Leave Well Alone When It Comes to United Ireland
~ a United Ireland referendum is possible and likely under the Good Friday Agreement, but not now ~
The Good Friday Agreement grasped many of the nettles of centuries of Northern Ireland conflicts and even after twenty-six years some of the issues are still stinging. Northern Ireland is far from at ease with itself and the violence over the Easter weekend confirms that. Yet it is an awful lot better and generally more peaceful than it was during my formative years 70s 80s 90s, most of these years spent living in the UK. Therefore, my reflections are based on being an Irish person from the Republic living in Britain.
How would I feel if the British Government post Brexit defied the Common Travel Area Agreement (1923/25), and we had a scenario declaring ‘that all Irish people in Britain will be deemed British citizens?’ How that would make me feel mirrors the fear and anger felt by some Unionists in Northern Ireland today. The early 17th century Presbyterian settlements to Northern Ireland have firmly established themselves as united to Britain. Likewise, generations of Irish born, or generations of children and adults of Irish emigrants are entitled to define themselves as Irish in Britain.
After the surprise of the Brexit Referendum, I heard a respected politician saying, and I paraphrase ‘with the confusion and mixed messages, and in the privacy of the pooling booth; many people felt the fear of a dog cornered, and resourced innate reaction, so fought to retain what they knew, our selves alone’. Similarly, but less confusing Unionists are currently expected to embrace a united Ireland under the flag that many associate with people who murdered their community and the same anthem that was sounded over the graves of their murderers, to be their future? On a recent debate on Raidió Teilifís Éireann, prove how too early the debate was to be held. On the Clare Byrne Show both politicians from the Republic could not suggest a new flag or anthem as they knew right well that would not be acceptable to their nationalist, dare I say united Ireland, grass roots supporters. On the same programme, the nationalist input was left to the leaders of Sinn Féin and the Fine Gael parties, yet the party of the peacemakers John Hume and Seamus Mallon (SDLP) were excluded?
So early into a post Brexit relationship between Ireland and Britain and the ongoing pandemic, along with a Stormont Assembly hardly a model of modern harmonious governance; is not the time to be muting a united Ireland referendum. Learn from Brexit, because many people were not sure what they were being asked fully in the question. We cannot have this happen with Ireland and Britain’s future
Surely what is required are years of setting out the principles of what is meant by a united Ireland. A five year all Ireland citizens assembly would be even a small but an effective starting point to distil the issues of sovereignty, joint citizenship, economy, health service, capital city, flag, anthem, currency, education, language, population ratio to name but a few!
Prepare and you are less likely to be found wanting and wounding!
Hail Glorious Saint Patrick Sean Nós
Saint Patrick’s Day Nottingham 2021
It will come as no surprise that because of ongoing Covid 19 regulations that, again this year, we are unable to gather in the Market Square on March 17th, and showcase the best of Irish Music Song, Literature and Dance.
There are copious amounts happening online which we will alert you to via our website, Gerry Molumby’s blog , twitter and facebook. Also follow @IrelandEmbGB and their invitation to the Embassy in London on March 17t
There is one event we are able to host in person, that is the annual St. Patrick’s Day Mass.
Our Lady & St Patrick’s Church in the Meadows (post code NG2 1JQ) can hold 51 people under social distancing requirements and the Mass will be at 10.00 am on St Patrick’s Day. Adhering to Lockdown regulations you will need to book in advance, using the Diocesan on-line Mass booking system, http://www.massbooking.uk booking days before each Mass. You can watch afterwards on https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCC6yA1fDZnmNlW1jGybrN-Q
As part of the Global Greening we expect the Council House to be lit up also
We had a great festival lined up for 2020 by recreating an Irish Village theme and we expect to be able to celebrate that next year with many of our artists already confirmed.
FOR FURTHER MEDIA ENQUIRIES:
www.irelandanditsdiaspora.com News Page
Our Website http://www.nottinghamstpatricksfestival.org.uk
and Social Media @StPatricksNottm
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
About Nottingham’s Saint Patrick’s Day Festival
Since 1999 we have hosted a parade and the centre piece has been our open-air concert in the Market Square where we highlight all our talents and culture. We attach to that Irish cinema festival and school art and story activities.
UK Government has formally launched its new Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)
Have always valued my European Health Insurance Card and ironically only used it once while in Ireland; but was assured I had it ,along with my Irish Passport Plastic Card, in my wallet for as and when needed. So pleased to hear from the Embassy in London today that :
Residents of the United Kingdom, including dual Irish-British citizens, people of Northern Ireland, and Irish citizens who take up residence in the UK from 1 January 2021, can apply for a GHIC card. This will permit you to access necessary state-provided healthcare at the same cost as local residents while on visits to EU countries.
As in my case existing EHIC cards will continue to be valid until their expiry date (2022 for me) , after which UK residents should apply for a replacement GHIC card.
From a light in the window to a welcome on the Mat!
Ireland Abu! Launch of
Ireland’s Diaspora Strategy 2020-2025
Introduction from Minister Colm Brophy
Taoiseach address below
Taoiseach in conversation with Olivia O’ Leary at MacGill
I awaited this interview as one of the highlights of the MacGill Summer/Autumn School and was tempted to say, could or has any Taoiseach ever been offered such a poisoned chalice?
In a wide-ranging interview Olivia asked many of the current pertinent issues. On setting up the coalition of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and The Green party Taoiseach Micheál Martin said, “we had an obligation to serve the people” , which he asserted FF had done since Independence. He highlighted the need in the 21st century to embrace climate change and what the Green Party are bringing to this coalition.
He affirmed that the coalition was not as uneasy as people might think. He regaled a story of a coalition in the 70’s 20th Dáil when at Áras an Uachtaráin, when president de Valera advised them to “stick together”. When asked about briefings from Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, leaking so much part of modern politics and are “over the top, and it is the substance of the government that matters”
Following on from his speech in week on ‘Shared Ireland’, he affirmed that he did not favour a border poll now. Olivia asked is that straying from FF’s historic united Ireland stance. Micheál Martin highlighted the yet potential from The Good Friday Agreement as the current means to uniting the people of the Island. He cited the opportunities to work more closely on health and education. When asked about Sinn Féin now owning that space, he asserted the need for SF to change from being a very “controlling party”, citing the Bobby Storey funeral as a political funeral with people summoned from all over the country defying Covid regulation and with individuals not elected in control of the party. The war of 30 years did more to divide rather than unite the people.
On the question from Olivia on poor or badly manged communications recently and the delay in implementing the Stage 5 recommendations for The National Public Health Emergency Team : the Taoiseach explained the need to have the Budget to enable the government to prepare for a different lockdown from the first, with priority of keeping schools open and building work going. He explained the government policy is to suppress the virus yet keep as much as possible the economy afloat.
On Brexit , he was confident “we can get a deal and common sense should prevail towards agreement ” and told us he and Boris Johnson had asked their officials to keep British and Irish relations positively continued into the future.
And finally, in an age of inclusivity, he hopes to have in his office a portrait of De Valera, Seán Lemass, Michael Collins and hopefully Harry Boland if it can be sourced back from the United States.
October 24th, 2020
Coming up on this week’s Episode of The Irish in the UK TV, we caught up with Gerry Molumby who has made a variety of St Brigid crosses.
Birmingham Irish are running a toy appeal to help all the families who are struggling this Christmas .
Geraldine O Neill an Author from Co Offaly will be telling is about her latest book called The Nightingales in Mersey Square and
the talented Singer and Entertainer Alastair Coyle will be joining us and singing Ave Maria.
Thursday Night 7.30pm on SKY 192, Repeated Saturday at 8.30 and Tuesday at 1pm
If you don’t have SKY watch it on line www.theirishintheuktv.com
Wonderful new career opportunity to promote Irish culture throughout Britain ~ when opportunity knocks answer the door!
For as long as I have lived in Britain, usually after people establish who I am from my accent; they invariable will open up their description of Ireland around terms such as :
“Never been, love to go”
” My nan was from …”
” Studied Translations by Brian Friel and Seamus Heaney for A Level”
“Loved Riverdance and U2″ and a list of boy bands follows and for older people it will be ” miss Terry Wogan and Val Doonican”
“Irish events are so much fun, your humour, dramas , great bands like The Saw Doctors and the hurling and football”
“Normal People is great on Netflix and them two mad lads from Cork, my mother and father go to all Mrs. Browne’s Shows in UK”
The point I am making is that our culture is ‘brand Ireland’
So this new national challenging role is full of opportunity to collate the local community cultural organisations with national Irish and British (eg Culture Ireland and Coventry City of Culture) to produce long lasting collaborations. To promote Irish Culture in Wales and Scotland where Irish communities may not be as historically dense like Manchester and Birmingham. To utilise the numerous Irish students in so many British Universities and especially Irish Studies Faculties.
This post will be welcomed by the Irish in Britain and be assured of our support and encouragement . Gerry Molumby
Irish Studies Activist in Nottingham Deirdre O’Byrne – in conversation with Emile Pine ~ Notes to Self !
~ combining Dublin and Nottingham as cities of culture ~
Newly appointed Diaspora Minister Colm Brophy T.D. makes first public announcement ,that the government will :
- publish a new diaspora policy this year
- and will bring forward legislation to to allow for a referendum on extending voting rights in presidential elections to Irish citizens abroad.
Colm Brophy, FG, Dublin South-West:
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with responsibility for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora.
Ireland’s programme for Government announces a new diaspora policy in 2020
~ and the end of our campaign and to ‘finally’ host the Referendum on votes for the Irish Abroad in future Presidential Elections ~
Strengthening our relationship with the diaspora We will:
● Hold a referendum on extending the franchise at presidential elections to Irish citizens living outside the State.
● Publish a new diaspora policy in 2020.
● Prioritise the Emigrant Support Programme, ensuring that the most vulnerable members of our overseas communities are supported.
● Work to establish pathways for legal migration by Irish citizens to the US, continuing to support the E3 Visa Bill, and recognising the impact of COVID-19 on transatlantic travel.
● Seek solutions for undocumented Irish citizens in the US to regularise their status.
● Develop educational and work opportunities in Ireland for third and fourth generation Irish diaspora.
● Support those who wish to return to Ireland and address barriers facing returning emigrants
Liverpool Irish Studies
‘its the way they tell em’
Kerry native, Dorothy Lynch , efficient administrator of Liverpool University Irish Studies keeps me in touch with their ongoing events. All the varied workshops of drama, documentary and music below were heralded to us on the days of broadcast during the current lockdown. Frankly I was not able to connect live to any of them. Therefore delighted to catch up this weekend. Enjoy. My favourite is the story of the telling of the story of Frank Carson by Dan Gordon and a real tribute to The King of the Comedians .
Maradona Kicking the Habit https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/humanities-and-social-sciences/research/culture-unconfined/maradona/
The Man Who Shot the Great War https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/humanities-and-social-sciences/research/culture-unconfined/great-war/
Quote of the whole series from Rita Higgins
“as fit as a falling fork” – great Heaneyesk line !
President and Prince meet at Irish Studies 2019 (Gerry Molumby Photographer )
Global Irish Newsletter tells how Irishinuktv encapsulates some of the many ways that the Irish in the UK are responding to Covid 19
Minister Ciaran Cannon and the Irish Abroad Unit of Ireland will take you on a worldwide ‘wherever green is worn ‘ journey of Irish meitheal .
RTE Nationwide with the Irish in New York and how they are living with and contributing to the Coronavirus eradication
Nottingham’s St.Patrick’s Day open air concert in Market Square CANCELLED
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION
Nottingham’s St Patrick’s Festival celebrations in the Market Square are a highlight in the city’s cultural programme.
Energy abounds in music song and dance. The Government has moved into the ‘delay’ stage in relation to Coronavirus. We have decided in good will and caution to cancel our festival afternoon concert on March 17th in the Market Square.
St.Patrick’s Festival Chair
On a positive note and gleam of light , we still expect the dome of the Council House to ‘global green’ on St.Patrick’s Night !
Nottingham prisoners receive St. Patrick’s Day cards unique to Nottingham designed by local artist Kerry Richardson
Do you know anyone in the Galtymore Stamp?
THE iconic Galtymore dancehall in London features in a new set of stamps issued in Ireland by An Post honouring the nation’s emigration story.
Take a close look do you recognise your grandmother , mother, dad or uncle. It is my opinion the picture was taken by the Photographer Paddy Fahey , his archive is with Brent Libraries in North London. My estimate the year may be mid sixties!
The pdf below can be enlarged for a closer look, do we know what band was playing that night ? The Irish Post would like to hear from you email@example.com,
center piece of Nottingham’s Irish Festival 2020 March 9th to 17th
Now in its 21st year the Nottingham Irish will utilise the spacious Market Square for
their all day concert on St.Patrick’s Day.
In the run up to the day there will be literary and cinematic events hosted by the Irish Centre and Broadway cinema.
Comhaltas, St.Barnabas GAA, Golden Shamrock Club and the dancing schools will all have marquees in the square to share with the general public what they do. In between they will be performing on the main stage. Riverdance on their 25th anniversary tour in advance of their evening performance at the Royal Concert Centre will be dancing in the square also. The headline act is the premier Irish and County star John McNichool who is certain to get everyone dancing in the market square. This year we are twinning with Cork city and county !
Planning meetings 2020.
February 5th 19th March 4th 11th
Meeting Room Irish Centre – Car Park (Key Holder!)
16th evening set up
Gerry Molumby Festival Chairman
We are still making them to the calibre of Roger Casement’s humanitarianism.
and many from the Irish in Britain
New play on the life and loves of Lucia Anna Joyce , daugther of James Joyce and Nora Barnacle ….now published
Follow the President of Ireland around the most Irish of British cities ~ Liverpool
Large Red squirrels found roaming in Dingle !
Pass through the village of Llangefni and you could easily miss the Dingle (Nant y Pandy) Nature Reserve. This blissful woodland appears to be hidden at first, but it offers an enticing escape into a landscape that is alive with wildlife. The park also hosts several sculptures that reflect the character of the nature reserve. Bring your camera for photos of this peaceful corner of Anglesey and take your time to explore the area.
A raised and fenced wooden boardwalk was one of several 21st-century developments in the nature reserve. Find the start of the trail then set off to explore the area with ease, on foot or by wheelchair or stroller. The paths run beneath a canopy of oak and ash trees. Come in spring to witness the undergrowth explode with the colour of bluebells.
Look for the artworks that decorate the parkland as you walk around the trail. Sculptures include a giant dragonfly, seed pods and split timbers with a poem engraved on the inside. The park also includes sculpted benches and picnic tables, making it an ideal place to take a break.
Follow the trail in a circular route. The whole trail is about 1.5 miles (roughly 2 kilometers) long. At a gentle pace you should finish the circuit in around an hour. To explore some more, keep going to find the Cefni Reservoir on a 6-mile (10-kilometer) round trip.
Take binoculars to Nant y Pandy to spot the wildlife that lives here. Red squirrels are rare elsewhere in the country, but have been reintroduced to parts of Anglesey, including this reserve.
Frogs, newts, adders and lizards make up the reptile population, while a wide variety of birds call the reserve home. Watch the water’s edge for a glimpse of a kingfisher’s iridescent colors.
The Dingle (Nant y Pandy) Nature Reserve is free to enter and open throughout the year. Drive to the Church of St. Cygnar and park nearby, then head out onto the trails on foot. The wooden boardwalk does not require special footwear or hiking experience.
What is the best piece of Irish Music ?
For me it is Eleanor Plunkett, by composer Turlough O’Carolan (1670–1738).
Here are my favourite versions ;
Car park acoustics!