Independence declared exactly a hundred years ago
EXACTLY a century ago this week, in January 1919, the political order of the UK was completely upended when Ireland declared its independence from Westminster.
Independence in the form of an Irish Republic was declared following a General Election a month prior to that date, when the nationalist Sinn Fein party won 70% of the available seats on 47% of the popular vote.
The newly established Dail Eireann in Dublin which drew up a sovereign constitution for the new Irish republic was outlawed a few months later by Westminster. A two year war of independence then ensued with the end result being the partition of Ireland, with the six counties of the north, and their Protestant majorities carved up into the UK statelet of Northern Ireland.
Call for a new Irish nationalism to counter the scourge of globalism
Now, in the centenary year of 2019, there seems to be a new independence of spirit afoot in Ireland, with no less than three new national parties aiming for Irish unity established in the country recently: Irexit, New People’s Movement and the National Party. All three restate the need for a new and updated Irish nationalism to resist the twin scourges of globalism and hyper liberalism which are harming Ireland in so many ways.
They also seek to challenge what they say is a “crippling group-think” within Irish politics, with the mainstream parties all singing from the same hymnbook, the media and political establishment in each other’s pockets, and both increasingly unrepresentative of the ordinary Irish citizen.
Our eyes in Wales are constantly looking upwards for inspiration from Scotland as we plot our own national future. But, it’s time now to look again westwards as well for ideas, because things are really hotting up in Ireland right now.
Euro-critical parties seeking to re-gain powers for Ireland
Irexit actually want to see Ireland following the UK’s example and leaving the EU, with the People’s Movement and National Party both describing themselves as Euro-critical parties, adopting a more nuanced stance in seeking to re-gain important sovereign powers for the whole of Ireland for what they think will be a much diminished Brussels after Brexit – without actually leaving the bloc.
This might come as a surprise to many people since the mainstream narrative here is always that Ireland are doing very well in the EU. Of course there can be little doubt that EU money has enabled parts of Ireland to do very well over the past generation.
Tapping into a rising tide of public discontent
But, the truth of the matter is that there is a rising tide of public discontent in modern Ireland, which the new parties are hoping to tap into. This discontent undoubtedly has its roots in the fact that Irish tax-payers were landed with a bill of £64 billion to pay for the bail-out of French and German banks during the banking crisis of 2008, which has subsequently meant many years of austerity for the ordinary people of Ireland. Yes, £44 billion has been spent in Ireland by the EU over the past generation or so, but the banking bail-out sanctioned by the political class in 2008 actually means that Ireland are a shocking £20 billion down on the deal overall.
The results of this crippling bill imposed on the Irish tax-payers can be seen only too clearly in the housing crisis and the huge rise in homelessness in Ireland over the past few years (now estimated to be 10,000), increasing hospital waiting lists, the depopulation and decimation of services and infrastructure in rural Ireland, a growing mental health crisis and a shocking spate of youth suicides over the past few years. There’s something going badly wrong in the Emerald Isle despite all the hype.
Three factors at play in the public clamour for change
The new national parties have plenty of ammunition to work with then. And perhaps there are three other factors at play in the amount of public interest now being shown in their agenda, despite the sneers and insults of the political class.
The massive change-agent of Brexit is undoubtedly part of it, but there are two other inter-related elements associated with population which have now come into play as well. One is the abortion referendum in May 2018. At the time, the referendum result – where the population voted 66%-34% to repeal the Abortion Law in Ireland – was described as a hugely liberating moment for Ireland, and a stunning rejection of the Catholic Church’s sway over Irish life for so many years.
But, as the months have rolled on since the vote, it seems to have caused something of crisis of conscience throughout Ireland and some serious soul searching in many circles. This crisis of conscience has been most visibly articulated in the case of prominent TD Peadar Toibin, frozen out of Sinn Fein because of his pro-life views. Toibin is the leader of the new People’s movement party which has a pro-life stance as one of its three main pillars, along with national unity and economic justice (he’s very critical of the Dublin “city state” strategy as the expense of vast tracts of the Irish hinterland). Toibin is currently on a nation-wide tour of Ireland, with hundreds of people turning up to support his new party at these meetings.
Plan to bring in a million migrants to Ireland by 2040
The National Party, led by Justin Barratt has some very interesting points to make about uniting Ireland, notably displaying a much more accommodating and sympathetic attitude towards the Unionist community in Northern Ireland. They argue that only a new national party – untainted by the past- can seriously negotiate the case for Irish unity with this 1 million block of people in the north.
The National Party are also scathing about the whole political establishment in Ireland, accusing them of submitting to the dictates of global finance above all else, with people considered as no more than economic commodities in reality. They have also drawn the Irish population’s attention to the UN Migration 2040 pact, which seeks to bring a million migrants into Ireland by 2040.
This plan, which has never been presented to the voters of Ireland in any shape or form or included in any election manifesto was recently signed by Taioiseach Leo Varadkar, although a number of other countries, including Hungary,the Czech Republic, Estonia, Austria, Italy and Australia have all refused to sign it.
The politico/media complex have tried to sell it to the Irish public as an example of Ireland being ultra modern and progressive. But increasing numbers of the general public are becoming extremely alarmed at the implications of this plan. The huge multi-cultural/mass immigration experiment hasn’t worked well in England, Germany, Sweden or Denmark they say, pointing to the segregated communities, the culture clashes and the increasing lack of social cohesion in these countries as a result of such policies. Why should it be any different in Ireland? And isn’t it another plantation in effect? Ireland is still after all dealing with the after-effects of the first plantation some centuries ago.
A passive testing ground for a mass experiment?
Some are pointing to the absurdity of a situation where a country has voted to effectively prevent potentially thousands of new Irish citizens being born, whilst at the same time planning to replace the native population with a million migrants, with no ties or affiliations to Ireland at all.
Others suspect that Ireland, having capitulated so thoroughly to the demands of the EU over the past generation, has been chosen to be the passive testing ground for this mass experiment in population transfer engineered by the UN.
Whether any of the three new parties can break the Irish duopoly of Fianna Fail/Fina Gael who have ruled Ireland almost exclusively for nearly a 100 years is a big ask. But, if ever there was a time to smash this cosy little cartel, this is most certainly the time to do so. We’ll soon find out in the Irish Election due to be held next year. This election will give some handy pointers as to how a change agenda could pan out here in Wales in 2021.
But it’s very significant that one hundred years after that initial Irish constitution of 1919, all three parties in their own ways are highlighting once again the key section of that historic constitution:
“The sovereignty of the nation is unalienable. It is therefore not within the competence of any generation of people to surrender that sovereignty, which each generation holds in trust for the nation”