Thursday 18 December 2014

Treaty blues

Published 26/01/2013 | 05:00

• In December 1921, a treaty was signed by Ireland and Britain that within 12 months effectively divided the island of Ireland into two distinct areas.

Both governments then proceeded to bury their heads in the sand, ignore all the faults and hope that everything would work itself out.

The British government thought that the nationalists resident in the six northern counties would be integrated into the unionist community and peace would follow. But bigotry and gerrymandering by the unionist elite, in their bid to keep power, made it impossible for this to happen, and non-unionists found full participation in the state unattainable.

Meanwhile, the government of the 26 counties, in trying to solve their own problems of setting up a new state, just ignored the other six, thinking that having signed the treaty they were no longer its problem.

Both governments were wrong. All the problems that the 1921 treaty was supposed to solve have lain festering for almost a century, and now they are coming home to roost. It's now time that both governments took the bull by the horns and finally nailed down a permanent solution. Not just on the flag issue but on the complete shambles that was created in 1921. The Good Friday Agreement is a starting point, not the end.

All the people of this island deserve a solution, not another 100 years of mismanagement and misrule.

Jim McAreavey
Kilcoole, Co Wicklow

Irish Independent

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