traditional Right-wing Orange faction will be boosted by Tom Elliott taking Fermanagh South Tyrone on a Unionist unity ticket.

And the liberal Unionist wing will take heart from the election of Danny Kinahan in South Antrim.

As for the DUP, winning back its East Belfast jewel from Alliance means the Peter Robinson-led party has now firmly established itself in the centre ground of Unionist politics.

Indeed, looking at the 2015 DUP, the former Northern Premier Terence O'Neill been alive today, he would have made an excellent First Minister to lead the party years after the late Ian Paisley and Dessie Boal formed what they wanted to be a militant, fundamentalist Unionist movement.

May 12, 2015

This article appeared in the May 11, 2015 edition of the Irish Daily Star.



Irish music downloads

Irish Videos

Art, prints, calendars and posters
Buy at Art.com
Sir Henry Sidney "Pacifies" Ulster and Returns to Dublin after a Victory
Buy From Art.com

Subscribe to the Newshound

Subscribe with PayPal


Newshound Merchandise
Get a Newshound mug, shirt or cap
The Epic History &
Heritage of the Irish

The Wild Geese Today