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British knight envisions a United Ireland dawn

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Irish History Forum Discussion:     British knight envisions a United Ireland dawn

The Former head of the British civil service says united Ireland may be better for northerners
The comments come in the concluding chapter of Sir Kenneth Bloomfield's book A Tragedy of Errors, in which he asks whether three decades of violence could have been avoided.
In his book, the former head of the north's civil service stated that there were moments when he wondered if people in the north of Ireland would not enjoy "a more dignified position" within a united Ireland.

Sir Kenneth Bloomfield was appointed head of the north's civil service in the mid-1980s. In 1988 the civil servant and his family survived an IRA bomb attack on his home.

In his writing just before the Democratic Unionist Party's decision to share power with Sinn Féin, Sir Kenneth said that if attempts to restore devolution failed or if the institutions, once up and running, proved to be self-destructively fragile, the medium-term alternative could only be an indefinite period of direct rule. He said he forsaw a steady tightening of the financial screw in such circumstances. "It is possible, as a resident of the north of Ireland hitherto always glad and proud to be a citizen of the United Kingdom, to feel at times like a party to a marriage whose partner no longer feels or shows any real affection, but who maintains an increasingly cool relationship out of a sense of loyalty," he writes.

"Vociferous as Peter Hain in the role of secretary of state may now be about his support for the consent principle, supporters of the union cannot blot out of their minds his earlier support for the Troops Out Movement. "Nor can one ignore the fact that, amongst all the citizens of this supposedly United Kingdom, we alone have been afforded no opportunity to vote for a party now deeply entrenched in the government of our country.
In context of the economic success of the Republic of Ireland and the new Ireland where, as he writes "the excessive grip of the Church upon the government of Ireland has been greatly diminished by changing social and political attitudes and by the shame of clerical abuse".
"There are moments, I confess, when even I – the son of English parents, although born in Ulster, a graduate of Oxford University and a Knight Commander of the Most Noble Order of the Bath – wonder if we would not enjoy a more dignified position as a community within a united Ireland."

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