Do as we say not as we do?

Contentious route. No dialogue. Previous bad behaviour. Poor marshaling. Paramilitary uniforms. Paramilitary flags. Band named after a paramilitary member. Large numbers of young followers. Is this a Sinn Fein councillor trying to push ‘season of hate’ claims by describing a loyalist band parade? Nope, it is what happened at a Republican Easter Commemoration march in an interface area of north Belfast in April 2006.

The Greencastle Easter Commemoration Committee organised a parade in the Whitewell area of North Belfast which includes two small Protestant communities, Graymount and Whitecity.

The Parades Commission determination says:
About the area – “…this part of Belfast has seen much sectarian tension and division, and recognises that there continues to be a strain on community relations in this area.”
On dialogue – “In the present case the Commission is not aware of any meaningful engagement having taken place.”
Previous behaviour – “…there have been breaches of its Code of Conduct by those taking part previously in this parade”.
Marshaling – “…the organiser would appear to have taken no steps since the parade last year to ensure that those notified to marshal the parade have received any formal training.”

The Parades Commission determination ruled “no paramilitary-style clothing is to be worn at any time during a parade”. Yet parade participants wore black berets, combat trousers, combat boots and bomber jackets.

The Parades Commission Guidance states “Flags and other displays often have a legitimate historical significance, but in no circumstances should such items relating to a proscribed organisation be displayed”. There were two IRA flags displayed (You don’t need to be a Gaelgoir to work out what Oglaigh na hEireann Beal Feirste means nor its North Belfast equivalent).

One of the three participating bands was the Vol Sean McIlvenna Republican Flute Band (named after an IRA member killed in a gun battle with the RUC as he fled the scene of a bomb attack on the Army). They were barred from the 2005 parade for pro-IRA chanting at the 2004 parade, an example of which they kindly provide in their own video of the 2004 parade (Windows Media Player required).

Photographs from the Shankill Mirror.

  • barnshee

    What else do you expect..

  • Sean

    Whats good for the goose is good for the gander?

    Ah but dont worry the net is closing in on illegal marching by Republicans or have you over looked that?

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northwest_edition/story.jsp?story=689686

    Someting that should also be seen with OO & pals, its the goose & gander again.

  • heck

    if this was at an interface area then I, as a republican, can make no excuses.

    If it was in the middle of a republican area then I have no problem.

  • fair_deal

    Sean

    “have you over looked that?”

    I hadn’t heard about that one, don’t the NW edition here. OO members and band members have been charged about breaches before too.

  • Conor Gillespie

    eejits. What do they think their achieving?

  • Jacko

    Fascism on parade again – different flags, that’s all.

  • Garibaldy

    Heck,

    The route does go through an interface area in Serpentine, hence the rerouting by the commission. In fact it’s one of the few places to get a peaceline AFTER the ceasefires were called.

    In addition it goes past several protestant churches on the whitewell road. I’m not sure if they played music going past them or just had the drum beat.

    There has been a strategy of ghettoisation of the general area by both the UDA and PSF for their different political ends.

  • Conor Gillespie

    To be honest actually, as displays of sectarin hatred go, I think the OO put on a much better show. From the two photos shown here, this looks like a pretty feeble parade. (:

  • Sean

    fair_deal my bad on the NW edition.

  • Conor Gillespie

    sorry, that should have read ‘sectarian’ not ‘sectarin’ (:

  • fair_deal

    Sean

    No worries

  • Dec

    Fair_Deal

    Was the parade re-routed and did the organisers accept that decision without rioting. That’s not clear from your thread. Personnally, I’ve no time for parades of any hue.

  • fair_deal

    Dec – Partially re-routed and no riot by the parade participants or those who objected to the parade.

  • lib2016

    I don’t understand the need to parade but others undoubtedly do so the sooner they all start talking to each other the sooner they will be able to do so.

    Derry seems to be stumbling towards some kind of solution. That said I object strongly to delays when main roads are blocked and would have to see a helluva strong case being made before any new parades are allowed.

  • Fair deal, just a question. If unionists continue to parade through contentious areas, why then do you complain when nationalists also do it?

  • dessie

    The orange order and their members can hardly complain about this parade when they do exactly the same thing.

    The uff linked Whitewell Defenders, parade on several occasions past flashpoints within the same area.

    http://www.whitewelldefendersfb.com/inmemory.html

    As they say on their website they take part in many orange order and apprentice boys parades during the marching season.

    Perhaps the solution is to ban all paramilitary parades, i could live with that quite easily.

  • Paul

    What about this for a solution, the first six marches/parades your party/organisation organises come free, gratis from the tax payer. This would allow freedom of expression, freedom to protest. Any after that, your party/organisation gets the bill for policing and damages.
    I consider myself tolerate. OO marches don’t bother me, if that’s how you want to spend your summer evenings OK. I do object to being denied access to roads and town centres, and to the huge police costs involved in facilitating your ridiculous hobby. If it means that much to you, if your culture is so important to you, pay for it. No more free rides.
    The last time anyone did something similar was when the Tories started charging English football clubs for policing at matches. It focussed minds wonderfully. Hooliganism disappeared from football grounds. Let’s go for it here, PLEASE.

  • TAFKABO

    The orange order and their members can hardly complain about this parade when they do exactly the same thing.

    I haven’t seen any Orange Order members complaining here, just ordinary people.
    And I also have to add that I don’t accept this argument from Heck that a paramilitary display is non threatening if it restricts itself to a purely loyalist or nationalist area.

  • Dec

    Thanks for the clarification Fair_Deal. The organisers peacefully re-routed. No rioting and no injuries, no moaning to the media about traditional rights being denied. So apart from the sort of breaches you see at hundreds of OO parades across the north (and to my knowledge, you have never highlighted – least of all with big glossy photos) whats your problem?

  • Only spotted one tri-colour in the photos, and none in the video, who are these guys?
    & how would you know unless you were told,
    and could you believe what you’d heard?
    I can’t imagine anything more dull to do !
    There are 000’s of these every summer right?
    Get me outa here — it’s a no-brainer !
    LOL

  • Yokel

    Halfwits trying to distract from the point of the original post. Both sides piss about with paramilitary symbols at parades, engage in provocative behavior and try to wind up the other side.

    Those who try to claim otherwise are talking out of their arse…

  • Pattila the Hun

    One parade which seems to have fallen below the radar was the march by Republicans to commemorate the “memory” of Sean McElwaine in S Fermanagh in April.

    Bearing in mind that we was responsible for the murder of at least twelve Protestants in the area during the late 70s, it was insensitive, to say the least, that SF actively promoted this memorial parade, despite the objections of the small Unionist community in the area.

    As Fair Deal says, it would seem that we’re seeing the beginning of a concerted Republican effort to raise the sectarian temperature throughout the Province.

  • fair_deal

    There is intermitent stone-throwing going on in New Lodge anyone know what kicked it off?

    Maca/Dec

    “why then do you complain when nationalists also do it?”

    “whats your problem?”

    The hint is in the title, highlighting a double standard.

  • dessie

    bumped into a paramilitary parade this evening close to the Albert clock

    Is it compulsary for 13 year old kids to drink at these parades.

  • English

    All marches should be banned – it really is that simple. Lots of people will be up in arms at first, but people here should be able to live without them.

  • Chris Donnelly

    My, my, FD, quite the little moan tonight.

    I think Dec hit the nail on the head when he highlighted how the organisers obviously accepted the re-routing- and certainly didn’t indulge in 5 days of rioting because of it. (Mind you, if they had done so, they might have got a slice of that multi-million pound package for loyalist areas the Brits announced some weeks back.)

    There also doesn’t seem to be a litany of sectarian attacks that lead up to the parade itself- as invariably happens in the run up to the pinnacle of the loyalist marching season, the 12th of July…..nor does there appear to have been a bonfire organised on the eve of the parade in which the Archbishop of the Church of Ireland/ Presbyterian Moderator was burnt in effigy before hundreds of screaming sectarian fools….

    I also note your reference to a small protestant Graymount community nearby. Could this be the same Graymount area which saw loyalists/ Brethren supporters ethnically cleanse scores of catholic families in the aftermath of Orangemen failing to get their ‘traditional’ route down the Garvaghy Road some years ago???

    Perhaps the Brethren could have learned from the Republicans of Whitewell about how to organise a parade so that the only people ‘offended’ are the poor downtrodden unionists of Sluggerville with obviously far too much time on their hands.

    Report Card Verdict: Must do better….

  • Occasional Commentator

    I don’t mind the idea of marches. I don’t see why having paramilitary flags or symbols is such a bad thing (i.e. I don’t see why they should be banned, even if I dislike of some of them). And I don’t see why it should be any more or less acceptable away from interface areas – everyone should feel free to live anywhere. If a particular street ‘belongs’ to you or your ‘community’, then why are my taxes going to repair your road?

    My only concerns are that both the marchers and protesters should be properly organised and the organisers should take responsibility. And nobody gets to march if the organisers aren’t prepared to take responsibility for them.

    Ideally, we could have a march and a protest without any need for a big police presence. Although obviously that’s not possible for a long time yet!

  • nb

    The person that took these photographs is a known UDA member and despite the distance from the commemoration,in a ‘Republican’ area, needed the company of at least 15 UDA/UYM members while seeking out offence/being offended on behalf of the SM/UDA/Orders.

    F-D is seeking out offence when none happened on the back of UDA propoganda.

  • Garibaldy

    NB,

    Your argument is the exact mirror of what the loyal orders and unionist politicians say about some of their contentious marches. It’s interesting how easily on both sides arguments the 180 degree opposite of the usual are adopted.

    The extent to which sectarianism on both sides has grown rapidly in the Whitewell area in the last decade is incredibly depressing. On both sides, a culture has emerged amongst young people of low-level conflict, particularly during the summer. As I’ve said above, this culture has been fostered by the UDA and PSF. The UDA is determined that no more areas of north belfast will become catholic, hence the burnings out that chris referred to. On the other hand, the election of a PSF councillor in castle ward was inconceivable without the protests over the loyal orders parade on the whitewell road, and the subsequent increased sectarian tensions. Over Easter, the flags hung across the whitewell road for 1916 included the tricolour, the flags of the four provinces, and a celtic football flag. Indicative I think of the nature of the young people who form the backbone of the PSF support in the area.

    If the Whitewell Road represents post-agreement NI, we’re all in trouble.

  • Why do Republicans/Nationalists not know how to march in step with each other? Frm Collins taking over Dublin Castle to Bobby Sands funeral, the Kevin Barry interment and these Village People type, they just can’t square bash. Perhaps, as part of the Peace Process, selected Republicans could enrol in the RIR and learn some basic drill. I don’t know if it is their latent homosexual feelings that urge them to dress up as paramilitary soldiers but they are a sad looking lot.
    The pics on the http://www.loveulster.com site has at least one good looking marcher (the flute playing, Poppy toting babe). Perhaps the Orange bands can give the Green bands some coaching. But not on dress. Those Orange suits are so 1776s awful.

  • Occasional Commentator

    [i]”My only concerns are that both the marchers and protesters should be properly organised and the organisers should take responsibility. And nobody gets to march if the organisers aren’t prepared to take responsibility for them.”[/i]

    The practice here in NY is that the organizers draw up a list of organizations, etc. that are to be included in the line of march. the organizers are responsible for the behavior of those on the lists. The police are responsible for ensuring that no others are allowed on the line of march.

    It seems to me from afar that most of the trouble at the contentious parades involves “supporters” who are allowed to join the parade at will. It seems that it is these supporters who go out of their way to provoke the residents. So, maybe, it would be wise to require/allow the organizers to draw up a list of just who is to be allowed to march in their parade for the Parades Commission — and, then, be held responsible for all those on the list. Also, if the Commission feels that a given organization/unit would cause offense or disorder, the organizers would be required to remove the organization/unit from the list of marchers. And the police be responsible for anyone else misbehaving on the parade route.

    Seems fair to me.

  • elfinto

    The Whitewell Defenders. Are they the ones who organised a ‘Tsunami Relief’ march through an area where they were not welcome? I though I had heard it all before that one but apparently there are no limits to bad taste.

  • paddyjoe

    just looked at luvulsta pics but i cudnt find a goodlooker anywhere. seen 5 beached whales with a calf tho

  • Pat junior

    There was absolutely no trouble with this single parade as it was particularly well marshalled. It is the only parade that nationalists have in this particular area every year. Unlike their unionist neighbours who parade through the area over a dozen times per year. A lot of the unionist parades are organised by the UDA in commemoration of a young spide who was killed while attacking a Catholic person’s car.

    Last year the Greencastle Easter parade was attacked by a group of unionists who were standing on the bonnets of PSNI landrovers, this despite the fact that unionists had promised to keep the peace. The original promise to behave was made by the N Belfast UDA who subsequently blamed the trouble on their Sth Antrim cousins from Rathcoole. As usual the DUP had no problem aligning themselves with the unionist rioters.
    Thankfully this year the unionists were kept under control by the PSNI and therefore there was no trouble.

  • English

    To me, as an Englishman, you are all wrong on this issue, because marching is wrong, and it is extremely provocative. I know that people here have a lot more to protest about than other civilized Western Europeans, but is it really necessary in 2006?

    You would think that mankind would have found a more elegant and intelligent means of self expression than dressing up in uniform, pretending to be a soldier for the day and marching. The militrilistic style of the music and clothes worn by both Protestants and Catholics is appalling to both the eyes and ears. The way the Union Jack is hung up in any old place is a disgrace. What gives people the right to treat the flag (all be it a dying one) like this, and deliberately use it as a means of marking out territory and intimidating other traditions! I say grow up and move on – but it will always fall on deaf ears!

  • fair_deal

    CD

    “Report Card Verdict: Must do better…. ”

    Still got hurt feelings I see.

    “a litany of sectarian attacks”

    Wishful thinking on your part. This is an interface area with regular attacks.
    The attitude of Pat Jnr’s comments about the sectarian murder of Thomas McDonald are probably a fair reflection of attitudes among republicans there (and why they keep attacking the memorial to him).

    “how the organisers obviously accepted the re-
    routing-”

    Yes they did as most OO parades have done. By they way how did the good people of Ardoyne react to Parades Commission decisions twice in 2005 and again in 2004?

    Pat jnr

    “a young spide who was killed while attacking a Catholic person’s car.”

    1. Trying to excuse sectarian murder nice one.
    2. No independent evidence was presented in court to prove this claim.

  • Dualta

    The is the very sectarianism that was discussed on a recent thread.

    How can Sinn Fein ever hope to persuade Protestants and Unionists to join them in building a new nation on this island when they behave like a bunch of sectarian, coat-trailing bigots like this? Sorry if this sounds harse, but I’m saying it how I see it.

    Also, those Republicans who have posted on this thread attempting to justify this with whataboutery should give the old politics a break for a while and go on a peace-building course.

  • All marching is as sad as hell. why don’t yuz buy each other a pint, and pack up the divisive crap.
    Fiar Deal why don’t you blog this, and get the morons talking:
    Oh and by the way, have you an email addy to be reached at, so I can send you decent material to blog on sluggers.

    Old Firm kicks off fun look at bigots
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/arts/story.jsp?story=689824

    The curtain falls on the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival in Belfast this weekend – and it’s been a corker.
    Those of us determined to wring the last ounce of pleasure from it will be heading out to see how rival football fans fare, in Singin’ I’m No A Billy, He’s A Tim, a drama about Old Firm supporters who find themselves bunged up in the same cell. The show, which explores bigotry and sectarianism, is full of laughs (honestly!) and kicks off at the Old Museum Arts Centre tonight and tomorrow.

  • oops just seen fair-deals email.
    Think I’ll get me coat 😉

  • dessie

    Why is the McDonald lad referred to as ‘volunteer’Thomas McDonald and his name is on the uff mural in the Queen’s Park area commemorating dead uff and uym members associated with the south east antrim brigade of the uda.

    http://www.whitewelldefendersfb.com/inmemory.html

  • Occasional Commentator

    Dualta: “How can Sinn Fein ever hope to persuade Protestants and Unionists to join them in building a new nation on this island when they behave like a bunch of sectarian, coat-trailing bigots like this?

    Sinn Fein and/or IRA is primarily sectarian? That’s a complicated discussion that deserves a thread of its own. We could all list lots of descriptions (some disputed, some not disputed) of various organisations, but it’s not going to get us anywhere.

    If we use the most ‘positive’ descriptions, (the IRA was non-sectarian but still killed, the Orange Order is non-violent but still is very much against Roman Catholicism), we’re left comparing apples and oranges (excuse the pun). I still see no reason to ban these marches.

    Via http://www.phoblacht.net/derooij15103g.html Gerry Adams: “…but I do respect the Order’s right to exist and I will defend their right to march

    Basically, it seems to me that the answer is more marches, not less, as long as they are well organised.

    English: “To me, as an Englishman, you are all wrong on this issue, because marching is wrong, and it is extremely provocative. I know that people here have a lot more to protest about than other civilized Western Europeans, but is it really necessary in 2006?

    I find a lot of provocation all around Western Europe, there are no shortage of politicians outside NI that anger me. Provocative is good, if it’s intellectually provocative.

    I would hate to see NI become a culture- and content-free zone. If anything, that’d breed ignorance which is storing up trouble for the future. I don’t care if it’s 2006 or 2600, let’s not all become boring.

  • Pathetic. It never fails to depress me watching the tricolour dishonoured in this way. They’re just Loyalist band parades with different flags and marginally less musical ability.

    And the same gang will be out in a month’s time shouting at the prods who are doing the very same thing.

  • Dualta

    Occasional Commentator,

    I didn’t say that Sinn Fein and the IRA are primarily sectarian, but i am saying that they, and more or less all of the Nationalist/Republican community is inherently sectarian.

    This is not a groundbreaking observation by any means. However, the vast majority of that community would be a loss to understand it, “We wouldn’t do to them what they’ve done to us”, etc, etc. I have heard a small army of my own people deny that we are sectarian, “Sure the Tricolour has orange in it, hasn’t it?” That’s like someone telling a Republican that the Union Jack represents me because it has the cross of St Patrick in it. It’s a nonsense which betrays the ignorance of those who believe it.

    The conflict in the north is primarily an ethnic conflict now, despite what some will say about it being primarily between Britain and the Irish people.

    What we have been looking at in the photos above is a group of ethnic activists, in the regalia of their respective group, asserting their exclusive identity against that of the other side. They have no hope of uniting Ireland if they keep it up.

  • English

    I find a lot of provocation all around Western Europe, there are no shortage of politicians outside NI that anger me. Provocative is good, if it’s intellectually provocative.

    I would hate to see NI become a culture- and content-free zone. If anything, that’d breed ignorance which is storing up trouble for the future. I don’t care if it’s 2006 or 2600, let’s not all become boring.

    Posted by Occasional Commentator on May 06, 2006 @ 01:43 PM

    All of the problems here are founded on ignorance, as hatred between Catholics and Protestants is based on popular misconceptions and falsehoods about one another – as well as provocation! People from different religions here in Northern Ireland are remarkably similar, their difference lies in their misconceived attitude towards each another.

    Marches are boring – and they are not an intelligent means of putting your view across, it is instead a childish, vindictive, and provocative, antiquated form of expression. Such religious marches have died a death in England, because they would not be tolerated! I think what is left of the orders get together in Southport every year for their 12th bash, which is ignored by the vast majority of the population of NW England because they have more sense and better things to do.

  • The fewer marches the better:
    Easter 1916 and the Hungerstrikers, for the Republicans.
    The Boyne July Parade, plus the Somme 1916 in November for the Unionists.
    End of story.
    In between some pop/rock/comedy festivals with plenty of acid; some egg-and-spoon races thrown in for a larf.
    End of story.

  • Pattila the Hun

    “Provocative is good, if it’s intellectually provocative.”

    OC
    Agree 100%. We should be pushed out of our comfort-zones on a regular basis; have our political views questioned, analysed and challenged. Otherwise intellectually very soon we’re all swimming round in a very stagnant, putrid pond.

    But I’m sorry, a group of Provo wannabees in black berets and two-bob sun glasses, with their attendant coterie of sectarian spides waving a few flags and chanting “Up the RA” does not fulfill this function for me.

    I’m with “English” and the “Spirit Level” on this one. Marches of whatever hue in NI are not organised to provide intellectual challenge. They’re organised to map out territory, to pee on the proverbial lamp-post, to give two fingers to those of the opposite political/religious persuasion.

    More debate and argument- that’s what we need; failing that let’s give the acid, tunes and egg and spoon races a try 😉

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Patilla: “But I’m sorry, a group of Provo wannabees in black berets and two-bob sun glasses, with their attendant coterie of sectarian spides waving a few flags and chanting “Up the RA” does not fulfill this function for me. ”

    Yeah, I can see that… but to be fair, the bowler and sash set aren’t all that convincing when they say that their little triumphal marchs are “neccessary expressions of culture,” either.

    The short answer is that either is fair for both parties to be asses or both parties should cut it out, unionist’s rather selective perception on parades, notwithstanding.

  • elfinto

    fair_deal,

    I think you’ll find that the courts decided that Volunteer Thomas McDonald of the UDA was not murdered when he was knocked off his bicycle after throwing snooker balls at a passing motorists car.

    The woman who was later convicted of manslaughter was a mother of five – hardly the profile of a hard-core republican activist. Still, keep on spouting the DUP hate-inducing BS. You’re doing a grand job.

  • Jocky

    Why do the poor wee souls in N.I. always have to be special?

    If you want to parade you stump up the cash to have it properly roganised / policed. Last year Gay PRide in Manchester was shut down cause they couldn’t stump up the cash.

    Why should I pay for a bunch of bigots and their apologists, oh and maybe the 2 or 3 normal folk, to parade up and down the street.

    And if anyone replies with the words culture or tradition then you’ve lost the arugement, they must be the two lamest reasons for ever doing anything. Closely followed by it my right to walk down the queens highway, yeah it is if your own your own, but if your in a large group of fellow knuckledraggers then IT ISN’T.

  • fair_deal

    elfinto

    You seem to know very little about what happened from your post.

    It is a snooker ball he is supposed to have thrown this time? Previouly it was claimed to be a stone. Tip for you a story is more convincing when you keep it consistent. The allegation that something was thrown comes from the people in the car. Hmmmmm.

    The car was not “passing” it pursued Thomas McDonald for a couple of hundred yards mounted a footpath drove over a grass verge and then another footpath to hit him.

    The court convicted her of manslaughter defined as “The unlawful killing of a human being”. The judge described it as a sectarian.

    “The woman who was later convicted of manslaughter was a mother of five – hardly the profile of a hard-core republican activist.”

    A very sexist stereotype. Since when did feminity and motherhood prevent anyone from holding a political view?

    Feel free to carry on excusing a sectarian killing if you wish.

  • Pattila the Hun

    Dread C

    “Yeah, I can see that… but to be fair, the bowler and sash set aren’t all that convincing when they say that their little triumphal marchs are “neccessary expressions of culture,” either.”

    That looks like a bit of knee-jerk whataboutery there. And it wasn’t necessary. I did say “marches of all hues” are not organised to proved intellectual challenge, but to mark out territory.

    “The short answer is that either is fair for both parties to be asses or both parties should cut it out, unionist’s rather selective perception on parades, notwithstanding”

    Yep.
    And here now’s my bout of what-about..it’s clear from this thread, that Republicans also have this rather selective perception;
    Orange bigots marching= offensive display of triumphalism, Republicans in paramilitary clobber marching= permissable expression of culture?

  • Occasional Commentator

    spirit-level: “Somme 1916 in November for the Unionists

    That isn’t (or shouldn’t be) only a unionist commemoration. In general, there’s no need to put everything into a “nationalist” or “unionist” box. For example, the Orange Order were nearly going to march in a St. Patrick’s day parade last year.

  • OC agreed, there’s more
    Myself a nationalist I could commemorate the Boyne, as I’m a catholic, but not a Roman Catholic, believing therefore that popery is a falsehood,
    Not of course happy with protestant “love” towards catholics mind you.
    Similiarly with the Somme 1916, that was a big sacrifice by the 36th Ulster Division,
    I’d celebrate that.
    The big one of course is:
    Could you get a Unionist to celebrate Easter 1916?
    Only I suppose if they thought themselves Irish, in which case they’d be against partition.
    See any circumstances where it could be a runner?

  • pat jnr

    1. Trying to excuse sectarian murder nice one.

    Stop lyin no one is trying to excuse anything. Who stated it was murder? Certainly not the courts who decided it was not murder. But lie if you want to.

    2. No independent evidence was presented in court to prove this claim.

    The car was damaged and the court accepted that was indeed the truth.

    Loyalist = lies lies lies.

  • elfinto

    fd,

    Feel free to keep peddling the martyrdom myth of a sectarian UDA terrorist.

  • chris

    A uvf parade in East Belfast passed off without incident last night, eventhough the uvf aligned bands broke the parades commission recommendation not to play sectarian tunes as it passed St. Matthews Church.

    A number of bands carried paramilitary flags and many of the hangers on also waved paramilitary flags as it passed the interface, as was pictured in today’s Irish News.

  • fair_deal

    Pat jnr

    “The car was damaged”

    What exactly do you think happens to a car when it runs someone over? Err it gets damaged.

    The CCTV footage does not show anything being thrown.

    elfinto

    “Feel free to keep peddling the martyrdom myth of a sectarian UDA terrorist”

    If a death wasn’t a serious thing I’d find your comments funny. Mirror image of the pointless conversations I have had with loyalists trying to justify a sectarian killing.

  • elfinto

    “The judge said Alison McKeown had lost control when the brick hit her car in what he described as a calculated and unprovoked assault by the teenager.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/2645543.stm

    ‘calculated and unprovoked assault’

    I’ll repeat it, ‘fair_deal’. You are peddling the martyrdom myth of a UDA man – a terrorist.

    Pointing this out does not imply that I, or anyone else, condones the actions of the car driver. Do make an effort not to be so dishonest in future.

    BTW, are you Nigel Dodds in disguise?

  • fair_deal

    “You are peddling the martyrdom myth of a UDA man – a terrorist.”

    1. He was 16 years old. He was a school kid not a man.
    2. You have to be 18 to join the UDA. He has never been described as a UDA member in the media (not even An Phoblacht makes that claim), by the police, in the court or claimed as such by the UDA.
    3. Thomas McDonald was never questioned, arrested, charged or convicted of a terrorist crime.
    4. If I am mistaken and he did throw something that is criminal damage NOT a terrorist offence.

    So “Pointing that out” is lying.

    The judge took the driver’s and passengers word for it. I believe the judge was wrong because
    1. It was not on the CCTV footage
    2. No forensics (a failure on the RUC’s part they didn’t check the car for damage by a stone or search for a stone at the scene).
    3. No independent testimony.
    4. Alison McKeown’s version of what happened and why changed first she was in a panic and lost control then she was pursuing him to scare him and find out his identity.

  • Occasional Commentator

    spirit-level, I agree with you on the Boyne – one of the main reasons why I used to be a unionist (I’m a republican now but I can’t make up my mind on the violence thing) was my disgust at the pathetic attitude in the RoI towards religion. If there is ever to be a UI, I think the fact the RoI is growing up will a big factor, it may already be causing Protestants and unionists to be less fearful. I myself used to hate the place and I was born and bred there.

    I’m not religious, but I probably know more about religion that the average religious person. I keep changing my mind on some details of my NI politics, but again I find I know more of the facts than many of my more politically minded friends (even if I can’t make up my mind exactly what the facts tell me!). Anyway this isn’t to blow my own trumpet, but simply that I have noticed there is a lot of room for improvement in education among the population at large. Too many people refuse to listen to other arguments, and too many people today and in the past benefit from this ignorance on ‘both’ sides (inasmuch as there are only two sides to any story),

    spirit-level: Could you get a Unionist to celebrate Easter 1916?

    I suppose by definition they wouldn’t be a unionist any more if they did. But I do believe that Protestants could be brought around to the idea. Ulster Protestants throughout history haven’t exactly been famous for their loyalty to London. The trick is whether republicanism can show that it takes religious liberty seriously. I think dealing with criminality within its ranks is the easy bit, it’s the religious sectarianism that is the next challenge.

    spirit-level: Only I suppose if they thought themselves Irish, in which case they’d be against partition.

    I disagree with you here. Protestants can and should think of themselves as Irish, regardless of there attitude to any constitutional setup. Is a Scotsman or Englishman any less Scottish or English if he’s loyal to the Crown and the UK?

    Right then, I’ve gotta get off Slugger and read more of that history book I’m reading. I bet I’ll want to rewrite this comment when I’m finished it!

  • elfinto

    You’ve been given this link before, fair_deal, but wilfully choose to ignore it.

    http://www.whitewelldefendersfb.com/inmemory.html

    The picture shows a mural dedicated to the ‘Fallen Comrades of the South East Antrim Brigade of the UDA’. The name Volunteer Thomas McDonald can be clearly seen on the mural. The Whitewell Defenders Website says ‘In Proud and Loving Memory of Volunteer Thomas McDonald’. And may I point out that the UDA youth wing, the Ulster Young Militants, is a proscribed terrorist orgnaisation.

    The judge in the case made stated that McDonald had made a ‘caluclated and unprovoked assault’ on the car invoved. That is a quite a categorical statement to make about someone who is deceased and is obviously based on strong evidence.

    But you know all that already, fair_deal. Stop dissembling and stop peddling hate.

  • English

    The really annoying thing for me, is that everywhere else I have lived in my life the summer is the best time of the year. In Northern Ireland the Summer is invariably ruined by the bigotry, hatred, attacks, fighting, rioting, intimidation, and ethnic cleasing which comes with this so-called display of culture! You really might all enjoy the summer if a total ban on marching was introduced. If this year is anything like last year, then I will be moving over the border!

  • Fair Deal

    elfinto

    I didn’t actually know that and I accept I was wrong when I stated he hadn’t been claimed by the UDA. My apologies.

    A sectarian killing is a sectarian killing membership of a proscribed group or not. Membership of a proscribed organisation nor criminal damage carries a death sentence.

    As for the judge’s comments he was giving down a lenient sentence for two serious offences (death by dangerous driving and manslaughter) hence the need to provide a justification/explanation for doing so. You agree with his decision and his reasons for it. I don’t and I have explained why.

  • elfinto

    “A sectarian killing is a sectarian killing membership of a proscribed group or not.”

    And road rage is road rage irregardless of the paramilitary affiliations of one of the protagonists.

    Well, if you are to be believed, the judge ignored the facts of the case, made false allegations about the deceased and followed his inner republican leanings. I find that hard to believe.

    Now that you have learned the significant piece of information that Thomas McDonald was a loyalist paramilitary, would you not be inclined to review your previous assumptions about the case which are clearly based on a narrow ideological and sectarian perspective?

  • FD
    “The hint is in the title, highlighting a double standard.”

    Then surely you’re guilty of the very same double standards.

  • paddyjoe

    i can just visualise johnny adair sitting at his desk in his office interviewing a young recruit. q.what age are you son. a. im 17 but ive already stiffed 4 taigs to get blooded. ah but youre still to young to join the uda. come back next year with your birth certificate and a note from your parents giving you their consent. go and stone a few taigs cars in the meantime to keep yourself occupied. by the way, watch the road. theres a lot of traffic about these days.

  • fair_deal

    elfinto

    “And road rage is road rage”

    The judge did say in court he believed there was a sectarian motivation. Manslaughter is a “unlawful killing” hence sectarian killing.

    In my opinion road rage is not an acceptable explanation for killing someone. How many times have people said they had a row/fight, lost it, grabbed a knife/beat someone, killed someone and were still done for murder? Why should it be any different just because you are behind the wheel of a car?

    “the judge ignored the facts of the case”

    The judge didn’t ignore facts, he accepted the testimony of this within the car. Just as there were no independent witnesses to confirm there was a stone throw there was no one to contradict it either.

    The failure was on the RUC’s part for not doing the necessary search and test to prove or disprove the claim.

    As his title implies he made a “judgement” call and I think he was wrong for the reasons stated. I haven’t claimed any political bias on his part.

    “would you not be inclined to review your previous assumptions about the case ”

    I assume you are referring to the half-brick. No because of the lack of corroboration.

    Something did trigger it all. I actually think what triggered it was verbal. The CCTV footage would provide some support for this. After the car had stopped at the junction were TM was on his bike the window was wound down and from the movement of TM and people in the car (heads turning etc) would indicate an exchange.

  • fair_deal

    maca

    Please explain

  • elfinto

    Who needs courts, eh?

  • fair_deal

    elfinto

    We all need courts but they can get it worng. Otherwise there would be no miscarriages of justice.

  • elfinto

    It’s funny that you accept one thing the judge apparently said (and I’m taking your word for it) – there may have been a sectarian motivation – but reject another – that McDonald provoked the accused by throwing a brick.

    I notice from Internet searching that this case is turning into a bit of a cause celebre among loyalist extremists and paramilitary supporters. However beyond unsubstantiated emotional and inaccurate statements along the lines of Thomas McDonald was an innocent Protestant child who was killed by sectarian republican scum’.

    So fair_deal, you portray yourself as being a fount of knowledge on this case (although unaware of the deceased’s paramilitary connections). Maybe you can provide links to back up some of your claims.

  • elfinto

    Missing text….

    However beyond unsubstantiated emotional and inaccurate statements along the lines of Thomas McDonald was an innocent Protestant child who was killed by sectarian republican scum’ I can find no evidence to back up your claims.

    Links?

  • fair deal

    [i]”The judge did say in court he believed there was a sectarian motivation. Manslaughter is a “unlawful killing” hence sectarian killing.

    In my opinion road rage is not an acceptable explanation for killing someone. How many times have people said they had a row/fight, lost it, grabbed a knife/beat someone, killed someone and were still done for murder? Why should it be any different just because you are behind the wheel of a car?”[/i]

    Your logic escapes me. The judge said the killing was unlawful, no more and no less, according to your post. From this,you claim that the comment proves the killing was sectarian.

    How so? There are many other motivations that could have triggered the driver’s response. And there certainly have been incidents of road rage that have led to killings. So, it seems to me that you are saying that the motivation could only be sectarian. Big jump and, it seems to me, contradicted by evidence that road rage has led to other killings, equally unlawful and equally characterized as “manslaughter”.

    Sorry, fd, your chain of logic has a huge gap

  • fair_deal

    “It’s funny that you accept one thing the judge apparently said (and I’m taking your word for it)”

    Nothing unusual about not agreeing with everything that comes out of a person’s mouth. It’s called free thought.

    The comment was made by the judge during the trial and it was reported in the Belfast Telegraph (I may still have the hard copy).

    The CCTV footage isn’t available online.

    PS Signing off for the night

  • elfinto

    The BBC article to which I posted a link (see 8 above) has no mention whatsoever of the judge ascribing a sectarian motivation to the driver. As a regualar observer of the media in NI I feel sure that they would have given prominence to this angle if the judge had made these comment

    Here’s another article about the trial which has no mention of a sectarian motive:

    http://archives.tcm.ie/irishexaminer/2003/01/11/story359767032.asp

    UDA Martyrdom myth debunked.

  • brian

    Clearly McDonald was a member of the junior wing of the uda, the uym.

    If the young lad had not been corrupted by the local paramilitaries(via the paramilitary band or family connections) , he may have had the chance to live his own life and lead a normal life.

    The fault lies with those who corrupted his up bringing and thought his best way forward was within the arms of a paramilitary organisation.

    When he went home off an evening , was he told that throwing stones at moving cars was wrong ?

  • nevin

    Going back to fd’s original post

    “organised a parade in the Whitewell area of North Belfast which includes two small Protestant communities, Graymount and Whitecity. ”

    The Graymount area was a mixed area until the Drumcree protest raised its head in 1997.

    In 1997 over ninety Catholic families lived in the Graymount estate.

    It was seen as a community were Catholic and Protestant famililies lived together in mutual understanding.

    When the orange orders Drumcree protest started, everything changed. Blast bombs,petrol bombs and bullets were used to force Catholic families out of the mixed area.

    Over 40 families were forced out in the first 2 years after the Drumcree dispute. The rest followed in the following years.

    So i suppose fair deal’s comment about the ‘Protestant’ Graymount area is true, but at what cost ?

    A mixed community torn apart by the orange order and the ulster defence association.

  • Occasional Commentator
    Will get back to you on another thread, this one’s busy. Good to hear your views.
    Suprised that you think criminality will be the easiest, and the religion the hardest.
    I was sure it was the other way round.
    What Luther pinned up on that church all those years ago, is self-evidently the Gospel. I can’t believe the Roman Catholic Church has been in the dark ages for last last 500 yrs. Astounding.

  • Rubicon

    Bands, uniforms and military music that has more to do with giving offence than rememberance. Whether it be one side or the other – both communities have elements that participate in poking the other in the eye.

    NI’s youth being involved in military obediance and bad music is a sad indication for the future. Where’s the free thought? The sense of rebellion against traditional authority?

    It’s not in the riots these marches seem to cause. They have about as much to do with free thought as Krystal Nacht.

    I agree with the posts made earlier – uniformed marches should be classified as a risk to public order and paid for. I’m sick of the disruption and destruction they cause.

    If there’s anyone on Slugger wanting to support this behaviour – can they please first identify the public good?

  • Rubicon

    My apologies for mentioning the Nazi’s – it’s not an attempt at MOPE. No oppression in NI can compare and – I’ll not often say this – thank God for the British in putting everything they had at risk to take that regime out. It’s a pity Hollywood makes it look like the Yanks were the saviours when their late arrival was initiated by damage to their property.

    The comparison is made to identify weak thinking that is present here in a way that was present in Germany. Germans felt aggrieved and under threat. Now – unionists and nationalists feel …

    And what do we get?

    It’s not just a small group of headbangers – it is US. WE are not challenging this form of expression but instead WE argue about whether one march is as bad as another.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Indeed. The best nationalist argument so far on the actual thread topic seems to be “But… themmuns.”

    In terms of usefulness, it ranks just behind: “They did it first.”

  • Occasional Commentator

    spirit-level,
    You’re right – I/we are going off-topic.

    Suprised that you think criminality will be the easiest, and the religion the hardest.

    On second thoughts, I don’t really know what I think. Basically I want republicans to do a lot more to distance themselves from any religious sectarianism.

    My problem with the RoI in the past was that it was too close to being a theocracy. I wouldn’t care if it was mostly Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist or Muslim, as long as it was confident enough to allow discussion and dissent. Both Irish states failed in this regard in the past. NI has the opportunity now to set an example to the rest of the world that argument, protest, discussion and dissent needn’t be incompatible with friendly relations and constructive relationships. Curtailing or banning marches would be admitting defeat in this important challenge. It’d be just as pathetic as the blasphemy laws that have been going through Westminster recently.