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 Republicanism in the North - Reflection

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PostSubject: Republicanism in the North - Reflection   Sat Jul 26, 2008 7:04 pm

There seems to be a feeling, whether valid or not, of 'the end of history' about the North at present. Over the last few months there have been a number of very interesting radio interviews on RTE with republicans of very different kinds. The interviews are mainly backward-looking, reflecting on both the personal experience and the experience of republicanism as a political movement in Ireland. I thought I would post them here for anyone interested to mull over.

Interview 23 Feb 2008 Eamon Dunphy and Martin McGuinness

http://www.rte.ie/arts/2008/0223/conversationswitheamondunphy.html

Interview 28 June 2008 Eamon Dunphy and Eamonn McCann

http://www.rte.ie/arts/2008/0628/conversationswitheamondunphy.html

I wasn't able to find a link to a third interview, of Bernadette McAliskey Devlin, by Tom McGurk, that was broadcast this morning.
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PostSubject: Re: Republicanism in the North - Reflection   Sat Jul 26, 2008 7:08 pm

Here is is -

http://dynamic.rte.ie/quickaxs/209-rte-mcgurkandcompany-2008-04-24.smil

and here is Ruari O'Braidigh's interview in the same series.

http://dynamic.rte.ie/quickaxs/209-rte-mcgurkandcompany-2008-04-17.smil
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PostSubject: Re: Republicanism in the North - Reflection   Sat Jul 26, 2008 7:12 pm

I'm not sure if I have linked these files in the right way - any help would be appreciated. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Republicanism in the North - Reflection   Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:37 pm

Two points I`d like to make first off: there will never be an end to history despite what some people think. Peoples priorities change and other issues catch a hold of the imagination, people change positions within the social spectrum etc. The second, more important point, is that Ireland as a whole, North and South, is undergoing a process of change. The death of militant republicanism is a symptom of that but it is not the only symptom. Our national identity is moving away from one which identified with the underdog to one which is little or no different now to other countries that exploit the weaker and poorer countries. It`s a worrying and disheartening development. This is happening as a result of several things 1. increased wealth and the worshiping of business 2. the sanitisation of history and imperialist history in particular 3. globalisation, the ease with which British and America media penetrate our country because of the language of the majority. Side by side with this is the realisation that other than the colour of passports there are other manners in which identity can be expressed, so the surge in the Gaelscoileanna and the realisation that nation states don`t have the power that it was believed they had so republicans and others came to realise that if they want a share of the pie that cosying up to economic interests rather than smashing a state is important.
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PostSubject: Re: Republicanism in the North - Reflection   Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:44 pm

To what extent is the rapid rise of Gaelscoileanna a symptom of a fearful white middle class who do not wish their darlings to be held back by perceived problem children from minority ethnicity? As a consequence, they send them to such schools in the knowledge that their cultural education will be more like their parents, mono.
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PostSubject: Re: Republicanism in the North - Reflection   Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:48 pm

Substitute the word Protestant for white in there and do you understand why that post is offensive Johnfás?
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PostSubject: Re: Republicanism in the North - Reflection   Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:58 pm

Sorry didn`t mean to snap at you but that kind of nonsense is thrown at Irish speakers at a fairly regular basis now that the IRA have wrapped up their campaign in the North. Thirty years ago Irish speakers were labelled as Provos by bigots and now the real bigots want to portray them as racists. Three things need to be understood regarding the Gaelscoileanna

1. The increase in interest existed long before the influx of immigrants.

2. The growth area for Gaelscoileanna at the minute are rural areas with limited foreign populations and working class areas.

3. Gaelscoileanna perform well compared to english speaking schools.

4. Undoubtedly there are some parents who will send their kids there to keep them away from schools where there are large numbers of foreign kids, this isn`t necessarily racism John and you should know better than that, they want what`s best for their kids and being in a class with ten kids who don`t speak English isn`t necessarily what`s best for them. If you don`t have money the best way increasing your kids chances of getting a good education is a Gaelscoil.

5. There are increasing numbers of immigrants getting an interest in the Gaelscoileanna. This will definitely increase, particularly in the next generation. Secondary Gaelscoileanna in Dublin are now getting immigrants with no connection to the country in through their doors. They wouldn`t be doing that if they were a nest of racist vipers.

I`d argue that up until this point that the racists were more likely to engage in white flight than stay in the area and send their kids to a Gaelscoil. Racists don`t tend to have enlightened views on multi-lingualism.
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PostSubject: Re: Republicanism in the North - Reflection   Sat Nov 08, 2008 3:53 pm

Republicanism, especially the auld Irish sort, can't be isolated in the a Northern context alone. Some of the most die-hard auld type Republicans I come across are from the South, and much more vehement in a given interpretation of Republicanism than many of their six county counterparts. Nor can one say that Republicans and Republicanism had an historical deadline and that it ended on xx, xx, xxxx. Bertie didn't turn off the lights as he and many in the msm (main stream media) would like to portray. The context in which Republican ideology works has changed but the general ethos remains solidly intact. As with all things in modern society, the economy plays a much larger role than any given ideology. This, of course, has lead to differing opinions on the way in which Republican ideology operates in a different social context.

Many younger Repblicans have taken to an orthodox socialist interpretation of Republicanism in light of conflict resolution. They seem intent on identifying a grand underlying economic theme for Republicanism. Personally, I seperate my Republicanism from specific economic ideology. I base a political philosophy squarely upon individual and group representation; freedom from repression; free of association and speech. There are other tenets but these are vitally important. Yet they don't necessarily address the everyday realities; the most important of which is economic reality. These are just core guiding principles. I'm actually flirting with an anarchical stance. I must say I was surprised that many Irish anarchists have identified core deficiencies in Marxist ideology and know that such a system cannot work as it is constituted. It just doesn't take into account human nature. It's also interesting that no one has been able to build upon or alter the marxist intrepretation of socialism.

On another note, I believe that Republicanism will not only remain a viable philosophy but will evolve in the very vacumn that "end of history theorists" are now bandying about through various capitalist ideologies of every persuasion. The is a very real feeling within the Austrian/Ayn Rand school that they have an equaltion that is 99.9% completed on how so-called free market capitalism will self regulate all economic activity and, by extention, all human social interaction. Mind boggling stuff. As long as all economic activity is unfettered, all social consequences will be acceptable and we can stop worrying about history and intrepretation of history because the final economic solution will have been achieved. I suppose the question for many moderate Republicans, if you will, is how they view current capitalist ideology. Is the liberal/social model, aka Obama, robust enough to ensure a well functioning society? Is a deeper reform of commerce required in light of resource issues? Can Republicans, even if they are provided with a msm playing field, work within a reform agenda or do they have to pursue an alternative majority route?
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PostSubject: Re: Republicanism in the North - Reflection   Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:03 pm

anmajornarthainig wrote:
Substitute the word Protestant for white in there and do you understand why that post is offensive Johnfás?

I know of three families who have sent their children to a Gaelscoil in Dublin for precisely that reason.

I did not say that the Gaelscoileanna exist for racist ends, clearly not. Nor did I say that the people who send their children to them are racist. I merely asked whether or not avoiding schools with multi-ethnic backgrounds was one factor in their popularity. I asked this question owing to personal experience. It was not a comment, but a question. Hence the question mark.
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PostSubject: Re: Republicanism in the North - Reflection   Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:04 pm

First off Johnfás I`ve told you before that I`ve a lot of time for you. So I hope you take this post in the spirit that it is intended a rebuttal of your question rather than a personal attack.


The fact was that you asked that particular question Johnfás and by doing so you immediately linked Gaelscoileanna to racism. You didn`t ask how much of a factor better performance than comparable English schools was. You didn`t ask how much of a factor a desire to have bilingual kids was. You didn`t ask how many chose to send kids there because of a perception that they are the educational home of Gaelic/ Irish culture. The question you asked was a loaded question, regardless of the fact that I personally don`t believe that you are like that. Now I can`t answer your question about race categorically and neither can anyone else. all I can do is to give evidence that suggests that it isn`t much of a factor.

Seeing as you don`t see anything wrong with it I`ll pose the same question.

To what extent is attendance at Protestant schools a sign that the parents of the child hated Catholics and wanted to keep their child away from them? ....see there is a question mark there so does that mean it`s ok? No it doesn`t because by asking a question of that nature rather than looking at the evidence beforehand is immediately steering the debate in a particular direction. Posing a question in a particular way can be as offensive as a remark.

Now i don`t want to fall out with you and I particularly don`t want to be unfair. It`s apparent to anyone who knows you that you`re nothing if not well mannered and I`ve no doubt that any offense would be accidental. i`ve made my points as to why I regard the question as offensive if other posters feel that I`ve been unfair to you I`ll gladly apologise.
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PostSubject: Re: Republicanism in the North - Reflection   Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:14 pm

Irish republicanism is an all island feeling of common cultural/national/political/historical identity I've never heard the term 'Northern Republican' even from Unionists.

A Gaelscoil in your beloved D4 has been chosen as a centre of excellence for German by the Goethe Institute. Asian, African , American, European and some Irish born students will be availing of this to improve their singular narrow minded Irish identity through the medium of German.

As all Gaeilscoileanna are non-fee paying , increasing numbers of new arrivals to our shores are opting to send their kids to these schools because of the quality of education provided therein.

In the context of Gaeilscoileanna..........
'White Flight' - Crock of Shyte
'Gaeil Flee' - Curmudgeon Twee
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PostSubject: Re: Republicanism in the North - Reflection   Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:11 pm

anmajornarthainig wrote:
To what extent is attendance at Protestant schools a sign that the parents of the child hated Catholics and wanted to keep their child away from them? ....see there is a question mark there so does that mean it`s ok? No it doesn`t because by asking a question of that nature rather than looking at the evidence beforehand is immediately steering the debate in a particular direction. Posing a question in a particular way can be as offensive as a remark.

I never used the word hate, these are your words not mine. There is a strong argument that many attending Protestant schools do so in order to avoid what is a perceived indoctrinating curriculum of Catholic Religious Education. Why would I reject that, that is fact. It is not the majority opinion but it is certainly a prevalent one. It was also traditionally the case regarding medicine, where the Adelaide Hospital served as a 'Protestant Hospital' dispensing 'Protestant Medicine'. These are all facts. I do not reject the fact that this opinion is held by alot of people, but nor were they my opinions nor would they ever be.

I was merely asking to what extent such opinions were contributory to the rise in Gaelscoileanna. I am sorry that you appear to have a higher level of sensitivity to this issue and that may well be as a result of your own personal experience. I understand that, there are certain things to which we all have a greater sensitivity. Any offense that I caused was unintentional and I apologise for that. However, as someone interested in society I am interest to what extent all sorts of factors have in trends of almost everything. This is a place where we should be able to discuss the same. I do not intentionally ask loaded questions, it is not in my nature. I am supportive of all aspects of Irish culture and the Irish language, as I am a multiplicity of different cultures. I was merely raising a question. I think you will find it is an issue which has been raised on RTE television, most recently on David McWilliams' The Pope's Children.
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PostSubject: Re: Republicanism in the North - Reflection   Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:28 pm

I think McWilliams was way of the mark as far as Gaelscoileanna were concerned. His point may be true for a few parents he met in Ranelagh but if you consider other reasons why parents may send their children to a Gaelscoil..
A genuine interest in the Irish language...
A Gaeltacht reared parent......
The closest option......
Positive reports from parents/friends who had chidren at the school...
Close community ties.....
Good gaelic sports teams...
Non-fee paying secondaries...
early language learning skills...
previous parental attendance...
and all the other reasons parents send their kids to a specific school..
All of these are above the fear of being put into a class of immigrants.

No harm to you for asking , johnfás, but I think it (this white flight theory nonsense)was just another baseless attack on any aspect of the Irish language, which goes down well with the usual suspects.
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PostSubject: Re: Republicanism in the North - Reflection   Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:49 pm

Apology accepted Johnfás and I apologise without reservation for being over sensitive to your question. I also apologise for using religion as an example when I could have used some other example in it`s place, if you were offended by it, but I hope that my remark was taken in the spirit that it was meant in, to show how ludicrous it is that parnets would choose their child`s schooling on the basis of hatred. It wasn`t actually meant as the basis of an investigation into why some Protestant`s would choose one school over another. I`d be genuinely baffled and upset if was felt that I had implied that any of the Protestant schools in the state were drawing their numbers for any other reason than a desire to preserve family tradition, cultural and religious identity etc. rather than something more sinister. I repeat I wouldn`t think this the case to the extent of even 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001%.

Regarding sensitivity you`re correct insofar as that I would be sensitive regarding the language and some of the attitude and ignorance displayed towards the language by people from outside the Irish language community. There is a lifetime`s experience of bigotry and rudeness (mostly within the media) stored up side by side with the, even worse and much more common a person level, praise and patronising by well-meaning people. I know, and said it at the time, that I don`t believe that you meant any offence at all by it and I never believed for a second that you meant to ask a loaded question.

Also apologies to the mods for playing my part in triggering Machine Nation`s first religious and racial riot. Embarassed
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PostSubject: Re: Republicanism in the North - Reflection   Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:18 pm

I woulkd add my two pennorth by reminding that the rise of the Gaelscoilleanna took place before there was any significant level of immigration.

The biggest threat to the Gaelscoilleanna that I can see is Mary Hanafin's expressed intent to review the current terms for opening new schools - these are amazingly liberal in Ireland compared to most states, but have allowed the gaelscoilleanna and educate together schools to flourish.

In the Republic Gaelscoilleanna and Ed Togeth. Schools have been very much integrated in terms of religion - one of the reasons for their success.
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