Time to chill about medals…

Tom Kelly on two medals that shook up the news channels: the PSNI man’s old IRA medal; and his own OBE from the Queen. It is time, he argues to have more confidence in our complex identities.

  • oceallaigh

    People used to say the “IRA HAVEN`T GONE AWAY” .Well the British presence and occupation of Ireland hasn`t gone away yet either so for an Irishman ,an elected representaive of the SDLP ,a party that espouses an all Ireland Republic to accept an award from the monarch of the occupier seems very contradictory at best .The history of the British in Ireland is a long one of brutal colonisation ,injustice ,torture ,mass murder,attempted genocide ,starvation ,slavery and deportations that affected not just thousands but millions of Irish people for generations .So Kelly gets his bauble and beads and the rest of us are supposed to airbrush one of the longest amd most brutal occupations in European history by an imperialistic power and more or less told to get over it .

  • pakman

    oceallaigh

    LOL!

  • Mark_Baxter

    I can’t believe I wasted 10 seconds of my life reading that pathetic self pitying whinge fest. *cry* Can anyone give them back to me!!?

  • oceallaigh

    Sorry to upset you Mark.

  • smcgiff

    You left out subjecting us to decades of the Benny Hill show, the Bastards.

    Not making light of the above litany, but I find it difficult to lay the above charges against the British living in the 21st century. Be that Ahmed or Windsor, it doesn’t make sense to blame someone for the sins of the father.

    Furthermore, I suspect I share with the British Mainlander a desire for the withdrawal of British government from Northern Ireland.

  • Belfastwhite

    So Mr Kelly got a gong for sponsoring the first PSNI GAA Team that will win loads of votes for the stoopers from GAA teams whose land has been confiscated and remains occupied by the state forces.

  • George

    Oceallaigh,
    you could also read it as Kelly telling unionists to get over it and to accept that the Irish state has a right to exist and had a right to fight for its right to exist.

    True, Unionists are disgusted by the Irishmen and women who, motivated by the highest of purpose, took up arms to protect and, in effect, win Irish democracy and freedom for the Irish people in the 1919-1921 War of Independence.

    The often-mentioned demand for equality and parity of esteem doesn’t seem to stretch far enough to unionists laying a wreath to our fallen war of independence heroes each year but the day they do is the day equality among the traditions will have truly arrived on this island.

    I won’t hold my breath as the view that the Irish Republic and how it came into being is somehow deviant, inferior etc. still holds sway with many if not most northern unionists, who see no issue with members of their community regularly degrading the Irish state’s culture and symbols.

    In contrast, the Dublin and Wicklow Orange lodges have asked for a tricolour to be carried at the upcoming Love Ulster parade in Dublin.

  • Belfastwhite

    George

    Why did the Dublin and Wicklow Orange Lodges feel they had ask for permission to carry a tricolour?

  • Nathan

    Pandering to an honours system doesn’t necessarily translate into a dilution of a persons Irishness. What it does suggest, however, is disloyalty to the republican ethos of the Irish Republic. Little wonder then that I advocate that a citizen of Ireland, should lose the legal right to be Irish, in the event of them making an informed choice, in favour of accepting an Honour from a country contaminated by the monarchy.

    By the way, it is ridiculous to make an implicit equation whereby opposition to the monarchy and all its by-products, somehow equals opposition to the Anglo-Irish tradition.

    Did prominent southern protestants (Francis Bacon and Sean O’Casey) betray their Anglo-Irish heritage, merely because they refused to accept an Honour from the British Crown, on principled, republican grounds?

    I think you know the answer to that one, Mr Kelly.

  • oceallaigh

    Here in Canada a person can accept a title from the Queen but as we are all citizens here they cannot use their title in this country in respect to the equality of all the citizenry ,something the Republic of Ireland should think about.Conrad Black renounced his Canadian citizenship so he could use the title Lord Black.Such titles in a true democracy seem very anachronistic .

  • Henry94

    Nathan

    What it does suggest, however, is disloyalty to the republican ethos of the Irish Republic.

    The great thing about a republic is that you don’t have to be loyal to its ethos. Kelly is perfectly entitled to his monarchist and empireist leanings.

  • George

    Belfast,
    they asked for one to be carried to show respect to the country the marchers are in.

    As far as I know they are not marching themselves and orange collarettes have been “banned” by the OO (although Frazer said he will wear his).

    I think they are afraid that the Love Ulster group could ruin their long-running efforts to have an Orange parade in Dublin if it comes across as anti-Irish and there is a lot of Orange paraphenalia about.

  • Joe

    Does no one take a second to reflect on the fact that, through marriage, everyone in Ireland has english, scottish or welsh relatives. Yes, bad things happenened in the past but we all need to move on.

  • smcgiff

    ‘welsh relatives.’

    Steady now!

  • George

    Nathan,
    Article 40.2.1° of the Irish constitution:

    Titles of nobility shall not be conferred by the State.

    40.2.2°:
    No title of nobility or of honour may be accepted by any citizen except with the prior approval of the Government.

    Maybe these people got approval?

    Joe,
    people in the Irish Republic have moved on as evidenced by the fact that nobody said a word when Blair and the Queen honoured and remembered the Black and Tans in London last April.

    That is their right just as it is right of the Irish people to honour their soldiers.

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    A question for Mr Kelly: Would he accept that Wolfe Tone, an Anglo Irishman, would not have accepted a medal from a British monarch?
    And his quote from Russell implies that no contribution was made to European culture by Gaelic culture, which is a blatant misrepresentation.
    Perhaps he sees himself as a latter day Roger Casement?

  • pakman

    George et al

    Mr Kelly is being honoured as a UK citizen by the head of state of the UK – if he was being honoured as an Irish citizen it would have to be an honoary award a la Bob Geldof or Terry Wogan.

  • Is it possible to renounce UK citizenship if you live in the North, and what implications would that have in real terms to your daily life?

  • Joe

    I don’t know about the UK, pope.But I recall, as a young teenager, a certain Lee Harvey Oswald going to the U.S. embassy in Moscow and renouncing his U.S. citizenship. It didn’t stop him from being able to return to the U.S. a few years later and subsequently murdering the president.
    (I deliberately didn’t say assassinate because that is a weasel word used by much of the press in describing brutal murders in, for example, the Middle East.)

  • Nathan

    Henry94

    The great thing about a republic is that you don’t have to be loyal to its ethos. Kelly is perfectly entitled to his monarchist and empireist leanings.

    The former sentence is an understood thing in any republic.

    To support this, let me mention 2 outlets in operation, since they all discourage loyalty to the republican ethos of the Irish Republic. Firstly, we have the The Reform Movement – an anti-republican outlet that has been running for a number of years now. Most of its members have ‘monarchist and empireist leanings’. Nevertheless they are as entitled to their opinions as much as the next one. What they are not entitled to do however, is act as self-appointed spokespersons for southern protestants – particularly when a great number of its membership is either non-religious or Castle Catholic.

    Moreover, there are sprinklings of Castle Catholics across the country, who wish to do away with our President, so that the Irish High Kingship can be restored. Again, they are entitled to their opinions (I believe they attempted to form their own political party at one point) but don’t expect me to take them seriously.

    George,

    Refer to the earlier thread on the Tom Kelly affair – its all discussed there (I’m a bit reluctant to repeat myself over and over again you see, I’ve made my stance crystal clear over the past week – no more rants from me on the matter ;-))

  • Comrade Stalin

    Is it possible to renounce UK citizenship if you live in the North, and what implications would that have in real terms to your daily life?

    I read somewhere that it is possible, and can be done for a fee of £80 to cover paperwork.

    I’d dearly love to know if many of SF’s membership have gone through this measure.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Regarding the Reform movement, I heard of them for the first time the other day and it took me a while to realize that they were real and not a spin-off from The Evil Gerald.

  • esmereldavillalobos

    Oh God, “Castle Catholic” rears its head again! Would you just get over it and let the man get his gong if he wants it? Jeez!

  • smcgiff

    Pakman,

    Wasn’t Terry Wogan’s the full monty. I thought he had become a UK citizen. I stand to be corrected.

  • smcgiff, you are correct, he originally was up for an honorary award, but then applied for and received UK citizenship so it was changed to a full award.

    I would be interested to know the stats on NI nationalists that have renounced UK citizenship and maintain only Irish nationality, as far as I’m aware citizens of the Irish Republic resident in the UK are allowed to vote and stand in UK General Elections, draw the dole, use the NHS etc.

  • Nathan

    esmereld

    Castle Catholic is a fitting description for all those people who prefer deference to the monarchy as opposed to the new republican order –

    Naturally enough, it is user-friendly so I won’t be refraining from using it from now on.

    You see, it is important to extract all those disloyal citizens from the catholic population. How can internal housecleaning be carried out, when people are still under the illusion that southern protestants were, and still are, the disloyal citizens of Ireland?

    You need to wake up to the fact that the sectarian Irish government has swept Castle Catholics under the carpet for too long. Government ministers were quick to give southern protestant TD’s and Senators a raw deal in the 20th century. Their only crime – they hadn’t adapted to the new republican order as quick as they had originally anticipated. But when it comes to members of their own community, they aren’t half as quick to react. On this basis, they should hang their heads in shame.

  • Although maybe some shinners wouldn’t want to renounce their UK citizenship, don’t you have to be a UK citizen to work for MI5?

  • smcgiff

    LOL @ PBFXVI

  • esmereldavillalobos

    Nathan

    “Extract disloyal citizens…”

    And do what with them exactly? Deportation? Ministry of love?

    “Internal Housecleaning…”

    This is a particularly worrying turn of phrase that I’m sure P O’Neill would be familiar with – maybe some clarification with regard to these two statements would define your position with regard to perceived “disloyal citizens” and their disciplining clearly.

    With regard to your last paragraph, fair enough. Is there a system by which Article 40 can be implemented? Are there rules of law by which someone can be arrested and tried for their breach? Or is this an arcane statement in an old constitution that maybe requires review for changed times cf Articles 2 & 3?

    BTW Tom Kelly is a British citizen blah blah blah…

  • Nathan

    And do what with them exactly? Deportation? Ministry of love?

    I would never propose such things – as pointed out by Henry94, the great thing about a republic is that you don’t necessarily have to tolerate its republican ethos. Unlike Britain, Irish politicians don’t have to swear an oath of allegience, so theres nothing stopping non-republicans coming forward and participating in politics should they wish.

    Refer to the earlier thread on this issue, to see what I advocate. I don’t think its harsh to deprive future culprits of their citizenship, when they’ve made an informed choice in favour of the Honour as opposed to their citizenship. But I’d feel quite an unease if it ever came to that (it is meant to be a deterrent after all).

    Is there a system by which Article 40 can be implemented? Are there rules of law by which someone can be arrested and tried for their breach? Or is this an arcane statement in an old constitution that maybe requires review for changed times cf Articles 2 & 3?

    I think the answer to the 1st 2 questions is a definitive no. The FF/PD Irish government are abdicating their constitutional responsibilities and this is something that a future coalition government will need to remedy. Unfortunately, the only party in Ireland that would have the backbone to reverse the sectarian tide, and deal with Castle Catholics, would be Sinn Fein – a party I don’t support and never will support.

  • George

    Nathan,
    the courts are the guardians of the constitution, not the Executive so you can’t really blame FF/PD on this. Their job is to work within the constitution.

    Perhaps you could lodge a constitutional challenge against the Corrs or the next person that takes an honour.

    The only problem is that you would have to show you have a cause for lodging this challenge. Does them getting an honour affect you? Either that or show it is in the general public interest to have this sorted.

    The courts could theoretically then rule that the Corrs are acting unconstitutionally and it would then be the time for the government to step in and introduce legislation to address the problem.

    But at the moment we have no legislation on this so no problem.

  • Does Denis Riordan read Slugger, is he out there, can he do anything about this!?

  • George

    Denis Riordan has been constitutionally castrated I’m afraid.

    One constitutional action too many by him so I think the Supreme Court figured he was extracting the Michael so decided to break with tradition and awarded costs against him when he tried to argue the GFA referendum was unconstitutional.

    No we would need a clean skin for this one.

  • esmereldavillalobos

    Thanks for the answer Nathan. I did read the thread last week and saw your position, just thought the language today could have been misinterpreted. I guess the whole nationality question is one of perception rather than passport. There are certainly a lot of northern catholics who find more affinity with GB than ROI but would still consider themselves to be Irish. I don’t think this is necessarily a contradiction but a legacy of partition and growing up, like it or loathe it, in a province of the UK. I for one am proud of all my heritage and where I come from and don’t feel the need to limit myself to one nationality. Others may well disagree.

    BTW is there anyone in history who has had Irish citizenship revoked or any precedent as to what will happen to them after this revocation? Just trying to tie up loose ends here.

  • George

    esmereldavillalobos,
    I don’t believe it is possible to revoke Irish citizenship.

    However, it is possible to revoke naturalised citizens but only in case of fraud or at times of war.

  • Nathan

    Denis Riordan LOL!!!

    George,
    I’d have to be a right old intermeddling busybody, to go as far as mounting a constitutional showdown against future recipients of the Honour. Recourse to the courts would indicate that I hold personal grievances against certain individuals, which is not the case at all because I’m in search of redress, not from any particular individual but from the state.

    Esmereld,

    I agree – nationality is all to do with perception rather than passport. For instance, there are some people in the south who refer to themselves as simply British. Some of them were born prior to 1949?? (e.g. Bean Baron, Anthony O’Reilly), so they hold dual nationality. But there are many others who haven’t got a passport, and it doesn’t prevent them from being British.

    There are certainly a lot of northern catholics who find more affinity with GB than ROI but would still consider themselves to be Irish.

    I have no objections to those who find more affinity with GB than ROI. I do object, however, to Irishmen and women who find more affinity with the British Crown or the Irish High Kingship, than they do with republicanism. I couldn’t give a damn whether they are southern protestant or catholic, they are disloyal to the republican ethos of the Irish Republic, and none of them should be spared from being subject to the severest critical scrutiny. Thats parity of dis-esteem for you, I only wish the Irish government would follow suit.

    I for one am proud of all my heritage and where I come from and don’t feel the need to limit myself to one nationality. Others may well disagree.

    Well, I don’t believe theres anything wrong with having either a single nationality or a hyphenated one. I don’t believe I have a right to dictate to others what their nationality is.

  • Nathan

    BTW is there anyone in history who has had Irish citizenship revoked or any precedent as to what will happen to them after this revocation? Just trying to tie up loose ends here

    Nope, it hasn’t happened in Ireland.

    But there have been numerous calls from politicians in the past to revoke a persons Irish citizenship.

    e.g.)

    Just after Sept 11th, Fine Gael’s Foreign Affairs spokesman, Mr Jim O’Keeffe, wanted the government to revoke Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-law’s Irish passport. Nothing became of it because the Irish government gave assurances that it would not be renewed, post-expiry date.

  • Reader

    Nathan: none of them should be spared from being subject to the severest critical scrutiny.
    What on earth does this mean? Should people give them (non-threatening) dirty looks in the street? Should there be ideological purity tests for voting or public office? What do you have in mind?

  • Nathan

    Reader,

    Should people give them (non-threatening) dirty looks in the street?

    It is impossible to make the distinction between republicans and monarchists on the streets, as much as I’d like to try.

    Anyhow, I don’t see too many people wishing to go on record to say they either support or pay deference to the restoration of the Irish High Kingship or British crown in the 26 counties.

    It takes a really courageous group of people to support the monarchy in the south, and of course we have one outlet for that POV (apart from The Reform Movement of course). Its the miniscule Pobal na h-Éireann organisation, which has been going for a number of years now I hear.

    I can also think of one nutty Church of Irelander who advocates a more sanitized version of the Irish High Kingship in addition- he’s David Dowsett, a well known figure in Dublin, by virtue of the fact that he’s a Consultant Physician at Maher hospital.

    Should there be ideological purity tests for voting or public office? What do you have in mind?

    I believe its their loonybin ideas that should be subject to the severest critical scrutiny (ball as opposed to playing the man).

    Ideological purity tests for voting or public office?? Thats one of the daftist ideas i’ve ever heard, and its would be an affront to the very essence of a republic.

  • Nathan

    Spelling error – Mater hospital as opposed to Maher