Belfast City Council: “what happened on Saturday evening is a clear breach of our terms and conditions of hire.”

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The News Letter has an updated comment from the spokeswoman for Belfast City Council about the (Provisional) IRA commemoration at Whiterock Leisure Centre on Saturday night.  From the News Letter report

Belfast City Council says a republican event in one of its leisure centres was clearly in breach of terms and conditions, after critics objected to use of a Sinn Fein banner, replica weapons and paramilitary flags.

The event, in Whiterock Leisure Centre on Saturday, was strongly condemned yesterday by the Alliance Party, SDLP and DUP.

Questions were originally raised on Sunday by TUV leader Jim Allister and Belfast City Council said yesterday his concerns were indeed justified.

A Belfast City Council spokeswoman said: “This booking was not made by a political party, however what happened on Saturday evening is a clear breach of our terms and conditions of hire. 

“Council is currently investigating this and a report will be brought back to the next meeting of the Parks and Leisure Committee on April 10.” [added emphasis]

And Sinn Féin, who previously declined to comment, have now found their voice

…Sinn Fein defended the event, describing it as “a respectful commemoration held in the heart of west Belfast involving a community that has suffered disproportionately as a result of the conflict”.

That will be why, when it was being booked, Belfast City Council were told that the centre was being hired by Cumann Spoirt an Phobail for “a community celebration event in the fields of sport, culture and development”.  As the previous comment by the spokeswoman for Belfast City Council stated

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.”

But, as I pointed out in the previous comment zone, some people clearly knew this was not true.

As, one of many parties who have raised concerns, the Alliance Party MLA Stewart Dickson notes

“Sinn Fein have serious questions to answer about the organisation of this event. It appears that they did not inform the Council of what this event would actually include. In Council papers, they indicated that it would be a community celebration event and include presentations to local people who have worked in the fields of sport, culture and development.”

[As open and transparent as possible... - Ed]  Indeed.

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  • cynic2

    By booking in that way did they also get a ‘concession booking and avoid the full fee?

  • cynic2

    The rules don’t apply to us, we are Special

  • Dec

    The Parks and Leisure committee agenda will hopefully also include the recent UDA event at council premises in Sandy Row which featured masked men yet was billed as an Indoor Band competition. Curiously, the DUP, TUV, UUP and Slugger’s very own Uncle Andy have been less exercised about that particular event. Though I do appreciate that it’s only really news when themmuns are at it.

  • Mick Fealty

    Dec,

    Item one, the larne thread. Item two, what the OFMdFM’s party gets up is inherently more interesting than fringe political groups.

    Would you say this is a backward validation by SF of the ‘good UDA’s’ Sandy Row booking?

  • Morpheus

    By all means come out and have a pop at the republican event in the council owned facilities – it was wrong – but it takes hypocrisy to a whole new level not to also have a pop at the loyalist event in the council owned facilities just the other week. Did I miss that thread? A UDA show of strength in a council owned facility is pretty big news by anyone’s standards.

    It’s Castlederg all over again…

    We are all adults here, surely we are all able to see that both were wrong and give each the thumbs down they require?

    And before anyone starts, that’s not whataboutery, that’s balance.

  • Gopher

    Im not really sure the UDA are in the same league as the biggest political party and everyone accepts the UDA are gangsters, even Republicans. One would expect the UDA to pull “stunts” like that but really a party that is the second biggest in Northern Ireland having to lie about an event it kinda just makes SF look like gangsters with votes. See the difference there.

  • Morpheus

    Was this a SF event?

  • tacapall

    “Would you say this is a backward validation by SF of the ‘good UDA’s’ Sandy Row booking”

    I would say this is a case of “anything you can do we can do better” but depending on which side of the fence you live on some eye raising bookings are obviously overlooked. Even though the person who let the cat of of the bag concerning the UDA and Sandy Row booking has been threatened to leave the country by loyalist paramilitaries this is nonetheless overlooked by unionist politicians who are still ignorant of what a victim is. Either both bookings are wrong and shouldn’t happen again or some politicians should be exposed for what they are.

  • between the bridges

    I agree with Morpheus, SF and UDA are on a par…

  • Gopher

    Going from the evidence presented by BallmurphSF unless they just did the graphic design it appears to have been a SF event though if you forgive me if Im not quite sure of the nuances as the spokespersons cant make up their mind One minute the Republic movement is the Quatermass experiment one unified blob, the next the time it is quite amorphous. I suspect this time (when its decided) its the amorphous blob we are dealing with.

  • Greenflag

    Its balanced whataboutery in danger of being unbalanced . In any normal society this kind of event would merit a paragraph in a local newspaper or magazine .

  • Neil

    The IRA = former organisation, ooohhhhmyyygaaarrrrd.

    The UDA = current organisation. Nothing to see here.

  • Morpheus

    Does anyone think the UDA will be relishing the prospect of a UI because it increases their drug market?

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Have the provos really gone away you know???

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-20175429

  • Neil

    Do you mean have they emigrated, or are you producing a murder nearly 10 years ago as evidence of their current existence?

  • Morpheus

    You do realise that your link is from 2012 right AU?

  • Zig70

    Morph, I wouldn’t worry about the UDA drug racket, the Russians are taking over. ( Sunday world, so it’s def true)

  • Comrade Stalin

    Mick,

    I still think the hypocrisy is worth highlighting.

    The UDA event in Sandy Row became public because a certain overzealous loyalist wannabe posted photographs of it on social media and talked of how great the UDA lads were. Said individual has now been – politely one hopes – asked to leave the community, and from what I can tell he’s now gone. I heard about it approximately a week ago, so I’d imagine that the unionists must have heard of it too.

    This incident was exactly the same as the Whiterock matter except for the foot that the participants were kicking with.

  • aquifer

    “a community celebration event in the fields of sport, culture and development”

    I dislike bloodsports

  • cynic2

    A lot of this debate is like watching a pack of old dogs trapped in a room. We want to fight but have lost our teeth and can only gum each other

    I am not personally adverse to a bit of gumming myself but really? Has anyone seen the Andy Tyrie Interpretative Centre on the Newtownards Road. Built with public money and complete with dummies in UDA Uniform Circa 1970

  • Politico68

    On Easter Monday this year the Irish government will spend a fortune delivering a fine military display in the nations capital to commemorate those who fought and died in the 1916 rising. These IRA men and women will be honored as martyrs and heroes who fought to free our land from the grip of British Imperialism. In the full glare of the general public, enemies of the British state who broke the law and were regarded as barbaric murderers will be remembered as soldiers of Ireland, for whom the British Monarch recently laid a wreath in respect..

    Meanwhile in the nations second city, there is hell to pay because some group booked a public hall in order to hold an event that would commemorate those who fought and died in the 1916 rising and i assume the most recent part of the struggle. These IRA men and women equally honored as martyrs and heroes who fought to free our land from the grip of British Imperialism.

    If its ok for a public display in Dublin, whats up with a more private affair in Belfast? Do people really believe that republicans (and loyalists for that matter) were going to simply forget about those of their ranks who paid a high price fighting for what they thought was right?

  • zep

    “These IRA men and women equally honored as martyrs and heroes who fought to free our land from the grip of British Imperialism.” – In that case it definitely couldn’t be a Sinn Fein event – after all, there’s no way any principled Republican would associate with those who administrate British rule in Ireland? Or could it be that the wheeling out of the toy guns and slogans is a quick reasserting of SF credentials ahead of the Euros?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Politico68

    I understand your point, but it’s as removed from reality as the old ‘as British as Finchley’ argument was as in it was a case of “yes, but not quite”.

    Many of the wounds in Dublin have healed to a certain extent.

    I doubt if there’s many people living nearby(ish) the Dublin memorial that are still burning with the rage that can only come from believing that a group of people want you and your community eliminated.

    The same cannot be said for Belfast.

    In that city football teams, flags, sports, languages, the letter H, poppies etc are divisive and sometimes offensive.

    Everyone has their own reasons, real, imagined or otherwise.

    Now, SF at least talk the talk about an island of equals and shared spaces and wot not but things like this just show the mask slipping.

    Which flies in the face of their words and makes people wonder if these sentiments that they adhere to are little more than buzzwords and prettified thumbscrews;

    “Today we want equality, but maybe not tomorrow when we’ve got what we wanted”.

    These scars that I referred to earlier won’t heal while people and parties pick at them and that’s exactly what SF have done here.

    That is the ‘reality’ (to borrow a SF buzzword of the 90′s).

    Now, even though I shouldn’t have to mention this (but I know if I don’t take anti whataboutery measures this’ll be mentioned despite the obvious nature of the topic) unionism, loyalism, orangism and fleggerism are just as bad if not worse in this regard.

    And back to the topic in hand, if it was a SF gig then will they offer an apology for misusing a public space (in the spirit of shared space and other respectful things that they ‘hold dear’)?

  • zep

    “These scars that I referred to earlier won’t heal while people and parties pick at them” – A nice sentiment AG and sums up a lot of what we are struggling with in NI as a whole at the minute.

  • foyle observer

    I think we should have one big thread dedicated to Unionist / Loyalist hypocrisy.

    Daily threads on the topic are becoming tiresome.

  • SDLP supporter

    As a democratic Irish republican I won’t be particularly honouring the men of 1916 nor anyone else from a century ago. The decade or so from 1912 was a disaster for the whole island because of the cult of militarism (official state) and paramilitarism and the country was practically smashed to pieces by a ruinous civil war and the bloody origins of Northern Ireland.

    In these circumstances, and given the dishonesty and deceit of successive British governments in ignoring and/or sabotaging the fair demands of democratic Irish nationalism (Parnell, Redmond etc), it’s a wonder that whatever democratic institutions that we have today have taken root, wholly imperfect as they are.

    Here’s the thing: would Sinn Fein take a hall in Ballymun or Darndale or Ballybough and put on the display of strutting faux paramilitarism that they put on at Whiterock? Pretty sure they wouldn’t, it would torpedo the glossy new sanitised Mary Lou image and besides a democratically-elected Irish government (however imperfect) would come down on them with full force.

    That cynicism is Sinn Fein partitionism in action and the essential difference between 2014 and 1916 is that we have democratic institutions in place and a genuine Oglaigh na hEireann, not the corner boys at Whiterock who have misappropriated the name and have the gall to call themselves “soldiers of Ireland”.

  • zep

    Excellent post.

  • Neil

    In that city football teams, flags, sports, languages, the letter H, poppies etc are divisive and sometimes offensive.

    You’re quite right. And many Unionists will no doubt come up with any number of reasons that their flags, sports and poppies should be respected, officially supported and in no way a problem.

    Themmuns flags, sports, languages and dare I say it commemorations should be deemed illegal or prevented by any means necessary?

    Whether you agree or not, locally many people supported the IRA, and the SF commemorations are not a big problem. It’s a historical organisation (like the covenant’s UVF). At what point do you think your community would accept a commemoration occurring in an area where it’s not likely to intimidate or offend anyone locally? Obviously the UVF of 101 years ago is OK, while the IRA of 15 years ago is not. Just wondering where one would like to draw the line? Or is it simply a case of Unionist flags, military commemorations, parades etc. fine, Republican ones not fine?

    As I said I don’t think it’s wise to have chosen the leisure centre as the venue, but that said I suppose it’s preferable to having a military commemoration parading through a Loyalist area, and for many people commemorating their relatives, many now dead, who were in the IRA is as legitimate as celebrating Armed Forces Day in the centre of what is fast becoming a majority Nationalist city. They’re not our armed forces you see.

  • zep

    “Themmuns flags, sports, languages and dare I say it commemorations should be deemed illegal or prevented by any means necessary?”

    If you can find somebody on here who actually agrees with the above then do let us all know.

    “They’re not our armed forces you see.” – Plenty of Irish Nationalists in the Armed Forces pal – Scots Nationalists too. Take off the blinkers.

    What is the difference between the ‘historical’ IRA and those who are using that name today on the streets of West Belfast to kneecap young people and attack the police and Filipino familes? Different aim? Different equipment? Different methods? Different personnel? Maybe we should start commemorating them now, why wait 15 years?

  • foyle observer

    Zep ‘Plenty of Irish Nationalists in the Armed Forces pal’

    Proof?

  • zep

    For starters, Barton’s article on combat stress provided one first-hand account of the range of Irishmen of all hues and none within the Royal Irish Regiment.

  • socaire

    zep, they might be catholics and born in Ireland but they are certainly not Irish nationalists. Man cannot ride 2 horses or have 2 masters.

  • babyface finlayson

    socaire
    “Man cannot ride 2 horses or have 2 masters.”
    Rubbish. Man can do all sorts of contradictory things.Like joining the British army to see the world, or just to have a career, even though still expressing a desire for a United Ireland. Who are you to say they cannot.?

  • zep

    Can you be an Irish Nationalist and be an MP? Of course you can. You swear the same oath.

  • zep

    By the by if you like contradiction: I’m a unionist but not a monarchist, and would never want to meet any royals or shake their hands, nor would I accept any ‘honour’ from them, as I think the whole thing is a farce. Martin McGuinness and John Hume are Irish Nationalists and have done both those things!

  • socaire

    Rubbish,zep. What do you do if you are in the British Army and ordered to shoot Irish nationalists? Which horse do you ride? Ever hear of loyalty to something? What has shaking hands to do with anything? Did no western leader ever shake hands with Hitler? Are you mistaking irish national with Irish nationalist? And Irish nationalists don’t swear an oath to the Queen of England – career politicians from Ireland do. What honour did MMcG or John Hume get from the royals?

  • Reader

    socaire: What do you do if you are in the British Army and ordered to shoot Irish nationalists?
    Same as if you were in An Garda Síochána – decide whether it’s a legitimate order and then perhaps do what you are told. After all, as Garda McCabe found, there’s no guarantee that Irish nationalists won’t be shooting you.
    By the way – I doubt you would suggest that Irish nationalists have never killed other Irish nationalists? There’s been plenty of that.
    But I think this is your real problem :
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

  • socaire

    It may interest you to know,Reader, that on receiving an order, you don’t ‘decide’ whether or not it is legitimate and you don’t ‘perhaps’ do what you are told. You take the King’s shilling and give him your soul. Dogs fight with dogs but that doesn’t make them cats. My point is -to keep it simple – that you are a black man or a white man. You may be grey then you are neither one or the other. You may be a white man with black makeup on but you are still a white man. So you are a nationalist or you are not. If you give loyalty to one nation you cannot give it to another – at least at the same time. If you swear fealty to the English monarch, you cannot remain an Irish nationalist. As I said ‘national’ or ‘nationalist’. Easy enough to grasp,no?

  • socaire

    See 7.38 post.
    “But I would say that everyone that eventually joins the army, although they may have joined up for different reasons, they all become connected with that common bond, that they’re there for Queen and country ultimately. You don’t go to Afghanistan just because you’re there to be paid.”

  • babyface finlayson

    socaire
    “What do you do if you are in the British Army and ordered to shoot Irish nationalists?”
    Then you might have a dilemma alright. But the number of British army personnel being ordered to shoot at Irish Nationalists is likely to be quite small for the time being. The subset of that number who happen also to be Irish Nationalists is likely to be vanishingly small.
    So in the real world not much of a problem.

  • socaire

    Exactly, babyface, which horse do you ride? As I’ve tried to explain – There are NO Irish nationalists in the British Army so the problem of being asked to shoot other Irish nationalists will not arise. I know some genuine republicans who have been in the British Army BUT they left because one was not compatible with the other.

  • Politico68

    Am Ghob,

    My point really is that you cannot stop people commemorating their dead especially when those commemorations become locked into a community’s culture and tradition.

    I am glad that for most people on this Island the fear that their community could be eliminated is long past, remembering events like the famine and 1916 sometimes serve to remind us how close as a people we came to extermination during the mid 19th century genocide, and the efforts it took to simply give the people what they wanted; a sense of self determination.

    We need to get comfortable with both Unionist and Nationalist commemorations. Whether its king Billy or Billy the rat, Padraig Pearse or Booby Sands; it is part and parcel of the history of the experience of our peoples and no one group should have precedence over another. That is what a shared future is – Our Flags, Memories, Language, Culture, Traditions all awarded equal stature under the law.

    But, my fear is that many Unionists will never be able to bring themselves to this point, never really in their hearts accept the equality of Irishness, never really in their hearts agree to share in equal partnership, never really open their minds to the possibilities of true friendship between the traditions and never really accept that the days of Unionist domination are gone for good.

    Worst of all, as the Unionist population declines and its influence erodes even further; its leaders gamble on a hope and a pretty flimsy hope too, that they will somehow be able to maintain the dominance of British culture, symbols and identity against a growing political and demographic confident neonationalism. It simply has no hope. Unionists need to revise their understanding of the concepts of sharing and equality before it is too late.

  • Reader

    socaire: It may interest you to know,Reader, that on receiving an order, you don’t ‘decide’ whether or not it is legitimate and you don’t ‘perhaps’ do what you are told. You take the King’s shilling and give him your soul.
    You must be thinking about Provo omerta – as for the British Army I can’t find that bit about the shilling, just this:
    http://www.army.mod.uk/documents/general/v_s_of_the_british_army.pdf
    “When deployed on operations soldiers are subject to international law, including the laws of armed conflict and the prescribed rules of engagement, and in some cases local civil law. Taken together, such laws establish the baseline for the standards of personal conduct of the soldier as a citizen.”

  • socaire

    Jackanory!

  • Gopher

    I’m pretty sure I never want to celebrate the Ormeau Road bookies massacre. I don’t think there is anything to celebrate about 3000 dead for nothing

  • Politico68

    Yes and that’s the point, we have to be prepared to tolerate those who wish to celebrate, commemorate and remember etc. If we can’t do that, we might as well just settle in for a life of chronic conflict, whatever form it comes in. A simple choice really.

  • zep

    “It may interest you to know,Reader, that on receiving an order, you don’t ‘decide’ whether or not it is legitimate and you don’t ‘perhaps’ do what you are told. You take the King’s shilling and give him your soul. Dogs fight with dogs but that doesn’t make them cats. My point is -to keep it simple – that you are a black man or a white man. You may be grey then you are neither one or the other. You may be a white man with black makeup on but you are still a white man. So you are a nationalist or you are not. If you give loyalty to one nation you cannot give it to another – at least at the same time. If you swear fealty to the English monarch, you cannot remain an Irish nationalist. As I said ‘national’ or ‘nationalist’. Easy enough to grasp,no?”

    As Reader has pointed out, your first assertion is entirely wrong.

    As for the rest of it, it reads like something scrawled on the bag of a flag protestor’s fag packet. Why do you have to have ‘fealty’ to any nation? Or have any ‘master’? What is it with this retro-nationalistic outlook on the world?

    Interesting to know anyway that you don’t consider any Irishman or woman who every sat in Westminster to be an Irish Nationalist. Obviously running on the platform of a United Ireland and then pursuing every democratic means available to them to achieve that makes them… a unionist? I don’t know. And I don’t particularly care; you are entitled to your views. I just find them enlightening.

  • Gopher

    I sorry we don’t especially not on council property they can take themselves and their factitious history off to a field and burn their crosses there.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Neill and Politico68

    “And many Unionists will no doubt come up with any number of reasons that their flags, sports and poppies should be respected, officially supported and in no way a problem.”

    That’s a whataboutery ( a nice one).

    Justifying something harmful by pointing out the harmful actions of people whom we repeatedly talk about as being intransigent is not a great justification at all.

    “Themmuns flags, sports, languages and dare I say it commemorations should be deemed illegal or prevented by any means necessary?”

    I hope you didn’t interpret my post as meaning just that?

    Everything that is controversial in NI should be careful considered before enactment.

    Just because one has the right to do something does not necessarily justify it as the right thing to do (and yes, I apply this in equal if not greater measure to unionism given the number of parades and occasions to put up flags or rip the arse out of national commemorations).

    Military parades have been going on for centuries in some form or another so with regards to armed forces day or Poppy Day if they go ahead they should be as considerate as possible.

    No inventing new parades or new memorials.

    Christ, how many do we need?

    “Whether you agree or not, locally many people supported the IRA, and the SF commemorations are not a big problem. It’s a historical organisation (like the covenant’s UVF). At what point do you think your community would accept a commemoration occurring in an area where it’s not likely to intimidate or offend anyone locally? Obviously the UVF of 101 years ago is OK, while the IRA of 15 years ago is not. Just wondering where one would like to draw the line? Or is it simply a case of Unionist flags, military commemorations, parades etc. fine, Republican ones not fine?”

    The UVF commemorations were a farcical insult if one goes by the criteria I just highlighted.

    “As I said I don’t think it’s wise to have chosen the leisure centre as the venue, but that said I suppose it’s preferable to having a military commemoration parading through a Loyalist area, and for many people commemorating their relatives, many now dead, who were in the IRA is as legitimate as celebrating Armed Forces Day in the centre of what is fast becoming a majority Nationalist city. They’re not our armed forces you see.”

    I understand that Neill, but what is the fall out from this?

    Many people believe that these particular ‘war dead’ wanted to eliminate their community.

    It picks at the scabs.

    Can we not just stop remembering for a while?

    Forget 1690 or 1916, they won’t put food on anyone’s plates.

    ———————

    Politico68

    “how close as a people we came to extermination during the mid 19th century genocide…”

    Aw Gawd, not this again.

    Could you tell me why this attempted genocide failed please?

    “But, my fear is that many Unionists will never be able to bring themselves to this point, never really in their hearts accept the equality of Irishness…”

    Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get some unionists to acknowledge their Irish side whilst SF and nationalism in general is contaminating it for them?

    As some one who tries to highlight the hidden ‘Irish’ culture of ‘Irish’ Protestants you can take it from me that this is one of the biggest obstacles.

    So as long as SF are lording up their ‘Oirishness’ and promoting the Irish language and GAA etc then Protestants will by and large be on the outside.

    (Usually at this point of the conversation someone (usually a non-Protestant) jumps in and informs me I’m wrong and that it is indeed purely the fault of the Protestant community).

    “Worst of all, as the Unionist population declines and its influence erodes even further; its leaders gamble on a hope and a pretty flimsy hope too, that they will somehow be able to maintain the dominance of British culture, symbols and identity against a growing political and demographic confident neonationalism. It simply has no hope. Unionists need to revise their understanding of the concepts of sharing and equality before it is too late.”

    Yes.

    ” If we can’t do that, we might as well just settle in for a life of chronic conflict, whatever form it comes in”

    That’s the likely course at present.

  • zep

    Are us Irish prods wanted if we keep on wanting to be part of the UK? I don’t think the acknowledgement of Irishness is the problem.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Socaire

    “There are NO Irish nationalists in the British Army so the problem of being asked to shoot other Irish nationalists will not arise”

    I don’t see how you can justify such an assertion.

    There may be Scottish, Welsh, English, Max, Nepalese, Tongan, Fijian and Samoan nationalists in the British army but no Irish nationalists?

    I’d believe there are possibly very few nationalists of a a certain brand of Irish nationalism but it’s a stretch to say that there are NO Irish nationalists at all.

  • socaire

    Need I say it again? If you sign up to the British army, swear an oath of allegiance, accept their money and do their bidding -remember – voluntarily, then you cannot be an Irish nationalist of any hue (as zep would say :-)) Still having trouble with nationals and nationalists, are we?

  • socaire

    See 7.38 post.
    “But I would say that everyone that eventually joins the army, although they may have joined up for different reasons, they all become connected with that common bond, that they’re there for Queen and country ultimately. You don’t go to Afghanistan just because you’re there to be paid.” See Ranger Andy Allen’s contribution about re-civilising soldiers.

  • SDLP supporter

    1. Is someone like Francie Molloy, abstentionist MP for Mid Ulster, a better Irishman, with more achievements to his name for the benefit of the Irish people than men like Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell and Michael Davitt (founder of the Land League), all of whom sat at Westminster at various times?
    2. Was General Tom Barry (‘Guerrilla Days in Ireland’) who served with the British Army in World War 1, and who later played such a prominent role in the War of Independence, an Irish nationalist?
    3. What is the position of Martin Doyle, a Wexford man who won the Victoria Cross in WWI, and who later fought for the IRA?
    4. Were the Connaught Rangers, soldiers in a British regiment serving in India, who mutinied after the 1916 Leaders were shot, and who themselves then were executed, deluded fools and traitors for enlisting?
    5.Was Wolfe Tone, the very avatar and originator of the idea of Irish republicanism, who wrote a plan for William Pitt to colonise the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) under the British Crown, an imperialist lick-spittle who in another time and place would have been a ‘legitimate target’ for the Provisional IRA?

    All questions for Socaire and those like him to mull over (‘think about’ is too strong a phrase to describe what goes on in their heads).

  • zep

    Socaire – The history of this island is shades of grey!

  • socaire

    SDLP supporter, your list is long and well worth mulling over. In the meantime,you must settle for also ran. Or as another crowd of hasbeens would say ‘Decent people vote for ….’. And zep, is there no black and white?

  • babyface finlayson

    socaire
    “There are NO Irish nationalists in the British Army”
    I was wondering if your reasoning also applies to the PSNI?
    And are’n’t you simply talking about zealots?

  • SDLP supporter

    So I take it, Socaire, that you are not actually capable of formulating any answers to the questions I asked.

  • socaire

    Take it any way you want. You already know the answers. And yes I do not believe that there are any Irish nationalists in the PSNI or the RUC before them.

  • babyface finlayson

    socaire
    That is a bizarre position to take.
    Of the 2000 or so PSNI officers from the Catholic community none would be Irish Nationalists?
    You believe in a referendum they would all vote to remain in the UK?
    Are they deluding themselves if they believe themselves to be Irish Nationalists?
    All a bit silly.

  • socaire

    Catholic does not equal Nationalist and I have seen no evidence to make me think that they consider themselves to be Nationalist. I would say they would vote to stay in the UK. They are aware that PSNI is a British police force – a political police force – yet they still join. Anything for a handy well paid job?