In Post Conflict NI, Touts Are “The Bravest Of The Brave”

Living in the shadow of gunmen, from Jim McDowell…

Whether they live in loyalist or republican enclaves still bedevilled by the bully boys of the rump of the IRA, the UDA, the UVF, the INLA, or, now, the deranged dissidents, the courageous corps of decent folk who speak, even anonymously, to the newspapers, or the police, are dicing with death, or serious injury.
Being burned in their beds at night with a petrol bomb hurled through a window. Or petrol poured into their letterbox and set alight.
I still know one man who sleeps with a fire extinguisher beside his bed every night, and who is still prepared to expose the bogeymen on his doorstep.
And still, just round the corner from his house, is a massive paramilitary mural.
And that, literally, paints another picture of how the paramilitaries are empowered by another almost subliminal threat in the areas where they still operate with impunity.


  • grumpy oul man

    heard about those degrees that turn into a masters after a few years.
    you were right not to use yours if it was unearned (assuming it actually exists) my daughter however earned hers through hard work so feels perfectly entitled to use it.

  • grumpy oul man

    Terrible all they done was give sectarian killers guns, bombs and intell, oh and the right to run criminal empires.
    the injustice of it all, quick someone start a campaign.

  • grumpy oul man

    We have been through this many times with MU, he believes that republican violence had effect but no cause and loyalist violence had a cause but no effect.

  • Anglo-Irish

    He is not alone among the unionists in that regard.

    He also has a handy habit of disappearing when asked a question that he either knows the answer to but it doesn’t suit his bias to answer or can’t answer because he’s made something up and been called on it.

    As you are probably aware I comment on this forum as an outsider but interested observer of NI matters.
    Perhaps you could answer a question that has been puzzling me.

    A while ago there was a killing involving nationalists on both sides and there was a thread on here with numerous comments from unionists.

    Earlier this month there was a UDA ‘loyalist killed by what police believe to be another ‘loyalist’ gang the UVF.

    There has been no thread about this on the forum as far as I’m aware.

    What am I missing, is there a difference which makes one incident the subject of major hand-wringing and the other of no concern?

  • grumpy oul man

    Slugger does indeed tend to concertate on republician violence much more than Loyalist. Perhaps you might address that question directally to slugger, i suspect i am not the only one who shares your wonder.

  • Anglo-Irish

    I do find it somewhat amazing that people are capable of disregarding facts no matter how many times those facts are presented to them.

    For instance the timeline of the Troubles is a matter of record and the PIRA weren’t even formed until December 1969 and yet there is a continual claim by PUL posters that it was all the fault of the IRA.

    It must take an enormous amount of self delusion to cling to an opinion despite the facts contradicting it.

    I have the feeling that questioning Slugger would serve no purpose, as it seems fairly plain as to which way sympathy lays.

  • Jarl Ulfreksfjordr

    glaucoma, oul man?

  • grumpy oul man

    explain please.

  • Thomas Barber

    Anglo Slugger has its own political agenda that revolves around using any and every opportunity to exploit accusations or internal divisions against or within Sinn Fein and the disbanded PIRA. Its almost a obsession with some including Mick/Pete who seem to brush under the carpet the ignorance and hypocrisy of unionist politicians to loyalist murder and violence and their turning a blind eye to it. Your point about last weeks murder by loyalist paramilitaries and their ongoing drug/turf wars and Sluggers disinterest in this violence is a example of this agenda. Obviously there’s no political mileage or kudos to be gained from discussing or highlighting British sponsored violence in Ireland as lets face reality, if the PSNI and British intelligence put as much resources and effort into tackling British violence in Ireland as they do against Irish republican violence we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

  • Anglo-Irish

    That is also the impression that I have, and it seems a weird and counter productive attitude to take.

    It’s eighteen years since the GFA which brought a measure of normality to NI, since that time Sinn Fein have rejected violence, yet it appears as though some people are almost wanting to be able to attach some culpability to them for any law breaking that takes place on the nationalist side.

    Why? Bored with the absence of the shooting war, nostalgic for the ‘ good old days’ ?

    Nelson Mandela was described as a terrorist by many including Thatcher but he changed and advocated peace.

    He was given the support of the people and the international community and whilst not perfect SA is better for it.

    The international community are sympathetic to Sinn Fein but apparently there are those in NI from both communities that want them destroyed.

    Sinn Fein is an older political party than the British Labour party it’s not going to happen, they need to deal with it.

    Personally, if I was living in the ROI I wouldn’t vote for them but if I lived in NI I would if for no other reason than to express my annoyance at those who won’t because of their agenda.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I did

  • MainlandUlsterman

    loyalist killings are under-discussed, it is true. A few mechanics I think as to why.
    (1) Republicans always pitched the Troubles as them against the state, and see the state as their target – so tend to be only interested in talking about Loyalist murders where there’s a state angle. The vast majority of Loyalist murders were common-or-garden Loyalist shootings of random Catholics, with no ‘win’ for Republicans in discussing them.
    (2) there are few, if any, actual Loyalists on Slugger – people prepared to defend Loyalist paramilitary actions in the Troubles. The lack of them means conversations do not develop on that topic;
    (3) there are quite a few people prepared, on the other hand, to argue for the necessity or inevitability of Republican violence – which, being a preposterous proposition, meets with a good deal of opposition, which translates into words and hits on Slugger;
    (4) unionist contributors tended to experience the Republican violence more than the Loyalist violence. Possibly because:
    (a) it was the violence aimed at us, so we noticed it more, and
    (b) there was objectively much, much more of it than any other kind of violence.

    I think that explains it. But I agree Loyalist violence in the Troubles should be discussed more on here. All we seem to get from nationalist contributors is the ‘collusion’ stuff but that leaves out all of the rest of the Loyalist violence.

  • grumpy oul man

    I am very interested in your idea that only state related killings carried out by loyalists are of interest to nationalists,
    Its just not true, the simple fact is that loyalists and the state are hard to separate.
    while it is true that People like yourself do not openly defend loyalist killings you do you best to either forget about them or ignore their effects.
    And yes their are quite a few people willing to argue that loyalist and state activity created the Provo’s.
    Any person who studies history will tell you that if a state openly discriminates against a large part of its population (and that discrimination was not of a minor nature) and violently opposes any form of change will have armed insurrection to deal with.

    Unionism used violence and terror when it suited, and unionists voted for the politicians who worked with the loyalist terrorists when they where randomly murdering innocent people for no other reason than that they where Catholics so please less of the hypocrisy .
    When you marched at the AIA protests marshaled by stewards from the loyalist terror groups and watched their leaders on the platform did you not make the connection between these people and the viscous murders these groups where carrying out or did it not matter.

    Now the last bit about the collusion stuff but leaving out the rest of loyalist violence because its not as important a the “the other just sectarian violence” , care to prove that because do you remember when you had the outburst of faux outrage when it was pointed out to you that you trivialize unionist violence (threatened libel i believe) and had double standards now you are accusing nearly every nationalist of having the same double standards.
    So some proof please (don’t worry about the libel thing anybody with any legal training will find it funny) and again some proof.