Government sidetracking Unionists…

The Newsletter editorialises on the appointment of Bob Collins. It notes that both of Unionism’s main parties have questioned the government’s intentions of promoting both Human Rights and Equality agendas in that community.

The latest appointment, coming on top of the elevation last month of Mrs Monica McWilliams as chief commissioner of the Human Rights Commission, appears to have further alienated the majority population from the kernel of equality and human rights and demonstrates that perhaps Government is not really interested in the rights of unionists.

  • Nathan

    Objectivist,

    The Irish Unionist candidate that stood in the Dublin North by-election, is now a Fine Gael councillor (county Cavan, I think).

    Yes, your right the former UUP candidate for West Belfast didn’t reap the rewards in terms of votes when he put himself forward as a candidate for Dail Eireann (108 1st preference votes). But he deserved full marks for raw courage, and at least he earnt himself a footnote in the history books – as the first unionist to stand in Dublin since the 1918 poll.

    The North Antrim Presbyterian will be most remembered in Dublin North as the guy who made an extraordinary admission of cross-voting – turns out he passed on his transfer to the Provisional movement candidate, Mr Paul Donnelly, whom he had befriended whilst out on the electioneering trail!!

  • objectivist

    Nathan,the other recent guy was Stan Gebler Davies in West Cork ’92 whom everyone loved but for whom very few voted.I vaguely knew about t’other guy only insofar as he stood somewhere in Dublin.
    I was bracing myself for a ‘names and dates’ challenge from Wichser so thanks for preemptively helping me out.
    George,
    It never ceases to amaze me that unionist propagandists who try to label the ROI as an anti-Prod cesspool simply refuse to listen to the testimony of real live Southern Protestants.The point about African Protestants does not wash.I notice that the tend to come here rather than NI -’nuff said.

  • George

    Objectivist,
    indeed, they are everywhere. My colleague is a Lutheran South African and he came here to Cork nearly three years ago with his two children, who he happily sends to the local Sacred Heart because it’s the best school.

    A lot of Northerners just don’t get what is going on here when it comes to on the ground ecumenism.

    Barnshee,
    The combined DUP and UUP vote has dropped by over 40,000 in the last 20 years in Westminster elections and that’s even before we take into account that soft unionism, aka Alliance, have lost over 30,000 and if we throw in the UPUP’s 22,000 votes we see a drop of 100,000 votes in 22 years.

    100,000 less votes for unionist parties in two decades and a lot of that is down to people like you. Down all the way to just 369,000 so sending up 150,000 southerners would have an impact.

    Northern Protestants may not want to be part of a unified Irish state but an awful lot of them want absolutely nothing to do with what you are proposing.

    In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are more afraid of what you and your pals have planned for them under the East of the Bann End of Days Rapture plan than any future united Ireland.

    I recommend you don’t presume to speak for all of them in future which is what you are doing when advocating forced resettlement, just as you shouldn’t presume to be able to describe all southerners. We’re a complicated bunch just like northern Protestants.

    Feintruaillitheoir,
    “We” are the 4.1 million people who live in the Irish Republic who are apparently all scumbags in the eyes of Barnshee.

    Nathan,
    Fine Gael are a pro-unification and Irish Republican party so even if your man was a unionist, he had to run as an Irish Republican to get elected.

  • objectivist

    It is also ironic that a man who has opines at length about the plight of oppressed (sic) Southern Protestants now describes this group as irrelevant and ‘scumbags to a man’.

  • davidbrew

    “but I do know that we never have Protestants and Catholics throwing petrol bombs at each other in Donegal or other areas with large Protestant minorities.”

    Just back from a week in west Cork where a local told me that until ten years ago there was an insidious level of anti-Protestantism which made it difficult to involve themselves in political life- interestingly he attributes the change to the influx of migrant workers, who support the Protestant churches. He has been vilified because of his pluralist views by the local Shinner gombeen men

    And right through the 1970s to the present Orange Halls have been destroyed and vandalised- St Johnston being destroyed in the 1970s, and Breakey in County Monaghan seriously damaged by fire in 1997. Thretas to Scouts with a Union Flag in Ballyshannon a few years before that. Thgere is also an interesting case of a businessman intimidated out of Letterkenny ( a baker called Patterson, I think) in the late 1970s who now lives in Toronto, and who has been trying to get his case considered by the irish Government since then

    So not a long list,only those that spring to mind immediately but hardly “never”?- or are you one of the deniers on the grounds of scale- who blithely ignore the murders of 100 Protestants in the south 1920-2 ( out of a population of 300,000), but (rightly) would not let us forget that 300 Roman Catholics were killed in Ni over the same period out of a population of 400,000. You know the type-“One’s a pogrom, the other’s a myth”

    Yup, yous-un’s are no better than us-un’s after all. We have all much to be ashamed of in our histories.

  • barnshee

    sighs
    “It is also ironic that a man who has opines at length about the plight of oppressed (sic) Southern Protestants now describes this group as irrelevant and ‘scumbags to a man’.”

    I have no axe to grind nor opinion about the present position of the protestant in the republic.

    repeats (ad nauseum)

    at 3% of the population they and their opinions are irrelevant to the problems and solutions to problems in ireland.

    (I note that no poster disputes or refutes the facts of republics collusion at the ongoing attacks on the protestant community in the north)

  • objectivist

    ”(I note that no poster disputes or refutes the facts of republics collusion at the ongoing attacks on the protestant community in the north)”

    I do not attach one shred of credence to this slanderous contention.

  • reality check

    how can anyone prove such a ridiculous accusation?

  • fair_deal

    “how can anyone prove such a ridiculous accusation?”

    Why do the words pot/kettle/black spring to mind?

    Some for instances of:
    The pattern of sectarian firebombings of Orange halls and a Protestant business (this attack was claimed by the RIRA) that took place last year in Tyrone.
    The recent attack on houses in Suffolk (for which people were arrested for.)
    The Kilrea republican flute band that during a parade in Ballycastle stopped outside the Protestant churches to disrupt their morning services.
    The attack by Celtic fans on Twaddell a few months ago (plus the attack on the tour of the north and Twelfth parades.)
    The illegal protests in Dunloy (didn’t even want to let Protestants to drive through the village to a church) and Kilrea.
    A bomb and a hoax bomb two years in a row (to stop Lurgan Protestants using the train on the Twelfth.)
    Some of the attacks on the Fountain area.
    Recent stonings of homes in Donegall Pass.
    Etc. Etc.

    Sectarianism is the preserve of no one community.

  • reality check

    north belfast catholics are being attacked on a weekly basis.The chapel being attacked last week?a catholic owned pub outside ballymena being petrol bombed.a catholic grandmother being forced out of her home in ahoghill.Harryville chapel being defaced by secterian slogans about the pope.for f— sake i could go on all day.And the unionist response?oh so predictable-silence.This is reality,sorry to tarnish your beloved unionist community

  • reality check

    oh yes council funded bonfires showcasing uff and uvf gunmen firing their weapons,sickening placards in more bonfires taunting sucicide victims,a catholic man being attacked by loyalist bandsmen in castlederg.Does unionism endorse these incidents?

  • fair_deal

    As the last line seems to have been lost on you I shall repeat it.

    “Sectarianism is the preserve of no one community”.

    You began with denial. You respond with equivocation, “youse lot did it too”. Neither solves the problem of sectarianism.

    “And the unionist response?oh so predictable-silence” WRONG.

    “The chapel being attacked last week?”

    From the Belfast Telegraph

    A number of PSNI officers attending the incident came under attack from stone throwers in the loyalist Twaddell Avenue area.
    “Petrol bombs were thrown at the rear of the church, but thank God no-one was hurt,” Fr Troy said.
    “We will have to assess the extent of the damage later today, but church services won’t be affected. We have a wedding this afternoon which will go ahead.”
    DUP MLA for the area, Nelson McCausland, condemned the attack.

    When Catholic houses were attacked in Abbeydale (Source BBC NI)

    Condemning the attacks, DUP assembly member Nelson McCausland said people should have the right to live in their homes without fear.
    “It’s clear that since a number of attacks took place in one area on the same night, this was an orchestrated campaign and it’s totally unacceptable,” he said.
    “As well as hurting the families attacked, these attacks damage the entire community and are to be deplored.”

  • George

    Davidbrew, You have a friend who said up to ten years ago…. My Lutheran colleague lives in Cork. I’m living in Cork too but I don’t swear allegiance to a foreign state above my own.

    Barnshee,
    I see you don’t seem to be able to defend yourself against my claim that people like you with their hatred of all things Irish are one of main reasons why there are 100,000 less unionist votes in NI than 20 years ago.

  • George

    Davidbrew,
    southern Protestants, as a whole, don’t take attacks on orangeism as attacks on Protestantism.

    Like most southerners, they abhor criminal attacks but they don’t see these attacks as attacks on them. Why? In simple terms, because they know it isn’t a precursor to a pipebomb through their living room window because southern Protestants aren’t really associated with the Orange Order.

    How many are members today in 2005, do you know?

  • Keith M

    fair_deal,
    You are correct. I believe that the unemployment figure in theis country is more or less the same as in Northern Ireland. Nobody is accusing Protestants of discriminating against Catholics here.

    The kind of simplistic cause and effect analysis being used by nationalists in NI to justify their nonsensical mopery campaign is doing no one any favours. You might as well put the put the differential rates of unemployment down to “Protestant work ethic”.

  • bertie

    I remember Chris McGimpsy used to give a talk on this topic where he showed that RC unemployment was worse in the border counties in the Republic than in NI. Part of the question he posed was whether we should be interfering in the Republic about the discrimination against RCs.

  • Nathan

    objectivist

    “the other recent guy was Stan Gebler Davies in West Cork ’92 whom everyone loved but for whom very few voted.”

    A few inaccuracies – nothing we can’t sort out here and now 🙂

    First, Stan Gebler Davies ran for Dail Eireann in 1987 and not 1992.

    Second, he stood in the Cork South West constituency to be precise, achieving a grand total of 134 votes (ie. 0.4% share of the vote). I think we can all agree that this figure is less than the margin of error which exists when the franchise includes the insane, the stupid and the drunkards. Nevertheless, I have the upmost respect for any individual who has the courage to put their name forward for political office.

    George ,

    “Fine Gael are a pro-unification and Irish Republican party so even if your man was a unionist, he had to run as an Irish Republican to get elected.”

    You don’t know the Blueshirts too well, do you George 🙂 There is no shortage of Monarchists within that party, Frank Meehan is one for starters. He’s the nephew of PJ Meehan, the Home Rule MP for what was Queens County, prior to Sinn Fein taking the seat in 1918.

    That particular Redmondiate was a Monarchist diehard – we know this because he submitted the Monarchy plan of his to Kevin O’Higgins – a document which was seen as a compromise to a united Ireland. O’Higgins was due to travel to London to present the Monarchy plan to the British government but was shot dead by the old IRA before he could discuss the ideas with British ministers.

    Now, back in the 1990s, this monarchy plan was reactivated by the nephew of the Irish MP, when John Bruton was Taoiseach. Basically he submitted a document to the Taoiseach, dubbed the Monarchy plan Mk II, asking the then Taoiseach to consider whether any parts of it to could help provide a political solution in NI.

    The 1995 MONARCHY PLAN was as follows –

    -All power held by Westminster over the North to be transferred to Dublin. The document envisaged some autonomy for the province in running its own affairs but the North would send its MPs to Dublin instead of London.

    – Prince of Wales to be the regent of Ireland

    – The face of Betty Windsor on Irish stamps, and on Irish coinage with the harp, appearing with a crown on the reverse side – the date and value appearing in the Irish language.

    – Irish Republic would re-enter the Commonwealth

    – Berty Windsor to be crowned Queen of Ireland in a joint ceremony conducted by both Roman Catholic and COI archbishops of Armagh.

    – Betty Windsor to spend at least six weeks per year in Ireland and in her absence, a regent such as Prince Charles or another member of the royal family would be the ruling Irish monarch.

    -The Irish tricolour to be replaced with a green flag with a golden harp or a compromise with the red cross of St Patrick. The Royal Standard would be a blue flag with a golden crowned harp.

    – Celebrations of the 1916 Rising would be banned in both parts of Ireland while March 17, would be the country’s national holiday when “both traditions could march and honour their dead”.

    – Joint national anthems to be “God Save the Queen” and “Hail glorious St Patrick”.

    – A new federal capital would be agreed and a national federal government elected. The Garda and Royal Ulster Constabulary would be united in one force with the old name, the Royal Irish Constabulary, restored and an all-Ireland supreme court established.

    So you see, some of the Fine Gael membership (i.e. the Redmondite fringes) do indeed support political unity. But at a heavy price – since Ireland would have to abandon its status as a republic and adopt the trappings of monarchy – a thought which makes my stomach churn.

    As for the former Irish Unionist candidate, I’d be very surprised if he had much associations with the Redmondite fringes of Fine Gael. After all, John McDonald had already embarked on a voyage of rediscovery, with regard to the radical Presbyterian roots of Irish republicanism, well before he put himself forward as a candidate for Dail Eireann. So without doubt he was republican (albeit only nominally because he supported Commonwealth membership) before he ever joined Fine Gael.

    I’ve got a copy of his Dublin North election literature at home, which was remarkably pro-republican, albeit unionist. The content was particularly striking, especially the 1793 Wolfe Tone quote which McDonald had selected, which said the following – “if the connection with Britain was one of perfect equality, equal law, equal liberty, equal justice then the link would be highly beneficial to both”. Where John McDonald got this quote from I’ll never know, but Wolfe Tone must have said it because I saw it quoted in ATG Stewart’s book. As pointed out by Dr Roy Johnston, Stewart makes the “lurking suggestion that the Presbyterian republicanism of the 1790s was at heart unionist, in that it was part of republican movements in England, Scotland and Wales, which if they had succeeded would have led to a federal republic of these islands. Wolfe Tone would have been familiar with this aspiration.” Indeed, Wolfe Tone must have been, otherwise he wouldn’t have said such a thing. Thus, it was only later on that Wolfe Tone spoke of his desire to break the link, he had unionist republican ideas prior to that.

    You’ll be pleased to hear also George, that John McDonald was (is??) a big supporter of the Irish language. He was having grinds in the language at the time of the by-election (to replace disgraced Fianna Failer Ray Burke), and by that stage must have reached an acceptable standard in Irish because he took out a full-page newspaper advertisement in the Irish language paper La, urging the people of West Belfast to vote for him in the Forum elections, when he stood for the UUP back home in NI.

    I for one am glad John McDonald has had a bit of election success (at long last), even if its at a local level – fair play to him, lets hope he punches his weight above the paraphet within Fine Gael – we could do with more Presbyterians in Leinster Hse besides the token one, Seymour Crawford.

  • Nathan

    By the way, George – I’d didn’t like the manner in which you sneaked the words “your man” into the above comments, as if I was somehow imprisoned by the past, when all-Ireland unionism was a political force, as opposed than the political shadow it is today.

    I most certainly am NOT a grassroots supporter for any sort of unionism, so please remember that in future. Granted, I could be a self-styled unionist if I put my mind to it, but then so could every other tolerant person, including yourself. All you need to do is indulge in a bit of pick and mix, a la carte style i.e.) try to rationalise unionism, and as republicans see if we can accomodate nominal unionism in any shape or form. Its that simple – and I know your capable of that sort of activity because you’ve demonstrated here on slugger before that you want unionists to ditch the Britishness malarkey, and re-engage with their Irishness – for thats the type of unionism that you could at least tolerate, even if you could never embrace it wholeheartedly.

    Thats all I have to say to you George, for now 😉

  • George

    Nathan,
    I haven’t forgetten the past I just live in the present. Which party was in power when the republic was formally declared? Fine Gael.

    I don’t recall this Monarchy blueprint of yours being mentioned by anybody in Fine Gael but I do recall the man who succeeded Bruton (Noonan) as leader calling Fine Gael a republican party in favour of unification. That was in 1997.

    If this Monarchy Plan of 1995 is so important why has nobody ever heard of it and why wasn’t it discussed as a possibility by any party, newspaper or group?

    I tell you why: because it’s about as relevant to Irish people today as a treatise on how the moon is made of cheese.

    At least now I can put a name to the fella in the phone box: Meehan’s nephew.

    So McDonald campaigned on a republican ticket but is also a unionist. In other words, he’ll contemplate union with Britain if they change their ways to our ways. I can see that happening alright.

    By the way,I said your man simply because I wasn’t arsed scrolling back up to get his name. Nothing more. And I don’t think Seymour Crawford (anything to the Dunlaoghaire Crawfords?) would be too pleased with you calling him the token Presbyterian 🙂

  • davidbrew

    “I’m living in Cork too but I don’t swear allegiance to a foreign state above my own.”

    George

    Well my friend is a card carrying member of Fine Gael, who might well be interested in the monarchist suggestions suggested by Mr Meehan but is definitely not a closet British nationalist.At least Meehan had the wit to realise that any serious attempt at reunification was going to require a lot of symbolic pain for your state, and a pile of sacred cows being slaughtered in advance.

    It’s all very well for you to say that the list of attacks I mentioned isn’t seen as attacks on Protestants by some Protestants- but the victims might see things differently, and that’s the annoying thing about us prods- we’re multi-dimensional. I should add the threats to boy scouts I referred to were in fact to the Boys Brigade, as mentioned by other posters.Apologies.

    And let’s not forget ( though I wish for decency’s sake that we could) the views of Bandon Grammar School’s most famous alumnus( alumna? alumnum?) Graham Norton. He noticed a chill factor as a Protestant in Cork. if it turned him into to the person he is, nationalism has a lot to answer for.

    BTW,if anyone living in your state did feel it appropriate to give his allegiance to another, what of it? We’ve several hundred thousand up here who are so afflicted, and that’s their choice. No need to be dismissive.

    And as one who regularly regales us with your disgust at flag burning, what is your view of the vandalising of the memorial to Sir Francis Drake in Carrigalline last week? Now I know he was a nasty piece of work,who was beastly to the people of Rathlin Island, but he’s still a British national hero- you know, the way Michael Collins was a thoroughly nasty piece of work, but an Irish hero. Amazing how many heroes turn out to be thoroughly unpleasant. Hardly demonstrating a mindset in tune with a European city of culture, though.

    And what about the recent campaign to get rid of all those embarassing pillar boxes with GR, VR, or EviiR on them, that oppress the poor Irish posters of letters?

    Are these the signs of society at ease with it’s past/ or is the restoration of Ballincollig British military cenetery, after years of neglect,more admirable?

    Would you have been enriched by an Orange Lodge parading on Paddy’s day in Cork, or diminished? Or might it all have been a tad embarrasing, when the Celtic jersey wearing spides rolled out of the pubs, pints in hand, and started shouting abuse at their fellow Irishmen?

    If Cork isn’t ready for Orangemen, Ireland isn’t ready for unification. Let’s just try to respect those who are on the wrong side of the border so far as their allegiances are concerned- not ignore them, or sneer at them.

  • Nathan

    George

    “If this Monarchy Plan of 1995 is so important why has nobody ever heard of it and why wasn’t it discussed as a possibility by any party, newspaper or group?”

    You do like to indulge in a bit of creativity when it comes to people’s comments, don’t you George. I say this, because not once in the above did I accord the so-called ‘monarchy plan’ with any degree of importance – for heaven sake, the author is a well-established party member and nothing more. I raised his name with you because you seem to think that Fine Gaelers are compelled to be Irish Republican. I’m not so sure of that, as there is no such thing as a parliamentary oath in the Dail, so no mechanism exists to exclude those who aren’t republican from representing their constituents. In that sense, we don’t know in advance whether a Fine Gael person is republican, unless they specify that they are. For all we know, Seymour Crawford TD may not subscribe to republicanism – we just don’t know, and to be honest with you I don’t think its any of our business.

    By the way, I’m just as curious as you are as to why this document wasn’t spoken about, let alone published on the YFG/Fine Gael website for instance. After all, the option was there for John Bruton to publish it alongside a health warning i.e.) all opinions expressed here is solely the opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent YFG/Fine Gael party policy. The fact that Bruton refrained from giving the Redmondites any oxygen can only mean one thing – that Meehan’s unsavoury views were not fit for public consumption, as far as he was concerned. And I can perfectly understand that POV – after all, who in their right mind would want to hang out that sort of dirty linen.

    You make the erroneous assumption that no-one in the media touched on the Monarchy plan of 1995 as well – I say to you get in touch with John Burns (any relation??) – he wrote a piece in the Irish edition of the Sunday Times newspaper about it (someone must have leaked the document to him as well). True, it wasn’t discussed as a possibility across the whole sections of the media, but only because that was the week when everyone (politicians, the public etc) was fixated on the fact that Prince Charles was coming over to Dublin for 2 days of public engagements. Republicans had this visit to contend with, so naturally enough the letters column was saturated with the Prince Charles visit, rather than focusing on the monarchy plan – which no-one (apart from the Fine Gael Redmondite wing) gives a toss about anyway.