Sinn Fein Leader Credits ’08 Crash For Re-Think On Unity

The article below is taken from the latest online edition of The Detail, the web-based current affairs magazine and stablemate of Trevor Birney’s growing film production empire which recently released, via Fine Point Films, a docudrama about Bobby Sands called 66 Days.

I have read this piece several times. It is based on a speech given by SF MEP Matt Carthy and no matter how I hold it – up to the light, sideways, upside down or at various angles – it seems to be saying the same thing: the Good Friday Agreement is as good as it gets, folks!

Matt Carthy - one f the post-GFA generation of Shinners now consigning Irish unity to the land of shibboleths.....

Matt Carthy – one of the post-GFA generation of Shinners now consigning Irish unity to the land of shibboleths…..He heads Sinn Fein’s Irish Unity Strategy Group

So, no more pretence that the 1998 deal was a stepping stone to the all-Ireland paradise envisaged by the men of 1916 – a goal, incidentally, that I seem to remember both Messrs Adams & McGuinness a decade or so ago hinting, if not actually predicting, would be reached by the centenary.

And since that anniversary has come and gone and not only is the Border still intact but swathes of the Republic now seem to be on the British royalty’s routine visiting itinerary – rather like Stevenage or Birmingham – it is maybe time to come clean and admit the obvious about the state of the Union between Britain and Northern Ireland.

The only twist to the story is that the failure of the project is now being laid, or rather credited, at the door of the bankers. And we thought they were all evil,  selfish bastards!

This is what Carthy says:

He said that the republican ideals of the 1916 Easter Rising had not been achieved on either side of the Irish border.

“The financial crash and its aftermath has politically educated an entire generation of people in Ireland. There is now an urgency among many young and not so young people to confront the shibboleths, hypocrisy and cant of the past and to build a much more open, progressive and equal society.”

So, the goals of 1916 are amongst the ‘shibboleths, hypocrisy and cant of the past’?

Incidentally as headlines go, the one devised by The Detail’s editors is about as  dishonest as they get. ‘New language’, my arse! Enjoy, or at least read. This is another important waypoint in SF’s bewildering, extraordinary journey:

Sinn Féin uses new language to describe its vision for Irish unity

By Steven McCaffery, 04 June 2016

SINN FÉIN has asked republicans to consider “transitional arrangements” on Irish reunification including the continued existence of a devolved administration in Belfast.

In a speech today at the Corrymeela peace and reconciliation centre in Co Antrim Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy said supporters of Irish unity should be “open, imaginative and accommodating”.

He called for republicans and nationalists to consider new thinking on the shape of any reunified Ireland, including “transitional arrangements which could perhaps mean continued devolution to Belfast within an all-Ireland structure”.

Mr Carthy, who is head of Sinn Féin’s United Ireland Strategy Group, said there would be a “democratic imperative” for a poll on Irish unity if the UK opted to leave the European Union in the referendum planned for later this month.

But it is understood that his call for a rethink on the shape of a united Ireland is to be interpreted as new language by Sinn Féin and follows comments last year by party president Gerry Adams that Irish unity may not be the version “traditionally envisaged”.

Mr Carthy told the event which included speakers from the DUP and Ulster Unionist Party that, as a result of unionist opposition to constitutional change, republicans needed to be “open, imaginative and accommodating in our approach to bringing about a united Ireland”.

He said: “For instance, I think we need to consider transitional arrangements which could perhaps mean continued devolution to Belfast within an all-Ireland structure.

“What else could it mean? Why don’t we have some discussions about that?”

Saying that the “historical trajectory is for the coming together of Orange and Green”, he added: “To those who say that this will not happen, it is worth noting that it is only a few short years since the idea of the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin being in government together would have been regarded as absurd. Yet this has happened.”

The speech is understood to be a signal that Sinn Féin wants to discuss alternative visions for the future.

Mr Carthy said: “The only type of United Ireland that interests me is one that is agreed, inclusive, pluralist and which is constructed by all our citizens, from whatever background or tradition.”

He said that the republican ideals of the 1916 Easter Rising had not been achieved on either side of the Irish border.

“The financial crash and its aftermath has politically educated an entire generation of people in Ireland,” he said.

“There is now an urgency among many young and not so young people to confront the shibboleths, hypocrisy and cant of the past and to build a much more open, progressive and equal society.”

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