05/02/2013

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Duration: 1 hour

Stephen Dempster tackles big identity questions, finding out what support there is for a border poll and investigating the union flag controversy.

Last on

Tue 5 Feb 2013 22:35 BBC One Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland HD only

See all previous episodes from Spotlight

  • A SELECTION OF COMMENTS FROM THE SPOTLIGHT POLL PROGRAMME

    The Union Flag is made up of three saints and three countries, so if anybody’s flying a flag and wants to remain British they’ve got to understand that St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland- not Northern Ireland. Malachy, Dungannon.

    Loyalism and unionism has become a laughing stock over in Britain. People really don't care what goes on in Ireland when there's a huge recession on. Mei, Wales.

    It’s time for the so-called royals to step up and say what their opinion is as the Union Flag only flies 13 days a year over there. Joe, Glengormley

    Same old record playing tonight. Listening to these politicians on 50-60K a year with the economy on its’ knees. The flag doesn't pay the bills, jobs do. Richard, North Antrim.

    Northern Ireland isn’t a fair society, the flag was taken down, the Royal was taken out of the RUC, the crown was removed from the court houses, the list goes on. Protestant people’s identity is disappearing. Iris, Belfast

    I don’t mind being in the UK and I don’t mind the Union flag, but I do loathe the sectarian attitudes of the UUP and DUP, they are aggressive, bigoted and unpleasant. Kate, Belfast

    I'm a Catholic born in Northern Ireland. Why would I want to be part of the south? This is my country but I class myself as Irish. There should be a Northern Irish flag for everyone. Kay

    Gerry Kelly is going on about equal votes, but where was the vote for the Republican IRA murder park in Newry? Arran, Ballymoney.

    As the polls show, the majority of respondents wish to remain in the UK. Why can that country’s flag not fly over its main civic building in its capital city? Bill, Armagh

    The tables have turned. In the past, the Catholics were second class citizens and now the Protestants understand how we used to feel. Karen, Antrim.

    Was the flag vote not democratic? If so, are the unionists only democrats when they win the vote? Democracy doesn’t exist on this land unless the unionists are lord and master. Robbie, Newry.

    What about being Northern Irish? The Ulster banner flies when our golfers play throughout the world. It's time we were proud to be Northern Irish and embrace our identity and ancient history of Ulster. Johnny, Newtownabbey

    The flag protest represents the naked face of sectarianism. John, North Belfast

    Why not fly both flags on designated days all over Northern Ireland? Or both at the same time? Patrick, Fermanagh

    Wanting a united Ireland for nationalist ideals is one thing. Becoming part of an all-Ireland and losing the NHS is another. Sinn Fein have a major challenge at a practical level. Paula, Carryduff

    @NigelMcKinney Lack of sophisticated argument about what a united Ireland would be like. Point is to build a new Ireland, north and south, not just remove the border.

    Politicians, listen to what the people are telling you. We don't want a united Ireland, they couldn't afford us. We seem to forget Britain had to bail them out. Lisa, Belfast

    If a border poll was taken in the Republic, I don't think Sinn Fein would take much comfort in the result. Gerald, Ballymoney.

    The Irish people want a united Ireland and they will get it eventually. Jonathan, Newtownhamilton.

    Why are we even having this discussion, when we are in the middle of the worst financial crisis seen either side of the border? Concentrate on the issues affecting people daily and forget the tired old tribalism on show here. Jamie, Ballymena

    Why not offer a third choice and see how many would like to have an Independent Northern Ireland? Free from the British and Irish governments. Other small countries have done it. Louise, Omagh

    Sinn Fein need to realise that there will be a civil war before a united Ireland. Scott, Lurgan

    I class myself as Northern Irish but would welcome a debate on a united Ireland if it would stabilise our island, bring peace and economic stability. Marie

    After a poll, would Sinn Fein work for all the citizens in NI and drop all this united Ireland fantasy nonsense? Ian, Belfast

    Unionists, get a grip! Give a little to gain a great deal. Tony

    Identifying as 'Northern Irish' is not ambiguous; it's about an evolving identity. Our political ideologies likewise need to evolve and its lack of evolvement that holds us all back. Ruth

    The UUP is falling apart, people are leaving it left, right and centre. Would the last man out turn the lights out in their headquarters please? They don’t represent the people. Steve, Ballymoney.


    The Alliance seem keen on a shared future, so would they like to promote the sharing of the Garvaghy Road with the Orange Order once a year? Pauline, Portstewart.

Credits

Presenter
Stephen Dempster
Producer
Elaine Forrester

Broadcasts

  • Tue 5 Feb 2013 22:35 BBC One Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland HD only

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