Nationalist state challenge to Unionists?

This came from reader Seamus. It’s about the controversy over a PSNI recruit who chose to wear his family’s old IRA medal from the War of Independence. In his email to Slugger, he goes on to write:

Unionists seem to think that the Northern State should cherish, institutionalise and propagate only their ideology and employ only suitably unionist people in state jobs. (It is notable here that up to 60% per cent of Six County jobs are state jobs, as compared to less than 40% in the more vibrant economy south of the border). Moreover, they have been molly-coddled by the British into thinking that they have some inalienable right to ‘work’ in high-paid statutory jobs that involve a minimum of effort and that are skewed towards the preservation of unionist values.

That republicans have stretched themselves to engaging in the ceremonial laying of wreaths for the WWI dead is something I for one believe to be political apostasy, but it does convey a willingness (even enthusiasm) on the part of nationalists to respect parity of esteem. What a shock unionism will get when powers are devolved to the north and nationalists begin to engage in all the forces of the state, and at the highest levels, with a PSNI gun in the one hand and a ballot box in the other.

  • ??

    With the PSNI using members of the Gardaí (and vice versa), how would this factor in? Would southern recruits be allowed to wear southern medals and northern recruits to the south be allowed to wear theirs?

  • headmelter

    Fair balls to him but he’ll probably be made feel as welcome as a fart in a space suit wherever he is stationed.

  • ulster scot

    Missing the point as ever.This particular medal relates/celebrates participation in the so called Irish war of Independance or as it is known in some quarters as the Black and Tan war.Even a brief examination of the events of the 1916-21 period indicates a wide catolgue of republican forces war crimes in the execution of protestant citizens(with no state forces association)- ie WestCork and Bandon area.This medal in effect celebrates genocide,ethnic cleansing,and a wide variety of republican war crimes against the minority population in the Republic of Ireland – all of which would be considered contrary to the Geneva Convention.The thought that somewhere in N Ireland a policeman is walking the streets who beleives that is something to be proud of fills me with despair.What next a recruit from a German background wearing a Iron Cross with Swastika to acknowledge his grand dads particapation in the Final Solution.A police force that permits the celebration of facism/terrorism within its ranks does not deserve community support.

  • Mike

    I’m very disappointed in Slugger for carrying this ill-informed, offensive crap from Seamus. For example:

    “Unionists seem to think that the Northern State should cherish, institutionalise and propagate only their ideology and employ only suitably unionist people in state jobs”

    “Moreover, they have been molly-coddled by the British into thinking that they have some inalienable right to ‘work’ in high-paid statutory jobs that involve a minimum of effort”

    So, appaently, Unionists are all bigots who want only Unionists employed by the state, and public servants are highly-paid slacker who do little owrk.

    Says more about the prejudices of Seamus than anyone else.

    But again I expected more from an ‘official’ Slugger contribution.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    It is the PSNI themselves who allow past medals etc to be worn by relatives of those who have received them. In this case it is an historical medal of nearly one hundred years old.

    I take it that relatives of UDR/RIR/RUC members can wear medals associated with their relatives despite these emblems having a more comtemporary association with murder and terror.

    I doubt if there are many people alive who suffered during the War of Independence. The relatives of the victims of collusion and state violence are still very much with us.

  • Shamo

    “A police force that permits the celebration of facism/terrorism within its ranks does not deserve community support” – Ulster Scot.
    My friend, I’m perfectly aware of the outrages committed in the War of Independece, as in any war, but your omission if things like Bloody Sunday (in Croke Park) from our historical epistemology says more for your lack of education than mine. Your suggestion, above, that the PSNI doesn’t already celebrate terrorism is pathetically biased.

    Mike – fair dues to you, I admit I have a bit of a grudge on this one. For years a heavily subsidised Six County state had unionists tell us down here in the 26 that we needed a little “northern efficiency” to get our economy going. How the tables have turned! It gives me a little pleasure to point out how incapable and inefficient the NIO is, but no pleasure to point out that British rule has destroyed the Northern economy.

  • How acceptable would an old UVF badge have been?

  • ulster scot

    Spot on Bertie!-or an orange collarette to celebrate a relatives participation in the Battle of the Boyne.Personally I beleive the wearing of medals or any insignia to represent the actions of a relative(dead or alive)should not be permitted.How can anyone verify the nature of the circumstances of the award?.For all we know or don’t know, the PSNI recruit wearing this medal may not be aware of “all” the actions of the relative he is commemorating.For all we know he could have executed protestants simply for being pro British in political outlook or for being a suspected communicant/informer with British Forces ie ironically speaking to an RIC constable in public.A full investigation is now required to determine the nature(if possible) of this award – if there is any suggestion that the relative of this PSNI recruit committed any human rights violations the recruit should be subject to a disciplinary hearing for displaying sectarian bigotry at a public event.

  • martin ingram

    This officer has every right to wear any medal that is not proscribed in his service .It is normal to have a rule which govern what can be worn on a parade. If this medal is allowed then what is the problem? I for one would defend this mans right to wear this medal as I would an ex soldier to wear a NI campaign medal ( As they do)

    I accept it was probibly not the wisest move BUT he clearly as a guts and I would buy him a drink for making it clear that this new police force no longer represents one section of the community.

    Martin.

  • ulster scot

    I am sure the PSNI in all its infinite wisdom doesn’t have a list of approved medals or otherwise – I bet they soon will have however.
    Lets hope the Iron Cross (with or without oak leafs)for liquidating Polish Jews and the Black and Tan Medal for executing British and/or Protestant civilians is not amongst them.In the meantime a public apology from the PSNI to the British population will do for a starter,followed by the disciplining of the Chief Officer of PSNI training and the recruit who beleives celebrating terrorists is the best way to instill public confidence in his impartiality.
    For me the PSNI are not worthy of support

  • Mal One

    Why on earth should a new PSNI constable feel it neccessary to wear a medal that that has absolutely nothing to do with him. So one of his relatives was awarded it …big deal!.
    My grandfather also had one which I now hold. Do I feel the need to display this and bask in the reflected glory or indifference ..of course not. If a relative, distant or otherwise, of a PSNI constable was awarded a medal by someone in the past what possible relevance has this to a passing out parade?
    My opinion is that no medal,citation etc should be allowed whatsoever. It’s just a mini version of rags on the lamp posts.

    Wise up.

    Mal

  • oceallaigh

    Makes you wonder if the people objecting to this cop wearing the medal are just as morally outraged when the paratroopers involved in Derry`s Bloody Sunday wear their medals at rememberance services .It just seems like an attack on all things Irish with no recognition that the War of Independance was a legitimate fight against a foreign invader .If this same cop had worn a medal that his grandfather was given for service in the Russian invasion of Afghanistan I doubt if there would be any objections at all .Whatever way you look at it anyway he will always be looking over his shoulder ,the PSNI might welcome “Catholics” but I think not Catholics that retain their culture .How many cops do you know that live or would contemplate living anywhere on Derry`s west bank ,west Belfast or south Armagh ?

  • Reader

    oceallaigh: if the people objecting to this cop wearing the medal are just as morally outraged when the paratroopers involved in Derry`s Bloody Sunday wear their medals at rememberance services

    It’s the wrong argument. Whatever the nature of the medal, it wasn’t earned by the recruit. If some 100 year old wants to wear a medal for his participation in either side of the war of independence, I doubt there would be half the fuss. But if a PSNI officer wanted to wear his great-grandaddy’s medal for service in the Black and Tans, would you be complaining?

  • Mal One

    “How many cops do you know that live or would contemplate living anywhere on Derry`s west bank ,west Belfast or south Armagh ?”

    Good question but the answer is obvious. No PSNI officers live in these areas because, and select one answer only; (a) The Shinners do not like them gettting close to the locals or (b) The Shinners do not like them getting friendly with the locals or (c) The Shinners do not like ….something or other about the PSNI..the answer is always no but …what was the question again?.

    I’m sure that many Catholic PSNI would love to live in those areas ….but with the Shinners in control and even though the Shinners accept the Queen’s shilling living there would be the title of a crap Charles Bronson film.

  • Removed

    Any chance i could get into the big brother house ?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    “How many cops do you know that live or would contemplate living anywhere on Derry`s west bank ,west Belfast or south Armagh ?”

    The answer is quite obvious, after decades of murder; collusion and abuse why would nationalists even contemplate having these people in their midst. Isn’t their hostels or clearing houses for their ilk?

  • oceallaigh

    reader….”But if a PSNI officer wanted to wear his great-grandaddy’s medal for service in the Black and Tans, would you be complaining?” …..
    Personally as someone who grew up in the Bogside and also lived in different parts of Belfast during the 70`s I believe the actions of the RUC (later reconstructed PSNI) had just as much a devestating impact on Northern nationalists as the Black and Tans had towards the civilian population of the South .My point in mentioning that they don`t live in Derry`s west bank,west Belfast or south Armagh is no matter what they are called they are still unacceptable as a police force to most nationalist/republicans in the north ,like it or not .

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ”The answer is quite obvious, after decades of murder; collusion and abuse why would nationalists even contemplate having these people in their midst.”

    I assume you’re referring to SF/IRA in the above statement Pat. The provos murdered more of ‘their own’ than the ‘crown forces’ ever did.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Could the nationalists contributing to this thread remind us of their opinion of public figures eg. BBC newsreaders wearing poppies on poppy day ? The replies at the moment seem to be “why are the unionists complaining about a little badge” but the chucks do the same thing themselves all the time. That’s the thing about this crazy place – there’s always another foot for the shoe to go on.

    The unionist opinion hasn’t been much better though. Let’s take a look at the “contribution” from “Ulster Scot” :

    Even a brief examination of the events of the 1916-21 period indicates a wide catolgue of republican forces war crimes in the execution of protestant citizens(with no state forces association)- ie WestCork and Bandon area.

    What sort of “brief examination” did you undertake, and can you describe of the top of your head a few examples from this “wide catolgue” (sic) ? Lots of people were put out of their houses. A lot of other people will have left. But how many were executed ?

    This medal in effect celebrates genocide,ethnic cleansing,and a wide variety of republican war crimesagainst the minority population in the Republic of Ireland

    This medal dates to the early 1920s, the Republic of Ireland did not exist until 1949. What “war crimes” took place ? What “genocide” or “ethnic cleansing” occurred ?

    In many places in Ireland, Protestant churches still exist with congregations of their own. If ethnic cleansing occurred then why are they still there ? Compare this eg with scenes from the former Yugoslavia where entire villages and towns were raized to the ground and every single person slaughtered. Is this the same thing ?

    all of which would be considered contrary to the Geneva Convention.

    Cite the specific articles of the Convention (which did not exist at the time, but we’ll ignore that) which were violated and provide dates and the actions which occurred.

    The thought that somewhere in N Ireland a policeman is walking the streets who beleives that is something to be proud of fills me with despair.

    Bear in mind the background here, which is that this new recruit may well find himself very unwelcome in the community he grew up in, and he may even find that family members will no longer speak to him; he is under an implicit death threat from dissident republicans.

    Not everyone agrees with your view of what the IRA were doing in the 1920s. Provided this man discharges his duty as a police officer effectively, he deserves commendation for making a very brave decision to join the force. If he does a bad job, then he should of course be held to account, disciplined and removed if it comes to that.

    Lets hope the Iron Cross (with or without oak leafs)for liquidating Polish Jews and the Black and Tan Medal for executing British and/or Protestant civilians is not amongst them.

    What is this Black and Tan medal you’re on about then ? Does it really exist, and was it really issued for executing civilians ?

    For me the PSNI are not worthy of support

    The unionists started using that line when they couldn’t get their march down the Whiterock Road and they’ve used it to whine about every little silly thing they don’t like ever since. Why not judge the police on it’s ability to discharge it’s duties effectively and impartially, rather than concerning yourself with the political beliefs or heritage of the officers ?

  • Brian Boru

    Ulster scot, you are talking a load of twaddle. The Protestant population started a steep decline in 1911 – 8 years before the War of Independence. As such, you cannot blame that on an IRA which at that stage did not even exist. Nor did its precedessor the Irish Volunteers. What caused this sudden decline? It was the Unionists beginning to demand partition, and the consequent fears among many Southern Protestants of being on “the wrong side of the border”.

    As evidence, I present this graph I found online charting the decline of Southern Protestantism. http://www.wesleyjohnston.com/users/ireland/charts/declining_prot_1891_1991.gif As you can see, the Protestant population’s rate of decline slowed significantly after partition, as those who had wanted to leave due to partition had already largely done so. From them on, it took 48 years for the Protestant % of the population to go from 8% to 4%. So much for “genocide” and other typical hysterical buzzwords from the Unionists. The majority of Protestants in the South married Catholics and the Catholic church rules requiring the children of such marriages to be raised as Catholics accounts for the majority of the decline in Protestant numbers.

    Furthermore, since it makes more sense to examine current trends in the Republic in order to extrapolate what the likely movement in Northern Protestant %’s in a United Ireland, it is interesting to note from the 2002 Census the large increase in Protestant numbers and %’s, which have risen from 2.8% to 4.5%, due to 3 factors: A: The collapse of the influence of the Catholic church means that mixed couples are no longer uniformly bringing children up as Catholics, B: Immigration by Protestants including the return of some who emigrated for economic reasons in the past and C: Conversions of thousands of Catholics due to scandals in the church.

    I reject the thesis that there were any large-scale killings of Southern Protestants in the War of Independence. Regarding the Bandon area I would point out the existing in that war of a Loyalist terror group called the Loyalist Action Force, which colluded with the British military by point out Republican homes and persons which were then promptly burnt/killed/tortured. Those involved in such burnings cared little for the dependents of such Republicans, and had little qualms about torturing family members and rendering them homeless. It therefore ill behoves Loyalists to complain about the fate of those who actively assisted the British forces in the War of Independence. Not all Protestants supported the Brits by the way, and I repeat again to Ulster Scot to refrain from his unproven and untrue allegations of “genocide”.

    Also, the discrimination against Catholics in the North, combined with the large rise in the Catholic % there from 31% to 41% since partition, shows that a correlation does not necessarily exist between treatment of a minority and demographic trends.

  • Comarade

    “The unionists started using that line when they couldn’t get their march down the Whiterock Road and they’ve used it to whine about every little silly thing they don’t like ever since. ”

    Could I ask you not to use terms like “the unionionists” and assign sentiments to it that not all share.

  • martin ingram

    The PSNI has a disciplined force and with a record of training thousands of officers WILL HAVE A RULE BOOK. If the rules aint been broken then whats the problem here.?

    The issue about wearing medals won /earned by distant relatives is a mute one and indeed is the Norm when not in service. In service it is unusual but once more it should be refered to the Standing instructions. It really does depend on what are contained within the Standing Orders.

    If this man has not broken the rule book then no problem ? what is good for the goose is good for the gander UNLESS you want to ban the wearing of all MEDALS ON PARADE.

    Some people on here want to grow up and stop acting like they lived in a one sided society or is that the problem?

    Martin

  • I would not consider it appropriate for medals of the old IRA or the old UVF to be worn by police recruits. I know that there are differences between them and their modern day namesakes but the sensitivities of the entire population should IMO take priority on this occasion. I have aproblem commemorating the old UVF even though I have no problem with them, I am decended form them and I respect their sacrifice in the first World War. However I would be too concerned about the sensitivities of people who may have suffered at the hands of the modern UVF, and for whom those initials are a trigger for deep distress, to make a display of old UVF badges.

  • ulster scot

    To all Medal Wearers and their “in denial” descendants

    “It was in the early months of 1921 however that the IRA reign of terror reached its peak. The Southern Irish Loyalist Relief Association began publishing long lists of those unionists, Protestant and Catholic, who had been murdered or otherwise harrassed by republicans. One such pamphlet recalled the case of Alfred Cotter, “a master-baker living in Bandon” who was taken from his home in his mother’s presence and shot dead. His crime was that he supplied bread to the local police.

    Those few loyalists brave enough to supply information on terrorist activities to the police service faced a similarly terrible fate. Two Skibbereen unionists, Sweetnam and O’Connoll, were murdered on February 23rd for having “given evidence against a man who had been levying subscriptions for the IRA” . As the relief workers commented “it is as much as a loyal man’s life is worth to be seen entering a police barracks in many parts”. James Beale, a Protestant, was kidnapped and shot for fraternising with local Auxiliaries.

    Others were murdered for lesser crimes – Alfred Reilly was executed as “a leading member of the Methodist body in Cork” whilst on March 6th a young Protestant girl in Castletownbere had her hair shaved off for fraternising with Union soldiers.

    In April Michael O’Keefe, an ex-serviceman, was dragged from his bed in Carrigtwohill by IRA terrorists – his body was later discovered with an IRA claim that the dead man was “a convicted spy” . This was a pattern that was terrifyingly familiar to Cork’s minority unionist community and to ex-servicemen.

    The IRA carried the war to Protestant social activities also; on the 29th of June Deasy recalls an attack on a “Protestant social hall” in Bandon. Deasy, claiming that the social hall was “earmarked for enemy occupation” proudly recalls how “a party of Volunteers daringly burnt the building to the ground”.

    IRA man O’ Suilleabhain does defend his unit’s activities; “We burned no house occupied by a civilian, loyalist or otherwise” – however he does concede that “in other areas it is true that the IRA reacted to this [army activity] by burning loyalist homes”.

    Hence we can see that, even when politically inactive, Protestants and Unionists were still targeted. Not all IRA violence was religiously based however; in terms of IRA attacks on the Catholic population they were largely directed at ex-servicemen – the loyalist relief association asserted that “many Catholics have been shot by the IRA particularly ex-servicemen whose lot in the South is truly deplorable”.

    Nor was the violence class-based. Of the 113 houses burnt to the ground by the IRA just 15% belonged to Catholics – in a 90% Catholic county. Many of the Protestants murdered were working-class – Robert Eady, murdered on February 12th 1921 in Cork city is a case in point.

    For much much more on murder,terrorism and genocide go to historian Harts articles at

    http://www.reform.org/demography_why.htm

  • BogExile

    I’m less worried about the wearing of bits of tin (on collarattes or cap badges) than the effectiveness of the people they are attached to to impartially uphold and enforce the law.

    The PSNI is not a police (and don’t start me on that fucking politically correct banality ‘policing’) service. It is at the moment a rather hapless, toothless, demoralised and utterly ineffectual bastard child of a marrieage of convenience between the human rights industry and silly wonks in the NIO.

    Result, a law ‘enforcement’ agency which can talk an exquisitely good game while homes burn in Ahoghill.

    The lions are already led by Donkeys. We should be worried about recruiting more Donkeys than what they wear for a parade.

  • The judgement about what they consider appropriate for this ceremony rasies doubts in my mind about his potential operational effectiveness. Apart from that I have some sympathy with your other points.

  • Brian Boru

    Ulster Scot, while your at it maybe you’ll post records of Black and Tan attrocities too. I contend that anyone passing information to the British Army in the South got what they deserved. You conveniently ignore the 1918 Election which gave SF a mandate to set up Dail Eireann – the real government of Ireland – and that the British government had thrown the majority of SF MPs into jail even before the War began. So much for democracy. That anyone down here can have helped a foreign army to suppress a democratic decision is a disgrace and a form of treason.

    In particular, note these remarks by Lt.Col. Smyth of the Black and Tans in June 1920:

    “If a police barracks is burned or if the barracks already occupied is not suitable, then the best house in the locality is to be commandeered, the occupants thrown into the gutter. Let them die there – the more the merrier. Should the order (“Hands Up”) not be immediately obeyed, shoot and shoot with effect. If the persons approaching (a patrol) carry their hands in their pockets, or are in any way suspicious-looking, shoot them down. You may make mistakes occasionally and innocent persons may be shot, but that cannot be helped, and you are bound to get the right parties some time. The more you shoot, the better I will like you, and I assure you no policeman will get into trouble for shooting any man.”

    Furthermore, Malachy Halfpenny who fought in the 1914-1918 war with the British Army was taken from his house in the Ardoyne area by these brave Black and Tans, and nailed to a tree in the grounds of Our Lady of Mercy Primary School, located on the Crumlin Road, and was tortured and burnt to death. In November, the Tans arrested a Catholic priest, Fr. Michael Griffin, in Galway and his body was later found in a bog in Barna. They burnt out the centre of Cork city. In November 21st 1920 (Bloody Sunday), the Auxiliaries killed 14 players (including Michael Hogan) , and crowd members in Croke Park during a GAA football game, and a priest attempting to give one of them the last rights was also shot dead. Another 65 were injured on that day. The casualties included Jeannie Boyle, who had gone to the match with her fiancée and was due to be married five days later, and John Scott, who was fourteen, and so mutilated that it was initially thought that he had been savagely bayoneted. The youngest victims were aged 10 and 11. In the first 18 months of the war, the Crown forces killed 77 unarmed civilians, sacked 102 towns and committed 1,604 armed assaults. Yes, such “bravery” by the “valiant” British army in those days. You must be so proud, Ulster Scot.

    The British government spread enormous amounts of black propaganda during the War to give the false impression that the Old IRA campaign was sectarian. In particular, if spies/collaborators killed by the IRA were Catholics, they would neglect to mention their religion, whereas if they were Protestant they would mention their religion. The majority of such killings were of Catholics.

  • Brian Boru

    And another 700 civilians were killed in the last 18 months BTW.

  • Brian Boru

    Not the last 18 months but rather 700 civilians were killed between January and July 1921 alone I meant to say. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Irish_War

    “in November 1919. In March 1920, Thomas Mac Curtain, the Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Cork, was shot dead, in front of his wife at his home, by men with blackened faces who were later seen returning to the local police barracks. His successor, Terence MacSwiney, died on hunger strike in Brixton prison in London. The jury at the inquest into his death returned a verdict of wilful murder against David Lloyd George (the British Prime Minister) and District Inspector Swanzy, among others. Swanzy was later tracked down and killed in Lisburn, in County Antrim.”

    The Essex Regiment also killed unarmed prisoners in the war. In August 1920, there were so many warrants served on members of Crown forces that the British government suspended Coroners’ Courts. A testament to their brutality.

  • ulster scot

    To Boru – you have consistently refused to codemn the slaughter/intimidation of protestant non combatants in the so called war of independance or the “sein fein terror” as southern protestants more accurately preferred to call it.The wearing of a medal to commemorate such brutality against civilians due to their religous and political affilation is disgusting.How can this PSNI recruit with such a weak awareness of human rights abuse (past or present)be in any policeforce?.In Celebrating a relative who perhaps a)murdered civilians due to their religous beleive and/or b) destoyed their homes is very close to celebrating ethnic cleansing.This matter ca now only be settled by the fullest investigation as to the role this recruits relative played in the terrorism inflicted on protestants and unionists.

  • Brian Boru

    Ulster Scot, there was no sectarian motivation in killings by the Old IRA. The Irish people have always regarded British rule as a foreign occupation and our independence was a natural part of the decolonisation of the 20th century European empires. The Old IRA did target informers, as would any army engaged in military operations. Most collaborators kiled by the Old IRA were Catholics not Protestants. The Protestant population only fell from 10% to 8% between 1911-1921. After independence, the rate of decline fell so that it took 48 years for the Protestants to reach 4% – and that with a rapid Catholic birth rate and widespread intermarriage where – under the Catholic church Ne Temere decree – the children were brought up as Catholics (something which is no longer the primary practice for mixed marriages in the more secular Southern Ireland of today). The evidence points to a gradual decline in Protestant numbers after independence – not the pogrom anti-Catholic demagogues in the North talk about.

    If you want to talk about ethnic-cleansing or oppression of minorities, then talk about the burning down of Bombay Street in the 1960’s, or the violent expulsion of thousands of Catholics – including 700 workers at H+W – from their workplaces – especially in the 1920’s. Or Lord Brookeborough calling on Protestants “not to employ Roman Catholics 95% of whom are disloyal”, and his own sacking of all the Catholics working on his Coalbrook estate as an example to other Protestant employers. Or the gerrymandering of Derry such that its 66% Catholic population were represented by Unionists which happened starting from after 1920 when Unionists first lost control of the Corporation. Or the abolition of PR voting system by the Unionist Old Stormont government. This electoral system was intended to protect minorities which is why Craig scrapped it while the South still has it to this day. Fermanagh and Tyrone also had Catholic majorities and yet were imprisoned on the wrong side of the border because Unionism rejected the call for a 6 county plebiscite. The Unionists in the North are in no position to lecture the South, whose treatment of the Protestants down here was saintlike in comparison to their state’s menacing treatment of Northern Catholics.

  • Brian Boru is a supporter of the criminal IRA and as such will always refuse to recognise that the crimes they committed make them criminals. He talks about ethnic cleansing while carefully ignoring where it occured when catholics burned out Christian Protestants, ignores the fact that the state of Ireland was intended to be a “catholic state for a catholic people” and refuses to condemn the sectarianism of Ne Temere.
    As such any comment by him is best being ignored.

  • Shamo

    Maith thú Brian Boru,

    It’s so entertaining seeing Ulster Scot duck and dive from the excellent points you make, only to repeat his jaded mantra of ‘no taigs about the place’.

    People like him prove that unionism is an anachronism in the modern world, recalcitrant in the face of change. They can’t seem to understand that anyone with more than a scyntilla of historical knowledge finds their ideology as outmoded and inoperable as the hansome cab.

    Maybe you should give us your other opinions on world politics Ulster Scot. Like possibly that ‘Ghandi should have been jailed’ or ‘Mandela was a terrorist’ or ‘Our biggest mistake was leaving Zimbabwe’. You’re just so twee.

  • ulster scot

    Pointless Engagement with Boru/Shamo and the other Hitler Kinder.For the record and to further prove the point my blogs have never said “no taigs about the place”.Merely by implication no persons prepared to celebrate terrorists in the police force – big difference!!!

    The justification in Boru’s reponse that a Black & Tans Commander approved of house occupations does not justify the facts that 85% of property burnt was protestant owned in a 90% Catholic county.Nor does he of course even attempt to condone the murders of Protestant non combatants.
    Waste of time now/ever in attempting engagement with gaelic colonists.We the orginal (expelled) inhabitants the Scotia nee the Cruithin/Dalriadans have simply returned from Pictland(Scotland)and repocessed part of our ancestral homelands from the invading Gaelic hords.Read a bit from genuine historical texts before indulging in propoganda based slangs.You’ill be telling us next St Patrick wasn’t a Brit but was really Irish.

  • Shamo

    Tee hee. The man who invokes ethnocentric, tribalist, primitivist drivel calls us Nazi’s. Maybe you should read a decent theoretical text like Benedict Anderson’s ‘Imagined Communities’, which might enlighten you as to the barbaric results of such unabashed racism.
    At least you’re honest, which I grudgingly admire.

  • Comrade Stalin

    “Ulster Scot”, quoting David Christopher in a conversation of this kind is a bit like quoting David Irving in a discussion about whether or not there really were concentration camps during WW2.

    The article describes a number of incidents where houses were burnt down and people were shot or intimidated. There can be no apology for any of that. However, I’m sorry, but this is not ethnic cleansing and it was not genocide. Genocide is where an entire ethnic group or section of society is targetted for total wipe-out and where that wipeout makes a considerable impact. There is nothing that has taken place on this entire island within the past 100 years that could reasonably be described as genocide. Not even the times when Ian Paisley stood on street corners on the Shankill in the 1950s and named the houses where Catholics were living; not even when Bombay St was burnt to the ground. These are serious civil disturbances and upheaval, but they just aren’t in the same league as what the Nazis were doing.

    People who throw around terms like this are insulting the memory of the people who perished at concentration camps during WW2. They should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Brian Boru takes the shoe and puts it on the other foot :

    I contend that anyone passing information to the British Army in the South got what they deserved.

    What evidence do you have that those shot or burnt out were passing on information ? Your double standards are breathtaking.

    You conveniently ignore the 1918 Election which gave SF a mandate to set up Dail Eireann

    How does this excuse burning out or murdering Protestants on the basis of their religion ?

    In particular, note these remarks by Lt.Col. Smyth of the Black and Tans in June 1920:

    In what way does Col Smyth’s opinion make it OK to kill people because they go to the wrong church ?

    The British government spread enormous amounts of black propaganda during the War to give the false impression that the Old IRA campaign was sectarian.

    Have you got a shred of evidence to back up this claim or did you just make it up ?

    Let’s face it Brian – you’re an apologist for sectarian murder. Why do you feel the need to excuse the IRA’s atrocities ? There is nothing to lose by admitting that they did some very bad things indeed. All armies do.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Ulster Scot:

    We the orginal (expelled) inhabitants the Scotia nee the Cruithin/Dalriadans have simply returned from Pictland(Scotland)and repocessed part of our ancestral homelands from the invading Gaelic hords.

    The Cruithin are an imaginary, made-up race that never existed – like leprauchauns. Why else do you think is there no archaelogical evidence of their ever having walked the earth ? Jesus, you don’t need a Aryan-style race theory just to defend your right to live in this place in peace.

  • Biffo

    Ulster Scot

    “We the orginal (expelled) inhabitants the Scotia nee the Cruithin/Dalriadans have simply returned from Pictland(Scotland)and repocessed part of our ancestral homelands from the invading Gaelic hords.”

    Stop Now! Don’t embarress yourself.

    This kind of loyalist fantasy history, invented by Unionist politician Ian Adamson in the 1970’s ran out of steam a long time ago.

    I don’t even think Ian Adamson peddles this kind of preposterous crap anymore.

    “You’ill be telling us next St Patrick wasn’t a Brit but was really Irish.”

    You’ll be telling us next that St.Patrick founded the Church of Ireland.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I don’t even think Ian Adamson peddles this kind of preposterous crap anymore.

    I’m afraid that he does.

    Don’t get me wrong. Loyalist and unionist people are an integral part of Ireland as well as Northern Ireland. They deserve the right to live here unmolested, and in peace and they absolutely do not deserve to have the atrocities committed against them in the past wallpapered over, in the way that “Brian Boru” just tried to do. Everyone in Ireland, North and South, deserves truth and justice.

    I just get upset when people start talking about ethnic cleansing or genocide – as I said it is an insult to the people who suffered during WW2, or in places like Cambodia under Pol Pot, etc. I get really upset when people try to stake a claim of their own on place with these silly made-up fairytale “lost tribes of Israel” type stories.

    We’re all here to stay – none of us are moving. Ergo we need to learn to live in peace.

  • ulster scot

    Comrade – Must disagree – Simply making the point that the Gaelic Wonderland that we Ulster Scots were supposed to have destroyed by our evil colonist ways was nothing of the sort.Every major historian acknowledges that before the big bad English(at a Gaelic cheiftains invite) arrived there occurred major displacements between Ireland(Scotti) and the lowland kingdom of Dalriada – the displaced tribal grouping was the Cruthin,nor surprisingly later called Scots because they came from Scotti(later called Ireland).They were displaced by newcomers immigrating into the south of theIsland(the Celts) who formed a Gaelic network of kingdoms.The big point here for present day Ulster Scots is that all idea’s of us being plantation colonists is nonsense.All the 1600’s saw was the return of a displaced tribe to its original land.The big problem is that we came back with a different mindset(Presbyterianism)which forever will alienate us from Gaelic Catholic Ireland.Present day Irish Republicans need to acknowledge the factual position that thehistory of this island did not begin with English colonisation but involved 3 centuries earlier a majorpopulation displacement- corrected in the 1600’s

  • iatethewholebag

    It’s funny how a discussion about a medal worn by a police officer inevitably degenerates into an argument about who has been more hard done by. In this country, it seems like the only card that anyone ever plays is the victim card.

    It is for this reason that any company that I have ever worked for has banned the wearing of symbols that associate you with being either a catholic or a protestant. I certainly can’t think of anywhere that I have worked where I would not have been sacked on the spot for going to work wearing an IRA or UVF badge. If the management of Moy Park are intelligent enough to realise that the wearing of such symbols is inevitably going to have everyone yapping about being victimised, then why are the leaders of an organisation like the PSNI not clever enough to ban them as well?

    It would be nice to live in a society where freedom of speech and expression prevailed, but if we are completely honest, we would have to say that this will never happen, for several reasons.

    1. People like this PSNI officer will always abuse the privelege, wearing symbols with the sole intention of causing controversy and annoying people.

    2. People will always be offended by people who abuse the privelege, and will inevitably start to argue about how they are victims, how the other side done this and that on our side, and how the history we were taught at school is 100% true and unbiased and the history that you were taught at school is 100% propaganda that you have been brainwashed with.

    This country will never move forward until people become a little bit more tolerant, a little bit more considerate, and a hell of a lot more willing to look to the future instead of at what happened in 1912.

    Judging by the content of this blog, it’s going to be a long, long time before that happens.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Must disagree

    This is not a matter of agreement or disagreement, “Ulster Scot”. There is no evidence that the Cruithin are anything other than a mythological race. There is no hard evidence showing they existed or evidence proving any of the migratory movements you have vomited up from Ian Adamson’s silly books. How did Adamson find all this stuff anyway ?

    Every major historian acknowledges ..

    Let’s be clear about this, no major historian with an established reputation accepts either the Cruithin theory, or that anyone migrated en masse from Ireland and subsequently returned as the same cohesive group. It is rubbish.

    Present day Irish Republicans need to acknowledge the factual position that the history of this island did not begin with English colonisation but involved 3 centuries earlier a majorpopulation displacement- corrected in the 1600’ss handed down over the years or something ?

    It isn’t a fact at all. It is a hypothesis for which there is no evidence. Do you know what the word “evidence” means ? It means that you can’t invent spurious claims and pass them off as fact without referring to established underlying facts.

    I am in no way trying to deny the equal rights of any group in Ireland, but sticking to these silly made-up theories does you a disservice.

  • Bemused

    If I had a pound for every time I’ve seen some desperate Unionist resort to the risible twattery of Ian Adamson and his “WE’RE actually the original inhabitants of the North of Ireland and it was always actually a separate country……..” etc. etc. ad nausem…….

  • Biffo

    Ulster Scot

    “Every major historian acknowledges…..”

    Actually, no major historian acknowledges this kind of racist bullshit, to do so would be make them look very unprofessional.

    What you should have said was:

    “Every, confused, gullible and ignorant loyalist who yearns for some weird kind of ancient legitimacy to explain the colonial episode that was the plantation of Ulster acknowledges…..”

  • ulster scot

    To Comrade,Biffo,and Bemused – a correction!!

    The evidence can be found in dozens of modern historical books most of which rely on ancient irish texts such as the “Annals of Ulster” and in the works of Irelands most eminent historianProf T E O’Rahilly(relating to the Labor Gabala document),this is supported by his Scottish counterpart Dr William Ferguson.

    Books you lads should read are:

    Ancient Scotland – Geddes&Crosset – Pub 2004

    Bloodline – L Gardner – Pub 1996
    and the most recent:

    The Tribes of Britain – D Miles – Pub 2005

    The above quote multiple source materials and confirm Adamsons original research to be totally correct.These post Adamson sources do confirm a)
    the existence of the Cruithin people b)the existence for 500 years of a Dalriadan Kingdom that spanned from lowland Scotland+ Ulster(the home of the Ulster Scots who reemigrated in the 16th Century)and c)the expulsion of the Dalridans by military pressure from the southern Ui ONeill in the 8th/9th centuries.

    Interesting I NEVER mentioned Ian Adamson at all -you did.Interesting the Iirsh History taught for the best part of the 20th Century in religous schools is based on two platforms a) Mythology -the ancient Irish Hero’s and b)the colonisation post 1000AD.The Jesuits/C B did a good brainwashing job in carefuly selecting a partial and partisan version rather than referring at all to the emerging new truths.It’s a bit like the USA – until 30 years ago the Indians were the baddies,now most Americans are ashamed of their treatment of the Indians in the light of publications such as “Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee”.

    Hopefully a reccessment of some sort might begin on this Island – now that we are told the church have lost the ability to direct/control thoughts and experiences.Some chance!!!!!!!

  • Betty Boo

    http://www.scottishhistory.com/articles/early/settlement/settlement_page1.html

    “One of the key periods in Scottish history however is little known, documented, or studied. This is a period which marks the beginnings of modern Scotland and the introduction of a new people into the geographical area of Scotland. A new people who were ultimately to give their name to that geographical area and who were to found the modern nation of Scotland. ….
    The date of AD 300 is not as arbitrary a starting point as it sounds. It was chosen because in 297 complaints were made of attacks on the fortified Roman frontier by two peoples the “Picti” and the “Scotti”. Two peoples who were to be heavily involved both with each other and ultimately in forming the kingdom of Scotland.
    The links between the two peoples were significant. Gildas wrote c. 450 of “foul hordes of Scots and Picts” when detailing the Roman evacuation of Britain the century before. The Scotti seem to have become allies of the Picts at an early stage and the seaborne attacks mounted on the Roman province to the south caused havoc and led to changes in Roman strategy. By 367 the Scots and the Picts were part of the Barbarian conspiracy which led to the overrunning of Hadrian’s wall.
    It is more than likely that this involvement of the Scotti in affairs outside their territory led to the settling of some Scots in Scotland after all, they could see Kintyre from Antrim and would no doubt have some idea what the geography across the water was.
    Across Europe in this period there was a great wave of migrations of tribes and peoples, it seems only logical therefore, to expect evidence of this in relation to the Scots. It is possible that the evidence from North Uist to be outlined here may indeed represent an outpost of such a wave early in the 4th century.
    The Scots of Dalriada were originally from Ireland, from an area along the Antrim coast and part of the province of Ulster (now counties Antrim and Down). The originator of the political territory of the Dál Riata in Scotland was Fergus Mór mac Eirc who arrived in Kintyre c. 500.
    When Fergus Mór removed from Ireland to Scotland, there was no sundering of ties or relinquishing of authority between the two sections; and this continued to be the case under Fergus Mór’s successors. Evidence for the continued rule of Dál Riata in Ireland by the Scottish branch is found at the Convention of Druim Cett. This was convened c. 575 to discuss the future relations and status of the Irish Dál Riata between Aed, son of Ainmire (d. 598) the leader of the Northern Uí Néill -the most powerful people in the north of Ireland at the time- and Aedán mac Gabráin king of Dál Riata in Scotland (d. c. 608).”

    The Scoti and the Picts are Celtic tribes. As stated the Scoti originated in Ireland. Fergus Mór was a descendant of Niall of the Nine Hostages, first High King of Ireland with his seat of power at Grianan Aileach, Inishowen, Co. Donegal and belonged to the tribe of the Scoti.
    The Plantation of Ulster starting 1600 and finalized in 1608 with the battle at Kilmacrennan and the death of Cahir Rua O’Doherty, last of the Gaelic Chieftains of Inishowen and descendant of Niall of the Nine Hostages can hardly be called a home coming. There are 1000 years between the two events. Even if it is hard to believe looking at the pace of recent developments in Ulster but after those 1000 years the descendants of Niall of the Nine Hostages who arrived in Kintyre around 520 and invaded the land of the Picts had time to develop their own nationality and they did not come back to Inishowen in 1608 to rejoin their long lost relatives.
    Although you could argue that their old tribal animosities have been used by a third party for its own goals. And it seems to be still working today.

  • J McConnell

    Biffo

    Ulster Scot is correct.

    See The I.R.A. and Its Enemies: Violence and Community in Cork, 1916-1923 by Peter Hart.

    There is lots of documented historical evidence for the low grade ethnic cleansing of Protestants by the ‘old’ IRA.

    I’m waiting for an equivalent academic study of the ethnic cleansing of Protestants in the border counties in the south during the same period. Based on what I have read, and what I have heard from descendants of the victims, it was even more widespread than what happened in west Cork. Fewer innocent civilians were murdered in cold blood in the border counties but it seems a lot more people were forced to flee for their lives.

  • ulster scot

    My thanks to Betty Boo – a very fair reflection of true history.The most important piece of truth yet to fully disseminated to all who now think they know the hitory of the island of Ireland

    Hopefully COMRADE/BIFFO/BEMUSED/and of course poor wee BRIAN BORO will also seek to throw off the effects of early branwashing or at least expand their libraries.The Truth will set you Free -if you want it to do so.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Ulster Scot,

    Spot on.

    Ever wonder where the term ‘Gael’ came from?
    As far as I know, in Irish Gaelic, ‘gal’ is a term for foreigner or invader. Example, Donegal – fort of the foreigner, Fingal – fair invader (Norsemen) and dubgal – dark invader (Vikings). Gael is very close to gal don’t ye think?

  • darth rumsfeld

    Brian Boru has been thoroughly discredited ( ofetn by me, amongst others, he said modestly) on countless threads.

    But to any latecomer, a quick snap shot- In the Old IRA campaign, two people heard of a pending ambush of soldiers. One was a priest, the other a seventy year old Protestant woman, Mrs Lindsay of Coachford. They agreed that to prevent loss of life they would alert the two sides, and the ambush was called off.
    This humanitarian gesture resulted in one of them being kidnapped and shot-I believe the remains may never have been recovered, though I stand to be corrected. Take a wild guess at who the non-sectarian IRA murdered and then called a spy in justifying this obscene act.

    Of course it wasn’t genocide, or even ethnic cleansing on the scale of Slav efforts. But to smear an identifiable group and to murder several of them with a subsequent ludicrous attempt to blame that group- and invent a secret paramilitary grouping to enrol the dead in-is a sadly familiar and indefensible pattern.

    Meda Ryan’s apologia for Tom Barry cites as one of its sources for claiming a murdered retired solicitor’s clerk in Dunmanway was a spy the recollection of someone who was a child of ten at the time and said “Everyone knew it”. So that’s alright then.

    Perhaps the clandestine Loyalist grouping was an early version of the Grey Panthers, since the mightiest Empire in the world was inexplicably reduced to using old age pensioners to maintain its grip on Ireland.

    Maybe Brian will use this thread to answer the question he consistently ducks on others- what is the difference between Jean McConville and Mrs Lindsay?

  • Biffo

    Ulster Scot

    “..eminent historianProf T E O’Rahilly..”

    Correct (apart from the “E”). Do yourself a favour and read some of his work.

    “The above quote multiple source materials and confirm Adamsons original research to be totally correct”

    No they don’t you liar, are you taking the piss???!!!

    “..I NEVER mentioned Ian Adamson at all -you did.”

    You didn’t need to mention him. Anyone who puts forward the theory that Cruithin = Ulster Scot can only have got it from the General Practitioner of Ullans and historical halfwit Ian Adamson.

    “..thanks to Betty Boo – a very fair reflection of true history.”

    Absolutely, and it contradicts your Ian Adamson version (confused, gullible and ignorant).

    J McConnell

    “Biffo…lives”

    You’ve got me mixed up with someone else.

    Congal Claen

    “Spot on.”

    Absolute Boll*cks!!!

    Thanks for giving me a laugh boys!

  • George

    Isn’t it amazing that Tony Blair and the Queen can line up and honour the Black and Tans only last April but there still seems to be an issue with Irish citizens honouring their troops.

    Nobody in Ireland cared about the Black and Tans being honoured by the British.

    Time for unionists to grow up and realise the Irish Army 1919 to 1921 won the democratic freedom for the Irish people that we enjoy today and that we will honour them accordingly.

    We will be forever in their debt.

  • George

    Irish soldiers killing British occupiers in defence of Irish democracy is disgusting for unionists.

    I wonder what they find disgusting – that they were Irish or that they had the nerve to fight for their democratic rights?

  • Shamo

    “Ever wonder where the term ‘Gael’ came from?
    As far as I know, in Irish Gaelic, ‘gal’ is a term for foreigner or invader. Example, Donegal – fort of the foreigner, Fingal – fair invader (Norsemen) and dubgal – dark invader (Vikings). Gael is very close to gal don’t ye think?”

    Posted by Congal Claen on Jan 09, 2006 @ 02:22 PM

    Not only are our unionist fantasist content with conjuring up mytho-racialist originary tales from the Monster Raving Looney Party History Of Everything, they now believe they are experts on Gaelic etymology.

    Maybe they’re right you know. Ever notice how the Irish term Sasanach is similar to the word ‘sausage’? Mmmm … we could be onto something here … mmmm …

  • darth rumsfeld

    well George what we find disgusting is Irish terrorists killing Irish people to set them free from something the majority didn’t realise they needed free from in the first place. Simple really

  • Biffo

    darth rumsfeld

    “George what we find disgusting is Irish terrorists killing Irish people to set them free from something the majority didn’t realise they needed free from in the first place.”

    Yes, I think the UFF are disgusting as well. When are they ever going to decommission?

  • Betty Boo

    Sasanach – I understand it means Saxon.
    Hard luck.

  • ulster scot

    When the childish insults start coming – we begin to beleive the truth is emerging albeit slowly.Certainly the Gaelic master race theorists need to examine history a lot more closely before they refer to the lowland Scots who formed the bulk of the Re-Plantation as colonists – merely the dispocessed/displaced who returned as tenants rather than land owners.

    The land owners in feudal Ireland were the Cheiftain class – most of whom happily sold marginal grazing land to Scottish Entrpreneurs.The proportion that was actually taken from the Irish and given to mostly English settlers was less than 10%,90% was bought – a sort of Celtic Tiger in reverse.

  • J McConnell

    Shamo

    Fingal – another name for north county Dublin (hence Fingal County Council) literally means land of the tribes of the fair haired, i.e the gail / gael i.e the Danish invaded / settlers.

    They were called the gail / gael to distinguish them from the darker haired Norwegians in the settlement of Dublin.

    I think it is you who need to brush up on your old/middle Irish etymology….

    There again the original British (Britons) were Celts (hence Breton), the original people called Scots (Scotti) were Irish, and the majority of people living in the island of Ireland today, based on their surnames, are the descendants of the various post-Scandinavian, non-Celtic, waves of settlers who have ended up on the island over the last thousand plus years…

    The only simple thing in Irish history is the mythology and fairy tale stories that republicans delude themselves with and pretend is history.

  • Biffo

    Betty Boo

    “Sasanach – I understand it means Saxon.
    Hard luck.”

    Do you usually call English people Angles?

    Sasanach = English {or Lowland Scot} (as in Anglo-Saxon, Anglo, Inglis, English, Angles, England, Saxons, Saxony etc)

    Breathnach = Welsh (as in British, Brittany etc)

    Albanach = Scottish (as in Albion, Alps, Alpine Highland, Highlander etc)

    Éireannach = Irish (as in the godess Ériú, Éire, Ireland etc)

    Gael = Irish {or Scottish} (as in “us” people from here in Ireland {or Scotland})

    Gal = Foreigner (as in “them” people from over there in Scotland {or Ireland}, England, Wales, Germany, Mongolia, Burkino Faso etc)

    Ulster Scot

    “When…reverse”

    Are you still taking the piss? Are you, in reality, a republican trying make loyalists look stupid?

  • Betty Boo

    Biffo,

    it’s late and I don’t want to bore neither you nor myself to death or sleep for this matter but I haven’t manage to find out why the Irish word for the English is sasanach. Fergus Mór formed the kingdom of Dalriada in around 520. My only but not perfect explanation is that at this time the Roman empire just collapsed and the tribes of Anglos and Saxons moved into this space from the north of todays Germany. I do not know what the people of todays England were called before that in Irish. Maybe they were called by their tribe name.
    All I could muster at that late hour was that I recall a Celtic tribe called the Britones living in todays England. Under Roman occupation and up to Hadrians Wall the colony was called Britannia. Todays Scotland was called Caledonia and Ireland Hibernia.
    Tacitus, a soldiers, senator, colonial administrator and historian of this time recalls the words of a leader of the Britons, Calgacus, facing the Roman occupation and it might sound familiar:
    “ Whenever I consider why we are fighting and how we have reached this crisis, I have strong sense that this day of our splendid rally may mean the dawn of liberty for the whole of Britain. You have mustered to a man, and to a man you are free. There are no lands behind us, and even the sea is menaced by the Roman fleet. The clash of the battle – the hero’s glory – has become the safest refuge for the coward. Battles against Rome have been lost and won before- but never without hope; we were always there in reserve. We, the choice flower of Britain, were treasured in her most secret places. Out of sight of subject shores, we kept even our eyes free from the defilement of tyranny. We, the last men on earth, the last of the fee, have been shielded till today by the remoteness and the seclusion for which we are famed. We have enjoyed the impressiveness of the unknown. But today the boundary of Britain is exposed; beyond us lies no nation, nothing but waves and rocks and the Romans, more deadly still than they, for you find them in an arrogance which no reasonable submission can elude. Brigands ( Celtic tribe) of the world, they have exhausted the land by their indiscriminate plunder, and now they ransack the sea. The wealth of an enemy excites their cupidity, his poverty their lust of power. East and West have failed to glut their maw. They are unique in being as violently tempted to attack the poor as the wealthy. Robbery, butchery, rapine, the liars call Empire; they create a desolation and call it peace.”

    As far as “ Do you usually call English people Angles?”
    It never occurred to me.

    Ps:Galli was the name given to barbaric tribes (Gaul, Gallia). The creek called them Galatai or Keltoi. I don’t know what it means.

  • darth rumsfeld

    biffo
    I think you give the UFF rather too much credit for a political philosophy in your juvenile point. Care to come up with some mealy mouthed difference between the noble founders of the Irish republic, and Gerry and his mates , or are you at least consistent-We’re having a republic and we don’t care who gets in our way or even if people want it?

  • George

    Darth,
    we have been here before.

    As an Irish citizen, I recognise Dail Eireann, first convened in January 1919, as the democratically elected parliament of the Irish people. I recognise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise known as the Irish Defence Forces, as the legitimate army of my state.

    I am thankful to them for winning the totally legitimate war of independence, which ensured I have the democratic freedoms I enjoy today.

    When unionism finally accepts our right to exist as and our right to for our nation, we will have a great island of equals here.

    Until then we, as true democrats, will honour our heroes while also accepting your right to live and fight for your democratic right to be British.

    We can’t force you to accept us as equals but we won’t kow tow either.

    We may disgust you and our refusal to see our democratic wishes trampled on by the force of British military might may offend you but our freedom and our right as a people to self determination outweights any of your sensibilities.

    That war is long over and we won. We shall honour our fallen.

  • darth rumsfeld

    you don’t disgust me George, though you do frustrate me immensely. You are of course a patriotic citizen of your state, and that is to your credit.

    But…

    If you expect me to accept the democratic rights of the people in the Republic of Ireland not to be subsumed back into the United Kingdom against their wishes- and I do- then I am entitled to expect the same courtesy from you towards Northern Ireland’s democratically expressed right to remain British.
    Because I don’t know of a single Unionist who denies the right of the R O I to exist, no matter how much we can legitimately query the methods used to bring it into existence.

    And, more controversially, if I cannot properly condemn the excesses of the old IRA ( I know you properly condemn the current users of that acronym)surely you cannot condemn the actions of people like those who murdered (again there is no other term for it) the McMahon family and the many other innocent RC victims of the period 1920-1922 in N I?
    Every perceived, or actual, violent act carried out by Unionists, or Crown forces at that time is ipso facto presented as qustioning the legitimacy of Northern Ireland’s existence, while every perceived or actual violent act carried out by the IRA is presented as the unfortunate consequence of a war. What was your point about parity of esteem again?

  • Shamo

    J.MC Connell,

    Let’s just clear this up. Just because two words sound similar, doesn’t mean they mean the same thing.

    ‘Gael’ equals Irish/Scottish is Gaelic and Scottish Gaidhlig. ‘Gall’ = foreigner,

    It’s rather like the words immigrant and emigrant in English sound similar, but mean quite different things.

    As for your suggestion I should brush up on my middle Irish, táim lĺofa sa Ghaeilge! Cén fáth a cheapann tú go bhfuil eolas breise agat ar gach duine a phostann ar an suĺomh seo???

  • Biffo

    Betty Boo

    “..I haven’t manage to find out why the Irish word for the English is sasanach”

    Is it not just like word Angle and English? It’s just one of the several names they called themselves?

    The word has evolved as well, you’ll find is “Sacsanach” in medieval Irish poetry.

    If I find any useful sources I’ll email them to you.

    darth rumsfeld

    “I think you give the UFF rather too much credit for a political philosophy in..”

    No I don’t. The UFF, UVF etc have an and obvious political philosophy – maintain the union.

    “..your juvenile point”

    Actually my point is rather profound.

    If you are disgusted by the sectarian violence that happened during the establishment of the Irish Free State I would expect you to be disgusted by the sectarian violence that happened during the establishment of Northern Ireland.

    I don’t see any evidence of genuine disgust.

    “Care to come up with some mealy mouthed difference between the noble founders of the Irish republic, and Gerry and his mates”

    No.

    Have you ever come up with “mealy mouthed difference” between republican/nationalist violence and Loyalist/unionist violence?

    “or are you at least consistent-We’re having a republic and we don’t care who gets in our way or even if people want it?”

    That’s not a position I have ever subscribed to.

    Likewise with unionists insisting we’re having a “Northern Ireland and we don’t care who gets in our way or even if people want it?”

  • darth rumsfeld

    Biffo’s points are indeed too profound for me , and I apologise for being intellectually ill equipped to deal with them, but the Lord loves a trier, so here goes…

    1. “No I don’t. The UFF, UVF etc have an and obvious political philosophy – maintain the union.”

    strange that they seem to think this involves peddling drugs and other crimes-at least the provos killed prods for their republican utopia

    2. “If you are disgusted by the sectarian violence that happened during the establishment of the Irish Free State I would expect you to be disgusted by the sectarian violence that happened during the establishment of Northern Ireland.”

    Well,Doh, yes, of course. And your point?
    I’m not part of a state with a thriving folk history that pretends the McMahons and all the other victims deserved what they got because they were secret spies, collaborators etc.

    3. “Care to come up with some mealy mouthed difference between the noble founders of the Irish republic, and Gerry and his mates”

    No.”

    Good man. Some honesty at last. So Enniskillen, Teebane,Darkley, Ballykelly, Claudy and Kingsmills are as legitimate as Dunmanway. Or perhaps you mean that none of the acts of the Old IRA were justifiable, and they too were terrorists. Either way the poor old prods/Unionists have to take the consequences. Pity you can’t see the logical consequence of your position.

    4. “Have you ever come up with “mealy mouthed difference” between republican/nationalist violence and Loyalist/unionist violence”

    No- a terrorist is a terrorist. Johnny Adair, Sean Kelly, and Tom Barry are equally detestable. Get any member of Dail Eireann to say that though, given that most of them seem to have been elected on the sole basis that their grandpappies were part of the IRA… :0)

  • Biffo

    darth rumsfeld

    “I apologise for being intellectually ill equipped to deal with them”

    That much is obvious.

    “strange that they seem to think this involves peddling drugs and other crimes-at least the provos killed prods for their republican utopia”

    I think, if you do a small bit of research, you’ll find that loyalists killed taigs to maintain this here Northern Ireland utopia and it’s blue skys.

    “I’m not part of a state with a thriving folk history that pretends the McMahons and all the other victims deserved what they got because they were secret spies, collaborators etc”

    No, the McMahons got what they deserved because they were fenians. Being a fenian was criminal activity enough for the state officials who murdered them. (officials of your state)

    “Either way the poor old prods/Unionists have to take the consequences”

    Join the club – with the poor old taigs/nationalists who have to take the consequences.

    “Get any member of Dail Eireann to say that though, given that most of them seem to have been elected on the sole basis that their grandpappies were part of the IRA… :0)”

    Likewise, there isn’t a big rush to condemn the events of 1920-21 in Belfast among unionists and orangemen.

  • J McConnell

    Shamo

    > Let’s just clear this up. Just because two words sound similar, doesn’t mean they mean the same thing……

    I’m very familiar with the concept of homophones, and the rather shaky orthography of the Old and Middle Irish texts, and due to the lack of a large body of textual evidence, the often very speculative etymology of non-loan words.

    So the word Gael is supposed is supposed to have derived from Goidil a loan word from Welsh meaning a bog-trotting pirate, rather the words gall or gail which seems to be a native word for the Scandinavian raiders /settlers. Of course the word gael could be a contraction of the word Gall-Goidil the word used to describe the ‘viking-irish”, the descendants of the Scandinavian settlers of Ireland.

    Either way we end up with the root word for gael describing ‘foreigners’, either the people who raided Wales, or the Scandinavians in Ireland. Borrowing a loan word from Welsh as a collective term for ones own national group in ones native language seems much more convoluted than simple semantic drift of a word originally used to describe a large group of foreign settlers. Just like what happened in Scotland.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Miaow biffo, you’re slaying me here.

    Remind me again -exactly where did any Unionist or Orangeman say that the McMahons deserved their tragic fate? I certainly don’t, and as a Unionist and Orangeman I can condemn the killings in 1920-22.
    Cos there are hundreds of posts on slugger where people justify the killings of Protestants and Unionists in Cork as the just consequences of “spying”.

    And you are strangely slow to find anything worth condemning in the actions of the IRA then or now- in spite of a glib denial that you believed that Unionist objections to a United ireland should be over-ridden.
    Go on , step up to the plate.

  • Biffo

    darth r.

    “And you are strangely slow to find anything worth condemning in the actions of the IRA then or now”

    No I’m not. I find plenty of IRA actions worth condemning..

    “Cos there are hundreds of posts on slugger where people justify the killings of Protestants and Unionists in Cork as the just consequences of “spying”.”

    I grew up in Northern Ireland, I’ve spent a lifetime listening to unionists and orangemen coming off with that kind of bullshit. People who interpret the killing of catholics as “taking the law into your own hands”.

    How many times did I hear that from elected unionist politicans? So often I can’t count.

    You can’t claim that you are right and republicans are wrong because they have committed atrocities, which they certainly have.

    Your own political philosophy is equally discredited for the amount of blood on its hands.

    And don’t start me about the Orange Order, Williamite settlement, civil and religious liberty. You still celebrate the events that ushered in an era where protestants treated catholics like the Nazis treated the jews.

    I have sympathy with the unionist position in the 1920’s that home rule was Rome rule.

    Except that unionists derserve no sympathy at all because their rule was anti-catholic and anti-Irish. Unionists are not innocent, Love Ulster rally or whatever.

    You make a case for the “poor prods/unionists” and the atrocities they have suffered, buy yourself a copy of that excellent book “Lost Lives” and take look at the religious breakdown of Northern Irish murder victims, excluding British soldiers whose religion isn’t given. You might find it informative.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “I find plenty of IRA actions worth condemning..”

    Which one’s aren’t? Just so as I know for next time a bunch of looneytune ultra nationalists decide to bomb and shoot my community into their vision of Irishness. Cos legitimate targets used to include census workers, careers officers, custom officers, community policemen, old age pensioners, single mothers ( if they were protestants and helped injured brits)

    “Your own political philosophy is equally discredited for the amount of blood on its hands.”

    Absolutely correct. But I don’t glorify the actions of those who killed its opponents in the way terrorists like Michael Collins, Tom Barry Dan Breen etc are lionised by the Irish state.

    ” People who interpret the killing of catholics as “taking the law into your own hands”. ”

    If we take the killing of someone like Martin “Rook” O’Prey,a leading member of the IPLO and a killer himself who was murdered by loyalists
    I’m not going to lie and say that I was terribly sorry, but nor would I shed a tear over Lenny Murphy. Both of them should have undergone due process,and if convicted they should have been hanged.
    The truth is that a huge number of “non combatants” were butchered, because they were easy targets, and then they were defamed in death, blamed for collaboration and worse. And when did that little trend start? Er, in the “good” IRA’s war of Independence, as a justification for taking it out on the prods.

    No doubt the state perpetrated cover ups too, as they did in Amritsar at the same time. For all I know the circumstantial evidence of some police involvement in the McMahon family killings is true, and certainly Liberty Vallance’s dictum “print the legend” means the entire nationalist community believes it to be so.
    But who would defend Amritsar in modern Britain? Which Unionist leader today would excuse a policeman proven to have been involved in the murder gang on the Antrim Road?
    And here’s the nub of the matter-who in the Republic could survive politically if they told the truth about Dunmanway or Altnaveigh?

    Ironically only the Shinners and the Unionists tell it like it is and was.You can push and pull the Unionists up to a point,but when they get bolshie there’s only one way to put manners on them, one language they understand.

    “Except that unionists deserve no sympathy at all because their rule was anti-catholic and anti-Irish. Unionists are not innocent”
    So they deserved all they got then?…

    Let me give you my version …
    “Except that all innocent victims deserve equal sympathy- not shouldering the blame for the actions of those who appointed themselves leaders of their community.”

    I know every page of “Lost Lives”, and it never ceases to amaze me that after the stupid and pointless waste of lives we still find people like you prepared to indulge in whataboutery. My community was the victim here. So was yours. Noone can be proud of what was done in his name.

  • Biffo

    “Which one’s aren’t?”

    Decommissioning?

    “But I don’t glorify the actions of those who killed its opponents in the way terrorists like Michael Collins, Tom Barry Dan Breen etc are lionised by the Irish state.”

    Maybe not you personally, but your state does. Take the case of Oliver Cromwell, an extremist fundamental religious b!got, the British Osama Bin Laden of the 17th century, who slaughtered many thousands in a campaign of cold blooded murder motivated by his racism and extreme religious b!gotry.

    He’s a lion of the British state. Do you think that big statue outside the Houses of Parliament is going to be pulled down anytime soon?

    Locally, the Ulster History Circle has raised a plaque in honour and remembrance of the “1st Governor of Hong Kong” and Belfast native, Henry Pottinger.

    No mention on the plaque of how he got there and the thousands of innocent Chinese he slaughtered in his official capacity as ruthless evil drug dealer for the UK government. Will you be getting in touch with Belfast City Council to demand to have that plaque removed?

    “If we take the killing of someone like Martin “Rook” O’Prey…”

    No, not at all, I was talking about the slaughter of innocent civilians, which policy was repeatedly interpreted by unionists as “taking the law into your own hands”.

    I don’t ever remember a unionist condemning a loyalist for killing a republican, a rare event in itself, and I wouldn’t have expected any such condemnation. That’s certainly not what unionists meant when they talked about “taking the law into your own hands”.

    “And here’s the nub of the matter-who in the Republic could survive politically if they told the truth about Dunmanway or Altnaveigh?”

    I don’t know.

    “Ironically only the Shinners and the Unionists tell it like it is and was”.

    WTF??!! They are a bunch of liars and hypocrites!

    You can push and pull the Unionists up to a point,but when they get bolshie there’s only one way to put manners on them, one language they understand.

    What’s that? Russian? Ulster Scots?

    “So they deserved all they got then?…”

    Go back to the original comment.

    “Let me give you my version …
    “Except that all innocent victims deserve equal sympathy- not shouldering the blame for the actions of those who appointed themselves leaders of their community.”

    Yeah.

    “I know every page of “Lost Lives”, and it never ceases to amaze me that after the stupid and pointless waste of lives we still find people like you prepared to indulge in whataboutery…”

    You bitch, that really hurt.

    “My community was the victim here. So was yours. Noone can be proud of what was done in his name.

    I grew up in a middle class protestant suburb in south Antrim, my community didn’t suffer anywhere near as bad as some other communities.

    Bye for now.

  • Betty Boo

    Biffo,

    Without the latest comment zone on the right I didn’t realise that it was still going on.
    If you can find more about sasanachs I would appreciate your email very much.

    Betty