A local story with global consequences?

Every politically conscious nationalist in Northern Ireland knows the story of the Short Strand: a small nationalist community that was particularly beleaguered in the early 1970s. To a greater or lesser degree they also accept that the IRA turned around its early poor reputation in the ‘troubles’ for not protecting their own community. But the story that’s being played out there now, holds the potential to terminally damage that hard won reputation in what’s become an iconic constituency.

One woman remarks on the behaviour of some IRA volunteers:

They have been conditioned, schooled all their lives, in fear and how to intimidate. Violence and physical abuse and murder are what they know. The leader does surround himself with lapdogs and sidekicks, people who have been involved in attempted rape, paedophilia, wife battering. Racketeering. They don’t work, these people. They get up to all sorts of Mafia-type activity.

A slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know about the comments policy to stay off the fightin’ side of me and there is a bit of background about me here. You can email me using this spam-proof link if you really need to, and Slugger is @sluggerotoole on Twitter. But above all, remember, Play the ball and not the man.