The Brexit Angst Of The Irish Revisionists

Dennis Kennedy, the former deputy editor of the Irish Times, has an opinion piece in his old newspaper, banging the familiar drum of revisionist – or more correctly, apologist – rhetoric. Driven by angst over the United Kingdom’s seeming indifference or positive antipathy to Ireland’s political and economic stability as the UK stumbles out of the European Union, the journalist condemns the widening gulf between the two countries. Why oh why, he implies, can’t we all just get along in a sort of Anglo-Hibernian condominium, free of nasty nationalist or separatist sentiment? Which, of course, is simply a form of wistful Greater England nationalism of its own, a nostalgic longing for the days of the two Britains, East and West.

One suspects that the whole piece could be summed up in these two separate extracts:

“The Belfast Agreement enshrined the British/Irish identity divide as central, and that agreement was essentially appeasement of the IRA, an armistice bought by London and Dublin cheered on by Washington.

Preoccupied with the land Border, we should not forget that the real tragedy of Brexit for all of us is the United Kingdom’s defection from the European integration, and its rush to discard the European umbrella.”

The blame for our current, existential crisis, then, lies not with the British but with the brutish Shinners, past and present, the Provo fellow-travellers of the peace process era, Patrick Pearse and 1916, and 1966, and 2016, and… and… and… For the Brexit crisis would not have arisen if we had not gained our independence a century ago because our votes in any referendum would have kept the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland within the EU!

If they weren’t so smug in their European identity, or aware of how unwelcome or decried the suggestion would be, I suspect that the British apologists would be demanding an Irexit to parallel a Brexit, with flowery talk of “these islands”, the “totality of relationships” and the “Commonwealth”. However, even the revisionist tendency isn’t that mad. Is it?

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9 comments

  1. The harder the border…. In the Irish Sea, the more likely irexit.

    26 counties is in orbit of the city of London.

    The most positive interpretation of the communique to finish stage 1 brexit talks imagines ease of access north south but also East West with in these islands, GFA and common travel area.

    Thing is though. Still, what do the British want post Brexit, Norway or Singapore. The former, revisionists can live with it, if its the latter, invest in wolfetones cds. Mood is going to change v quickly We are out.

    1. Alternatively, the harder the border, the more likely a 6 County-exit from the UK and into a reunited Ireland?

      Yes, the apologists bemoaning the alleged increase of rhetorical “Brit-bashing” in Ireland has been amusing. Even the mildest criticism of the UK government is now equated by certain writers and journos with the rise of the Provos 2.0!

  2. Read it this morning, what a load of tripe! They are not too happy about the Irish people being firmly behind our Government´s position on Brexit, are they? The best way to express their unhappiness is to state that both the Irish and British are equally responsible for the shambles. How dare we stand up for our own interests as a sovereign Nation? Awfully indulgent altogether, isn´t it?

  3. An ḃfaca sıḃ é? (Kneecap – C.E.A.R.T.A.)

    Ah, that’s why they’re separate countries. Because they’re separate peoples. Got it.
    Isn’t it that simple?

  4. I have heard a lot of Unionists revive their old pipe-dream – ireland re-joins the Uk and Commonwealth and we all live happily ever after in a brexit/irexit wonderland, particularly as no Sinn feiner, irish republican or nationalist of any shape or hue would ever have a voice in anything ever again!

  5. Im afraid the irexits are at it already. Have been on a few sites that are sponsored by ‘god knows who ‘

  6. Worth saving that article, it is the pithiest distillation of all of the general consensus tropes of the last 20 years.

    One often gets the impression, reading such articles, that everything would be grand in the north if it were not for democracy. How dare anyone vote for SF or DUP? Don’t they know better? Don’t they know they should be voting for the SDLP or UUP?

    I do like the new release – Ireland needs to compromise more, take a few hits, to make Brexit easier for the UK. Or else.

    There is a competing single -tThere’s 1 of you and There’s 27 of us, a chairde.

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