What is Monaghan famous for?

Possibly the world’s only successful soviet commune, and St Davnet (Dympna), patron saint of mental health, and owner of the first lie detector.

Caitriona Balfe, of Outlander fame:

Charles Gavan Duffy, nationalist and founder/editor of the Nation, later Premier of Victoria, Australia.

Barry “Clones Cyclone” McGuigan, WBA and lineal featherweight champion boxer.

Juan McKenna, hero of Chilean Independence.

Ardal O’Hanlon, best known as Father Dougal from Father Ted.



Why do people in Dublin think that a one hour commute is a lot?

When I was a child living in rural Ireland, a man from Dublin moved to the local town and set up a business there. My father had some dealings with him, and in the course of their acquaintance, the subject of why he moved from the Big Smoke came up.

One of the reasons that he gave for moving was the commute. In Dublin, he’d lived a few miles from his workplace, and it had taken him most of an hour to travel those few miles. It would have been faster for him to walk, but his vehicle was needed for the business. He was limited in where he could live, too, by the length of time it would have taken to get to and from work.

In Donegal, he could live in a beautiful house with a lovely view, the same distance from his workplace, and his commute was under 10 minutes. He could have been halfway back to Dublin in an hour!

That’s the reality for many people in Ireland: one hour’s travel equals 60–70 miles (95–110km). Most people don’t live that far from their workplace, so travelling an hour for work is considered unreasonable – even if it’s in Dublin with its attendant traffic problems.

For the people of Northern Ireland, which is worse, A) a hard border with the Republic of Ireland or B) reunification of Ireland?


My personal preference is for Brexit to be cancelled.

I am from the Republic, but now live in Northern Ireland. My brothers live 20 minutes drive away, in the Republic. I’ve lived in various parts of the UK for all my adult life, and, purely for my own personal convenience, would prefer to stay in the UK. For me to return to the Republic would require quite a learning curve as I haven’t a notion how things like healthcare work, and I’d have all the hassle of transferring my UK accounts, child benefit, National Insurance credits, pension entitlement, private pension, etc., etc. and it’s just such a draaaaaagggg. Ugh. Then there’s the annoyance of custody and access arrangements for my half-Brit kiddo…

I was born shortly before the Troubles started, and many of my earliest memories are of nervous boy-soldiers hiding in ditches along the border, chicanes and road humps at border crossing points, and long drive-arounds because so many roads were simply closed to traffic. After the peace deal, it was glorious. Northern Ireland, Republic, UK or united Ireland, it didn’t matter – we were all European. Sure, it was irritating still having to change money – sterling to euros, and Northern Irish notes to English – and flights to Northern Ireland still boarded as far from the terminal as they could get and still be part of the same airport – but none of it mattered any more. Unionists didn’t have to worry about being forced into the cloudy grey skies of a “Free State” (a lot of them have never dropped the term), and the nationalists had as many links with the Republic as they could want (and still have their lovely free NHS). No more searches at shop entrances, no more Friday traffic standstills in Belfast as bomb disposal checked out the 20-odd bomb threats called in, no more checking the news before you went out for a drink to see if the pub you were going to was a) still standing and b) reachable without braving a ‘suspicious package’.

Now, I don’t see how a border of some kind can be avoided. It might be where the old border was, or it might be an imaginary passport boundary over the Irish Sea. It might mean many roads are closed to goods vehicles, or there could be special cameras and weighing points. People in cars and buses might be subject to random stop and search. Any of these could rile up the paramilitaries on one side or another, and we’ll be back where we started.

If Northern Ireland voted to leave the UK, does the Republic have to take them?

Would there be a poll in the south or would it just happen?

Under the Good Friday Agreement, if there’s credible information that the majority of Northern Irish voters would vote to leave the UK, then the Northern Ireland Secretary of State is empowered to call a formal vote on the issue.

The rest of the United Kingdom has no input. That is, Westminster cannot, in theory, stop or postpone Northern Ireland’s vote on the matter, nor can Westminster ignore or cancel the outcome, regardless of whether it’s stay or leave. Officially. However, the Tories, who are in power now, are the Conservative and Unionist Party. Extrapolating from their response to the SNP’s calls for another independence referendum for Scotland, they and their Northern Ireland Secretary may choose to be ‘blind’ to any and all credible information that the Northern Irish people want to leave the UK. A Labour Party government, or a coalition government without the Tories, is more likely to permit a border poll, but the chances of Labour forming a government at present, either alone or in coalition, seem remote.

Similarly, under GFA, the Republic of Ireland can call a vote to decide whether or not to unite the two jurisdictions. As part of GFA, the Republic gave up its constitutional claim of jurisdiction over the island of Ireland, and officially see unification as a long term aim, subject to the wishes of the people of the island of Ireland. Again, depending on economic conditions, the Irish government might try to postpone a border poll, but, unlike the UK, none of the parties have a vested interest in preventing one taking place.

If NI voted to stay in the UK, they stay, the result of a border poll in the Republic notwithstanding. If NI voted to leave, but the Republic voted against unification… I don’t know. I don’t know if the Republic would vote against unification. However, there would be a transitional period during which Northern Ireland’s exit was thrashed out: perhaps, if the Republic did vote against unity, that period could be extended so that further talks and negotiations could take place. Northern Ireland would not be in a comfortable place during that process, though. No change there…

Who do Protestants in the Republic of Ireland usually vote for?

Historically, not Fianna Fáil. Never.

The last Protestant TD that I know of was James White of Fine Gael, and Fine Gael generally seemed to be the party that attracted Protestant votes in Donegal, at least up to around 1990.

Elsewhere in Ireland, and more recently, I couldn’t say.

ETA: Adding information from comments

Shane Ross, current Minister for Transport is a CoI member.

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Rural, Regional and Gaeltacht affairs, Heather Humphreys is a Protestant.

Seymour Crawford was a Fine Gael TD from 1992 to 2011 and is a Presbyterian.

Is 1700€ net a good or bad salary in Ireland for an engineering intern?

with assumption that I get free appartment (no rent). In my country (East Europe) this would be supreme salary, but in Ireland everything is expensive so I wouldn’t know.

It looks to be a very good salary, if you have no rent and no tax to pay.

If you DO have to pay rent, it’s not. Rents in Dublin are quite high, €500-€4,000 a month for one person (varying between single beds in shared houses to serviced studio apartments). I’ve never heard of employers providing free accommodation for interns, so, unless you have relatives with whom you can live, you need to consider paying rent.

You don’t say whether this salary is before or after tax. If you do have to pay tax (i.e., if you live for more than 183 days in Ireland in one tax year), the rate starts at 20%.

You may also have to consider the cost of health insurance. If I were a young person with no health problems only in Ireland for a short time, I would be inclined to give health insurance a miss. You should, however, check what coverage you might have under EU rules, and plan accordingly.

Are there any Loyalists in the Republic of Ireland?

The Orange Order operates in the Irish Republic (and the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and west Africa).

However, outside Northern Ireland, they’re usually less… um… passionate, shall we say? I’ve heard that in Canada, the Order is regarded as almost a social club, more like the Lions International, and their worst problem is sorrowfully turning down non-Protestant applicants.

Within the Republic, they are officially regarded as part of the grand pageantry of Irish history. They’re involved with the Boyne Valley Heritage Site, and attend events at the Irish President’s official residence, Áras an Uachtaráin.

There was one year when an Orange parade clashed with Donegal playing a big match in the Irish football league. There was much soul-searching amongst Donegal Orangemen, before they decided there’d always be another parade, but you couldn’t count on the Donegal team progressing this far again anytime soon. So turnout at the parade was a bit low that time.