Nationalists say Northern Ireland is a failure yet nationalism has not been a success

A letter from James Martin:

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 5:13 am
Letter to the editor

It is in the nature of nationalist writers and politicians to label Northern Ireland as a disaster.

This could be seen to imply that the Republic of Ireland has been a huge success, or at least that it would have been had it not been for partition.

It also implies that nationalists have been successful in advancing their cause and blameless in any shortcomings in how Northern Ireland has delivered for its inhabitants.

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In relation to the performance of the Republic of Ireland:

Firstly, considering the prevailing conditions at the time it is perhaps understandable that Irish nationalists were able to stoke emotions and gain support to leave the United Kingdom in 1921.

However, with the experience of a hundred years of poor economic performance and associated high emigration (particularly to England), and a continuing general dependence on firstly the United Kingdom and latterly the European Union, it is surely a time to take stock.

With a visit to the GP and A&E costing 50 and 100 euro and the cost of living generally higher in the Republic, the prosperity and wellbeing of individual Irish citizens appears to come a poor second to the nationalist cause.

The performance of political nationalism in Northern Ireland has also been less than impressive.

In Westminster elections, since 1997, the overall Irish nationalist share of the vote has actually shrunk while their Scottish counterparts have more than doubled their vote share.

Irish republicanism’s brutish sectarian campaign against Northern Irish unionists has ensured they have failed to convince any unionist of the merits of a united Ireland.

But perhaps most notably, according to opinion polls, they have even failed to convince a significant number of their own voters of the merits of a united Ireland.

James Martin, Dromore, Co Down

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