Justice Minister declines Dublin rebellion commemoration invite, citing lack of reflection

After Friday’s Newsletter frontpage I was prompted to purchase a copy of Peter Lynas’ recently published “100 Days 100 Years” – a magazine format read that contains prayerful reflections on 1916 from a diverse range of personalities with a public presence in the main in Northern Ireland.

The striking thing for me so far is the almost understanding each participant has to the concept of the ‘other’ – those parallel chronologies whose intersections and tangents together form the totality of our truth in some form.

Dr Trevor Morrow, a former moderator of the Presbyterian Church here, speaks of ‘functioning within both narratives’ – a reference to his life in both unionist NI and 32 years of working in what he terms a ‘post-Easter Rising’ narrative in southern Ireland.

The First & Deputy First Ministers speak undoubtedly with their own particular emphasis although Foster acknowledges ‘it is important to reflect and look back at what happened in 1916’ while McGuinness hopes the various events will be commemorated ‘in a way that is not offensive to anybody’.

A book encouraging prayer and promoting reconciliation may well be judged the gold standard in terms of acknowledging narratives wider than our individual – or party political – experience.

Then yesterday, the Republic’s current huge programme of commemoration for the Dublin rebels was put under examination by justice minister David Ford:

“There is a real difficulty if the state is putting a very significant part of its effort into marking the efforts of those who engaged in violence, when there was a democratic way available”

The Alliance leader frankly pointed out that like the First Minister he would not attend any celebration of an armed insurrection and this included the Dublin government’s state event on Easter Sunday next week.

It is important to note that Ford plans to attend other events which mark the centenary of the rebellion ‘in a more reflective way’.

So where does the Republic currently stand with regard to its own version of the multiple narrative story?

On Monday past, there was an insight into the level of popular nationalistic sentiment with regard to the rising commemorations when Dublin City Council placing prominent historical home rulers on a display outside the old Irish parliament came in for public criticism, comedy group the Rubber Bandits proclaiming

“Sickened that the official centenary celebration has managed to be more absurd than our 1916 documentary.”

To the point where the deputy city librarian had to refute it was part of any ‘revisionist’ conspiracy:

“It is not making a grand claim. It is not part of this revisionist stuff that’s going on”

What chance then of any Irish unionist figure being displayed, even though with 2 MPs for Trinity College they had more votes at the time than the rebels had over the whole island.

After the death of prison officer Adrian Ismay last week I pointed out an event that was happening in parallel in the south. The troubling image of kids dressed in oversized military uniforms and being read nationalistic rhetoric is not one of a multiple of narratives.

When President Higgins spoke of ‘No single narrative’ on 8th of March, only one day previous he had in front of 6000 secondary school children at Croke Park after opening in true Irish style with a reference to the ‘gloriously fine sunshine’ went on to claim:

“These rebels had concluded that the parliamentary path advocated by many others within the nationalist movement had little real prospect of delivering independence for Ireland, and they were willing to sacrifice their lives in an exemplary way for the greater cause of Irish freedom.”

Before closing with –

“The Easter Rising of 1916 can, in many ways, be described as a stunningly ambitious act of imagination. Today it is up to our young people to take charge of change and imagine what Ireland might yet become.”

Fast forward to Proclamation Day.

The Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork Dr Paul Colton contributed to a blog post in advance of the day, waxing lyrical about his recollection of the 1966 commemorations and included a ‘new proclamation’ which one of the schools under his patronage came up with, the first line of which reads:

“Thank you to the men and women of Ireland who lost their lives fighting courageously for our country, without you we would not have our identity or independence.”

Such gratuitous would, I am sure, raise alarm bells to those of us of an Irish Protestant disposition, the birth of whose sense of Irishness pre-dates somewhat the year 1916. And that’s before you consider what horrors befell Cork Protestants a few years following 1916.

But if that’s the view from southern protestant church leaders and schoolteachers, then there should be no problem, right? I will leave you with a quote from a conversation I had with one Protestant mother from Ulster’s outer three counties after the day’s events in her own children’s school.

I have to say this sentiment has been echoed throughout that particular section of southern Irish society. It was, in a view that has me recalling Gladys Glaniel’s January post, “an infringement of the cultural & religious beliefs of the protestant community”.

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  • NotNowJohnny

    I think it is worth pointing out that it wasn’t the British Government that was responsible for delaying the implementation of Home Rule. Gladstone’s government of 1893 brought forward the 2nd Home Rule BIll which was subsequently passed by the HoC but rejected by the (Conservative Party dominated) HoL.

  • Hugh Davison

    I think you’re being unduly sensitive here, Jolly. JC’s statement is historically correct. I know from my own experience growing up in Belfast in the 50’s that it was a nasty sectarian place then.
    You don’t have to feel personally blamed for a situation you probably did not contribute to. Accept it and move on.

  • Hugh Davison

    I am entirely in agreement with you about segregated education. The sooner we get rid of it the better.
    But your comment implied that Catholic schools teach a different version of history, lies even, while providing no evidence for that. That to me is a sectarian remark.

  • Greenflag 2

    And still does if Britain’s survival were ever endangered by any Irish polity which could be used /abused by another power as a stepping stone to the conquest or neutralisation of Britain . Unimaginable in these days of course – but so was WWI and it’s eventual aftermath to many at the time .

    BTW I think you meant secede . The Scotland referendum experience should be a lesson to us all that whereas in theory and in practice modern day Britain will /would not resist Scottish independence by military means they (Its politicians and established interests ) will use and did use every means at their disposal to ensure the defeat of the proposal .

    I don’t get the same impression that such would be the case in any future NI referendum on the constitutional question but I may be wrong !

  • Tochais Siorai

    Perhaps a more pertinent question is why most of these ancient churches including the two cathedrals are owned by the Anglican church in the first place?

  • Ryan A

    Almost every post you make on this site is one attacking Alliance. Go Figure.

  • Ryan A

    Dead end cul-de-sac? Alliance are chasing a SECOND quota on their own this cycle. Your salivating over a shot at a district councillor next cycle. Clueless.

  • Ryan A

    I honestly think if the events of the last fortnight had not happened he would be going. I still doubt it will have any impact on the polls for Alliance come May.

  • Kev Hughes

    NNJ, thanks for that, an actual sensible comment from folks here and I concede that matter you’ve raised, however, I would highlight that you are focusing on the MECHANISM as opposed to the RESULT, which was exactly the same, no to Home Rule.

    I think your point has also handily re-enforced my own: a body of hereditary peers and church men voted against a decision in which the vast majority of folks in Ireland with a vote (I cannot stress that part enough) were in agreement with. St Etienne talks about ‘representation’ and not ‘democracy’ and he’d be well to, for if he were then the ‘representation’ Ireland had wasn’t particularly democratic. In other words, there was a democratic deficit. We’re also ignoring the manner in which Ireland’s representation at Westminster came into being, but I think the less scrutiny on it’s democratic bona fides the better.

    So, it is easy for folks to say that Home Rule would come after WW1 but it had been held up time and time again, what was to stop it from being held up again.

    BTW, we are going massively off the topic of David Ford basically being a bit of snivelling coward but c’est la vie I suppose…

  • Jollyraj

    Hmmm, well…. I didn’t quite mean that. What I meant is that I feel each side teaches a version of history from their own perspective (I’m obviously generalizing here). I feel this because I do actually have many acquaintances, friends, close friends, ex-girlfriends (and also people I’ve disliked, of course) who are NI nationalists. Like, no doubt, moat people on here I often discuss politics and history with my various social groups and it does oftem seem that we are taught history differently, at the very least from a different perspective. Education shapes the child. I fear we are letting the wrong interest groups dictate how that happens. Is that aimed at Sinn Fein. Yes, clearly. O’Dowd is SF. But both sides are equally culpable, and I would like to see a change at the root of the problem.

  • John Collins

    Well Brendan it had long enough for GB to to subsidise it. A third of Wellington’s army was Irish and though a Protestant he praised the Irish RC soldiers’ role in the defeat of Napoleon. Was there a big British investment in Ireland after that? Was Derry much better off than a town of similar size and was there as much money invested in the Northern City after Partition? I do not think so.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Not at all “Son” ! Now that Alliance are back within the fold of being a Unionist Party again Nuala McAlister is coming round to Clifton Street Orange Hall on Friday Night for a Wee Cup of Tea and a chat as to see how we shall dish out the transfers amongst all us Unionist Parties. I shall be making the Egg and Onion sandwiches so should also be a good laxative for all my new Alliance Colleagues ?

  • John Collins

    When I mentioned 1641 I was hardly blaming Protestants or in all seriousness has something come out in the last few days that I have not heard.
    When I said the South was not perfect I also meant it. As regards the RC Church and Ne Temere please do not start me. BTW in your reply to HD below you say that I blame Unionists for everything. Well I absolutely also despise the PIRA with a passion.

  • John Collins

    Do not be ridiculous. I attended a national (RC) school in the ROI from 1956 to 1963 and secondary school from then until ’68 and I was never asked to sing The Soldiers Song once. Or indeed were we taught to be ‘little republicans’. There are lot of myths on both sides.

  • John Collins

    Well there are enough of them there to have seven Churches and two Cathedrals kept open.
    As Philomena Lee said to Martin ‘you did see that one coming’

  • John Collins

    Just look at Page 249 in Domionic Melleady’s John Redmond The National Leader, Merrion Press, 2014.
    There you will see that ,speaking at Dundee on 8 October 1913, Church said that ‘A General Election must come within two years-before a Dublin Parliament could pass any legislation- and, if returned to power, the Tories could repeal the Home Rule Act’.

  • John Collins

    You are talking with hindsight. You would not have said that during the Tan War.
    History is always about context.

  • John Collins

    Yes, every means would be used, like having statements issued by foreign investors and international bankers, making threats they probably would not have backed up anyway. Then also claiming Scotland could not negotiate their entry into the EU, while GB as a whole were planning to get out anyway.

  • Jollyraj

    You really ought to pay more close attention when reading, JC. I didn’t suggest that any such song was sung in Catholic schools. I was comparing the ‘certificate in being Catholic’ or whatever it is called is a barrier similar to a requirement (which doesn’t exist) in regular schools to ding GSTQ daily.

  • Jollyraj

    ” tyranny of the majority”

    You mean like ‘50% plus 1’?

  • Kev Hughes

    No, more like 75% +1.

    How about you read John Stuart Mill ‘On Liberty’ and come back to the rest of class with what you’ve read, ay chuckles?

    Or should I expect some more kurt, flippant and idiotic points from you?

  • Granni Trixie

    As discussed thoroughly on Slugger at the time Anna Lo s comments were totally uncontroversial in Alliance circles – why? Because it is the norm to hear a wide range of views,aspirations etc in Alliance circles. References to Ni and the Uk is only reflecting the reality. What are you looking for – exclusive use of “the North”?

  • Jollyraj

    Erm…. do you ever wish you’d gone on for a teacher?

    You feel you should have 75% majority to change the constitutional status? Great! That’s us safe for another century, boys 🙂

  • Kev Hughes

    (Rolls eyes and shakes head).

    Here you go chuckles,

    ‘The phrase “tyranny of the majority” (or “tyranny of the masses”) is used in discussing systems of democracy and majority rule. It involves a scenario in which decisions made by a majority place its interests above those of an individual or minority group, constituting active oppression comparable to that of a tyrant or despot. In many cases a disliked ethnic, religious, political, or racial group is deliberately penalized by the majority element acting through the democratic process.’

    I think that’s a fair summary of the style of government in place when Ireland’s decisions were made in Westminster and, Unionist rule up until 1969.

    Why I engage an whack job like you, I will never know…

  • Greenflag 2

    Probably for Scotland not so sure for NI but if the boot was on another foot other than British would it be any different ? Look at Spain with Catalonia and the Basque country _Russia with the Chechens , Georgians and Ukrainians etc . Large country’s have always bullied their way around the world and nowhere more so than in their own backyard -Germany vis a vis Belgium and Poland among others . The USA in Vietnam etc .

    I very much doubt if the ‘interests ‘ which are at the top of the British economy want to see the UK out of the EU . The economic and political risk arising from a Brexit are too uncertain to be chanced -at this time anyway .

  • Kev Hughes

    Though ironically, seeing all that unionism and its cheerleaders have been up to in the past 2 centuries, I would expect you guys to all of a sudden brush up on Mill and walk these arguments out like you’re all poor persecuted folks, much like in the Brexit arguments of late.

    It’s actually hilarious, the brass neck on display is, well it’s just WOW

  • Greenflag 2

    The other more salient fact is that the USA was 3,000 miles away and the French were allies of the American colonists . Ireland was 50 miles away or 12 miles via the North Channel or the Irish Sea . If the USA had been in Ireland’s location they might have achieved their independence in the 1930’s instead of in 1776 . The Irish forgot their geography in 1798 when they tried to copy the French and American Revolutions but King George hated catholicism and was’nt at all keen on presbyterian and other non established religions either so his armies provoked resistance and ended up slaughtering some 40,000 people mostly in the counties Antrim Down , Wexford and Mayo . He was not amused at losing America and he was adamant that he was not going to lose Ireland either . That’s how it was . To add insult to the 40,000 dead they then bribed the Irish Lords and Bishops and politicians to get the Act of Union passed in a repeat of the Scottish Union of 1707.

  • Jollyraj

    Oh I see…

    Is that different from forcing unionists into a UI?

  • barnshee

    “But your comment implied that Catholic schools teach a different version of history, lies even, while providing no evidence for that. That to me is a sectarian remark.”

    State schools don`t dress up school children in uniform and promote a one sided view of history where Irish support for England`s enemies and its consequences is ignored

  • barnshee

    “Ultimately it all comes down to legitimacy – was it legitimate for the Irish to rise up against a colonial power? For this we can look at British actions, to see if they viewed violent uprisings by minorities as legitimate.”

    Hope to see you cheering on the ” legitimacy” of the prod resistance to inclusion of an all Ireland state

  • Kev Hughes

    Why of course it is

  • eamoncorbett

    I still stand over my assertion that Alliance is a unionist party , if you need evidence just look at the compromise put forward during the flag controversy at City hall , they could could easily have proposed the flying of both unionist and nationalist flags but they decided on the UJ on designated days . If that isn’t enough evidence for you ,I don’t know what is . I agree that Alliance are colour blind when it comes to religion , but they certainly are not when it comes to the union .

  • Gingray

    Hmm, in the scenario you offer, the majority of voters in Northern Ireland have supported a united Ireland, so even the legitimacy of those diehards you support would be difficult to standover.

    It’s also hard to legitimise the actions of the descendents of land grabbing colonists who are effectively a minority within the various areas they call home.

    As you know, within Ulster, protestants are a minority. Within Northern Ireland protestants are a minority.

    Meanwhile Ireland is a legitimate single entity, before and after partition, with a majority of citizens supporting a native Irish position.

  • Brendan Heading

    Must agree Hugh – it’s not necessarily a unionist problem, but we were having riots and trouble long before partition, which is a point that undermines the oft-spoken republican view that partition is the cause of our problems.

  • Brendan Heading

    If you can’t be civilised – you’ve responded similarly abusively to three other contributors on this page – I’m more than happy for us to ignore each other.

  • Brendan Heading

    It doesn’t quite reinforce the point. The House of Commons responded to the abuse of power by the House of Lords by recruiting the help of the monarchy to introduce the Parliament Act 1911. This was of course mainly done to introduce the fair reaching liberal budget at the time but it was also to deliver on the government’s mandate to introduce Home Rule.

  • Brendan Heading

    Yes, I have a point, which was that the Rising was a skirmish that grew out of a flagrant violation of the chain of command within the Irish volunteers and is as such incomparable to a war of independence where soldiers engaged and fought the occupying army until they were expelled. The Americans beat the British not into truce, but into surrender.

    My wider point, and I know you disagree with it, is that the British government fulfilled their promise to pass a home rule bill when WW1 had ended. The British got to work immediately on revising the 1914 Act as soon as the WW1 had been tied up at Versailles in late 1919. By early 1920 the bill was being debates in the Commons at the end of that year. This process started some months prior to the Irish war of independence.

  • Kev Hughes

    And the government introduced Home Rule shortly thereafter? Nope, 3 years had gone, no home rule and more ‘promises’.

    And it entirely backs my point up of an inherently an democratic body denying the will of the people of Ireland.

  • Jollyraj


  • Jollyraj


  • Brendan Heading

    A lot of things were different between the time of the Act of Union and the beginning of the 20th century. Catholic emancipation and land reform being the most obvious and critical aspects, and after that the willingness of the British government to support Home Rule. The main reason why it didn’t happen earlier is because the Lords blocked it, and the need for the British to modernise their own constitutional arrangements gave Home Rule’s opponents time to form themselves up to resist it.

    Poverty, slums and disenfranchisement were reality in every country on earth at the beginning of the 20th century. They continued to be realities long after the 1922 Treaty and indeed long after Ireland finally became a republic – my dad still remembers families being crammed into the run-down Georgian terraces in Dublin city centre in the 60s. I’m not trying to make light of Britain’s abusive colonial exploits here throughout history, but had the British or their antecedents never come anywhere near Ireland I doubt it would have been some sort of prosperous island utopia.

  • Brendan Heading

    It’s not the same up here John.

  • Brendan Heading

    Okay, so a “unionist” is any person who does not fly the tricolor. Got it.

    Incidentally – and hilariously – this must mean that Sinn Féin and the SDLP are unionists. No tricolour is flown on the nationalist controlled councils of Fermanagh & Omagh, Derry & Strabane, or Mid-Ulster.

  • Kev Hughes

    Pass a bill? You think that’s what Ireland wanted? They wanted it IMPLEMENTED which, once again, it wasn’t.

    A skirmish doesn’t make the rising any less legitimate, especially in view of home rule either being defeated by undemocratic means or feet dragging.

    And it further works on their being some quid pro quo on the go when in the century or so before they’d trodden over the will of the people of Ireland before. The rest was them playing catch up after the horse bolted the stable.

  • Kev Hughes

    Brendan, when I get tangents that aren’t a jot to do with the discussion I will cut someone down. If you don’t like it then stick to the topic and don’t be obtuse and you’ll find me incredibly accommodating. Go on disqus and view my comments, make up your own mind.

  • Brendan Heading

    I haven’t heard Duncan on the radio. Taking on face value what you say, politicians occasionally have difficult interviews. The PUP know this full well as they collapse into a mess any time an interviewer tries to press them on their links with the UVF. The SDLP have had some howlers lately when the topic of abortion came up; Peter Robinson has had several car crash interviews. Some subjects require nuance and care and are difficult to get across.

    And no, I’m not “deflecting”. I’ve seen you cheerlead for the Greens in South Belfast several times now, and to date – stop me if I’m wrong – until now I haven’t seen you talk up your own candidate. This is curious behaviour. It’s your prerogative of course – I’m glad you’re throwing your hat in the ring in favour of a non-sectarian candidate – but in most parties, actively talking up in public a candidate standing against you in an election could result in expulsion; I’ve known a few cases where this has happened.

  • Kev Hughes

    Well, you tell me how you think it would be a tyranny of the majority, we’ll see if you understand the concept and can apply. Ball’s in your court.

  • Brendan Heading

    I said “us”. Alliance party representatives and members have been picketed and intimidated by loyalists many times after the party made decisions that loyalists didn’t like. David Alderdice’s home in East Belfast was picketed after Alex Maskey got elected. Several Alliance councillors were forced to leave their homes during the flag protests.

    The Greens may be acceptable to loyalists now, but this is because they’re new and haven’t done anything to lundify themselves yet. I notice they said nothing on the issue of the student accommodation near Donegall Pass, or the matter we’re talking about here around commemorating 1916. Like Alliance, they can legitimately claim to be a truely non sectarian party and, once they get a few more people elected, as I’m sure they will before long, they’ll find themselves up against the wall having to make a decision that will please one side and annoy the other. As soon as that happens I’m sure you’ll be on here decrying the sellouts for selling you a pup.

  • Brendan Heading

    I think it applies to all cases where a democratic path would have solved the problem to almost everyone’s satisfaction just fine. The Rising is not comparable to the US war of independence. It’s more comparable to Clive Bundy’s occupation of the Federal Building in Portland OR.

  • Brendan Heading

    I repeat – by the time of the Tan War the Government of Ireland Act was beginning to be debated in the Commons. The Irish war of independence concluded with little more than a modest amendment being made to that Act in practical terms.

    (by the way, I appreciate the civilised nature of how we are disagreeing .. it’s in short supply around here at the moment)

  • Brendan Heading

    I think that Ireland wanted Home Rule, and in 1922 it overwhelmingly endorsed what was Home Rule with dominion status tacked on.

    The British granted Home Rule in late 1920 – the IRA delayed its implementation by fighting for a further 18 months, winning effectively nothing and killing a bunch of people in the interim.

  • Jollyraj

    No, no…I’m sure we’d all enjoy hearing why you think it would be different first. Unless you can’t think of any differences, of course…

  • Brendan Heading

    I’m just pointing out that when the British government were blocked when they first attempted this in 1893 a (long) process of constitutional reform began to overcome this problem.

    I understand your perspective that this was some sort of delaying tactic, but why would the British have continued with the pretence of supporting Home Rule, fundamentally altering their own constitution in order to do so, if they privately had no interest in implementing it at all ?

  • Kev Hughes

    No no no JR, you said words to the affect that a UI would be imposing a tyranny of the majority on unionists so how about you walk us through that one or you can scuttle off…

  • Kev Hughes

    I’m sorry Brendan but colonising nations don’t get the benefit of the doubt. They’d dragged their feet before, with a world war what makes you so certain they’d have progressed it without the rising? I find you’re using confirmation bias of after the event to feed your point.

  • Hugh Davison

    When I went to a catholic school in Belfast, we were taught British history from 1485 to 2006. The curriculum was set by the department. What has changed, I wonder?
    Of course, being streamed on the science side I only learnt history to O-level. Any Irish history I know has been acquired as an adult.

  • John Collins

    And the HOL had still the capacity to overrule Parliament at the time of the 1910 election, the last before 1916.

  • John Collins

    Thanks for the last sentiment. It achieves nothing to be too oppressive with our viewpoints.

  • John Collins

    Agree, GB are no different to any other large country in that regard. I just feel it would not be as easy for us to gain full independence as people think.

  • Ryan A

    Jesus Wept.

  • Bill Slim

    “It’s also hard to legitimise the actions of the descendents of land grabbing colonists”

    People with surnames like Adams, McGuinness, Morrison and Brown.

  • Bill Slim

    Don’t damper on their parade with the facts.

  • Bill Slim

    But what about the Normans? Have they been left off the hook in the hierarchy of MOPEry?

  • Bill Slim

    The power of the HOL was specifically curtailed in order to allow Irish Home Rule to go through.

  • NotNowJohnny

    The government actually introduced the 3rd Home Rule Bill on 11 April 1912, less than 8 months after the Parliament Act 1911 which curtailed the power of the HoL came into force. When the HoL rejected the Bill in January 1913 the government brought it forward again (later in 1913) and when the HoL rejected it again in 1914 the government brought it forward again almost immediately (during 1914). I don’t think it is therefore fair or accurate to say that the government was denying the will of the Irish people as regards Home Rule at that stage.

  • Kev Hughes

    I never said the government did, I said the system or MECHANISM did, simple English comprehension here lads.

    But regardless, after getting rid of the Irish Parliament without the franchise extended to Catholics or women of any or no religion, 3 HOME RULE bills went by and let’s ignore the absolute negation of duty that happened under the famine, guess what, I’m gonna hold my powder on whether they’d go through with it at Westminster. With the famine the Westminster government broke the social contract and deserved nothing.

  • Kev Hughes

    They (Ireland) did want home rule; but after many years it became apparent that a nation was no longer willing to wait for self determination.

    The rest is nothing to do with the thrust of this blog tbh, though I’m sure we can have fun otherwise

  • Jollyraj

    I have the sensation of talking to some sort of lawyer version of Forrest Gump. Let me break it down for you.

    You said that the previous incarnation of NI was the “tyranny of the majority”

    I said:

    “Oh I see…

    Is that different from forcing unionists into a UI?”

    You said that, yes, it is different.

    I asked “How?”

    And then you back-pedalled furiously, in effect demanding that I explain what you meant.

    The nice thing about slugger is that this exchange is there for anyone who wants to see it.

    Either you can handle an adult conversation, or you cannot. I don’t know what you think the difference is. I suspect you can’t think of an answer and are hoping to goad me into guessing.

    It’s a simple enough question. You can either answer it, ignore it, or hope another contributor jumps in to save your face. What you can’t expect is for me to help you.

    Would you like to tell me the difference, or quietly slope off?

  • Kev Hughes

    Awwww, you’re cute.

    Let’s get this straight, you can’t tell me how unionists going into s UI would be a tyranny of the majority so you want me to disprove something you couldn’t build an argument for?

    You scuttle away there sweet heart. I don’t have to disprove it, you actually have to build an argument for disproval. I know that’ll be tough for you but ‘dem da rules. Shall I hold my breath?

  • Kev Hughes

    Go on, tell us how it’s a ‘tyranny of the majority’.

    I’m waiting, or don’t you have an answer? I mean, I read that ad hominem rant of yours but you never came back on the point. Let’s here it then sweet heart.

  • Jollyraj

    If you read it then you haven’t understood it.

    There is no rant. Simply the fact that you used a technical term which you thought sounded impressive, I asked whether the same might easily apply in the role reversal of a UI, you said not, and…… now you are trying to wriggle off the hook.

    I don’t see how you could apply the term you used to one, but not the other. You are seemingly adamant that the same term could not be applied in context – but now find yourself in the embarassing predicament of being unable to back up the point. And, even more embarassingly for you, you seem unable to accept that, and are now reduced to floundering around and exhorting me to prove a point I didn’t make.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    To Progressive Unionist Party,
    182 Shankill Road,
    Belfast BT.13 2BH
    Northern Ireland
    Dear Sir/Madam,
    It has been brought to our attention that Mr TE Lawrence is not correctly supporting your party by his writings and opinions on the Slugger O’Toole Political Forum.
    We wish you to take correct disciplinary action against this individual and have him expelled from your party immediately.
    Yours sincerely,
    Mrs Brenda – Alliance Party
    Go away and catch yourself on and stop making a fool of yourself ? At least it has given us Loyalists and Green political activists a bit of a chuckle standing together around the camp fire up at Woodburn Park. (Stop the Drill).

  • Kev Hughes

    Oh, I just skimmed that response and look, no hint of you telling me how.

    You’re trying to get me to say how it WOULDNT be a tyranny of the majority, when you’d have to describe how it would be. It’s not beholden on me to tell you all the ways it wouldn’t, it’s beholden on you and then I can tell you how it wouldn’t.

    If you can’t do it that’s fine. I mean, I’ve introduced you to a new and, for a unionist, frankly difficult concept, so it’s understandable that you’d be unable to tell me how it would be a tyranny of the majority.

    So, I’ll be very generous and give you one more try. Go on sweet stuff, tell me how it would be a tyranny of the majority and maybe, just maybe, you’ll get some respect from me.

  • Kev Hughes

    FYI, I already gave reasons why it’s applicable to Ireland on the whole.

    It’s not my job to tell you how it may ge applicable to unionism and THEN punch holes in that argument. You’re asking me to set up arguments to subsequently defeat. That’s not how this works.

    So go on, let’s see if you can actually apply the theory in practice otherwise you’ve been trolling for a while

  • Kev Hughes

    Cute truck btw. You don’t do DETAILS, only sniping from the sidelines. It’s tough for you to actually put up an argument as that would mean you’d have to develop a point and as yours fuzzy in details that’s probably tough for you.

    So. I’ll do you a favour as I’m generous. You’ve got until the end of today to put some meat on them bones. Use the Internet, go to a library (if you’re not already there) and develop your argument. Let’s see what you come up with. Maybe you’ll surprise us all today 😉

  • Greenflag 2

    You omitted the Danes -the Norse and the Celts and whoever else got through without going through passport control at the time . It was Henry VIII who got the heads rolling and not just those of his many wives in the Second and much bloodier Conquest which ended about 1690 or so it was thought for about a century . Then 1798 came along and it was off again to the bloodletting races . After that you had the undemocratic Act of Union and it was thought that it’s finally stopped . Alas then came the Young Irelanders and the Fenians and despite the near genocide of the Famine it started up again in the early 20th century and then again in the second half of the 20th century . You may see a pattern in all the above . It could even be that people in Ireland were suggesting that they did not want to be ruled /governed from London . Alas nobody was listening or even wanted to listen and this was because the natives the vast majority did’nt speak English . And so the Irish started speaking and even shouting in English in the mid 19th century and guess what some of their rulers started listening and even paying attention to the problems . And the rest is history .

    Anyway what about 1690 and 1920 and 1969 and 1998 and 2007 and and and . You should know the drill by now .

  • Greenflag 2

    Nothing is given to those who don’t demand it, or fight for it or apply political pressure for it. The Home Rule saga went on for 30 ? years and resulted in the end in one Home Rule ( NI ) and the Irish Free State . The struggle for Catholic Emancipation also took 30 years . The GFA took 40 years .

    Looking back from today it’s remiss of anyone today to suggest that Home Rule /Catholic Emancipation / the GFA etc were ever easy to achieve . From the viewpoint of the powerful and well connected in todays Britain or Ireland – the Dudley Edwards /Myers et al its easy to look back and say that the people’s struggle and resistance was unnecessary and that all they wanted would have been delivered anyway.

    That would not be my view . We live in a different world than 1914 or 1916 but look around the globe – It’s still 1914 and 1916 in some parts of the world and I don’t mean on this island .

  • NotNowJohnny

    I wasn’t entirely clear what you were referring to however I think it’s important to clarify the position of the government at the time. I think it’s also important to note that the Irish Parliament voted to get rid of itself in 1800, a decision which was supported by the Cathloic hierarchy in the hope/expectation of Catholic emancipation being delivered. I would suggest that the failure to deliver Catholic emancipation soon after 1800 broke any social contract which may have existed long before the time of the famine.

  • Jollyraj

    You’re giving me an ultimatum, and setting a deadline, to prove something I haven’t claimed. I think you are hoping to create enough smoke to obscure the fact that you painted yourself into a corner here. Pulling the legs off spiders has never been my thing, I’m afraid.

    For clarity, though, I reiterate that you said the majority unionist state of NI was the ‘tyranny of the majority’.

    I asked if in your opinion that soundbite would also apply to a unionist minority in a UI.

    You said that clearly it wouldn’t, that it would be quite different.

    I’ve asked how it would be different.

    You apparently have no idea how it would be different. Which is fair enough. But trying to pretend that you have outfoxed me here just makes you look rather silly.

  • Kev Hughes

    It’s hilarious: you think it’s unreasonable of me to ask you to state how it would be a tyranny of the majority ROFLMAO

  • Kev Hughes

    It may have been supported by the Catholic ‘hierarchy’ (I’m assuming you mean priests?) but that doesn’t give it legitimacy NNJ, even in a time of a massively limited franchise, wouldn’t you agree?

    But for me, they 19th century is one of the social contract, if it even existed, being thoroughly dispensed with.

  • Kev Hughes

    Also, thanks for the clarifications fellow.

    In many ways I understand the fact that we can’t judge the past with the norms of today, it’s a losing game, but I do think the disenfranchisement of Catholic Ireland can definitely be viewed negatively, even then.

  • Damien Mullan

    The state can and should be objective concerning free speech and the opportunity to advance various narratives and perspectives of The Rising, in pluralist secular forums, as the Irish government’s Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations has done throughout this commemorative decade thus far. This committee which is spearheading the narrative, has received considerable praise for its historiographical approach, from such luminaries of the ‘revisionist’ school like Professors Roy Foster and John A. Murphy. It’s expert panel is a who’s who in the field of Irish studies, Dr Maurice Manning, Dr Martin Mansergh, Professor Mary Daly, Professor Diarmuid Ferriter, Professor Eunan O’Halpin, Dr Eamon Phoenix. The commemorations have been as they were intended to be, thoughtful, measured and illuminating. The bonafides of the Committee have not been brought into question which the article above seems to imply throughout.

    While the state should be a facilitator of these different narratives, it itself, is not an objective or passive observer regarding its birth narrative. It cannot, indeed, it must not, be disenthralled from the task of paying homage to its foundation. That is why the President cannot and should not be mealy mouthed or unequivocal in relation to The Rising, as the Irish equivalent of Americas Bunker Hill, the Rising is a central component in the independence struggle.

    As for the Trinity College MPs, this illustrates perhaps better than most, the shabby, limited, and compromised nature of ‘democracy’, such as it was, in Ireland in the early twentieth century.

    A democratic secular independent sovereign state, should be quite able to facilitate uncompromising alternatives to its foundational narrative, but it itself, need not be compromised or bound by them, in pursuit of what would be a false and faux inclusiveness. To pursue such a course would be wrong and ultimately fruitless, for unionism and many Protestants, north or south, the Rising is not a celebratory event, and they should be respected for holding that opinion, but for the rest of Ireland, and the state through which the Risings actions grew, cannot be agnostic or un-opinionated.

  • Jollyraj

    Well, yes, it is unreasonable given that I haven’t claimed it would be.

    You introduced the phrase ‘tyranny of the majority’ to describe a state in which unionists were a majority.

    I asked you whether you felt the same would apply to a UI with a sizeable minority of unionists.

    You said no.

    I asked why.

    It is somewhat tiresome to repeat it, but that is where we are. You make yourself ridiculous trying to rewrite what we said, given that it is there in plain English.

  • Kev Hughes

    ‘Is that different from forcing unionists into a UI?’ ‘How?’

    My response of no, I don’t think followed by, well, do tell me how you think it is a tyranny of the majority is, in light of what had gone before, clearly reasonable, especially as I have detailed how I think the treatment of Ireland before independence for the South and subsequently for the CNR community in the North could/should/was a clear case of a tyranny of the majority.

    So, why aren’t you answering the question?

    a) Obstinance aka your ego?
    b) You can’t grasp the notion?
    c) You don’t do details in your comments?
    d) You prefer to snipe from the corner and being asked to actually type and develop and argument would be a bit of a stretch?

    I’ve an actual four year old to deal with in a few minutes so if you won’t actually answer the point and get over yourself, then I wouldn’t much bother replying.

    Up to you sweetness.

  • Brendan Heading

    Strange (and unnecessarily abusive) contribution. I don’t care who the PUP do or do not allow in their party.

  • Brendan Heading

    I mean in a more general sense outside of just the history class. At St Malachy’s I’d say we got a moderately nationalist-leaning version of Irish history.

  • NotNowJohnny

    Legitimacy is a peculiar thing. If you’re talking about legality, I guess the Acts of Union provided the necessary legality. If you’re talking about morally, that may be a different matter indeed. What is indisputable is that while the Catholic hierarchy (the bishops) favoured it, much of the Protestant Ascendancy and many Ulster Presbyterians opposed it, so whether that made it legitimate is another matter too. Perhaps the question you are asking is was it ‘right’ that the UK should take direct control of Ireland by abolishing the Irish Parliament? If I was a late 18th century Irish Catholic whose family had been subject to the penal laws under an Irish Parliament for the previous century and I was faced with the prospect of a union with Britain which would guarantee Catholic emancipation for my children in the future, I’d probably have thought that it was the ‘right’ course to take. As you have pointed out, we can’t judge the past by the norms of today.

  • Gingray

    Bill – I will give you Adams, but McGuinness and Morrison are of Irish Gaelic origin, while Brown is difficult to pinpoint. It could be from a settler, or it could be part of the forced anglicization that happened to native names.

    Clarity, for above – the nation is Ireland, and it is currently divided. However, by law, we are able to identify as Irish in the North, recognising the legitimacy of an all island Irishness.

    Now, the division stems from the vast majority of the descendents of the colonists from Britain refusing to let themselves be ruled by Catholics – remember the original aim was for home rule, and unionists opposed this for an all ireland, but happily accepted the creation of an artificial sectarian state in which they assumed they would have a permanent majority.

    This is no longer the case.

  • EWI_FreeStater

    “What chance then of any Irish unionist figure being displayed, even though with 2 MPs for Trinity College they had more votes at the time than the rebels had over the whole island.”

    Dublin City Councillors W.T. Cosgrave, Seán T. O’Kelly, William Partridge, and Richard O’Carroll all took part in the Rising (as did former Councillors like Peadar Macken). All on a franchise which was much wider than that for Westminster, notably including both men and women.

    So, maybe you’d like to reconsider that statement.