Derry needs an inclusive agenda

Remaining with Derry, according to a report on Protestant alienation released by the University of Ulster in the August identifies several key concerns within that community, not least the feeling that the Council is operating to an exclusively Nationalist agenda. The report makes a number of recommendations:

These include: promoting community led regeneration; improving access and mobility within the city; that Derry City Council should examine the report and fund a workshop to explore the issues further; the development of inclusive and non-threatening civic spaces; to develop a greater culture of sharing skills, experience and best practice models; greater efforts among voluntary groups, politicians, statutory bodies and the wider civic community to include and involve those who feel alienated as a result of political and social change.

  • Brian Boru

    I feel this is just part of the psychosis of the Unionist community, which is based on a feeling that Catholics are “a threat”. It is a colonial mindset, comparable to “cowboys and Indians” syndrome. They still seem to see themselves as the planters and the Catholics as “the natives”. They need to move away from this mentality, which is entirely absent in the 26 counties.

  • Carlos

    There are lots of civic spaces in Derry the only tricolours flown in the city are the ones in a market stall selling flags and Pedar O’donnells.

    I think the key word is unionist alienation the people in the fountain and the waterside alienate themselves and are really just complaining because they need to believe working class Protestants are better off from working class Catholics.

    I think Belfast city council alienates nationalists more by continuing to fly the Union Jack.

  • “think the key word is unionist alienation the people in the fountain and the waterside alienate themselves and are really just complaining because they need to believe working class Protestants are better off from working class Catholics”

    Carlos.
    I don’t really think the flying of a few tricolours in public spaces is the cause of Unionist alienation in the Fountain Estate.

    The almost nightly attacks they’re suffering from their non-Unionist neighbours is probably upsetting them a bit more and making them think that perhaps they’re not really welcome in that part of the city.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/4163140.stm

  • Carlos

    There are attacks in the fountain but there are similar attacks in unionists areas such as Ballymena and little is been down about that.

    I don’t if nationalists or even unionists that are outsiders would be made to feel welcome in the Fountain.

    Maybe if they took down the Union Jacks and other flags in the estate and stoped painting the curbstones red, white and blue the attacks would stop.

  • GavBelfast

    I don’t live there but visit it regularly enough.

    Certainly the Fountain in particular looks like a pretty grim place and it must be an unplesant existence for those who stubbornly brave it.

    Anyone who sympathised with or, even better, stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Catholics of Ahoghill during the summer should surely feel the same way about vulnerable, perhaps you could even say besieged people anywhere, and the news from the Fountain on a regular basis suggests the remaining souls there are more vulnerable than most.

    Any suggestion that any people in these sorts of circumstances are somehow bringing it upon or alienating themselves shows gross ignorance and, at a human level, a heart of stone.

  • Brian Boru

    The Protestants of Derry are in a far better situation than the Catholics of Carrickfergus, Larne and Ballymena. I also think that their decline in Derry has less to do with attacks than with a miscomfort at being in a minority.

  • barnshee

    “I also think that their decline in Derry has less to do with attacks than with a miscomfort at being in a minority”

    As one of the 17000+ (yes 17000 +) protestants driven out of the city side in (London)derry let me set the record straight- I (and many family members)left purely because of the actions of murdering, republic scum who now infest the city. A scum supported by idiots from south of border who (except on odd occasion like Dublin and Monaghan) avoid accountability for their actions.

    The answer- simple and sadly move the people of the Fountain out demolish it and erect a memorial to a people murdered and discriminated out of the City side by people with a third world attitude to birth control

  • ulster scot

    Boru’s -racist comments reveal once again his vision of a protestant and unionist future in his aspired geographical unitary state.Like the protestants in the Republic you will be ok if one says nothing,displays nothing and basically keeps ones head down in subserviance to Gaelic Irish culture.Of course in such a state unionists will not be unionsts anymore,they will not be visibly British anymore – but they can remain protestant as long as they pretend they are Irish as well.
    In reality the cowboys and Indians sceanario is one were the unionist/protestant community is treated very much like indians -ie OK as long as one adopts the white man’s(or in this case Irishmans) ways.

    Hence in any unitary solution that nationalists/repulicans put forward the fate for unionists is nothing short of a extinction level event.85 years of an Irish Republic has illustrated thatmost clearly,my relatives down southcan worship freely,make money,but if one steps out of line/raises ones head and proclaims openly a different loyalty to culture or nation life for them would/and has become very unpleasant n the subtle sort of way the irish have employed against anyone callenging their exclusive tribe on this island.

    The Fountain experience is the fate of all unionists in the happy land of a united ireland

  • Brian Boru

    Ulster scot, I reject your thesis on “extinction”. The 2002 Census showed the Protestant population had risen to 4% for the first time since 1970. This coincides with a drastic decline in the practice of children in mixed marriages being brought up as Catholics under the Ne Temere decree requiring this. It also seems to confirm the belief that intermarriage and Ne Temere are the primary reason Protestant %’s declined in the South in the first place. It took 50 years for the Protestant % in the South to fall from 10% to 8%. Admittedly in the decade up to partition there was a large exodus from the South but this was because Carson and Craig had put the frighteners into them with warnings of what life would be like in a “Papist” Catholic state.

    You are as wrong as you are paranoid U.S. .

    Barnshee, how dare you call Dublin and Monaghan “accountability”. 33 innocent shoppers with nothing whatever to do with the Northern Troubles were cruelly cut down for the crime of going about their daily business and doing no harm to anyone. How dare you tar an entire nation with the crimes of the Provos, which have NEVER had the support of the majority of Southern Irish people. Shame on you!

  • Brian Boru

    And Northern Unionists are deluding themselves if they think that the sectarianism that has infested the Northern statelet exists down here. We are an open society, unlike the North. Come down here and see for yourself.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Yes, Brian – that’s why your immediate response to the obvious case of sectarianism against Protestants in Derry’s city side (something not even denied by Sinn Fein) is to say that:
    (a) It’s all in their head
    (b) Sure don’t Catholics have it worse
    (c) Prods are just psychotic colonialists
    (d) etc.
    You’ve shown yourself up here rightly.

  • “There are attacks in the fountain but there are similar attacks in unionists areas such as Ballymena and little is been down about that.”
    Carlos

    “The Protestants of Derry are in a far better situation than the Catholics of Carrickfergus, Larne and Ballymena”

    This kind of intimidation of vulnerable minorities isn’t an either/or situation. It’s wrong in Ahoghill, it’s wrong in Fountain.

  • Brian Boru

    “Yes, Brian – that’s why your immediate response to the obvious case of sectarianism against Protestants in Derry’s city side (something not even denied by Sinn Fein) is to say that:
    (a) It’s all in their head
    (b) Sure don’t Catholics have it worse
    (c) Prods are just psychotic colonialists
    (d) etc.
    You’ve shown yourself up here rightly.”

    I didn’t say present-day Protestants were colonists (though most of their ancestors were). I was making the point that the Unionist mindset is one which continues to regard themselves as colonists and the Catholics as the reincarnation of the displaced Catholic Irish and who thus are viewed as a “threat” by much of Unionism that must be excluded from power e.g. by denying them access to government. The manifestation of these believes was the abuse of power by the Old Stormont from 1920-72 be it in the gerrymandering of constituencies or the use of the security forces as a political militia to attack the Catholics. Ironically, the Unionists ended up creating a threat to themselves by creating the discontent which led many to join the PIRA. That in no way justifies what the PIRA did but cause and effect nonetheless springs to mind. It shows how damaging the mindset can be and why it should be discarded in favour of cooperation instead of the endless “Catholics are a threat” Unionist mindset which criminalises all Catholics in the Unionist mind.

    Yes Catholics in the North do have it worse. They accounted for the majority of Troubles victims and are close to being an endangered species in Larne and Carrickfergus. Call a spade a spade.

  • Shore Road Resident

    So two wrongs make a right?
    As Paul said above, if it’s wrong in Ahoghill then it’s wrong in the Fountain. Why are you having such a hard time accepting that? Why qualify it with offensive sophistry about ‘colonialism’ and ‘psychosis’?
    Can’t you accept that bigotry is everywhere – including in your own wee head?

  • Alan

    Must be very cosy muddling along with your hand me down cultures – always an enemy to blame things on, ever the opportunity to indulge in paranoia and find excuses for blind hatred.

    There are real people in those houses being intimidated in Derry and Ahoghill.

  • Ben A

    So, the chill factor has moved from the Queen’s Students’ Union to the Maiden City?

    Here’s hoping some of the moron ex-hacks from QUB aren’t on thr City Council. Oh, wait a minute…

  • john burns

    “And Northern Unionists are deluding themselves if they think that the sectarianism that has infested the Northern statelet exists down here. We are an open society, unlike the North. Come down here and see for yourself.”

    A few years ago a Dublin city councillor suggested, in the spirit of co-operation and parity of esteem ect, that a Orange parade be invited to walk down Dawson Street. (Dawson Street is parallal to Grafton Street and houses a famous Protestant church) The response? Sinn Fein’s Larry o’Toole declared “No Protestant feet on Dawson Street.” He also promised Sinn Fein would organise protests against such Protestants be “Allowed” down here.

  • Colm

    barnshee’s comment about Dublin and Monaghan being an example of ‘accountability’ was sick and demonstrates nothing more that a mindset at one with the most militant IRA terrorist supporter.

  • Seano

    Unionists/protestants never cease to amaze. It’s now 2006 and, finally Catholics in Derry have a taste of what Protestnats have held onto so dearly for the past 300+ years. Yes people, EQUALITY!!

    Now that Catholics have a mjority and have spread their wings a bit, protestants, with their fear and seige mentality, decide to play the whinging game (“what about us”) with Hain.

    I know a lot of natioanlist/republican/catholic posters here don’t necessarily like to “make waves” or “rock the boat” with their unionist/loyalist/protestant counterparts, but I say: To Hell With That! It’s truly about time Catholics make their presence known. Keep it up!

  • “It’s truly about time Catholics make their presence known. Keep it up!”

    I’ve no problem with that Seano, as long as “making their presence known” doesn’t involve throwing petrol bombs and the like at their Unionist neighbours: check the link I provided earlier from the BBC.

    And if by “equality”, you mean having the equal right to make the life of the vulnerable minority living in their midst a misery, then you’ve got a strange set of values

  • barnshee

    BB
    “That in no way justifies what the PIRA did but cause and effect nonetheless springs to mind”

    Exactly -and RC/ROI support for republican catholic murder gangs, ROI governments who armed them, ROI governments who refused to extradite them, ROI governments elected by the citizens of the Republic –produced the inevitable response from the protestant as you say –“in no way justifies ——but cause and effect nonetheless springs to mind”

  • Colm

    barnshee

    How does it feel having the same moral standards as those that justify Kingsmill, Eniskillen etc?

  • Brian Boru

    “Exactly -and RC/ROI support for republican catholic murder gangs, ROI governments who armed them, ROI governments who refused to extradite them, ROI governments elected by the citizens of the Republic –produced the inevitable response from the protestant as you say –“in no way justifies ——but cause and effect nonetheless springs to mind”

    I reject your claims of the Republic’s government having armed the IRA during the Troubles. On extradition, that is a matter for the Courts – especially as we have a written constitution down here which ensures an independent judiciary. Who armed the Provos? Col.Gaddafi of Libya that’s who.

    “A few years ago a Dublin city councillor suggested, in the spirit of co-operation and parity of esteem ect, that a Orange parade be invited to walk down Dawson Street. (Dawson Street is parallal to Grafton Street and houses a famous Protestant church) The response? Sinn Fein’s Larry o’Toole declared “No Protestant feet on Dawson Street.” He also promised Sinn Fein would organise protests against such Protestants be “Allowed” down here.”

    OK JB but that’s just one party and one councillor putting it that way. Interesting that on Liveline the other Day a COI minister born in the North but living down here condemned the planned Love Ulster march. It isn’t just Catholics down here who disapprove of the hatemongering of some Orangemen.

  • Seano

    Paul

    “I’ve no problem with that Seano, as long as “making their presence known” doesn’t involve throwing petrol bombs and the like at their Unionist neighbours.”

    Um, Paul, petrol bombs will unfortunately continue to play a small part on both sides. It’s not excluisve. You know the game. A loyalist throws a petrol bomb at a Catholics home in a predominately protestant area, only to be reciprocated toward a Protestant family in a predominately Catholic area.

    And as far as “EQUALITY” is concerned, the only reason protestants/unionists are now complaining is, because they’ve had their “upper hand” taken away, and they don’t like it.

    Tough S**t!!

  • Ronnie Clarke

    A lot has been made about the decline of the Protestant percentage in the 26 counties. Unionists say it is because Protestants were intimidated out of the state.
    What about the decline of the Protestant percentage in the 6 counties. Are Unionists saying that the reason for this is the same that Protestants are being intimidated out of the 6 counties?

  • Seano
    You’ve completely missed the point of both my last post and the one I made at 2.47pm.

    Still, you seem happy enough with what’s developing at the Fountain and elsewhere, so I suppose the uppidity Unionists there should just sit back and take what’s coming to them in the name of “equality”.

  • headbangor

    Well lads im glad to see the concept of
    “whataboutery” is still alive & well in these fair 32 counties.

    BB. wise up & admit, you won’t be happy till all the Prods are driven in to the sea or become (green) dye in the wool Irishmen.

    ie. you want them to start acting “sensibly” by your definition of the word.

  • IJP

    Blah blah blah blah blah.

    People talk about building bridges. I often wonder whether the purpose of these bridges is to provide sensible people with something to jump off.

    The nature of debate is:
    – if you state a belief, show supporting evidence to back it up; and
    – try to stick the subject.

    Otherwise, hardly surprising so many people are being turned off these pages.

  • headbangor

    “People talk about building bridges. I often wonder whether the purpose of these bridges is to provide sensible people with something to jump off.”

    it certainly would seem to be the case, with Sinn Fein’s dealings with both the UUP & the SDLP.

  • Dualta

    It’s sad to see that some Republican posters argue that Protestants feel alienated in Derry, simply because they don’t like Catholics, and others just engage in brute whataboutery on the issue.

    It’s also sad to see Unionist posters claim that it’s purely a result of the attacks by Republicans over the years that Protestants have left and now feel alienated.

    I think you’ll find that’s it a mix of the two.

    Face it, it’s because of the racism and bigotry which is endemic in our community.

  • Dualta

    For #### read b-i-g-o-t-ry.

    Mick, is this sort of censoring necessary?

  • oceallaigh

    Any type of sectarian violence against vulnerable people is never to be condoned whether it Ahoghill or the Fountain Estate ,only cowards would act that way.Recently an eldery long time resident of Kennedy Way in the Fountain was intimidated from her home by some of her own Protestant neighbours and her house burned after she left…her crime ,she let her daughters socialise with Catholics.see the link below
    http://www.derryjournal.com/story/8200 .

  • oceallaigh

    ” republic #### who now infest the city. A #### supported by idiots from south of border who (except on odd occasion like Dublin and Monaghan) avoid accountability for their actions.

    The answer- simple and sadly move the people of the Fountain out demolish it and erect a memorial to a people murdered and discriminated out of the City side by people with a third world attitude to birth control
    Posted by barnshee on Jan 14, 2006 @ 01:36 PM ”

    These rascist and extremely insulting comments by Barnshee should not be tolerated here ,I have seen much less offensive posting taken off ,how about it Mick do you want name calling or dialogue .

  • Brian Boru

    Headbangor, I am not calling for Protestants to be expelled from the North or the South and it is wrong of you to infer otherwise. However, it would be nice if we have a United Ireland and then the Unionists would realise how untrue their hypothesis of pogroms therein are. If there were pogroms the international media would be saying so because they love that sort of thing to sell newspapers but its nonsense. Wake up luv!

  • “The nature of debate is:
    – if you state a belief, show supporting evidence to back it up; and
    – try to stick the subject.”

    IJP
    Having been a participant in this particular debate, I suppose I’ve got to take part of the blame for it’s descent into the usual whataboutery mire.

    But in my own defence, “alienation” is a very subjective emotion and without talking to the people who’re actually suffering it, then all we can do is offer up our own opinions as outsiders. And because of its subjective nature, it’ very hard to back these suppositions with hard and fast evidence.

    Your point about sticking to the subject is fair enough, although some of the best debates on Slugger have arisen completely independent from the original thread topic. Most of the old regulars who contributed to these and helped to build up the site’s original reputation seem to be on an extended sabbatical, so it’s up to some of us newer posters to try to polish up our contributions along the lines you mentioned.

    I will try to do better in the future( but only themuns do as well!):)

  • Ben A

    First of all, Alienation is not an emotion, nor is it necessarily subjective. In political terms, either someone is alienated or not.

    Whilst few with permanent residency on the planet in the past few years would disagrre that the catholic population of Londonderry/Derry/Doire/Maiden City were grossly alienated in the very recent past, it is equally difficult to argue that protestants in that city (of my birth, incidentally) aren’t being alienated there now.

    Whataboutery aside, let’s get back to the key issue here; we, in Northern Ireland, apparenly live to see the ‘other side’ oppressed. It’s a bizarres situation, which, incidentally, in conflict situations, is much more obvious here than in, say, the Balkans or Belgium.

  • barnshee

    RC
    “Are Unionists saying that the reason for this is the same that Protestants are being intimidated out of the 6 counties? ”

    Well yes as the parent of three and the uncle of several I have seen them ALL reject
    1 QUB -too pro SF/IRA, (murdered lecturers etc)
    2 UU not high enough up the Observer grading list

    All go to English/Scottish Universities all marry/settle with partners largely non NI “Troubles” a major factor in their choice of university and subsequent residence

    Intimidated??? well certainly influenced.

    (By the way the RELATIVE decline in the Protestant population is also largely due to the the catholic communities third world attitude to birth control.)

  • barnshee

    BB
    “And Northern Unionists are deluding themselves if they think that the sectarianism that has infested the Northern statelet exists down here. We are an open society, unlike the North. Come down here and see for yourself”

    ER thanks but no thanks prods are like hens teeth down there and
    “.

    “I reject your claims of the Republic’s government having armed the IRA during the Troubles.”

    I do remember an arms trial and a Chap called Kelly and another called Haughey ??

    A small example for you of the “fine men” who set the example for your “open society” -a murderer of women and children

    Frank Aiken, who went on to become External Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister in the Republic
    Aiken still in his early 20s, issued a directive to IRA men under his command, calling for the destruction of enemy property, the property of Orangemen and the shooting of spies and informers

    The Altnaveigh killings all took place after 2.30 am and lasted about an hour.
    John Gray and his family at Lisdrumliska were the first to be woken and he and his wife, four daughters, five sons and two cousins were ordered downstairs. The house was set alight, while the family huddled together outside.
    Ordering the Grays to remain where they were, the raiders moved on to the Heslip household next door.
    Finding John Heslip (54) his wife and two sons Robert (19) and William (16) hiding in a stable – they pulled them out and made then stand with their hands up as the house was burned, John and Robert Heslip were taken outside and shot dead.
    The IRA gang then returned to the Gray House, picking out Joseph Gray (20) and shooting him dead.
    At 3 am, the same IRA group arrived at the house of Thomas Crozier, and elderly farmer, and his wife Elizabeth. Mr Crozier was shot and mortally wounded, falling into the arms of his son.
    When Mrs Crozier came out of the house she was shot twice and died 45 minutes later. The raiders exploded a bomb in the parlour before making off.
    Meanwhile a second IRA group raided the Little and Lockhart households some distance away in the Altnaveigh townland.
    William Lockhart, his wife and their only son James (25) were ordered out before the house was burned. They were lined up with neighbours, the Littles. William Lockhart, his son James and John Little were then ordered to walk down the road.
    Mrs Lockhart protested and when her son turned to speak to her he was grabbed by one of the raiders who told him he has disobeyed orders and shot him dead at this mother’s feet. His father and Mr Little were spared.
    Five other Protestant homes in the Altnaveigh area were also attacked and burned by the IRA that night.
    In the same period, a seventh Altnaveigh Protestant, Draper C Holmes, was also singled out and murdered”

  • barnshee

    OC
    “These rascist and extremely insulting comments by Barnshee should not be tolerated here ,I have seen much less offensive posting taken off ,how about it Mick do you want name calling or dialogue ”

    Please dispute the accuracy of what I have posted . I am happy to withdraw wher you can demonstarte such inaccuracy

  • Brian Boru

    “Frank Aiken, who went on to become External Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister in the Republic
    Aiken still in his early 20s, issued a directive to IRA men under his command, calling for the destruction of enemy property, the property of Orangemen and the shooting of spies and informers

    The Altnaveigh killings all took place after 2.30 am and lasted about an hour.
    John Gray and his family at Lisdrumliska were the first to be woken and he and his wife, four daughters, five sons and two cousins were ordered downstairs. The house was set alight, while the family huddled together outside.
    Ordering the Grays to remain where they were, the raiders moved on to the Heslip household next door.
    Finding John Heslip (54) his wife and two sons Robert (19) and William (16) hiding in a stable – they pulled them out and made then stand with their hands up as the house was burned, John and Robert Heslip were taken outside and shot dead.
    The IRA gang then returned to the Gray House, picking out Joseph Gray (20) and shooting him dead.
    At 3 am, the same IRA group arrived at the house of Thomas Crozier, and elderly farmer, and his wife Elizabeth. Mr Crozier was shot and mortally wounded, falling into the arms of his son.
    When Mrs Crozier came out of the house she was shot twice and died 45 minutes later. The raiders exploded a bomb in the parlour before making off.
    Meanwhile a second IRA group raided the Little and Lockhart households some distance away in the Altnaveigh townland.
    William Lockhart, his wife and their only son James (25) were ordered out before the house was burned. They were lined up with neighbours, the Littles. William Lockhart, his son James and John Little were then ordered to walk down the road.
    Mrs Lockhart protested and when her son turned to speak to her he was grabbed by one of the raiders who told him he has disobeyed orders and shot him dead at this mother’s feet. His father and Mr Little were spared.
    Five other Protestant homes in the Altnaveigh area were also attacked and burned by the IRA that night.
    In the same period, a seventh Altnaveigh Protestant, Draper C Holmes, was also singled out and murdered”

    Barnshee, what year did this happen? I understand Frank Aiken was leader of the Anti-Treaty IRA in the Irish Civil War between the pro-Treaty government and Anti-Treaty IRA.

    On the killings I would say I disapprove of killing innocent people. At the same time, the question is whether or not those killed were informers. Were they or not? I would inform you that the 1918 election gave SF 3/4s of the MPs and a mandate to establish an independent Irish Dail and government. Informers had destroyed the Dublin part of the 1798 rebellion and a key factor in getting Southern Irish independence was the Old IRA’s elimination of informers. I do not deny that they were ruthless in this but had they not been the war would have been lost.

    I completely oppose and condemn any killings of civilians but not informers. The Dail government had an electoral mandate to liberate Ireland. Partition was an undermining of this right. I would add that South Armagh had a SF MP and as such operations in this area against informers was in keeping with the majority sentiment in that area. They didn’t consent to be part of NI.

  • Jimmy P

    All of this bitching from barnshee about lack of birth control sounds abit like he’s jealous as he’s not getting any loving himself

  • Ben A

    Brian Boru, you silly little nonentity. You are unworthy of that great name, and I’ll deign to tell you why.

    Firstly, your post is entirely subject to bombast and logical chicanery (or piss and vinegar as we call it in sleepy Bangor). By reading your post, one could easily be forgiven thinking that you’re a fan of the ‘begged question’.

    You argue that you ‘disapprove of killing innocent people’. Not only does this open up the argument to ‘well, then is it alright to kill people in general if they turn out to be guilty of something’, but you go on to obviate the need for consideration by arguing (well, you seem to believe it’s an established principle) that it could be legitimate to kill informers.

    The Dáil government (please do the language the justice of including its hard-won fáda) had an electoral mandate to remove Ireland from British rule; quite correct, if one accepts the legitimacy of that Dáil. However, a mandate is not a ‘right’ any more than a bus-ticket is a ‘right’ to get on a bus (presumably you will understand the difference) to Dublin.

    Partition was not an undermining of any right in the strict sense that a country or a people cannot meaningfully be said to possess a right of ownership over other people.

    You assert that ‘the war would have been lost’ if informers hadn’t been killed by the old IRA. Hello there, Mr Moral Relativism. You think that battlefield brutality and terrorism is justified because it kept the boyos in line? What about other forms of patriotism?

    Is it possible to be a civilian and an informer, or is everyone a legitimate target for the tar&feather/.303 to the back of the head if they talk to the Brits or – shock horror – don’t take transubstantiation seriously.

    Don’t answer that, you’ll try to establish another morality exemption.

    For me, though, the best part of your post is the angry and largely irrelevant point you kept till last, in the best traditions of variety performances.

    The issue of consent.

    It hasn’t gone away, you know.

  • Shay Begorrah

    I do not doubt that the issue of Unionist alienation in Derry city is a real one that needs dealing with in a sensitive way that makes the protestant community feel at least physically secure.

    However the real question is whether that alienation is becuase the inter community strife is worse in Londonderry than in other areas due to the inherently baser sectarianism of nationalists (this is Slugger after all) or because of the diminished influence of the protestant community in Derry city due to demographic factors.

    It remains to be shown that the cities total of sectarian problems has increased with the change in community dominance (local democracy is a bitch, eh?), it seems instead to be a conveniently nationalist majority area to pick apon to futher the Unionist orthodoxy that Nationalists/Catholics/The ROI are the true carriers of the green flame of sectarian hatred.

    Of course though the south and north west of Ireland has recently shown unpleasant racist leanings (step up right wing volks hero Michael McDowell) most observers would snort derisively at the idea that the ROI has a worse problem than NI with its attitude to and treatment of minorities and that that is why Irish reunification is so repugnant to northern protestants.

    NI was created to satisfy the need for Unionist dominance and and the bitter legacy of its sectarian birth will not be going away any time soon.

  • Brian Boru

    “You argue that you ‘disapprove of killing innocent people’. Not only does this open up the argument to ‘well, then is it alright to kill people in general if they turn out to be guilty of something’, but you go on to obviate the need for consideration by arguing (well, you seem to believe it’s an established principle) that it could be legitimate to kill informers.

    The Dáil government (please do the language the justice of including its hard-won fáda) had an electoral mandate to remove Ireland from British rule; quite correct, if one accepts the legitimacy of that Dáil. However, a mandate is not a ‘right’ any more than a bus-ticket is a ‘right’ to get on a bus (presumably you will understand the difference) to Dublin.”

    By that line of reasoning, the US Continental Congress set up in the 1770’s that declared independence from Britain was not legitimate. Is that you view? Considering so many countries won their independence in similar vein, and through force of arms, from the Brit empire your remarks seem to question the legitimacy of the wishes of 200 million people to wrest themselves from British rule. The people have a right to throw off rule that they consider foreign, especially an oppressive one like Britain (at the time) which jailed around 50 SF MPs shortly after their election in 1918 and BEFORE the Anglo-Irish War began. (NB SF was a dual-monarchist party before 1916 and played no part in the Rising though some members did. It was only the mass-influx of 1916 rebels after their release that made the party Republican, so you cannot argue that the 1916-leadership of SF had a hand in fighting before 1918). A comparison might be drawn also with the Bangladesh War of Independence where they (formerly East Pakistan) seceded from Pakistan after their elected leader was thrown into a jail in West Pakistan. The British government showed it had nothing but contempt for Irish voters by jailing most of their newly elected MPs before the fighting had started. It was only when the First Dail met that the fighting started.

    “Partition was not an undermining of any right in the strict sense that a country or a people cannot meaningfully be said to possess a right of ownership over other people.”

    Then the British people cannot be said to have had ownership over the Irish Nationalist people? What right did the Unionists have to claim “ownership” over Nationalist areas like Fermanagh and Tyrone? Why did the Unionists reject proposals for a 6-county referendum to determine which counties went to North and South? Because they knew they would lose territory that way. So Unionists are no ones to lecture over “claiming ownership” over others because the creation of the NI statelet – especially West of the Bann – amounted to claiming ownership over people of a differing national identity. People in glass-houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    “You assert that ‘the war would have been lost’ if informers hadn’t been killed by the old IRA. Hello there, Mr Moral Relativism. You think that battlefield brutality and terrorism is justified because it kept the boyos in line?”

    One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. In my eyes, when an army has an electoral mandate it becomes a legitimate army and a protagonist in a war, rather than a terrorist organisation. I also have a very dim view of the blanket-classification of separatist conflicts as “terrorism” – especially when the war-crimes committed by the so-called legitimate-government is deliberately ignored in classifying certain actions as “terrorism”. The targeting of innocent civilians not involved in the conflict is terrorism, and therefore the Black and Tans and especially the Auxiliaries (who nailed people to trees and burned them alive and sacked 102 towns) constitutes terrorism. You cannot have it both ways. Terrorism is an action, and should be considered as such irrespective of whether governments or others are doing it.

    “Is it possible to be a civilian and an informer, or is everyone a legitimate target for the tar&feather/.303 to the back of the head if they talk to the Brits or – shock horror – don’t take transubstantiation seriously.”

    I resent your last 3 words. It depends on the context. The Irish people withdrew their tolerance for any form of British rule in the 1918 elections. The Brit State then declared war on democracy by throwing most of the newly elected MPs into jail. Now imagine the following scenario Ben A: Suppose in the next election the Tories win. Then suppose the Labour Government refused to accept the result and ‘renditioned’ most of the Opposition MPs to Bagram air base or some dungeon in Romania. Do you think that people who resist this by force are terrorists? There is clearly a parallel here. In these circumstances, unarmed persons who nonetheless inform to the authorities to subvert the wishes of the people are committing a form a treason imho and deserve what they get. There.

  • barnshee

    BB
    “The Irish people withdrew their tolerance for any form of British rule in the 1918 elections.”
    Just chage afew words here and there

    The protestant people withdrew their tolerance for any form of Irish rule in the 1918 elections. The Irish State then declared war . A war that has continued with Irish connivance and support at varying levels since.Do you think that people who resist this by force are terrorists? There is clearly a parallel here. In these circumstances, unarmed persons who nonetheless inform to the IRA and its associates to subvert the wishes of the people are committing a form a treason imho and deserve what they get.

    Where do you draw the line

  • barnshee

    The war is over, update your warped view of history.
    One can talk of ‘the Irish people’ in 1918 as they had a parliament in which to express their democratic wishes. That wish was for Independence.
    The ‘Protestant people’ are merely like Catholic, Jews and others a subsection of the Irish people and can only be addressed as such, that is why there was not a ‘Protestant parliament’ in 1918(though one was established soon after).
    Hence, the true democratic expression of Ireland came through the Irish parliament. Any deviation from this understanding of democracy would lead to some interesting mapdrawing, you know like the ‘Conservative people’ of the UK demanding a parliament in the Shires as it didn’t like the fact that the British people had voted Labour into the British parliament.
    It worries me for the future that you a father of 3…

  • Ben A

    Oh, Brian, you’re just making yourself look worse. I did not issue an opinion on the legitimacy of the Dáil. You assumed that I had a position on it. As a result, your floccinaucinihilipilification (or attempted Floccinaucinihilipilification) was without need.

    Claiming jurisdiction over an area of land as a result of established principle is quite a different matter from claiming ownership. As a result, partition was a result of an agreed legislative process. Shooting informers was not.

    You go on to seek blanket justification for terrorist activities on the basis that ‘the other lot were at it’. But is the idea from the proclamation not about protection and civil liberty? I had a portrait of Connolly and one of Michael Collins in my Office in Dublin, mainly because these were people who stood for something . Not relevant to the discussion? Quite right, but don’t sit there opining that republican ‘tout capping’ operations don’t stink of brutal oppression.

    Also, don’t even attempt to suggest that I’m a moral relativist here. When did I say the B&T Massive were righteous warriors? Your attempt to swing that in there is dumbfoundingly stupid.

    “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” is pathetically insensitive, because it creates a moral neutrality in the actions of the murderer. It’s a bizarre utilitarian twist in the argument you use, and it doesn’t fit in the standard of argument republicans usually use. I suspect you are a dilletante.

    Let me be clear. One man’s terrorist is another man’s terrorist. Peopel nailed to trees and burned to death are the victims of illegal action. Touts shot by the ‘ra are victims of illegal actions, and the activists committing the crimes should be in gaol.

    Take a dim view of what you like, Mr. Moral Relativism. You think it’s bad to call people sent out to shoot informers ‘terrorists’ but defend the idea of them shooting the informers. You argue that the B&T were terrorists, but not the guys and gal’s you rushed to defend in yer post. Well done. Bet you thought Enniskillen was good (up the Ra,) and Loughgall was bad (boo SAS) as well.

    Your dim view of my reference to the informer assassination group’ targetting of Protestants is perhaps matched only by my dim view of them shooting anyone in the first place.

    As to your bizarre attempt to create a link betwen living in a partitioned state (with open borders) and being sent to torture/interrogation facilities, pardon me if I consider your intervention drama-queeny at best. On a simple point of political procedure, let me bring you up to speed.

    During an election, Parliament is dissolved. Until the Queen calls the leader of the ‘winning party’ to tea at 11:00 the day after the poll, the RAF wouldn’t be flying anyone anywhere. Irrelevant? No. Judicial and legislative process counts for a lot. Unless you’re a prod living in range of an IRA hit team.

    Quite apart from your last point contradicting the logic of your penultimate one, i still think you’re a mental midget for even suggesting it. I’ve heard that attitude before down south. That’s why I’ll do my bit to prevent that process of argument becoming the norm.