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Should Donegal join Northern Ireland?

  • 10-10-2021 10:08am
    Registered Users Posts: 4

    Given the decades-long neglect of the county (see mica scandal, poor roads, dismantling of the railways in the 50s and 60s, underfunding and cancelling of the cancer services at Letterkenny hospital forcing people to have to commute to Dublin for chemo) do you think it is time for Donegal to give this a serious thought and that Donegal would be better off as a part of Northern Ireland?

    The NHS would greatly benefit patients as the services at Letterkenny hospital could be expanded and integrated with nearby Atlnagalvin hospital in Derry, NI are upgrading the Belfast-Derry road into a motorway which could be more easily expanded to Letterkenny if it were a part of NI, and the NI rail links could also easily be expanded into LK if Letterkenny were in NI.

    Given that there are already a lot of donegal plates with the UK-style registration, I think there is an underground appetite for this.

    Do you think this is a good idea?

    Should Donegal join Northern Ireland? 221 votes

    26% 59 votes
    73% 162 votes
    Post edited by Chips Lovell on



  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Only if their joining NI meant there could be no unification vote in NI for 50 years, then fine.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,317 ✭✭✭✭super_furry

    How about a swap for Armagh and Down?

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 36,976 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha

    I don't see why. Northern Ireland is one of the poorest regions in Europe and requires massive subsidies from Westminster to keep afloat. The only difference between London and Dublin on that score is that the former has, for now, deeper pockets.

    There's also Brexit. Donegal would get on the receiving end outside of the compromise for NI laid out in the NI protocol. That motorway and the rail extensions won't happen for several years if this happened so that argument is a non-runner.

    Finally, the NHS is a wreck. Staff are overworked and stretched thin. It's not something to envy. Accessing any sort of service on it is a nightmare and, depending on your location you could wait days to almost a month to see your GP.

    I'm from Donegal and I was raised in a staunch Unionist background but I've never heard anyone even joke about this.

    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,946 ✭✭✭✭Princess Consuela Bananahammock

    Are you asking should Donegal join Northern Ireland, or should we just dump Donegal on Northern Ireland?

    EDIT - Hmm.... interesting user name, first post - journalist or troll?

    Everything I don't like is either woke or fascist - possibly both - pick one.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I think as a performative attempt to unferline how badly the county has fared under Dublin governments it's fair to ask.

    Not sure London would be any better, mind

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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,755 ✭✭✭✭Hello 2D Person Below

    Westminster wants rid of the six counties so I can't envisage them taking a seventh onboard.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,760 ✭✭✭dudley72

    Sure while we are at it throw in Monaghan and Cavan, maybe Leitrim. Not much value keeping any of them

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,685 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan

    The Irish government is progressing a major upgrade of roads in Donegal. See

    This is supposed to be done in conjunction with a new A5 in the north. I'd have more faith in the Donegal projects being delivered than the A5 tbh, that's thats with Ireland paying a chunk towards it.

    NI are not upgrading the Belfast-Derry road to a motorway. The current Dungiven bypass isn't even motorway and there is no way a motorway will be built by Glenshane pass. The rest of the A6 east of there is unlikely to see major investment any time soon.

  • Registered Users Posts: 700 ✭✭✭techman1

    thats not true, they will put up a much bigger fight than what we may think, they also won't let Scotland go. But at the end of the day it will be up to the people of NI to decide, can't see them ever voting for reunification, thats the reason why the NI subvention from Westminster is so high to keep the people onside. We can never match that subvention because we are a small country of only 5 million, they have 60 million with a huge economy, we just don't have the resources. Look how difficult it was for the mighty West German economy to incorporate East Germany in the 90s , it put the german economy into a decade long recession

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    NI =/= communist East Germany FFS.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,982 ✭✭✭Glaceon

    Regarding railways, the Stormont government (via the UTA) had more to do with the closures in border counties than the Dublin government did. Stormont was very anti-rail back in those days and even wanted to single track the section of the Dublin line from Portadown to the border. The GNRI line to Derry was closed in favour of the NCC route via Coleraine as the latter went through predominantly Unionist territory. CIE tried to retain services to the border after the northern side was closed but were unable to keep it going.

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,946 ✭✭✭✭Princess Consuela Bananahammock

    Everything I don't like is either woke or fascist - possibly both - pick one.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Made it easier for the Russians to ship out German domestic toilets after the war.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,197 ✭✭✭tinytobe

    How is that one supposed to happen? A referendum by the people of Donegal would probably be the best democratic option to do so? And then, as you said yourself, there is Brexit to consider as well. And then there are citizenship matters to be considered. Citizens of NI can have both passports, British and Irish, as far as I know. What would be the worst is if it wasn't to the people of Donegal to decided but the decision being made by Dublin and London. However I would doubt that that would happen.

    What I would have considered is Fermanagh to join the Republic of Ireland as Fermanagh is majority catholic. It's at least worth a consideration.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,625 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight

    Ideally we could dump Donegal onto the UK and somehow get them to pay for the mica mess. Then the NI Secretary would have to call a border poll because the majority would be there.

    In reality NI has very little infrastructure west of the Bann so no help to Donegal there. Much of the funding from here to extend the N2 to Derry would go that city wouldn't benefit much from the extended hinterland. Cornwall got shafted as the Tories only matched about 3% of EU funding, and more of their voter base go there than Donegal.

    Fishing quotas would be a mess. One boat - Voyager has over half of NI's quota and there's a few supertrawlers based in Killybegs. And the whole Gaeltacht thing.

    Unemployment in Donegal is high. Benefits in the UK aren't.

    It would tidy up some of the claims to Rockall.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,941 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    First post and the user goes full steam into what reads mostly like a Far Away Hills rant, feeling unloved by Merrion St. How anyone could seriously think London would be happy to subsidise another county is beyond me. Unless, as I said, it's read as a frustrated screed against Dublin. At least Donegal still has a hospital, ask Monaghan folk how they feel about health services and after looking forlornly at the old hospital on Hill St. you'll get a similar rant. All of rural Ireland has grievences; teh answer shouldn't be to flounce away to a worse master.

    An especially poor decision too given the NI Protocol is being used as a political football by a defensive unionist leadership, terrified about the North pivoting economically towards the Republic. Doubt they'd want a new set of constituents further muddying the waters; and doubt anyone wants to join the UK while it's spinning out of control.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Talk of giving Irish territory to UK shows how we were so easily subjugated by the British for so long and how we lost our language.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,197 ✭✭✭tinytobe

    It'll be different this time, if the British are moving to Ireland again. They will come to Ireland as refugees from an isolationist and Brexit-sticken country which is ruled by a blonde madman who never even learned how to comb his hair.

  • Registered Users Posts: 975 ✭✭✭Parachutes

    A unionist background in Donegal? How does that work, seems a bit oxymoronic to me.

  • Posts: 3,801 ✭✭✭[Deleted User]

    Wasn’t East Germany more successful at the time of unification than either Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,644 ✭✭✭The J Stands for Jay

    Donegal would rather be ignored by Dublin than Belfast/London. The arbitrage opportunities of the border are also nice.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    1st - by what measure?

    2nd - how is that relevant to ROI and NI today?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,197 ✭✭✭tinytobe

    I think it's very very hard to ever compare East Germany to Northern Ireland.

    One of the main differences is that the conflict in Northern Ireland is way over 500 years old.

    East Germany, and East Berlin and the sealed border between them both was the result of communism and two economically different systems, and that communism in power in another country, namely in Russia, not even 50 years at the time. Thus it was always very clear, would communism collapse, so would the Berlin wall.

    Regarding Northern Ireland, one would have to go back to the Plantation. Also it's not the case that the protestants would move back to Britain overnight.

    The Good Friday Agreement as well as EU membership of both countries were the best solution to the problem and towards a peaceful future. Sadly Brexit destroyed that. Who knows that the future will bring here.

  • Posts: 3,801 ✭✭✭[Deleted User]

    1) GDP per capita

    2) I was responding to the thread. That’s the way it works.

    you are the person who said that absorbing Northern Ireland couldn’t be compared to absorbing East Germany, in fact I think without the British subsidies Northern Ireland might well be in a worse position.

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,946 ✭✭✭✭Princess Consuela Bananahammock

    Everything I don't like is either woke or fascist - possibly both - pick one.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,775 ✭✭✭✭Larbre34

    Donegal is in northern Ireland. In fact, a spot in Donegal is the most northerly on the whole island.

    Should it join the temporarily little arrangement whereby 6 of our counties are under the influence of foreign invaders, because it has car registration plates that some people make look similar? Well I think the ridiculousness of that proposition speaks for itself.

  • Posts: 3,801 ✭✭✭[Deleted User]

    That’s a proper answer!

    my point is that, even economically, absorbing Northern Ireland might be as or more difficult than absorbing East Germany was for the Germans. As you point out though there are other factors involved.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 36,976 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha

    Why? East Donegal in particular has a considerable amount of Protestants along with Orange Lodges. The boundary commission of 1924-5 was expected to hand large amounts of territory from Northern Ireland to the then Free State. However, it also recommended that East Donegal join the new Northern Irish state and so the Cosgrave government abandoned it.

    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith

  • Registered Users Posts: 975 ✭✭✭Parachutes

    So are you Irish or British?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,197 ✭✭✭tinytobe

    The thing is that in contrary to Scotland where an independence referendum would have to be approved by London, Northern Ireland can actually hold a referendum on their future without London's consent.

    The problem to this is that even if that referendum in Northern Ireland would see a result of a majority in favour of leaving the UK and joining the Republic of Ireland, that this is not automatically going to happen.

    I would suggest that the FF and the SF and a couple of other radical republicans will probably be very happy if there ever was a majority in the North for reuniting with the Republic, but big future problems might arise. ( Also it's not clear that every catholic in Northern Ireland would automatically vote for reuniting with the Republic )

    Say for instance if the government in Dublin would in a unified Ireland then rule over Northern Ireland and the protestant, loyalist or unionist communities don't like what Dublin is doing, would then the UFF and the UDF start bombings in Dublin?

    It doesn't mean that this would happen, but the possibility of a conflict with deadly and violent intent being carried out on the soil of the Republic of Ireland would always be there. It's a scary thought which must always be considered.

    And then there are financial implications. Northern Ireland currently receives transfer payments from London, - they would cease to exist and Dublin would have to pay that bill, - with EU subsidies or not. Ultimately it'll be the question, in whose pockets you'd rather have your hands, in London's or in Bruxelles's?

This discussion has been closed.