Poor timing for Republican protest?

Republican protesters against the re-arrest of Sean Kelly, the man convicted of planting the Shankill bomb, forced the Works and Pensions Secretary David Blunkett to cancel his attendence at the visit of 20 employment ministers from across the EU to the Springvale centre. However, Michael McGimpsey was scathing in his attack, accusing the protesters of apparently being unable to understand the impression it would give to the outside world:

I find it astonishing that they staged a protest in support of a man who was responsible for the murder of 10 people in the Shankill bomb a day after the carnage in London. It is an example of republicans shooting themselves in the foot, if you pardon the pun.

It is an example of their extremism taking them on the one hand into an incomprehensible position and on the other hand damaging the republican project in the eyes of European ministers. When you consider that this protest was staged in an area where Sinn Fein representatives are always calling for continued investment from Europe because of deprivation, it is more than just stupidity. It is biting the hand that feeds them.

  • The Beach Tree

    It’s kind of hard to argue with Michael on this one. However strongly they feel on the Kelly issue, is his current situation really more important than hundreds of jobs in the area?

  • Waitnsee

    I’ve been getting the distinct impression lately that Sinn Fein is simply running out of things to complain about. As the whole psychology of the party requires an air of general oppression and victimhood they seem increasingly to be clutching at straws.
    Something for the DUP to take note of perhaps as they head in a similar dead-end direction.

  • Baluba

    I’d say that taking away a man’s liberty without telling him or anyone ese why is worthy of a wee protest.

    Blunkett is definitely worht one at any stage of the game.

    Funny that McGimpsey is suddenly worried about appearances to the outside world when the annual let the animals out of the zoo fest is about to start.

  • peteb

    Not only was the orchestrated demonstration ill-judged and ill-timed.. but it’s worth asking why they directed their protest at Works and Pensions Secretary David Blunkett.. it’s not within his remit to affect the decision.

    Just another photo opportunity, I guess.

  • beano; EverythingUlster.com

    I deplore the way the Ardoyne protesters acted too baluba but there’s no need to refer to them as animals.

    The Gimp’s spot on on this one – is it any wonder NI is so damn dependent on nanny state when SF campaign at the human rights breaches of putting a killer behind bars at the expense of a chance of investment in Northern Ireland?

    Just more evidence that SF don’t want “the north of the island of Ireland” to be an economic success.

  • Waitnsee

    Sean Kelly will be fully informed of the reasons for his re-arrest at his interview with the Sentence Review Commissioners, during which he will also have the chance to offer a defence and lodge an appeal. This is due process as per the agreement. Why is SF making such a fuss?

    I maintain that it increasingly looks like they just don’t have much left to make a fuss about.

  • Liam

    VERY one sided artical….but sure what else to you expect from the UTV?

  • Waitnsee

    Oh dear Liam, are you feeling oppressed?
    Why don’t you picket Havelock House?
    It seems to be the last idea the Shinners have left.

  • Jacko

    Sean Kelly is a mass murder, who hadn’t enough sense even to behave himself when he got out of jail after serving only a couple of years.
    But then again, how much common sense should we expect from a guy that happily delivered a bomb with 3 second fuse.

  • Liam

    Nice, Waitnsee, very nice.

  • joe

    Mick,

    May I just say the slant you placed on the above story is misleading. There was indeed a protest for the release of Sean Kelly which,while in the presence of PSNI officers and prior to David Blunkett’s visit, was being conducted in a peaceful manner. However, shortly before Blunkett’s arrival PSNI officers arrived in full riot gear which then resulted in confrontations between protestors and PSNI riot officers. Had the PSNI not arrived intent on violence no violence would have taken place. Endeavour to find the facts Mick, a chara, before making such statements or are you content as a journalist to be spoon fed the official line?

  • TAFKABO

    I don’t know where people get the idea that a republican demonstration needs police in riot gear to police it, I mean you only have to look at the dignified protest they staged in Ardoyne a couple of weeks ago.

    😉

  • Jimmy_Sands

    “or are you content as a journalist to be spoon fed the official line?”

    As opposed to the provisional line?

  • Oilbhear Chromaill

    No doubt Mr Blunkett must feel pretty chuffed bringibg his new Euro mates to west Belfast – it’s his version of ‘live 8’. Shucks I can hear the jobs being announced already – I probably have.
    Michael McGimpsey can go and swivel for all I care given that he has not expressed the tiniest bit of concern for nationalist west Belfast in the past.

  • Oilbhear Chromaill

    wrt Joe’s contribution above, I passed that protest this morning before any trouble broke out and as far as I could see it was being conducted in a dignified, peaceful manner. There was no call to bring in the riot squad – one wonders whether the same riot squad will be brought in when the Orange Disorder and its fellow travellers, drunks, murderers and assorted scum of the earth will go on parade next week.

  • Jacko

    So as soon as the crowd spotted the riot police they began to riot, is that it?
    Maybe they said to themselves: “Well seeing as these guys took all that trouble to get dressed up it would be churlish of us not to make it worth their while”.

    Catch yourselves on, rent-a-crowd started rioting in support of a convicted mass murderer during a visit to their area by EU finance.
    Simple, and as stupid and indefensible, as that.

  • joe

    The fact remains that violence only erupted when PSNI Storm troopers appeared at the protest. And with reference to Jimmy Sands’ point, Mick is entilted to his view but any journalist worth his salt should be questioning each story and attempting to uncover the truth for themselves. Unfortunately our media are willing puppets in this conflict and are only too happy to accept the crums of news that they are fed by “official” sources.

  • Waitnsee

    “PSNI storm troopers”.
    – and with one slip of the tongue all credibility was lost.

  • Two Nations

    You think this is bad? The shinners were protesting at the Opera in the Park last week!

  • Jacko

    Two Nations

    Yes, they’re beginning to make Give My Head Peace look like a documentary.

  • barnshee

    what else do expect from pigs but…

    Close the pig pen let all nojob jobs go and see how many of them are actually employable

  • Confused

    On the one hand, a project like Daily Ireland is to be applauded and supported for bringing jobs to West Belfast, and the British government is criticised for not placing ads in the newspaper and blamed for causing a third of the staff to be sacked. On the other hand, sneering contempt is thrown at Blunkett and his Euro mates, reduced to a ‘version of Live-8’ for bringing jobs to West Belfast. Which is it, boys, considering the poster in this instance has spoken out of both sides of his mouth depending on the context? Are British sponsored jobs a good thing for West Belfast or a bad thing? Do you like the hand-outs or not?

  • Darrell Monteith

    “animals out of the zoo fest”

    This is such typical republican drivel and indeed reveals the true mindset of people who say with one tongue they are seeking accomodation with Protestants and with the other reveal their deep seated beligerant hatred of the Protestant people who join in the annual July celebrations.

    Republicans have revealed the depth of their politics in engaging in this protest against David Blunkett today and it will not have slipped the attention of the government in London despite the efforts of the “impartial” BBC to keep the story off the evening news.

    This was a major mistake by these self centred fools and I trust they will keep making them, it will make the job of the DUP in changing minds in Westminster a lot easier.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Joe,

    I like to think I have an open mind. If I understand you correctly Blunkett’s visit was cancelled after PSNI stormtroopers launched an unprovoked attack on IRA members who were waiting to debate security policy with him. Is there a source for this?

  • Dick Doggins

    I find it very strange that Unionist voices turn away from the continuing mayhem caused by the never ending loyalist feuds, haven`t called for any Loyalist prisoners to be rejailed but all insist to a man that Mr Kelly must be jailed for life.
    Is there now a difference between good old Loyalist murderers, not bad guys none of them and their counterparts the spawn of Satan, those vicious Republican murderers.
    Sure why not rip up the GFA and rejail all Republicans, now isn`t that an idea.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Works for me.

  • Elvisthedog

    It’d be a step in the right direction, but I’d rejail all the loyalists too.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Amen. So we’re all agreed then?

  • Waitnsee

    Hang on, you’re right – there was nothing about this on Newsline tonight. Very odd. In fact it was a very odd programme all round – like a repeat of national news only in a half-arsed fashion. What’s the story?

  • Paul

    From what I’ve heard getting Sean Kelly off the streets could be part a suicide-prevention policy for West Belfast.

  • Henry94

    I know that everybody is a bit jumpy after yesterday but people are still entitled to protest against the decisions of our British rulers. Isn’t that just the kind of demcratic right they claim to have invaded Iraq to introduce?

    Didn’t the Queen say today that we weren’t going to let the bomb change our way of life. If she’s prepared to carry on as “normal” then why can’t we?

  • Jimmy_Sands

    This is normal.

  • DS

    Mick,

    There is no outside world; they have created their own perpetual hell and even some visionaries in their ranks cannot deliver the message to Dante’s Children.

    See you in Ned’s sometime

  • aquifer

    “PSNI officers arrived in full riot gear which then resulted in confrontations between protestors and PSNI riot officers.”

    is there a sentence missing from this post?

    Or do the PSNI have a very acute dress sense?

    Mass murderer breaches bail conditions, rearrested.

    So what.

  • Darrell Monteith

    If she’s prepared to carry on as “normal” then why can’t we?

    Thats just it you should carry on your normal sad little narrow minded existence. The fact that you refer to that sort of foolishness as “normal” confirms my belief that republicans have become so inward looking that they don’t even recognise when they shoot themselves in the foot.

    Keep up the good work shinners !!!

  • Mal One

    In response to Joe, “Aye right!”.
    And what pray do you regard as impartial Journalism? The daily provo bugle perhaps with its stable of impartial investigative provo supporters …sorry reporters?.

    Why on earth should I or any non shinner or any non loyalist be remotely interested in the re arrest of the murderer of 10 people.

  • bertie

    “It’d be a step in the right direction, but I’d rejail all the loyalists too.”

    here here!

  • Baluba

    Throw everyone back in gaol? What a ridiculous idea! It was an extremly distasteful thing for both sides, but an extraordinarily brave step towards a solution that the people decided to take. The man who murdered three members of my family was released too. I don’t like it one bit, but I can take it for ‘the greater good’.

    Wise up!

    What annoys Republicans is the apparent contradictions on whether Seán Kelly did anything to warrant having his license revoked. No evidence and no explanation. Meantime, others in the Loyalist community (eg. Shoukri) are carrying on with all kinds of dodgy behaviour (admittedly the only want to slaughter their own fellow drug lords and hoods), but no sign of any licenses being revoked there.

    If Seán Kelly has done something, fair enough, but good sense would mean that you provide some sort of rationale to the community who support him especially when that community is about to come under siege.

    Wind your necks in!

  • T o Kane

    sean feuinn seem to claim they are a oatry of the working class yet when they have this great oppurtunity to bring jobs to a deprived area this happens

  • fair_deal

    After shooting themselves in the right foot it looks like Ardoyne republicans are going to go for the left foot.

    Here’s the latest for you, a memorial service for the London bomb has been called in Ardoyne by Father Aidan Troy. It sounds a positive and welcome gesture doesn’t it.

    Where and when are they holding it? In the local chapel? In the local community centre? Over this week-end? No outside Ardoyne shops at the same time as the Twelfth return parade.

    This is a tactic that the loyalist protestors in Glenbryn adopted the day after the 911 attack. Republicanism’s PR machine must really be losing its touch when it copies the Ardoyne Road/Holy Cross protestors.

  • bertie

    Baluba

    It is for the common good that I want terrorists inside. Letting them out was not just distasteful. What the hell would it matter if it was just distastful? Considering what has been done in NI, distaste is irrelevant. It reminds me of the continued use of the phrase “prisoner release is ‘difficult’. Difficult would have not been a problem. Letting terrorists out was WRONG.

  • lib2016

    To confuse a well-connected church figure like Father Troy with the republican movement reveals how little you appreciate about the reality of what’s happening in Ardoyne or Northern Ireland society in general.

  • fair_deal

    lib2016

    I have attended a number of meetings with Father Troy, I have read his writings in Daily Ireland and I keep up-to-date with what is going on in Ardoyne through two Ardoyne families who I am friends with, the odd conversation with SDLP activists and the North Belfast News.

    Father Troy’s media image and the reality are unsurprisingly two different things (nothing unusual in that). He is much closer to Ardoyne republicans than is realised. The decision to hold the service was with the agreement and support of Ardoyne republicans.

  • Carrington

    Aiden Troy is Sinn Fein in a dog collar. He turned up to vote at the assembly election with a camera crew in tow, presumably hoping to be harrased by Unionists on his way to exercise his franchise – what a pity (for him) he wasn’t and he and the TV crew left disappointed. Anyone who thinks that Aiden Troy ain’t a republican is deluding themselves.

  • davey

    Rev. Mervyn Gibson, chair of the loyalist commission is a close associate of the uvf in Belfast

  • lib2016

    I wouldn’t deny for a minute that the Catholic church has realised that it spent so much time and energy propping up the SDLP that it lost credibility with republicans, nor that Father Troy is trying to build contacts with Irish republicanism. Given the fact that most of his parishioners support Sinn Fein he would be failing in his duty not to do so.

    That’s a very long way from saying that there are not serious differences between all parties concerned. You are fooling only yourselves.

  • Keith M

    Whoever is doing SF/IRA PR these days should be shot (not literally, in the unlikely event that any RM supporters are prone to working on my suggestion!). At a time when all the world is showing solidarity with Blair and the UK, it would be best for SF/IRA to simply keep their heads down and say and do nothing, but their need for publicity seems to have neutered any such common sense.

  • Dick Doggins

    Outside this Wee province, no-one cares or gaves one iota what happens here, little old ulster will only make the news when theres bombs and killings on a grandscale….
    Little dear old ulster is just a pimple on the backside of world events, so any demo, whether it be orange or green, will go unnoticed….

  • Alan McDonald

    LIB2016,

    OK, I’m an American and I’m not a Catholic, but on this side of the Atlantic I don’t think Catholic parishes are organized the same way. When you say:

    Given the fact that most of his parishioners support Sinn Fein he would be failing in his duty not to do so.

    you make it sound as if priests in Northern Ireland are assigned based on their politics. Is this true?

  • Jimmy_Sands

    “Given the fact that most of his parishioners support Sinn Fein he would be failing in his duty not to do so.”

    The logic of that proposition escapes me entirely. Does it apply to priests in predominently unionist parishes?

  • Wichser

    Carrington

    “Aiden Troy is Sinn Fein in a dog collar. He turned up to vote at the assembly election with a camera crew in tow, presumably hoping to be harrased by Unionists on his way to exercise his franchise”

    No where can he have gotten a horrible idea like that then, hmmmm ?

  • tim

    The fact that Britain stills remains in Ireland is a good enough reason to protest at the presence of a British government minister.

  • Erne East Prod

    How about putting mass murder Sean Lynch back behind bars as well??

  • Wichser

    Erne East prod

    How about putting the entirety of NI behind the bars of history instead of generating new ideas, new opportunities, new hope and putting the failures of the past behind us and moving on or is navel-gazing and endless recrimination what ‘The Lord’ would want us to do, hmmmmm ?

  • bertie

    Wichser

    I’ll try and use that line if I am ever arrested for a crime. “Its in the past lets just forget it and move on”.

    For the sake of the future we must learn from the past. For the sake of the future we have to teach the coming generation that there are consequences for their actions. We are not living in a computer game where we can just restart it and not have to deal with the consequences.

  • lib2016

    The extraordinary insinuation by some posters that Fr. Troy shouldn´t be trying to build links with Sinn Fein even though it has such a leading role in his parish and in wider events shocks me.

    Presumably when he talks to unionists and tries to build links with them (and one can see his difficulties in that endeavour given the views expressed here!) that is equally wrong.

  • willowfield

    Henry94

    I know that everybody is a bit jumpy after yesterday but people are still entitled to protest against the decisions of our British rulers.

    No-one’s claiming otherwise.

    Baluba

    What annoys Republicans is the apparent contradictions on whether Seán Kelly did anything to warrant having his license revoked. No evidence and no explanation. Meantime, others in the Loyalist community (eg. Shoukri) are carrying on with all kinds of dodgy behaviour (admittedly the only want to slaughter their own fellow drug lords and hoods), but no sign of any licenses being revoked there.

    Not fair! Not fair! We’re getting picked on and the other side aren’t! Boo hoo! Nationalism good. Unionism bad. Boo hoo! Catholics good. Protestants bad. Boo hoo!

    Wise up and catch yourself on. Kelly is actually the first nationalist to have his licence revoked: and there have actually been more at least two loyalists whose licences have been revoked.

    tim

    The fact that Britain stills remains in Ireland is a good enough reason to protest at the presence of a British government minister.

    What does this mean? How can one island be “in” another?

    Lib2016

    The extraordinary insinuation by some posters that Fr. Troy shouldn´t be trying to build links with Sinn Fein even though it has such a leading role in his parish and in wider events shocks me. Presumably when he talks to unionists and tries to build links with them (and one can see his difficulties in that endeavour given the views expressed here!) that is equally wrong.

    Not sure what is meant by “building links”. I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with “building links” with anyone, but I imagine the point being made is that he should remain politically neutral and avoid being associated with one particular party, especially when that party has such a bloody and shameful past and present. As a Christian minister, he should be condemning the evil deeds carried out by the Provisionals, not associating with them in friendship. It may gain him brownie points in the local community to stand alongside “the boys” and “the hard men”, but the brave and Christian thing to do would be to oppose them.

  • lib2016

    ´..but the brave and Christian thing to do would be to oppose them´

    As an atheist I would support Fr. Troy and anyone else in trying to build links with militant republicanism just as I would support him in trying to build bridges with the unionist people who were at the Holy Cross demonstrations and the unionist politicans who supported them. That is what a peace process is all about!

  • Bolloxtoitall

    Probably more nauseating than the campaign to free one of the most evil souless people to ever darken the Emerald Isle, was the “Make Sectarianism History” banner on display in Ardoyne on the 12th. Usually a remark like that would be laudable, but in the context of something as petty as a parade it was offensive in the extreme. Are these idiots really prepared to use the suffering of the poor and dis-possessed of the third world as an analogy of their “plight”? The timing stinks in both cases – The Kelly protest after the London atrocities, and the play on “Make Poverty History” after the images of starving children on the Live8 broadcasts. Or am I wrong and are Northern Ireland’s republican community the most put-upon people in the world today?

  • roy

    “As a Christian minister, he should be condemning the evil deeds carried out by the Provisionals, not associating with them in friendship”

    The above quote would be better directed at Rev. Mervyn Gibson, who fronts the Loyalist Commission.

  • Wichser

    roy

    It would be better directed against the fools who believe any, and I mean ANY, of these dog-collared berks or any of the childish jerk-offs who accept a single word they say in the first place.

    Seriously, isn’t Slugger supposed to be for people in possession of relatively easily established faculty of reason ?