From the Archive: ‘Treating the North as just another part of Britain is ensuring that it will remain poor’

At the start of the millennium, census results indicated there could be a nationalist majority in the North within a decade or two. Seán Mac Cárthaigh and Eamon Quinn suggested we needed to think ahead

17th December, 2017
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Last year, a North Belfast 1916 Easter Rising parade makes its way through Belfast City centre while loyalists protest against it: at the beginning of the century, it was predicted that a nationalist majority in the North would be looking for a united Ireland within two decades Pic: Pacemaker

In the early 1970s, BBC Northern Ireland ran a TV studio discussion on the economies of the North and the Republic. After the politicians had their say, the experts were wheeled out to pronounce that the economics of a unified island were ludicrous.

Viewers were left in little doubt that the superior North – immortalised on Northern TV weather maps, lest viewers miss the point, as an island surrounded by the blue waters of the...

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