Apologise, apologise. Who me?

Two interesting letters in the Irish Times (flagged up to me by Jeff Dudgeon) on the “apology” front worth printing out rather than only hyperlinking to.  Michael Lillis whom I knew and liked had the courage to engage frankly with unionists and thus represented a new departure. In his time it was unionist obduracy that contributed to the Anglo -Irish Agreement, for me the slowburn creative shock treatment that brought them slowly into reality. Others will disagree.

Philip Flynn a former banker after serving as vice president of Sinn Fein many years ago was clearly affected as a young man by the spark lit by IRA border campaign in the 1950s. He denied entanglement in the Northern Bank robbery.  He now distances himself from the foundation Provo narrative, a narrative being amended piecmeal, most recently by Declan Kearney. Will we ever get anything better from that front?

Peter Robinson’s “apology”bid only emphasises how unlikely it is for the whole context up to the late 1960s to be repeated. If we regress, we’ll regress differently. Say what you like about it, this is an age of lack of confidence rather than the general unjustified complacency of the pre-Troubles era.

But now ,you have to ask, what would be the political purpose of apology, and what is apology’s moral force coming from those not directly implicated?  There are plenty around who were implicated in using force or political coat trailing or both.   Maybe apologies all round would be worth hearing including anybody left from the old governing Unionist party (how about it John Taylor?)  And for goodness sake, let’s not leave out the DUP.  But anything, anything  to avoid a fresh bout of whataboutery. 

 

19 September 2012

An apology for creating the IRA

A chara, – Peter Robinson asks for an apology for the alleged responsibility of an Irish Government in the 1970s for facilitating the emergence and thus the consequent atrocities of the Provisional IRA (Breaking News, September 15th).

He has a point, but he overlooks the direct responsibility of successive unionist governments for the wholescale oppression of the Catholic minority during more than 60 years, beginning in 1922. It seems to me that the pre-eminent failure of successive Irish governments was rather their neglect of the lot of the Northern minority from 1922 to 1968.

When the explosion happened, ministers and officials in Dublin knew almost nothing about the realities of life for most Catholics in Northern Ireland. Yes, they had huffed and puffed for years about partition and the inevitability of “reunification”, knowing that it was all nonsense except that it encouraged young men to take to campaigns of violence which only exacerbated the harassment of many innocents among their co-religionists.

The fact is that the lives of hundreds of thousands of Northern Catholics were systematically thwarted during those 60 years. Daily life for many was a sustained and deliberate humiliation. Peter Barry’s expression “the nightmare of the Northern Catholics” was no exaggeration.

It is acutely distressing that successive governments of all major parties in Dublin did nothing and said almost nothing to the British or to the world to address these specific wrongs until 1968 when it was far too late. Of course none of this excuses the British, the responsible and thus by far the more guilty power, whose consciously deliberate neglect amounted in practice to the encouragement of unionist abuses.

But the fact of uninterrupted blanket neglect of the lot of their fellow nationalists by Dublin is shameful and has something of the character of an original sin dating from the foundation of the State. It is not spoken of.

Had the Dublin establishment (as an official of the Department of External Affairs I was part of it) used its diplomatic and other international resources remorselessly, publicly and privately to pressurise London every day from 1922 onwards to confront and correct these well-documented injustices, the miseries of our more recent history, including of course the unspeakable horrors that were visited on the unionist and nationalist people by the Provisional IRA and loyalist terrorists, might have been avoided.

I suggest that it is to that earlier lost generation of the Catholic minority of Northern Ireland – if to anyone – that Dublin’s principal historic apology is overwhelmingly due.

– Is mise, MICHAEL LILLIS [Head of the Department of Foreign Affairs Anglo-Irish division during the 1980s and Ambassador to UN] Dartmouth Square, Dublin 6.

Sir, – I see that the latest wheeze by unionists politicians is that the Irish Government should apologise for the creation of the IRA. Perhaps they have not enough to occupy them in the Northern Assembly (Home News, September 18th).

In fact we all know that the Irish Government of the day, for good or ill, took the decision that it should try to help those of the nationalist community who were being subjected to what was, in effect, apartheid. In all likelihood, this assisted in the creation of a nascent IRA. With the benefit of hindsight, if one knew what the IRA were to become, of course no right-thinking person would have assisted in its creation.

However, as humans cannot see the future, this argument does not arise. What we do know for a fact is that the terrible, brutal and oppressive system that operated in Northern Ireland at the time of the creation of the IRA is well documented and is a terrible stain on the unionist tradition. Thankfully, we all appear to have moved past this to a brighter future.

Recently, Queen Elizabeth gave as good as an apology to the Irish people for Britains equally awful historical involvement with this country. We gladly accepted it with good grace, recognising that the past is indeed the past.

What demeans both the tacit apology of Queen Elizabeth and the forgiveness of those so badly affected by the unionist regime in the late 1960s/early 1970s and beyond, which gave rise to the civil rights movement, is this “me too” childishness of unionists who insist that someone must apologise to them.

So let me clear it up for unionists:

1. There is no equality of historically appalling behaviour as between unionist treatment of nationalists in Northern Ireland and the Irish State’s history.

2. One cannot absolve themselves of their history by demanding an apology from somebody, anybody, else. The best thing that the unionist tradition can do is be apologetic for its past, move past it and hope for a prouder future.

– Is mise, PHILIP FLYNN, [Former vice-President of Sinn Fein and chairman of Bank of Scotland (Ireland)] Mount Brown, Dublin 8.

, , , , , , , ,

  • lamhdearg2

    Maybe (probably) all in my head, however those two statements read like their authors where/are a couple of blustering buffoons, “lets not have whatabout”! when the whole premise of their rant is whatabout.

  • Brian Walker

    lamhdearg2
    My apology is me speaking for myself. Whaboutery is what people say about the other guy.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Brian I read this a few times and would like some clarification. Did Philip Flynn have anything to do with the Norther Bank robbery?

    Philip Flynn …..
    “He denied entanglement in the Northern Bank robbery.”

  • Alias

    Michael Lillis is probably well aware that northern Catholics had a much better time of it economically than their southern counterparts. If any one is due an apology from the southern government for decades of neglect it’s the southern Irish!

  • Framer

    George Russell (A E) (1867-1935)

    On Behalf of Some Irishmen not Followers of Tradition

    They call us aliens, we are told,
    Because our wayward visions stray
    From that dim banner they unfold,
    The dreams of worn-out yesterday.
    The sum of all the past is theirs,
    The creeds, the deeds, the fame, the name,
    Whose death-created glory flares
    And dims the spark of living flame.
    They weave the necromancer’s spell,
    And burst the graves where martyrs slept,
    Their ancient story to retell,
    Renewing tears the dead have wept.
    And they would have us join their dirge,
    This worship of an extinct fire
    In which they drift beyond the verge
    Where races all outworn expire.
    The worship of the dead is not
    A worship that our hearts allow,
    Though every famous shade were wrought
    With woven thorns above the brow.
    We fling our answer back in scorn:
    “We are less children of this clime
    Than of some nation yet unborn
    Or empire in the womb of time.
    We hold the Ireland in the heart
    More than the land our eyes have seen,
    And love the goal for which we start
    More than the tale of what has been.”
    The generations as they rise
    May live the life men lived before,
    Still hold the thought once held as wise,
    Go in and out by the same door.
    We leave the easy peace it brings:
    The few we are shall still unite
    In fealty to unseen kings
    Or unimaginable light.
    We would no Irish sign efface,
    But yet our lips would gladlier hail
    The firstborn of the Coming Race
    Than the last splendour of the Gael.
    No blazoned banner we unfold—
    One charge alone we give to youth,
    Against the sceptred myth to hold
    The golden heresy of truth.

  • Alanbrooke

    This is just pure guff. I’m 51, I was 10 when Direct Rule came in, who am I apologising to and what for ? There has been no point in my adult life where I could vote for an NI government which contolled NI until post GFA when presumably everyone was happy. Most of the people SF want an apology from are well into their 80s or dead, you might as well demand Dev apologise to Mick Collins.

  • Bishops Finger

    Alanbrooke
    This is just pure guff. I’m 51, I was 10 when Direct Rule came in, who am I apologising to and what for ?
    ————————————————————–
    What’s your opinion on Original Sin?

  • Alanbrooke

    Bishop’s Finger

    well if I have to go that far back, then my Celtic ancestors should never have invaded Ireland and just have left it to the locals,

  • http://bangordub.wordpress.com/ Bangordub

    As a Southerner,
    I am, frankly, embarrassed by the revisionist historians and partitionist politicians who have no idea what went on in the North for 60 odd years.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    BangorDub,

    I would disagree – with two words; “no idea”.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Alanbrooke,

    I think in these cases an apology is supposed to be on behalf of a country (at the behest of its government) due to some kind of wrong it committed in the past. It does not necessarily have to follow that the protagonists are still alive. Hence the apology for the famine.

    I am not sure why the DUP have picked this moment to go on the offensive over an apology from Dublin (trying to take the focus off the Maze decision perhaps?) but I would be interested to know exactly what they are requesting an apology for, ie how did the Irish government by action or omission cause harm within NI.

    People say there should be an apology over the arms affair, but that hardly makes sense as the ministers alleged to be involved were sacked and prosecuted. The Irish courts were perhaps a bit reluctant to extradite IRA men North on some occasions but I don’t think it is appropriate for any government to apologize for the decisions of fully independent judicial bodies. I am not sure that the charge that the Irish government were lenient with the IRA can be seriously made if one is familiar with the Offences against the State Acts or the Special Criminal Courts.

    The ease with which the IRA were able to move around the border area is additionally not something that can be easily pinned at the door of the government. National borders are difficult to secure in any case.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    National borders are difficult to secure in any case.

    Very true, Comrade.
    We have problems here with our very large, mainly unprotected, border with the USA.
    Must be very difficult in Europe now with the Shengen (?) Agreement.

  • Alanbrooke

    Comrade Stalin,

    oh dearest Vozhd, I really don’t care what twaddle our vacuous politicians come up with next. I never met a survivor of the famine so Blair’s apology meant absolutely nothing bar a PR gig for Tony. Equally the ludicrous attempts by local politicos to pick over healing scabs and leave old sores open achieves nothing. I can’t help but feel this is either an attempt by men in their late 50s and 60s trying to justify why they kept a 30 year conflict going or a cynical attempt to prime a new generation to look backwards rather than forwards. Either way Robinson, Adams and co. their political generation failed they should just retire and ask themselves why 3600+ people are dead.

  • aquifer

    Everything SFDUP do in government together is an apology for what went before.

    Are there enough words in circulation that could be added up to cover the damage?

    Don’t think so, so better not try.

  • http://bangordub.wordpress.com/ Bangordub

    Mister Joe,
    I take your point. Agreed

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    Comrade Stalin,
    “People say there should be an apology over the arms affair, but that hardly makes sense as the ministers alleged to be involved were sacked and prosecuted.”
    Haughey went on to become leader.

    “The Irish courts were perhaps a bit reluctant to extradite IRA men North on some occasions but I don’t think it is appropriate for any government to apologize for the decisions of fully independent judicial bodies.”
    Well could those judicial bodies apologise then? But anyway, surely a Minister of Justice takes some responsibility for the administration of justice on his/her watch.

    “I am not sure that the charge that the Irish government were lenient with the IRA can be seriously made if one is familiar with the Offences against the State Acts or the Special Criminal Courts.”
    They weren’t lenient on IRA people who threatened the southern state; but they certainly were on those killing people in the North. This is part of the culture of the south towards IRA violence I’m afraid – people go ballistic if the IRA kills a member of the Garda but it barely registered when they were killing us by the truckload. Given that the Republic had Western Europe’s most lethal terrorist group operating from its soil, the resources and effort it put into stopping them were disgracefully poor. Not to mention the apparent hostility to the efforts over the border in Northern Ireland to bring terrorists to justice.

    “The ease with which the IRA were able to move around the border area is additionally not something that can be easily pinned at the door of the government. National borders are difficult to secure in any case.”
    The fact that borders can easily be used by terrorists does not absolve the Irish of the duty to make their side of the border less easy for terrorists to operate in. For much of the Troubles, the IRA had a fairly free hand to operate from the Republic, as long as it showed some basic discretion and didn’t rattle the Garda’s cage too hard.

    Whatever the failures and unfairnesses of unionist rule – and there were plenty – it does not make it OK for a single unionist to be killed. Successive Irish government let their dislike of all things British and of Ulster unionists, and their wish for a united Ireland, affect their attitude to Republican terrorists. While not actively supporting them, it didn’t show any urgency about stopping them either, despite the mounting body count in Ulster. Well into the 80s, they were still seeing peaceful unionists as much of a problem as Republican terrorists. For that they should apologise.

    Many Northern Irish lives could have been spared if the Irish government had acted with more decency.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    Mainland Ulsterman,

    Don’t be ridiculous. Who was responsible for much of the public mayhem in the middle to late sixties and early seventies and went on to become first minister in N.I.?
    Get real. Who else needs to apologise? Someone who was involved in smuggling arms for “Ulster Resistance”. Even led an incursion into a “foreign” State?

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    Mister_Joe:
    Who else needs to apologise? Someone who was involved in smuggling arms for “Ulster Resistance”. Even led an incursion into a “foreign” State?

    Joe,

    Are you claiming Peter Robinson was involved in importing illegal weapons into Northern Ireland?

  • Alias

    Ireland and the UK are exempt from the rules of the Schengen Area, Joe.

    In regard to importing arms for use by organised murder gangs in NI, then absolutely an apology by the Irish state to the UK and its citizens is long overdue. Not that Haughey, Blaney or their former Nazi party friends in Dublin actually gave a hoot about NI or its Catholic population. They were just two muppets trying to out-green each other for political advantage. It’s debatable whether or not the muppet-in-chief, Jack Lynch, would have taken any action if the leader of the opposition did not get wind of it and use it for his own political advantage. The Cabinet is collectively responsible, and acted on behalf of the people – who re-elected the culprits.

    There is the myth that the likes of the Shinners, who violated human rights on an appalling scale, were somehow civil rights activists. They were not. The murders would not have occurred if the murder gangs did not organise them.

    If you look at the statistics from around that time you’ll see that the majority of NI’s Catholics also enjoyed a much higher standard of living than those living in the south enjoyed. It is true there was discrimination but it was marginal, and, where applicable, Catholic businesses tended to employ Catholic workers and vice versa. That was worse in Dublin, where Protestant businesses such Guinness and the Bank of Ireland employed Catholics only in menial roles, with the Dublin government doing absolutely nothing to prevent it. In NI, the different between Protestants living in poverty and Catholics living in poverty was marginal, and much smaller figures apply than the number of folks living in poverty in Ireland.

    None of that explains the sectarian murder campaign, but why does anyone think it would? To explain that murder campaign look to those who organised it. To look elsewhere is to excuse them.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    Nope; I’m not stupid, although some might think so.

  • http://bangordub.wordpress.com/ Bangordub

    Off topic but why no slugger post on the latest Census release today?
    Is Mars aligning with Jupitor today?Just curious

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    Mister_Joe: Nope; I’m not stupid, although some might think so.

    Then please explain this comment:

    Who was responsible for much of the public mayhem in the middle to late sixties and early seventies and went on to become first minister in N.I.? Someone who was involved in smuggling arms for “Ulster Resistance”. Even led an incursion into a “foreign” State?

    Who are you talking about?

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    You answer my first question first. Then we might continue.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    I presume your first question relates to Ian Paisley Snr.

    Is it he you are accusing of smuggling illegal weapons into Northern Ireland for Ulster Resistance?

    Those are very serious allegations Joe.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    You conveniently (?) left out part of my post.
    The word “who” perhaps?
    Let me rephrase one word in my ( obviously to you?) poorly written post. Change “even” to “Who”.
    I have nothing to apologise for. If I have crossed a legal line, Mick will remove my post.
    Now, you just presume? Who?

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    And if you don’t remember learning long division, I do.
    Three into one won’t go…..
    Two into one won’t go….
    Of course, if you’re a statistician, small numbers are very close. Even though two doesn’t equal three, even for very large values of two.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    Who were you claiming brought illegal guns into Northern Ireland?

    That’s all I’m asking.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    Sorry, DDB.
    If you don’t know, you don’t know. Do you think whoever did it needs to apologise to us pitiful democrats?

  • JoeBryce

    Pause. Is the following maybe just possible?

    If, as I read the runes, we are in the early days of soundings out that may lead to thinktanks that may lead to discussion papers that may lead to forums that may lead to negotiations about what a post-partition Ireland might look like, then one would expect the principal voice of the PUL population to ask republican Ireland to reflect on what will need to change. The DUP being what it is, that message was never likely to be conveyed gracefully. My recollection is that 20 years SF-PIRA were not talking, less still acting, gracefully.

    Do RCN posters really believe that the structural and systematic failings of the Stormont state arose out of the “pure badness” of Ulster’s protestants? Or is it possible that partition itself was the product of legitimate fears as to the nature of Home Rule? Were those fears realised by the Dublin dispensation? Did that fear lead to the injustices perpetrated in the north? Was the south free of injustice?

    If we have all decided to live indefinitely with an Ireland of two jurisdictions, then none of this really matters. But if there is to be a possibility of an evolution toward all Ireland structure that suits us all, then Irish nationalism needs to open itself up to a debate about how the state has to change. And that, I am afraid, will involve a self examination that cannot exclude the past. Demands for apologies on either side are unhelpful, but a call for self examination is.

  • aquifer

    “Given that the Republic had Western Europe’s most lethal terrorist group operating from its soil, the resources and effort it put into stopping them were disgracefully poor.”

    But large in proportion to the income of a small country.

    Stopping small armed groups is hard, which puts them in a great position to practice political blackmail.

    Expecting criminal conspiracies to apologise is naive.

    They are only sorry they could not assume absolute power by those means only, when internment and suppression would eventually be available to prevent it.

  • Framer

    London should apologise for not applying sovereign pressure on Dublin, not least in relation to extradition.

    Cde Stalin wrote insouciantly; “The Irish courts were perhaps a bit reluctant to extradite IRA men North on some occasions.” (5 weasel-word qualifications)

    The disgusting truth is that the Irish courts refused every extradition request for 25 years on the grounds the offence was political, meaning the south was a total safe-haven for the IRA. There they rested and re-armed, coming back to kill ever more border Protestants.

    This was after the Sunningdale and Anglo-Irish Agreements when Dublin agreed to enable such extradition.

    If a sovereign state does not maintain its frontier it should not be treated as sovereign by a (stronger) neighbour.

  • Dec

    ‘The disgusting truth is that the Irish courts refused every extradition request for 25 years on the grounds the offence was political, meaning the south was a total safe-haven for the IRA. There they rested and re-armed, coming back to kill ever more border Protestants’

    The notion that the South was free haven for the IRA is utterly cretinous. Did Port Laoise lie empty for 40 years? It’s not as if the IRA wasn’t a proscribed organisation in the South until 1992.

  • carl marks

    Framer /Dont Drink Bleach
    Lads your are very vocal of the republics history in our sad little place, but tell me is there anything that Unionism or Unionist politicians have to apologise for,
    Was the north a cold house for Catholics?
    Was there organised discrimination sanctioned by the state , and how did the actions of the state of NI create the conditions that contrbuted in the birth of the PIRA.
    Or was it all the fault of the nasty Irish?
    .

  • HeinzGuderian

    “The ease with which the IRA were able to move around the border area is additionally not something that can be easily pinned at the door of the government. National borders are difficult to secure in any case.”

    Not so. During the 1999 foot and mouth outbreak the border was sealed. Indeed,comments were made as to why this could not have happened during pira’s,heinous,murder campaign.

    Having just read through this thread,I see foot in mouth may not have been totally eradicated…….good morning Joe……

  • HeinzGuderian
  • tacapall

    Unionists would be better off getting their own dirty linen in order before they lecture others about theirs. Lets have a motion in the Assembly calling on the British government to bring to justice those RUC officers and members of the security forces who aided paramilitaries in acts of murder against citizens of this state some of those RUC officers may even now be serving PSNI officers.

    And then call on the British government to co-operate fully in investigations into the cases below.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/33538

    10. (C) “The Taoiseach raised the Finucane case, as did every other GOI official with whom Reiss met. Reiss briefed him on his talks in London, including with the head of MI5, who committed to turning over all evidence her agency has to the inquiry, but she was adamant that the inquiry will proceed using the new legislation. Reiss noted his concern that the Finucane case will become an irritant in Irish relations with the UK and get in the way of a deal.

    The Taoiseach said that the entire parliament was united in opposition to the UK approach. Parliament does not believe the UK will give all evidence because, in its view, the UK did not cooperate fully with the Barron commission’s investigation into the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

    The Taoiseach said that the GOI wants the UK to provide evidence acknowledging its involvement in Finucane’s murder and it wants to know how high in the UK government collusion went. He said if the UK were to provide the information, it would only grab the headlines for a few hours because “everyone knows the UK was involved.”

  • Drumlins Rock

    “Daily life for many was a sustained and deliberate humiliation”

    I could easily apply that to my family, all my grandparents were brought up in poverty, I can’t see how they were any worse off than their catholic neighbours. So perhaps I should ask for an apology too? Yes there were injustices during that period, but there also was a large degree of self exclusion, a degree of justifiable suspicion and enormous demographic factors.

    The Unionist establishment (still dominated by the old gentry at that time) did manipulate things for their own ends, but the ordinary prods were little better off than their Catholic neighbours for most of that period. However a lower birth rate, earlier urbanisation, a desire to make the state work for them if nothing else meant a gap developed.

    Yes their were wrongs done but it NEVER justified the death of nearly 4,000 people, and if the Irish government encouraged the IRA at all in tose early days they do owe a full apology.

  • carl marks

    HeinzGuderian
    As Usual a complete avoidance of the questions I asked, I think you have got that foot back in your mouth ( never stays out long with you does it) now spit it out and answer the questions.

  • Drumlins Rock

    tacapall,

    60 – 30 – 10

  • tacapall

    Drumlins bring to justice those who pulled the strings of those who murdered and those statistics will change dramatically.

  • carl marks

    Drumlins Rock
    Yes their were wrongs done but it NEVER justified the death of nearly 4,000 people,
    I agree completely with this DR it seems we may disagree about what happened in the old Northern Ireland State but at least we can agree that “our war” was not justified.

  • tacapall

    Will you be at the parade with the brethren then Drumlins.

    http://www.lisburntoday.co.uk/community/memorial-parade-planned-1-4260006

    “LOL 1981 Lisburn Ulster Defence Volunteers are holding a memorial parade to commemorate the 25th year of the death of John McMichael.

    The parade will be held on Saturday November 10. This is an open event to all brethren of the Loyal Orders and Bands.”

  • grandimarkey

    @ tacapall 20/09/12 10:30am.

    Is that actually an Orange Order Parade in remembrance of a UDA member?

  • tacapall

    grandimarkey LOL does stand for Loyal Orange Lodge and that would be in remembrance of a UFF Commander.

  • tacapall

    Drumlins do you have the figures on how many citizens of this state were murdered by the UDA and UFF and how many of those murders were aided by the RUC ?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McMichael

    “John “Big John” McMichael (9 January 1948 – 22 December 1987) was a leading Northern Irish loyalist who rose to become the most prominent and charismatic figure within the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) as the Deputy Commander and leader of its South Belfast Brigade. He was also commander of the organisation’s cover name, the “Ulster Freedom Fighters” (UFF). The UDA used this name when it wished to claim responsibility for attacks, thus allowing it to remain a legal paramilitary organisation until August 1992″

  • carl marks

    tacapall (profile)
    20 September 2012 at 11:11 am

    grandimarkey LOL does stand for Loyal Orange Lodge and that would be in remembrance of a UFF Commander.
    Should I bother holding my breath while I’m waiting for all those law abiding unionists to condemn this latest example of glorification of a murder gang leader by the OO,
    Hard to see how a “Christian “ group like the OO will allow this sort of thing to happen after all it will make them look like hypocrites if they allow their name to be associated with this in any way.

  • tacapall

    Carl nothing new there that’s how its always been no doubt some excuse will be made justifying the LOL’s and bands attending this parade.

    What is more important is the hypocrisy of Unionism demanding apologies from the Irish government when they themselves can unashamedly turn a blind eye and stick their heads in the sand regarding bringing to justice Police Officers from this state who aided paramilitaries in acts of murder against citizens of this state.

  • Greenflag

    Michael Lillis is absolutely correct when he states

    ‘It is acutely distressing that successive governments of all major parties in Dublin did nothing and said almost nothing to the British or to the world to address these specific wrongs until 1968 when it was far too late.’

    Not that the British would have listened anyway -They basically turned their backs to what was going on under Unionist one party rule from 1920 until the province ‘exploded ‘ in 1968/1969.

    Most people in the Republic knew nothing of what was happening /had happened in NI .As Michael Lillis says other than the ritual re-enunciations that ‘partition ‘ was wrong etc etc NI was hardly ever mentioned . The fact that NI had a higher standard of living in the 1950’s /60’s than the Republic due to it’s industrial history and the benefits of the post war British Social Welfare reforms and Education acts was never commented upon by ‘official ‘ Ireland .

    That ‘ignorance ‘ ended in the late 1960’s and subsequently largely due to the efforts of the CRA and local politicians such as John Hume, Gerry Fitt, Austin Currie and many more . Unionism would’nt or could’nt listen to the SDLP back then- which is why Unionism now is forced to share power with SF .

    Mr Robinson’s ‘demand ‘ for an apology is misplaced and simply more playing to the gallery .

    Taoiseach Lynch sacked the three Ministers implicated in the ‘Arms affair’ and the government interned hundreds of republican activists in Portlaoise jail for decades .

  • Greenflag

    @ Drumlin’s Rock ,

    ‘Yes their were wrongs done but it NEVER justified the death of nearly 4,000 people’

    True . Those ‘politically ‘ responsible for the ‘wrongs ‘ within NI were directly the Unionist Governments of the time and indirectly the British and Irish governments with their failures of omission and in both cases a self serving policy towards NI of ‘ostrichism ‘

    ‘and if the Irish government encouraged the IRA at all in those early days they do owe a full apology.’

    It’s true that some Ministers of the then Irish government illegally assisted in the arming of the emerging Provo IRA . These Ministers were sacked by the government of Jack Lynch and even though one of the Minister’s i.e Haughey was later rehabilitated as Taoiseach -Irish Governments continued to arrest and intern hundreds of republican activists in Portlaoise prison until the GFA and even now the prison still has a special wing for dissidents.

    From another perspective and with the aid of hindsight the actions of Haughey and the others implicated in the arming of the Provos may have prevented an even greater slaughter of NI ‘nationalists ‘ who at the time could not rely on the RIC or B Specials to defend them from loyalist attacks .

    IN any event the arming of the Provos and the escalation of sectarian conflict brought about such political mayhem and instability that the British Government was forced to send in the Army to restore ‘order’

    Had they (the British Army ) not done so there might have been 36,000 dead and not 3,600 and the South would under such circumstances have been dragged into the mess even if it’s government wished to stay out of it . The eventual result would have been an even greater upheaval of populations and probably the demise of the NI State in it’s then format and possibly even the Republic’s with both being replaced by a ‘repartition ‘ of the then 6 county area .

    Yes it could have been a lot worse for Unionist and Nationalists alike.

    Mindful of those events we perhaps should be grateful for the current crop of politicians on all sides who have survived the turbulent years to reach the point we hope that a return to widespread levels of sectarian violence as in the 1970’s is no longer seen as inevitable much less desirable by the vast majority on both sides of the political divide.

  • PaddyReilly

    During the 1999 foot and mouth outbreak the border was sealed.

    Cattle tend to have distinctive horns, tails and in some cases, udders, which makes them easy to identify. What constitutes a terrorist is really a matter of opinion.

    If it’s so easy to seal the border, could the United Kingdom authorities not do so? Surely the bill for preserving partition should be picked up by the party which imposed partition?

  • otto

    “Daily life for many was a sustained and deliberate humiliation”

    I could easily apply that to my family, all my grandparents were brought up in poverty”….

    That’s exactly the republican theory isn’t it? Poor prods convinced to support the state because despite their poverty at least they didn’t have to suffer Government By Taigs.

    Not exactly a counter argument. More what Sinn Fein have been saying all along.

    How many NI cabinet ministers 1922 – 1972 were not also members of the Orange Order and thereby involved in sectarian social-conditioning?

    Not very many.

    Btw. If I was a unionist wanting to muckrake I’d be asking why, when the UK prime minister has apologised for the famine and the head of state has been sent to personally grovel and hang her head in shame before the Irish people, the Irish state continues to refuse to erect any state memorial to the Scullabogue barn massacre, even allowing the demolition and airbrushing from history of the barn itself. There are after all plenty of monuments to the United Irishmen. If the south can’t be honest about events in the eighteenth century, confirmed and documented by the leaders of the uprising themselves, is it any wonder they continue in such denial about their failure to take reasonable steps to prevent IRA excesses committed along the border under their watch.

    Is it Turkey style denial? This massacre happened in Wexford, not the black north. Is it unacknowledged because sectarianism can’t be acknowledged by the southern state?

    Publically censuring politicians stupid enough to get caught arming the IRA is not the same as making an effort, as the sole legitimate security force in the republic, to protect the lives of border farmers. What units of the Irish Police or Army were deployed to prevent attacks across the border? What units of the IRA were intercepted and arrested at the border. Interning those involved in criminality against the Irish State is something different. Did the Irish State do all that was reasonably possible to prevent attacks on the people of the northern state or was that just the UK’s problem?

    Why were the Garda Siochana put on alert at the border only when the SAS started deploying from Bessbrook Mill following the Kingsmill massacre. Why were they not already on alert?

    Why was a Scots Guard who pursued an IRA unit to a barn where he confronted two IRA members arrested and prosecuted by the Garda Siochana.

    Why for that matter did Pakistan prosecute Dr Shakeel Afridi and sentence him to 33 years for telling the CIA where Osama Bin Laden was. Was in just the defence of the integrity of the national territory or something more evil and sneaky??

    What we obviously need is a nice juicy public enquiry to distract us all from jobs and environmental degradation and such.

    It’ll be fun if our descendants condemn us (their ancestors) for spending all our time demanding apologies for the actions of our own, or somebody else’s ancestors rather than getting on with fixing stuff. Especially when with interbreeding all our separate ancestors are going to be the common ancestors of our descendants.

    If you know what I mean.

  • BarneyT

    Core or extreme unionism will never recognise what happened, otherwise there would be a level of recognition regarding the inappropriateness Ulster Covenant celebrations. The covenant was essentially a threat to rise up, against Ireland (their own country at the time) and Britain, those they wanted to continue to serve. The siege mentality will govern and will shutdown all avenues towards reconstructive thinking. If there is truth and reconciliation with effective mediation, there would surely be room for apolgies left right and centre and as far reaching as practically possible. Recognising the injustice and lack of full democracy in the six counties and really starting to understand why civil rights was an issue (and why it gave rise to a more active repilican movement and internal discord) would be chathartic to many ways. It would open the gates to many a resolution.

  • tacapall

    Unionist politicians have always denied links to loyalist paramilitaries especially the DUP but here they are at the funeral of a commander of the UFF the leader of a loyalist terrorist organisation that murdered 100s of innocent cathoilcs.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-YZvbf794g&feature=related

    Almost a year later UDA/UFF members are caught with the UDA/UFF’s share of an arms shipment imported into the country by the UDA, UVF and the DUP created paramilitary group, The Third Force.

  • tacapall

    Apologies arms shipment –

  • HeinzGuderian

    tac,why do you continue to ignore the 60% in the room ?
    Yes,yes,we know your ‘collusion’ ‘no moon landings’ theories,but this constant trolling,sifting through,re-sifting,does not,and will not deflect away from the fact you just can’t,or won’t grasp……..
    Again,that’s 60%…..

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    It seems Joe needs to learn a wee bit more about Ulster Resistance and their arms importation.

    Here you go fella:

  • HeinzGuderian

    “HeinzGuderian
    As Usual a complete avoidance of the questions I asked, I think you have got that foot back in your mouth ( never stays out long with you does it) now spit it out and answer the questions.”

    Deary me,could someone direct this chap towards the ball,and away from my shins please :-)

    Your question was,(and here I paraphrase),who was to blame for the pira murder gangs ?
    I directed you to a post which ,clearly and concisely gave you the answer.
    But again,just for you.
    ‘Who was responsible for the pira murder gangs?’
    pira !!

  • tacapall

    “In 1986 DUP leader Ian Paisley defended his decision to attend the wake of murdered UVF leader John Bingham. A number of other high-ranking unionist councillors attended Mr Bingham’s funeral.

    Those present when John Bingham’s coffin – draped in a UVF flag, beret and gloves – was carried from the church, included the then north Belfast MP Cecil Walker, former DUP councillor George Seawright, former UUP mayor John Carson and councillors Joe Coggle, Frank Millar and Hugh Smyth.”

    Orangemen show their support for Sectarian Murderers

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtBVUpZxtKw

    I do remember Unionist politicians attending the funeral of Shankill Butcher Lenny Murphy too.

  • tacapall

    Heinz

    R.U.C. – Special branch, criminals

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24m5ROJTWSo&feature=relmfu

    Note how the Chief Constable accepts the findings.

  • tacapall

    Ulster Resistance –

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulster_Resistance

    “The group was launched at a three thousand-strong invitation-only meeting at the Ulster Hall. The rally was chaired by the Democratic Unionist Party member Sammy Wilson and addressed by party colleagues Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson and Ivan Foster. Also on the platform at the rally was Alan Wright, the Chairman of the Ulster Clubs. The launch rally was followed by a number of similar assemblies across Northern Ireland.

    The group collaborated with the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) to procure arms. In June 1987 the UVF stole more than £300,000 from the Northern Bank in Portadown. The money was used to buy 206 Vz. 58 assault rifles, 94 Browning 9mm pistols, 4 RPG-7 rocket launchers and 62 warheads, 450 RGD-5 grenades and 30,000 rounds of ammunition which arrived at Belfast docks from Lebanon in December 1987. [4] The weapons were then transported to a farm between Armagh and Portadown, to await collection by the three groups. [5]

    Three members of the group, Noel Little, previously arrested in connection with the 1987 importation of arms, James King, a Free Presbyterian from Killyleagh, County Down and Samuel Quinn, a sergeant in the Newtownards Territorial Army were arrested at the Hilton Hotel, Paris on 21 April 1989 along with a diplomat from South Africa”

    Would that be the same Noel Little who’s daughter is a special adviser to Peter Robinson ?

  • carl marks

    “HeinzGuderian
    Your question was,(and here I paraphrase),who was to blame for the pira murder gangs ?

    Not true as usual you manage to get it wrong my question was,
    but tell me is there anything that Unionism or Unionist politicians have to apologise for,
    Was the north a cold house for Catholics?
    Was there organised discrimination sanctioned by the state , and how did the actions of the state of NI create the conditions that contributed in the birth of the PIRA.
    Or was it all the fault of the nasty Irish?

    You see contributed is different from created, we know that in your world it’s all themmuns fault, but try again, looking at this honestly will be good for you, so I will simplify it just for you;
    But tell me is there anything that Unionism or Unionist politicians have to apologise for,
    Was the north a cold house for Catholics?
    Was there organised discrimination sanctioned by the state,
    Not that hard surely, if you’re not sure of the details there are plenty of facts online. :-)

  • Comrade Stalin

    Drowning in a sea of Republican whataboutery.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    Comrade,

    Whataboutery is the staff of life here on Slugger. Without it, many threads would wither on the vine.
    I’m a bit embarrassed that, despite all my efforts, sometimes I let myself be suckered in.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    tacapall:
    Would that be the same Noel Little who’s daughter is a special adviser to Peter Robinson ?

    .
    Not sure exactly what you’re getting at here a chara?

    Do the children of convicted paramilitaries not have the right to employment?

    Must they also pay a price for their parents’ illegal activities?

    It’s ok for convicted Irish Nationalist terrorists and murderers to work at the heart of government – but the children of convicted Loyalists must not?

    An Ireland of equals… eh? ;-)

  • Neil

    Nice straw man DDB. I don’t think tacapall mentioned anyone’s right to employment.

    Any answer to the actual point raised? Unionist only vote for squeaky clean good Christians. In light of the gun importing stuff, for example.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    Neil:
    Nice straw man DDB. I don’t think tacapall mentioned anyone’s right to employment.

    Any answer to the actual point raised? Unionist only vote for squeaky clean good Christians. In light of the gun importing stuff, for example.

    .
    If one of you could actually clarify what it is you’re trying to say then maybe I could provide an answer.

    We’ve had a few possible allegations about Paisley and Robinson gunrunning which were quickly backtracked when asked to confirm.

    Now we’ve got some bluster about a conviction of a relative of one of the DUP’s employees.

    It’s not exactly Brendan McFarlane and Mary McArdle, is it?

  • Neil

    We’ve had a few possible allegations about Paisley and Robinson gunrunning which were quickly backtracked when asked to confirm.

    See wikipedia link 4.43

    Now we’ve got some bluster about a conviction of a relative of one of the DUP’s employees.

    Same comment actually, as the gun running one referenced. An off the cuff remark I assume but I’m no mindreader.

    It’s not exactly Brendan McFarlane and Mary McArdle, is it?

    Correct, it is not, and no one said it was (other than you in your amusing response above) which was a response to an argument you wished you were having and are continuing to shoehorn your way round to.

    Now, to the point: Unionist never voted for anyone who had been involved in paramilitary activity or subverting the state. Anything to say on that at all, or do you just want to have a gripe about Mary McArdle?

  • HeinzGuderian

    *carl

    How many times would you like me to answer ?
    Once more,seeing as its you……
    pira,and only pira were responsible for their death gangs.
    Now,you might like to blame the oo,UUP,lol,Uncle Tom Cobley………but the correct answer is the original one.
    I’ve heard of slow learners mate,but this is ridiculous……..;-)

  • HeinzGuderian

    “Now, to the point: Unionist never voted for anyone who had been involved in paramilitary activity or subverting the state. Anything to say on that at all, or do you just want to have a gripe about Mary McArdle?”

    Whaaa ?
    Straw man……
    We’ve now gone from pira death squads being solely responsible for their heinous crimes,to Unionist voters ?
    Here lad,need a hand with those goal posts ?? ;-)

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    Neil:
    Now, to the point: Unionist never voted for anyone who had been involved in paramilitary activity or subverting the state. Anything to say on that at all, or do you just want to have a gripe about Mary McArdle?

    .
    I’m just looking for someone with a set of balls to come out and actually confirm they are saying what I think they are saying?

    Now, is someone going to put their kiwi fruits on the table and say Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson were involved in smuggling weapons into Northern Ireland instead of making snide comments and *hint hint* comments?

    If you believe it and can prove it then make the accusation.

    Otherwise, pipe down.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    DDB,

    See my 7:46 comment. You are quite a dab hand at the whataboutery stuff yourself.

  • Greenflag

    Drink Toilet Duck all of yiz and ffs shave your hairy hands –
    Feck -drinkarse – whatabout ecumenical matters etc :(

  • aquifer

    Whatabout all the great people who emigrated to get away from this stuff. They may not be sorry but maybe we should be.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    You talkin’ bout me? ;-)

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    Mister Joe,
    Certainly the Rev Paisley should apologise too.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    Mainland Ulsterman,

    I think that he probably is somewhat ashamed now of his earlier “contribution”. I don’t know, of course. But who would have thought that he could become friends of a sort with MMG?

  • carl marks

    HeinzGuderian (profile)
    20 September 2012 at 8:57 pm

    *carl

    How many times would you like me to answer ?

    . Just the once will do, here is the question again,
    “but tell me is there anything that Unionism or Unionist politicians have to apologise for,
    Was the north a cold house for Catholics?
    Was there organised discrimination sanctioned by the state, and how did the actions of the state of NI create the conditions that contributed in the birth of the PIRA.”
    Maybe if I explain it better it will help, you know when Loyalists go ape and riot or shoot people they blame everything and everyone but themselves, (parade commission, school children, police, Catholics etc.).
    You see while every person has to take responsibility for their own actions, you also have to take into account the circumstances that led up to these actions or you end up repeating history and not learning from it.
    Your failure to address the question says an awful lot about you.
    Now the question is for the third time asked of you, it is really quite simple doesn’t need paraphrasing and you will be pleased to know that this will be the last time i will ask you this (on this thread anyway) question as I think I already have my answer,

  • tacapall

    “Now, is someone going to put their kiwi fruits on the table and say Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson were involved in smuggling weapons into Northern Ireland instead of making snide comments and *hint hint* comments”

    Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson and Sammy Wilson were involved in a blaze of publicity at the Ulster Hall signaling to the world their intentions with the birth of their private army the Ulster Resistance. Peter Robinson announced; “‘Thousands have already joined the movement and the task of shaping them into an effective force is continuing. The Resistance has indicated that drilling and training has already started. The officers of the nine divisions have taken up their duties”

    Ulster resistance then went on to commit acts of terrorism jointly with the UDA and UVF, then jointly with the same groups imported 100s of weapons into this country that were later used to murder innocent citizens of this state.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulster_Protestant_Volunteers

    The Ulster Protestant Volunteers were a loyalist and fundamentalist Christian paramilitary group in Northern Ireland. They were active between 1966 and 1969 and closely linked to the Ulster Constitution Defence Committee (UCDC), established by Ian Paisley in 1966.

    The UPV launched a bombing campaign to destabilise the Northern Ireland government. It also took part in most of the counter-demonstrations organised by Paisley in response to the Catholic civil rights marches of the late 1960s. The motto of the UPV was “For God and Ulster”. Many of its members also belonged to the Ulster Volunteer Force.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulster_Constitution_Defence_Committee

    The Ulster Constitution Defence Committee (UCDC) was established in Northern Ireland in April 1966. The UCDC was the governing body of the loyalist Ulster Protestant Volunteers (UPV). The UCDC coordinated parades, counter demonstrations, and paramilitary activities, in order to maintain the status quo of the government, lead a campaign against the reforms of Terence O’Neill, and stymie the civil rights movement.

    “We call on all loyalists to give their continued support to the Ulster Defence Association as it seeks to ensure the safety of all law abiding citizens against the bombs and bullets of the IRA. As the catholic population have given their support to the IRA throughout this campaign of terror so must loyalists grant unswerving support to those engaged in the cause of truth.”
    William Mc Crea

  • carl marks

    HeinzGuderian

    Read Tacs post of 10:14 am. it will help you out so much, rem 1966 was about 4 years before the pira was formed,
    Now perhaps you will agree that Pete has a bit of apologising to do himself also Ian and Willie, but then again Unionists such as yourself have never been very good at the auld beam, mote, eye thing preferring to blame everyone else for their actions.

  • tacapall

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-foyle-west-19672483

    “The HET has found there was collusion in the murder of John Toland, 35, who was a father of seven from Windsor Terrace.

    Serving UDR man, David Hamilton, had originally been charged with the murder, and murdering another man, but he was acquitted at his trial in 1987 when the judge ruled that confessions it is claimed he made were inadmissible in court.

    He admitted supplying the gun used in John Toland’s murder and was sentenced to five years in jail. He served half that time in prison.

    The HET said that former RUC man, William Bredin, was convicted of another loyalist murder around the same time.

    He admitted in interviews that he “knew about the planning for John’s murder, but there was no evidence that he was involved in it”.

    Leonard Campbell was sentenced to life after he admitted carrying out the murder of John Toland and another man – but he was released after seven years in prison.

    Collusion ‘likely’

    The HET says it is “likely” that there was collusion between individual members of the security forces and those responsible for Toland’s murder.”

  • tacapall

    ‘If we have done all that and we are still ejected [from the UK] … then I would act in concert with hundreds of thousands of other individual loyalists in arming ourselves. No self-respecting individual is going to do anything but resist’ (O’Toole 1985: 27). Jim Alister DUP chief whip.

    Gregory Campbell, DUP member for Londonderry, talked of setting up a provisional government: ‘that provisional government must have a defence; and that defence must be armed’ (O’Toole 1985: 27).

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    Still no-one got the balls to openly make the accusation?

    I wonder why?

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    Mister Joe,
    Indeed – and I reckon Big Ian has apologised to the man upstairs. Needs to do it to the rest of us, publicly though – as you rightly say, he played a huge role in fomenting sectarian feeling in the run up to the Troubles.

    That said, I don’t think my late father’s view that Paisley was responsible for the Troubles was fair. Bad though his words and antics were, the IRA campaign in all its savagery was hardly a proportionate or even reasonably foreseeable response to them.

  • HeinzGuderian

    I mean to say,just how hard is the following sentence to understand….

    pira,and only pira are responsible for their murderous,death squads….pira,and only pira contributed to the birth of pira………that is the answer….

    Savvy ?

    Alphabet ra are continuing were pira death gangs left off……..I guess it’s not their fault either ?
    Gusty and chums were caught,convicted,and sent away for a very long time………ayeee,hard to believe,isn’t it ?

    But wait,let me try and make this as simple as I possibly can for you.
    There was absolutely no justification for the emergence of any murder squads !!
    You following Carl ?
    NONE !
    That you feel you have to justify a pira murder spree,says a lot about you mate.
    As for Tac……….well,his trolling,sifting through,re sifting of ‘themmuns’,’alleged’ misdemeanors,says a lot about the caliber of pacifists now a days ;-)

  • tacapall

    Just dont like hypocrites HG, and I’ve no problem condemning the IRA for the slaughter of human beings to achieve something that will never happen, not because it isn’t possible if the majority wanted it, its just that the British will never leave Ireland, its Britains Cuba kind of thing, the only way to get them to bend to your will to achieve some sort of autonomy is to make it as economically burdensome as possible, where the costs far exceeds the benefits. Theres no such thing as an unlimited purse and the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few and Unionists my friend are the few.

  • HeinzGuderian

    Tac,you keep doing your bit for Oirish freedom there boy……..ain’t nothing hypocritical about claiming to be irish and living in the United Kingdom………;-)

  • tacapall

    I haven’t even got a red face about it either HG. I have the sweet satisfaction that its a foregone conclusion, but hey, don,t worry though you will still have your British identity it will be a bit like Gibraltar until such times as Britain no longer cares about its security.

  • HeinzGuderian

    ..We’ve been hearing this ‘notion once again’ for such a long time now………:-)

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Those asking for an apology, listen to what Brendan Hughes has to say.

    http://stakeknife.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/watch-collateral-damage-by-ross.html

  • tacapall

    HG its all down to pounds,shillings and pence, what you put in you have to at least get back, if not then its unsustainable and Unionist culture is playing its part in making sure the financial cost of the British presence in Ireland is all one way.

  • Alias

    Yep, folks should soak up all the welfare they can bleed out of the UK. That way, when a poll is held, they’ll all vote to end their welfare payments…

    Not a particularly brilliant reunification strategy is it?

    In reality, people who are state dependent will vote for the state that they are dependent on.

  • tacapall

    “Yep, folks should soak up all the welfare they can bleed out of the UK. That way, when a poll is held, they’ll all vote to end their welfare payments”

    How naive of you to even think people would be entitled to actually vote on whether the never ending begging bowl should continue. Meanwhile back at the ranch the exchequer will be busy trying to get 2 and 2 to add up to 5.

  • HeinzGuderian

    Brilliant strategy………100 years later it still hasn’t worked.
    Meanwhile,back at the ranch,the ‘notion once again’ record is dusted off……..:-)

  • tacapall

    Ach I know HG but this isn’t 1912 anymore and whenever this little bit of land on the island of Ireland can pay its own way in this world then maybe you could be sure of your future but alas that will never be so you keep hoping little Britain will always be generous and keep paying your way for you. – In your dreams.

  • Alias

    I see, so the cunning plan is to become too expensive for the UK to continue its sovereignty, while simultaneously becoming too expensive for Ireland to take over sovereignty from the UK?

    It’s just a shame that the decision regarding sovereignty has been removed from the two governments in a treaty and given to the people of NI, who, of course, according to the cunning plan, will be wholly unconcerned about continuance of their welfare entitlements in making that decision.

    If the UK ever threatened to dump NI, the so-called nationalists would be rioting to prevent it – not least the Shinners, who are wholly dependent on the UK for the income.

  • changeisneeded

    You know Alias a lot of what you say makes good sense to me , but I think your thinking has taken a turn for the worst.

    “If the UK ever threatened to dump NI, the so-called nationalists would be rioting to prevent it – not least the Shinners, who are wholly dependent on the UK for the income.”

    I know what you are trying to say but honestly you have gone to far up your own arse this time…

  • tacapall

    Now your really getting paranoid Alias – What cunning plan ?

    Its really all down to economics and simple mathematics. In this world when one invests one tends to want a profit at the end or at least get out what one puts in. I can understand though Unionism believing thats not the way the world works but in reality its going to slowly dawn on the good people of Britain that its financially unsustainable propping up a people who go out of their way to ensure that they will always be financially dependent on them. Like I said keep up the good work with the P,U,L culture, you know what they say every little bit of wasted money on policing thousands and thousands of parades counts.

  • Alias

    “I know what you are trying to say but honestly you have gone to far up your own arse this time…”

    It did have a touch of Romney about it!

    But those folks in NI – 93% of the population according to a LucidTalk poll – who support UK sovereignty would not be, shall be say, best pleased if they were suddenly ejected from the union and into a bankrupt Ireland.

    And Tacapall is right about it being a matter of economics: a state where the public sector is so high a percentage of GDP will not vote to terminate that state and thereby terminate the economics of their own survival.

  • tacapall

    “But those folks in NI – 93% of the population according to a LucidTalk poll – who support UK sovereignty”

    You and I both know that 93% is not the same as a border poll, nor is it likely that 93% will have a say over how much autonomy we get if little Britain starts stamping its feet and refuses to keep digging into their bank accounts to flog a dead horse.

    Beggars cant be choosers an all that.