Culture which tolerates violence

Chief Constable Hugh Orde is adamant that the PSNI will address the sectarian violence in North Antrim, with Operation Striker, in which hundreds of extra police are being deployed. But trouble is breaking out in Garnerville again, with another family forced out of the area. Father Des Wilson, focuses entirely on the former situation, and targets what he sees as the Unionist culture that tolerates a campaign he believes is calculated to reduce the ‘voting, economic and cultural power of the Catholics’.

  • Foggy

    Fr Wilson wrote “Unionist people are led to believe they have a right to put Catholics out of their districts, they tell their children they have a right to hit Catholic children in the streets, that they have a right to assault and harass them as they go to school. It is then only a small matter to convince them they have a right to kill Catholics too.”

    That’s a sweeping statement if ever there was one! I think Fr Wilson needs to be reminded that it’s not the 1950’s anymore.

  • spirit-level

    Of course what’s of more significance; is this section from his superb article:
    “While all this persecution is going on, …. in the drawing rooms and the clubs, in the archepiscopal palaces, at the church fetes, there is a calculated and planned silence – not a dignified silence, but a silence clothed in that artificial dignity which is another name for hypocrisy.”

  • The Binlid

    “I think Fr Wilson needs to be reminded that it’s not the 1950’s anymore.”

    So do the unionist terrorists, Papa Doc and his red neck followers.

  • Richard

    Is Des Wilson actually still a priest? If there was a world cup in MOPEry, I think he would be a safe bet.

  • Fanny

    An absurdly bigoted article.

  • Democratic

    I must remember to break that “Fenian Whore’s” window on my way home from work and punch her children should they try to intervene – after all Reverend Johnston was telling me how it was the done thing at tea the other day – keep ’em down! –
    That’s what they teach us after all in our clubs and mission halls. Come-on – can anyone take generalistic tosh with any degree of seriousness -the people who attack Catholics for being Catholics are sectarian scum pure and simple – they are not representative of my views nor my upbringing/schooling in any way nor indeed that of Unionists that in any way deserve the title.

  • Fanny

    This man is published by a newspaper that has a clear agenda to stir up sectarian suspicion.
    It wouldn’t do to have people in West Belfast told that unionists come in all shapes and sizes.

  • J Kelly

    Fanny

    There is no doubt that unionist do come in all shapes and sizes but it also has to be recognised that when it comes to sectarianism and violence there are also different degrees of condemnation.

  • Fanny

    I thought Shinners weren’t into the politics of condemnation. At least they certainly didn’t used to be.

  • circles

    Fanny:
    I didn’t know Fr Des was now being prinbted in the Sun!!

  • J Kelly

    Fanny

    Its unionist who are into the politics of condemnation which at times becomes the politics of acceptance.

  • fair_deal

    This stuff is just becoming pure propaganda – the Big Lie at work.

    No matter how many Unionists MPs MLAs or church leaders come out with unequivocal statements of condemnation the same lines get trotted out:
    They are silent. They are equivocal etc etc

    Paisley Snr and Jnr has condemned them. Wilson has condemned them. Dodds has condemned them. Campbell has condemned them. Robert Coulter has condemned them etc etc.

    Has he not seen Archbishop Robin Eames statement?
    Has he not seen the statement from the Protestant churches in Ahoghill?
    Has he not heard of the initiatives by a local Presbyterian church towards the parishioners of Harryville chapel?
    Or have these things not managed to reach Planet Provo?

    I was at a Protestant funeral service this morning and after seeing Des Wilson’s piece I now recognise the subliminal messages – I must pop home to get my baseball bat so I can beat up my Catholic staff this afternoon.

  • Fanny

    J Kelly’s post sums up perfectly the desperate republican need to believe that all protestants are sectarian. And they say Americans have no sense of irony.

  • spirit-level

    fair-deal
    In my opinion you are one of the most cogent and intelligent of unionist posters on this site. I always read with interest what you have to say:
    Do you recall Christ’s words when he said to the scribes, and pharisees: ” They honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me”?
    This is the subliminal which I think Des Wilson is hinting at. ie that there is condemnation in words, but it’s a lip-service not a genuine heart-felt concern.
    A bit like that bit in Fahrenheit 9/11 when President Bush mumbles some words about the war on terror, ( quite a few lives were lost that day ), and then in the next breath the camera pulls back , and he says ” Now watch this golf swing “. He couldn’t give a crap.
    I saw this with the tories of old, coming out making pious statement, but the real concern was where the next gin and tonic was coming from!

  • Baluba

    I agree spirit-level. Just because someone comes out and trots out the expected ‘condemnation’, doesn’t mean they are pro-actively opposing the actual problem.

    I have the utmost respect for Fr Des. A courageous man if ever there was one. A Catholic priest who stood up and gave his own church bucket loads when required (which was often!).

    Can any of you seriously deny the difference in scale that exists in sectarian attacks? Can anyone really seriously argue that Catholics are/or ever have persecuted Protestants to the extent of the vice versa.

    I don’t think so. Speak to people all over the world and they usually concur (in my experience) despite the constant bias of the media in the other direction.

  • Mick Fealty

    That it happens is beyond dispute. Recent events also demonstrate that an unacceptably high tolerance level of violence is a question for both main communities in Northern Ireland. It also strikes me that the question of scale must be down to more factors than Father Des has re-counted above?

  • fair_deal

    Spirit-level

    Thank you for the compliment.

    They are accused of being silent when they have condemned it. They go to meet the individual victims of attacks to offer support. They have condemned it they are accused of not meaning it? How can a Unionist make any serious headway in trying to address the concerns on sectarian attacks on Catholics if that is the response?

    The political cultures of loyalism and republicanism are not the same. The symbiotic relationship between paramilitarism and politics between the IRA and Sinn Fein is not replicated in Unionism. Loyalist publications persistently deride Unionist politicians. In the past two weeks some of them attended the launch of the Love Ulster campaign which among other things bashes Unionist politicians. Fractionalism in Unionist political culture

    The PUP says the UVF won’t listen to them so why would they listen to the DUP or UUP or anyone else for that matter?

    Des Wilson’s piece is very similar to the McAleese stuff about Ulster prods. He does not present it as a strand or part of a section he blanket covers every part of the Prod community and it being systemic.

    Baluba

    “Can anyone really seriously argue that Catholics are/or ever have persecuted Protestants to the extent of the vice versa”

    Have you ever talked to a Protestant community along the border?
    Have you ever talked to former residents of Torrens estate?
    Take a trip to the Fountain estate and talk to some of the residents?
    Since the 1st June at least 44 sectarian incidents and attacks on protestants in 11 different towns across Northern Ireland. Is that not serious and sustained?

    A culture of sectarianism and violence exists throughout our society. If we recognise that we can begin to deal with it. If we deny it or waste time with “They’re bigotry is bigger than our bigotry” then the cycle remains unbroken.

  • fair_deal

    Baluba

    “despite the constant bias of the media in the other direction.”

    The local media has been filled for weeks with coverage of the sectarian attacks on vulnerable catholic communities. What bias?

  • fair_deal

    Spirit-level

    Unfinished thought

    Fractionalism in Unionist political culture means that no political party has the depth of relationship with loyalist paramilitaries or others engaged in sectarian attacks to turn them off.

  • loyalist

    You gotta give it to Father Des, the man can spout hate.

  • spirit-level

    thanks for the reply fair-deal, esp the unfinished thought.. it explains alot. Makes me pause for thought…. there’s a lot more to this, as Mick hinted at in his post. Suffice to say that on the other side, physical force republicanism, with its accompanying platitudes, is another house of horrors.

  • bertie

    “Unionist people are led to believe they have a right to put Catholics out of their districts, they tell their children they have a right to hit Catholic children in the streets, that they have a right to assault and harass them as they go to school. It is then only a small matter to convince them they have a right to kill Catholics too.”

    Was this on the O’ level syllabus?

    If this was just a post on Slugger, I would assume that is was an anti-RC troll. If you can be a troll poster, can you be a troll cleric?

  • lib2016

    The people who supported the Orange state and all it’s evils still don’t understand why they have become the most politically isolated group in W. Europe.

    All Des Wilson is doing is confronting you with what you have become. How many of you can honestly say that you haven’t sniggered while some ass-hole howls about wading through ‘fenian blood’?

    The rest of us were listening too and we didn’t hear many unionist voices raised to object.

  • DK

    There appears to be a concerted campaign underway to demonise the entire protestant community. This article is just one example of sectarian opinion being presented as fact. However when such opinions are being repeated time after time, as they are, they become fact in many peoples mind, especially those people who would like to believe it as fact, to justify their own bigotry.

    I have watched SF for many years and they are masters at this tactic. Say it enough times and people will believe it.

    As a member of the protestant community, it is very frustrating to read this drivel and then see the willingness of supposedly intelligent people on this thread, give it credence. I cannot think of one instant in my life which supports this supposed consiracy theory within my community. Yes lots of occasions of sectarian comment from individuals and plenty of challenges from others. But leaders in mission halls, schools, homes, etc teaching the young that they have a right to hit catholics and put them out of their homes?

    It is one more unjust attack on me and mine. Part of a campaign I suspect. What I don’t understand is the strategy. Why does nationalism want to demonise the protestant community so much, with these broad brush lies? Young catholics will willingly absorb all of this as fact. People will believe whatever makes them look good at the expense of others. The next generation of catholics will have an even greater unfounded hatred of protestants than the current one does. How does this all fit in with the published strategy of uniting catholic, protestant and dissenter?

    I am starting to think that the Republican movement has given up on persuading protestants, (short lived idea), and are going to go for cantonisation in the North East. Demonise the protestants, complete the segregation of communities, set up different administration in areas, link up greater nationalism across the island and move on to a pure form of national socalist state. Eventually the isolated protestant communities will dwindle away.

    Fantasy?

  • bertie

    I have never anyone howling about wading through ‘Fenian blood’ and any nationalist who is so twisted to believe that all unionists think this way needs help. Despite the attempts to stir trouble, I will not take this to be the default attitude of nationalists. I am however pleased that this bile is eminating from a nationalist (assuming its not a troll), whilst feeling sympathy for those nationists who cringed whilst reading it. We’ve got a few off our own. This one’s yours.

  • Richard

    lib2016 wrote ‘How many of you can honestly say that you haven’t sniggered while some ass-hole howls about wading through ‘fenian blood’?’

    You have issues i think. do you really believe that?

  • Mick Fealty

    Lib:

    “The rest of us were listening too and we didn’t hear many unionist voices raised to object”.

    Is this based on a specific incident(s)? If so, it might be useful to have an account of it?

  • lib2016

    Never heard the ‘Billy Boys’? On my few trips into ‘the heart of darkness’ on or around the Twelfth I’ve heard it several times. Must have been a strange coincidence that they just happened to play it when I was around.

    Just as all those bands with UVF banners are ‘history on parade’ rather than ‘Harryville on tour’?

    Do unionists really think that nationalists are all eijits? We’ve heard you defend sectarian policing, torture and murder by the security forces. We’ve seen the calibre of politicans you prefer.

    Now you quibble when someone points it all out. Sorry, lads. You made your bed and only you can unmake it.

  • DK

    Lib

    I too have found myself in dark and forboding places, trying to look as inconspicuous as possible whilst the boyo’s get into the blood curdling rebel songs with raised clenched fists and hate filled eyes. Not pleasant and just as pathetic a species as you find singing about the Billy Boy’s. Of course I don’t suppose you have ever indulged in the odd song glorifying killing of your British neighbours.

    The calibre of politicians is admittedly poor, at best. You could of course kid yourself that it can only get better. Not true, it is actually possible to have politicans who have spent a large part of their lives engaged directly or indirectly with planning, directing or engaging in the murder of their neighbours. Again, I have no doubt that you would never lend support to politicians of such calibre.

  • lib2016

    I am what I believe is called ‘new-Sinn Fein’ since I was an SDLP supporter until the mid-nineties and the triumph of the Peace Process. My disagreement with the Provvies was on tactics not on the need to change the situation in NI….and I don’t like ‘pub-republicans’ either.

    That said, my British ‘neighbours’ have oppressed me and my ancestors for hundreds of years and yes Irish resistance is celebrated in song. Now that the British foot is finally being taken off the Irish throat we should and will celebrate that fact.

    The ill-fated attempt to discover some ‘equivalence’ between unionism with its roots in the most brutal aspects of colonialism and Irish resistance to that colonialism in the name of freedom and the rights of man is doomed. It just won’t work.

  • crat
  • fair_deal

    Mick

    The link goes to a film called Orangetw*ts is that acceptable. Someone is not allowed to use such terminology on Slugger is a link allowed to a doctored film clip of that name?

    Crat

    If you have quite finished looking down your bigoted little nose:
    To play music is a culture practice
    To display symbols is a cultural practice
    To hold public events/processions is a cultural practice

    Lib2016

    “Now that the British foot is finally being taken off the Irish throat we should and will celebrate that fact.”

    AKA If a Prod sings about the death of others he is a sectarian bigot and triumphalist but when I do it it isn’t. Hmmmmm.

  • Denny Boy

    fair_deal

    “To play music is a culture practice
    To display symbols is a cultural practice
    To hold public events/processions is a cultural practice”

    Not when all are calculated to offend, they’re not.

    And please, please, do not rehearse for the zillionth time [yawn] the arguments [zzzzzzz] that will prove me wrong.

  • crat

    FD,

    I apologise for the words within the link, I didn’t write them.

    Band parades and Benny Hill are two elements of British culture.

    The marriage surely makes British culture stronger?

    And it is very funny.

  • loyalist

    Is Father Des one of those paedophile priests we hear so much about, or just an ordinary run-of-the-mill provo priest?

  • fair_deal

    Crat

    “Band parades and Benny Hill are two elements of British culture.”

    If you didn’t name no need to apologise not yourfault. The footage can raise a smile but I think it is fair to say the name showed the motivation was not to amuse but to deride.

    Denny boy

    “And please, please, do not rehearse for the zillionth time [yawn] the arguments [zzzzzzz] that will prove me wrong.”

    Why come to a debate site if you don’t want to debate?

  • fair_deal

    Crat

    “Band parades and Benny Hill are two elements of British culture.”

    If you didn’t name no need to apologise not yourfault. The footage can raise a smile but I think it is fair to say the name showed the motivation was not to amuse but to deride.

    Denny boy

    “And please, please, do not rehearse for the zillionth time [yawn] the arguments [zzzzzzz] that will prove me wrong.”

    Why come to a debate site if you don’t want to debate?

  • DK

    Lib,

    I make no attempt to equate unionism to anything. I am not interested in it, or your nationalism for that matter. I am interested in people taking personal responsibility for creating an environment where individuals can work together in a spirit of respect, and dare I say love for each other.

    What I observe is people using excuses to promote the opposite. How can you, or anyone else for that matter, use experiences of previous generations to justify maintaining a hatred for neighbours who didn’t exist then? Singing songs about so called “resistance” is singing about killing your neighbour, plain and simple. You use kinder language to avoid having to look at reality. That reality of course is Omagh, La Mon, Enniskillen, fathers shot in shopping centres, etc etc. Don’t dress it up in anything else.

    My mothers side of the family are Maguires, of ancient catholic stock. My father’s from the poverty stricken side of Donegal, going back generations. No doubt some of the ancestor’s didn’t get a good deal somewhere along the line. To bad. Move on. I will base my actions on how people treat me today, and on my belief in taking personal responsibility for my own decisions and indeed to some degree for the actions of others toward me.

    Something pretty drastic will need to happen to me before I start singing songs glorifying murder, (resistance). Something a lot more than some of my experiences, like being spat on as a child because of my religion, or bombed in the shopping street, because soemone else feels the need to “resist” something. Certainly a lot more than being decendant from someone who had a hard time at the hands of someone else, centuries ago.

    A thread that starts out with the libellous claim, that as a protestant I teach my children that they have a right to hit catholics, and ends with you claiming that glorifying the murder of your neighbours, (generally my community), in song is as it should be.

    Wonderful. What’s the goal again?

  • bertie

    DK

    I read this with great interest. Thank you for posting it.

  • DK

    Thank you Bertie,

    unfortunately I generally find that those who have the most need to be interested, tend to desert the thread or ignore the points made.

  • bertie

    I hate to pedal cliches but I think that a site like this will attract people with “issues” and this may not be the place that they will be resolved.

    I’m not saying that most of us don’t have any issues at all, (I know I have) or fixed ideas about some things which we seek a platform for (and again mea culpa) just that most of us have also some interest in learning either some facts or something about what may make others tick.

  • curious

    Father Des is right: everyone knows that “pradastents” indoctrinate their children with hatred of “kefleeks”, it’s their culture, their raison d’etre. ;-P

    It’s undeniable that there are elements among Protestant society who take such a view, but it’s equally apparent that there are Catholics who encourage such a hatred of Protestants among their children. It’s irresponsible of Father Wilson to tarnish one section of the community with that brush and not address the shortcomings of his own community. However, what’s worse is that there are people who do have an irrational hatred of people they don’t know based solely on where they go on a Sunday morning!

  • Denny Boy

    “However, what’s worse is that there are people who do have an irrational hatred of people they don’t know based solely on where they go on a Sunday morning!”

    And in my adoptive city it’s where many folk go on a Friday 🙁

  • bertie

    “And in my adoptive city it’s where many folk go on a Friday :(“

    I’m probably being very dense but ????

  • Denny Boy

    You’re anything but dense, Bertie. I put it badly; I meant Muslims. They’re getting a hard time of it these days. Grossly unfair.

  • Headmelter

    bertie,
    I thought you were talking about the pub cause that’s were most of the people in my community go on a Friday and a Sunday……and quite a few oyher days in the week also.

  • Mick

    FD:

    “…is that acceptable”

    I’m reluctant to get into admonishing people for what they link to. It could be argued that the mere existence of a video so-named is evidence that nationalists might also need to answer Father Wilson’s prosecutive case.

  • lib2016

    “..nationalists might also need to answer Father Wilson’s prosecutive case.”

    In fact I would argue that nationalists would have a greater responsibility to denounce sectarianism since in great measure their case is based on republican ideals. However that is not the subject of this thread.

    Maybe you would like to start a thread on your chosen subject instead of avoiding the issue on this thread?