Unfortunately, Ireland has been such a hornets' nest of conflict for the last 800 years, few remember the brilliant rays of hope that periodically emerge from the mists of sectarian strife and lead us to question the inevitability of the conflict which has dominated the Irish political scene for as long as any of us can remember.
In 1798, the United Irishmen, a dedicated group of Catholic and Protestant rebels, rose up against the tyranical influence of the British mercantile capitalist state and set aside their religious differences aside to work toward an overthrow of imperialism and sectarian apartheid.
That spirit needs to be renewed. Irish prostestants and Catholics could very well set themselves apart from both as slavish adherence to the British state and absorbtion into totalizing Catholicism by creating an seperate Northern Irish state which honors both traditions and simultaneously works to undermine the "divide and conquer" strategy that has worked for so long to divide the Irish people.
One remembers Roddy McCorley, of the famous Irish folk song, a protestant who gives his life to break the hold of imperalism on Ulster. Someday that dream will be a reality, but only when the entrenched populations of Northern Ireland decide to adopt a non-sectarian solution that unleashes the power of the working people of the region. Such a solution requires a radical realignment of the current Irish political scene. Let's hope there are Irish activists of a socialist persuasion ready to take up the challenge of restructuring nationalist politics to reach out to working class protestants in new and innovative ways.
Kevin Patrick Brady
Beannacht Bua agus Saoirse!