Father Reid's Nazi remark…

Father Alec Reid (one of the two churchmen who oversaw the dismantling of the IRA’s armoury) has gotten himself into a spot of bother with his comparison of Unionists to Nazis remark. He has apologised for making the remarks in a heated exchange with members of an audience in Fitzroy Presbyterian Church. It’s clear Father Reid is not a politician and that he made the remarks in the heat of an argument. But someone really ought to have warned him about Godwin’s Law. It remains to be seen whether this incident will damage his repution as an honest broker.

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21 thoughts on “Father Reid's Nazi remark…

  1. I am sure the Rev. Fr. will be disappointed at having reacting just so strongly to the conduct of the lunatic fringe.

    Thankfully Willie was decommissioned.

  2. Yeah, rural Ulster is dotted with death camps serviced by railways bringing victims in cattle trucks to their doom.

  3. He apologised. I think its clear he got upset and he admits he went way over the top. We all have a lot to thank Fr Reid for – especially the years and years of persistant pressure on republicans to abandon the violence. Since its from a man who has worked tirelessly for peace and has no sectarian bone in his body, fair and intelligent unionists will accept his apology and keep things moving in the right direction. its non-events like this that we slip up on.

  4. Too late:

    Interesting view. It would be even more interesting to hear an argument that backs that statement up with tangible evidence?

  5. Father Reid got it wrong when he likened Unionists to Nazis, from what I gather he rescinded the comment within minutes, and he is truly contrite.

    What is clear is that Nationalists were clearly treated as second class human beings under direct rule, the stormont regime, and for hundreds of years under British colonial rule. These grievances, are not imagined, and the leagacy persists. I think this is what father Reid was trying to articulate last night, and he clearly over stepped the mark, in a moment of anger.

    It is also clear that All sections of the community suffered terribly during the troubles, and that Republicans caused a lot of personal pain and suffering during this time.

    It is now time to look to the future, and to put our past behind us. But the future must be on the basis of equality.

    Republicans are looking forward, it is about time that the leadership of Unionism looked forward with them.

  6. Alex Reid certainly should not have made the comments which were pointless hyperbole.

    But let’s be clear about one thing. It’s the jewish community who deserve his apology, for remarks that trivialised the Holocaust, not unionists.

    Unionism was rotten to the core for decades. It actively, directly and indirectly discriminated for decades. It still would if it could.

    Revisionism will not change that.

  7. Beach Tree

    About it being Jews who deserve the apology – spot on! About time someone pointed that out!

    Biffo and bob

    Also spot on.

    Willie Frazer mocks offence about Alec Reid’s comments, and then basically accuses Republicans of being Nazis… quite…

    And as for BabyDoc, anyone who wants a flawless lesson in blatant hypocrisy should watch this week’s Hearts and Minds. Talk about ‘leadership that’s shirking’…

    Sadly all of this is one of those depressing exchanges that makes you wonder if there’s ANY hope at all.

    Let us not miss the REAL point here:

    The issue is there is REAL hatred in our community towards the other ‘side’. The problem is that if community leaders, such as Alec Reid, have such extreme views, what hope is there for those who look up to those leaders?

    The simple fact is that majority rule led to great disparities, and terrorist campaigns led to great suffering. But this is not the same as the systematic extermination of one people by another.

    The ‘grievance culture’ is well now out of hand, and that doesn’t help any of us.

  8. Did Willie Frazer get to see the programme about the Miami Showband earlier this week.

    Fair sounds like a good name for a victims support group – would he offer support to the victims families of this UVF & UDR terrorist atrocity?

    What did George Seawright say during the 1980’s about the building of an incinerator in Belfast?

    Paisley jr was taught well by his dad – accusing Fr Reid and the Catholic Church of teaching sectarian hatred is not only deeply offensive but overtly sectarian and incitement to hatred of catholicism – like his father for the past 50 years he will probably get away with it!
    He should not, sectarinaism should be challenged and shunned in northern ireland and not ignored.
    Were Ians views heat of the moment or what he and the DUP truly believe about Catholics and the Catholic Church.

    Well done Ian jr you have managed to snatch defeat from the moral high ground – more bigoted performances like this one and you might even make Fr Reids remarks sound plausible!

  9. The comment was clearly wrong, but apologies being rarer than hen’s teeth in this context I take the view they should be accepted graciously on the rare occasions they are offered. Of greater concern is Fr. Reid’s indulgent attitude towards fascism’s Irish variant. In the course of a fulsome encomium to the provisional movement which I suspect even they themselves may have regarded as excessive, he managed to use the term “immoral” on one occasion only, in order to censure a member of the elected government of the Republic. My concern is that to the outside observer, it becaomes all too easy to conclude, quite wrongly, that this alarming ethical illiteracy is somehow representaive of the Church.

  10. Bad stuff was dished out by and sustained by elements within both communities.
    Fr.Reid,under extreme provocation,made some intemperate,ill-judged remarks.
    Let’s just leave it at that.

  11. southern observer

    Not quite.

    The problem is that Fr Reid stated what he believes. Even his apology did not deny that.

    Ian Paisley jnr and Willie Frazer also subsequently stated what they believe.

    This is evidence of the fundamental bigoted poison in our society. And neither side has any moral high ground.

    The question we should be asking is: how do we overcome this?

  12. I don’t buy this ‘provocation’ excuse – much as I dislike Willie Frasier and his selective FAIT – if the idea wasn’t already in Alex Reids head it wouldn’t have come out.

    What I find really depressing is that if this is the sort of thing that one of the supposed ‘good guys’, who has allegedly dedicated his life to reconciliation, thinks – what hope is there for the rest.

  13. As I’ve posted elsewhere, unionists would be well advised to concentrate on why republicans (usually) make such a successful effort to moderate their language about unionism.

    Could it be that they genuinely want peace?

  14. It is my understanding that the UVF, UDA, UFF, and the Red Hand Commandoes all shop at the same discount shops as did the gestapo. A good pair of quality leather black gloves and a cotton balaclava are hard to come by.

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