Politics

In the News

Identity in Northern Ireland - video

Mike McCartney

5th May 2021

Could be a useful way to segue into discussing nationalism?

It might be a bit harsh to say that the violence in recent weeks on the streets of towns and cities throughout the province in some way can be seen as a failure of Northern Irish devolution, and the Good Friday Agreement. But there is some material relevant, I think, to a discussion about the extent to which devolution to the Celtic fringes can be considered a success - even if it means defending the argument that devolution is not to blame, and the NI riots have more to do with what many saw as foreseeable problems with the Brexit agreement.

Alternatively, one might want to consider the ideas put forward by the young people in the video as part of an introductory discussion about identity politics, what the concept of a nation is, the idea of nationalism within the context of the United Kingdom, and so on. Of course, this will later feed into a debate about the dangers of nationalism. A classic essay question in this regard is the extent to which nationalism is always divisive.

Bit of a caveat emptor here, as said before this segment was played on the news itself last night, the language used by some of the young people in the clip is quite feisty.

The clip is here: 100 years on: where do the allegiances of Northern Ireland’s young Catholics lie? – Channel 4 News

Mike McCartney

Mike is an experienced A-Level Politics teacher, author and examiner.

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