Slugger O'Toole

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“…a disruptive loyalist protest outside an empty Leinster House on a busy retail day”

Mon 7 January 2013, 3:23pm

So, now it is the SDLP who are getting it in the neck from the flag protesters. Patsy McGlone (who has said nothing on the matter, so far as Slugger is aware, but who is unfortunate enough to live in a UVF dominant part of the world) has had a bullet in the post. And Claire Hanna has had her house shot up.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland has confirmed the incident involving East Belfast nationalist politician Claire Hanna took place yesterday amid ongoing violence over the non-flying of the Union flag at Belfast City Hall.

Ms Hanna said the shots, which struck her front door and windows, were fired from a high-powered ball-bearing gun, and could have been fatal.

Meanwhile Willie Frazer has been telling RTE that the UVF have had nothing to do with the protests. Today, Niall Collins has this to say with regard to Mr Frazer’s proposed march on the Houses of the Oireachtas:

“Mr Frazer appears to be proceeding on the mistaken belief that the national flag is flown at Leinster House on a continuous basis.  In fact, it only flies when the Dáil or Seanad are sitting.

“If Mr Frazer has a coherent case to make on the issue of flags, he should make it in a mature and responsible way.  I would be happy to facilitate a meeting with him to discuss any issue.  However, I do not believe that a disruptive loyalist protest outside an empty Leinster House on a busy retail day in Dublin City Centre will advance his case in any way.

In fact, I am confident it will serve only to further alienate a population already struggling to understand the disgraceful scenes in Belfast over the last month.” [Emphasis added]

Unsurprising considering what happened last time Willie headed south (though it should be said, they’d barely got their feet on the ground before some of the locals kicked the whole thing off)…

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Comments (23)

  1. MALCOLMX (profile) says:

    While taking his issur to Dublin is a joke in more ways than one I suspect willie and his UVF-BNP-NF-EDL linked and supported cohorts will be hoping for a rerun of the love Ulster riot to somehow play the victim and gain some publicity for his fledgling group of misfits.

    I suspect the garda will be a lot less undrrstanding than the psni when I comes to facilitating this pantomime.

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  2. Ulick (profile) says:

    This is just the latest effort by the protesters in their attempts to be able to portray themselves as much maligned victims in all this. Pretty much all the interface areas have been tapped out with barely a rise out of any Fenian bar a plastic Coke bottle lobbed from the Short Strand. Wullie is going for the nuclear option this time with the bare flagpole at Leinster House in his cross-hairs, though be maybe he’s swing by Wood Quay on his way home to see his beloved Union Jack flying high outside the Corporation offices. It’s difficult to see what card, if any, they have left to play after this.

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  3. tacapall (profile) says:

    “However, I do not believe that a disruptive loyalist protest outside an empty Leinster House on a busy retail day in Dublin City Centre will advance his case in any way.”

    I would assume that spells the end of any chances Willie Frazer had of actually making it on to Dublin streets never mind outside Leinster House.

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  4. David Crookes (profile) says:

    Why has the Monster Raving Loony Party never organized in NI? It would have a good chance of supplying the FM.

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  5. keano10 (profile) says:

    Matt Baggott has just said that Senior members of the UVF in East Belfast have been involved in orchestrating the violence at flag protests.

    Maybe Matt has got it all wrong and Wee Willie is right though…

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  6. Obelisk (profile) says:

    I’m no great fan of WIllie Frazer but it is unfair Niall Collins to seemingly blame him for what happened during the Love Ulster March as he said the following in the same interview

    ““We are also aware of the disorder that came to our own streets following Mr Frazer’s last such adventure – his ‘Love Ulster’ demonstration in 2006.”

    Those riots were clearly the fault of bigoted dissidents out to cause bother, not WIllie Frazer, and I don’t care if the bigots found his march offensive, he had a legal right to march when he did and their reaction at the time was and remains a disgrace.

    Willie Frazer should be allowed his protest as long as it held peacefully. I see no reason why he shouldn’t.

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  7. tacapall (profile) says:

    Well Keano Matt Baggott has met the loyalist leadership within the last 24 hours so I would assume Billy Hutchinson and co have supplied the Chief Constable with the names of those UVF individuals involved in directing terrorism. Willie Frazer knows his dreams would be over if those individuals withdrew their support.

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  8. keano10 (profile) says:

    Tapcall,

    One wonders what actually happens when Matt Baggott meets these people? Who draws up the agenda?

    Does Matt say ” Listen Billy, we know your lads are up to their necks in this. Any chance of knocking it on the head?”

    Does Billy deny it? Or does he admit it and tell Baggott to slink his hook and go catch a few dissidents?

    All these meetings are clouded in secrecy but we do know that the UVF were at it again last night straight after Baggott’s meeting, so one wonders what is the point of any such liasions.

    Should’nt Baggott be more concerned with improving his pififul arrest count for this protest?

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  9. tacapall (profile) says:

    Its strange the way the PSNI can once again claim “individuals” from the UVF are involved in orchestrating violence but not the organisation, just like carlisle circus and other places, does he not know about the no claim no blame game loyalists have always played.

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  10. BarneyT (profile) says:

    Oblelisk, whilst I dont condone the attacks on the love ulster protesters, they were (particularly in unionist terms) out of jurisdiction. what is peaceful about holding a unionist protest in another country…taking it from a unionist perspective.

    Surely carrying a protest to Dublin, asking them “tongue in cheek” or however, to remove their national flag is akin to travelling to Paris or any other capital city to demand the same.

    Do they believe that the Dublin government is behind the decision to reduce the flying times on Belfast City hall? Is this motivated by a hatred towards Irish nationalists and their emblems? Stupid question I know.

    Perhaps they are seeking Dublin intervention in the north to help to restore the flag on a permanent basis? Perhaps they are advocating joint severeignty?

    And how exactly is the conversation going to go? “eh…see that tricolour flying there…which we find highly offensive…..which incidentally we notice is sneakily not flying today…….can you take it down please…..the next time you put it up?…we’re off home now…a point well made I think “

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  11. JR (profile) says:

    As a Nationalist I am glad to see them head to Dublin, At least they aren’t partitionist. For every protester in Dublin there is one off the street in Belfast. It might provide a bit of solidarity from our southern countrynmen.

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  12. Obelisk (profile) says:

    “And how exactly is the conversation going to go? “eh…see that tricolour flying there…which we find highly offensive…..which incidentally we notice is sneakily not flying today…….can you take it down please…..the next time you put it up?…we’re off home now…a point well made I think “

    Now to be fair, I didn’t say their protest necessarily had to make sense, merely that they have the right to hold it.

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  13. Keano10[4.06] Baggott had the UVF in mind when he talked of certain people using the protests for their own selfish ends, he could have been talking about Robinson/Nesbitt back in november with those leaflets, but then Baggott is too pally with the unionist parties to ever be caught saying that of them.

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  14. keano10 (profile) says:

    As a gentleman who enjoys a little flutter I would hazard a well-informed guess that there is more chance of Elvis riding past The City Hall on Shergar than there is of permission being granted for any sort if parade by Wee Willie and his little band of goblins.

    And let’s be honest – no-one will be more relieved by such a ban than little Willie himself…

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  15. Jack2 (profile) says:

    They would probably have crossed the toll rd enroute to Dublin, another 2 euro’s off the national debt. Keep contributing to the Southern economy Willie!

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  16. Banjaxed (profile) says:

    Matt Baggott’s comments on which section of the UVF are to blame for the riots are nothing short of disgraceful. ‘It’s not the UVF per se, blah, blah – only a few in East Belfast, blah, blah…’ Is he talking about the same gang of torturers, extortioners and mass murderers as we’ve witnessed in recent history or is he referring to that old St Bernard lying there beside the fire?

    And where are the Unionist politicians in their condemnation? A couple of wishy-washy ‘Down with that sort of thing’ statements is all that has surfaced so far. Even Gregory, dear Gregory Campbell, he of the-sniffing-out-of-all-Republican-wrongs when, if a bee farts ‘Kevin Barry’ in Andersonstown or a dog has a Celtic collar in Ardoyne, he’s on the blower to Nolan at the drop of a hat. ‘Pardon, Greg, can’t hear you…. Speak up’. Fat chance.

    Yeah, all those crocodile tears spilt on law and order since the ceasefire. Maybe it was mere coincidence that they were directed towards one side only.

    Can anyone imagine the cacophony of condemnation which would have erupted from the usual orifices had PIRA been responsible for any events of the last month?

    I realise that Unionist politicians don’t have a monopoly in hypocrisy within NI but currently they’re doing their damndest to raise it to a fine art.

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  17. David Crookes (profile) says:

    Bamjaxed, you are 100% right about him “of the-sniffing-out-of-all-Republican-wrongs”.

    Some people who say TERRORISTS IN GOVERNMENT much as you and I say HELLO have been notably silent about terrorists on the streets.

    These people don’t deserve the union in which they affect to believe. They are unreconstructed 1960s.

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  18. FuturePhysicist (profile) says:

    Greatest punishment imaginable to these loyalist protesters, A home coming Parade! lol.

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  19. David Crookes One elephant present in room is being ignored by broadcasters here and the two unionist newspapers editors, is the census figures released just days after the first protest outside city hall. That’s the real reason the riots have continued and the ‘end of days’ for unionism. What will this place be like when the catholcs are in the majority? answer, 1920 riots all over again. Stormont impotence in the face of anarchy is cruelly exposed. Robinson’s political bankruptcy has also been laid bare.

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  20. BarneyT (profile) says:

    Have the protesters simply not ensured that it has now become impossible to erect the Union Flag even on designated days?

    Tomorrow the flag is to be raised to celebrate the Duchess of Cambidge’s birthday…and according to the decision made, it should fly. How will they react when it is subsequently removed following the passing of the celebrated event and again in compliance with the decision?

    Surely this has become far too sensitive now to even consider flying the flag on designated days?

    Many have suggested to me that they should erect the flag tomorrow and leave it flying. Surely if that option was taken it would simply reward bad bahaviour and justify mob rule as a means of overturning democratic decisions.

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  21. Nevin (profile) says:

    “Why has the Monster Raving Loony Party never organized in NI? It would have a good chance of supplying the FM.”

    David, half it’s supporters here would be unionist and the other half nationalist so you could be 100% right – or wrong :)

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  22. JoeBryce (profile) says:

    It is interesting, though, isn’t it, to see that Dublin is now perceived as the forum in which the protest must now be made? I said at the time it happened that the eclipse of the UUP by the DUP was indicative of a deep collective decision in the PUL community to re-orientate towards assertion of communal identity within Ireland, and to some degree at least to relinquish a previous understanding of unionism. At the time it happened, I regretted it: but am now of the view that a negotiated all-Ireland settlement is in the interests of all. And in his strange way, this minor politician (who I understand was grievously traumatised in the Troubles and for whom there must therefore be some human sympathy) is demonstrating the direction of the underground current.

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  23. Rory Carr (profile) says:

    “Mr Frazer appears to be proceeding on the mistaken belief that the national flag is flown at Leinster House on a continuous basis.”

    What matter ? Surely there will be an Italian restaurant nearby.

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