Friday 18 August 2017

My case for a 'Celtic Fringe' of Ireland, the North and Scotland

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, then-deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness and Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales, during a British-Irish Council Summit meeting in Glasgow last year: Photo: PA
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, then-deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness and Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales, during a British-Irish Council Summit meeting in Glasgow last year: Photo: PA

James Dornan

'You're living in a north Down bubble." That's what one of my friends said when he heard my idea for the post-Brexit world - a new dispensation for the Celtic Fringe; a new 'Dalriada'.

I can see his point. He is right to say that the majority of voters in Northern Ireland realise that they voted to stay in Europe, but must go with the majority in the UK, that they think most of our local politicians are a shower, but that's the way it is, and they are happy to throw their hands in the air in despair at the idea that they could change anything.

But that was until 2016 changed everything in front of our eyes. After Brexit and the election of Donald Trump in the States, lots of people are asking: "Why can't we come out of our bubble and if we can get a majority to agree with us, we, the people, can tell the politicians the way forward rather than vice versa?"

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