A view of the south of Ireland – political, social, geographical – through the eyes of a liberal northern protestant being asked to rejoin it.
'A pleasure to read... Incisively mixing memoir, reportage and analysis' Daily Mail
'Discursive, humane and meticulously attentive to verbal nuances that can spell a world of meaning' Irish Examiner
'Patterson's travels provide humorous asides, telling insights and sobering pessimism' Irish Independent
The reunification of Ireland, which in 1998 seemed to have been pushed over the far horizon as an aspiration, has returned with a vengeance. Brexit calls into question the British commitment to Northern Ireland and threatens its economy. There has been a surge in support for Sinn Féin in the South, a party pushing relentlessly for a poll on the future of the border. If Sinn Féin enters the government of the Republic, as seems inevitable in the coming years, this issue will move even higher up the agenda, with who knows what consequences north of the border.
In The Last Irish Question, Glenn Patterson travels the country, looking at this place he is being asked to join and which a significant number of people in the North have spent a very long time shunning. Most of the South is terra incognita to them (as it is to many people who live in Dublin). There have been countless books describing and travelling through Ulster, but never one that turns its gaze the other way. Brilliantly witty and alarmingly topical, this is a social, political and geographical view of the South of Ireland, as well as a journey of discovery for a quizzical Northerner being asked to rejoin it.