‘A terrible ignorance’ – By Brian John Spencer

Easter, 1916 – a terrible beauty was born. It had a dark and little seen twin; a terrible ignorance of the people of the North. South of the border, the Easter Rising is almost universally acclaimed. A singular understanding of history imposed, and a singular way of being Irish understood. Professor Michael Laffan wrote: “When I…

‘The Class of 1916’ by Brian John Spencer

The rebels of 1916 came from all ranks of society, but a majority were lower-middle-class. In a time of high unemployment, the vast majority of the rebels were employed. David McWilliams wrote, “most were from the class that Marx would describe as the hated petit bourgeois.” The Irish rebellion of 1916 was a moment precipitated…

‘Republicans have done a unionism’ argues Brian Spencer

We’re all unionists now. Being a member of a group of nations that pools power and decision-making is all the vogue. For unionists, having a partition between east and west is abominable as partition between north and south, and between Ireland and Europe is, for nationalists. Being Irish and British, British and Irish is, for…

‘Bonfire of the hipsters’ – By Brian Spencer

  In, ‘Get real and love Northern Ireland for what it is warts and all‘ published in the Belfast Telegraph (July 17 2015), Fionola Meredith was sincere and rigorous, but also hilarious. She suggested we forego all criticism of bonfires and unsightly aspects of Belfast, and instead reserve our opprobrium for “Belfast hipsters.” This is…