In Belfast, while the two main parties have come out and expressed a noble desire to take in a couple of thousand refugees, and Leinster House (with the notable exception of a few) has remained silent, it really comes down to one simple reason. In Belfast the Stormont Executive does not have the power to grant anyone entry to Ireland North. The Executive is a paper tiger that enjoys the trappings of power but retains little to none. The matter is another ‘retained power’ for the Tories to decide who is allowed entry to the six occupied counties of Ireland. To put it in perspective, the Tories fought the last election on immigration with language on refugees that was only comparable with mid thirties Nazi Germany. (Calais: The French city’s deputy mayor said he ‘just can’t accept’ David Cameron’s language towards migrants, which has provoked outrage on social media.
It comes after the Prime Minister earlier this week said Britain is threatened by a ‘swarm’ of foreigners and likened the migrant crisis to a ‘warzone’.)
Those who sit in Leinster House enjoy little additional powers being guided by European elites who decide Irish policy, economics etc. In the previous FF/Green coalition just over five hundred pieces of legislation governing the Irish people were enacted. Of those over 490 were at the behest of Europe. Europe’s grip is vice like in the 26 governed by what we notionally believe is Leinster House.
Latest: It has just been announced as I write that Ireland 26 will take a further 600 refugees – the quota set out by Europe.
Ireland’s genuine response comes via it’s people, who retain the sovereign of the nation. It remains is the best way to help. Its efforts collectively will be significant and could ultimately apply enough pressure to make the Tories and European elites take notice. Best not to hold our collective breaths but rather, act collectively.
Padraig McShane is an Independent Councillor from Ballycastle in North Antrim who blogs at Keep Left. This is his first contribution to 1916societies.com and we hope the first of many.