Fail to prepare? Prepare to fail

Irish Justice Minister Michael McDowell has said there will be an inquiry into the rioting in Dublin on Saturday and that a full report from the Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy will be put before the Cabinet on Tuesday. I hope he can then come out and explain to the rest of us why An Garda Siochana had prepared for a low key event and that it occurred to no one in authority (north or south) that there could and would be trouble. Yesterday’s militant Irish Republican movement may be riddled with informers, but tomorrow’s obviously isn’t.I can well understand hoping for the best but surely any police force worth its salt should also have prepared for the worst or is common sense no longer a required talent in policing?

I agree with Mick Hall when he said on the blogging the riots blog that “the right to protest is a test of any democracy”.

I also agree that, in the greater scheme of things, this was a minor scuffle, the equivalent of what a Berlin rioter would call “Volkssport”, where the dissillusioned youth (anarchists, revolutionary communists etc.) travel from all over Germany to take on the police and the state for a day on May 1 each year, and inevitably lose eventually against the might of up to 7,000 police officers who guard every building site on the route with riot police and a city authority which spends the weeks beforehand cementing down any loose paving stones.

However, the difference here in Ireland, and accordingly the problem, is that the Gardai lost and the demonstrators won, unless of course you are an anarchist, revolutionary communist etc. Any European police force put in the same situation with the same orders would have cracked skulls to ensure the wishes of the democratically elected government were enforced, however unpalatable, in this instance the march by Love Ulster from Parnell Square to Dail Eireann.

They would have had the thousands of police officers that were obviously necessary on hand to ensure this march took place. No expense would have been spared.

Ireland though either cut corners or doesn’t play by these rules and instead allowed violent demonstrators to prevent a legally sanctioned march to take place.

Whatever way you look at it, the Irish state failed miserably in its duty to uphold democracy in this country.

It is the big loser in this whole affair.

Nothing breeds success like success and those who took on the state on the streets of Dublin at the weekend will be back, stronger, more numerous, bolder and most importantly, better prepared. After all, if Dublin can burn once, then it can burn again.

  • slug

    Hopefully the policing will be better for the Queen’s visit.

  • fair_deal

    “it occurred to no one in authority (north or south) that there could and would be trouble”

    Is it a case of believing their own propanganda that Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland had turned a corner in the use of political violence?

  • Henry94

    I’m glad you have raised this issue George. The failure to prepare for a violent demonstration and the failure to know one was planned need to be explained.

    The first failure was I think based on wishful thinking. The plan was not to make a big deal out of the march. It was a gamble and it backfired badly.

    The second failure was more serious. When it suits the political agenda of the Minister he is happy to quote his intelligence briefings. Yesterday when it counted we learned that Garda intelligence isn’t that impressive.

    That certainly has implictions for the future and it should certainly have implications for the Minister

    Henry94

  • elfinto

    What genius thought to leave the raw ingredients for a riot all the way along O’Connell Street?

    I’m sure McDowell will try and blame Sinn Fein for this. If he allowed the march to go ahead he should have ensured it was adequately policed. He is guilty on both counts. McDowell should resign.

  • I’m sure McDowell will try and blame Sinn Fein for this. If he allowed the march to go ahead he should have ensured it was adequately policed. He is guilty on both counts. McDowell should resign.

    Its a sad day when people cannot even walk peacefully down a street without an armed police presence…

  • NORTHERN FF

    Elfinto – what is wrong with you?

    The authorities in the Republic of Ireland hold out a hand of friendship to unionism and welcome a remembrance parade through the city – gangs of viciious thugs then tear up the street and attack the police and your reaction is to ask for the Minister’s resignation?? Get a grip.

    And if McDowell seeks to lay some of the responsibility for this on PSF, he’s damn right to – you can’t spend a decade rousing the troops on the issue of loyalist parades and then wring your hands when your fellow travellers then go out and attack one.

    The one good thing that might come out of this whoel sickening episode is that the southern public have had the chance to see what the provisonal movement looks like when you scratch the surface.

  • andy

    Northern FF?
    so, blame sinn fein when they’re not involved on the grounds they object to loyalist marches in the North?
    no ofence mate but that is probably the most serious lack of logic I’ve seen on this site.

    Its along the lines of refering to the UVF, UDA et al as “unionist paramilitaries” ………

    Are you actually aware that Gerry et al condemned this, and had said the march should be allowed to go ahead before hand?

    Presumably you will be blaming the provisional movement for the superdollars next… their connection to the stickies is about as warm and friendly as their connection to RSF.

  • elfinto

    What’s the betting that the blame for the riot gets pinned on ‘notherners’? And I don’t mean the LoveUlster crowd.

  • NORTHERN FF

    Andy, no offence taken.

    But the logic is very simple – the thugs in the ‘IRA- Undefeated ARmy’ t-shirts yesterday weren’t distinguishing between North and South. They have listened to PSF rhetoric about loyalist parades for the last decade and I believe this is at least partly to blame for the hatred that fuelled them.

  • elfinto

    Nothern FF,

    Before you make any more ill-informed comments about ‘hands of friendship’ and ‘remembrance parades’ I suggest you try to find out a little about ‘Fair’ and LoveUlster.

    As for your nonsense about (P) SF someone else beat me to it.

    Saturday afternoon in Dublin, a rabble of loyalists down from the north complete with Orange bands, an RSF counter-demo, O’Connell Street full of building materials. It doesn’t take the Kaiser cheifs to work it out!

    McDowell should not have permitted this provocative parade if he could ensure adequate policing. He has made the country and the Gardai look a laughing stock again.

    ‘Its a sad day when people cannot even walk peacefully down a street without an armed police presence…’

    Fermanagh YU – you have got to be taking the mick. Or don’t you go to Orange marches?

  • Comrade Stalin

    George,

    I don’t agree with your hindsight-based argument. I don’t think anybody anticipated what happened on Saturday – I know I didn’t guess that there would be any kind of serious problem. Compare with the Whiterock parade last September – there was a buzz on the blogs and elsewhere predicting trouble – no such buzz here. If people were travelling south to make trouble, I assume the PSNI would normally inform the Gardai (and if so that the Gardai would heed any information) but none of that seems to have happened.

    The evidence suggests that the authorities were genuinely caught with their pants down. If there is any argument to be made, it is concerned with the intelligence-gathering capability of the security forces on either side of the border.

    Even then, that assumes a very high degree of orchestration which frankly was not evident during at least some of the rioting which took place. You had people smashing up cars without even bothering to mask themselves; clearly they hadn’t thought of this beforehand, and had not bothered to inform themselves of the location of the traffic/police CCTV cameras in the city in the way that a well-organized crowd might.

  • elfinto

    slug0

    Just like the Gardai didn’t forsee trouble when the English football ‘supporters’ trashed Lansdowne Road. How history repeats itself!

    Loyalist marchers with bands. Republican Garden of Remembrance. O’Connell Street. GPO. Lots of bricks en route. Anyone in a position of responsibility who could not forsee trouble is an idiot or worse.

    When was the last time a loyalist march proceeded down O’Connell Street? Exactly!

    elfinto

  • The Dublin Riots: What Happened, Why it happened and why nobody saw it coming: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74528

  • Harry Flashman

    Hey “Mick de Dublin Anarchist”, I don’t know if you are the author of the post you link to but I have posted a comment there anyway.

    So tell me this, why are you anarchists so embarrased by your role in the rumble. I’d I’ve thought this was just the sort of thing you’d be very proud of. The red and black flags were clearly visible, the attacks on the banks, MacDonalds and the PDs’ offices were all dead giveaways anyway. So how come you’re all so keen now to blame it on the “knackers” of north inner city Dublin?

    What, are you afraid Mummy will be very cross if she finds out you were involved and that Daddy won’t lend you the BMW this weekend, is that it?

  • Harry Flashman

    Dammit! The above post was from me;

    – HARRY FLASHMAN –

  • Betty Boo

    Next thing we will see are compensation claims from Dublin’s Gardai for job related blindness.

    Betty Boo

  • Keith M

    A few things have become much clearer since Saturday. Firstly almost all those involved in the riots came from this country and were no shipped in from Nothern Ireland, as was initially believed.

    Yes there was planning involved. Petrol bombs and skips loaded with bottles don’t appear from thin air. How much could and should the Gardaí have known about this, is still too difficult to know as it is clear that a lot of what happened was spontanious.

    The ludicrous idea that the Minister should resign is obviously politically motivated. No political party is calling for this. However questions do need to be answered. Primary among these is that given the state of O’Connell St. at the moment, was this the best route? a Route which started St.Patrick’s Cathedral, through Stephen’s Green and on to Kildare Street, would have been easier to police and would not have presented an arsenal of bricks for the rioters.

    The impact of the riots on Dublin people is enormous. Events like Saturday’s riots may be common place in N.I., but most people here cannot remember anything like it. It has been a complete shock to the system.

    George (I think) made a very valid point on Saturday. Both the unionists and the rioters helped the cause of partition, one consciously, and one through their own stupidity.

    Keith M

  • Does everyone here accept that in relation to the physical rioting the sole, unique, singular (cant be more clear) responsibility lies with those actually rioting???

    Ok it is a valid point to raise Police planning and response issues, but everytime we get into debates like this we seem to absolve the rioters of any responsibility!

    Its a bit like the phrase ‘Guns dont kill people, people kill people WITH guns’. The Police arent responsible for the rioting- the rioters are.

  • Pat

    Its a sad day when people cannot even walk peacefully down a street without an armed police presence…

    Posted by Fermanagh Young Unionist

    Just for the record, Nationalists were not permitted to walk into Belfast City Centre until 1986 and only allowed to celebrate St Patricks day in the city from the early 1990’s.

    Whilst Unionists are crying about their Democratic rights to march being denied, which I agree with, I have yet to hear a single Unionist to publically state their support for Nationalist Democratic rights to march down those same streets.

    The DUP have been loud about calling for the “Equal rights for Protestants”, not once have they echoed Sinn Feins call for “Equal rights for ALL our citizens”, not so strong on the “Democratic” front or at least the rest of the world’s interpretation of what “Democratic” means.

    Can we hear from Jeffrey Donaldson and Co. comming out with their support for Nationalist marches in Lisburn and Ballymena to highlight the murder of Nationalists due to the conspiracies by the RIR and Unionist paramilitaries?

  • missfitz

    Actually Quincey, no I dont agree with you. The action of the riot was solely the responsibility of those participating, but to believe that a riot is a simple formula is mistaken.

    There is a progression formula within the action of a riot, and in my experience, it can be defused or ignited at almost any point until it is out of control.

    For the riot to happen, you need the crowd, the material and a loose reason to begin. Dublin was able to muster the crowd, the material was supplied by the county council, and the reasons are historic. This did not need a rocket scientist.

    Now, on the other hand, the ignition and defusion were not guaranteed. In many situations, a single rock does not a riot make. I have witnessed many potential riots that were quickly and vigorously stopped. This needs a plan, preferably one that has been thought out and formulated in advance.

    I have seen dozens of photos and clips of the riots now, and while a light police line was appropriate at the commencement of the march, a reasonable plan would have been both army and riot police re-inforcements quickly accesible.

    For every lightly policed parade in NI, there is probably a very heavy back up in an alley nearby. You MUST be prepared for the worst, and it was a foolish decision to have been anything else.

    I think it is fair to criticise the Gardai, and not just as a matter of hind sight. Ultimately, the safety and security of the citizens rest with their ability to protect. They did not appear even slightly ready for this confrontation, and that was an error of the gravest order. If deaths had occurred, and that was a distinct possibility, then those deaths would have to have been investigated in the light of an inadequate, unprepared and poorly researched garda response.

    Certainly, this demonstration reached a point of no return, but I can clearly see a long period where it could have been turned.

    As to the indignation of the Southern state, nothing was as clear as the reaction of the newsreader on the Nine o’clock news—– “But this was meant to be a party weekend”. Boys oh dear, we have a long way to go to create mutual understanding and respect.

  • missfitz

    It took me so long to write that, I want to claim it back!
    Missfitz

  • Sean

    The fact is that the rioting on Saturday was the worst possible outcome of this Orange march, and let’s not kid ourselves, this was an ORANGE MARCH, intended to provoke a response like this.

    Purely politically motivated and I must say a very well thought out move by the DUP.

    I was listening to Jeffery Donaldson on NewTalk 106 this morning and “Justice minister” McDowell on RTE last night and I swear to God the accent is the only way I could tell them apart.

    Both “men” were trying their damnedest to drag Sinn Fein into this and suceeding in some respects, tarring all Republicans with the same brush, but when it comes to Unionist violence its only a “small, unrepresentative majority” that carries out the actions seen in the North during the last marching season. Where’s the consistency in that???
    This was a pure political stunt and I must hand it to Willie and Jeffrey, well played, well played indeed.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Were Saturday’s scenes of rabid sectarian hatred part of Gerry’s strategy of coaxing us – the Protestant, Unionist, Loyalist community – into acquiescing to his pipe-dream of a so-called “Ireland Of Equals”?

    I was down in Dublin supporting the demonstration with 800-1,000 other people (depending on which paper you read). I can say now, without a shadow of doubt in my mind, that we would be talking about fatalities here on Slugger if the 1,000-2,000 republican thugs (again depending on which paper you read) had broken through Garda lines at either O’Connell Street where the parade was scheduled to commence, or Kildare Street, where we were taken in busses for our own safety to finish the parade…I’m still shocked by it all as the hatred and sectarianism, including chants about our dead, were worse than the abuse we’d been subjected to previously at “Lundy” and “Relief Of Derry”, 12th August- parades which pass the Diamond and Richmond Centre areas of Londonderry in close proximity to the republican stronghold of the Bogside.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    That last post of 12:00pm was by Concerned Loyalist, not Fair Deal…

  • missfitz

    To the poster slug9..
    Does it matter? Maybe in another conversation, but lets stick to the facts, and lets keep this argument straight.
    This is a liberal democracy. People have rights. People can speak and demonstrate if they so choose.

    The Love Ulster march should be cherished by republicans and lovers of democracy. We need to get over ourselves a lot and quickly. If Ireland is to go forward in any form, there has to be a relinquishment of attitudes, including the facile contention that Britian has anything to do with the North, that it wishes to have.

    There is and has been a Unionist majority in NI for a long time. They have the right to express themselves in the North, to enjoy their culture and culitvate their identitiy. Without this sense of identity, there will never be a sense of security.

    It is then right that this sense of identity can and should be expressed south of the border. Actually, its great that they feel that they want to do that.

    What parts of the identity or argument I agree with are not important. The important issue is the rights of people to demonstrate and celebrate.

    This is a tragedy, in many ways and on many levels. It is truly shameful. Dont make it worse.

  • JK

    To those who think the rioters came armed with bottles, think again!!

    As well as a constant stream of missiles readily available on O’Connell Street, pubs in and around O’Connell Street have recycling bins for bottles at the rear of their premises. That is were the bottles came from!!

  • J McConnell

    So can anyone tell me when all those peace loving pluralistic and democratic nationalists in Dublin are going to invite the victims families back to Dublin and then join them in marching down O’Connell St to assert the right of all people in these islands to free assemble.

    Or are the knuckle-draggers, gurriers and scangers who seem to make up the large majority of any Republican get-together in the South going to get their way yet again.

    And after the events of Saturday will there be any remembrance or acknowledgment during the governments official Easter Rising ‘celebration’ of the almost 10,000 killed and murdered over the last 90 years due to politically motivated violence?

    – J McConnell

  • It will be interesting to see what (if any) level of consultation took place between the Gardai the PSNI on security concerns beforehand.

    What also surprises me was the lack of coverage in the British media. Both the main Saturday teatime news bulletins on BBC and ITV ignored the Dublin riots completely. Not even a single column inch appeared in today’s editions of the Times, Guardian or Independent, save for William Fotheringham’s brief mention of the riots in the opening paragraph of his comment on Ireland’s win over Wales in the Six Nations at Lansdowne Road in the Guardian sports section.

  • Pat

    Would J.McConnell like to take time out from the dribble of insults towards Republicans and take a stab at answering the quaetion at comment 19? Would any of the Unionist commentators like to comment on the age old question of providing Equal rights to ALL and not just Protestants?

    There seems to be a need by some on the site to simply insult people who don’t see “Equality” and “Democratic rights” as solely belonging to Unionists.

    At the end of the day the parade was badly planed and was organised for the sole purpose of getting a violent response from the idiots who responded.

    Can Willie Frazer and the DUP, and any other Unionist for that matter tell the Nationalist people if they have the right to parade through a Majority Unionist town to highlight the collusion between the British army/RUC/RIR and Loyalist Paramilitaries? Anyone?

  • elfinto

    These so-called southern liberals banging on about liberal democracy, freedom of expression, respecting the marching rights of loyalists, etc.

    They just don’t get it do they!

    On the one hand they want to include northern loyalists who don’t want to be included but on the other hand they want to exclude nationalists who want to be included (e.g. denial of speaking rights in the Dail).

    Keith M typifies this approach. ‘In this country’ he says (meaning the 26 counties)….. but he then goes on to say that a group of people who by his own definition are foreigners – and who incidentally have nothing but contempt for the notion of Irish independence – should be able to come and hold provocative demonstrations past historic monuments celebrating the sacrifices made in the name of Irish independence.

    How bizarre!

    Congrats to the DUP on a very successful stunt. A lorry load of slurry to McDowell for accomodating it. Let the blame for the incompetent shenanigans displayed by the agencies of the state fall with the Minister.

  • elfinto

    Hear, hear, Pat.

    Let’s have a Justice For The Victims of State Supported Death Squads March past the war memorial in Portadown next time they are digging up the street to lay pipes or something. And the PSNI are all on leave.

    I predict a riot!

  • FK

    What I wonder is why a peaceful protest to the march wasn’t organized? That *MAY* have harnessed some of this energy?

  • Carnhill

    Let’s have a Justice For The Victims of State Supported Death Squads March past the war memorial in Portadown next time they are digging up the street to lay pipes or something. And the PSNI are all on leave.

    – Aye and lets not forget to send 14 bus-loads of Dubliners up for the day, complete with 7 republican bands, and a few tricolours etc for good effect. Surely to god Jeffrey Donaldson, Michael mcDowell etc would defend our right to a peaceful demonstration ??!! No ?

  • fair_deal

    From fair deal

    “only allowed to celebrate St Patricks day in the city from the early 1990’s”

    To whoever made this statement.

    Sorry to get in the way of the mopery and the “I claim someone did something a few decades ago justifies me hitting you now argument” (i thought it was Unionists who were supposed to live in the past) but you are incorrect on two fronts.
    1. It was not the early 1990’s but 1998 when the first St Pat’s parade took place in Belfast. 2. No one disallowed the nationalist community anything before then because no one from a nationalist background ever organised a St Patrick’s parade before 1998.

    See the link below to to confirm this.
    http://www.feilebelfast.com/stpatrick/

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Pat,
    You talk of “equal rights for all”. Don’t try and take the moral high-ground here. We came in peace but republicans came armed with blast bombs and petrol bombs and then lifted rocks, bricks and assorted rubble from an empty building-site and glass bottles from nearby bottle bins and bars.

    Danny Kennedy made a good point when addressing the crowd outside Leinster House, the home of the Irish Government. He remarked that it was ironic that nationalists continuously say that our representatives have speaking rights in the Dail, yet when we travel, personally, almost 5 hours in a bus to attend the demonstration, we are denied the civil rights of freedom of assembly and freedom of speech.

    We were penned into a small street like a flock of sheep, just around the corner from a horde of so-called “protestors” baying for blood, which started off with 300 Republican Sinn Fein/Continuity IRA members and supporters and then grew in number to 1-2,000, with prominent Provisional Sinn Fein/IRA men seen by shoppers directing younger hoods and even themselves throwing metal barricades at Gardai.

    After we stood for an hour, kept in the dark as to what was going on, with the bands warming up the only form of entertainment, Willie Frazer (FAIR), Jeffrey Donaldson (DUP) and Danny Kennedy (UUP) told us we should all get on the nearest bus as quickly as possible to transport us to Leinster House, as the Gardai couldn’t guarantee our safety if we walked down O’Connell Street and were even fearful of the Provo-orchestrated mob breaking through their brave lines of officers to get at us. When we got to Leinster House we were hurried through our walk down Kildare Street as the thugs had followed us across the Liffey and were only stopped from getting to us by barricades and Gardai less than 100 yards down the road, and it was a matter of when, and not if, they got through…where’s the parity of esteem in the self-styled “Irish Republic” for Protestants?

    An extremely angry,
    Concerned Loyalist

  • Mick the southerner

    Essentially, a load of loyalist scumbags were going to objected to by a load of republican scumbags – unfortunately, a load of celtic-shirted scumbags from Dublin joined in and the hold thing went to hell. It speaks volumes that one of the main places attacked was Footlocker.

  • Niall

    Just heard on RTE radio that some of the Love ulster marchers had UVF/UFF flags. The gardai made sure they put them away.

  • Carnhill

    To the extremely angry Concerned loyalist,

    Good to see your curious habit of stretching the truth (or even dispensing with it completely) is still alive and kicking – armed with Blast Bombs ?? Hmmmm.

    Good also to see that you travelled down from Coleraine ‘in peace’ and not in order to provoke ! I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt on this one as, as yet , i’ve not had it confirmed that a few UVF / UFF banners travelled down with your peace-loving companions.

    Just one question – what would be the reaction in good ol’ Coleraine to 14 bus-loads of dubliners descending accompanied by 7 republican flute bands and a few tricolours in order to have a peaceful demonstration to hightlight the plight of Catholic victims of State Collusion ? I wonder.

    Let’s see if you can hold your anger, disgust , & outrage in check long enough to answer the question !

  • J McConnell

    Pat

    > Would J.McConnell like to take time out from the dribble of insults towards Republicans and take a stab at answering the quaetion (sic) at comment 19?

    Would it make you happy if I used exactly the same terms to describe the violent loyalists? Probably not. After all, you are the only ‘victims’ here.

    What I was mainly referring to was the smug sanctimonious complacency of the majority in the South, the “we’re not a sectarian state like those nutters have up the North” crowd. The simple fact is that it is much easier to pretend you have not created a sectarian state when the minority is 5% and not 40%.

    And Saturday proved that Unionists are still not allowed to march in Dublin, after 80 years of ‘freedom’. Just like they are not allowed to march in certain parts of NI, and just like Republicans and Nationalist are not allowed to march in other parts of NI.

    I happened to be in the City Center when the (mostly) rabble of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement had their march last year. A fairly repellent collection of low-lifes leavened with an uncomfortable looking minority of middle-class-ish activist types. They were treated with the silence and mild-disgust they deserved by the on-lookers but no-one attempt to prevent them marching, and rightly so.

    They had every right to march, just as had the Love Ulster people on Saturday.

    But that was the exquisite irony of Saturdays attack on democracy and free assemble by the fascists who called themselves Republicans. These Republicans refuse to recognize the British nationality of NI Unionists, they assert everyone in the island of Ireland can only be Irish (and Irish as they define it), and are willing to threaten violence (and worse) to those who disagree with them. So they then prevent what they assert are their fellow citizens from exercising their democratic to march down the main street of their notional ‘capitol’ city.

    And why? Mostly it seems because they are ‘bloody foreigners’, although trying to get any kind of intellectually coherent argument out of a republican for Saturdays events, or any other event in their pantheon of victimhood, is generally a lost cause. They tend to be none too bright, and so all unconsumed by their perceived oppression and martyrdom as quickly veer into complete incoherency. Just like their equally repellent equivalents on the loyalist side.

    So yet another great day for Irish Republicanism, the politics of losers.

    J McConnell

  • Carnhill

    PS Hope ye enjoyed yer wee bus journey. Just one wee bit of advice – next time leave the loyalist bands, flags etc at home & ye’ll be sure of a much warmer wellcome.

  • J McConnell

    Carnhill

    As far as I am aware Coleraine has never claimed to be the capitol city for all Ireland, or had an assemble that claimed sovereignty over all the inhabitants of the island for most of the last 70 years.

    So according to the ROI constitution and laws angry Concerned loyalist was recognized as being as much a citizen of the ROI as the Finglas scangers who would have inflicted GBH on him if given half a chance on Saturday. So according to ROI law he had as much right as the rioters to march on the streets of Dublin. That fact that he is actually British is neither here nor there.

    The real hypocrites are those who passed these laws not those who have tested them and found them nothing more than hollow cant..

  • Carnhill

    Put purely and simply – the march was designed as an act of extreme provocation by a group set up by a character (Frazer) with well publicised sectarian views in conjunction with leading figures of the UVF & UFF (Jackie McDonald to name just one).

    You can bleat all you want about the Constitution, the right to free speech and congregation etc. However in the real world bringing a march with Loyalist bands to the heart of Dublin City Centre was always going to provoke a reaction (and indeed was intended to do so), due to the anti-Catholic and anti-Irish views of many of the participants.

    The real fault lies with the Irish Government. The march should not have been given permission to go ahead full stop, due to it’s provocative nature. Similarly any full scale republican march in the centre of Coleraine would not be allowed to go ahead for the same reason.

    It ain’t brain surgery !

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Dublin Says No!

    No — Northern Protestants allowed to march.

    No — Expression of Protestant Culture.

    No — Mention of Republican Violence allowed.

    No — Protestant coach parties without a Gardai escort.

    No — Respect for our own police force.

    No — right to peaceful assembly (unless it’s gay pride, Sinn Fein or well anyone but those northern prods).

    No — Union Jacks in Dublin.

    No — Tolerance of an official event sanctioned by the government.

    No — Recognition of one third of the national flag.

    No — Respect for what Provisional Sinn Fein have to say.

    No — Way are we ever going to reach an accomodation with those scumbags in the north.

  • Carnhill

    No-chance of JK putting everything in a little bit of context.

    Will all be forgotten about next month. Bad Idea. Predictible result.

  • paul panther

    J McConnell is being deliberately insulting. J McConnell is the name of one of the UVF men who blew up Dublin in 1974.
    James McConnell – UDR/UVF member shot dead by the IRA in the mid-1970s who was involved in at least 41 sectarian murders.
    He was named by former RUC man John Weir in an affadvit in 1999.
    Last week Willie Frazer said he could not guarantee images of the mass murdered would not be displayed at Saturday’s parade.
    J McConnell – your cover has been blown.

  • Keith M

    So after less than 48 hours of trying to play at being democrats, the SF/IRA posting committee are clearly back in their usual habitat of trying to justify violence, and then of course they’ll wonder why they lose support from guilt through association with Saturday’s thuggery.

    Given the problems with the commenting facility it’s hard to tell who’s posting what, but let me address some points raised.

    George’s original point in the original blog that it was the Irish state’s miserable failure to uphold democracy remains the core point at issue here. Where was the Garda intelligence that the Minister values so highly? Should there have been more Gardai? Should there have been water cannon? Should the Gardai have used more force? Have the Gardai lost the stomach for countering street violence after the shameful press coverage of the May Day riots? However none of these questions negate in any way the shameful tactics of the nationalist demonstrators in denying a fully authorised and legal parade from taking place.

    Pat says “At the end of the day the parade was badly planed and was organised for the sole purpose of getting a violent response from the idiots who responded”. Wrong on both fronts, the parade was very well planned. The streets of Dublin should not be the exclusive property of one side in Northern Ireland to use to protest and to bring issues to the attention of people in this country. It was not organized with the purpose of getting a response. Had it been, it would have been cancelled when SF/IRA instructed their supporters to ignore the parade.

    What may have been wrong was using the traditional route for marches of this type, given the current work on O’Connell Street. However the route was NOT planned by the parade organizers, it was the route agreed with the Gardai.

    Elfinto, who seems to be today’s nominated poster by the SF/IRA cheerleaders, omes up with some of the most spurious nonsense I’ve ever seen on Slugger. He takes issue with my use of the term country to describe (The Republic of) Ireland. Like it or not, this is a country, sovereign, democratic and internationally recognized and it does not go under the quaintly outdated name of the “26 counties”. Such a term is as outdated, and frankly offensive as people on the other side of the fence who use the term “Free State”.

    Saturday’s marchers were not looking for speaking rights in the Dáil. If they were I would be opposed to it. They were looking for a private meeting with this country’s democratically elected representatives, as is their entitlement. It may have been missed in the events elsewhere, but a meeting did take place in Leinster House.

    Dublin is full of “past historic monuments”, finding a route that didn’t pass such a monument would be hard work (although the route I suggested earlier comes pretty close).

    When all is said and done, unionists scored a major PR triumph on Saturday, thanks to the sheer blind hated and xenophobia that is close to the heart of all nationalist groups. Nationalists and republicans need to reflect on this. Their “Ireland of equals” is clearly a hollow piece of cant with no substance. If anything was proven on Saturday it is that the necessity of the continuation of partition, and that message is not going to be lost on either side of the border, for decades to come.

    Keith M

  • a different perspective on the riots which is more insightful than most of the mainstream media imo

    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74528

    piebald

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘When all is said and done, unionists scored a major PR triumph’

    How did they?

  • Brian Boru

    “J McConnell is the name of one of the UVF men who blew up Dublin in 1974.”

    No that’s Robert McConnell. However Frazer has questions to answer regarding why he refused to rule out photos of him being brought on the march. Is he the kind of “victim” that the march wanted to remember?

    Brian Boru

  • elfinto

    Keith M,

    You are playing the man (me) so I will respond in kind with some patronisingly obvious truths.

    1. Unionists are British nationalists

    2. Ireland is a country with 32 counties, which were ironically given to us by the British

    3. Unionists routinely (and hypocritically) label the founders of the Irish state as terrorists and fascists.

    4. The Garden of Rememberance commemorates those who struggled and died in the long fight for (partial) Irish independence.

    5. It is widely accepted that the Easter Rising was a catalyst in securing (partial) independence.

    6. The headquarters of the Rising was the GPO in O’Connell Street

    7. The planned loyalist march down O’Connell St was organised by Love Ulster and Willie Frazer of FAIR.

    8. Willie Frazer of FAIR was recently denied a firearms licence by the PSNI for associating with loyalist paramilitaries.

    9. FAIR glorifies the memeory of the sectarian UDR and RUC, key elements of Britain’s not so secret death squad apparatus, and reponsible for many atrocities including the Dublin & Monaghan bombings.

    9. One of the organisations behind the Love Ulster campaign is the Ulster Defence Association, involved in hundreds of murders of innocent people including the Dublin & Monaghan bombings.

    10. The Love Ulster march intended to walk down O’Connell St past the Garden of Rememberance and the GPO playing Orange tunes, carrying imperialist flags (thereby insulting them memory of those who laid down their lives for freedom) while seeking to blame the Irish government and the republican movement for ‘the Troubles’.

    11. Most (if not all) Irish people are glad to live in a (partially) independent country and remember with pride those who struggled to bring about independence.

    12. A small (and wealthy) elite in Irish society has become so divorced from the above points that they fail to understand how offensive this march was to a large section of the population and how stupid the authorities were in allowing it to proceed as planned.

    13. Such people are colloquially known as West Brits.

    14. If you don’t have a British passport already you may be able to qualify thorugh your grandparents if they were born before 1921.

    Glad to be of assistance

    Is mise le meas

    elfinto
    SF/IRA blogging committe (Cheerleader Shagging Section)

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘SF/IRA blogging committe (Cheerleader Shagging Section)’

    Ha Ha Ha.

  • elfinto

    Piebald,
    Thanks for the link to that excellent indymedia article. What a great site! I will never need to visit the so-called RTE ‘news’ site again.

    http://www.indymedia.ie

    Pat,
    The Cheerleader Shagging section is a secret project. Ssshh!

  • Keith M

    Elfinto;
    1. “Unionists are British nationalists.”

    No they are Unionists and the United Kingdom is an entity which encompasses several nationalities, putting none above any other.

    2.”Ireland is a country with 32 counties, which were ironically given to us by the British”.

    No it’s not, “country” and “state” are interchangeable. This country currently has 29 counties and 4 city councils (thus making the “26 counties” a complete ninsense).

    3. “Unionists routinely (and hypocritically) label the founders of the Irish state as terrorists and fascists.”

    This is a matter of opinion, and there is certainly justification for using this description of people who take up arms without any mandate.

    4. “The Garden of Rememberance commemorates those who struggled and died in the long fight for (partial) Irish independence.”

    And it is also the traditional starting point for parades in Dublin. Late last year a Trade Union demo started there, iun a couple of months the Gay Pride will start from there. It has also been used as the starting point for SF/IRA, RSF, 32CSC demos.

    5. “It is widely accepted that the Easter Rising was a catalyst in securing (partial) independence.” Undisputed.

    6. “The headquarters of the Rising was the GPO in O’Connell Street.”

    Yes strange as it may seem the 1916 rebels chose this soft and neutral target and perhaps that is why they were revived and spat at when there were finaly removed from the building.

    7. “The planned loyalist march down O’Connell St was organised by Love Ulster and Willie Frazer of FAIR.”

    And the route was agreed (and possibly suggested) by the authorities in this country.

    8. “Willie Frazer of FAIR was recently denied a firearms licence by the PSNI for associating with loyalist paramilitaries.”

    Several of those that have organised marches in Dublin have paramilitary connections, it does not and should not prevent their right to a peaceful demonstration.

    9. “FAIR glorifies the memeory of the sectarian UDR and RUC, key elements of Britain’s not so secret death squad apparatus, and reponsible for many atrocities including the Dublin & Monaghan bombings.”

    Proof by any chance, or just bluster?

    10. “The Love Ulster march intended to walk down O’Connell St past the Garden of Rememberance and the GPO playing Orange tunes, carrying imperialist flags (thereby insulting them memory of those who laid down their lives for freedom) while seeking to blame the Irish government and the republican movement for ‘the Troubles’.”

    No it intended to start at the GoR (just like other parades and follow the traditional route for marches in Dublin. If you find something wrong with “Orange tunes” then can I suggest that you start a petition for a new national flag. What is your definition of “imperialist flags”?

    11. “Most (if not all) Irish people are glad to live in a (partially) independent country and remember with pride those who struggled to bring about independence.”

    Most (though obviously not all) of the Irish people are glad to live in a democratic country, where basic rights like free speech and free demonstration are fostered and encouraged.

    12. A small (and wealthy) elite in Irish society has become so divorced from the above points that they fail to understand how offensive this march was to a large section of the population and how stupid the authorities were in allowing it to proceed as planned.

    A small core of retrobates manipulated by political neandathals will take offence at anything which does not fit their narrow definition of “Irishness” and demonstrate this with a dangerous brand of racist hated that is against everything this country stands for and would sicken the vast majority of those that fought for Irish independence.

    13. “Such people are colloquially known as West Brits. ” Such people are today boing called *scum* by most of the people of Dublin.

    14. “If you don’t have a British passport already you may be able to qualify thorugh your grandparents if they were born before 1921.”

    I have an Irish passport, and feel no need for any other. I respect the instritutions of the country, have no problem of using its proper name, respect its laws, pay its tax and use whatever means I can to encourage the people of this country to understand what a pluralist, non sectarian state is.

  • elfinto

    If it wasn’t for the ‘fascists’ who ‘took up arms without a mandate’ there would be no such thing as an Irish passport.

    As for the stuff about collusion if you want to know the truth about it go find it. It’s not difficult. Start with Google.

    But something tells me you don’t want to know.

  • barnshee

    elfinto
    And without the (sometimes limited) grasp of the despised english language held by by some residents of the EC funded banana republic that is the ROI the citizens of that state would be lucky to inhabit the traditional sod hut

  • Pat

    > Would J.McConnell like to take time out from the dribble of insults towards Republicans and take a stab at answering the quaetion (sic) at comment 19?

    Would it make you happy if I used exactly the same terms to describe the violent loyalists? Probably not. After all, you are the only ‘victims’ here.

    Mr McConnell, you have asked a question rather than anwer the ones that I had requested of you earlier. However the answer to your question is NO I wouldn’t be happy with your remarks – the reason being that you have not answered the questions I put.

    I am not really interested in slagging off and throwing insults. As for being the only victim the answer there again is NO, I am just one of many thousands left from the needless killing of over 3400 people.

    At the end of day the IRA killed people, but so did the Unionist paramilitaries aided and abetted by the British State forces of the UDR/RIR/RUC/MI5 etc. etc.

    The people within FAIR are the ones who believe they are the only victims. They are also the people who have stated they have no interest in other victims and are only too glad to be linked and associated with Unionist terrorist groups.

    FAIR actual stands for Furthering Attacks on Irish Republicans. The actions of this group and Willie Frazer inparticular give the impression that they are devastated that there is a peace process. Even Paisley refused to travel to Dublin with them, wonder why?

    Anyway, Mr McConnell, any chance of answering the questions at posting 19 on whether you – the Unionist people would support the Democratic rights of Nationalists to hold a parade in Lisburn and Ballymena to highlight the Collusion that took place between the British Army and the UDR/RIR,(whose main bases are in these 2 towns), and the Unionist paramilitary death squads of the UDA/UVF/UFF etc.

    An answer to the other questions would be nice as well, thanks.

  • The Dubliner

    “I was listening to Jeffery Donaldson on NewTalk 106 this morning and “Justice minister” McDowell on RTE last night and I swear to God the accent is the only way I could tell them apart.

    Both “men” were trying their damnedest to drag Sinn Fein into this and suceeding in some respects, tarring all Republicans with the same brush, but when it comes to Unionist violence its only a “small, unrepresentative majority” that carries out the actions seen in the North during the last marching season.” – slug9

    Yup, McDowell is a shameless propagandist. Here’s another quote from him: “We cannot have a situation where a group of thugs prevent some people from exercising their civil liberties, but insist that O’Connell Street and the GPO is always available for their macabre demonstrations whenever they want to have them.”

    Note that Frazer’s mob is “exercising their civil liberties” but Republicans are “a group of thugs” whose ‘civil liberties’ are dismissed as no more meaningful than “macabre demonstrations.”

    This defence of civil rights by Mr McDowell would be more convincing were it not for the rather inconvenient fact that the man he is promoting as a champion of civil rights, Willie Frazer, supports the murder of the civil rights lawyer, Pat Finucane.

  • unionist

    I laff every time a catholic talks of colluision, this coming from ira supporters which murdered more of their own people than any other group over the troubles.

    Catholics dont want a unionist about the place, what happened in dublin was another manifestion of their BRITS OUT policy , they want rid of everything british, including the extermination of every british man woman and child

  • NORTHERN FF

    Elfinto, you said: “let’s have a Justice For The Victims of State Supported Death Squads March…”

    Given that it now appears the provisional movement was infiltrated from top to bottom by British agents, and given they were the most prolific murder gang of the lot, it could be argued that that’s precisely what Willie Frazer et al were trying to do in Dublin.

    This entire thread has laid bare the ‘Building an Ireland of Equals’ lie. There’s one great central thread from provisional posters – that the whole rally project was just a loyalist rabble down for the day to act macho, play their blood and thunder music and look tough. Further, the underlying tone is that their expression of their ‘culture’ – in Dublin at the weekend and more generally on the streets of the North – has no merit, relying as it does on vaguely pathetic militaristic displays and dubious music.

    Anyone who doubts the absolute hypocrisy of this position should have a look at the photo in today’s Irish News from the provo rally / march that took place in Strabane the day after the Dublin riots.

    NORTHERN FF

  • elfinto

    Sorry mate, you’re well wide of the mark again.

    It was Dubs who stopped the Orangemen from marching, not nationalists from the north, not the Provos, not the 32CSM and not even RSF.

    Furthermore, the way you brand anyone who disagrees with you a Provo is disgraceful.

    Spook Operations for complete beginners
    —————————————-
    1. Use agents to infiltrate a hostile organisation in order to undermine it
    2. Use agents within frindly organisations to direct deniable attacks against a hostile organisation and its perceived supporters.

    Now see if you can understand the difference. General Frank Kitson did. That’s why he made it the basis of British Couter-Insurgency operations.

    Glad to be of assistance

    elFinto

  • Brian Boru

    “No it’s not, “country” and “state” are interchangeable. This country currently has 29 counties and 4 city councils (thus making the “26 counties” a complete ninsense).”

    State and country are not interchangable. Otherwise you are saying that there was no German nation during partition, and that there is no Korean nation now.

    The Irish considered themselves a separate nation from the British when the South was part of the Union. Northern and Southern nationalists share a common irish national identity and not a British one. You are wrong.

  • DK

    It looks like it will be a long time before there can be a united ireland.

    Sure FAIR only represent their own victims – much like any other lobbying group. This is hardly controversial and there are plenty of other groups only concerned with a specific set of victims.

    Like other groups, the victims of FAIR included people who were heavily involved in paramilitarism and terrorism.

    What appears to have been controverisal is that they have attempted to highlight their victims in a place which has been a target of some of their victims. This was never going to be a popular move, but I do not believe that it was intended to be a provocation – FAIR have legitimate concerns about Irish state collusion with republican death squads in Armagh & the parade was to raise publicity for this.

    The resulting riots have not furthered the cause of FAIR – I have not seen a single post discussing state collusion, but plenty about provocation and freedom of expression.

    And I would like to know if anyone here predicted the riots. I don’t remember anything on the earlier threads *before* the march went ahead. If no-one here, with all their political insight and inside knowledge, could predict a riot – how could a minister?

  • DK

    above post Pat Mc Larnon2 09.09AM was from DK.

    And another thing – please stop bringing up things that happened nearly 100 years ago. Times have moved on a bit – the relevence to today pointless as the events were so poorly documented and confused that anyone can read anything they want into them.

  • Keith M

    Pat? “Otherwise you are saying that there was no German nation during partition, and that there is no Korean nation now.”

    There were two German states/countries during partition and there are two Korean states/countries now. I never mentioned the word “nation” because this word is far more ambiguous.

    “The Irish considered themselves a separate nation from the British when the South was part of the Union.”

    Again I never mantioned the word “nation”. The Scots, Welsh and English consider themselves sepatate nations, but all live quite happily in one state/country.

    “Northern and Southern nationalists share a common irish national identity and not a British one. You are wrong.”

    Bringing “nation” and “national identity” are broadly irrelevant here. However for the record, one can be English and British, Scottish and British and Irish and British. This is now implicity recognised in the constitution of this country.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    JK1,
    I can say truthfully, hand on my heart, that I withnessed no-one involved in the Love Ulster rally carrying any UVF or UFF flags – in a communique given to all participants beforehand, the Love Ulster organisers stated that everyone involved with the rally were to act with “decorum” and paramilitary symbols were expressly forbidden…

  • Concerned Loyalist

    The 1:40pm post was by Concerned Loyalist and not McLarnon5…

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Pat,
    It is obvious you don’t have a clue what you are talking about when you talk of the
    “Unionist paramilitary death squads of the UDA/UVF/UFF”.

    1) They are LOYALIST, not Unionist paramilitaries…

    2) The UFF are the UDA’s military wing. For someone to be an active service member of the UFF they have to be a member of the UDA- they are not two different organisations but a “force within a force” to coin a phrase.

    Concerned Loyalist

  • FK

    So many barbs have been traded in this discussion, when in truth what is at stake is one ideal. In a free, democratic society groups, weather loved or hated, must be free to march, demonstrate, parade etc… HOWEVER, it is the duty of the state to insure that the place that this demonstration takes place is the least controversial. I have watched the f’n Klu Klux Klan march far to often. They aren’t allowed through areas that could be considered flash points, the police are bright enough to figure that emotions will run high and send marches through easily protected areas. (The jackass(es) who didn’t think about broken pavement deserve a lashing. ) However, they march, there is NOTHING redeeming about the KKK. They are disgusting, but they march, and we watch and someone always ends up throwing punches, but the police manage it, because they expect it is coming.

  • FK

    I posted the above…don’t know why it say Pat Mc
    FK

  • FK

    Wow Pat, you’re omnipresent!
    FK

  • This issue of Robert McConnell is a nonsense. The man was never convicted of anything and there is NO evidence to suggest he was involved in the Dublin/Mon Bombings. There is conjecture nothing more. For a movement that so espouses the principal of Justice wheres Roberts?-Typical whataboutery. He WAS a Protestant supporting his own and his extended family in an area where Protestants are not allowed to express their opinions then and to this day if they differ from the SF line. He WAS murdered by the IRA.

  • J McConnell

    jk

    > J McConnell – your cover has been blown….

    You have just giving me my biggest laugh so far in my posting career on slugger.

    Unlike most people here I am not hiding behind a nom de guerre…

    Email me if you are in Dublin and I’ll prove it by showing you exactly the same name printed on my credit card when I buy you a drink..

    And no, I was not aware of the ’74 surname connection..

    the real genuine

    J McConnell

  • J McConnell

    Pat

    Just because I see some merit in the Unionist position, and see little merit in the politics of Republicanism, this does not make me a Northern Unionist, or put me in a position to speak for anyone.

    As someone who believes in liberal democracy, and in an absolute right to free speech and to public assembly, I will defend *everybodies* right to say whatever they want, wherever they want. And as long as the assembly does not commit violence or threaten violence it should be allowed to march whenever it wants, wherever it wants.

    If by-standers or people living on the route take offense at the marchers and opinions expressed by the marchers then tough. Disagree with the marchers opinions then there are lots of non-violent non-intimidating ways of showing your disapproval. Start shouting abuse, start throwing missiles, start try to prevent the march from following its intended route, and then I really dont care what the riot police do to you. Baton charges, water-cannons, tear gas, – whatever response is proportionate.

    Nobody has an absolute right to take offense, and certainly nobody has a right to use the fact that they are offended by something or someone to interfere with other peoples fundamental civil and civic rights.

    A possible (or actual) violent response by onlookers is a never a valid reason to curtail peoples fundamental civil rights. I assign absolutely no value to the rhetoric of victimization and victimhood that has been used by both sides. It has no place in a liberal democracy.

    Marches intended to provoke will soon peter out if they do receive the desired response from onlookers. Ignore them and they will eventually go away. Marches intended to draw attention to a particular point of view, commemorates some event, or express a particular political beliefs will continue because they reflect genuine sentiments, and they should be respected and supported by everyone who believes in a civil society.

    So if Gerry and the boys are serious about their respect for other people civil rights maybe they should join the Love Ulster people next time they are marching in Dublin, as an act of solidarity. And maybe we should get Big Ian down to the GPO for the Easter Rising parade where he could be an honoured guest, as an act of solidarity and Christian Forgiveness.

    Because that’s what democracy is all about. Respecting and defending the civil and civic rights of those whose opinions you totally disagree with and for those who you find totally repugnant.

    J McConnell