Your views on just what our future holds
A report predicting the future will be Catholic and female provoked a huge response on our website. These are just some of the many comments that readers posted
What we need is, first, integrated housing and, then, integrated schooling. Both should have a neutral basis, such as no flags or emblems displayed within an integrated housing area. The Housing Executive could build houses in a trial integrated area close to an integrated school. Meanwhile, the Stormont Executive could be trying schemes aimed at bringing cultures together in wider society.
You can't force integration. It was tried already in the north and look at all the dirty big peace walls we have today as a result. I think a better approach than banning everything is allowing all types of memorabilia, but with a mutual respect clause, ie, if it offends anyone, down it comes. No questions asked.
The main unionist parties are going to find themselves increasingly marginalised. They alienate themselves from the vast majority on this island and the vast majority in the UK. Without drastic change, soon they will become completely obsolete. Unionism needs a radical overhaul if it is to attract a broader electorate.
I think the DUP's policies are changing at a far quicker pace than the demographics are. I doubt they will be capable of capturing cross-community (or liberal) votes anytime soon, but they have changed a lot more in the last five years than our Protestant/Catholic demographics have, so who knows what the next 20 years will hold?
Big Chief Ally
As an Ulsterman living in Greece, I would like to congratulate the author of this excellent report. As we come closer to a referendum on whether Northern Ireland should join the Republic (or not), two main issues will raise their heads: 1) Will the Republic still be a member of the eurozone? and 2) Will unionists have combined into one party? The resolution of these two contradictory alternatives will determine whether Catholics finally vote in a referendum for or against union with the Republic.
Dr David Green
While most Catholics would like to have a united Ireland, it is no surprise that we know which side our bread is buttered on. When the Celtic Tiger was flying, yes, it looked more attractive for a united Ireland. Now, with the current trouble in the Republic, we know we are better off (even though we begrudge admitting it) in the UK. Given half a chance, the Tory Government would get rid of us in a heartbeat if they thought they could and the Irish government could not currently afford the welfare state here. Looks like we have to work it out ourselves as both sides are going to be stuck with each other. But, sure, we are the happiest people in the UK.
I am Catholic, went to a Catholic church, went to a Catholic school and would never have met anyone who wasn't Catholic if it hadn't been for the wonderful City of Belfast School of Music, which I attended from 1972 to 1979. I made friends from both 'sides' there.
When I left Belfast at 19, I found myself working with a mostly Catholic group. It was great. The more we hang around each other and have a bit of craic, the more respect we have for each other.
I grew up in a Protestant neighbourhood and, although I never went to church, because our house was a religion-free zone, I only had Protestant friends. Then I left school and started hanging around with people who had long hair and rode motorcycles. Now I have friends from all sections. People need to find a common interest. Sport would be good if people didn't support teams regarded as tribal.
This report proves that both communities have small extremist elements, who would like assert their power, in a political vacuum, or at least continue criminal activities. Unionism has moved toward the centre, which asks the question why one unionist party could not function, with the TUV extremists marginalised. A strong Protestant, unionist leader with no Orange Order connections could sway Catholic voters. The political goalposts have moved. Survival has become our common priority.
I'm so happy this report can clarify what the future will be like - considering no one knows what will happen next week.
It is marvellous how many surveys show an increasing proportion of people of Catholic extraction continue to vote for nationalist parties, but the conclusion is drawn that they are not interested in a united Ireland. The reality is that people are interested in a properly organised united Ireland, not a half-baked version.