Saving Good Friday


Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney speaking at the launche ‘Getting Ireland Brexit Ready’ public information campaign at Government Buildings last month

Otis Blue writes:

Are you still trying to work out why the Good Friday Agreement matters in the Brexit negotiations? Read on…


28 thoughts on “Saving Good Friday

  1. Joan

    No treaty is ever sacrosanct. That’s what history teaches. We may want to cement something for a generation or for eternity, but things inevitably change.

    1. SOQ

      Change in this case will require agreement from two governments and a vote by the people. It’s not going to happen.

      1. Joan

        Agreement will be made by the two governments but there won’t be a vote by the people. We’re on the road to a united Ireland whether we like it or not.

        1. Ollie Cromwell

          I wish you were but not a chance in the near to medium future.
          I don’t know of single Irish person who has the remotest interest in uniting with the North and its rather excitable inhabitants.
          Perhaps because the Irish government makes such a poor job of running 26 counties how are they going to cope with another six without the 10 billion pound grant NI gets from the rest of the UK every year.
          And even the most recent,major opinion poll had a majority of Catholics in the North preferring to remain in the UK – they rather like their free healthcare.

          1. Joan

            You’re right, to a certain extent. But after Brexit, moderate Unionism has seen that the game is up. They’ll take a united Ireland if it means saving their business interests. At the moment they’re down in Dublin quite frequently in order to get certain guarantees form Iveagh House for the move to a united Ireland. A lot of Catholics who would (three years ago) have voted to remain in the UK have now gone over to the opposite side. Brexit has changed everything. Money talks. The UK’s finished. Scotland will leave it soon. Dublin will foot the bill for a united Ireland and it won’t be easy.

          2. Kevin Quinn

            A couple of points on this assertion that ‘we can’t afford the North’.

            * Read Richard Humphreys’ excellent book, ‘Beyond the Border’ – he points out that without a change in the GFA, which is highly unlikely for the reasons Patricia Mac Bride outlines and some more, even if sovereignty changes from London to Dublin, Northern Ireland and all its institutions, bodies, guarantees for both communities, Stormont, the PSNI, etc continue, just as part of Ireland.

            * Given this, there would be no legal, moral or political obligation to ‘level up’ social welfare benefits and public sector pay in the North to Southern rates.

            * The North requires public sector reform, and this could be planned over a period of, for example, a decade. Britain has already agreed to meet its obligations to British European Union civil service workers’ pensions, so would also be obliged to pay the pensions of its public sector workers in the North. Once this is acknowledged, it will take a lot of the panic out of the heads of those who might otherwise fear they will be left high and dry.

            * IDA Ireland is probably the best industrial strategy agency in the world. It is well capable of rolling its development programmes across the border. An intelligent infrastructure programme, for example running a TGV train from Belfast to Cork, would underpin their work. It would not take more than a decade to get the North up to speed.

            * The European Union needs a win, and we can expect the Commission and the Council to assist in the re-unification programme. They certainly did with Germany, effectively mutualising the very generous price West Germany would otherwise have had to pay alone for integrating the Ossies.

            * Anyone who thinks we are incapable of running our own country – and certainly doing better than the English Tories – is suffering from a bad case of post-colonial cringe. Sure, it wouldn’t be a complete cakewalk, but come on, we’re well capable of it – let’s show a little confidence in ourselves for a change.

          3. Ollie Cromwell

            Opinion polls on independence have barely moved since the Scottish referendum and the SNP’s poor showing at the last election when they lost a third of their seats show the moment has gone for a breakaway.
            Canny Scots are well aware of how much Scotland benefits from being in the union and the absolute disaster an independent Scotland would be.
            Sensible Irish people in the north also know which side their bread is buttered on.
            The UK is in no danger of breaking up.
            And I write as someone who would be glad to see the back of Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland.
            England is the powerhouse of the UK and the rest of the regions are simply a drain on resources.
            Cut ’em adrift I say and watch them wither on the vine.

          4. ReproButina

            “Canny Scots are well aware of how much Scotland benefits from being in the [European] union”

          5. SOQ

            @ Kevin Quinn I have said this before and at the risk of repeating…

            There are all sorts of figures bandied around about how much NI subvention costs but never a source cited. A proper audit is needed, broken down by sector.

            It is my belief that there is still quite a large and expensive military (security) structure in place which at least in the past, was quite beneficial to certain sections of NI society.

            The late James Molyneux once said that the greatest threat to NI was peace. He was gay and like a lot of gay people from such backgrounds, he had a more holistic world view.

            Outside pressure will force NI to change and Brexit, if it actually happens, which I doubt, will hasten that change.

          6. martco

            all above points made eloquently…

            however all I see frankly is a united Ireland being heaped with a crippling financial burden onto an already broken social system that isn’t even serving most of it’s current citizens properly nevermind the next 3 or 4 generations to come. So for all this guff about c’mon we can do it! etc. I wont see me or any my children or grandchildren being financially crippled for the coming 40 years for some wistful ideal to solve a problem that the brits caused in the first place :) :) its NONSENSE! and I don’t care what cash billions incentives are pledged either….you only have to look at what happened to East Germany (east of Berlin that is) to get the only pours so far from the spout and that’s it

            @Charger is right and wrong at same time. right about bread buttered. wrong about cutting off parts and watching them wither…what he doesn’t seem to get is that this whole show is symbiotic….all this destruction will achieve disaster for 99% and profit for a 1%

            SO they can go ahead and engineer the vote for some idealistic 32 so that the generation coming along in 2200 might start to get the benefit if they want….if a referendum ever arrives to decide it I for one will vote practical & certainly wont be getting caught up in or swayed by any patriotic nonsense & will be voting NO NEIN NIL FUPP OFF AND KEEP YOUR NONSENSE!

          7. johnny

            He hated the GFA,but don’t let the facts get in your way……..

            Holistic,that’s one way of looking at a 64 bigot in a abusive ‘relationship’ with a 17 year old kid,he was a truly awful human being.Its no wonder he’s a hero of yours.

            “I said to Jimmy, `Jimmy, darling, it’s Chrissie from London’. It didn’t register.
            He tried to shove me off hugging and kissing him – again perhaps he thought the time wasn’t right.”


          8. SOQ

            Some people on this site clearly have issues although I expect it is actually just the one.

            o/* at celebrities.

          9. johnny

            -you quoted a closeted bigot who voted AGAINST against homosexual rights including opposing an equal age of consent in 1994.
            But that was probably holistic too….
            You don’t even have a clue about gay history in NI,like his secret relationship at 64 with a 17 year old !

          10. SOQ

            Oh look at you Johnny superman.

            You post that you live in several parts of the US at the one time and that you are a successful business man designing engineering systems for cannabis growing farms no less.

            Except, you still find time to regularly comment on this site during our daylight hours which is the middle of the night in where you claim to be.

            You are a bullpooer. You are a fantasist. You sit here all day spreading toxic poison which nobody wants to read.


          11. johnny

            So we will all be spared any more made up quotes from Molyneaux then,holistic or otherwise:)
            I get how difficult all this is to comprehend, while waiting for a bus in Tallaght,but splitting one’s time between La and NY isn’t that unusual in my circles, its actually quite common.
            Tut tut-so déclassé that rant……

          1. Joan

            But will that happen? Will it go to a vote? I doubt it. I think the two governments will agree to something and declare that it doesn’t necessitate a vote, that it doesn’t change the treaty fundamentally, etc. etc. But I could be wrong on that. We’ll see.

  2. Ollie Cromwell

    The EU had nothing to do with securing a ceasefire in Northern Ireland and hardly any input into the Good Friday Agreement.
    The issue of the border and the backstop is a con dreamed up by the EU to try to prevent Brexit happening and their useful idiot Leo Varadkar and his nodding dog deputy Coveney have been played like fools.
    Personally I think there will be a fudged deal at the last minute – there always is with the EU – but in the event of a No Deal Ireland will be hardest hit of all and then lets see where Ireland’s EU friends are then – bailing out the bondholders anyone ?

  3. SOQ

    Good piece. Breixiteers who don’t want to be in government, a bunch of contradictory red lines and an artificial deadline which can be extended at any time.

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