Thinking on the street..

Too early for reaction. The General is still talking. But Mary Fitzgerald has been out in East Belfast talking to ordinary people on recent security and political moves.

  • 6countyprod

    The minister and priest sounded convincing, but, I think, the general has blown it again. The witnesses obviously believed what they saw, but they didn’t know what they were looking at, or for.

    It sounds very much like all weapons were put beyond use without distinction (that is, all types of weapons), but not without exception. Not great for confidence-building. According to the general, the IRA probably still has some weapons.

    The most sensible comment from the General DC: There would have been greater acceptance if there had been visual proof.

    And, would somebody, please, give him a hearing aid. Maybe he needs glasses as well.

  • harry flashman

    Nearly an embarssing wee upset when the Finnish guy said there were guns post 1994 in the stash. De C backtracked but now big Bob has just pointed out there were post 1994 weapons after 1994 from Florida, could get interesting.

  • harry flashman

    Sorry got a wee bit mixed up in the last sentence. Anyway Jeffrey’s on with David D just now. This might sound stupid but the estimates of IRA weapons held by the governments that it was all based on, there’s no way that the Provies would have known those estimates beforehand would they?

    Anyway I’m prepared to stick my neck out and say this seems good enough for me (mind you I said that in May 1998).

  • yerman

    The Minister and Priest were very pleasant and convincing – in so far as they went! But what exactly did they tell us that Gen deChastelain didnt.

    Lets remember here, no-one distrusts deChastelain or thinks that he is anything other than completely honest. However, he is bound by legislation and private agreements as to the type of details he can give. The witnesses have went no further than the General has. What use therefore have they been? For me they werent there to prove the ‘honesty’ of the General but to provide the additional information that deChastelain has never been able to give.

  • CyberScribe

    Is this announcement going to be used as an advert for hearing aids? I’m sure the majority of Northern Irish people are wondering what bank are the IRA going to rob next, never mind the current attempt of Sinn Feins PR team working on overdrive.

  • yerman

    The Minister and Priest were very pleasant and convincing – in so far as they went! But what exactly did they tell us that Gen deChastelain didnt.

    Lets remember here, no-one distrusts deChastelain or thinks that he is anything other than completely honest. However, he is bound by legislation and private agreements as to the type of details he can give. The witnesses have went no further than the General has. What use therefore have they been? For me they werent there to prove the ‘honesty’ of the General but to provide the additional information that deChastelain has never been able to give.

  • Brian Boru

    “There are fears and paranoias, many talk of losing their identity and of the prospect of a united Ireland – one woman even compares the situation to Israeli settlers withdrawing from the Gaza Strip. “People are watching that on TV and thinking is that going to happen to us? Are we going to be shipped out of Ireland?”

    Oh please! Nationalist Ireland has no intention of visited that on the Protestants, especially since that is what was visited on Northern Catholics 400 years ago. You don’t see us in the South driving out Protestants from Donegal. I really have to express my anger at parents who are poisoning their children’s minds with such paranoid nonsense!

    “Lets remember here, no-one distrusts deChastelain or thinks that he is anything other than completely honest. However, he is bound by legislation and private agreements as to the type of details he can give. The witnesses have went no further than the General has. What use therefore have they been? For me they werent there to prove the ‘honesty’ of the General but to provide the additional information that deChastelain has never been able to give.

    Well he said that the numbers of weapons decommissioned were consistent with the security-force’s estimates of how many weapons the PIRA has.

  • Egat morethanme

    There are less paranoid people on high doses of anti psychotic medication in purdeysburn compared to some of these buck eejits in east Belfast.

  • Dandyman

    “It’s hard for people to move on to jobs here. There’s nothing out there for us,” he says. “People used to say round here that education wasn’t important, that it wasn’t for us but I think that’s changing slowly. I have heard of four or five people going to university from this area. There is a realisation that you do need to get a qualification to get a job these days because there’s nothing else for you here.”

    F*ckin hell…where to start with that kind of an attitude?

    If it’s taken members of the Unionist Community in EB this long to realise that there is value in acquiring education, I think that they may be disappointed to hear that ‘learning stuff’ does actually require SOME effort. It’s not some hand-out from the government that you can just decide to accept or reject, and then collect down at the local welfare office..

    And er, it’s not all just a big republican-appeasement conspiracy. I think you’ll find that all over the world, better educated people tend to end up with the better jobs and bigger houses.

  • DK

    Dandyman,

    I must admit I have some sympathy with your exasperation at the attitude and your response did make me laugh. However, when I actually read the article, I realised that I know both Patsy and Raymond Laverty, (the main contributors). They are genuinely decent people who I know worked very hard to sell the GFA within their community. Both are well aware of the value of education. The last time that I met Raymond he was working late in the evenings to study for a degree course, working as a community worker and bringing up nine children. I am disappointed that he has given up on the GFA and that one of his sons is getting involved in the violence.

    I have in the past been tempted to dismiss the recent violence in the working class protestant areas as the actions of mindless thugs. To a large extent I still believe that to be true. However we do need to listen to people like the Laverty’s and try to understand their perceived fears and then act to address them where there are reasonable solutions.

  • barnshee

    BB
    “You don’t see us in the South driving out Protestants from Donegal”

    Speaking as the descendant on both sides of people driven out of the republic at partition I find you comment risable

  • susan

    My dad’s family were burned out of Co. Cavan at the time of partition too but it’s in the past. The south is a very different place but if you have never been there as most working class protestants haven’t then all you have are folk memories and that’s what you have to deal with. It all comes back to education

  • DK

    BB

    my family, (fathers side), where also “encouraged” to leave Donegal in the early thirties. However, I agree with Susan, that’s long gone and times have moved on. It is not something that informs my attitudes to the south.

    I wish some of the nationalist posters, (especially the southern ones), could also stop using hurts in the past, (not even their own past), to justify attitudes today.

  • fair_deal

    BB

    “especially since that is what was visited on Northern Catholics 400 years ago”

    Have you not been giving off on a few threads lately about Unionist whingeing? Hmmmmm.

  • fair_deal

    Also one in four border protestants report they have been subject to sectarian harrassment and last month two Protestant halls were attacked in Monaghan.