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Opinions on Irish identity

  • 15-10-2017 12:41pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 50 ✭✭


    My question is, I am a 19 year old from the north and come from a very mixed religious background family,  and growing up I was raised not to judge people on where they're from or what religion, political stance they belong to and I am thankful for this. I am aware of both my linage of having both grandparents from the south and grandparents of Scottish decent, and recently have become very compelled to embrace both cultures, but whilst doing so, especially in the north it feels like its either, you're British or you're Irish, and I honestly feel I do not belong to any of these and struggle with my identity because of the divide of the island and so I feel Northern Irish is the only identity I feel comfortable expressing and so I just wanted to get other peoples opinions of this identity from across Ireland.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,018 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    Hi with whatever you feel comfortable with. For what it's worth IMO until an overwhelming majority of people can feel happy in a NI skin, things cannot move on in a meaningful way.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,929 ✭✭✭Anita Blow


    My question is, I am a 19 year old from the north and come from a very mixed religious background family,  and growing up I was raised not to judge people on where they're from or what religion, political stance they belong to and I am thankful for this. I am aware of both my linage of having both grandparents from the south and grandparents of Scottish decent, and recently have become very compelled to embrace both cultures, but whilst doing so, especially in the north it feels like its either, you're British or you're Irish, and I honestly feel I do not belong to any of these and struggle with my identity because of the divide of the island and so I feel Northern Irish is the only identity I feel comfortable expressing and so I just wanted to get other peoples opinions of this identity from across Ireland.

    Don't feel pressure to identify with either. I suspect you're the first real generation of people growing up in Northern Ireland with a predominantly Northern Irish identity, as opposed to Irish or British. Sure some of the older people might give you grief for it, but that attitude is dying out. So embrace your identity and absolutely take part in both traditions. It'll make you a much more open, tolerant person.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,624 Mod ✭✭✭✭riffmongous


    Who would you vote for? There doesn't really seem to be a northern irish political party


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,117 ✭✭✭✭Junkyard Tom


    I feel Northern Irish is the only identity I feel comfortable expressing

    Yet you picked Ulsterman96 as your moniker? Could you explain what the 'Northern' Irish identity is?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,571 ✭✭✭Red_Wake


    Good on you, sounds like you're leaving all that sectarian muck behind you.

    Prepare for abuse from both sides of the sectarian divide though. If you're not with them, you're against them!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,018 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    Yet you picked Ulsterman96 as your moniker? Could you explain what the 'Northern' Irish identity is?
    To me as a southerner a northern nationalist or unionist have a lot more in common with each other than a typical northern nationalist has with a typical southerner or a typical unionist has with a typical Brit. There's definitely a distinct NI identity. How could there not be after all NI has been through? Nationalists and unionists experienced all that together. Southerners and those from GB don't have that collective experience.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,458 ✭✭✭blackwhite


    Yet you picked Ulsterman96 as your moniker? Could you explain what the 'Northern' Irish identity is?

    I think attitudes like this sum up exactly what the problem is.

    Attack the OP and take a “if you’re not one of us, you must be one of them” attitude.

    It’s a sad reflection of many in NÍ (and in the Republic) that a rejection of sectarianism is seen as a reason to be attacked by the hardcore from both sides.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,018 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    blackwhite wrote: »
    I think attitudes like this sum up exactly what the problem is.

    Attack the OP and take a “if you’re not one of us, you must be one of them” attitude.

    It’s a sad reflection of many in NÍ (and in the Republic) that a rejection of sectarianism is seen as a reason to be attacked by the hardcore from both sides.
    And the truth is a rejection of sectarianism is the only way to long term stability and peace, be that in the UK, a UI or even as an independent country. Northerners first need to get along with each other.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,117 ✭✭✭✭Junkyard Tom


    blackwhite wrote: »
    I think attitudes like this sum up exactly what the problem is.

    Attack the OP and take a “if you’re not one of us, you must be one of them” attitude.

    It’s a sad reflection of many in N(and in the Republic) that a rejection of sectarianism is seen as a reason to be attacked by the hardcore from both sides.

    People have a strange habit of quoting me and coming up with a response that has nothing to do with what I wrote.

    I have no idea what religion the OP is and couldn't care less. I'm all for the secularisation of the north and believe schools should be integrated.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,117 ✭✭✭✭Junkyard Tom


    murphaph wrote: »
    There's definitely a distinct NI identity.

    Is there? What characterises it?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,872 ✭✭✭View


    murphaph wrote: »
    There's definitely a distinct NI identity.

    Is there? What characterises it?

    Animosity to “the south”. It applies to many but by no means all people in both communities in NI. Although, obviously it is based on entirely different political reasons.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,018 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    View wrote: »
    Animosity to “the south”. It applies to many but by no means all people in both communities in NI. Although, obviously it is based on entirely different political reasons.
    That's one thing alright. We're either Mexico or the Free State lol.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,458 ✭✭✭blackwhite


    People have a strange habit of quoting me and coming up with a response that has nothing to do with what I wrote.

    I have no idea what religion the OP is and couldn't care less. I'm all for the secularisation of the north and believe schools should be integrated.

    The insinuation in your first post was very clear. Twist and try to spin it as something else if you want, but anyone who’s familiar with the various NI postings on here over the past few years knows exactly what you meant with your loaded question.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,117 ✭✭✭✭Junkyard Tom


    View wrote: »
    Animosity to “the south”. It applies to many but by no means all people in both communities in NI. Although, obviously it is based on entirely different political reasons.

    I think you might find that this animosity to the South, you highlight, is largely attributable to people who'd describe themselves as British.
    blackwhite wrote: »
    The insinuation in your first post was very clear.

    Clear how?
    anyone who’s familiar with the various NI postings on here ... knows exactly what you meant with your loaded question

    Spit it out, because I haven't a clue what you're on about.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,169 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Rory McIlroy is on record as to how he feels different to the British and also different to the Irish which has made him uncomfortable about who to represent in the Olympics.

    There are many young people across Northern Ireland across both traditions who feel different to their parents. This is not surprising, we are seeing the same in the South with the family allegiance to the civil war parties fading with the generations. My family would have been dyed in the wool FFers, but there is no way I will ever vote for them.

    The OP is brave to express that opinion in this forum which has traditionally been hostile to that type of sentiment. I find it a very interesting perspective and also ironic that the type of politics - moving away from traditional family allegiance - which is helping SF gain support in the South, also seems to offer the best long-term hope for sustainable peace within the current status quo in the North.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,452 ✭✭✭Charles Babbage


    murphaph wrote: »
    To me as a southerner a northern nationalist or unionist have a lot more in common with each other than a typical northern nationalist has with a typical southerner or a typical unionist has with a typical Brit. There's definitely a distinct NI identity. How could there not be after all NI has been through? Nationalists and unionists experienced all that together. Southerners and those from GB don't have that collective experience.

    A person in Kerry has more in common with someone from Fermanagh or South Armagh than they do with people in Dublin, and vica versa.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 9,987 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007


    blanch152 wrote: »
    This is not surprising, we are seeing the same in the South with the family allegiance to the civil war parties fading with the generations.

    I don't believe it's the same, their reality, has become our history. By that I mean the tensions and the injustices that are still real in NI are something kids ready about in schools in the south. With every decade the divide grows greater.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,117 ✭✭✭✭Junkyard Tom


    Jim2007 wrote: »
    I don't believe it's the same, their reality, has become our history. By that I mean the tensions and the injustices that are still real in NI are something kids ready about in schools in the south. With every decade the divide grows greater.

    I can't find it but I saw a bar chart recently that showed that support for a UI is rising among younger people in Ireland (26 counties). Also, in the north, the DUP have done very little but underscore that they have no intention of treating nationalists with respect and with Brexit looming I'd say there'll be a strengthening of support for a UI amongst young people there too.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,624 Mod ✭✭✭✭riffmongous


    Still no one has said what a NIish identity actually entails? Does it mean the same thing to an Protestant/Catholic/Nationalist/Unionist/Loyalist/Other? Does it/can it exist outside those tags or can you be a mix? Who would you vote for? Do any of the parties acknowledge a Northern Irish identity?

    Edit: Tags reads awfully like Taigs :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,018 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    A person in Kerry has more in common with someone from Fermanagh or South Armagh than they do with people in Dublin, and vica versa.
    I presume you're talking about rural dwellers in particular? An urbanite from Tralee has much more in common with one from Swords than one from Enniskillen!

    We each go through different health systems, with a very different set of expectations in each jurisdiction. We each have different school systems. In the north you have the 11+ and grammar schools and GCSES and A levels. It's all different and how you get into a university there is different too. The republic is much more competitive (not always nice, it can feel cut throat too) IMO. Perhaps that's what has equipped us to stand on our own two feet for most of our recent history.

    As the republic becomes more pluralistic it changes further. The republic has changed socially to a much greater degree than NI. We have one last great social question to resolve so our women aren't forced to a foreign country to have abortions. NI will still be arguing about flags long after we've sorted this issue.

    I think it's odd to expect people who've grown up under different systems to be the same. Austrians are similar to Bavarians but still have a distinct identity.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 15,000 ✭✭✭✭Fr Tod Umptious


    View wrote: »
    Animosity to “the south”. It applies to many but by no means all people in both communities in NI. Although, obviously it is based on entirely different political reasons.


    I'd say ambivalence more than animosity.

    And it's ambivalence towards the rest of the UK as well as towards the ROI.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,018 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    I'd say ambivalence more than animosity.

    And it's ambivalence towards the rest of the UK as well as towards the ROI.
    I think there's both in play. There is mostly ambivalence (which to be fair is largely reciprocal) but also in the more extreme ends of the spectrum, both nationalist and unionist there is certainly a degree of animosity towards the "Free or Papal State". But yeah, ambivalence is more like it for the majority.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,169 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    A person in Kerry has more in common with someone from Fermanagh or South Armagh than they do with people in Dublin, and vica versa.

    I don't think so, there is a completely different culture up North in everyday life.


    Jim2007 wrote: »
    I don't believe it's the same, their reality, has become our history. By that I mean the tensions and the injustices that are still real in NI are something kids ready about in schools in the south. With every decade the divide grows greater.


    While I would argue that a lot of the tensions in Northern Ireland are false and much of the remaining injustice is perceived rather than real, the fact that they are seen as reality in the North and history in the South only reinforces the point that the two halves of the island are drifting further apart rather than closer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,169 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    I can't find it but I saw a bar chart recently that showed that support for a UI is rising among younger people in Ireland (26 counties). Also, in the north, the DUP have done very little but underscore that they have no intention of treating nationalists with respect and with Brexit looming I'd say there'll be a strengthening of support for a UI amongst young people there too.

    All the DUP have said in terms of "disrespecting" nationalists is that they won't waste money on a pointless Irish Language Act, and a lot of people in the South have a great deal of sympathy for that view in light of the complete waste of money that our Language Act is.

    As for the rise in support for a UI among young people, that reflects a worrying trend right across Europe, most recently seen in the Austrian election, but also in Germany, France and Brexit, where the resurgence of right-wing nationalism is becoming a serious problem.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,018 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    People in the republic will generally "support" a UI if asked "would you support a UI?" but if asked "would you pay 20% more taxes for a UI?" the answer will be less supportive ;-)

    Then there's the whole sectarianism thing. We simply don't have sectarianism in the republic (any more anyway). It would be an extremely unwelcome thing. That's why I've always maintained, no UI before NI citizens are (to a great extent) happy living with one another under the status quo.

    We don't have "peace walls" in our cities. If that isn't a clear indication of a different culture/identity then I don't know what is tbh.


  • Registered Users Posts: 307 ✭✭schizo1014


    As was asked already what is Northern Irish identity?


  • Registered Users Posts: 66,820 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    My question is, I am a 19 year old from the north and come from a very mixed religious background family,  and growing up I was raised not to judge people on where they're from or what religion, political stance they belong to and I am thankful for this. I am aware of both my linage of having both grandparents from the south and grandparents of Scottish decent, and recently have become very compelled to embrace both cultures, but whilst doing so, especially in the north it feels like its either, you're British or you're , and I honestly feel I do not belong to any of these and struggle with my identity because of the divide of the island and so I feel Northern is the only identity I feel comfortable expressing and so I just wanted to get other peoples opinions of this identity from across .

    I am not sure what the problem is here. Bar indecision. You can identify with whatever you wish. The GFA allows and encourages it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,018 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    schizo1014 wrote: »
    As was asked already what is Northern Irish identity?
    Idk, what's is Irish identity?


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,169 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    schizo1014 wrote: »
    As was asked already what is Northern Irish identity?


    There are a number of interesting news articles on the issue, some of them revolving around Rory McIlroy, a Northern Irish Catholic who identifies with the Red Hand of Ulster flag:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/11/sports/golf/northern-irelands-mcilroy-transcends-boundaries.html

    https://www.irishcentral.com/opinion/patrickroberts/is-rory-mcilroy-british-irish-or-both

    "he may be representative of a new identity in Ireland, neither Irish nor British but an amalgam of both."

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/what-exactly-does-it-mean-to-be-northern-irish-1.3033839

    "Whatever the validity of any of the claims that have been built around the Northern Irish identity – and in spite of having no clear unique culture, flag, passport, anthem, language, shared history, currency, traditions of state, or any of the other usual trappings of national belonging – the Northern Irish identity is not going away anytime soon, and political representatives could do well to move to acknowledge this new and highly unlikely constituency."


    http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/why-you-southerners-will-never-really-understand-someone-like-rory-or-even-me-26898180.html

    "The latter identity was much more likely to be claimed by those aged between 18 and 29 -- people whose formative years weren't played out during the Troubles.

    Many of us feel British, many feel Irish, some feel both and some feel neither.

    Some might say we're mongrels; I prefer inbetweeners."

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/mar/12/brexit-own-goal-changes-politics-northern-ireland

    Fintan O'Toole's take on it.

    "This is a symptom of a bigger change: political identity in Northern Ireland is now breaking down, not into the old “two traditions” (a euphemism for the sectarian divide) but into three."

    In my opinion it is quite difficult to put a finger on what exactly is meant by a Northern Irish identity, but what is clear is that it is a real phenomenon, that many people are identifying with it, that the current sectarian parties on both sides in the North have no clue how to respond to it and finally, that it represents the prospect of a real bright future for Northern Ireland, and by extension all who live on this island, even thought it means we may never be united.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 307 ✭✭schizo1014


    murphaph wrote: »
    Idk, what's is Irish identity?

    Irish identity is a cultural identity. Its the language, music, folklore, sports, literature, art and everything else associated with being Irish.


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