Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

“are you serious?” – redux

Sun 6 May 2012, 4:47pm

Having taken umbrage previously at the sight of the Union flag on a bit of turkey in his local Asda store, the now Sinn Féin councillor, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, is bemoaning the lack of eggs “produced locally” in Sainsbury’s.  Or so he claims…  [He has photographic evidence! - Ed]  Indeed.  As he says in the Andersonstown News

How did I know the eggs weren’t local produce? That was easy: every box had a mini-Union Jack.

[In Sainsbury's!? - Ed]  Of course, “we’re not part of the UK“, as any fule kno…

Update  Just to confirm what Nevin suggests in the comments, here’s the Sainsbury’s line on local produce [H/T Mark]

100% of the eggs we sell in our Northern Ireland [stores] comes from cage free hens reared in Northern Ireland and are supplied by Skea.

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Comments (51)

  1. Reader (profile) says:

    Máirtín Ó Muilleoir : How did I know the eggs weren’t local produce? That was easy: every box had a mini-Union Jack.
    When Máirtin says “local”, maybe he just means West Belfast?

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  2. Nevin (profile) says:

    “bemoaning the lack of eggs “produced locally” in Sainsbury’s.”

    Perhaps Michelle could take Máirtín to hear the roaming singing hens of Tyrone as they lay eggs for Sainsburys :)

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  3. cynic2 (profile) says:

    How are the might fallen.

    From media mogul to shuffling around Sainsburys looking for reasons to be offended. He should know anyway that under EU Rules any UK eggs must carry a UK Country ID stamp

    A Nation Once Again. Aye

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  4. Professor Yattle (profile) says:

    Sainsbury’s bent over backwards to be sensitive to West Belfast, including putting up multi-lingual signage. Most people in the area are very appreciative of this. But of course it won’t do for Ó Muilleoir, who just wants the Union flag banned from all products on display, even those imported from Britain.
    It would be interesting to know what commercial considerations, if any, are at work when the owner of the area’s weekly newspaper causes bad publicity for its largest advertiser. Is Ó Muilleoir fearlessly putting his Kulturkampf ahead of his pocket-book – or is this a reminder of how much trouble he could cause a business that isn’t cooperative…?

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  5. ranger1640 (profile) says:

    How to derail an alleged confident Irish republican movement, stick a Union Flag on food products.

    Martin what about all those UK jobs in Asda and Sainsburys, and Stormont paid in Sterling. Should the nationalists/republicans stop working for capitalist shareholders or work, and not take their Sterling wages?

    After his latest rantings one thing we can be sure of Martin, doesn’t go to work on an UK egg.

    If we put a Union Flag on potatoes does that mean we will have a new famine Martin?

    And this guy has the cheek to berate Unionists in Councils and at Stormont. Pot and kettle come to mind Martin.

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  6. Gerry Lvs castro (profile) says:

    SF — raising mopery to an art form.

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  7. aquifer (profile) says:

    Maybe it makes more sense to ship eggs than ship many times more tonnes of chickenfeed here to make ‘irish’ eggs, thought I’m sure the eggs would taste that much better coming from white chickens with gold heads and green tails.

    How is Sinn Fein’s economic strategy coming along anyhow?

    Maybe Kim Sung Il would share a few glorious ideas.

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  8. Framer (profile) says:

    Under EU rules eggs have to be from hens in enriched cages except they aren’t in most EU countries – due to EU rules being optional outside UK.
    London is permitting import of eggs from hens in old no-space cages on the grounds that it would be unfair to producers in those countries and contrary to the spirit of the EU – whose rules have to be obeyed.
    Eggs from non-EU states continue to be imported with a tiny customs levy and without any rules about battery cages.
    So little union jacks mean the hens have better conditions.

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  9. Máirtín needs to get out more.

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  10. Fearglic (profile) says:

    Who cares where the products we buy comes from? So long as we can afford the stuff and are assured of their quality and the well being of the people (or animals)who produced them! Emblems and flags I’m sick of them all!

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  11. RyanAdams (profile) says:

    LOL

    I’m sure there are many families across all 4 quadrants of Belfast who couldn’t afford to be picky about the country of origin of their chicken/eggs. The reply of the sales assistant Pete has linked to above about the chicken incident probably would sum up the vast majority of the people of Belfast no matter how they vote.

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  12. Shibboleth (profile) says:

    I had a chuckle a few weeks back when I visited Sainsburys there and spotted Military Wives on sale!

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  13. Jimmy Sands (profile) says:

    Chicken Ar La!

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  14. ranger1640 (profile) says:

    Funny how Martin and the rest of the shinner gang don’t gurn or send back the pound notes with Her Britannic Majesty’s image on them, or do they insist on getting paid in Northern Bank notes??? Eejit???

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  15. cynic2 (profile) says:

    Many ‘locally produced’ Irish eggs actually come from Poland where the people work longer hours for less pay. They can get a ‘local’ label on the package because another Pole sticks them in a box here. If it was all done here they would cost 20% more and people in West Belfast would be protected from the hegemony of British / European dominance but unable to feed their children.

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  16. cynic2 (profile) says:

    By the way, why is Ó Muilleoir shopping in the most BRITISH upmarket supermarket largely owned by a former Labour Minister and the wife of a former Secretary of State for NI?

    Are the epicurean standards at Spar or Supervalu not up the mark for him or is it just that he’s fed up with the great mass of West Belfast voters grabbing cheap beer offers asking him why with SF in power for long the place is still such a Shithole?

    Answers on a postcard to Connolly House. On second thoughts its not worth the 50p

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  17. cynic2 (profile) says:

    Jimmy

    Brilliant one!

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  18. Nevin (profile) says:

    Máirtín, prominent entrepreneur and civic leader, has probably already had that great Aussie delicacy, ‘Chookie Ar La’, as SF’s global representative.

    It’s not his first venture into the world of ‘eggs’. From the Balcony:

    And this being New York, I’m told locals call the ‘eggs’, “the Shit Tits”. My source for that is the poopreport.com (a site complete with ads for bidets). What can I say? It’s New York.

    New York New Belfast – but he’s already done that.

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  19. Professor Yattle (profile) says:

    ‘Accepting the British pound’ is a daft argument, Ranger – as daft as the Irish passport arguments coming the other way last week.
    The real question is why Ó Muilleoir is accepting Sainsbury’s advertising when he regularly attacks it in (what he probably imagines) are the most damaging terms possible to a West Belfast audience.
    What is going on? Sainsbury’s replaced Curleys, the Andersonstown News’s largest advertiser. Are these regular pot-shots at its unacceptable Britishness really financial warning shots across its bows?

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  20. Old Mortality (profile) says:

    What can you expect from a man who goes to such absurd lengths to disguise his origins? Has anyone ever heard of anybody else being called “Ó Muilleoir” ?

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  21. Professor Yattle (profile) says:

    Again, beside the point. However cock-eyed his identity politics, I’d expect Ó Muilleoir to still have one eye on the bottom line.
    There can hardly be a large shop in the developed world where you will not find some item with the Union flag on its packaging.
    What motivates Ó Muilleoir every so often to wander into one of his newspaper’s largest advertisers and point out this eternal, inevitable and yet (he no doubt imagines) very damaging fact?
    If it is sheer carelessness that is remarkable enough.
    Any other explanation is much, much worse.

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  22. lamhdearg2 (profile) black spot black spot says:

    Pro, i will try to field that, Martin belongs to a group that has gotten used to getting its way*, he assumes that Sainsburys would not dare withdrawing their lolly, for if it did the spontaneous (yea right) rage of the west belfast public would lead to protests and a boycott.

    * except on the big one.

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  23. Neil (profile) says:

    Think you’re giving too much weight to what is probably a case of finding something to say every week. Union flags are to be found in Asda just up the road (on T shirts), with no bi-lingual signage but they just don’t sell too well up there. Wait til the olympics gets underway, there’ll be Union Jack based everything from tins of coke to bags of crisps and the rest and I for one will exercise my protest via my consumer right not to buy shit I don’t want.

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  24. lamhdearg2 (profile) black spot black spot says:

    A sort of union flag lent.

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  25. leftofcentre (profile) says:

    In his own photo you can clearly see in the right boxes of skea eggs which is an NI company. Don’t let the facts get in the way of a non story

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  26. Nevin (profile) says:

    And a little bit more from Ms Gildernew (2008)

    “These facilities offer local poultry growers a stable and sustainable outlet for their products and help maintain industry and jobs in the rural community. I am proud that my Department was able to assist Skea Eggs to successfully secure almost £287,000 grant aid from the previous PMG scheme to help them expand. ..

    Skea supplies the majority of the leading multiple and independent retailers including Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Sainsburys and Musgrave Super Valu.

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  27. Submariner (profile) says:

    Máirtín needs to shut up.He is beginning to sound like a Unionist.

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  28. Nevin (profile) says:

    The egg packers are based in the townland of Kilmakardle – not the best name for an egg company; the adjacent townland is Skea – from the Irish for a whitethorn bush.

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  29. Pete Baker (profile) says:

    Update Just to confirm what Nevin suggests in the comments, here’s the Sainsbury’s line on local produce [H/T Mark]

    100% of the eggs we sell in our Northern Ireland [stores] comes from cage free hens reared in Northern Ireland and are supplied by Skea.

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  30. sdelaneys (profile) says:

    Old Morality, “Has anyone ever heard of anybody else being called “Ó Muilleoir” ?
    You have a point there, it is surely a rare name. MacLysaght, an acknowledged expert on Irish family names and writer of books such as ‘Irish Families Their Names Arms and Origins’ and ‘More Irish Families.’ describes Miller and Millar as being among the commonest English, Scots and Welsh names found in modern Ireland. He also explains that many Gaelic names have been Anglicised and gives examples such as Smiths from MacGowan, Clarke from O Clereigh, and King from Conroy but Miller does not come under this and O Muilleoir is not mentioned in any of his writings.

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  31. Nevin (profile) says:

    If you’re name is Millar and you wish to Gaelicise it then you’d probably opt for the Irish for miller: muilleoir.

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  32. Pete Baker (profile) says:

    Focus, gentlemen…

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  33. seamus60 (profile) says:

    I’m a big advocate of the Belfast Media Group’s Buy Local campaign. After all, if we want to keep local people employed and money in the local economy, the experts say we should spend our few bob on local goods and services.

    He is also being very selective on what he`s a big advocate of, when in actual fact he should have been trying to aquire his supply of local eggs from a local grocer. Rather than from a multinational who will no doubt suck the local egg profit out of the local economy and into an off shore account of someone who doesn`t gave a fiddlers egg about Harrys fruit and veg on the glen road. But hey why should they when Martin doesn`t either. Maybe Martin can`t resist getting a dig in after this multinational outlet shyed away with others from supporting the Work Fare scheme friends of his were quick to vote through.

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  34. PaulT (profile) says:

    Submariner (profile)
    7 May 2012 at 5:57 pm
    Máirtín needs to shut up.He is beginning to sound like a Unionist.

    Submariner, I think thats the idea, this follows a couple of silly DUP attacks on NI supermarkets over things of national importance.

    I think the most recent was an insisting that a supermarket chain ran a competition linked to the queens jubilee in NI as it was running elsewhere in the UK.

    Slugger has no sense of humour (or balance) so the joke doesn’t work for Pete and te others in the compound

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  35. HeinzGuderian (profile) says:

    …..and this mornings ‘whataboutery’ award goes to…………

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  36. ForkHandles (profile) says:

    While normal people will find this sort of chuckie antics amusing, there is a more serious mental health issue that needs attention.

    “How did I know the eggs weren’t local produce? That was easy: every box had a mini-Union Jack.”

    This line indicates that he is in a state of mind where he is pretending that he is not living in the UK. He is in some way convincing himself that he is living in the Republic of Ireland and not the UK. There is nothing wrong with preferring to leave the UK, but acting as if NI is not in the UK when he knows that it is, is an indication of some kind of mental health problem. It is living in a pretend world and being unable to process the real world around him. This is the common “pretend world syndrome” that most chuckies seem to be stuck in. I think they need some help to be able to retain their preference for joining the ROI, but still be able to function in the real world of being part of the UK. Many sufferers of PWS also have speech problems, many have issues with pronunciation. It is common that many of them are unable to cope with complex sounds such as “Northern Ireland”. They feel self-conscious and tend to deliberately make a point of never saying the difficult word combination of “Northern Ireland” and only use easier sounds such as “North”. But there are also cases where sufferers of PWS try to compensate for their disability by creating longer names that they are able to pronounce such as “The North of Ireland” or “The 6 counties”. These people obviously need help.
    Its time to recognize PWS and help the afflicted !

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  37. seamus60 (profile) says:

    Forkhandles. You`re a real begrudger if you`re seriously going to bring people to account on such triviol matters.
    For a group of people (my own) to put so much determination and effort into the project of obtaining a UI, only to come out the other end with a few heavily salary ladened cushy chairs and (possably) a flagpole to show for it. Yet you now want to strip them from any outward displays of republicanism they lay claim to in their effort to maintain the pretence.
    You are very cruel.

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  38. lamhdearg2 (profile) black spot black spot says:

    nomenklatura, all loyal citizens should trade only with party members or party members familys.

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  39. Nevin (profile) says:

    Sainsbury’s certainly seems to have gone out of its way to assuage the sensitivities of some west Belfast shoppers:

    Brian C review of a ‘unique and memorable’ store: “.. Most Sainsbury’s stores look the same, smell the same and have the same level of customer care. ..

    What is even more noticeable is it’s Irish connections, every banner, welcome sign and poster is written in both Irish with the English translation underneath it. This makes this shop different and certainly fits in with the surrounding area, which for me is a nice and thoughtful touch by a big British store.”

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  40. ForkHandles (profile) says:

    seamus60, i think they can be republican and also recognize the reality of what country they live in. simple common sense really.

    I think this weekend I will visit my sister in Ballymena, thats in France. Then I will go to my brother who lives in Fermanagh, thats in Australia. Then head back home to Belfast, that’s in the Republic of Ireland.
    You don’t think I would be a bit mad if I said that? :)

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  41. carl marks (profile) says:

    Reminds me of Gregory’s rant a few years ago about union jacks being removed from chickens bums in Coleraine.
    Seems we now have parity of idiots in Stormount

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  42. carl marks (profile) says:

    Sorry Ó Muilleoir is’nt a MLA seem we got to wait for parity.

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  43. SK (profile) says:

    ” They feel self-conscious and tend to deliberately make a point of never saying the difficult word combination of “Northern Ireland” and only use easier sounds such as “North””

    _________

    Fork handles,

    This might blow your mind, but many people describe NI as the “the north” in common parlance simply because it’s less cumbersome than the official name. A lot of unionists describe the ROI as “the south” in normal conversation for precisely the same reason. Mental eh? Lock them up.

    Incidentally, the sickness you describe above must be some variant of the one that prevents so many people who were born, bread and buttered on an island called Ireland from referring to themselves as “Irish”. Oh the horror of that word. “Irish”. There I said it again.

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  44. Little James (profile) says:

    In fairness this is the sort of crap fed to the locals on a regular basis in the Andytown News. Unfortunately this passes for news in that particular Sinn Fein organ.

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  45. seamus60 (profile) says:

    Forkhandles Ok just let them be a little mad for appearances sake. Its all they`ve got left.

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  46. seamus60 (profile) says:

    Maybe not that thoughtfull Nevin. A consumer programme on a while back explaining the internal jargan and its geographics within the stores as a means of setting confusion to the heads of bedazzled customers.Who would then unwittenly pay more for less and have the buzz of just getting a good deal which leads on to further spending (according to the shrinks)
    Could this be another ploy to their advantage. LOL

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  47. Nevin (profile) says:

    seamus60, I’d put it down as a very thoughtful ploy – if you get my drift! Máirtín certainly ended up in a bedazzled state. You’d have thought he’d have recognised Skea as a local place name. Perhaps Sainsburys should make more of that on the display.

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  48. seamus60 (profile) says:

    Those eggs will be a great seller too during the City of Culture thing . God forbid they don`t change the packaging before then. Real local British eggs for breakfast. lol

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  49. ForkHandles (profile) says:

    SK, i say “the north” and also “the south”, thats fine and perfectly normal in conversation. But you know the folks im talking about that do their best to avoid having to say “Northern Ireland” !!!!! usually the local political types on TV. Its funny to watch them in a quick panel debate and watch when a “Northern Ireland” accidently slips out :)
    You are correct regarding the opposite loopers, unionists that refuse to use the word Irish when describing themselves are equally ridiculous.
    Its a close run thing to decide which set of loopers are the most embarrassing. Its best to watch and laugh at both sets until they eventually realise how daft they are being. :D

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  50. seamus60 (profile) says:

    Most nationalists in Derry(with protestant) friends have had it admitted to them by same friends that they will most likely use the phrase Londonderry when in the company of Nationalists, especially when other protestants are about. However more than likely to use the shorter version when talking to others of the same faith. Like the nice wee protestant from Belfast over labouring in London, who shouted up out of the hole to his big foreman, “ye know i`m a proud Ulsterman loyal to Queen, Crown and Country” He knew what he really is when the big foreman shouted back down. ” shut the feck up Paddy and keep digging that hole”.

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  51. Nevin (profile) says:

    “we’re not part of the UK“

    Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly has certainly got the message: “Reilly calls for “All-Ireland” EU Presidency”

    An All-Ireland Presidency would give us more influence over the critical issues that are likely to be signed off during Ireland’s Presidency including CAP and the structural funds for the coming years

    She suggests no mechanism to put such an arrangement into place.

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