Can Ireland Be One? | Paperback | By Malachi O'doherty

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Product Information
  • Can Ireland Be One?
  • Pages: 288
  • Format: Paperback
  • Author: Malachi O'Doherty
  • Publisher: Merrion Press
  • Publication date: 30 August 2022
  • Category: Irish Politics
  • Size: 21.5 x 13.5cm
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Can Ireland Be One? by Malachi O'Doherty


Who are the Irish? What is Irishness, and can this deeply divided island ever be united?

Malachi O’Doherty’s ground-breaking new book explores these questions and many more. Spanning centuries of history alongside contemporary issues, Malachi looks for answers by talking to those who know and understand it best: the Irish themselves. From journalists to politicians, writers, lawyers, celebrities, sportspeople and residents of both the North and the Republic, this is the most comprehensive study yet of a divided nation and its uncertain future.

This book asks the big political questions about the prospects of reconciliation between North and South, but it also goes behind the upfront attitudes of parties and factions to ask what really drives a sense of being Irish, and whether it can find a more coherent and inclusive sense of identity.

Ireland has changed radically in a generation. Today both parts of the island define themselves by or against the narrative of a freedom struggle. Could they conceivably put that behind them, regard it as closed, and if so, how would they jointly define Ireland’s sovereign national character after that?

In Can Ireland Be One, Malachi O’Doherty asks the big questions and confronts the real world implications of this incendiary debate.


'Engaging, illuminating and never afraid to challenge shibboleths on all sides, "Can Ireland Be One?" unpicks the complexities of the issues set to dominate any border poll in Northern Ireland. Malachi O'Doherty expertly weaves together reportage, political and cultural history and his own family roots in this lucid assessment of what's at stake for people on both sides of the Irish border.' Mark Devenport, former BBC NI Political Editor

‘This book will quickly become essential reading for anyone who speaks about Ireland, whether in Belfast, Dublin, London, Brussels or Washington DC. Immensely readable, you will either be constantly nodding in recognition or be drawn into a greater complexity than you imagined. O’Doherty’s emerging Ireland is a fascinating place.’ John, Lord Alderdice

‘As a border poll on Irish unity has progressed from possible, to likely, to certain, As he notes, the key issues (particularly that of an Irish identity) need addressed and resolved long in advance of any constitutional reboot.’ Alex Kane

About the Author

Malachi O’Doherty was born in Muff, County Donegal, and grew up in Belfast. He was a teacher to Libyan soldiers, a ghost-writer for an Indian guru, a contributor to BBC Northern Ireland and is a regular writer for the Belfast Telegraph. He has written numerous books about the Troubles, including Fifty Years On: The Troubles and the Struggle for Change in Northern Ireland (Atlantic Books, 2020) and Gerry Adams: An Unauthorised Life (Faber and Faber, 2018). His first work of fiction, Terry Brankin Has a Gun, was published in 2020 by Merrion Press.


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