Ireland's Future: Political unionism adopting ‘ostrich approach’ to Irish unity

11/24/2022 1:34:00 AM

The Ulster Hall audience heard that Protestants within civic unionism are open to change

Politics, Sinn Fein

In one of the closing addresses of the event, Professor Colin Harvey called on all armed groups to disband and to “get out of the way” of Irish unity

The Ulster Hall audience heard that Protestants within civic unionism are open to change

Read more: Michelle O'Neill calls for civility after pro-IRA chant aimed at Arlene Foster During the panel discussion, former Northern Ireland Office press officer Ben Collins told the audience that when he was growing up, he was determined that he would not be “bombed into a united Ireland”.

Of unionism, he said: “There’s a difference between political unionism and civic unionism, I think political unionism absolutely they’re adopting the ostrich strategy of the head in the sand, but I think civic unionism is already engaging.”Glenn Bradley, a former British Army soldier and former UUP officer, who is now an “unapologetic peace process-er”, said that “intensive debate” on constitutional change in Northern Ireland is happening.

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Did the hall empty? That’ll never happen 🤷🏻‍♂️ Including PIRA? Intelligence report supported by PSNI and Garda confirms they retain weapons. Colin works for SF for a cowboy supper and a selfie So he thinks loyalist will just lay down ? And why not. Swearymary__ That should have made the news much more than it did… but reporters prefer up the Ra action 🙄

Pretty sure the Professor tile is irrelevant since, This is not a QUB sponsored event. His academic experience is irrelevant to the cause of a UI. Misleading from both person and event. Ok Colin 😂 The diversity of this audience 🤣 Brilliant speech. And great to see so many people in attendance. 🇮🇪🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

New low-cost airline to operate transatlantic flights from Northern IrelandThe airline said it intends to operate to 35 destinations in what will become a 'game-changer' for the local travel sector Good to see,just a pity that Belfast international is such a poor airport. Too small, old , out dated and overpriced. That is why people will continue to go transatlantic from Dublin and London. I hope Aldergrove Airport improves its facilities and image. New low cost... Average cost £799 Your' low coast' £798 no doubt .

There are more nationalists in favour of the UK than unionists to a UI. You'll not mention that. Good for him. 👍 chrisadonnelly and if they're lucky, I might let the libs have their scrote, for jimmy and the butchers! chrisadonnelly eaasy to get meat from a hiding ostrich, and eggs :p chrisadonnelly You spoke very well Chris

Lots of ostrich-like behaviour in these replies. It's depressing when you see people actively giving away their chance for input, remember the threshold is 50% plus one vote. Hardcore Unionism will never be swayed but poor behaviour will sway others and make all of the difference 🙄🤣🤣🤣🤣 No. Yet he is a PIRA supporter, who supports 1700 PIRA murders. PIRA supporters for some reason currently appear to support peace but only since the PIRA were defeated in 1998🤔

I think it is very sectarian to be identifying people simply as Protestant, what next, Yellow Stars for Prods?

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Sorry i couldn't been their tonight my cover was blown Plank there won't be any Irish unity Don't speak for me and majority in loyalist community wasters the lot of them Brilliant & well attended too. “Speakers from a Protestant background……”

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The majority of political unionism has adopted “the ostrich approach” to the possibility of a united Ireland, a conference in Belfast has heard.A new low-cost airline is set to offer transatlantic flights from Northern Ireland.About sharing Image caption, Simpson's Tavern, which counts famous diners including Charles Dickens among its former customers, may close for good without help By Ross Miklaszewicz BBC News Self-proclaimed as London's "oldest chophouse", Simpson's Tavern is fighting for its future following a surprise closure.The next 12 to 18 months are set to be critical in creating a future for Nottingham's trams as use reaches 50 to 60 per cent of pre-pandemic ridership, officials say.

The comments were made during a panel discussion organised by the pro-unity group Ireland’s Future, held in Belfast’s Ulster Hall. Speakers on the panel, all hailing from a Protestant background, said that they gave more serious consideration to Irish unity after Brexit. Fly Atlantic is planning to start operating flights to Europe as well as North America from summer 2024. Read more: Michelle O'Neill calls for civility after pro-IRA chant aimed at Arlene Foster Tanaiste Leo Varadkar was also praised as being more open about the topic of Irish unity than Taoiseach Micheal Martin – and was asked to call a citizens’ assembly on Irish unity once he returns as Irish premier next month. Now the tavern is raising funds to reopen and keep its heritage alive. The audience applauded at this suggestion. That figure is to include 1,000 jobs created within the airline and up to 21,000 in tourism and support sectors. During the panel discussion, former Northern Ireland Office press officer Ben Collins told the audience that when he was growing up, he was determined that he would not be “bombed into a united Ireland”. This is because users who would not normally use public transport tend to use the tram.

“Whenever we had peace, that allowed me to look at things differently, and I was able to embrace my Irishness. The airline said it will initially operate six aircraft at Belfast International Airport, and plans to grow to a fleet of 18 by 2028. Now, it sits on the capital's Heritage Walk and is frequently a stop for tourists on guided tours, who are attracted to its rich history and famous former clientele including Charles Dickens.” Mr Collins said that Brexit had made Irish unity “an urgent necessity” and “reiterated the fact that our views didn’t count, we weren’t taken into account”. Of unionism, he said: “There’s a difference between political unionism and civic unionism, I think political unionism absolutely they’re adopting the ostrich strategy of the head in the sand, but I think civic unionism is already engaging. Fly Atlantic's chief executive Andrew Pyne said they chose Belfast over strong competition across the UK.” Denzil McDaniel, of the Impartial Reporter, said that Protestants are open to change. They've done nothing wrong, but now we're sadly going through redundancy conversations with people who've worked with us for decades. “Political unionism needs to take account of the fact that there are a lot of Protestants who now consider themselves ready for change,” he said. "The lack of direct transatlantic air services has clearly been an impediment to Northern Ireland's economic and tourism development, which we now intend to remove. The levy required around £500,000 in initial investment and generates around £10million per year.

Glenn Bradley, a former British Army soldier and former UUP officer, who is now an “unapologetic peace process-er”, said that “intensive debate” on constitutional change in Northern Ireland is happening. “The only people I can see who are denying that those conversations are taking place, and the potential of what that can then deliver, is political unionism,” he said. "We will be offering affordable fares with brand new aircraft. "It lives here in this place, and extinguishing that rubs it from the history sheets in a cruel fashion. He told the crowd that his early days were filled with violence. On a morning in 1972 the IRA detonated a car bomb that injured him on his way to Sunday school, which led to children calling him “scar face”. We start recruiting for the team early in 2023. He said that as a teenager “I wanted to hit back. "But I rely on them coming back, sitting down at the table, discussing a way through and allowing this piece of history to trade and live on. A NET spokesperson said: “We welcomed the opportunity to host the Built Environment Committee during their visit to Nottingham in March and to demonstrate not only the vital role that the tram plays in keeping Nottingham moving, but also the essential contribution it is making to the city’s carbon neutral ambitions.

And in 1984 I enlisted in the British Army and with enough hate in me to kill and destroy the world. Belfast International and Vinci stood out in terms of the facilities that they offered us and by their enthusiasm for and commitment to making this project a reality.” He said that revelations about historical Protestant rebellions, and learning that his great-grandfather spoke fluent Irish, were among the revelations that caused him to question the status quo. He said: “My great-grandfather… was a UVF man, signed the covenant in 1912 but he spoke fluent Irish." Mr Pyne also acknowledged support received from Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, adding it had been "right behind the project from the start". The tenant, Restaurant EC3 Limited, is under the control of its sole director and owner Mr Sarvindra Singh. He added “that type of discovery, that type of myth-busting, that type of raising above propaganda” is what caused him to question the first-past-the-post system. “And then the big game-changer for me happened with Brexit,” he said. "This is a key moment for Northern Ireland and is the most significant local aviation announcement in recent history," he said. Representatives from the council said that there had been some challenges with implementing a multi-operator ticket across buses and the tram, as some operators had been reluctant to join the scheme.

Claire Mitchell, a former lecturer at Queen’s University, argued that “deeper values” than constitutional positions need to be offered to people in Northern Ireland, particularly in relation to the climate change crisis." Both Simpson's and Mr Singh dispute this. “All I want is to live in a meaningful, stable democracy that is coping OK – well, even – with the ecological change, that is adapting to food and energy scarcity, that is making climate refugees feel welcome." Graham Keddie, Managing Director of Belfast International Airport, also welcomed the announcement. “I have to be honest, I don’t know if Irish unity can deliver that, but I see absolutely no sign that the UK is trying to deliver that either.” Senator Frances Black, who is the chairwoman of the group and who hosted the event on Wednesday, described it as “a civil society organisation” that is working to prepare for constitutional change." For more information, please visit www. "The impact on this particular business is directly related to the Covid lockdowns because it's a dispute over arrears that built up during that period," he said. “It is an accepted fact that for several reasons, including Brexit, constitutional change is afoot,” she said. Instead, there should be a system of more periodic block grants.

In a similar event held in Dublin last month, actor Jimmy Nesbitt said the debate about Northern Ireland’s constitutional future should be led by people rather than politicians.com READ NEXT: For all the latest news, visit the Belfast Live homepage here. In Mr Varadkar’s address to the pro-unity event, he suggested that Northern Ireland could retain some structures in one possible scenario for a united Ireland, which prompted booing from some members of the audience. At the event in the Ulster Hall, Mr Varadkar was urged to establish a citizens’ assembly on Irish unity when he returns to the office of Taoiseach next month.. In one of the closing addresses of the event, Professor Colin Harvey called on all armed groups to disband and to “get out of the way” of Irish unity. “Let me send a very, very clear message from this hall, on this platform tonight,” he said.

“All armed groups in this society need to disband, decommission and give us peace. “They need to get out of the way of this constitutional conversation.” He added: “I would just reiterate the calls again for the Irish government to establish an all-island citizens’ assembly immediately.” Read next: For all the latest news, visit the Belfast Live homepage here. To sign up to our FREE newsletters, see here.

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