Republicans divided the island

Ulster Unionism influenced the border, allowing most people to live in their preferred jurisdiction
Ulster Unionism influenced the border, allowing most people to live in their preferred jurisdiction

Like many Irish nationalists Malachy Scott (May 14) seems to be a bit confused about Irish history and the meaning of democracy.

It is a fact that Northern Ireland did not separate from the rest of Ireland, but that the rest of Ireland separated from the United Kingdom.

Letters

Letters

Unionists did not want the division of this island; it was forced upon them by republicans.

What Ulster Unionism did was to influence where the border between the two countries would lie, allowing most people to live in the jurisdiction they preferred.

In the general election of 1918, claimed by republicans as the election in which the Irish people voted for independence 46.9 per cent of the voting electorate voted for republican parties.

I shouldn’t have to explain this but I will anyway; 46.9 per cent of a vote is less than half of it.

Some historians argue that republicans could have won more than 50 per cent of that vote, others that they should have done so but the fact is that they didn’t.

We all saw last year that the Scottish referendum fell because fewer than half the voters voted for independence. If the general election of 1918 was a referendum on the Irish Republic then the republicans lost.

This, of course, didn’t prevent them from launching a sectarian, terrorist war aimed at achieving it.

Democracy?

Sam Gray

Armagh