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Opinion

Northern Protestants: Time For a United Ireland?

Join this irishborderpoll.com discussion on 5th December

Is it time to ditch the misnomer ‘PUL Community’ when, since Brexit, increasing numbers of Protestants publicly reject the Union in favour of a United Ireland? Northern Protestant Claire Mitchell argues in her new book The Ghost Limb that there is a growing community of Protestants who wish to reclaim the Enlightenment spirit of 1798 and the United Irishmen? Is Claire correct or does she exaggerate the degree to which significant numbers of Protestants are open to the debate about Unity?

As the tectonic plates of the Union shift, Belfast Protestant Geoffrey Bell in his new book The Twilight of Unionism argues we are witnessing the decline of Ulster Unionism and good riddance to it. But at a time when opinion polls show support rising again for the DUP is there a danger that pronouncements on Unionist decline are premature and ill judged?

Protestant Ben Collins was once a unionist but disillusioned with Brexit and the state of pro-union politics he now campaigns for a United Ireland. In his new book Irish Unity he sets out the political, social and economic benefits of removing the border on the island of Ireland once and for all. He contends that Brexit is a game changer, prompting many Protestants to ask, “might I be better off in a New Ireland”? But is Ben right? Are growing numbers of Protestants really open to the conversation on Irish Unity? Join the debate and find out.

Should we view Claire, Geoff and Ben as outliers or as representative of a significant strand of Protestant thinking? Finally, to what extent does fear of being labelled a ‘Lundie’ still deter Protestants from raising their heads above the Constitutional parapet and joining the conversation?

Come join our zoom debate with Claire, Geoff and Ben, moderated by Kevin Meagher.

Speakers

Claire Mitchell – author, The Ghost Limb: Alternative Protestants and the Spirit of 1798

Ben Collins – author, Irish Unity: Time To Prepare

Geoffrey Bell – author, The Twilight of Unionism: Ulster and the Future of Northern Ireland

Chair: Kevin Meagher – author, A United Ireland: Why Unification Is Inevitable and How It Will Come About

7pm, Monday 5th December 2022
Zoom debate
Register free on Eventbrite.