Belfast Politics as petulant childsplay (while Ballymurphy langours in deprivation) Redux…

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Somethings only start to look truly absurd when you look at them in conjunction with some other things…

Here’s one thing, a DUP councillor being barracked for temporarily donning a Linfield scarf whilst the council body was discussing a motion calling on the council to honour out-going Linfield manager David Jeffrey.

And here’s another thing:

Fast forward to Friday Saturday – after hours for the Leisure Centre in question. Pictures start appearing on user @patrickmul7 ‘s twitter profile. “Whiterock Leisure Centre Murph Colour Party’, was the headline for one. As you can see, it shows a colour party, normally associated with events honouring IRA volunteers – past and present – and lined up behind are more people in uniform. Adorning the walls of the Leisure Centre are banners of IRA personel. Alcohol can clearly be seen being consumed on the premises.

Belfast City Ratepayers pick up the tab for these centres. Those rates fund running costs like electricty etc and staff wages. So, are Belfast ratepayers paying for the privilege of an event commemorating the IRA on a premises which should be inclusive to all? Is the city for everyone really promoting inclusivity by allowing its premises to be used for events like these? How many non republicans are going to feel confident going to Whiterock now, after its hosting of an IRA event?

Yesterday, some twitter users started to question the use of the hall. Patrick Mulvenna, who was still tweeting from the event, responded “Up da Provies!” He followed it with a tweet to Loyalist Group UPRG “Its our city hall if you want to be a part of it, on behave (meaning behalf) of the council we remember our dead #TAL (Tiochfaidh Ar Lá)” It is this ignorance, this “rub it in your face” attitude which causes outrage amongst those opposed to or on the receiving end of IRA actions. It’s republican triumphalism in its rawest form.

In the meantime, in the real world of Fivemiletown, the local creamery is on life support, and it’s award winning cheese business is struggling to find a buyer. And in Ballymurphy, according to Save the Children, more than 80% of people have no or low educational qualifications and long-term unemployment is 45%.

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  • TheHistorian

    As a ratepayer in Belfast there are many instances whereby I disagree where and what my rate money contributes too. Every year council workers clean the disgraceful messes left by bonfires and 12th parades. On a separate note I’m always paying taxes for police to be paid overtime at Twaddel Avenue every evening. On many an occasion loyalist paramilitaries have openly stood in open view of the police and nothing is being done!

  • Pete Baker

    The News Letter managed to get a quote from “a spokeswoman for Belfast City Council” about the ‘event’.

    Last night a spokeswoman for Belfast City Council said: “The council’s Parks and Leisure Committee agreed to allow the use of Whiterock Leisure Centre by Cumann Spoirt an Phobail for a community celebration event in the fields of sport, culture and development.

    “This included a bar and a normal booking fee was charged. Any complaint of inappropriate use would have to be investigated.”

    On the other hand, they also reported that

    Sinn Fein declined to comment.

  • Pete Baker

    Mick

    The Vixens’ post appears to have gotten the day wrong.

    Everything else, including the promotional flyer they have, points to Saturday night (29th).

  • Pete Baker

    And, given the ‘no comment’ from Sinn Féin in the News Letter report, it’s worth noting that some of the images on Patrick Mulvenna’s twitter account relating to the event are actually retweets from the BallymurphySF account

  • Pete Baker

    And, whilst the spokeswoman for Belfast City Council said “The council’s Parks and Leisure Committee agreed to allow the use of Whiterock Leisure Centre by Cumann Spoirt an Phobail for a community celebration event in the fields of sport, culture and development.”

    Would that be the Cumann Spoirt an Phobail mentioned in this archived bebo id? Or the one that cycles to Donegal for charity?

    I just ask because, via the BallymurphySF twitter account, here’s a different claim about the organisers of the event

  • http://fitzjameshorselooksattheworld.wordpress.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    This is clearly wrong.
    Asking the Council for a quote is ok.
    Asking Sinn Fein is ok.
    But the First Citizen of Belfast is actually a member of SF.

    In this city, SF seem to have it both ways.
    At one level easy to get caught up in the whole profound ten chaplains thing, coffee house politics and Giro d’Italia and being the darling of the MetroTextuals in the Twitter World.
    No point in complaining about Castlederg and Leisure Centres.
    People can either be shocked or collaborate.

  • Pete Baker

    Fitzy

    What are you wittering on about now?

    “Asking the Council for a quote is ok.
    Asking Sinn Fein is ok.”

    I’m sure the News Letter are grateful for your approval of basic journalistic requests.

    “But the First Citizen of Belfast is actually a member of SF.”

    And the Lord Mayor is an entirely ceremonial role with no actual additional power to that of a simple councillor.

    “No point in complaining about Castlederg and Leisure Centres.”

    If you say so…

    “People can either be shocked or collaborate.”

    Ditto…

  • aquifer

    Public Party Political meetings are banned on council premises, but this gun cult club is OK?

    Do people have to be armed and dangerous to count around here?

    We pay rates for this crap?

    They can get themselves off to the inner temple of the felon’s club or somewhere else people know to steer clear of.

  • http://fitzjameshorselooksattheworld.wordpress.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    I make the point that reference was made to Ballymurphys SF Twitter account was mentioned.
    Yet less than three weeks ago, I and other Sluggerites who attented the Great Tweet Up in McHughs Bar, the mayor was welcomed to the event.
    others that were at the event might recall the warm tribute paid to him by “we at slugger”

    The mayor is indeed a largely ceremonial function.
    The same of course could be said for the Colour Party.

  • Gopher

    Maybe its just our leisure centres they are after, if we cede them perhaps we will get a shared future.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqlozoXVxYM

  • Pete Baker

    Fitzy

    “I make the point that reference was made to Ballymurphys SF Twitter account was mentioned.”

    Well, you do now. Mentioned and referenced, no less.

    “Yet less than three weeks ago, I and other Sluggerites who attented the Great Tweet Up in McHughs Bar, the mayor was welcomed to the event.
    others that were at the event might recall the warm tribute paid to him by “we at slugger”.”

    You can blame David McCann for that. I don’t remember getting that particular memo.

    And the relevance to the mention of the “Ballymurphys SF Twitter account”…

    Or do you imagine that Slugger bloggers are comparable to the Sinn Féin party organisation? Really?!

    “The mayor is indeed a largely ceremonial function.
    The same of course could be said for the Colour Party.”

    Right. Now go back and re-acquaint yourself with the actual topic.

  • http://fitzjameshorselooksattheworld.wordpress.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    Oh dear.
    There seems a degree of ambiguity about the acceptability of Sinn Fein and its associates.
    It seems that some SF people are more acceptable than others.
    I personally have no great problem. I will happily put #2 against the SF name.
    But I do think that those in our wider community need to ask themselves some serious questions about how being on first name terms with “nice people” in Sinn Fein squares with condemnation of the underbelly of SFs associates.
    And indeed that is equally true of Loyalists.

  • Pete Baker

    “And indeed that is equally true of Loyalists.”

    I’m sure it is, Fitzy.

    Now go back and re-acquaint yourself with the actual topic.

    Until then…

  • http://fitzjameshorselooksattheworld.wordpress.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    Indeed.

  • babyface finlayson

    There are Mental Health and Learning Disability centres in the area with mixed membership. I would think this sort of thing will hardly encourage them to use their local leisure centre.
    This foolishness belongs in a private club somewhere.

  • cimota

    Ballymurphy languishes in poverty precisely because they make poor decisions about political representation. You only have to look at the results. 70% SF, 15% SDLP. How long have they been in majority? Why haven’t they fixed it? Because they have no vested interest in the affluence of the residents.

    The exact same thing can be said about East Belfast and areas of South Belfast. While the people vote in the representatives who build their platform upon the grief of the past, there will never be prosperity in these areas.

    So yes, vote early, vote often but for a hope of a future, stop voting for the sectarian fringe, on either side.

  • notimetoshine

    @cimota

    Completely right.

    As long as we have parties for whom their ‘struggle’ be that unionist/nationalist defines them, functional issues and things that can make a real difference take a back seat.

    It is depressing but inevitable that everything else takes a back seat to sectarian or cultural posturing, both at council and assembly level.

    I often wonder that maybe we should open the senate room in Stormont and create and identity, culture and flags assembly where the parties can battle out their own fringe cultural issues until their heart is content.

    Nothing will change until our parties wake up and smell the coffee, you can have constitutional wranglings or you can make real progress, but in NI alas not both.

  • babyface finlayson

    Mick
    It’s a bit late in the day I know, but that headline is bugging me.
    I don’t think you can use langour as a verb can you?
    Did you mean languish?
    Happy to be helpful.