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This was initially published a couple of months ago now, so apologies to those who have read it elsewhere, but I think it's definitely worth highlighting Jim Cusack writing in the Irish Independent about how prosperous Northern Ireland, and specifically Northern Irish
Poor Oppressed Catholics, have become in recent years.
I've picked out the highlights below, but I'd really encourage anyone with 5-10 minutes free to read the whole article.
earlier this year, when the Rich List for Northern Ireland was published , there was one little detail that went completely unnoticed -- well over half of those on it were Catholics. Places one, two and three were all filled by Catholics. The richest part of Belfast, the Malone Road -- think Ballsbridge in Dublin 4 -- now has a Catholic majority.
Isn't Northern Ireland supposed to be, er, depressed, like, after three decades of terrorist violence? Aren't the Catholics supposed to be "oppressed" like Gerry Adams keeps banging on about and the Southern meeja still seems to believe?
Truth is, cross the Ormeau Bridge over the Lagan, up into those nice leafy streets, and the arriviste MCCs would rather be seen wearing shell suits and trainers than vote Sinn Fein. Gerry, baby: Middle Class Catholics define their social position primarily through the distance between themselves and you and your voters. About as many Catholics vote Sinn Fein in south and south west Belfast as in Dun Laoghaire. If you live in a part of Belfast that has a street sign in both Irish and English, any self-respecting MCC would cross the road to avoid you.
I'm not quite sure what to make of it. I am certain that if there is a relative increase in wealth among Catholics vis a vis Protestants then it is of their own making and based in no small part on different attitudes to education. On a brighter note, the accepted wisdom is that with money comes power and influence, so it would be nice to believe that Cusick is right and that it also brings a gulf with Sinn Fein and their brand of victimhood-based ethno-nationalism and a shift in priorities away from simply one-upping the Prods.