Far from being pro-Unionist, I do not want Ireland to be part of the United Kingdom. But, as a Wolfe Tone republican, I feel I have a firm duty to defend the rights of Protestants and Dissenters to do their own thing until such time as we can persuade them their future is in a federal Ireland.
I am not a nationalist, I am a Wolfe Tone Republican. In pursuit of that ideal I have been forced to continually shift positions, much like a man in a cinema who keeps changing his seat, but only so he can get a clean view of the same film. And the title of the film, of which I never tire, is The Future Irish Republic.
The automatic assumption that everything a unionist does is wrong is not good for us. Like, how could everything that unionists do be wrong? I mean, they're not a special people. They're not a kind of special bad people.
Questions And Answers, Monday, 19 July 1999
Above all, most Irish nationalists entertain the fiction of Irish exceptionalism, the false conviction that Ireland suffered more under British colonialism than any other comparable people. Let me be clear. I am not saying something nasty did not happen in the historical woodshed. What I am saying is that what happened was neither as nasty as we believe, nor did it last as long as we believe, nor was it all the work of some beastly British soldier passing by.