Republicanism: a retreat from reality?

Eoghan Harris found himself under political blockcade from what turned out to be a highly personable local Sinn Fein councillor protesting against Harris’ journalistic emnity towards Gerry Adams and the wider Sinn Fein project. Worth the read for its raconteur value alone!

He begins:

LAST Sunday afternoon, I came back to my house in Baltimore, hoping to catch some of the Cork-Tipperary game on television, to find a man in dark glasses sitting in a big space-wagon parked outside my house, a tricolour poking out the window, the car adorned with a large poster of Gerry Adams, and festooned with handmade posters. The posters proclaimed that the picketers were not pleased with what I write in this paper. One said ‘Eoghan Harris is pro-unionist, pro-British, pro-Iraq war and anti-peace process’. The slogan beside the Adams poster said ‘Harris, Just Let This Man Get on With His Good Work’ and ‘End Your Campaign of Hate Against Gerry Adams and the Peace process’.

After discovering the identity of his lone protester, they got to talking:

In many ways, he and I have much in common. He comes from the same kind of hardline republican home, has read much the same political literature, shares the same narratives. But in spite of that we had come to totally different different conclusions. But I still found last Sunday’s picket pretty depressing. Apart from the implicit intimidation involved in protesting at a private house, it brought back bad memories of a 1950s boyhood. My grandfather was a 1916-22 veteran. My father had a huge head scar from fighting the Blueshirts at Marsh’s Yard in the 1930s. They lived for battles long ago. Republicanism was their secular religion. But it was a religion cold as Calvinism. It brought them no personal happiness.

And finally:

An authentic life is a search for what is real. Republicanism is a retreat from reality. Look at the lack of any real link between republican language and real life revealed in SF charges that people like me, are pro-British or pro-Unionist, or anti-peace process.

First, far from being pro-British, I totally oppose the policy of the British Government and British intelligence services towards Ireland. Anxious to avoid bombs on the mainland, these two bodies have been doing deals with republicans for the past decade – even if this means dropping Irish democracy down the drain.

Second, far from being pro-Unionist, I do not want Ireland to be part of the United Kingdom. But, as a Wolfe Tone republican, I feel I have a firm duty to defend the rights of Protestants and Dissenters to do their own thing until such time as we can persuade them their future is in a federal Ireland.

Finally, far from being against the peace process, I called the Belfast Agreement an “amazing grace”, and advised David Trimble to trust Sinn Fein-IRA. But the Provos betrayed that trust. And I am not alone in looking for an alternative.

  • antonio81roma@hotmail.com

    How can any half sensible person refer to Britain as the “MAINLAND”. The mainland is the continent of Europe, not another small island of its coast. It goes to show the sloopy thinking that exists on this island.

  • Jacko

    “Worth the read for its raconteur value alone!”

    No, worth the read for a small insight (as if we needed one) into the attitude of these people towards anyone who disagrees with them and their tactics.

    If Harris hadn’t been so well known what would have happened to him?
    “Freedom fighters” who are opposed to freedom of the press, there must be a contradiction there somewhere.

  • reality check

    Republicanism a retreat from reality?Provos betraying trust?What the hell is all that about?You know what’s a retreat from reality?The orange orders fabricated god given right to march where they want!

  • fair_deal

    Reality

    Not God given simply ECHR given 🙂

  • Mick Hall

    Interesting, this is not the first time this tactic of picketing a journalists home has been used by SF members. Anthony McIntrye’s home was picketed in a similar manner some years ago, although in his case there was little room for friendly banter and to their shame a small number of fellow journalists were involved in the picket. Such picketing is clearly designed to intimidate and for this alone should be condemned. It is not as if SF does not have the means now to reply in kind via one of their publications. Harris at times upsets me by what he writes, but that is no bad thing.

    One of the problems with Ireland is there has been far to much censorship down the years, I find it sad that members of SF, who have been the victims of this type of thing down the years, are now trying to intimidate those who use their pens to oppose them, although it has to be said, if my memory serves me correctly Mr Harris’s record is not that good over censorship?[section 38].

  • George

    It’s simply not on to picket Mr. Harris’s house, regardless of what the man writes.

    Are women SF members now going to picket John Waters’ house because he is perceived to be anti-women or do they advocate Catholic conservatives block Fintan O’Toole’s house?

    Should Travellers pull up and camp in Mary Ellen Synon’s gaff?

    Picket the Sunday Independent office over its coverage if you have to picket somewhere (even then I can’t really understand it) but to take it to such a personal level is plain wrong.

    It’s not only wrong, it’s sinister. It is one step away from “we know where you live pal”.

    For example, a couple of years down the road, a couple of drunken lads on the way home say “that’s where that boll*cks Harris lives, let’s do his car.”

    Small tap on Harris’s ankles rather than playing the ball: I think Eoghan has become too angry and even a little shrill in the way he makes his arguments over the last couple of years, which dilutes what he has to say. Nice to see him writing in a calmer vein again.

  • Waitnsee

    Councillor Duncher’s tragic kiss-up efforts might not be as appreciated by the Big G as he thinks – because it is difficult to imagine anything more stupid a party member could do down south than this.

  • Eddo

    Picketing jounalists’ homes is unacceptable, no matter how good natured it is. SF’s manipulation of the media, often cited as one of its key strengths, is becoming almost Blairite, they engage in so much spin and half-truth and have been doing so for so long that they are behaving now as if they almost believe the bullshit themselves. Not unlike the faux perseution of the DUP. In time history will show that SF’s politics aren’t much different from Harris’s.

    Besides, if SF had any decency they’d give over complaining about someone who they say is supportive of the Iraqi war – their own unprincipled approach to Bush and corporate America generally stinks.

    30 years of armed struggle, perpetrating and enduring widespread pain and injury and stress and death and bereavement and mistrust….. for WHAT ?

  • JD

    Here we go again, the SF haters are away on a tangent.

    This was not a Sinn Fein protest it looks like a Sinn Fein supporter, probably with too much time on his hands, wanting to make a point to Eoin Harris. Lets not turn this into a campaign of intimidation and aggression against the media.

  • Waitnsee

    Eh, JD? Mick Hall, George and Eddo aren’t “SF haters” – and while I am, I only made the point that this was hardly likely to have been management-approved.

    Did you actually read any of the posts on this thread or are you such an ‘SF lover’ that you just jumped straight in on the back of your own assumptions?

  • Eddo

    JD

    You don’t have to be a SF hater to object to pickets at the home of a journalist. Neither do you have to be anti-republican to state the obvious which is that the war is over and that much was lost and very little if anything of value actually won.

    I object to any Irish or British politician who claims to be anti-war licking the arses of corporate America, it’s more annoying when SF berate others for being anti-war given their track record of schmoozing right-wing billionaires Stateside.

    No need for the paranoia, it’s the kind of criticism normal political people are used to, perhaps it belies only SF’s insecuity in its own position. Blairite complacency or Provo guilt complex ?

  • DCB

    They’ve even longer form Mick – They drove Gerry Fitt out in the 70s for not towing the line

  • Jacko

    “it looks like a Sinn Fein supporter,”

    He’s an elected SF councillor actually.

  • reality check

    Fair deeal.Fair deal for whom might I ask?It appears to me your a supreme advocate of the loyal orders sectarian ethos

  • DerryTerry

    Given the tone of Harris’s piece it seems he rather enjoyed the encounter and i would imagine so did the Sinn Feiner, so no harm done.

    On the wider point of picketing Harris’s home i don’t know what the problem is. A peaceful one person picket with some friendly banter and what seems a useful discussion is hardly something to be condemned, although picketing the Sindo offices probably would have made more sense.

  • martin

    Im sure Harris enjoyed the attention.

  • Keith M

    Will I agree with Harris on most issues, I find his style and neverending self publicity a tad grating. This SF/IRA man is somply playing into Harris’s hands by giving him more publicity and admitting that what Harris is writing is obviously getting up the noses of those in SF/IRA HQ.

    Antonio “How can any half sensible person refer to Britain as the “MAINLAND”. I think you’ll find that the inhabitants of smaller islands of an archipelego often refer the the biggest island as the “mainland”. Go to the islands of the west coast of Ireland and see for yourself.

    “It goes to show the sloopy thinking that exists on this island.”. Not as well as your post does, I’m afraid.

  • GavBelfast

    People who would justify picketing someone’s house would presumably be quite happy with a recommencement of the odious Harryville picket would they?

    Let’s call these things what they are: intimidation.

  • Waitnsee

    As I believe Jimmy Sands once wrote, nothing says tolerance quite like “We know where you live”.
    The Shinners have a hundred avenues of protest available to them if they feel aggrieved by a newspaper columnist. Turning up on his doorstep is easily the lowest of them. It’s also noticeable that the few attempts made by relatives of the bereaved to picket Connolly House have met with an extremely aggressive response.
    I wonder what would have happened if Harris had decided to give Councillor Duncher’s car a few good kicks to the bodywork? After all, it’s not like they can call the police, now is it?

  • Jimmy_Sands

    It would be interesting to know whether this is the shape of things to come. Of course, it’s possible that it was an individual initiative, but SF is hardly known for fostering the independent spirit in its membership.

  • martin

    Maybe Harris just wouldn’t answer his phone.

    could the mc Cartneys handing out leaflets outside sinn Fein party-members homes and holding large placards be seen as intimidation then—or how about the protest rally outside the Mc kevitts home in Dundalk after Omagh—–this incident was lauded by the southern media as people power.

    How about the time Trimble and crew made an eejit of himself outside DUP hq –with his wheres the debate.

    That SF councillor just made an eejit of himself giving attention to a second rate windbag like Harris.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Not answering his phone is hardly an excuse. I can’t think of any other party leader in the western world who would send one of his minions to the home of a journalist because he had been critical of him. This is not democratic politics. The McCartneys are hardly comparable as they are hardly likely to physically threaten anyone. The McKevitt comparison is better. IIRC it was their shop not their home that was picketted but either way I agree that it should not have been done.

  • Nathan

    I’m gobsmacked that the councillor concerned has stooped this low, and I can fully empathise with Eoghan Harris because a family member of mine was targeted a couple of years ago by Youth Defence militants (aka right-wing Rosary Bead sickos).

    While it is the case that a peaceful protest was conducted, I think we all know that this is besides the point because most of us can recognise an attack on freedom of speech when we see one, even if it is skilfully disguised as an expression of indignant hurt – with regard to Eoghan Harris’ particular brand of anti-Provisionalism.

    Considering that this councillor is a minor figure within the party, I hope that his superiors will call on him to rein in his storm-trooping tactics, once and for all.

  • martin

    Admiral sUMMERVILL ,brother of the woman who was the co-author of those delightful Irish RM stories was giving references to young lads from Skibbereen co Cork to join the British Royal Navy-a command was sent from IRA HQ to–GET SUMMERVILLE–it came to pass that they intended to intimidate Summerville not kill him as the local IRA did.

    Maybe the councillor used his descretion for the better having been given an order to get harris.
    Maybe something has been learnt in the area from the incident in 1935.

    The murder of Admiral Summerville has something of Henry 2 and Thomas a’Beckett about it.

    “–will anyone rid me of this Harris”

  • PatMcLarnon

    mick hall,

    Why should journalists be exempt from protest? It is long past the stage were these people are even recognised as a profession. Anyway even by Harris’s own account it was all pretty good humoured. Even John Drennan in the same edition of the Sindo seemed disappointed that a SF gathering in Portlaoise merely applauded him when it was pointed out who he was. A few headlines were spoiled by the Shinners not playing ball.

  • PatMcLarnon

    ‘It’s also noticeable that the few attempts made by relatives of the bereaved to picket Connolly House have met with an extremely aggressive response.’

    Could you give a couple of examples please?

  • Waitnsee

    I’m fully satisfied that HQ would never have ordered this, although who ordered Pat’s narky and dishonest defence of it above is another matter. In any case, with his own laughable yet morally indefensible contribution, Martin has just proved that Shinnerism tends to slip on the rungs towards the bottom of the ladder.

  • Waitnsee

    PS – several attempts were made to stage protests outside Sinn Fein offices by the Peace People and they were all beaten off the road by hurriedly summoned squads.

  • Waitnsee

    BTW, let’s get a protest together to picket Daily Ireland. It’s long past the stage were these people were even recognised as a profession – whatever that means.

  • martin

    Waitandsee,

    I was being sarcastic regarding Harris,s view of his own self importance you seem to have missed it.

    No one in the RM would bother trying to intimidate Harris he doesnt even merit small fry status.
    Harris is the idiot who blames John Hume for the failures in the peace process !!

  • Waitnsee

    Harris’s importance just went up a notch thanks to the antics of Councillor Duncher. Harris has a difficult reputation within his own profession but that will count for naught now – everyone who ever held a pencil will be on his side forevermore.
    That’s why I doubt Adams authorised this and why I would predict that it won’t be happening again.

    [edited for abuse] Let’s keep it civil gentlemen.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    I’m inclined to agree that HQ probably did not order this. Nevertheless, given that the person involved is one of their elected representatives some comment from them I think is called for as to whether they endorse or disavow his action. However “good-humoured”, the picketting of a private home can serve no conceivable purpose bar intimidation.

    Pat, your response is thoroughly disingenuous. To follow the “logic” of your position, the IRA would be entitled to a show of strength outside Mick’s post if an unfavourable post appeared here. The justification is nonsensical. It is quite obvious that the victims’ offence was to point out that the provisional IRA’s denial of responsibility was a lie. The disturbing aspect of the Councillor’s picket is the apparent belief on the part of the provisional’s that they can bring their own little piece of West Belfast to the Republic.

  • PatMcLarnon

    Waitnsee,

    Perhaps you could detail exactly which part of my post annoys you and why?

    Given the vagueness of your reply I contend that your allegation is in fact a lie. You stated that relatives of the bereaved were met with an aggressive response outside Connolly House. When challenged you mention the Peace People.
    Again who were these relatives and when did the aggressive behaviour take place?
    Have you any idea when the Peace People were formed? Have you any idea when Connolly House became the HQ of SF?

  • SeamusG

    Pat, journalists aren’t exempt from protest but there are acceptable and unacceptable ways of doing things. If a journalist has made claims that are untrue and defame another person or allege they have done or not done some act then the matter can be dealt with through the courts. If a journalist has expressed an opinion and the reader disagrees with that opinion then the reader is perfectly entitled to write to the newspaper in question explaining why they disagree and putting their response forward. If the argument is well made then there is every chance that the newspaper will print it.

  • PatMcLarnon

    Jimmy Sands,

    there is nothing disingenuous about filling in the FACTS about the underhand tactics used in order to name people on a website. It is perfectly reasonable to protest outside anyones home if they have provided a facility to allow you to be accused of murder. The arrogance of that position is beyonfd belief.
    Your logic of the IRA picketing blah blah blah is a pathetic sideshow and a little underhand.Please stick to the facts in this case.

    You fail to answer the point, why should journalists be exempt from a picket outside their homes. Given the Sindos penchant for door stepping their victims can the have cause for complaint?

  • martin

    Jimmy Sands

    If the IRA in that area of West Cork had wanted to do a show of strength they would have been able to produce a lot more than one Sinn Fein councillor who happens to be a native of the area and not from West Belfast.

  • Eddo

    Pat

    Why don’t you calm your jets and stop being so defensive ? KIndly resposnd to a few specific questions and points as follows:

    (a) Do you still accept that the First Dail constituted the first and only legitimate parliament in Ireland ?

    (b) Did you accept during the 1968/69-94 period that the IRA Army Council became the repository of the 1916 tradition and thereby the only legitimate political authority in Ireland ?

    (c) Do you believe all or any of (b) now ?

    (d) Do you now reject Pearse’s decree that “anything less by one iota than separation from England is guilty of so immense an infidelity, so immense a crime against the Irish nation…that it would be better for that man (as it were certainly better for his country) that he had not been born” ? (if so which parts do you reject and why )

    (e) Do you accept that the peace process was a consequence of a combination of : (i) an admission by republicans that the IRA was getting nowhere militarily or politically and couldn’t win: (ii) military success by loyalists; and (iii) that the PIRA was compromised from top to bottom by British agenst and spies and informers ?

    Thanks.

  • Jacko

    “Why should journalists be exempt from protest?”

    Sounds like a particularly Stalinist, Hitlerian, Maoist attitude to me. But then, what’s new.
    In the world of home-picketing the losers are always those who don’t have an army at their beck and call to intimidate others who, for whatever real or imagined reason, have annoyed them. In other words, the ordinary, decent people who are subjugated by the warlords and their minions. It’s only a few steps away from the lynch mob.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Pat,

    Nothing underhand about it. What you are no doubt pleased to call the logic of your position is that were I to call you a murder you could go off and picket Mick’s house. Did you say “pathetic”?

    Firstly, the people being picketted named nobody as you well know although they could have done had they chosen to do so. They merely identified the organisation responsible. This was their offence.

    I’m not suggesting journalists be “exempt” from anything. No-one should be subjected to this in their home under any circumstances.

    I disapprove of doorstepping although the comparison is trite. There is a difference between having an IRA member and an NUJ member staking out your house.

  • PatMcLarnon

    Eddo,

    get a grip and stick to the facts of the thread.

    Jacko,

    ‘Sounds like a particularly Stalinist, Hitlerian, Maoist attitude to me.’

    You left out Genghis Khan and Peter Robinson.

    The fact of the matter is if there is to be a special sanctity attached to a person’s home then maybe journalists should be the first to sign up to that concept.

  • Eddo

    Pat

    Why are you afraid to respond to my points and questions please ? Do they provoke feelings of uncertainty or guilt within you perhaps ?

    Thanks

  • TAFKABO

    “If the IRA in that area of West Cork had wanted to do a show of strength they would have been able to produce a lot more than one Sinn Fein councillor”

    Martin.

    Have you any idea of the implicit threat contained within those words?

    Once again we hear that They haven’t gone away.

  • Waitnsee

    Where do you live, Pat?
    I feel like protesting.

  • Liam Og

    PatMcLarnon seems under the cosh here to me, maybe he’s been involved for too long in a movement which is estranged from what the rest of us regard as normal politics. Pat, not all of us are cool with picketing or kneecapping or smearing our political enemies, some of us still believe in honest debate and openness and honesty. Democracy isn’t perfect but you guys need to get onside of the groundrules if the rest of us are to have any confidence that you mean what you say about embracing it chara !

  • PatMcLarnon

    Jimmy Sands,

    I would expect Mick to remove my name as soon as it was brought to his attention, but that is a measure of the integrity of this site compared to others less scrupulous and the contributors to same.
    Again the fact remains that among those who picketed the house were those whose names were allowed to hang on the site for quite some time. Enough in my book to warrant offence being taken.

  • PatMcLarnon

    Eddo,

    your questions are convoluted and have nothing to do with the thread.

    Waitnsee,

    when you provide a creditable name and address I will be happy to e-mail you my address.

    Liam Og,

    Your tear jerking and clearly unimaginative post should have been accompanied by some lounge music.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Pat,

    It is implicit in your defence of the Harris picket that you set the bar considerably lower than that.

  • Eddo

    eddo,

    one more spam post and I’ll refer this up. moderator.

  • PatMcLarnon

    Jimmy Sands,

    implicit in my defence of the Harris picket is the fact that journalists cannot complain when others use the facility of door stepping that they themselves use to dubious effect.

    The bar, it seems, was set by journalists themselves.

  • Eddo

    Moderator,

    It is an entitely legitimate post, why it doesn’t actually post only you can answer.

    Eddo, sorry but I can’t be bothered arguing with you. I asked you once. I’ll let Mick deal with it. Mod.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    So Pat, your point would be that the IRA was not trying to intimaidate, but merely trying to obtain a scoop for An Phoblacht? Witnsee is quite right. Are you prepared to publish your home address in order to facilitate this democratic discourse?

  • Jacko

    Pat
    “You left out Genghis Khan and Peter Robinson.”
    I have no problem including those two, believe me.
    The principle is the same. The individual cannot be left to the mercy of the mob. The idea that organised picketing of people’s homes is comparable with doorstepping by the media is ludicrous.

  • Eddo

    ‘Mod’

    The attempted post (why have you now removed it, the only reason I tried to enter it several times was that it wouldn’t accept it…numerous times, coincidence or is pat the moderator too ?) is not offensive and does not breach any of the rules you seem to have, what is the difficulty please ? Also, why do you use my name when addressing me ?!

  • Henry94

    I got no sense from the article that any kind of intimidation was felt or intended by the protest. These were two people who knew each other and a single person on aprotest is very different from a mass picket.

    The man had a point to make and he choose to make it like that. It had the happy side effect of bringing Eoughan Harris to give us some insight into the evoluion of his political thought.

    The journey (Naionalist > Stalinist >Neocon) is not that of a niave idealist but of someone who understands the uses of power and force to push history in a desired direction.

    I very much doubt he would be bothered too much by a solitary protestor.

    His weakness as a political analyst is that he assumes everybody that counts shares his theories of power and operates on the same basis. He can only see either a defeat for republicanism or a republican takeover of the country. Neither is actually possible. Republicanism will, along with unionism, come in from the cold and shape the future of Ireland along with all the other trends in Irish politics.

  • Waitnsee

    No address from me Pat, I’d regard a picket of my home as intimidation. You, however, apparently would not. So where’s your gaff? (The one you live in that is, as opposed to your argument…)

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Henry,

    They clearly did not know each other. The picket refused to identify himself which is why Harris called the Gardai.

    If there was no attempt to intimidate then what was the purpose of the exercise?

  • PatMcLarnon

    Jimmy Sands,

    my point has nothing to do with the IRA or An Phoblacht, why go down that frivolous route in what you had earlier argued was a serious topic. That tired old routine of associating anyone who disagrees with you to the IRA is a busted flush used to the point of exhaustion.
    On the question of addresses of course I am quite prepared to give my address etc to anyone who requests it. In the same manner anyone would be quite entitled to protest outside my home and accept the consequences of same.

    The argument really is quite simple. Some have argued that the home is somehow a sanctuary. Even a cursory glance at events here will point to the fact that the home has been anything but. All parties here have abused the homes of others, in most case raising little more than an eyebrow.

    Another point is that journalists are somehow exempt from protest and that their homes are more exempt than other lesser mortals.
    This is a glib and quite proposterous idea. Journalists themselves have been quite adept at identifying persons homes sometimes in quite dangerous situations, in NI terms that is tantamount to putting a bullseye on someones back (facilitating the naming of names when the RIRA is threatening all sorts of retaliation falls into that category).
    One gets the impression that Harris et al are garnering the sympathy vote here simply because af their anti SF credentials.

    Journalists are NOT neutral. Many (not all) take quite overt partisan and political positions and they are very entitled to do so. They use the power given to them in that partisan and political manner, again something they are entitled to do. Given that position they and their lickspittles can hardly bellyache when similar tactics are used against themselves.

    Given the circular nature of this argument my participation in it has now ended.

  • martin

    TAFKABO,

    wheres the implied threat-one man on his own is not much of a threat if they had intended to threatened him wouldnt you think they would muster their entire parade strength.

    They havent gone away ?

    if ,as seems very likely that the IRA disband I cant imagine them all committing mass if thats what you expect -so they will never really go away except when old age and illness overtakes them on this mortal plain.

    P.S my posts are not implied threats as I am neither a card carrying member of Sinn Fein or the IRA.

  • Mick Hall

    Some have argued that the home is somehow a sanctuary. Even a cursory glance at events here will point to the fact that the home has been anything but. All parties here have abused the homes of others, in most case raising little more than an eyebrow.
    Posted by Pat, McLarnon.

    Pat,
    Your right, the right of a person to have some security in their home has been dreadfully abused in the north, not least by the State and those it has colluded with, indeed many of your own comrades have lost their lives on their own doorsteps or hearth. Yet far from seeing the full horror of this, you seem to be saying it is alright to emulate it, if in a non violent manner. Sure as in all professions and walks of life, journalism has its fair share of low life’s. But do you really think picketing their homes will encourage the better elements within the profession, to search out the truth if they feel their homes might become targets. Or might they say sod it, and just accept the powder puff promo’s the powerful give out.

    On your other post, the one and only reason PRM members picketed the McIntrye household was because they could. There purpose was to shut McIntrye and Twomey up because there was outrage within the Republican community about the killing of Joe O’Conner and they wished to shut it down before it got out of hand as it reflected badly on them. Felon setting my arse, the PRM were well aware that influential republicans felt the organization who had killed Mr O’Conner had over stepped the mark. This is why former senior Provos like Billy McKee and Brendan Hughes, whilst differing with the man’s politics, went to the O’Conner household to offer their condolences etc and attended the man‘s funeral. Now if you wish to continue this debate that is your privalage, but unlike you who of late seem determined to portray your movement in the worst possible light by defending the indefensible, I would prefer not to as to drag up the Joe O‘Conner case can serve little useful purpose. If I remember correctly this was something we once agreed upon.

    Best regards.

  • DerryTerry

    An interesting point raised here is the position that journalists appear to occupy for many posters.

    Harris is a big boy thats been around the block more than a few times and who offers his opinions on just about everything. That is his right, just as others have the right to disagree with him and make that disagreement known. A harmless one person protest seems to have been blown out of all porportion, particularly when it seems to have been conducted and recieved with good grace and good humour all round.

    From my persepective a much more sinister recent development was the discovery of a listening device in the home of a Derry Republican. This obviously involved breaking into a family home and spying on the family concerned.

    Looking forward to the anti picket brigade getting upset about this invasion of a persons privacy.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Pat,

    I don’t think it’s circular, rather your totalitarian apologia is entirely lacking in coherence. I don’t see how you can argue that your defence of the repulsive practice adopted by the IRA and its political wing somehow does not relate to them, as if reference to them were a gratuitous distraction. Perhaps were we discussing a Youth Defence picket you would defend it with equal enthusiasm but somehow I doubt it.

    You are reduced to raising the straw man of special status for journalists although I have nmade it abundantly clear that I believe no-one should be subjected to this. As to your argument that because a right has been abused in the past it should generally be considered withdrawn, that is really very silly indeed.

    So journalists are not neutral. Is this intended as a revelation? Are you suggesting that this is unacceptable? Or merely that those who oppose the Leadershipmust accept the consequences?

  • martin

    my post at 12.34 should have read committed mass word left out

  • Mick Hall

    From my perspective a much more sinister recent development was the discovery of a listening device in the home of a Derry Republican. This obviously involved breaking into a family home and spying on the family concerned.

    Looking forward to the anti picket brigade getting upset about this invasion of a persons privacy.
    posted by DerryTerry.

    Terry,
    You are absolutely correct in that the listening device is more sinister than the picket of Mr Harris house and should be condemned by all. However, the former event does not stop us talking about other issues hence this thread. From my political perspective I expect the British government to behave in such a snide, underhand manner, I set a higher standard for Republicans, unfair perhaps and maybe I am just being naive, but if we cannot make a better pair of shoes than what currently exists, what is the bloody point?

    All the best.

  • Nathan

    “A harmless one person protest seems to have been blown out of all porportion, particularly when it seems to have been conducted and recieved with good grace and good humour all round.”

    DerryTerry,

    So what, just because this politico wannabe was on his best behaviour on this occasion does negate the fact that the Sinn Fein loner went as far as using sinister tactics, in order to advance his objectives. For instance, the councillor concerned must have conducted a good old-fashioned tracing operation as to Eoghan Harris’s precise location, with the requisite intention to target him in this way.

    By the way, I’ve you well weighed up, which is why I think we would have to go as far as arranging a hypothetical picket line outside your front door, with the intention to bully you into accepting our worldview opinons, before you start decrying these sort of intimidatory tactics, in line with most normal people.

    As Jimmy Sands points out, I doubt very much that you’d rush to defend the tactics of Youth Defence fundamentalists with equal vigour.

    Like Pat, you must really value your highly prized job, as a self-appointed spokesperson for the Shinners.

  • martin

    RE post to T at 12.34

    “they havent gone away.”

    IRA is very unlikely to commit mass hari kari after disbandment

  • Robert Keogh

    What a great thread. I’ve just been comparing the positions certain commentators have evinced with those they made on Harryville and Holy Cross threads. It makes for great reading!

    A solitary middle-aged man with a placard is the fascist jackboot of republicanism yet contrast that with the excuses provided for the mobs hurling abuse, urine and explosives.

    Observe the idiocy – One man is intimdatory – a parade of the sectarian Orange Order. Uh-huh.

  • Robert Keogh

    That last line should read –

    Observe the idiocy – One man is intimdatory – a parade of the sectarian Orange Ordet isn’t. Uh-huh.

  • Gonzo

    PatMcLarnon said “isn’t a bit of consistency required?”

    If to be consistent with the Morrison site would mean removing inaccurate and potentially dangerous comments loaded with innuendo, you will understand why I am about to remove some of your questions from your July 4, 2005 09:19 PM post. Since I believe the answer to your initial questions in the post was ‘no’, such action would seem justified.

    As I am loathe to remove posts and your contributions to the site can be thought provoking, you can email me if you require clarification.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Robert,

    If you are attempting to suggest that I have anything but the most abject comtempt for the knickledragging pondlife involved in the Harryville or Holy Cross “protests” I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. Whataboutery aside, you may not be the best placed to give lectures on consistency. I would quite happily add schools and places of worship to private homes as wholly inappropriate locations for pickets.

  • Nathan

    You could have provided us with a link to the aformentioned threads, Robert. Little point indulging in whataboutery if you don’t provide us with the means to verify, retrospectively, the content of what has been put across in previous threads.

  • martin

    Harris is probably lucky that he has never once critisised Loyalists –if he ever had he might have to endure a mob of pipe/petrol-bombers outside his home not just one man engaging in harmless slagging.

  • martin

    PAT MC L,

    Whatever you do dont give out your address—Liz O’Donnell-Carson might come over an attempt to carry out her feet washing fettishes on you.

  • barnshee

    Jimmy Jimmy
    Stop asking these hard questions –its much to embarassing for murder gang supporters who are trying to go legit – shame on you– lets move on (unless police or army can be involved)

  • barnshee

    “Harris is probably lucky that he has never once critisised Loyalists –if he ever had he might have to endure a mob of pipe/petrol-bombers outside his home not just one man engaging in harmless slaggin”

    Loylists -in Baltimore ?? some mistake surely?(ye ejit)

  • TAFKABO

    I thought Harris was the Loyalist in Baltimore?

  • martin

    Barnshee,

    some Loyalists can actually drive and quite a few have been known to holiday in this area of the south,they dont seem to have much of a problem with the hated Free State while off duty.

    bet you didnt know that peter Robinson has relatives in Tipperary and Clare.

    During the first troubles 1919-21 there was quite a Loyalist presence in Bandon not that far up the road,maybe their decendants werent all killed in Peter Harts imaginary pogrom. (Ya muck savage)

    Tafkabo,

    Harris would like to belive he is the loyalist in that area–he doesnt quite make it as they dont want him–aparently they find him a bit too extreme and suffering from megalomania and Walter Mitty syndrome I imagine they, like everyone else find him a bit boring.

  • martin

    Barnshee,

    some Loyalists can actually drive and quite a few have been known to holiday in this area of the south,they dont seem to have much of a problem with the hated Free State while off duty.

    During the first troubles 1919-21 there was quite a Loyalist presence in Bandon not that far up the road,maybe their decendants werent all killed in Peter Harts imaginary pogrom. (Ya muck savage)

    Tafkabo,

    Harris would like to belive he is the loyalist in that area–he doesnt quite make it as they dont want him–aparently they find him a bit too extreme and suffering from megalomania and Walter Mitty syndrome I imagine they, like everyone else find him a bit boring.

  • martin

    Barnshee,

    some Loyalists can actually drive and quite a few have been known to holiday in this area of the south,they dont seem to have much of a problem with the hated Free State while off duty.

    During the first troubles 1919-21 there was quite a Loyalist presence in Bandon not that far up the road,maybe their decendants werent all killed in Peter Harts imaginary pogrom. (Ya muck savage)

    Tafkabo,

    Harris would like to belive he is the loyalist in that area–he doesnt quite make it as they dont want him–aparently they find him a bit too extreme and suffering from megalomania and Walter Mitty syndrome I imagine they, like everyone else find him a bit boring.

  • martin

    Barnshee,

    some Loyalists can actually drive and quite a few have been known to holiday in this area of the south,they dont seem to have much of a problem with the hated Free State while off duty.

    During the first troubles 1919-21 there was quite a Loyalist presence in Bandon not that far up the road,maybe their decendants werent all killed in Peter Harts imaginary pogrom. (Ya muck savage)

    Tafkabo,

    Harris would like to belive he is the loyalist in that area–he doesnt quite make it as they dont want him–aparently they find him a bit too extreme and suffering from megalomania and Walter Mitty syndrome I imagine they, like everyone else find him a bit boring.

  • Henry94

    Eoughan Harris accepts in this mornings Sindo that he named the wrong guy as the protestor. Turns out it was not a Sinn Fein Councillor. And he also accepted correction from Elis O’Hanlon (there’s a thought)

    if Councillor O Seaghdha had been present, it might have been considered a Sinn Fein picket. Last week I complained that such a picket imported the sinister side of Northern politics into a peaceful southern village. But in fact, as Eilis O’Hanlon explains in an email, Sinn Fein in Belfast is much better behaved.

    “Even when SF down in the New Lodge wanted to make trouble over an article I wrote, they bussed families and children down to Dublin for the day and picketed outside the old office in Middle Abbey St, when they could have just come less than a mile up the Antrim Road to where I lived. It’s just crossing the line to target someone personally like that. “

    I admire him for setting the record straight so clearly.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    So our contributors were defending a tactic too extreme even for SF?

  • Nathan

    “So our contributors were defending a tactic too extreme even for SF?”

    Pathetic individuals aren’t they (Henry 94 aside).

    They’re well able to shovel the you know what, I’ll give them that. Only this time round the shit hit the fan good and proper.

    These sentimental canvessors (ten-a-penny) are a laugh a minute – they get up to all sorts, and all to score a few brownie points with their superiors. Shame they didn’t succeed on this occasion, these politico wannabes must be gutted. Cheer up, you could always excel yourselves 2morrow, although somehow I doubt it.