Irish real-estate investment trusts stand to benefit from any move by the The Sunday Times has speculated that the Central Bank of Ireland may follow suit, as it …
Would Ireland benefit from reuniting? If so, are the Irish people interested?
Not right now, we’re busy.
Firstly, let me address
“Irish” – a citizen of the island of Ireland, either the Republic or Northern Ireland, U.K.
Secondly, a caveat. I am not going to post statistics, % etc. in this answer. For one thing you can get them from Google just as easily as I can. More importantly, this answer, this question, has nothing to do with maths, or ‘proof” but to do with tribal allegiances and beliefs.
So, as most people are aware there are two prevalent (they aren’t the only ones) cultural traditions on the island of Ireland:
- Citizens of the Irish Republic,who, er…, live in the Republic of Ireland and are predominantly but not exclusively, of the Roman Catholic religion.
- Citizens of Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingodom, who include both those who self-identify with the Republic and also those who are proud to be British and citizens of the United Kingdom. The latter group are predominantly, but not exclusively, Protestant Christians of various faiths.
It is complicated; there are plenty of proud-to-be-Irish Protestants in the Republic, there are Catholics in the North equally proud to be a subject of the Crown. More power to all their elbows.
So to the question: I believe Ireland (as a whole) would benefit. Here is why:
- Standard economies of scale.
- A huge boost to the ‘peace dividend’ (i.e. inward investment from not only the disapora of both traditions but simply canny investors who will look at an eager and ambitious workforce, with light touch regulation, on the doorstep of Europe and who aren’t blowing eachother up any more).
- Absence of risk of being randomly murdered while shopping on the high street, always a plus I feel.
- I, personally, believe we have more in common than otherwise and this would lead to a cultural renaissance benefiting both traditions. This is – eh – a minority opinion =)
Here is why not now:
- Both economies are now basket cases, albeit there is scope for optimism (for different reasons ) for both.
- We used to be ‘rich’ (on layaway/the never-never) in the South and talked of nothing but IPOs and properties in Bulgaria. Now we’re back to poor as churchmice and, I feel the better for it. We’ve also stopped drinking lattes in favour of strong drink, also an improvement.
- The North has a serious dependency on subsidies, both in the infrastructure sense and heavy, occasionally chronic, unemployment in many areas where the entire community is supported by welfare – cradle to the grave. Please don’t get me wrong, we have enclaves of welfare subsidy and third generation joblessness in the Republic as well – lots and lots of them – but they are obscured by the larger economy and poplulation down South
- We are both still a little touchy about the whole thing. First of all, both traditions still have some whackjobs running around trying to murder people. Secondly,well, 3000+ dead may not sound like a lot, but the horrific manner of these deaths and the small population…it will take a while I think.
No, better I think that my generation, probably the last who will have first hand memories of The Troubles, die out and the generations to come will wonder what all the fuss is about as they listen to the latest Somali-Belfast rap while eating at the Viet-Irish fusion bistro and get jobs with Weyland-Yutani =)