There is certainly a theological argument in protests against Cemetary Sunday, the day when Catholics remember their loved ones by visiting their graves and praying for them. Although, on All Souls Night, protestants the length and breadth of Sweden make a similar visit to light the graves with candles in the darkest of Nordic nights. What is decidedly not theological, is the threat by some of the protesters to dig up the graves of individual Catholics in revenge. Susan McKay draws a fairly powerful literary comparison (subs needed).
In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the monster appeals to its creator not to denounce it: ‘Remember that I am thy creature.’ There is no point in the DUP claiming it doesn’t know the rabble descending on the graveyard at Carnmoney. These lost souls are its people.
“I do not believe that the majority of unionists support what happened at Carnmoney cemetery. I have no doubt that many would reject these scenes of squalid sectarianism allegedly being carried out in their name.
“There is a huge job of work required by those with influence within the broader unionist community to tackle sectarianism. Certainly I believe that we all need to show positive leadership and challenge the demonisation of each other.
“We need an open and honest debate about the nature, causes and extent of sectarianism within our communities.