Big drop in ethnic intake for two schools…

DURING a Northern Ireland Grand Committee Debate at Westminster on ‘a multi-agency approach to tackling racially motivated attacks and harassment in Northern Ireland’, East Antrim MP Roy Beggs revealed that two primary schools in South Belfast had seen their minority ethnic intake virtually disappear. Both Fane Street and Donegal Road primary schools are in the heart of the area worst affected by racist attacks in NI over the last year.

Mr Beggs said: “Donegal Road Primary and Fane Street Primary in Belfast have both recorded a fall in the numbers of children from ethnic minority backgrounds in the last year, from 10 to 1, and 12 to 1, respectively.

“The headmasters of both these schools confirm that in the vast majority of these cases the departure of the pupils was a direct result of their parents being racially harassed and intimidated out of the area.

“One parent, a Malaysian mother of four, who was conducting post-doctoral research at Ulster University, was intimidated and bullied by thugs at her home and on her way to school. As a result, the family packed up their bags and left.

“This is the sort of sickening behaviour and organised criminal activity that the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland are desperate for the Government to stamp out.”

  • Young Fogey

    Roy Beggs is entirely right. So why have some of his colleagues given sympathy to the thugs intimidating ethnic minorities in South Belfast?

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    The close relationship between racism and sectarianism comes to mind. Is this the same Roy Beggs who referred at one time to a person from southern Ireland as ‘a rabbit breeding Catholic from the south’ ? As far as my own information goes it was at a reception for East Timor in Westminster and this was by way of an introduction to a person he met at the event.

    He’s fresh no doubt from his spectacular own goal last week when he tried to question funding for Irish medium education – there’s a campaign ongoing in Ballymena to stop the establishment of a gaelscoil there – only to be told that Irish medium education gives better value for money than any other form of education here in the north.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Is this the same Roy Beggs who referred at one time to a person from southern Ireland as ‘a rabbit breeding Catholic from the south’ ?

    Never saw or heard this statement before, but what’s sectarian about breeding rabbits?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Why is the MP for East Antrim commenting on this story when the ex leader of the sectarian Orange Order is the representative for that area.

    Didn’t notice Roy getting too excited during the UDA campaign of pipe bombing in Larne. But then again there are no potential Beggs voters on the Donegall Rd.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    So the UUP are damned if they do and damned if they don’t say anything on this subject?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Gonzo,

    if they had had the guts at the time then they could have earned some respect. To comment now on the results of the violence is a bit opportunistic.
    What next, unionists despair at fall in apartment prices at Whitehall Square?

  • willowfield

    Good to see Beggsy speaking out against racists.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Pat

    Agreed. Course, they wouldn’t be the first party to opportunistically comment on the results of violence they had a hand in.

  • willowfield

    I was disgusted to hear Martin “Godfather” McGuinness’s haughty condemnation of the attack on the man in Coalisland.

    What a hypocrite! After all the misery he and his cohorts have caused thousands with their brutal attacks across the NI he now has the gall to complain about others.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    If the IRA had been involved that might have been relevant.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Gonzo,
    are you implying Beggs and Co had a hand in the racist attacks in Sth Belfast? A bit strong there. I thought mainstream unionists were just cowards and opportunists.

  • Davros

    Could we have a capital U there pat ?

  • Davros

    Please ?

  • Davros

    I quoted this on ATW yesterday, excellent book.

    “There are some other reasons why there might be more sectarianism in loyalist than in nationalist areas:

    …Sectarianism tends to break out in loyalist areas in which the population is dwindling and which are near expanding nationalist areas. It can therefore be seen as a community response to what is seen as a threatening situation. It happens more in loyalist than in nationalist areas because the loyalist areas are declining in numbers.
    …Racism is a separate but related issue and it may also have been a factor in the increased number of racist attacks in loyalist areas in 2004: because their numbers were declining more people from ethnic minorities may have moved into loyalist areas and then been faced with the deep insecurities of the community.

    These comments suggest that social insecurity lies at the root of both sectarianism and racism.

    In 2004 there were a series of racist attacks on ethnic minorities in the Donegal Road area of Belfast. A survey showed that Northern Ireland was the most racist region of the UK. Racism is not new in Northern Ireland. For decades Travellers have been subjected to discrimination, as were Boat People from Vietnam from the 1980s. Dealing with racism means helping people to come to terms with diversity and to see it not as a threat but as a gift. It means recognising that human beings of all colours, class, creed and background need to respect one another. It would be sad if we ended a conflict based on British and Irish nationalisms and religion, and replaced it with one based on race. An agreed Northern Ireland would not simply be a place for Unionists and Nationalists, but for the many ethnic groups already settled here, and the thousands of Northern Ireland-born people who see themselves as neither unionist nor nationalist.
    At the same time in 2004 as the attacks in loyalist areas, Féile an Phobail, the West Belfast Festival, organised by Republicans, Nationalists and others celebrated the diverse groups living in the area. It was easier for Republicans to do this than Loyalists because they were an expanding and more confident community and were not facing the same decline in numbers as Loyalists. Nor is racism absent from nationalist or republican areas. Nonetheless racism is an issue the loyalist community needs to address urgently.”

    pp 120-121, Peace Comes Dropping Slow.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Pat

    Unless Beggs is a ‘party’ as opposed to a person in a party, no.

    Leaving that aside, there does seem to be considerable differences in attitudes in the UUP on the issue of racism, even in S Belfast, where Stoker is associated with the Whitehall crowd and Birnie has been taking a more clearly visible anti-racist stance.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,
    good article.

    Gonzo,
    correct.

  • Mario

    I was disgusted to hear Martin “Godfather” McGuinness’s haughty condemnation of the attack on the man in Coalisland.

    Coalisland? Dont they have a music festival there? My girlfriend was scheduled to do a tango performance there some years back.

    Martin Mcguinness doesnt look like Marlon Brando at all, he looks like Art Garfunkel’s older brother.

  • Young Fogey

    Martin Mcguinness doesnt look like Marlon Brando at all, he looks like Art Garfunkel’s older brother.

    …just as long as he doesn’t do a Bic McFarlane and release a folk/pop crossover album!

  • willowfield

    McGuinness can make music all he wants.

    As long as he doesn’t go back to murdering and maiming.

  • Davros

    Jesuits are clever Pat 🙂

  • cg

    Willowfield

    I would suggest that unless you have proof of Martin McGuinness been actively involved in murder and maiming that you withdraw your last comment.

  • willowfield

    LOL!

    Delude yourself if you want, cg. The rest of us value the truth.

  • cg

    Willowfield

    “The rest of us value the truth”
    When exactly did you start speaking for everyone else?

    “Delude yourself if you want, cg”
    If delusion is the belief in fact before fiction then I am delusional.

    I see from your response that you haven’t got any evidence, Willow you really are so predictable.

  • willowfield

    I suppose you believe that Gerry Adams wasn’t in the PIRA as well?

    And in Santa.

  • cg

    willowfield
    You didn’t answer my questions

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    the main thrust of the article seems to be that unless there is major investment in unionist working class areas to attract people back to those neighbourhoods then the problems are likely to continue rather than decrease. In N Belfast there doesn’t seem to be any initatives to halt the drift in the population shift

  • willowfield

    It’s certainly not helped by nationalist intimidation of Protestants in places like Torrens, Ardoyne, White City, etc.

  • Davros

    It’s part of a fascinating chapter Pat. Strongly recommend the book. He’s not judgemental.

  • fair_deal

    CG

    Martin McGuiness has admitted at a public inquiry being a senior figure in the PIRA in Londonderry. The IRA was not on ceasefire on at that time – he wasn’t ordering or organising flower arranging classes. It is a matter of public record.

    When charged with membership of the PIRA in the Republic of Ireland Martin McGuinness admitted his membership in court. It is a metter of public record.

    Martin McGuinness gave an interview to the BBC Panorama programme as a representative of the IRA in the early seventies. Among the topics discussed in the interview was the ongoing bombing campaign in Londonderry city centre. It is a matter of public record.

  • Davros

    Hence the provos continued denial of Claudy, an operation that would have been sanctioned at McGuinnesses level in the command chain.