Latest Issue

Ireland (north and south) after McAleese

The Irish Republic has just elected a northern Irish nationalist as president. But far from illustrating strong cross-border ties, it underlines the cultural gulf between north and south

By John O'Farrell   December 1997


November 1997

Mary mcaleese was elected President of Ireland on the promise of “building bridges.” Most people took that to mean bridges to northern Irish protestants; but another divide is that between northern and southern nationalists. McAleese, an ambitious Belfast nationalist, has highlighted the cultural effects of 75 years of partition. Most southerners have no understanding of and little sympathy for the grievances of northern nationalists. The anger caused by Orange marches, the loathing of unionist politicians, the frustration with British governments, the sense of betrayal by the Republic, not to mention the understanding, if not sympathy, for those…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect