Slow gradual rout of Catholics from Ahoghill

A unionist friend, who has just returned to Northern Ireland after 25 years away, confessed that he would have done precisely what several of the Catholic residents of Ahoghill have decided to do – leave: “I would not stay where I was not wanted, or where I could not trust my neighbours”. That was three weeks ago and the drain of the Catholic population in that area continues. Ahoghill never had a large Catholic community, but in a village of a thousand, less than a dozen families remain.

  • reality check

    Absolutely disgusting.Innocent catholics being driven from their homes simply because their catholic.The psni’s usual impotence is all too visible yet again
    The recent poster campaign warning residents to protect their village from”Roman” influences is akin to the nazi’s or kkk.
    Will unionism wake up and realise there is elements of extreme evil in their community.
    Yes there has been condemnation by church leaders and politicans but urgent action is required.It’s also emerged a Protestant man was sent a bullet in the post for daring to be helpful to his fleeing catholic neighbours
    Its basically a repeat of 1969

  • reality check

    Absolutely disgusting.Innocent catholics being forced to flee because they are catholics.The psni’s impotence being as visible as ever.Will unionism realise there is extreme evil in their community?Yes there’s been condemnation from church leaders,politicans etc.But urgent action is needed.The recent poster campaign warning residents to defend their village from “Roman”influences is akin to the nazi’s or KKK.It also appears a Protestant man recieved bullets in the post for daring to help his fleeing catholic neighbours.
    This is basically a repeat of 1969

  • Jo

    The posters which featured on last evenings news were very chilling.

    Shades of the TARA campaign (run by William McGrath) in the mid-70s.

    VERY fascist, inexcusable – and all this when the “enemy” is going away? Perhaps the enemy was never really the Provos for these deranged people – it was only ever just their Catholic neighbours….

  • an seabhac siulach

    Come on, all you loyalist fellow-travellers and sneaking regarders, so common on this site, try to justify this one? Who can argue now that sectarianism is not a pernicious disease within the Protestant community? Can you really deny that there is a definite sickness within your community? And please, do not insult us by telling us that it is just the actions of a few kids. This sort of thing has been going on for at least the last 85 years (when my family were driven out of Belfast by just the same activities during the 1920 pogrom) and it has ALWAYS been passively condoned by the general unionist community. Great sport, drive the taigs out. The sooner the protestant community recognises this serious problem the better. There is no IRA to hide behind any more, no way to explain away or to justify these actions. This activity is too often secretly condoned by the general Protestant community. That is the problem. Where is the equivalent of even the SDLP on the unionist side willing to stand up and loudly and openly and continously condemn such human rights abuses. All we hear on this subject is silence…
    And unionists have the cheek to lecture us, while all this is happening in their own backyards, on the Colombia 3…glad they have so much time on their hands.

  • IJP

    Another classic example of the Unionist blindspot.

    Where on earth is the civic responsibility here? What are Ahoghill’s public representatives doing about this, to educate people that this is just plain disgusting and wrong?

    I know this stuff does not represent the local people remotely fairly, but the local people voted in May and its time their representatives stood up for the ‘decent people’ who just want to get on with their neighbours.

  • smcgiff

    In an ideal world, IJP,

    But how many of us would make a vocal stand, when the bully boys have free reign… although that doesn’t explain/excuse the voting if this is borne out.

  • barnshee

    an seabhac siulach

    “This activity is too often secretly condoned by the general Protestant community”

    The two communities have been driven apart by the events of (particularly) the last 40 years. They are happier/feel safer where they live with their co-religionists. These are the sad facts of life in N Ireland.

    Disgraceful as these acts are they are simply the latest in a long line of events /attacks which have separated the communities into prod/mick areas and towns.Dunloy ,Derry,Garvagh the list gos on.

    There is nothing anyone can do about it. The division is in hearts and minds “themuns” are a lesser people full of bigots bombers and murderers we don`t want “themuns” living near us. Whilst largely a working class phenomonen it exists amongst the rest of society. I know the middle and uppers pay lip service to tolerance but the fate of the Alliance party reflects reality- once into that poll booth we revert to type.

    (PS If they are SECRETELY condoned how do you know)

  • fair_deal

    “All we hear on this subject is silence”

    Absolute cack. Spend ten minutes on the UTV website and you will see there has been far from silence

  • Ling

    No one….. cares. Do they? Not enough to do anything anyway.

    I can understand why people turn to violence and those who use violence. It doesn’t make it right, but I can *understand* why, when no one stands up when this sort of thing goes on.

  • reality check

    The various politicans and clergymen who condemned the attacks deserve praise no doubt the attackers are carrying on regardless.
    Local uprg representative darran smyth wasn’t very helpful.He insinuated these attacks were reprisals for republican attacks elsewhere in the borough.Im aware of these attacks and deplore them equally as much byt they were no where near the level of intimidation in ahoghill

  • maca

    Barnshee
    “There is nothing anyone can do about it.”

    No offence but with a defeatist attitude like that nothing will ever be done about this sort of thing.

  • Young Fogey

    Barnshee’s comments are the most depressing I have ever read on Slugger.

    It’s worth pointing out that the reason why Catholics in Ahoghill felt safer outside Ahoghil was because there was a determined and deliberate campaign to drive them out; not because of some mystic need to be with their co-religionists.

    And the reason why this has been allowed to happen is that the Peelers are the biggest joke of a police force East of New Orleans.

  • an seabhac siulach

    Fair_Deal (for who?)

    “Absolute cack. Spend ten minutes on the UTV website and you will see there has been far from silence”

    Correct me if I am wrong but all I remember from yesterday’s news was Jeffrey Donaldson yapping on about the awful, oh so awful, things the Colombia 3 were getting up to over there. Where was the equivalent television news conference in which he forcibly condemned the scum attacking innocent people, not catholics, ordinary people, including some he is supposed to represent? It must have slipped my memory. Strange that. I also don’t seem to remember seeing ANY other unionist politician on television speaking a word about any of this. Some tame condemnation on the UTV website is not exactly shouting from the rooftops that these actions are wrong. What’s Paisley’s excuse now, is he still on holidays? Will he fax another condemnation (that’s telling ’em), to be lost in the backpages, brief news columns, of the newsletter? Strangely reticient to use that big gob of his to defend some of his own constituents on this issue. Must be laryngitis, that’ll be it.
    The very silence of the whole unionist leadership on these attacks is silently encouraging them. Do we have to wait until someone is killed (again) before anyone on the unionist side manages to shift their gave from republican indiscretions to the presently more serious unionist crimes. Oh but then I suppose it is only a few taigs being moved from a village where they don’t belong, isn’t that it boys?

  • reality check

    To make the situation worse,Monica Digney SF put foward a motion calling a complete condemnation from the council.But guess what the dup,robin stirling,roy gillespie,martin clarke etc wouln’t vote on it.This shows how disingenous they really are

  • reality check

    To make the situation worse,Monica Digney SF put foward a motion calling a complete condemnation from the council.But guess what the dup,robin stirling,roy gillespie,martin clarke etc wouln’t vote on it.This shows how disingenous they really are

  • AJP Taylor

    Crumlin
    Londonderry
    Whitewell
    New Barnsley
    Twinbrook
    Castlewellan
    Ormeau Road

    Areas where the poor wee downtrodden nationalist community stood back and did nothing when the IRA drove the Protestants out of thw town. Whats going on in Ahoghill is wrong and must be stopped, but these bleeting Provo-sympathisers on this thread would do well to remeber the role their “defenders” played in sebregating this place.

    Name me one area of the Province that was once majority Roman Catholic and had its population driven out and replaced with a Protestant one?

  • AJP Taylor

    Crumlin
    Londonderry
    Whitewell
    New Barnsley
    Twinbrook
    Castlewellan
    Ormeau Road

    Areas where the poor wee downtrodden nationalist community stood back and did nothing when the IRA drove the Protestants out of thw town. Whats going on in Ahoghill is wrong and must be stopped, but these bleeting Provo-sympathisers on this thread would do well to remeber the role their “defenders” played in sebregating this place.

    Name me one area of the Province that was once majority Roman Catholic and had its population driven out and replaced with a Protestant one?

  • fair_deal

    an seabhac siulach

    Did you not see the condemnation by all the church leaders?
    Did you not see Tommy Nicholl, Mayor of Ballymena’s, call for those who put up the posters to stop, attacked the false basis of the claims of the posters and said the people of Ahoghill rejected them?
    Paisely has repeatedly condemned what is going on in Ballymena as has Empey – are they not Unionist leaders?
    The head of the presbyterian church has met with the local priest for Ahoghill and pupils and staff of the school that was attacked to show his support and sympathy. Etc etc.

    Reality check

    Take a morality lesson from SF/IRA yeah right.

  • George

    Old German saying:

    Wer schweigt, stimmt zu – He who remains silent, agrees.

    Anyone who thinks the unionist community and its representatives are doing enough to protect those in Aghoghill is living in cloud cuckoo land.

    The prevailaing unspoken unionist attitude seems to me to be “well it’s hardly surprising”.

    Unionists should ask themselves why their fellow unionists are acting like this.

    But I suppose that’s what unionists get when organisations like the Orange Order supports the ideas of Love Ulster rather than the Christian idea of Love thy Neighbour.

  • Mickhall

    I just wish our Unionist friends on Slugger would speak out far more on this, although not directly comparable, when the McCartney affair rose its ugly head, many nationalists and indeed SF republicans spoke out against the man’s murder. As to did many people within the Short Strand.

    There is something rotten going on here with dangerous implications in the future. Ahoghill is within the Unionist hinterland, to which extremists would withdraw if sometime in the future the vote to unite the island went against them. Donaldson has been a disgrace, rushing around Columbia whilst people back home need his support. Whether or not the Columbia Three are extradited is not even a case for either the British courts or UK government. The man is just Grandstanding, shame on him.

    What is happening in Ahoghill is just the scenario those who argued against the Provos giving up its arms warned against. Thus it is imperative the best of Unionism sides full square with those Catholics who are under attack. For if they fail to do so, there are men and women with guns who will, is that what the north wishes to return to? Lets hope not. The one certainty about the politics in the north is if there is a vacuum it will be filled by the hard men and women.

    Nationalist, Republican and Unionist solidarity with the families under attack in Ahoghill should be the watchword.

  • Alex

    Well said, Mickhall.

    What would it take to extract some action – not handing out fire blankets or similar defeatist bullshit – from the PSNI? Multiple deaths? I’m beginning to think that rather than withdraw the Army and reform the Police, we ought to disband the Police and reform the Army.

  • DaithiO

    Mick,

    Perhaps that’s what this intimidation is all about. Unionists are threatened by the new direction taken by the Provisional movement, maybe they sense this is the end game, and are unprepared to move forward by sitting around a table.

    Could it really be true that unionist politicians cannot function without terror on their streets ?

    Is the moral landscape changing, who now occupies the high ground ?

  • BogExile

    ‘I just wish our Unionist friends on Slugger would speak out far more on this’

    MickHall you must have been on the giggly juice. I recall a previous slugger thread on this topic stuffed with quite proper unionist condemnation of the excrement masquerading as human beings and their antics in Ahoghill.

    I must say that AJP Taylor has a point though. We need a parity of sack cloth on this thread. You won’t get much sympathy from Prods cleansed from most of the South Fermanagh border unless their experience is acknowdged too.

    And as for an seabhac siulach (is this a name or an accident with some consonnants?) there’s so much bile in your comments you should buy shares in Zantac. I know it makes shinners deeply uncomfortable to see the propaganda machine derailed by a tiresome little episode in Columbia but you don’t control everything yet and you certainly do not have a monopoly on pious morality.

  • reality check

    Fair Deal-while disagreeing with a lot of your views,i’ve always believed you to be a democrat and anti sectarian but how can you justify the dup refusing to back the anti sectarian motion in ballymena borough council?

    Ajp Taylor-did you forget what happened in bombay street in 1969?RUC and b specials stood back and watched as loyalists attacked catholic homes.Loyalists actually started the troubles and segregating the place.

    Ballymoney
    Ballymena
    Antrim
    Coleraine
    Larne
    Carrickfergus
    Newtownabbey
    Ballyclare
    Banbridge
    Lurgan
    Lisburn
    Portadown
    Ballynahinch
    Bushmills
    Limavady

    Places(just a few to mention) where catholics have been attaced and forced out of their homes

  • reality check

    BogExile-Do you think what’s going on in Ahoghill is part of a propaganda machine?It’s hatred of catholics being perpetuated by loyalists aiming to create more protestant only areas.Everyone should be condemning it but individuals like you assume it to be sinn fein propaganda.How would you feel if protestants were being forced from their homes in a catholic village while the psni did nothing?

  • barnshee

    George

    Yet again your words sum up the whole problem

    “The prevailaing unspoken unionist attitude seems to me to be “well it’s hardly surprising”

    I keep telling you– copywrite them before some steals them.

  • Denny Boy

    What’s to be done? Any legal minds on this thread?

    I’m thinking along the American lines of a “class action”, and wondering whether it’s possible for the displaced families and those under attack to sue Ballymena council for negligence and failing to protect whole sections its population.

    Always hit them in the purse I say. To paraphrase Nixon: When you have them by the wallet, their hearts and minds will follow.

  • Jo

    I must confess that the combination of handing our fireblankets, standing idly by as paramilitaries take over estates and certain comments about intimidation being neighbourly quarrels does combine to create an impression of, at best naivete, on the part of the PSNI.

    There is no excuse at all for what is going on at Ahoghill but unfortunately events in Ballymena provided a pretext for some neanderthals to stamp on “uppity croppies”…totally unjustified before anyone accuses me of thinking otherwise.

  • BogExile

    BogExile-Do you think what’s going on in Ahoghill is part of a propaganda machine.

    No and I didn’t say that.What is going on in Ahoghill is real, outrageous, repulsive and I think i’ve acucately characterised the ‘people’ who are carrying it out. Perhaps if the police service we now have was not so politically neutered we’d see the robust response needed.

    I was alluding to the usual way that republican zealots try to close down the arguments over our wee apocalypse theme park and get very cross when their own embarrasing and dirty little secrets intride on the victims of unionist violence narrative (or should that be mantra). It really does amuse me by the way to imagine Mitchell Mclaughlin addressing the faithful and trying to reprogramme them to say ‘it’s UNIONIST paramilitaries!’ Try as I might, I can’t and don’t want to imagine the corollary – nationalist violence – e.g. SDLP councillors in balaclavas in Rosslea pushing dog shite through the last prod in the villages front door in the name of Eire Nua…

  • barnshee

    ” sue Ballymena council for negligence and failing to protect whole sections its population.”

    Great idea

    Peter Hain is the one to sue- start a fund I would willingly contribute

  • an seabhac siulach

    Fair_Deal (Again, I say, for who?)

    “Did you not see the condemnation by all the church leaders? Did you not see Tommy Nicholl, Mayor of Ballymena’s, Paisely, Empey, The head of the presbyterian church, etc etc….”

    This is all low level, background, small scale condemnation with a very small c. There is nothing like the energy going into any of these ‘condemnations’ as went in to the blistering attacks on Sinn Fein when Robert McCartney was murdered, nothing like the same energy as is going into the whole Columbia 3 farce, nothing like the same energy that went into the whole Northern Bank raid business, etc. Then the unionist politicians were falling over themselves, pushing and shoving to get their few words in front of the cameras. And, now, when countless families are being driven from their homes we get this ‘condemnation’…a few brave priests and, even (wow) the mayor of Ballymena speaking out. My, my. A veritable barrage of condemnation. Are we supposed to be thankful for a few begrudging forced ‘condemnations’ written in mealy-mouthed prose?
    Where is Paisley, his sprog (always usually available for a inane comment or two) or Empey now? No important statements given live on air on the television condemning the scum carrying out these attacks? Why? Is it that the majority (or should that be the greater number) of unionists in their hearts actually condone what is going on and the politicos are worried about losing some votes?
    Is that too close to the truth for comfort??
    It is not enough to distribute a few briefly worded statements to the press, nor give some well intentioned sermons. What is needed is a full long-term campaign by both unionist parties, on air, on the television, night after night, to condemn these activities. Let us say, a bit like the one they mounted against Sinn Fein after the R.McCartney murder or the one that is continuing about the Columbia 3…Otherwise we would be well justified in calling them hypocrites and liars.
    Imagine the cheek of the DUP to say that they will refuse to talk with the Irish Govt. unless the Columbia 3 are brought to justice. I would say the Irish govt. should refuse to talk to any unionist, DUP, or otherwise that does not actively and vigorously campaign against what is happening in Antrim. The level of hypocrisy is mindblowing.
    And yes, before you say it, there are also attacks on Protestant homes and churches, but the rate is at about 3 attacks against Catholics to every one carried out against Protestants. Moreover, on the attacks against Catholics there is clear evidence of an organised campaign while attacks in the other direction appear retaliatory or more random in nature.
    I condemn all of them, in any case, lest there is some confusion. And, how I hate these tags Catholics and Protestants, these are just ordinary people trying to live their lives…

  • Alex

    The unionists ought to declare that this violence is not only repulsive (after all, that’s blindingly obvious and nobody who will do this is likely to stop because you tell them it’s naughty), but also that it’s queering their efforts to secure a future for the community.

    Mark them out as traitors. That will get through better.

  • Young Fogey

    And, how I hate these tags Catholics and Protestants, these are just ordinary people trying to live their lives…

    Then why keep the score?

  • an seabhac siulach

    Young Fogey

    “Then why keep the score?”

    The score? Do you think this is some game when families are so terrified that they flee their homes? Some game.
    I was merely pointing out by my ‘score’ that most of these attacks are carried out against catholics by unionist thugs and so the greater responsibility for condemning it, controlling it, rests on the unionist politicians, community.
    The quasi-official UDA is even supposed to be organising the attacks.
    And, I repeat, this has been going on for ~100 years now. Is this another of those grand ol’ unionist ‘traditions’ we are all supposed to tolerate? Something like the KKK dressed in orange?

  • AJP Taylor

    Reality Check

    I didn’t seek to deny attacks on Roman Catholics take place. Perhaps you could now attempt to answer my question, rather than the one you want to answer.

  • an seabhac siulach

    Oh, and as if to make my point for me, Paisley and Empey are on today complaining about a re-routed march…no word on the intimidation and attacks in Antrim. Sure, there’s no votes in that, I suppose. Hypocrites.

  • Denny Boy

    What?!? The brethren are still marching – in September?

    Whom do they wish to antagonize this time?

  • Mickhall

    DaithiO,

    I understand your sentiments, however, down the years we ourselves [IR] have occupied some pretty low ground, because that is the accursed nature of war. At this stage of this conflict im not sure many measures up to occupying the high moral ground. It is more a case of trying to find a way so future generations do not have to wade through filth and sorrow.[sorry mate, but this is how I feel about the last thirty years]

    Bog-Exile,
    The problem with such what-aboutary, is if the outrages we are discussing carry on, some Arsehole will give some totally blameless but isolated Protestant family, a parity of experience, by driving them from their home. Im all for recognizing the injustice some Protestants experienced in the past on the South Fermanagh border, but I cannot accept we should stand by when more victims are created in Ahoghill. [I realize you have condemned it]

    This is all about Unionist politicos leading those they represent. Plus the rule of law, for if the northern State-let is unable to guarantee the safety of a section of the minority community when they are in there own homes, what does that say about the northern state-let and its future.

    All the best

  • irishman

    See Paisley is back on tv tonight threatening loyalist violence in Belfast which apparently will be the ‘spark’ to an unstoppable fire….
    What odds a taig getting knifed or burnt out of their home in the coming days, Ian?

  • The Watchman

    an seabhac siulach

    What does your name mean? It reads like something Carol Vorderman brings up on Countdown.

    Don’t lecture anyone about your own non-sectarian credentials and then come on here ranting about the “KKK dressed in Orange”. The first complaint from your fellow travellers was that unionist politicos didn’t condemn the attacks and then when they do, somehow it isn’t enough.

    Far from saying nothing, I’ve said on a previous thread that all paramilitarism – all – needs to be flushed out of the community, by the state, along with the rest of the turds. And that also goes for the wee nippers who are involved in the trouble. But that would mean a different kind of society in Northern Ireland, one where paramilitaries do not call the shots (no pun intended).

    And the whole point of an “inclusive peace process” is that the state does not have the political room to remove these elements. So they are left to wreck their own areas and terrorise decent citizens who happen to be of the wrong religion. Such is the legacy of the Belfast Agreement and I am desperately sorry for the decent people of whatever religion who have to pay for the state’s decision to leave them defenceless.

  • norman

    It sounded like the Paisley of old on tonight’s news.

    The big man talked about a spark being created which could not be put out if the orangemen are not allowed to walk through the peaceline gates at workman avenue.

    Time for the purple berets to be dusted down !!

  • an seabhac siulach

    The Watchman:

    “an seabhac siulach
    What does your name mean? It reads like something Carol Vorderman brings up on Countdown.”

    Sigh…(no comment)

    Unionists have not been condemning the attacks, at least they have, but only in a very half-hearted mealy-mouthed way. A fax here and there. If you took the time to look you would see that there is an amazing difference between Paisley tonight raving about some march (of no significance) and the Paisley who ‘condemns’ the attacks on catholics (by fax). A difference of a good few decibels and minutes on television. What part of this is not understandable?

    Do not blame this violence against Catholics on the peace process. That is laughable. Catholics were being attacked in the 19th century, 1920 in the pogrom of that year, 1968 and many other years in between. And, no, it is not being carried out by nippers. That is a red herring released to make it appear as if all we have here is a few lads causing a wee bit of vandalism. This is a serious campaign of violence directed by the UDA and others.
    I agree with you that all paramilitarism needs to be flushed from the six counties. The provos are in the process of going away (decommissioning imminent). Are the unionist paramilitaries (UDA, etc.) going to follow suite, or do they prefer to continue their traditional heroic duties of terrifying housewives and children? KKK in orange, that is what they are…driven by a sectarian hate, much like that of the real KKK for blacks.

  • Denny Boy

    Norman

    “The big man talked about a spark being created which could not be put out if the orangemen are not allowed to walk through the peaceline gates at workman avenue.”

    You mean he’s decided against a candlelit vigil at the peaceline gates, and calling on good folk to join him in praying for – er – peace?

    Somebody told me once that this gentleman was the leader of a Christian church. Were they telling porkies?

  • Denny Boy

    Hey Watchman, here’s a link to an Irish-English dictionary (only £7.19). You can look up “an seabhac siulach” yourself.

    That way, you might:

    (a) improve your knowledge of European languages, and

    (b) develop a little more respect for your fellow Irishmen.

    I’m assuming of course that one or both of those goals are of some importance to you.

  • Niall

    * The Watchman:

    “an seabhac siulach
    What does your name mean? It reads like something Carol Vorderman brings up on Countdown.”

    Sigh…(no comment)*

    SS,
    does this name come from a character in an early 80’s USA series ?

  • Lost Son

    Does anyone remeber what the Ormeau was like 25 years ago? I remember Union Jacks right down to the Markets now there’s only Gaa and Tricolours flying right up to Ormeau Bridge. How many Prods were displaced to facilitate this landscape change?

  • maca
  • Lost Son

    Does anyone remember what the Ormeau Road was like 25 years ago? I remember Union Jacks right down to the Markets now there’s only Gaa and Tricolours flying right up to Ormeau Bridge. How many Prods were displaced to facilitate this landscape change? It takes two to tango and both sides have been great at it fro half a century, how wkse all the enclaves.

  • bertie

    OK one more time. It’s clear that my posts, beano’s posts, fair deals post, box exiles posts, David Vances post etc are invisible in realtion to this matter.

    ” just wish our Unionist friends on Slugger would speak out far more on this”

    What more do you want us to say?

    I’ve virtually got RSI over this!

  • maca
  • bertie

    By the way:-

    I came onto Slugger tonight to post on the thread about the NI victory and my day of Anglo baiting over the result. Instead my attention was diverted by this thread and I selected it to find out what the current situation was and to post something in support of the victims of these attacks. Instead as I read through the posts my indignation took over and I posted my 9:03 comments. I do not retract my post, but afterwards I realised that I had let my annoyance divert me from my intention to condemn the attacks again and express my sympathy with the families.

  • toni

    “how wkse all the enclaves.”

    What ????????

  • DaithiO

    “I came onto Slugger tonight to post on the thread about the NI victory and my day of Anglo baiting over the result.”

    Tut Tut, more triumphalism 😉

  • wes3

    Hardly triumphalism, you have to be good to be triumphalist

  • uptheshankill

    maca,

    My Collins dictionary defines “seabhac” as “hawk” but has nothing to offer on “siulach”. Can u assist? Tks

  • frank

    I see wee Reg wasn’t allowed to speak during the interview outside

  • aquifer

    Let’s never forget that the logical outworking of Provo and Paisley politics is repartition.

    I don’t recall 71% of the population voting for that.

    The UK government, the competent or only relevant authority, need to crack down on sectarian territoriality and start overpainting some kerbstones and ripping down flags.

    And remove the sectarian vetoes in our voting and governance systems of course.

    Any cross community agreed minority government is better than being goaded by the Provo elite and interned and extorted by loyalist gangsters. Even a ruling commission would be better than the westminster appointees that only end up flattering bigoted unionist complacency.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Barnshee

    “There is nothing anyone can do about it. The division is in hearts and minds “themuns” are a lesser people full of bigots bombers and murderers we don`t want “themuns” living near us.”

    This is simply untrue. The McCartney sisters taught us that there are things that people can do to confront these hateful bigots. The Protestant clergymen and laity who helped scrub graffiti off a Catholic church showed there are things that can be done. (And I can’t tell you how profoundly that act of Christianity and solidarity impressed me.) I accept it isn’t EASY, but then facing down the forces of evil – be they external or internal – is never easy.

    We always hear that the people behind these attacks are a tiny minority and in no way representative of the community etc etc. I don’t doubt that that’s true, but the thing is, we don’t see any actual evidence of it. (And no, arse-covering “condemnations” don’t cut it.) We see the DUP, standard-bearers of unionism, opposing a motion to condemn sectarian attacks. We see Paisley saying nothing about the events in his constituency – until his silence becomes a big issue. Then he responds to pressure by putting out a press release containing one paragraph of “condemnation” and half a dozen paragraphs defending his own performance.

    I tell you what Ian Paisley should do. He should go to Ahoghill, stand side-by-side with Kathleen McCaughey at her front door and declare that anyone who would attack her or anyone like her was no friend of the Ulster people. He should take a hammer and nails and help her repair her door. He should get the turpentine and brush out and help her clean the paint off. He should sit in her kitchen with Kathleen, her family and have multiple cups of tea. And he should do it all before the cameras. He should declare that he was acting as an MP, as a Christian and as Ulsterman. He should declare that he stands with his constituent. He should call on those intimidating her to repent of their ways, lest they be damned.

    Just think of the electrifying effect that would have on the whole situation. Conversely, you get some idea of the effect of the continuing absence of such meaningful action from the MP.

    What do you suppose are the chances of Paisley doing any of the above? And why on earth doesn’t he do it?

    AJP Taylor

    Re. Your list:

    This is absolutely irrelevant. Pure sectarian whataboutery. You’re absolutely right to point out that the terrible trend of tribal balkanisation has been happening for a long time and has brought shame on all sides of our squalid dispute. You’re right to point out that in the past we have seen Protestant families intimidated out of their homes.

    But my point is this: that doesn’t matter. Let’s talk about Ahoghill. No matter what has gone before, the events in Ahoghill are absolutely diabolical and indefensible. You can whatabout til the cows come home but that won’t change the reality. No matter what happened on the Ormeau or New Barnsley or wherever else, the events in Ahoghill are diabolical. It’s morally wrong to point out that Ahoghill isn’t the first, as though that makes it less diabolical.

    Decent, hard-working, law-abiding people are being forced from their longtime homes by the evil pieces of human filth that populate the night hours. Please, please give me a reason to believe you are on the side of the former. (Because your posts suggest you’re with the latter.)

  • maca

    uptheshankill
    Siúlach, it’s [I believe] an adjective of siúl (to walk). So it’s probably the walking/strolling/roaming hawk.

  • barnshee

    Billy
    “We see the DUP, standard-bearers of unionism, opposing a motion to condemn sectarian attacks. We see Paisley saying nothing about the events in his constituency “

    SF proposed the motion-to condemn some sectarian attacks- (if SF proposed a motion confirming that the earth moved round the sun I suspect the DUPERS would oppose it.) How often have SF condemned attacks elsewhere? That to me says it all.

    “The McCartney sisters taught us that there are things that people can do to confront these hateful bigots”

    The one thing The McCartney sisters taught us is that “these hateful bigots ” immediately close ranks, pull in all their friend and leave people woefully exposed (McCartney sister Moves out of Short Strand).

  • Denny Boy

    Billy Pilgrim, you’re an inspiration! Check this out:

    “Dear Reverend Paisley,

    “We, being a number of contributors to the Slugger O’Toole internet forum, are concerned at the ongoing attacks by extremists on members of the Nationalist community living in Ahoghill, a village which falls within your constituency.

    “We were heartened and very impressed by the expression of Christian charity by Pastor Jeremy Gardiner of High Kirk Presbyterian Church, Ballymena, who led members of his congregation in a clean-up exercise, after bigots had daubed graffiti on the walls and doors of the Church of Our Lady in Harryville.

    “We know you to be likewise a man guided by Christian principles, and feel certain that you wish to do all in your power to end the scourge of sectarian persecution in Ahoghill. To this end, we suggest that you should go to Ahoghill, stand side-by-side with Kathleen McCaughey at her front door and declare that anyone who would attack her or anyone like her was no friend of the Ulster people.

    “You should take a hammer and nails and help her repair her door. You should get the turpentine and brush out and help her clean the paint off. You should sit in her kitchen with Kathleen, her family and have multiple cups of tea. And you should do it all before the cameras. You should declare that you are acting as an MP, as a Christian and as an Ulsterman. You should declare that you stand with you constituent. You should call on those intimidating her to repent of their ways, lest they be damned.

    “Just think of the electrifying effect that would have on the whole situation. Conversely, you get some idea of the effect of the continuing absence of such meaningful action from the MP.

    “With respect, the Slugger O’Toole team”

    Anybody like to clean this up, add, subtract? Why not present something like this to Paisley? Might shame him into some positive action.

  • objectivist

    ”Name me one area of the Province that was once majority Roman Catholic and had its population driven out and replaced with a Protestant one?

    Posted by: AJP Taylor at September 8, 2005 01:32 PM”
    Answer:
    Most of the province at the time of the original seventeenth century plantation.BTW this is just a point of historical information-please do not read anything more into it.I unreservedly condemn so-called ethnic cleansing irrespective of the politicoreligious affiliation of either the ‘cleansers’ or the ‘cleansed’.

  • jimmy

    “The one thing The McCartney sisters taught us is that “these hateful bigots ” immediately close ranks, pull in all their friend and leave people woefully exposed (McCartney sister Moves out of Short Strand).”

    The McCartney sister in question still lives in the Short Strand

    So i don’t know what the point is

  • maca

    Denny
    “the Slugger O’Toole team”

    This suggests it’s from the staff of Slugger O’Toole so I can’t imagine Mick would be too please with this. You might want to change that.

  • peteb

    He should not only change it maca, he should remove it completely since he has no authority to claim, or imply, that he represents Slugger O’Toole in any capacity.

  • Denny Boy

    Oh great, it’s started already 🙁

    You’re missing the point by a mile, Pete. Deliberately so I imagine.

    Now, anybody like to add, subtract from or otherwise improve that letter, instead of bickering over it like schoolboys?

  • fair_deal

    Objectivist

    ” Most of the province at the time of the original seventeenth century plantation.”

    An exaggeration if not fundamentally flawed claim. A significant amount of damage had been done to the local population throught petty internal squabbles (see for example the descriptions in the Ards plantation records of the condition of the country and lack of population).

    The First Ulster Plantation rules (and settlement of Antrim and Down) by James I and VI required the removal of the native irish but this was roundly ignored by the land undertakers (plus as tenants they gained more land rights than existed under the previous system). If I recollect correctly the only record of sustained violence being involved was in the Glens of Antrim were Catholic Highlanders used violence to claim lands.

    Also the idea that the Ulster Plantation led to a sea change in the population in Ulster has been steadly abandoned by historians. The Stuart, Cromwellian and Williamite plantations are collectively viewed as building foundations and links for a significant growth in the Protestant population rather than the first or an individual plantation and settlement

  • Denny Boy

    Thank you for history lesson, fair_deal. The 17th century is to be sure of immediate importance, as opposed to Catholics being driven from their homes in AD 2005.

  • spirit-level

    Good work Denny Boy and Billy Pilgrim:
    Just send it as it is, from yourselves, as slugger contributors.. hope you get a reply

  • BogExile

    Denny,

    As a unionist I’d be happy to be associated with your letter 100% (notwithstanding SL’s sensible comment)

    Keep us posted!

  • Denny Boy

    Er, thanks, guys, but it’s hardly complete. I was simply extending Mtr Pilgrim’s comments and meant it tongue in cheek.

    That said, I do think Paisley should have something like this shoved under his nose, but perhaps it should come from another quarter. Slugger is just a lowly blogger after all. Would he pay it any heed?

  • Brian Boru

    Loyalism kindly drag urselves into the 21st century and ditch this stupid 17th century anti-Irish anti-Catholic hatred plz!