Misunderstanding Ireland: Reply to Porter and O’Hearn

Ellen Hazelkorn, Technological University Dublin
Henry Patterson, Universityy of Ulster

Document Type Article


This is a response to an article by Sam Porter and Denis O’Hearn (hereafter poh) who accuse us of radically misrepresenting the current situation in Ireland in the interests of sectarian Ulster unionism and British imperialism. They claim that our explicit and implicit agenda is the maintenance of the union of Northern Ireland with Britain, and that we are too busy attacking Irish nationalism ‘to address the problematic nature of unionism and the unionist state’ (p. 133). This charge is both a misunderstanding of the article and the issues, and demonstrates the problems and errors inherent in adopting a particularistic and narrow perspective, as encapsulated by the poh critique.