Nazi comments were a sectarian slur

And the wrangling in the wake the Father Reid outburst continues. Eammon McCann, writing on Sunday, argues that, “it was an ignorant, sectarian slur. People who defend Alec Reid on a “Yes, but” basis speak volumes about their own attitudes”.

Orange rule from Stormont was characterised by systematic discrimination against Catholics and contemptuous disregard for human rights. The civil rights movement was both inevitable and entirely justified. But Orangeism wasn’t Nazism and it is an insult to the victims of Nazism to imply that their suffering was on a par with the pain of any section of the North’s people under Stormont.

The plain Protestants never denied a Catholic a job or a house or anything else. They didn’t have the distribution of these commodities in their gift. Did the Protestants of the Fountain, Rosemount, Bishop Street etc. run Derry Corporation as a bastion of bigotry from the inception of the State to the onset of the civil rights movement? Hardly. In all of that time, there was scarcely a woman and fewer than a dozen men of the working class on the Unionist benches in the Guildhall.

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3 thoughts on “Nazi comments were a sectarian slur”



    EU funding

    It is welcome therefore that the Democratic Unionist Party, now the biggest political grouping, accepts that poverty affects all communities and must be tackled urgently and systematically. But where does that leave the debate about the causes of the recent Loyalist riots?

    One argument is that, whilst both Catholics and Protestants suffer from disadvantage, Protestant areas are more likely to have weak community infrastructure and less likely to receive funding from sources like the European Union Peace Fund.

    A report commissioned by the Department for Social Development, disclosed in last month’s SCOPE, contradicted the notion of Protestants suffering more from weak infrastructure. In fact Catholics make up well over half of the population of these weak areas.

    Unpublished report

    This month, we have information on another unpublished report by Pricewaterhouse-Coopers, which shows that Protestants have done quite well out of EU money to build up community infrastructure (measure 2.7). Groups in Protestant areas put in slightly more applications for funding, 31, than the 30 submitted from groups in Catholic areas and were more likely to succeed (61% versus 50%). More to the point, 57% of the money allocated went to beneficiaries in Protestant areas compared with 43% to those in Catholic areas.

    We already know from a report published by the Special European Union Programmes Body earlier this year that Catholics make up 72% of the population of the 500 most deprived areas (using the older Noble indicators) and that these areas submitted 1,600 applications for Peace II funding overall. Within these most deprived areas, Protestants made more applications and received more funding per head of population than Catholics.

    Facts like these are lost in a debate about ‘perceived’ grievances and we have heard much about the supposed gains Catholics have made from the use of violence. But the disadvantaged Catholic communities from 30 years ago, 20 years ago and ten years ago in west and north Belfast, Derry and elsewhere are still with us.

  2. Mick: I’m at the moment coming to the closing chapters of UDA by Jim Cusack and Henry McDonald. One of the things that struck me was the claims of plans to perform ethnic cleansing across Northern Ireland, to force Catholics into one part of the province and re-partition Northern Ireland to completely segregate Protestants and Catholics.

    That and ‘C’ Company’s links to Combat 18.

    I know this was not the focus of Alec Reid’s statements (if there was a focus), but I have been left wondering where this strand of Loyalism was founded.

  3. So, Eamonn thinks that differentiation between the man and his admittedly emotional outburst is a false front for ignorant racism then? The ability to differentiate is a hallmark of advanced critical thinking, indeed the antithesis of ignorance. Simplistic arguments ala Eamonn, are the epitome of intellectual and cognitive limitations. Most rational observers are capable of separating the comments from a lifetime of service; abhoring the momentary lapse, but judging it within the context of a life. Such complexities appear to be beyond Eamonn’s capabilities. McCann in this instance, appears to me to be thinking more about positioning himself, in a crass and thinly veiled manipulation, than he is about what actually occurred. No one would believe for a moment that Fr. Reid is ignorant, nor would anyone believe that he is a racist. McCann’s harsh, sweeping judgments are reflective of his ownlimited reason and reactive emotionality.

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