Season of hate in full swing

Only a matter of weeks into the ‘marching season’ and already there have been a number of serious sectarian incidents linked to loyalists across the north of Ireland- and here in Ballymena and here in Garvagh. The Rev. Brian Kennaway’s book may have been a rude awakening for many unionists, but for nationalists the marching Orders and their ‘season’ will forever remain tainted until they deal comprehensively with the sectarian excesses of those either within their ranks or who accompany them.

  • Am particularly interested to ask about the kind of reporting the incident in Paisley’s Ballymena would have. Does the horrific attack by 20 on 2 get frontpage in their local rag?
    So the pattern is clear, loyalists get pissed up during a march and then decide, on the mini-bus home to take a de-tour and go on a rampage in some nationalist areas, because all that Hate pent up inside needs an outlet, its then claimed that the marches are not of a sectarian nature, and are an expression of a unique identity and culture.
    Just a few bad apples is it?
    Letting off a bit of steam?
    Having a wee bit of a craic?
    What planet do you think we’re on?

  • fair_deal

    I see the sectarian attacks on protestant communities in Londonderry has escaped your sectarian attack radar or does it have a blindspot?

    All sectarian attacks should cease as should trying to pretend they are always the other community’s fault.

  • Bemused

    Fair Deal – please just fuck off.

  • Henry94

    I think nationalists should look again at our position on the marching season. There has been a change in the nature of the free speech debate in the west caused by the cartoons controversy. It seems to me that the right not to be offended needs to take second place to the right to free speech for a while in order that some basic principles are re-established.

    I wouldn’t be happy about an Orange parade passing my door but I think this year I would be more inclined to put up with it as possibly the lesser of two evils.

  • fair_deal

    Bemused

    “Fair Deal – please just fuck off.”

    I rest my case

    SL

    “So the pattern is clear, loyalists get pissed up during a march”

    There is no mention of a march in the news item.

  • heck

    fair deal

    If your comment was made by a nationalist you would be the first to cry “whataboutery”. Or is this only the case when nationalists do it?

    bemused

    can you not make your point without vulgar language?

  • FD,
    with due respect this isn’t about one side or the other. This is about asking questions on the effects that gatherings/associations, call them what you will, have upon certain types, and the effects that that has upon others being attacked.
    As the caption says
    “Season of hate in full swing”
    Henry94
    I’d like to see unionists themselves limit the number of Marches, out of disgust as regards what some of their members are doing. They are the law-abiding decent majority aren’t they?

  • fair_deal

    heck

    “you would be the first to cry “whataboutery”.”

    I am pretty certain Whataboutery is not something I regularly charge people with on here.

    If you care to check my posts on sectarian attacks I think you will find I am consistent. Both communities do it, both communities have to recognise that and both have to stop it. Anything else is a poor attempt to claim sole victimhood that does nothing to tackle the cycle even perpetuates it.

  • Mick Fealty

    Bemused,

    There’s a very good argument for leaving everything up on Slugger and removing nothing, since such outbursts as yours allow the readers to draw their own conclusions.

    More widely, the commenting slot here is for people to counterweight the arguments of the bloggers. The more specific (and less general) your argument the stronger it will read. I am going to try to re-insert the link code in the instructions below – so that people can link more easily to other pieces for supporting evidence.

  • fair_deal

    SL

    “with due respect this isn’t about one side or the other.”

    With due respect the introduction to this thread does make it about one side. It identifies one group as responsible for sectarian attacks and then tries to link them to the parading tradition of one community.

  • Bemused

    Mick, Fair Deal et al – yes I know that at first blush my post appears (uncharacteristically) abusive. However – Fair Deal’s 09:10 has to rank as one of the most astounding examples of half-witted whataboutery ever to have graced Slugger’s pages. His inability to look at any issue without immediately knee-jerking with an “aye…but what about themmuns”-type belch means that I would respond to him in the same way as I would respond to any similar nationalist/republican poster of half-witted sectarian bilge – i.e. – fuck off.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Bemused, it does have the look of whataboutery to it. But I have defended the right of people to use it, even if it doesn’t make for the best reading.

    However the point is substantially that the season of hatred is a two way hatred, not simply one way. It’s not a defence of one by pointing to another.

    Whereas the term ‘fuck off’ is clearly playing the man, and most decidedly not playing the ball!!

  • IJP

    I would say the sectarian stance of the headline is obvious without it being pointed out, but it doesn’t take away the challenge of turning the ‘marching season’ into something other than a ‘season of (mutual) hate’.

    Henry puts forward an interesting analysis and it should be noted that it is similar to that of many Protestants – parades are something they ‘thole’, not something they enjoy.

    The Liberal approach is tricky though. For while we should allow expressions of cultural identity, it is not reasonable to allow severe restrictions of free movement – I have one Orange parade past my house which is fine, but if I had 12 each year I might feel it was something I couldn’t even ‘thole’…

  • Yokel

    Aye Chris, very good. Whilst most Prods couldnt give a fiddlers about the Orange Order and associated hangers on they don’t particularly like what they see as their constant demonisation.

    Whilst Chris must feel big and clever over his cornflakes this morning with such a post that attitude will never encourage change, because Prods for all they can be thick politically ( just admit it, you have the strategic ability as a mass of King Canute), they are smart enough to see that that approach of man within nationalism to the marching issue as as destructive as many of the marches and antics around those marches on the part of Orangeism. Part of the problem not the solution in other words.

    Chris represents a strand of nationalism that is interested in demonisation and suppression just in the same way that the Orange Order been running its own approach of demonisation & suppression. Swap one fascist for another really for they be fascists both. It’ll get us nowhere but that don’t really matter because, as I’ve mentioned before, this forum is all about people pontificating their corner reinforcing themselves, selective reading to find friends wh bolste their point and so forth..in fact maybe this whole forum is in fact enhancing divisions.. theres a thought for ya. Imagine that Mick, your project had unintended consequences.

  • Pointing out catholic attacks on protestant homes in a story about a protestant attack would be whataboutery.

    I’m not convinced that using such an example to disprove the thrust of a biased and generalised argument (that the marching season is the cause of sectarian violence) such as the one in the OP here would qualify, given the author’s blatant disregard for non-marching related violence in Londonderry and Lurgan (2) in the last week.

  • Robert

    King Canute attempted to stop the tide to show fawning courtiers that he was not all powerful and did not have control over nature.

    I do not think that this is happening here.

  • Mick Fealty

    Yokel, you’ve some hard stuff to say here on substance, so there is no need to rabbit punch the man please. As for unintended consequences, this ‘project’ is about conversations. I have no idea where that will take us. But the default is precisely as you say it is, if ropey logic, hearsay and half truth is not challenged with rigour. I’ll be happy if rigorous argument wins every time!

  • Stephen Copeland

    Yokel,

    in fact maybe this whole forum is in fact enhancing divisions..

    I have been veering towards that point of view for a while now, too.

    Mick,

    But the default is precisely as you say it is, if ropey logic, hearsay and half truth is not challenged with rigour.

    But these things are almost never challenged, except by the ‘tribal’ opponents, and their opposition is then written off as ‘typical’. Most commenters on Slugger are tribal warriors – yes, even the clever and articulate ones – and rarely challenge the prejudice, assumptions, half-truths or outright lies coming from ‘their own side’. While Slugger may be a fun knock-around session, I have doubts about the depth of the ‘conversations’ you think we’re haaving.

  • yerman

    Firstly, the headline – I assume that you dont DO irony Chris – I think there was an equal amount of hate in your headline as there is supposed to be in any loyalist parade.

    Secondly, leaving aside the ‘marching season’ for just one moment – there is absolutely nothing in any of the stories posted which links them to any parade, orange, band or otherwise. They may well be carried out by ‘loyalists’ but that doesnt link it to parades.

    However, should Chris wish to develop that kind of loose association blame delivery, I will now attribute every sectarian attack carried out by ‘republicans’ directly to the door of Sinn Fein. Seems about equivalent.

    There was more than a little bit of opportunism here trying to link these attacks to the so-called ‘marching season’ of which of course there is no such thing. Parades take place throughout the year but the invention of the ‘marching season’ over the last few years has been used in an attempt to categorise a few months as some kind of trouble season.

    Its interesting that Chris and his friends seem to be getting fully geared up for their own “season of hate”……..

  • Mick Fealty

    Stephen, maybe we should reserve that conversation for another thread to be published (on the Guaridan hopefully)later today, and let the original conversation hold ground here?

  • willis

    Stephen

    One thing which Slugger does pretty accurately is reflect the nature of the situation we find ourselves in.

    One of the things which seemed to have got Brian Kennaway upset was that “mutual support” and “proper discipline” had got very confused.

    We are not going to improve things here until we resolve that conflict.

    Who should deliver a put down of a disruptive troll? Admin? Moderator? The opposition?

    The best person to do it is a respected poster coming from a similar political persuasion who can see the damage being done. Of course if you believe that all posts from your side are of equal value…..

    Fair Deal puts in a lot of effort to stimulate debate as does Chris.

    I think they both could “marshal” their hangers-on more effectively than a liberal like me.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Mick,

    If Slugger moves lock, stock and barrel to the Guardian then I guess we’ll have no alternative but to follow. Otherwise I don’t follow your comment. I think this thread is a perfect place to examine the phenomenon of political tribalism.

    Willis,

    Who should deliver a put down of a disruptive troll? Admin? Moderator? The opposition?

    I would prefer it to be one of the first two, but that doesn’t often happen.

    The best person to do it is a respected poster coming from a similar political persuasion who can see the damage being done.

    My experience, unfortunately, is that these ‘respected posters’ (who the hell are they?) tend to keep quiet, thereby leaving the troll-post flying from the lamppost. Either they tacitly agree with it, or they are afraid of breaking ranks, or they do not wish to give any succour whatsoever to the sworn enemies. Either way, their silence and inaction is usually interpreted as consent or support, thereby increasing the perceived divisions.

    Of course if you believe that all posts from your side are of equal value…..

    Some people clearly do.

  • TAFKABO

    Another day on Slugger, yet another thread whose seeming purpose is nothing other than the demonisation of Unionists.

    Season of hate?

    From where I’m standing it’s an all year occurrence.

  • Shore Road Resident

    I think all the problems referred to in this thread can be solved by either removing the absurdly partial moderators or insisting that they broaden their own scope.
    For example, Chris Donnelly should demonstrate some ability to provide an intelligent critique of Sinn Fein’s actions and motivations – or Chris Donnelly should be busted back down to regular poster.

  • willis

    Shore Road

    Are there only absurdly partial Nationalist moderators?

    Busted Down?

    Slugger needs partial Moderators, particularly to reign in trolling.

    Were you happy with the absurd posts on Sunday football?

  • Stephen Copeland

    Shore Road Resident,

    I would like the standard-bearers of unionism to do the same.

    For example, what is the ‘fair deal’ that fair_deal wants? How will it be better for nationalism thaan the GFA or direct rule? How will the DUP resolve this conundrum?

    Then there is the pandora’s box of reunification – what is it that unionists fear? What precisely is their problem with the south, or with seeeing the island as a unit? And so on, and so on, and so on.

    Both sides need to do more than throw (rhetorical) stones.

  • Shore Road Resident

    I don’t disagree – that’s why I said “for example”.

  • TAFKABO

    In my opinion Daily Ireland is a hate rag, on a par with any publication by the BNP or similar.
    It exists primarily to not only push a republican agenda, which is a valid objective, but to promote and disseminate the hatred of all unionist and loyalists.

    If Slugger has now been co-opted to do the work of this hate rag by providing a platform for this type of thread, then things are in a bad state.

  • Meanwhile, in an alternate dimension, the following thread was uploaded:

    Only a matter of decades into the ‘murdering season’ and already there have been a number of serious sectarian incidents linked to Republicans across the north of Ireland, south of Ireland, British mainland, continental Europe – and here in Ballymena and here in Garvagh. Everything ever written about them by anyone other than them may have been a rude awakening for many Republicans, but for people who aren’t criminals and don’t habitually engage in murder, Republicans and their ‘movement’ will forever remain tainted until they deal comprehensively with the sectarian excesses of those either within their ranks or who accompany them.

    Whine, MOPE, never suffered more, feel our pain, blah, blah, blah.

  • The Beach Tree

    TAFKABO

    I do not doubt you may honestly hold that opinion, but have you any examples of specific BNP or National Front material to compare with specific examples of DI material to bear out that opinion?

    Otherwise, I’m not sure hyperbole of this sort (of which I like everyone else is occasionally guilty) really gets the debate anywhere.

    DI is undoubtedly strident, but is it really any more so than the Newsletter?

    In your view, what could, or should, the Orders do to understand and respond to Nationalist concerns?

    Which concerns of Nationalists would you recognise as genuine, and which not? Why?

    Orangism is currently under pretty fierce internal and external attack, some of it possibly fair, some probably not. But is ‘shooting the messanger’ going to improve the situation?

  • loftholdingswood

    Threads like these just bring out the “whataboutery” on every side of our divide. Take any weekend (whether the marching season or not), any area and you will witness large groups of troublemakers wrecking different parts of another area and beating the life out of people for having a different affiliation or religious background. It happened last weekend and it will happen this weekend. And so on. If we are ever going to tackle this issue we will have to have the honesty to admit this is a shared problem that needs a shared solution.

    This is one forum/blogging area where I took great delight in reading different and varied opinion in a passionate but not offensive discourse. As far as I am concerned anyone who feels the need to just reply “fuck off” has nothing to offer any forum and loses whatever argument they may have had but felt unable to properly convey it.

  • The Beach Tree

    loftholdingswood

    I agree that bemused’s comment was less than enlightening. Other than expressing a clear frustration at the standard and tenor of fair_deal’s comments, correctly or otherwise, it did nothing to further the debate.

    But I would say that writing off bemused for this unfortunate ‘bark’, is arguably as bad a s writing off fair_deal becaused of his perceived partisanship or whataboutery.

  • TAFKABO

    Beach tree.

    Not having any BNP literature to hand, I can’t give you a specific example, but I do recall having seen some of their literature in which they would describe an attack on a white person, point out that the perpetrators were non white and that they overwhelmingly outnumbered the white person.
    they would talk about how it was now unsafe for white people to visit certain areas, and insist that this was andoubtably an attempted murder for no other reason than then victim was white.
    they would go on to suggest that the police were useless wince they had a specific agenda which was infavourabe to white people,and they they would often let attacks on white people go unpunished.

    My point is that exactly the same tone and language is being used by the daily ireland as used by other organise considered no more than hate rags.

    As for the Orange Order, you’re question starts from the premise that they are somehow responsible for this attack, and I simply don’t buy that.

    As far as I’m concerned, it’s up to the people making the argument to prove they have a case before they have a right to demand answers.
    Why don’t you put forth and argument that supports the premise of the opening blog?

    they are because we say they are is not an argument in my book.

    What is the exact purpose of this blog?

    Where is the scope for debate starting from the initial article?

  • TAFKABO

    Please excuse the spelling mistakes, I didn’t get much sleep last night.

  • IJP

    I really don’t see the problem.

    Personally I prefer that contributors are open about their politics. No one is ‘neutral’.

    Then it is up to the rest of us to deal with the position presented by them – ball not man.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Absolutely correct TBT:

    “…writing off bemused for this unfortunate ‘bark’, is arguably as bad a s writing off fair_deal because of his perceived partisanship or whataboutery”.

    People have passions and they should be granted excess every now and then.

  • The Beach Tree

    TAFKABO

    Not having any BNP literature to hand, I can’t give you a specific example, but I do recall having seen some of their literature in which they would describe an attack on a white person, point out that the perpetrators were non white and that they overwhelmingly outnumbered the white person.
    they would talk about how it was now unsafe for white people to visit certain areas, and insist that this was andoubtably an attempted murder for no other reason than then victim was white.
    they would go on to suggest that the police were useless wince they had a specific agenda which was infavourabe to white people,and they they would often let attacks on white people go unpunished.

    My point is that exactly the same tone and language is being used by the daily ireland as used by other organise considered no more than hate rags.

    I suspect the same sort of tone and language is used by various organisations, not all of which would suffer the comparisons with the BNP – replace white and non-white with huntsmen and hunt sabateurs for example, and you might have part of a rural conservative party election leaflet.

    Invert the references to white’s and non-whites and you have a pretty standard anti-racism street flyer.

    Indeed, change the religious and tribal identifications around in the original article, and I would argue you could have read it in the Newsletter.

    I fear the BNP comparison is an attempt, honestly no doubt, to equate the supposed basis of the BNP thinking (i.e. racism) with that of the editorial board of DI. But to my eyes, its Godwinism.

    As for the Orange Order, you’re question starts from the premise that they are somehow responsible for this attack, and I simply don’t buy that.

    I make no such statement, or have no such premise. My questions stand on their own feet. Are nationalist grievances with the OO justified, anmy of them? If so which? And if so what should they do about them?

    As far as I’m concerned, it’s up to the people making the argument to prove they have a case before they have a right to demand answers.
    Why don’t you put forth and argument that supports the premise of the opening blog?

    Because I’m not arguing the truth or otherwise of the Blog. You can take that matter up with Chris, or with the DI for that matter.

    My questions were entirely tangental, and I’m not relying on that article one way or the other in the questions I post, which are of far more general import than any specific incidents mentioned in that column. I suspect shooting the messanger, and defending the messanger, have already led us far enough away from the more interesting topic.

    What is the exact purpose of this blog?

    A question for Chris, I assume.

    Where is the scope for debate starting from the initial article?

    I had rather hoped I had introduced one, but it appears ‘shooting the messengers’ is simply to popular a sport.

  • Pattila the Hun

    Don’t know how relevant this is to the incident in hand, but Kirk McCaughern, the “knifing victim” in Ballymena earlier this year brought a case against the PSNI.

    Anybody got further details about it?
    And why is only Daily Ireland reporting this story?

  • Shore Road Resident

    Perhaps you should get back to work, so that Daily Ireland can report it even better?

  • willis

    Ok

    Plenty of the usual discourse but no-one prepared to say that anyone on “Their” side has gone too far or should be “marshalled”

  • TAFKABO

    I make no such statement, or have no such premise. My questions stand on their own feet. Are nationalist grievances with the OO justified, anmy of them? If so which? And if so what should they do about them?

    Well, if you’re gonng to go off on a tangent, shouldn’t you at least provide the rest of us with a map so that we can follow if we want.
    What nationalist grievances are you referring to?, I have no specific knowledge other than the basic offence cause by the existance of the Orangemen in the first place.
    you spell out what they are, and I’ll do my best to answer.

    On the principle of whether they ought to talk directly to nationalist residents groups, I’d have no hesitation in saying that yes, direct talks should be compulsory for anyone wishing to hold a parade through a disputed area, subject to the proviso that there be one officialy recognised residents group, decided by the parades commission, if more than one group arises.

  • Pattila the Hun

    SRR,
    I think you’ve misunderstood my intentions.

    If an incident is only being reported in the Daily Ravda, I have my doubts as to whether it actually took place.

  • Shore Road Resident

    My apologies.
    I normally assume that anyone quoting Daily Ireland must work there – because they don’t have any readers.
    FYI the case refers to a stabbing in a Ballymena shopping centre which police took 20 minutes to respond to (sounds about normal, unfortunately.)

  • Yokel

    There are your facts, my facts (always correct of course) and somebody elses facts. The problem with “conversation” stimulating posts such is that they are clearly a bash at one side or the other and have nthing to do with conversation as Mick calls it.

    Would a post reporting the violence and asking what can be done, is this year going to be different, is there anyone else who can fill in more detail beyond the news reports and so forth not be what we are after?

    What we got was, here, season of hate, Orange Order at fault end of story. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t but what it it is not a discussion point its someone starting the topic by taking a dig, their mind is made up. Its not conversation stimulation, it doesnt really raise questions, its pontification. It’s not asking questions, its giving an answer. If those posting these topics are not open to receiving views and changing their minds, then who else on this forum will be?

    And Chris deary, I know this all makes you feel great because you aimed to stir a pot, not in debate but in opposition rage that you can laugh at.

  • qubol

    The knifing did take place, its a matter of fact. Coming from Ballymena I know that an intimidating Loyalist crowd gather in the middle of the Tower centre. Many are members of UYM and wear red white and blue scarves as a means of identifying themselves. I’ve personally been in the presence of a friend threatened for entering the centre wearing a Republic of Ireland football jersey. At the time I contacted centre management who refuted my claim that the presence of this Loyalist mob was threatening for Nationalists.

  • The Beach Tree

    TAFKABO

    Thank you for your reply.

    I suppose a short list of such grievances might include…

    Demanding the right to march through areas dominated by people of the ‘other’ tradition – a point, in fairness I think you have already answered.

    The perceived links between the Order and paramilitarism, more specifically…

    Episodes where the failure to have a march allowed has been followed fairly quickly by large scale outbreaks of violence in loyalist areas – a tendency that some nationalists clearly think is orchestrated, or at least tolerated, by the Order.

    The continued membership of the Order by paramilitaries, or former paramilitaries, and the commemoration of deceased members who have also been accused of paramilitary related offences.

    Discipline issues in relation to the marches themeselves, including the inclusion of certain bands with links to paramilitarism.

    This list is deliberately kept to those that both internal and external critics have noted. I have not thrown in the general catchall of the Order’s existance, even though clearly many Nationalists are unhappy about it, as this can hardly be an issue the Order can be expected to compromise on).

    Are any of these grievances justified? If so, what should the Order do about them? If not, what can the Order, or should the Order do about the perception?

  • Keith M

    Typical of Northern Ireland to be behind. The “season of hate” in Dublin kicked off on February 25th.

  • TAFKABO

    The perceived links between the Order and paramilitarism, more specifically…

    I’ll answer this downpage.

    Episodes where the failure to have a march allowed has been followed fairly quickly by large scale outbreaks of violence in loyalist areas – a tendency that some nationalists clearly think is orchestrated, or at least tolerated, by the Order.

    I haven’t seen enough incidents that would lead me to believe there was a clear pattern of cause and effect in this regards.

    The continued membership of the Order by paramilitaries, or former paramilitaries, and the commemoration of deceased members who have also been accused of paramilitary related offences.

    I’d say thatnatural justice would determine that once a person has been punished by society for a crime, then they start with a clean slate.Likewise, unless someone has been proven in a court of law to be a paramilitary, it can hardly be expected that the orange order take anyones word on who is and isn’t a paramilitary.

    Having said that, there is in my opinion a genuine problem here.
    Whilst I would be reluctant to accept the point that outsiders could start dictating to the order who would and couldn’t be members, common sense and basic decency would suggest the Orange order clean house.Especially if they wanted to approach residents groups with concerns.

    Discipline issues in relation to the marches themeselves, including the inclusion of certain bands with links to paramilitarism.

    Again, if I had my way, I’d ban all bands that were of a militant and militarisitic nature.
    I’ve felt intimidated as they passed by my front door banging their drums, I can only imagine what it must feel like if you are a nationalist.

    Are any of these grievances justified? If so, what should the Order do about them? If not, what can the Order, or should the Order do about the perception?

    Well, I’ve tried to anwser your question, but the problem is that i’m not an orangeman, if truth be told I think they’re a bunch of cantankerous old farts.
    but hey, even Cantankerous old farts have rights.
    If I ever defend them, it’s because I support the principle of free assembly and the right to cultural expression, and because I see them being used as a stalking horse for the usual anti protestant bilge.
    But, I recognise that these rights do not fall under the category of absolute rights, and they come with responsibilities.

  • Harry

    I would say the only real grievance nationalists have against OO parades is that they railroad some of them through nationalist areas, and as such they are seen as emblematic of a supremacist mindset that has resonance for all the rest of the nationalist community across the north.The result is political polarisation.

    Other than that nationalists don’t mind where they walk.

    One other thing which, to a lesser degree, may exercise nationalists is that the 12th of July is n. ireland’s national holiday and the day’s events are carried extensively on the news. By contrast nationalists, numbering 44% of the population, identify St. Paddy’s Day as their national event, an event which this year was carried on BBC N. Ireland as a news item second to news about a car accident.

    On the point about Slugger adding to division not healing it; after being on this site for only a short time I have to say that my impression of the future of n. ireland has become darker, not brighter.

  • The Beach Tree

    TAFKABO

    Thank you for that. anyone want to come in on what TAFKABO said?

    TAFKABO, does the ‘clean slate’ you mention extend to former republican paramilitaries? Undoubtedly some were released ‘before’ their time, but mnay would have served complete sentences.

    Do you believe that people who would be members of, or supportive of, the Loyal Orders, would agree in granting that ‘clean slate’ to such people?

    My gut instinct in Northern Ireland is that we are all to ready, generally, to srgue for forgiveness, so long as we aren’t the one’s doing the forgiving. and as a community, or two communities, we rarely treat one of our own as ‘beyond the pale’ for offences against ‘the other’. But that’s just my instinct. am i wrong?

    Here is another question for you, TAFKABO, if you have the time. Is the OO a ‘drag’ on unionism, or is ‘unionism’ a drag on the OO, or neither? Discuss.

  • TAFKABO

    does the ‘clean slate’ you mention extend to former republican paramilitaries? Undoubtedly some were released ‘before’ their time, but mnay would have served complete sentences.

    Yes.I would hold that having seved time as a republican paramilitary oght to have no bearing on whether on can be a member of the orange Order.

    Do you believe that people who would be members of, or supportive of, the Loyal Orders, would agree in granting that ‘clean slate’ to such people?

    I can only speculate, but wont bother, since I can see no profit in doing so.

    My gut instinct in Northern Ireland is that we are all to ready, generally, to srgue for forgiveness, so long as we aren’t the one’s doing the forgiving. and as a community, or two communities, we rarely treat one of our own as ‘beyond the pale’ for offences against ‘the other’. But that’s just my instinct. am i wrong?

    I’d say that’s fairly accurate.

    Here is another question for you, TAFKABO, if you have the time. Is the OO a ‘drag’ on unionism, or is ‘unionism’ a drag on the OO, or neither? Discuss.

    Neither.

    The Orange Order ought to be viewed, not as a unionist tradition, but an Irish one, made up largely of unionists.

    The biggest drag on Unionism is Nationalism, and next to that, all other things pale in significance.

  • The Beach Tree

    TAFKABO

    Does ‘blank slates’ only apply to the Orange Order? What other areas of activity should it apply to? What other areas should it not apply to?

    “The biggest drag on Unionism is Nationalism, and next to that, all other things pale in significance.”

    Interesting. Could you expand?

  • Jim

    I hear C4 are doing an undercover on the OO and this Marching season. Will be interesting what it shows up.

  • darth rumsfeld

    TAFKABO makes insightful points as always.

    On the paramilitary bands question let me give two incidents within my own experience as examples of the problem

    The OO has a band contract forbidding paramilitary displays. One Twelfth ten years ago a band turned up accompanying a lodge with a UDA style banner . The parade organiser called the Lodge officers over and told them the banner was not permitted. He , by the way, was a 75 years old suffering from heart trouble. The Lodge refused to fall out, and the police were disinterested- or in some cases seemed amused. With a crowd of 50,000 spectators and a possible standoff the organiser decided the least worst option was to let the lodge walk, and have them disciplined later. This happened, and the Lodge was subsequently suspended. But the police should have arrested the banner carrier, not leave it to an old man to stand up to thirty band members.

    2. The late unlamented “Grug” Gregg used to lead a UDA band which formerly went to Londonderry for the ABOD celebrations and usually got in to bother. To avoid this occurring again ABOD officials sought assurances that the band bus would be stopped on the Glenshane Pass, but were told by the police that they wouldn’t do that- partly because if the band was in Londonderry they knew where they were. Trouble duly ensued.

    Also,a broad hint was given that no action would be taken against paramilitary type bands because at least the police in Belfast knew where all the UDA men were one night a week- practising in the band hall!

    We have laws to prosecute those who display paramilitary symbols. They are never used. That’s the fault of Sir Hugh Orde and his gutless plods. The Orange Order would be only too happy to have these bands wound up, but it can’t be expected to take on the cancer of paramilitarism on its own.

    Beachie- most orangemen don’t believe in granting a clean slate to ex-paramilitaries, though it’s strange that those who criticise lodges for having such members disapper from slugger when asked about ex(?)-paramilitaries in Sinn fein, restorative justice groups, the police.

    It would be foolish to simply expect them to withdraw from society, but they must never be granted community respectability. Gusty Spence may be a pleasant old codger smoking his pipe while his biographer chronicles his musings about the world in 2006, but Peter Ward’s family are entitled to our revulsion at the man’s deeds in 1966. Likewise the late Joe Cahill, another who was granted far too much respect fornothing more than his longevity

  • Henry94

    darth

    So the OO don’t want the paramilitary bands but are powerless to stop them because the PNSI are happy to have them on the marches?

    But the OO won’t talk to residents groups because they allege paramilitary involvement?

    I think they better think it out again.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Henry94: “So the OO don’t want the paramilitary bands but are powerless to stop them because the PNSI are happy to have them on the marches?”

    Well, he says they’re just a figment of my imagination over in the “OO Betrayed” thread…

    I guess mileage really does vary…

  • TAFKABO

    Does ‘blank slates’ only apply to the Orange Order? What other areas of activity should it apply to? What other areas should it not apply to?

    I’d say it should apply to broadly similar bodies such as the AOH or GAA.
    I’d say the current laws regarding ex prisoners or those convicted of certain offences being barred from serving in the police should stay.

    “The biggest drag on Unionism is Nationalism, and next to that, all other things pale in significance.”

    Interesting. Could you expand?

    Surely it’s self explanatory?

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Well, he says they’re just a figment of my imagination over in the “OO Betrayed” thread…

    I guess mileage really does vary…” said dread

    Yeah go to the “Orange tradition betrayed” thread to see what I did say,and I think you’ll find dread owes me an apology , if he’s got it in him to recognise his mistake.

    “So the OO don’t want the paramilitary bands but are powerless to stop them because the PNSI are happy to have them on the marches?

    But the OO won’t talk to residents groups because they allege paramilitary involvement?” said henry.

    …or perhaps without the green-tinted specs, you could post- “I see that the Orange in one area had a problem ten years ago , and dealt with it, but were not helped enough by the police”-which might , just possibly, to an objective fairminded person suggest…..
    that the Orange order doesn’t want any connection with paramilitaries, a position consistent with their stance on some residents’ groups.

    Gotta dash- back to orange traditions betrayed to see what mischief dread’s up to on that thread -or maybe there’s an apology waiting :0)

  • The Beach Tree

    TAFKABO

    I’m not sure why you describe nationalism as a drag on unionism, since it seems clearly an external opponent, rather than an internal component. That is what i’m trying to tease out.

    It’s rather like saying the biggest cause of ‘drag’ on the F1 McLaren is Schumacher in a Ferarri.. It kind of misses the point.

    I’m interested in the internal dynamics, as much as the externals.

    The Beach Tree

  • Dread Cthulhu

    From the serializtion of the recent OO book, as reported in the BT, reagrding last year’s Whiterock parade:

    “The bannerette of Old Boyne Island Heroes LOL 633, bearing the likeness of Brian Robinson and the inscription “LATE BRO. B. ROBINSON UVF. KILLED 2nd SEPTEMBER 1989”, was clearly visible towards the beginning of the parade, and many of the accompanying bands were alleged to be paramilitary bands with direct connections to the UVF and the UDA. “

    You got me, DR… its wasn’t an LVF banner at all… my apologies.

  • fair_deal

    On the theme of this thread about parading and sectarian attacks and on spirit level’s comment that

    “So the pattern is clear, loyalists get pissed up during a march and then decide, on the mini-bus home to take a de-tour and go on a rampage in some nationalist areas”

    I was in Londonderry most of today and those involved were coming back from an amateur football match not a parade.

  • TAFKABO

    Beach tree.

    I know what you were trying to tease out.I just can’t be arsed playing the game of why wont you admit that you’re wrong? again.

    We seem to have these interminable conversations where people from a non unionist perspective think that dialogue consists of them asking the questions and unionists answering, or demanding answers to things such as Well why won’t you spell out what your objections to a united ireland are? or what do you see as the problems within unionism?

    All in all it tells me that an awful lot of people simply can’t come to terms with the existance of unionists, or are so sure of their own viewpoint that they think they just have to keep chipping away at unionists and suddenly the whole false consciouness veneer will fall away, leave a bright shiny new fenian standing there, all ready to vote Sinn Fein.

  • Harry

    No TAFKABO, what it means is that people are currently living in a unionist state under unionist rules, and want answers – considering they’re 44% of the population – as to why unionists insist on maintaining this state of affairs.

  • TAFKABO

    and want answers – considering they’re 44% of the population – as to why unionists insist on maintaining this state of affairs.

    Uh, cos they’re unionists?.
    to be Honest harry, I’d have thought you could have worked that one out yourself.

  • The Beach Tree

    TAFKABO

    I know what you were trying to tease out.I just can’t be arsed playing the game of “why wont you admit that you’re wrong?” again.

    I’m a little disappointed in the defensiveness of your last response. I certainly wasn’t aiming for some odd Orange self-flagulation; simply some honest discussion of internal unionist dynamics with the benefit of some introspection, and specifically the place of the Orange within unionism.

    In particular, if dialogue is not asking questions, and hopefully getting answers, what is it?

    So are you essentially saying you have no interest in dialogue?

    Or do you have some alternative definition of what dialogue is, in which case what is it?

    I can certainly reassure you TAFKABO that I for one forsee no danger of exposing from within you an inner fenian.

  • greg

    “The bannerette of Old Boyne Island Heroes LOL 633, bearing the likeness of Brian Robinson and the inscription “LATE BRO. B. ROBINSON UVF. KILLED 2nd SEPTEMBER 1989”, was clearly visible towards the beginning of the parade, and many of the accompanying bands were alleged to be paramilitary bands with direct connections to the UVF and the UDA. “

    And it was none other then ‘Shankill Butcher’ Eddie McIlwaine (in his orange sash), who carried the bannerette.

    McIlwaine marched in front of a colour party from ‘The Shankill Protestant Boys’ flute band who sported several uvf flags representing the present day brigades of the uvf.

    And people wonder why residents on the Springfield Road regard the orange order’s Whiterock Parade as offensive !

  • Mick Fealty

    Everyone here seems to have zipped right past Henry’s post at Number 4 on the first page:

    I think nationalists should look again at our position on the marching season. There has been a change in the nature of the free speech debate in the west caused by the cartoons controversy. It seems to me that the right not to be offended needs to take second place to the right to free speech for a while in order that some basic principles are re-established.

    Finding something like that offensive is understandable, but does that mean it should be automatically vetoed?

    It reminds me of the taxi driver who took us up to the Grand Orange lodge for an interview with one of then the Cheif Exec a few years back. He noted that as a Protestant he had no time for the Order and that it had embarrassed him over the business of Drumcree and other matters, but that “there are people in this town who are professionally offended at almost everything”.

  • fair_deal

    TBT

    “In particular, if dialogue is not asking questions, and hopefully getting answers, what is it?”

    If I may offer a small contribution to your exhange.

    True, however, the type of question effects the dialogue. Open questions facilitate dialogue.

    On debates I have participated in Nationalists often get frustrated about Unionists not liking what are your objections to unity question.

    First, “objections” pushes Unionists towards a negative position (and thus reinforcing the negative stereotype).

    Second, Unionists have an inherent disinterest in the mere notion. If you’re not interested in the outcome why get involved in the debate? For example not everyone on here contributes to the every thread they contribute to the themes that interest them.

    Third there is implied premise in the question that the belief in unionism is based upon a negative ie it is the rejection of a single Irish unitary state that makes them Unionists rather than a positive belief in the Union or attachment with the United Kingdom is why they have no interest in unity.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Ahh, where to start.

    Firstly, let’s deal with the facts. The Ballymena stabbing and the violence in Garvagh occurred on nights when band parades had taken place nearby, and were linked in the articles- as well as other media outlets.

    The title of the thread was chosen quite deliberately as for many on the receiving end of violent attacks, it more accurately depicts the 5/6 month period than the rather jovial titled ‘marching season.’

    And to anyone who has a problem with that, I say simply look at the facts.

    From October through to April, the north of Ireland approaches relative normality these days.

    This lull in sectarian activity continues during the Easter commemoration period when republicans have their traditional parades.

    It simply can’t be dismissed as coincidence that loyalist activity is cranked up as the wood is gathered in preparation to burn the Pope.

    Look at what last Summer’s ‘Marching season’ visited upon us: simmering tensions and violence in Belfast and a sustained sectarian onslaught by loyalists in north Antrim.

    As for those ‘upset’ at the title and or content of my post, I simply would say ‘Get A Life.’ As a republican, if I were to object to every post that I found disagreeable in content or heading, I could be here all day.

    Avail of the service to make your point(s) and allow readers to form their own opinions.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    FD: “First, “objections” pushes Unionists towards a negative position (and thus reinforcing the negative stereotype). ”

    Isn’t that what they have been doing, however? That is, saying no, both currently and historically — no to home rule, no to a unified Ireland, no to devolvement, et. al. and ad nauseum? If we cannot acknowledge the obvious, how can we debate?

    FD: “Third there is implied premise in the question that the belief in unionism is based upon a negative ie it is the rejection of a single Irish unitary state that makes them Unionists rather than a positive belief in the Union or attachment with the United Kingdom is why they have no interest in unity. ”

    Isn’t it? Unionists rejected home rule, characterizing it as “Rome rule.” This would have been under an Ireland within the United Kingdom, so no immediate threat to the Union existed. Likewise, given the tenets of such organizations as the Orange Order and the efforts made, historically, to slow or prevent the normalization of the political status of Irish Catholics, is this not what they have displayed, with their marches, their murals and their banners? If we cannot discuss them by their deeds, on what basis should we converse?

  • The Beach Tree

    fair_deal

    Apart from the key fact that I never asked the question put, does this not itself lead rather obviously to the key question, should people only be told , or in this case asked, what they want to hear?

    Surely examining uncomfortable questions is part of any grown up debate? If such a question had been posed, is it beyond unionists to state that the objection is that it would be the end of the unity of the UK, and their place in the British body politic, thus answering the question? At least then the real, and more positive, question, why do you prefer ‘being british citizens’ to ‘being irish citizens’ might be put, no?

  • Harry

    fair_deal wrote:
    “Second, Unionists have an inherent disinterest in the mere notion. If you’re not interested in the outcome why get involved in the debate?”

    [Removed]

  • The Beach Tree

    Harry

    Is this threat of gunfire hypothetical? Do you have information the security forces might want to know? Or is it just a rhetorical middle finger?

  • greg

    From politocs.ie

    Sinn Féin have voiced their concern after members of the sectarian gang involved in the stabbing of a young Catholic in Ballymena at the weekend were spotted participating in the Apprentice Boys parade in Ballymena today.

    Ballymena Councillor Monica Digney said:

    “I have had a number of complaints from local people about members of the gang involved in the stabbing attack at the weekend were literally ‘dancing’ past locals standing at the bottom of Market Road whilst participating in the Apprentice Boys Parade today.

    “The PSNI again seemed to turn a blind eye to loyalists drinking on the streets, something that seems to be a regular thing that occurs when loyalist parades are passing through the north of the town.”

    North Antrim Sinn Féin Councillor Daithí McKay, who was acting as an observer at the parade, said that the parade was ‘awash with paramilitary paraphernalia.’

    “We have noted at least 13 bands who were carrying loyalist paramilitary flags as well as many others who played ‘The Sash’ continuously past Catholic houses and the All Saints Church. One band even had a full bannerette dedicated to Noel Kinner, a UVF member who was convicted for killing a Catholic in Belfast.

    “The question must be asked why the parade organisers thought it appropriate to include bands with strong links to loyalist paramilitaries in a parade that was going to march past nationalist homes. Given the evidence on display it is clear that the DUP’s excuse that these bands are referring to the ‘UVF of 1916’ does not hold any credibility with nationalist residents in this town.”

    The S.O.U.F.B mentioned in the above article are regulars at orange order parades in Belfast and quoting from their website

    “We have paraded now 3 times to Edenderry (twice with Sons of Ulster LOL 759 Shankill Rd No9 Dist & in 2003 with Queen Victoria LOL 700 Clifton st No3 Dist) and on 2 of those occasions we were given the Great Honour of leading the district, we would like to thank the members of all the lodges and ABOD clubs we have had the pleasure of walking with, and we hope it will not be too long till we get that great pleasure to do so once again.”

    Perhaps the orange order district master was unaware that the band commemorated a uvf murderer !!

  • Harry

    It is what will doubtless happen if unionists continue to paralyse any serious movement in the north. The pressure cooker effect.

    I did have hope that things were going to get better. But that was before I started coming to this site.

  • greg

    Forgot the link for this ‘non-offensive’ orange order band.

    http://www.noelkinnersoufb.co.uk/gallery2.htm

  • Mick Fealty

    Harry,

    Get a grip man.

  • fair_deal

    Chris Donnelly

    “let’s deal with the facts.”

    Indeed let’s deal with the facts.

    You based your premise on three incidents and claimed they were linked with parades.

    The Glenshane pass incident has been shown not to be linked to a parade. So let us turn to the other two.

    You said they “occurred on nights when band parades had taken place nearby” “were linked in the articles”

    On the Ballymena incident:
    1. The DI article you link makes it clear that the Ballymena incident took place lunchtime on Saturday not at night as you say.
    2. The DI article says it was flags that had raised tensions not parades.
    So you manage to make two misrepresentations of the article you claim supports your premise.

    On the Garvagh incident
    1. Where was this parade that Leonard bases his claim of cause and effect? In Coleraine, 7 or 8 miles away. The sound of bands can travel but not that far. The linkage is imagined not real. If Chris Gaskin got a smack on Saturday night in Newry would it be the fault of a band parade in Kilkeel? Hardly
    2. Billy Leonard says there is an ongoing pattern of attacks. If there is a pre-existing pattern then regrettably homes and businesses will be attacked by the perpetrators with or without a parade.

    From BL’s comments the Coleraine parade seems to have been a band parade not a Loyal Order parade again weakening the linkage you make in your opening remarks.

    So there is no clear linkage between any of the three incidents and parades.

    To get away from the questioning of the three incidents you move on to sectarian incidents go up in the summer months. This you link to parades.

    The fact that all incidents of this violent nature (sectarian or not) go up in the summer months is a statistical reality that is not unique to Northern Ireland.

    A further example is how the growth and decline in patterns of criminal damage follow school holidays very closely.

    So “It’s all the fault of parades” has a very poor premise.

    “This lull in sectarian activity continues during the Easter commemoration period when republicans have their traditional parades.”

    As far as I am aware the PSNI have only begun to keep statistics on sectarian incidents in the last 12-18 months and that these are released in a monthly format. Am I mistaken on this? How have you discerned this pattern? So what do you base this on?

    Also Easter Monday is the first large Loyal Order parade by the ABOD followed by the Junior Orange on Easter Tuesday. Thus if parades are linked to a growth in incidents there should be no Easter lull but a sharp jump?

    “as well as other media outlets.”

    Can you provide examples of these other outlets?

    The BBC and UTV stories about Garvagh provide no linkage with parades neither does their coverage of the Glenshane. http://www.u.tv/newsroom/indepth.asp?pt=n&id=72844
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4957298.stm

    The only ones identifying the parade linkage are Sinn Fein councillors. They have an axe to grind and a narrative to try and dictate and this thread is just following in the same vein.

    Harry

    “the barrel of a large gun up your capacious loyal holes!”

    Ceasefire soldier.

  • English

    Fair deal,

    Three questions:

    1.Do you condemn these brutal attacks on Catholics?

    I notice that you complain that there is no mention of attacks on Loyalists in Derry. I can tell you that there have been numerous attacks on Catholics in the Waterside this year, and several Catholics have been driven out of their homes, including one family in Clooney who lived their for 23 years. I am not aware of the same happening to Protestants.

    2.Would you not admit that the aggression this year has taken the form of Protestants attacking Catholics predominantly?

    3. Why are Protestants attacking Catholics?

  • Bemused

    I’m sorry – maybe I’m missing something. Is it not the case that every year across the North at or about this time there tends to be a general escalation in attacks on perceived Irish or Catholic targets?

    Some years are worse than others, but it’s been going on for as long as I’ve lived north of the border (over fifteen years) and tends to begin with low level attacks against property, building up to more violent assaults etc. as the summer progresses.

    Yes, there are of course incidents of sectarian attack, assault, intimidation etc. etc. carried out by the nationalist/republican side of the community, but they have never seemed (to me at any rate) to follow the same ‘seasonal’ trend as attacks carried out by the protestant/loyalist community, nor to be anywhere near as frequent, consistent or by and large destructive.

    I always assumed this to be self-evident. I’m not trying to be awkward or confrontational here but am really just calling it as I see (and have seen) it.

    Whether or not this marked increase in hostility is directly related to Orangism is less clear. My own view is that it most definitely is but more on the basis that the perpetrators perceive themselves as in some way ‘helping’ the marching orders by turning up the temperature in advance of the various contentious parades taking place across the North. I don’t think that anyone is seriously suggesting that Grand Lodge etc. are actively directing this annual rolling-out of violence and intimidation. There have of course been various inflammatory and outrageous statements made by clowns like David McNarry, Ian Paisley, Harold Gracey etc. but none (with the possible exception of Paisley’s now infamous pre-Whiterock “…a spark that will start a flame that will be hard to put out etc.”) seemed to me to be actively directing violence.

    I’d be interested to hear an opposing view on this as, as I’ve already said, it does all appear rather self-evident and beyond contradiction to me.

  • fair_deal

    1.Do you condemn these brutal attacks on Catholics?

    Yes.

    “I am not aware of the same happening to Protestants.”

    Then talk to people in irish street, the fountain etc. You might like to read the University of Ulster report on Protestant alientation in Londonderry too for an insight into the issues.

    2.Would you not admit that the aggression this year has taken the form of Protestants attacking Catholics predominantly?

    I prefer hard evidence rather than perception. So until I see it I accept no premise.

    Tip Closed questions do not help dialogue.

    3. Why are Protestants attacking Catholics?

    Ask someone who is attacking them. Anything I would do is guesswork. Also explanation can start reading like justification and I don’t want to do that.

  • TAFKABO

    Fair Deal.

    Some great posts.
    I just don’t have the patience to wade through all this shit time and time again, you’re a better man than I.

  • Harry

    Well Bemused, it would seem that unionism is inherently sectarian whereas nationalism is inherently republican, i.e. not based on religion but on concepts of self-government. I too therefore have the strong impression that unionists are more given to sectarian violence. This impression is reinforced by the endless tirades by leading lights in the unionist community about ‘the Protestant people of ulster’ and all the rest of it. Nationalist’s do not speak this way. In fact, this way of speaking is blatantly sectarian and closer to the 18th century than the modern era.

    Seems like unionists will only cop themselves on when they are defeated. They appear incapable of any real engagement prior to that. Perhaps they believe that their future will be ensured by upping sectarian violence and necessitating yet another military intervention by their underwriters, the brits. Perhaps with populations close to parity that is the only way they can maintain supremacy for another generation.

  • English

    Ask someone who is attacking them. Anything I would do is guesswork. Also explanation can start reading like justification and I don’t want to do that.

    Is it because they have very few brain cells?

  • fair_deal

    TBT

    “Apart from the key fact that I never asked the question put”

    Fair enough.

    “should people only be told, or in this case asked, what they want to hear? Surely examining uncomfortable questions is part of any grown up debate?”

    Its not about desire to hear or discomfort. For many its about utter disinterest.

    “is it beyond unionists to state that the objection is that it would be the end of the unity of the UK, and their place in the British body politic, thus answering the question?”

    Nationalists tend to say such an answer is avoiding the question. Instead they seek a list of changes to the Republic of Ireland or guarantees Unionists expect to remove their opposition to unity. Essentially they want to “sweeten the deal” but basically Unionists just aren’t interesting in buying.

    “why do you prefer ‘being british citizens’?

    It primarily comes down to identification and allegiance to the British state. “I think therefore I am” aka “I am British so I want to be part of that state”. Thus it is the development of that state that interests me not a different one.

    This may lead some to push the accident of birth argument but my parents did not foist their identity on me allowing me to choose and reject what I wanted. In fact I probably embraced it more than they had.

    I like being part of a unitary state rather than a nation/ethnic state. Its diversity of core identities and their historical and contemporary interaction I find positive and stimulating.

    I like being part of a prominent world state with the opportunity to contribute to it.

    There are also the economic benefits of the Union (although even if this changed I still wouldn’t support unity).

    TAFKABO

    “Some great posts.
    I just don’t have the patience to wade through all this shit time and time again,”

    Cheers. A fiancee who works evenings helps (as does the inability to sit doing nothing for longer than 10 minutes).

  • English

    “why do you prefer ‘being british citizens’?

    It primarily comes down to identification and allegiance to the British state. “I think therefore I am” aka “I am British so I want to be part of that state”. Thus it is the development of that state that interests me not a different one.

    This may lead some to push the accident of birth argument but my parents did not foist their identity on me allowing me to choose and reject what I wanted. In fact I probably embraced it more than they had.

    I like being part of a unitary state rather than a nation/ethnic state. Its diversity of core identities and their historical and contemporary interaction I find positive and stimulating.

    I like being part of a prominent world state with the opportunity to contribute to it.

    There are also the economic benefits of the Union (although even if this changed I still wouldn’t support unity).

    In contrast, the sad thing is that the bahaviour of “British people” from Northern Ireland, has weakened my own British identity. Their entirely selfish and paranoid behaviour has given me an incredible sense of difference and pride in being English.

    As an Englishman I cannot associate myself with the predominant political views of British people here, as they are not British in essence. Instead, I would associate myself with people in the Republic of Ireland that I have met, as believe it or not, they are more like British (English) people that I know.

    Northern Ireland is an alien place, the Republic of Ireland is a far more attractive option for me to raise my family and I intend to settle there long term and get away from here.

  • Snuff Box

    Lincoln Court were understandably feeling humiliated after being beaten 2-0 by underdogs Derryhirk united in the Junior Cup final in Coagh.
    After forcing ‘hirk fans to go through a gauntlet of Red, white and blue and abuse going into the game they were angry they couldnt elicit a retaliatory response. Having taken onboard a load of drink they were well up for the match.
    Having went to the trouble of making a banner reading “stick to the gaelic lads” they felt ashamed. (the banner now proudly residing in my house)
    Having sang songs of abuse all match they were cowed into submission by two quick goals on 73 and 77 minutes. The second being a sublime free kick which led to the first song of the match from hirk supporters “who’s singing now?”.

    Having watched the hirk lift the cup and the dignified way in which their supporters aqquited themselves the drunken suporters decided to cause a bit of trouble on the way home to assuage their anger. For shame.

    Have another go next year “the casuals” (probably some type of refernce to the UDA). The junior cup needs teams to make up the numbers.

  • Chris Donnelly

    FD

    1. So the increase in violent sectarian attacks across the north every Summer is due to the kids being off school? Nothing to do with it being the height of the loyalist marching season then. I guess those men on the hill at Drumcree must all have been bored 13 year olds looking for a release from their mundane summer existences…

    There is a long established link between Loyal Order parades and sectarian violence going back well into the last century. But we hardly need to go back over that ground. You are only kidding yourself if you are maintaining that you are unaware of the marked increase in sectarian attacks across the north every Summer.

    2. The Irish News -as well as Daily Ireland- carried the Ballymena and Garvagh stories.

  • The Beach Tree

    Fair Deal

    Thank you for your reply. Perhaps we’re getting somewhere. I would query the “utter disinterest” to be honest, but I take the point.

    As to your reasons, no problem, all seem relatively sound. Would you equally accept that for Nationalists, Hibernus ergo sum?

    Now, having had, I hope, an adult and civilised exchange on that question, any chance TAFKABO will answer my original ones without assuming the worst?

  • fair_deal

    Chris Donnelly

    “1. So the increase in violent sectarian attacks across the north every Summer is due to the kids being off school?”

    Poor attempt at misrepresentation of my post. The linkage I made was between the growth in criminal damage offences and school holidays not violent attacks.

    “The Irish News”

    Who made the link with parades in the Irish News pieces? Monica Digney? Billy Leonard?

    “occurred on nights when band parades had taken place nearby”

    Also the DI article and Greg’s post confirms that the stabbing was two days before a parade in Ballymena. So “they went to a parade and then attacked a Catholic theory” you expound doesn’t fit the Ballymena timeline.

    “you are unaware of the marked increase in sectarian attacks across the north every Summer.”

    Come now Chris, a below par attempt to imply I am denying there is a problem. I specifically said
    “all incidents of this violent nature (sectarian or not) go up in the summer months”.

    Any answer to my queries about what you base your comments about an Easter lull and the impact it has on your linkage?

  • fair_deal

    TBT

    “Would you equally accept that for Nationalists, Hibernus ergo sum?”

    Yes.

    Although Unionism has two advantages;
    1. The present being the state they desire to be in.
    2. There are the models within the Union of strong national identities (Scottish, Welsh and increasingly English) but those do not prevent identification and participation with the state as well.

  • Harry

    fair_deal wrote:
    “There are the models within the Union of strong national identities (Scottish, Welsh and increasingly English) but those do not prevent identification and participation with the state as well.”

    Not dissimilar to Celts, Vikings, Anglo-Normans, Spanish, French & Portuguese, not to mention the odd Roman trader and Briton – a.k.a. Irish culture.

  • briso

    TBT:
    Thank you for your reply. Perhaps we’re getting somewhere. I would query the “utter disinterest” to be honest, but I take the point.

    Why would you query it? He’s got the apple. We want it. He’s not interested!!!

  • fair_deal

    harry

    Your comparison doesn’t fly I am afraid. Scottish and Welsh identity have maintained and developed into a modern contemporary form. A particular historical contribution by a community doesn’t mean it survived to the 21st century e.g.Roman traders nor that it produces a political identity and allegiance. For example I am not aware of a Viking area of the Republic seeking recognition of there identity through devolution of powers.