A United Ireland Still Lies Ahead – Niall O’Dowd

On Wed, July 5, 2023, the Irish Voice newspaper, in New York, went to print for the last time. Founded 36 years ago by Niall O’Dowd and edited by Debbie McGoldrick the community’s beloved source for Irish news will be sadly missed. Well done and well said Niall O’Dowd and all at Irish Central.

This editorial was carried in the final print edition of the paper.

“The final Irish Voice editorial invokes the message of its first one more than 30 years ago – a united Ireland will become a reality.

In the first issue of the Irish Voice in November 1987, we stated right away that a united Ireland was the only long-term solution to the failed partition of Ireland in 1922, and our stance has not changed.

In fact, there are very few impartial observers who would quibble with the notion that in the intervening 36 years, prospects have never looked brighter than now for Ireland to finally unite.

The demographic reality is what we pointed to in that first issue, and that is now self-evident in the extraordinary growth in the nationalist community to the point that unionism is now in the minority.

There was one other issue that transformed the landscape — the sheer stupidity of the British and their embrace of Brexit.

In a single flourish, they made clear that only English nationalism mattered, and democratic decisions against Brexit by voters in Northern Ireland (and Scotland) carried no weight.

Instead, the Tory government, led by that lying liar Boris Johnson, patently sought to bring down the Brexit structure he had agreed on with the Irish government. Northern Ireland became a pawn in his petty game to stay in power, but the man who wanted to emulate Churchill looked and acted more like Mo in the Three Stooges than Sir Winston.

If there was ever a two-fingered salute from London to Belfast and Dublin, that was delivered on Brexit by the Tory government under Johnson.

The extent of the UK’s Brexit mistake is evident, and a recent poll showed that only 34 percent of British would vote for Brexit if a referendum were held again.

Of course, now that real politics have to happen in restoring the dormant Northern Ireland Assembly, the unionists have once again become like the proverbial ostriches, refusing any and all political initiatives. They act like they still have a majority but it is just another self-delusion.

Our best guess? There will be no Assembly, but a form of joint authority will be imposed by the two governments if they have the cojones.

After a few years of that, a border poll around 2035 will finally deliver the Irish dreamtime of a country reunited. They will say it cannot be done, but they said exactly the same about the peace process. Erin Go Bragh.

Brexit was a huge boon for Irish and Scottish nationalists, and we would wager if we were writing an editorial 36 years from now, it would be under the auspices of a united Ireland.

So in this final editorial of the Irish Voice, it is fitting to discuss the gathering pace for a future united Ireland. It has been the Holy Grail for all Irish nationalists.

But the dream never died for millions of Irish nationalists during that 100 years. Sometimes the flame flickered and almost burned out.

The Troubles are a dim memory for many in the North these days, but at their height, they represented the great turning point in Irish history when nationalism said no.

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