Time has given the old IRA a respectability that the didn't have when they were "in business" so to speak. I don't imagine that they were thought well of by the greater public at the time. They killed many soldiers, policemen and civilians unfortunately in their conflicts too. I expect that in 100 years the modern IRA will be thought of in much the same way. The two eras were not so different in reality. I am not an advocate of violence yet I would defend my home and family with every and all means at my disposal. Who wouldn't? If you think the IRA in the bogside were doing anything else you have been reading too many redtops.
It's a bit too easy to say that N.Ireland is a seperate country. It wasn't up to the signing of the Treaty. It was part of Ireland just as much as Kerry was. Basically the Treaty artificially split our country to protect the planted population of Scot Presbytarians in the North. Northern Ireland isn't a country. It isn't even a province despite the mistaken use of the term Ulster to describe it. To be honest I don't know what the best description for it is, an occupied sectarian statelet perhaps? When the boundaries were drawn it was impossible to exclude 100% of the indiginous population no matter how hard they tried so they did the next best thing, treated them as second class citizens and denied them their basic civil rights. How long was it going to be before that particular pot boiled over?
The reality is that when the county was split the political paties of the Republic, with the obvious exception of Sinn Féin, abandoned the North in the unbridled rush to the trough of power and money. They have never taken their snouts out of it since. The ordinary people having witnessed the blood that was spilt to gain the freedom for the 26 had no wish for further conflict to secure freedom for the North and decided quitely and ashamedly to leave their brothers in the North to their fate.
The economic argument is undeniable. The Republic's economy is so frail that it could not absorb the financial cost associated with a 32 county Republic. Somehow though that gives the impression that the North is a viable economic entity, nothing could be further from the truth. The place is a money pit for the British taxpayer. I don't know why the British haven't dropped them long ago. Pride I suppose and the off chance that there might be natural gas in the coastal waters.
You are correct about a No vote for unification in the North, isn't that the way the whole place was engineered in the first place? Run the natives out, populate the place with a loyal community and grant them privelege to nourish that loyalty. Have a good look at the way the political constituencies have been Gerrymandered up there to ensure minimum representation to the growing Nationalist community. The vote for unification in the South would also yield a No vote. Who in their right mind would want to take on the problem child that is the Wee Six? Maybe when it matures and grows up a bit, but until then it's not going to happen.
I believe that unification will come in time through peaceful political process. That will include politicians of all colours and creeds. Martin mcGuiness becoming President now would have been too a big step too soon but that doesn't mean he shouldn't have stood for President. I think he was right to do so after all he did get a significant number of first preference votes and ended up a creditable third place. It raised the profile of Sinn Féin and forced people to countenance the fact that it might happen eventually. He is a good politician, he is sharing power with men who pointed guns at him in the past and who in his turn did the same. FF and FG haven't yet managed to that after all this time. They are still mentally fighting the Civil War. In countries like France and Germany lost millions to war against each other in the last century and yet they have made their peace and grown and prospered. Ireland should be doing the same.
Don't hate the players, hate the game.
So Michael D. will shortly be inaugurated. I wish him the best of luck.