How many people look at Ireland as an isolated problem, in 1690, the Pope supported the defeat of James 2, so really we are putting religion in to this at a time when people of either religion could be found on both sides.
ie. The pope,Alexander VIII, supported King William, who was a protestant and celebrated the defeat of James 2 by having all the church bell in Christendom to be rung. Hardly an action you would expect if you were in fear of your Church members.
Maybe a better understanding of European and Catholic Church history at that time is needed,then people would not be making the ridicules statements that they do.
James 2 was a threat to European peace and his actions were seen as a threat to the Pope and his authority. Take the religion aspect out of it and what is left, a battle that was part of a power struggle, nothing to do with religion.
We have been lead up the garden path on the religious divide,why do we have people moaning about English monarchy when they fought and died for the ENGLISH King James 2? What treatment would people of Ireland expect to receive if James 2 had won, certainly not the right to self govern as James 2 had plans to install English leaders. Maybe we all know these little important details but chose to ignore them as it confuses the situation.
If we have had such a divide on religious grounds, who were the Free Irish men, Presbyterian how far can you get from Catholics than them.
It is only been in the beginning of the last century that the divide has be widened, the advent of those orange men and other groups using religion and bigotry to drive a wedge between us, and stupidly we all followed. Or that's the opinion of the ignorant.
People are wetting themselves at the prospect that there will be more Catholics than Protestants, which they assume will immediately vote for a United Ireland, utter nonsense, religion has nothing to do with this. As in the 1690's not all Catholics fought for James 2 and not all Protestants fought for William. But lets not let a bit of hysteria get in our way.
It is convenient to forget the past and the reasons behind the conflicts so we can make a better case for whatever cause we agree with. People believe that a United Europe will solve our problems, why not considering our problems stem from a power struggle for Europe and Ireland was just a pawn in the mess.
The stupid part of the whole situation is when and if we become an United Europe, what will that entail, English, French, German and other EU countries being in charge. So are people fighting for self determination just to hand it over to others? If so what a terrible waste of life of those who thought they were fighting for a cause.
The 1922 partition was a solution to stop the blood shed, Collins paid the price for trying to save lives and get an United Ireland with other means. Maybe he seen enough of the dead on both sides, which many commentators are protected from, to think it was worth a try.
Who cares that someone came up with an idea at what is today known as a brainstorming session, it is all well and good that at the end of 30 or so years we can look at such records. Are terrorists meticulously keeping records so we can judge them in the future?
Protestants also suffered in the rotting six counties,for many working class people religion was not a factor.
Maybe this site will be of some help.