Talk:Protestant Irish nationalists

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"In Irish history, Protestants, as seems ironic to some, actually led the way for Irish nationalism."

After 1790 the leadership was 90% Anglican / Presbyterian. Nothing "ironic" about that unless you went to a church school and were told something else. Across Europe in the 1790s all the Catholic states were absolutist monarchies, and the Pope liked it that way. (talk) 12:47, 30 July 2008 (UTC)


What a good page. There would have been no 1798, no IPP / Home Rule and no rifles for the 1916 Rising without this lot.Red Hurley (talk) 16:11, 4 September 2008 (UTC)


This title seems a bit ambiguous to me? Protestant Irish nationalism? Stu ’Bout ye! 09:19, 27 October 2009 (UTC)


Since Northern Ireland has never been part of the Republic would the term "United Ireland" or simply "unification" not be more appropriate? Furious Andrew (talk

Northern Ireland was part of the Free State. O Fenian (talk) 23:40, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
According to this encyclopedia, for two days in december of 1922, a constitutional anomaly. Furious Andrew (talk
A verifiable fact more like. Northern Ireland was part of the Free State, and chose to opt out. Therefore reunification is wholly correct, and your initial post was incorrect. O Fenian (talk) 19:13, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I think it's pedantic to suggest that. However as the Free State no longer exists and Northern Ireland has never been part of the Republic of Ireland it is a moot point, again I would suggest that unification would be a more appropriate term. Furious Andrew (talk —Preceding undated comment added 20:26, 22 July 2010 (UTC).
The change you are proposing is pedantic. The article as it stands is factually correct, and that should be sufficient for everyone involved. (talk) 14:14, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Protestant NationaliSTS, not Protestant NationalisM[edit]

I have just moved this page from Protestant Irish nationalism to the current title Protestant Irish nationalists, because while it offers a modestly well-referenced account of individual protestants who were Irish nationalists, it has not a single reference to support the existence of such of a specifically protestant type of Irish nationalism.

If the distinction seems minor, consider an article on "Jewish Irish nationalism", listing Robert Briscoe and his son Ben as its leading lights. Despite their notable roles, "Jewish Irish nationalism" is a non-phenomenon, and the Briscoes should instead be in a list of Jewish Irish nationalists ... because although they were both Jewish, I am not aware of any evidence that their nationalism was of a particularly Jewish type.

Similarly, this article does not distinguish between the existence of protestants who were nationalists, and the more theoretical question of to what degree (if any) their nationalism was a specifically form. The concept of a specifically "Protestant Irish nationalism" not a novel one, and there are Google Scholar suggest about references on the topic ... but this article remain focused on the ists, and does not even try to address the nature of the alleged ism.

"Protestant Irish nationalism" could be a very important article if someone would write it, but an article of that title needs to define an ideology or a movement rather than just listing individuals. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 17:03, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Religious demographic.... why?[edit]

Out of curiousity why exactly is the following required in the lede:

Across the island of Ireland, the largest Protestant denomination is the Church of Ireland (having roughly 365,000 members,[1] making up around 3% of the Republic of Ireland and 15% of Northern Ireland), followed by the Presbyterian Church of Ireland (having a membership of around 300,000,[2] accounting for 0.6% of people in the Republic and 20% of Northern Ireland). As of 2008[update], 4% of Protestants in Northern Ireland supported reunification with the Republic of Ireland.[3]

Whilst the last line is relevant to the article, surely everything that precedes it would be better placed in Protestantism in Ireland? Needs soucing too. Mabuska (talk) 14:09, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Protestant Irish "nationalists"[edit]

Sean Cronin in his Irish Nationalism: A History of it's Roots and Ideology, on page 2 says that "Nationalism is a nineteenth-century term" citing The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford: 1965) which says "gives the currency of the word as 1844 while the usage is associated with Ireland." In the eighteenth-century Ireland, we are talking about Protestant Irish "republicans" not "nationalists." The paragraph I placed a citation tag on is not supported by the article. It needs to be covered in the article, or removed.--Domer48'fenian' 20:31, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

The question of "nationalism" is interesting. Prior to the mid-1800, "patriotism" may be the better word (not all were "republicans"). That should be explained in the article. --RA (talk) 10:57, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

Only in Northern Ireland[edit]

The current opening is:

Protestant Irish nationalists are Protestants in Northern Ireland who support a united Ireland (previously a supporter in Ireland of a more or less fully independent Irish nation, varying from a form of home rule to complete independence).

We all know that Protestant Irish nationalist don't just come from Northern Ireland and the article (rightly) deals with Protestant nationalists from all parts of Ireland.

I suggest the following:

Protestant Irish nationalists are Protestants in Ireland who support the severing of political ties between the island of Ireland and the island of Great Britain. Historically, the severing of these ties ranged from supporting the legislative independence of the Parliament of Ireland, prior to the union of the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland (forming the United Kingdom), to a form of home rule within the United Kingdom, to complete independence, and (since the partition of Ireland) the re-unification of Ireland. Protestant Irish nationalists are notable because nationalism in Ireland has come to be chiefly associated with Roman Catholics, particularly since the secession of most of Ireland from the United Kingdom in 1922. However, historically this is not an entirely accurate picture.

--RA (talk) 08:32, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

None of the suggested paragraph is covered in the article. And the issue of "nationalism" as an ideology in eighteenth-century Ireland is not addressed at all.--Domer48'fenian' 09:19, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
All of the suggested paragraph is covered in the article, I believe, see the headings:
  • Pre-Union background
  • 1803 and 1848
  • Home Rule period 1870-1914
    • Politicians
    • Artists
  • 1916-22 / some Protestant republicans
  • Former unionists in the Free State
  • Protestant nationalist converts to Roman Catholicism
  • 1940-present
Are there any particular parts of the suggested paragraph that you see as being missing from the article? The current paragraph does not reflect the article. Protestant nationalists in Northern Ireland only pertain to a (very) small portion of the article. --RA (talk) 10:53, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
It seems way too general (and a touch anachronistic) to say "Protestant Irish nationalists are Protestants in Ireland who support the severing of political ties between the island of Ireland and the island of Great Britain". Does this mean they want to sever the political ties that come with common membership in the EU? That they want to cease participation in the co-operative bodies set up under the GFA? You see the problem, I'm sure. Ivor Stoughton (talk) 18:32, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
I do. Defining what "Irish nationalism" is tho is a very time-dependent thing (as Domer's point about "nationalism" being a 19th century concept demonstrate as well). Any suggestions for a better way of putting it? --RA (talk) 19:55, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
Might do, but really this article is a case of "if I wanted to get to Balbriggan..." Ivor Stoughton (talk) 22:25, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Ivor Stoughton's concerns. My concerns over the "Former unionists in the Free State" section also need sorted, though Hohenloh says he'll get around to it. Mabuska (talk) 16:30, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

Any better:

Irish nationalism has be chiefly associated with Roman Catholics. However, historically this is not an entirely accurate picture. Protestants nationalists (or patriots, particularly before the mid-19th century) were also influential supporters of the political independence the island of Ireland from the island of Great Britain and leaders of national movements. Historically, this independence ranged from supporting the legislative independence of the Parliament of Ireland, prior to the union of the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland (forming the United Kingdom), to a form of home rule within the United Kingdom, to complete independence, and (since the partition of Ireland) the re-unification of Ireland.

This would also remove the bold face, per WP:BOLDTITLE, assuming that the title is a descriptive one (which I think it more appropriate in this case). --RA (talk) 17:39, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

Former unionists in the Free State[edit]

I added a section relevance tag to this section, which contains only the following text:

As well as the more or less republican Protestants, a considerable number of former southern Protestant unionists accepted the new reality and worked with the new Free State from its difficult start in 1922-23. These included judges such as Lord Glenavy, whose suggestions for a new law courts system was enacted as the Courts Act 1924, and twenty accepted nominations to the new Senate, such as Lord Mayo.

I originally removed it, however Hohenloh reverted that stating that it doesn't need to be deleted, but per WP:TOPIC, it merits deletion:

  1. No evidence is provided that they are former unionists. Working with the Free State doesn't mean that they abandoned their political allegiances and suddenly became nationalists.
  2. Failing any evidence can be provided that this "considerable number of former southern Protestnat unionists" are former unionists, then what has this section got to do with Irish Protestant nationalists? It'd be more relevant to an article about Irish Protestants in the Irish Free state or something similar.

Two simple points that need clarifying otherwise the section is viable for deletion. Mabuska (talk) 09:55, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Seems as if they were "former unionists" because their ideal union (with the metropolitan UK) had ended, and their party (the Irish Unionist Alliance) had closed down. Not being Protestant Nationalists before 1922, they still wanted to be involved with the new reality after 1922, and to go on living in Ireland, and so "former unionists" is a reasonable stab at describing their politics. Can anyone do better? Not mentioning them at all could give the impression that such people were totally excluded from politics in the Irish Free State. (talk) 16:48, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
... maybe better would be "former supporters of the IUA", as the IUA did change its policy on home rule after 1917. How does that look? (talk) 16:51, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
You failed to address the two points i made above. Maybe stating "unionists" without the "former" would be more accurate than making assumptions that because they worked with the Free State that they automatically should be assumed to be nationalists and thus "former unionists". Also don't remove tags when the issue is under discussion. Mabuska (talk) 20:59, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Presumably these former unionists could have moved to Britain or anywhere, but chose not just to live in the IFS but also to engage in public life. Other Protestants did emigrate, maybe 40,000, some with bitter memories. Obviously these men were never active nationalists but wanted to be involved after the dust settled, and WT Cosgrave wanted them on board, all of which seems notable. Hard to think of Catholic equivalents at that time in Northern Ireland beyond Andrew Nicholas Bonaparte-Wyse, isn't it, so yes they belong somewhere but you might want to rename them. I'm sure they saw themselves more as 1700s patriots. (talk) 21:54, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Personal opinion and original research don't go very far on Wikipedia. To make such claims you need to have hard cold facts backed up by verifiable and reliable sources. Without them its all just speculation and Wikipedia doesn't work on those lines. So sources that they became nationalists are needed otherwise it should be removed. Mabuska (talk) 09:57, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
It's a bit of topics but not entirely irreverent. I've changed the wording and a POINTY/POV-ish title and collapsed it into the independence era section. --RA (talk) 10:58, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
Far better, though i think you need a quantifier for southern unionists as it sounds like they all accepted it despite the fact many emigrated. Mabuska (talk) 17:20, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
It is OK but they were a sub-class with a, let us say, reformed opinion. Mabuska, you asked - "No evidence is provided that they are former unionists." - Lord Glenavy was a Lord Chancellor of Ireland and a unionist MP and Lord Mayo sat in the House of Lords, and that was as former as it got in 1922. (talk) 07:01, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
That doesn't prove anything. It is still unsourced speculation and original research. You can believe it if you wish, however i follow sourced facts not "truth". Mabuska (talk) 13:36, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

Roy Johnston?[edit]

Does Roy Johnston qualify? Seems to be, but I'm not expert enough to say.Red Hurley (talk) 10:29, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Class -- not Religion?[edit]

Maybe the seeming "contradiction" here has to be understood in terms of class rather than religion. Of course, in 18th and 19th c. Ireland, the class and religious divisions were closely related. On the whole, the upper classes had choices. They had access to education, opportunities to travel, and contacts with what was happening in other places. So, whatever new ideas were being discussed, they had leadership opportunities denied to the lower classes. Even in conservative families, the "younger sons" could be rebellious in ways that were almost risk-free. When members of the lower class wanted to rise in the world, they had to be more circumspect. It would be risky for them to try to change things. TomonaD (talk) 23:57, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

That's true; younger sons like Lord Edward Fitzgerald. Or lawyers like Wolfe Tone who could see how the system worked but also knew he would be excluded because of power passing by heredity. Also, Ireland's revolution in 1921-22 resulted in reduced progress, but Protestants would have seen themselves as modernists, so these Protestant Irish nationalists must have been disappointed by the 1930s. (talk) 02:44, 12 March 2014 (UTC)