Counterpoint: The South

Counterpoint: The South

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Belfast, Connemara, Dublin




Transmission 15/05/1986


20min 56sec







Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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Presenter Brian Black explores what life is really like in the Republic and what Northern Ireland and "the South" know about each other. 

It's stated that Ireland's is a society in "transition". The percentage of the population in third level education is higher than in Britain and, as a society, it is moving from the tendency to implement constitutional laws around the ethos of the Catholic church. More than that, it is facing up to the form which its "nationalism took for many decades," which denied Northern Ireland (NI) a right to decide its own future. Interviewees believe that the turning around of the last 20 years has been a major achievement. It is suggested that if the same effort had been put into NI "we might have been able to make more progress with the violence and instability". 

A Protestant man in Belfast describes the Republic as a "totally romantic place which I never knew anything about," this he says is due to a lack of education in school and a glossing over of the realities of Irish history. Also explored is the sentimental notion of the West of Ireland. One participant describes the change in sense of freedom, that he felt when he moved from Belfast to Connemara.

Concluding the programme, the topic of family planning and the changing attitudes to birth control. One family planning practice opened with 600 patients and has now expanded to 12,000 patients, a clear sign that the issue has gained traction.


A UTV Production



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