…neither christ-like or in Nazi camp

The level of veneration by Republicans of the 1981 hunger strikers/convicted terrorists has been questioned. This time not by a usual suspect but by pro-nationalist columnist Susan McKay.

  • I made a few comments about this after the insulting Stephen posted it yestr. For what there’re worth…here they are…”Bobby Sands, the first of the hunger strikers to die, compared himself with Christ, quoting the Bible…” that’s ridiculous. Anyone quoting from the Bible is comparing themselves to Christ! You wouldn’t get that basic error in a child’s school essay.
    “ The republican movement has every right to reassert the legitimacy of the struggle by its prisoners for political status and to commemorate its dead and honour them.”…and “… the hunger strikes showed extraordinary dedication and selflessness in pursuit of their cause. They suffered appaling privations….” She saying that the RM should be allowed commemorate – strange that you’d highlight this !
    “..Gerry Adams referred to the 50 others who died during the summer of 1981” and like Gerry, you consider some to have been less deserving to die. What’s that old expression ‘show me your friends and I’ll know who you are’ kinda ironic that you and Gerry are friends (or at least have similar viewpoints).
    “ The DUP used ugly and demeaning language…” I guess this should read the DUP and Stephen.
    “The IRA’s 1987 massacre at the Cenotaph in Enniskillen was particularly deplored because those murdered were civilians engaged in a ceremony of commemoration. “ and yet I believe you didn’t deplore the killings in Milltown when he attacked the Gibaltar funeral.
    “Republicans should acknowledge the terrible damage done by the recklessness of the IRA’s campaign at that time while it remembers the bravery of those who chose to die for Ireland.” Likewise the UDR/UVF, RUC & Brit Army should do the same, sauce for the goose and all that.
    Slan agus tog go bog e (again merely petty as opposed to your base insults).
    Posted by anonymous on May 10, 2006 @ 06:56 PM

    http://www.sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/bobby_sands_25th_anniversary/P125/

  • willis

    FD

    You really have a problem with Susan McKay don’t you? It is a pity. The expression non-unionist might sum her up better.

  • fair_deal

    willis

    If someone expresses support for Irish unification then it is fair to describe them as pro-nationalist rather than creating nonsense terminology.

  • Stephen Copeland

    fair_deal,

    … it is fair to describe them as pro-nationalist

    Why not just ‘nationalist’? Adding the prefix ‘pro-‘ makes her sound like an outsider who is cheering on from the sidelines. Whereas she is one of us, an insider.

  • SC I think FD is a wee bit miffed about susan mcKay, because like Jo, OC and myself:
    we are all protestants who have been won over to the nationalist cause, so are now insiders as you eloquently put.
    We’re more dangerous to unionists
    because of our conversion,
    C-mon FD let’s be having ya
    none of this shyness please.
    Get your tri-colour out man! 😉

  • Nationalist

    fair_deal

    “If someone expresses support for Irish unification then it is fair to describe them as pro-nationalist rather than creating nonsense terminology”.

    Where does that leave the significant proportion of nationalists who have consistently demonstrated in endless suveys and opinion polls over the years that they are happy enough to remain in the union?

    Nationalism is a broad church.

  • Stephen Copeland

    spirit-level,

    … Jo, OC and myself: we are all protestants …

    As am I.

    There appear to be quite a few nationalist Prods (or ex-Prods, as in my case to be honest) on Slugger. I wonder is it the relative anonymity that allows us to ‘come out’? Its a bit dangerous in the real world, but here the risks are only virtual.

    I have always been interested by the fact that unionism consistently scores a lower percentage of the electorate than are Protestants – about a 5-6% gap, whereas nationalism is at, or even above, the proportion of Catholics. I wonder whether there isn’t a quiet number of Protestant SDLP voters/supporters … Eddie Espie was a public one, as was Ivan Cooper and even Billy Leonard, but how many more are there? Maybe unionism’s nightmare is quietly happening ….

  • missfitz

    Thats interesting Stephen becuase I have been wondering if I have been suffering the reverse syndrome. You know, futive visits to the Reform website, an unnatural interest in Orangeism and weekly band parades?

    We could maybe do a trade? You could have my Sunday Missal, and I could have your??

  • Brian Boru

    Comparisons with Nazi concentration camps are clearly absurd in the extreme. I agree that these men were terrorists, but the British should have left the political-status issue alone. They underestimated the determination of these men to make martyrs of themselves for their cause. To allow 13 men to die over what they wear is surely the height of nonsense and hardly worth creating martyrs who would spawn hundreds or thousands of volunteers to destroy 1,800 lives. Hopefully the lessons have been learned.

  • willis

    Perhaps the biggest problem is Loyalism/Unionism’s laager mentality. The UUP say they want to be inclusive but can’t allow a tricolour (even a very small one) to appear on their website. They expect unquestioning acceptance of ridiculous behaviour. Is it any wonder that many people are prepared to put up with direct rule.

  • Stephen Copeland

    missfitz,

    … I have been suffering the reverse syndrome. You know, futive visits to the Reform website, an unnatural interest in Orangeism and weekly band parades?

    You would have a brilliant career in Johnny Andrews new UUP …. if it ever had a future, of course.

    Unfortunately, even bending the knee to Big Ian won’t get you anywhere in the DUP, though. Your free state accent, your suspiciously leprechaunish name, it would all count against you, you know …

    Mind you, I have been known to visit the Reform website myself occasionally. Its a good laugh, though if they’re actually for real I’m worried for them. You’re probably not eligible for the Rostrevor Ladies LOL 666 as you would seriously fail the religious conditions for membership. Band parades … ? They’re probably good exercise, but walking the dog along the beach is better. Personally I’d be too lazy to commit, and anyway I find the uniforms just a wee bit camp.

  • Shallow

    ‘There appear to be quite a few nationalist Prods (or ex-Prods, as in my case to be honest) on Slugger.’

    Intriguing! Is that a reaction against or toward?

  • Maybe unionism’s nightmare is quietly happening lol
    stephen we are growing in number, and coming out by the day. We can’t be ignored, and as we’ve no blood on our hands, in that sense we are very dangerous to unionism.

  • missfitz

    SC
    Had never heard of Johhnny Andrew, so thanks for that, was very interesting. He’s cute too, so that is a bonus.

    ttp://www.uup.org/media/media_16_02_06_andrews.htm

    I’ve been kicked out of so many organisations in my time, its a pity I couldnt get into the Ladies LOL to be basished in disgrace. I have a Collarette and all, it was a present from an ex-boyfriend.

    (Now I AM worried)

  • Shallow
    good question “against or towards”
    In my case the union has failed us, so our best chances lay with a united ireland.
    So both really against and towards. Yourself?

  • Stephen Copeland

    Shallow,

    Intriguing! Is that a reaction against or toward?

    If I understand you question right, it is very much an attraction toward, rather than a reaction against.

    missfitz,

    Had never heard of Johhnny Andrew, so thanks for that, was very interesting. He’s cute too, so that is a bonus.

    Cute … ? Hmm, I knew him a while back and as far as I knew (um, entirely heresay you understand) he swung the other way … allegedly.

  • The other thing worth mentioning is:
    If we were to go straight into a united ireland, the chances are very high that both the DUP and SF wouldn’t get many votes, ( as their raison-d’etre surrounds the issue of partition ) therefore we’d not have to put up with either of these “showers” in gov’t.
    Win-win.

  • bertie

    From what I know of Eddie Espie, he is the exception to the dreadfully iritating group of Prods who seem to feel the need to show their moral superiority to their co-religionists.

  • Canadian

    missfits

    “I’ve been kicked out of so many organisations in my time”

    I think Groucho said it best!

    “I wouldn’t want to be part of any club that would have me as a member.”

    – Groucho Marx

  • missfitz on May 11, 2006 @ 07:52 PM wrote ”That’s interesting Stephen because I have been wondering if I have been suffering the reverse syndrome. You know, futive visits to the Reform website, an unnatural interest in Orangeism and weekly band parades? …” easy to spot symptoms of too much Irish Thames and Sindo; for the sake of your sanity I’d recommend abstaining from such corrupting influences. Haha.

  • Tamlaght Duff

    Republican folklore has Francis Hughes roaming hill and glen (like Che Guevara) a bit of a difference from reality when he was living on a council estate in Dundalk under a false name and claiming Social Welfare while working to a deisel mechanic.

  • missfitz

    Anonymous

    I read neither. I think my feelings stem from a real desire to get to know ‘the other side’ as well as from some of my research projects.

    I wouldnt actually buy either of those papers, so I’m afraid you will have to settle for the fact that some people are willing to take that ‘one small step’.

    I grew up in a republican household and protestant were entirely demonised when I was younger, so this has been all new to me. I still hold some of my baggage/prejudices, but I am more able to listen and appreciate the protestant point of view.

    I was jesting a little with SC, but half joking wholly in earnest, I think its important to meet each other half way on this journey

  • bertie

    *meets missfizt half way by moving to shake hands* 🙂

  • missfitz

    Ach Bertie, am touched, really am……..

    < >

  • missfitz

    There was a bit missing there, Bertie, I shook your and made tea but isnt that amazing…… the forces at work made it disappear….

  • bertie

    missfitz

    It must be the securocrats conspiring 😉

  • the harsh reality

    As an ex-pat of NI i must say i find this site dreadfully depressing. I would classify myself now as an ex-nationalist, and i was never brought up to respect the IRA nor their hunger strikers. I am now working in Japan, but spent several years in London. I must say London is the most tolerant city in the world for differing religions and cultures, and i would strongly advise most of the posters here to spend some time there and “open your eyes”. Years ago when i lived in N ireland i would have classed myself a nationalist aspiring to a unification of Ireland, but not anymore. Some of the cavemen posts on this board would even make me ashamed to admit to be northern irish. Ill leave on this thought, that young boy murdered in ballymena this week, was killed by bigots. The actions of the IRA has created these bigots, the glorifying of the ira and then hunger strikers will make more bigots. The unionist side creates bigots on the nationalist side, but i can only speak from what was once “my community’s” viewpoint. So I ask when will it end ?

  • joeCanuck

    Harsh Reality:

    Good news and bad news:
    Good news – it will end
    Bad news – it’ll probably take another generation (at least).

  • “I read neither. “ I purchase neither but always read them to see the other viewpoint and to identify “fifth columnists” aims and strategies. Strong word but how else could one describe RDE, Meyers, Fintan O’Toole etc. At least Frank Millar is officially unionist altho’ they don’t highlight this in the paper.

    “ I think my feelings stem from a real desire to get to know ‘the other side’ as well as from some of my research projects. “ Understood, but research as opposed to just meeting and chatting with others – that seems a convoluted and round about way of doing things.

    “I wouldnt actually buy either of those papers, so I’m afraid you will have to settle for the fact that some people are willing to take that ‘one small step’. “ I can’t stand either of those papers.

    “I grew up in a republican household and protestant were entirely demonised when I was younger, so this has been all new to me. I still hold some of my baggage/prejudices, but I am more able to listen and appreciate the protestant point of view. “ I, on the other hand, would be considered from a nationalist family and no one, other than combatants, would have been considered exceptional. I hope not to carry baggage and I like listen to and debate against unionist viewpoints

    “…I think its important to meet each other half way…“ likewise

    did you know G. Fitt used humourously call his daughters the Miss Fitts?

  • missfitz

    You are the first one to get that! I knew about Gerry Fitts name for his girls, and chose just on a whimsy.

    I’m not good at names, once called myself “A little Trollope” and didnt get one literary mention. Got lots of other propositions though!

    I get so cross when I read Kevin Myers, but I think he has now gone to his spiritual home. As for RDE, I know her as a person, so I read her words and think I know from whence she comes. I dont always agree with her, but I credit her with being the first person to seriously challenge my views and their provenance.

    As to the research, well it isnt for the good of my health I do it, its for other stuff and as a result of doing it and becoming more familiar with the subject matters, I have learned a lot,

    Some people would say to me we should forget our history and we would be better off as a nation.

    I dont agree, I think our history is our story and we need it to know who we are and understand our co-travellers.
    I once got indignant about the idea of ‘baggage’. I was quoted in a news article as having said we all carry baggage, and I refuted it angrily. Then over time, I thought about it and gradually accepted that we do carry baggage, every one of us. Its our identity, our recognition of our culture and heritage. We need to accept our baggage and live with it. Every now and again we need to unpack it, examine it and put it back carefully, but if deny we have baggage, we dont open the door and no light will ever shine in.

  • joeCanuck

    Well said missfitz.

    I no longer follow christianity but there’s an awful lot of wisdom in their book: like “first removing the beam in your own eye”

  • Brian Boru

    The harsh reality, while agreeing with you that the ‘Republican’ terror groups like the PIRA played a major role in increasing bigotry on the Loyalist side and the violence consequent on that, I think the experience of 50 years of Unionist majority rule would seem to indicate that the bigotry was very much part of the ideology of the NI state during that time. It was not until the 60’s that violent Republicanism really took off. That was after decades of oppression, including notorious incidents such as the McMahon family massacre by John Nixon of the RUC, RUC/UDR/B-Special collusion with Loyalist mobs/terrorists, gerrymandering of constituencies, denial of one-man-one-vote, pogroms such as Bombay Street, and of course Bloody Sunday. They bigotry was already there. It’s just that the PIRA etc. made it even worse.

    I would see what happened as part of the evils of partition, and an example of how NI in its political form was a failed political-entity – a disaster waiting to happen. Hopefully the GFA – if implemented – will make it a society in which sectarianism will start to reduce. However I don’t think we are going to see the GFA implemented. Ultimately, I believe that only a UI can guarantee long-term stability, equality and justice.

  • “…this site dreadfully depressing….” I don’t think the site’s aim is to be uplifting but a means of allowing opposite sets of viewpoints to be voiced and argued in safety. Thus, possibly leading to mutual understanding and hopefully progress. You’ll get from this site what you look for at this site.

    “..I must say London is the most tolerant city…” as should all ‘western’ cities in this global economy especially in light of the exchange of views & ideas via the ‘net.

    “…and i would strongly advise most of the posters here to spend some time there and “open your eyes”. “ but why just London as opposed to any of the other capital cities of the western world.

    “…the actions of the IRA has created these bigots, the glorifying of the ira and then hunger strikers will make more bigots.” This to me is the official Westminster line and I think you have fallen for it hook, line and sinker. Everything is the fault of the IRA. If you’d lived in the USA which is a much more cosmo city than London then might you have thought the one and only source of the problems is the British presence? The issues in NI aren’t the fault of one side or the other. Moreover Westminster isn’t an innocent bystander alto’ much of Britain’s population could be considered as such. Fortunately, if the bothersome Oirish troubles stay across the water (no Docks bombings) then ‘laissez faire’. I’ve rarely met a Londoner who didn’t hold the same views on NI as myself and consider the Brit Army’s behavior disgraceful and most unionists as incomprehensible.

    “ Years ago when i lived in N ireland i would have classed myself a nationalist aspiring to a unification of Ireland, but not anymore.” BBC’s mission is accomplished. Thank you. You were an excellent guinea pig.

  • Occasional Commentator

    spirit level: “like Jo, OC [Occasional Commentator] and myself:
    we are all protestants who have been won over to the nationalist cause

    I’ve never been a Protestant (nominally Catholic upbringing, atheist or agnostic myself though) but I was definitely a unionist. Nowadays I would support a united Ireland as long as it’s secular.

    In posts on other threads, I may have been a bit cryptic as to where I’m coming from, partly because I’ve had so much difficulty making up my mind!

  • missfitz

    Brian
    I think your argument has a flaw. You say that you would see what happened as part of the evils of partition, and an example of how NI in its political form was a failed political-entity – a disaster waiting to happen.

    This fails to recognise that partition wouldnt have happened if masses of the population hadnt taken to the streets against Home Rule. The Ulster Covenant had 100,00’s of signatures, the UVF was formed and armed, and although Craig made an effort to be accomodating, he ultimately gave in to pressures from within his party and designated ‘Ulster’ to be the protestant state for the protestant people we now know it to be.

    Of course, all of this was at the same time Dev was declaring Eire to be a catholic nation from the time of St Patrick, and would continue to be a catholic nation.

    So the religious and sectarian divide pre-dated partition. If anything, partition prevented an all island civil war that was without doubt the inevitable outcome of forced Home Rule.

    I think that you must accept that piece of history as valid to understand any of the rest of it.

    And you also seem to forget the IRA border campaign of the 1950’s. It did not take until the 60s for the IRA to mobilise

  • Conor Gillespie

    “neither christ-like or in Nazi camp”

    sorry to be such a prig but….

    shouldn’t it read: “neither christ like NOR in a Nazi Camp?”

  • missfitz

    Yes conor, that actually helps the argument enormously. I wondered what was wrong, that must have been it. Perhaps grammar will solve all the rest of our problems

  • Doctor Who

    Anonymous

    I guess you will have to venture out of Kilburn then.

    Better still why don´t you go completely anonymous and stop posting.

    While we are at it if the English that you meet are so sympathetic to the poor downtroden Nationalist cause, why do you hate them so much.

  • Nationalist

    the harsh reality

    “The actions of the IRA has created these bigots, the glorifying of the ira and then hunger strikers will make more bigots”.

    Maybe it would be worth remembering what created Bobby Sands in particular. Part of it, without any doubt, has to be attributed to the all out sectarian onslaught on the catholic population of Rathcoole in the early 70’s. More than 1,000 catholics, including the young Bobby Sands, were forced to flee for their lives, some never made it. That should be considered when you consider who Bobby Sands was. It should also be remembered that 99.9% of the victims of that particular campaign of genocide and ethnic cleansing didn’t join the IRA.

    ” I must say London is the most tolerant city in the world for differing religions and cultures, and i would strongly advise most of the posters here to spend some time there and “open your eyes”.”

    Do you remember any of the evidence from the Stephen Lawrence enquiry? London has it’s problems, just like everywhere else “open your eyes”.”

  • Brian Boru

    “Of course, all of this was at the same time Dev was declaring Eire to be a catholic nation from the time of St Patrick, and would continue to be a catholic nation.”

    Words alone were far less than what happened in the North. Dev wasn’t in power until 1932. There was no state-persecution of Protestants in the South. Unlike the B-Specials and RUC regarding Catholics, there was no Gardai pogroms of Protestants in the South. There are allegations of pogroms of Protestants in the period 1911-26, but one of the historians most often cited on this, Peter Harte, has had his claims constantly questioned – especially his failure to adequately reveal his sources. For heaven’s sakes its long enough away from that time now surely he can tell us? A very convincing rebuttal of his claims can be found on the Indymedia website here http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=69172

    “So the religious and sectarian divide pre-dated partition. If anything, partition prevented an all island civil war that was without doubt the inevitable outcome of forced Home Rule.”

    But it was never as bitter in the 26 counties as in the North, because of the North’s history of mass-ethnic cleansing dating from the Plantation then the other way to some degree in 1641 and again later. The scale of this in the South was never as large in scale except perhaps in Donegal.

    “I think that you must accept that piece of history as valid to understand any of the rest of it.”

    It was not comparable in the South to the tensions in the North. I agree that they predate partition, but their absence in places with large Protestant populations now in the Republic such as Donegal (10%) would seem to counter the idea that sectarianism in the Republic is on anything the scale as in the North. The only recent example that could be used by Unionists against this would be the Love Ulster march-related riots in Dublin but those attacked were all Southerners and there were only 700 involved. No-one was killed. Protestants are not in the habit of being killed by Catholics or vice versa down here. Incidents like the Ballymena murder of Michael McIlvine etc. don’t happen down here. We are a radically more tolerant society. We haven’t had the chaos seen in NI. I believe that being part of such a state as the Republic would ultimately exorcise sectarianism from NI.

    “And you also seem to forget the IRA border campaign of the 1950’s. It did not take until the 60s for the IRA to mobilise.”

    I was referring to the Northern IRA. That was a largely Southern IRA affair and had no real support from Northern Nationalists.

  • elfinto

    miss fitz

    “There’s no traitor like a Free Stater”

    And that’s from someone who is fenian in politics but not by confession!

  • elfinto

    Brian Boru,

    The northern divisions of the IRA took part in the War of Independence. Unfortunately they were ruthlessly surpressed by the British backed unionist forces who imposed a reign of terror, particularly on Catholics in Belfast, amny of whom fled. Nationalists in the north lived in a state of repression from that point on. Fortunately those days are gone – except in Ballymena.

  • fair_deal

    SC SL etc

    Have nationalist bloggers been on a semiotics course or what? This is the second thread in one day were “deeper meanings” are supposedly being discovered. Save yourselves some time don’t look for what is not there.

  • Mike

    Spirit-level:

    “SC I think FD is a wee bit miffed about susan mcKay, because like Jo, OC and myself:
    we are all protestants who have been won over to the nationalist cause”

    Woah there s_l! I’m pretty sure Jo has said she’s a unionist. And I’m also pretty sure that she hasn’t revealed her (‘religious’) ‘community background’, though I think she’s hinted that it might not be ‘Protestant’…

  • OC thanks I’ll update my files; agree with you though, finding an identity that actually works and can be believed in, is itself a challenge!
    I’ve run out of vim for use upon my conscience 🙂

  • Mike
    oops my plan to start a protestant ” dissenter” rebellion
    against the union seems to be floundering, back to the drawing board

  • Doctor clueless on May 11, 2006 @ 11:50 PM wrote “…I guess you will have to venture out of Kilburn then. “ I’ve never been there in my life. I guess you should understand that there are Londoners all round the world. If you got out there you might find out altho’ crawling from under you rock might subject you to the bright light of reason.

    “Better still why don´t you go completely anonymous and stop posting. “ you’ll have to do better than that.

    “…why do you hate them so much. “ as usual you jump to conclusions. WTF makes you think I hate anyone? Altho I’m starting to get irritated by stupid, presumptious posters.

  • Shallow

    More from dissenters please, perhaps in a different post?
    This is the first time I’ve ever heard talk of support for Irish nationalism among former unionists, and I’m struck by how iconclastic, even daring, it seems. Here in the south, we’re perhaps more brazen about OUR ‘heresies’. Come to think of it, indifference to Irish nationalism, and disaffection with/disdain for Norn Iron-style republicanism is becoming totally unremarkable here. It’s simply not an election issue. I wonder when that will happen up there?

  • Mayoman

    Haven’t followed all this thread, but am interested in the thoughts of spirit-level et al. I heard Walter Ellis talking on the radio. He is a Belfast, Protestant journalist who was unfortunate enough to have, as a best friend and cousin, a leading member of the INLA (son of Major Ronald Bunting). Although not sympathetic to republicanism, he mentioned in his interview that an increasing number of middle-class prods were coming round to the idea that a UI was the way forward. Is there anywhere we could discuss whether this is a real happening, as some people here suggest?

  • elfinto

    I was referring to the Northern IRA. That was a largely Southern IRA affair and had no real support from Northern Nationalists.

    Brian Boru

    Two republican prisoners were elected to Westminister in the 1950s and Sinn Fein received over 150,000 votes in a UK general election.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Shallow,

    I’m not sure how many of the Protestant nationalists could be described as ‘former unionists’. Many were probably never unionists, but simply arrived at a nationalist point of view as their political awareness evolved. That would certainly be my experience.

    I agree with you about the south being more open to political heresy, but perhaps this is a luxury that a ‘settled’ constitutional climate allows us? And while there are some vocal ‘revisionists’, there are actually very few outright ‘turn-back-the-clock’ unionists. Even the Eoin Harrises, Kevin Myers, RDEs and CCO’Bs have never sought to undo the independence of the south – they merely seek to stop the north enjoying it too.

    There is also no real sectarianism in the south, from any side. Protestant nationalists are under no threat whatsoever from the crazies …. because there are no crazies. Likewise, while Kevin Myers may get death threats neither he nor any other revisionist has even actually been touched. Iconoclasm can however be deadly in the north, so people who step outside the tribe tend to keep quiet about it. Brian McCargo had to leave the GAA when he joined the RUC, and John Turnly got assassinated by loyalists – these things tend to focus your mind.

  • To all who’ve mentioned their interest in a thread on us rebellious prods, yes it does seem quite daring.
    Sadly its unlikely to take root here, as the blogging comittee is composed of the odd Shinner and soft to hard Unionists, neither of whom would be that interested in a follow up.
    Still you can’t crush the flower forever, and if its being talked about openly, it must come out somewhere.

  • Mayoman

    Tha fact that Dev (and I defend him here although I think he was of dubious morals when it came to standing by his own comrades)tried to create a catholic state is pushed a bit too far. Here’s is part of his wikipedia entry:

    “the “special position” of the Roman Catholic Church was a constitutionally meaningless phrase. In some areas (De Valera’s refusal to make Catholicism the established church, his refusal to side with Franco in the Spanish Civil War, the constitutional recognition given to the existence of the Church of Ireland, the Presbyterians, the Methodists and in particular in Irish Jewish community) de Valera’s constitution was actually quite radical and distinctly non-Catholic in its day. For that reason, Pope Pius XI refused to support its adoption, an endorsement constitutions in predominantly Catholic countries routinely sought and often got. “

  • Stephen Copeland

    Mayoman,

    I also quoted from Wikipedia today, in relation to Douglas Hyde, on another thread, and I think that some of what is said in that article is also pertinent:

    Both the Taoiseach, Éamon de Valera and the Leader of the Opposition, W.T. Cosgrave were admirers of his;
    Both wanted to choose a non-Catholic [as first President] to disprove the assertion that the State was a “confessional state”

    And also,

    Even de Valera’s controversial ban on divorce was publicly applauded by the Church of Ireland hierarchy.

    Dev is a hate figure for some (and not just unionists and spurned republicans), but accusing him of sectarianism is untrue. He was a Catholic, of course, but one who tried to put his republican ideals first where possible.

  • Shallow

    ‘Iconoclasm can however be deadly in the north, so people who step outside the tribe tend to keep quiet about it.’

    I know, Stephen. Maybe that’s where the virtual soapbox comes into its own. And it may be one of the reasons why the south is happy enough not to get seriously stuck into dealing with the north. The psychological atmosphere up there is just … too dark.

  • Mayoman

    Another peson with enlightened truly inclusive thinking was Charles Stewart Parnell. He really feared the division of Ireland and was prophetic in believing that such divisions would lead to what we got (protetant and catholic states). His belief was that an inclusive govt. would act as a balwark against this polarisation. It is my true wish that we have one day a truly non-setarian, secular, inclusive UI.

  • bertie

    “There is also no real sectarianism in the south, from any side”

    Not sure the events in Dublin bear that out. I’m not saying that it was typical but it was real.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Bertie,

    There are two aspects to the ‘Love Ulster’ (sic) mini-riot;

    1. It was directed principally against thev Gardai, and seemed to be an opportunist riot based upon a plethora of things,

    2. There was, and is, a deep dislike of Willy Frazer, both north and south, for his blatantly one-sided view of things. Nobody would have any problem with a genuine ‘victims’ commemoration in Dublin, or anywhere else, if it was open to all, included all, and did not set out to misrepresent the truth and imply a hierarchy of victims. Frazer’s glorification of loyalist terrorists didn’t help much either.

  • Mayoman
    I echo your vision, and agree Parnell saw what we have now. With the fall of the Catholic Church, it can’t be anything but secular from now on in. Do events bear this out?
    Shallow,
    United Irelander picks up on that “psychological darkness” in his threads, I’ve noticed.
    Tell me pls how SF are regarded down South?

  • eranu

    “As an ex-pat of NI i must say i find this site dreadfully depressing. I would classify myself now as an ex-nationalist, and i was never brought up to respect the IRA nor their hunger strikers. I am now working in Japan, but spent several years in London. I must say London is the most tolerant city in the world for differing religions and cultures, and i would strongly advise most of the posters here to spend some time there and “open your eyes”. Years ago when i lived in N ireland i would have classed myself a nationalist aspiring to a unification of Ireland, but not anymore. Some of the cavemen posts on this board would even make me ashamed to admit to be northern irish. Ill leave on this thought, that young boy murdered in ballymena this week, was killed by bigots. The actions of the IRA has created these bigots, the glorifying of the ira and then hunger strikers will make more bigots. The unionist side creates bigots on the nationalist side, but i can only speak from what was once “my community’s” viewpoint. So I ask when will it end ?

    Posted by the harsh reality on May 11, 2006 @ 10:26 PM”

    totally agree with this post about the caveman posts. it was interesting to see that even after the post the same old ‘us good, you bad’ shite was still being posted. pretty much everything on slugger revolves around 2 imaginary groups based on peoples religon or their preference on a national question – frankly thats just weird.
    ive lived in dublin for 8 years, luckily mixing with many other nationalities, and its only when you leave NI that you have ‘your eyes opened’ to the absolutely backward mentality of pretty much everyone there. totally embarassing.

    a word about the south, as an NI prod living here i’ll tell you that the people saying the south is not sectarian are talking cobblers. its not as vicous and personal as in NI (unless you want to parade in oconnel street) but its the fact that the society is one that caters for catholic things only that makes it sectarian in nature. there is no consideration of being neutral to someones religon. its all GAA, celtic, priests etc, republican anti brit stuff. which is the identity of catholics only. protestants as a group are a non entity in society. any NI prods that think a UI would be a good thing should really live here for a while and see if they identify with the country. i certainly dont. NI is more home than it ever was before moving away.

  • bertie

    Stephen

    “There are two aspects to the ‘Love Ulster’ (sic) mini-riot;

    1. It was directed principally against thev Gardai, and seemed to be an opportunist riot based upon a plethora of things, ”

    Noted the “sic”, was that because it wasn’t a Love Ulster rally or you consider “love Ulster” to be an intrinsically ironic name?

    2. There was, and is, a deep dislike of Willy Frazer, both north and south, for his blatantly one-sided view of things. Nobody would have any problem with a genuine ‘victims’ commemoration in Dublin, or anywhere else, if it was open to all, included all”

    This is an old arguemnt but why should it have to include all. It was for victims of the IRA and was at least partly about the Dublin gov’s attitude to SF/IRA, why would that be expected to include victims of UVF etc?

    But that is slightly beside the point I was making. Charlie Bird did not get duffed up because he was Gardia, it was because he was an “Orange bastard”. That sectarianism may be rare down south, I wouldn’t know but it was real.

  • Brian Boru

    “a word about the south, as an NI prod living here i’ll tell you that the people saying the south is not sectarian are talking cobblers. its not as vicous and personal as in NI (unless you want to parade in oconnel street) but its the fact that the society is one that caters for catholic things only that makes it sectarian in nature. there is no consideration of being neutral to someones religon. its all GAA, celtic, priests etc, republican anti brit stuff. which is the identity of catholics only. protestants as a group are a non entity in society. any NI prods that think a UI would be a good thing should really live here for a while and see if they identify with the country. i certainly dont. NI is more home than it ever was before moving away.”

    Eranu what you are saying is vague and nonsensical, and devoid of specific examples of sectarianism other than the Love Ulster riots (a freak event involving 700 people in a city of over a million). Give me some examples of sectarianism you have encountered. Or do you just consider outward expressions of Catholicism or Nationalism to be sectarian? Are we sectarian because we have Catholic priests? Would you prefer if we banned the Catholic Church? We’re sectarian because many young people support Celtic and wear Celtic shirts? But of course wearing Rangers shirts isn’t sectarian of course! Oh no! The popularity of GAA makes us sectarian of course. Oh yes. So anti-Protestant it had a Protestant President and several Protestant players among its greats. Republicanism being “the identity of catholics only”? Protestants were involved in 1916-21 too and you are deluding yourself if you think most Southern Protestants today empathise with Orangeism and Northern Unionism today. They don’t feel British they feel Irish in my experience. I think what you want sir is a society in which the Papists and Nationalists know their place!

    People dressing a certain way is not my idea of oppressing others. Nor is going to Mass etc. Such backward ideas as yours eranu are beneath contempt!

  • “Tell me pls how SF are regarded down South?
    Posted by spirit-level on May 12, 2006 @ 04:47 PM”

    Spirit.

    In my opinion, it’s a class thing with Sinn fein in the south, the more working class you are, the more likely you’re going to vote Sinn fein, especially in the urban areas of Cork and Dublin.
    In the rural areas, apart from traditional rural republican areas like around the border and rural parts of Cork and Kerry, Sinn Fein are way behind the parish-pump, clientelist, clique of FF, FG and to a lesser extent Labour.
    Where Labour have hitched themselves as the mudguard of Fine Gael, I think Sinn Fein will take a lot Labour votes in urban areas. Maybe there is a large underbelly of disaffected people for whom this celtic tiger is far from a reality and are alienated from the middle class media consensus.
    Sinn Fein are almost universally loathed by the Southern media, they are seen as Northern radical marxists who will upset the smug clique of the southern status quo, where the mainstream parties have carved up their own niches and are deeply consevative.
    If Sinn fein move towards the left in the south and get involved with the disaffected (which maybe they are doing in dublin? i’m not sure) and champion leftist viewpoints maybe they can go from strength to strength, but I guess the southern character is quite conservative and maybe Sinn fein won’t reap any benefits.
    My firm wish is that the leftist parties (I don’t include Labour) in the next election would gain seats, Sinn Fein, The Socialist Party of Joe Higgins and the left-leaning independents would hold the balance of power maybe finally we’d see a fairer distribution of this wealth we all are supposed to have and of course a closer coming together of North and South through consensual politics where both Northern and Southern folk would remove some of our collective blinkers and our preconditions about each other.
    By the way, the guy said above that he found this site depressing, in fact I found this section very refreshing with those Northern Protestants reclaiming their Irishness and being proud of it, well done spirit, OC, stephen etc.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Bertie,

    Noted the “sic”, was that because it wasn’t a Love Ulster rally or you consider “love Ulster” to be an intrinsically ironic name?

    Because I don’t think they love Ulster at all. I think they limit their interest to only two-thirds of it, and hate half of the people of their chosen 6 counties!

    Charlie Bird did not get duffed up because he was Gardia, it was because he was an “Orange bastard”. That sectarianism may be rare down south, I wouldn’t know but it was real.

    That surprised us all, I might say. Even CB’s friends didn’t know that he is a Prod – and I certainly didn’t. How some yob on the street did is a mystery. I suspect it might have been a case of mistaken identity. There certainly is a streak of old-fashioned ‘republicanism’ in inner-city Dublin which occasionally shows itself, but it is far from widespread.

    Brian Boru,

    … a Protestant President

    Make that two. Hyde and Childers.

    … and several Protestant players among its greats.

    “Several …????” How about hundreds – Tone, Lord Edward, Emmet, Parnell, Hyde, Childers, Hobson, Marcievicz, and so on.

    … Republicanism being “the identity of catholics only”? Protestants were involved in 1916-21 too and you are deluding yourself if you think most Southern Protestants today empathise with Orangeism and Northern Unionism today. They don’t feel British they feel Irish in my experience.

    Almost no southern Prods empathise with orangism or unionism. We are Irish and proud. How and why should we ‘feel British’? We are no more British than you are – ie not at all.

  • Stephen Copeland

    corkman,

    … those Northern Protestants reclaiming their Irishness and being proud of it, well done spirit, OC, stephen etc.

    Sorry to disappoint, but I am not a northern Prod. I am Dublin born, and my immediate ancestry is largely southern – Dublin and culchie – though further back I think they came from the Plantation. My links with the north are personal not ancestral, and much of my family there are of the ‘in-law’ variety.

  • bertie

    Stephen

    the dublin rally wasn’t actually a “Love Ulster” one. I was origonally confused myself but LU merely came out in support of it.

  • missfitz

    I’ve mentioned this before and no one seems to want to pick it up.

    Leave Love Ulster aside for a moment. The Dublin & Wicklow Lodge of the OO wanted to parade in 2000 and they were advised against it.

    The last Orange parade in Dublin was 1937 or 38 and the marchers got attacked.

    Look, I could sit here all night and quote, but the reality is that dev created a catholic state in name and nature. Look at the Mother and Child scheme, look at the Mayo librarian, look at the couple in Wexford. If you dont know about this stuff, Ill provide details. Look at the reduction in protestant population.

    You cannot deny that Dev tried to create his idyll as described in 1938 on St Patrick Day. Sorry but he was responsible for the holding back of a country that could have become a better place sooner.

  • Stephen.

    I stand corrected, pardon me.

    Off topic, I met a man today, a middle aged man Cork Catholic who is a big Linfield supporter and was at the cup final last Saturday and was invited into the dressing room afterwards and he says he often goes up North for matches and loves it.
    Good news, maybe the island is coming closer together.

  • corkman
    thanks for that instruction on SF in the South.
    “By the way, the guy said above that he found this site depressing, in fact I found this section very refreshing with those Northern Protestants reclaiming their Irishness and being proud of it, well done spirit, OC, stephen etc.”
    apart from stephen’s correction, and having to admit myself to residing in the UK mainland just right now , it is most refreshing. We’re on our way. Good weekend all.

  • Brian Boru

    Missfitz, even those events are aeons ago and pale in comparison to what was going on up North.

  • Sprit, ok thanks for the clarification.

    As the song says…
    “North men, south men,
    comrades all,
    Dublin, Belfast,
    Cork and Donegal”

  • eranu on May 12, 2006 @ 05:09 PM wrote…”a word about the south, as an NI prod living here i’ll tell you that the people saying the south is not sectarian are talking cobblers… any NI prods that think a UI would be a good thing should really live here for a while and see if they identify with the country. i certainly dont. NI is more home than it ever was before moving away.

    …and like Lord Laird mentioning that he’s got a big willy…can you rovide us with the evidence. I mean give us the examples the hinderences to your life in the south that’s made so terrible because of your non catholic religion? Maybe a example of discrimination? Please don’t say that it’s because it’s all catholic around you…because the population in the RoI is nominally Catholic but nowadays no one gives a shite. By the way you might just be a minority…so what if it’s all catholic around you…they don’t give a shite about you why should you give a shiote about them.

    I think you’re just making it up. Possibly because you lived in an area w little nationalists and abhor your present location with it’s minimal catholic or nationalist trappings. Where were you from in NI?

  • Stephen Copeland

    missfitz,

    Your comments on Dev were seriously wrong.

    Leave Love Ulster aside for a moment. The Dublin & Wicklow Lodge of the OO wanted to parade in 2000 and they were advised against it.

    And the C of I rector of St Ann’s refused to let them use his church. Don’t forget that even southern Prods thought that attempted Orange march was a case of blatant shit-stiring.

    Look, I could sit here all night and quote, but the reality is that dev created a catholic state in name and nature. Look at the Mother and Child scheme

    There I admit to a lack of knowledge, which I hope you can rectify.

    … look at the Mayo librarian

    Yes, lets. It was Mayo County Council that refused her the job. Dev then stepped in and (1) dissolved Mayo County Council, and (2) gave the woman a better job as librarian in the Department of Defence. His actions were admirable, non-sectarian, and genuinely republican.

    … look at the couple in Wexford

    Tell us about them. And about how on earth you could blame it on Devalera.

    … Look at the reduction in protestant population.

    Again, please do. The CSO has a very good resource on that: here. It allows you to look at the population since 1861, by religion and by county. What you will immediately notice is that the number of Protestants in most of the south was in freefall since 1981 – right at the height of Empire! Nothing to do with Dev or independence. In fact, in many counties (especially those without large British barracks) you can barely detect when indepence came, because the stats are pretty much a straight downward line. Until recently, of course, when the independent Irish state managed to halt and reverse the decline.

    You cannot deny that Dev tried to create his idyll as described in 1938 on St Patrick Day. Sorry but he was responsible for the holding back of a country that could have become a better place sooner.

    That is you opinion. In some respects I share it, but I think you present a picture that is too one-sided. Its OK to try to understand unionism, but you don’t have to erect myths about nationalism as part of it.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Correction: the number of Protestants in most of the south was in freefall since 1861, not 1981. Silly typo, sorry.

  • missfitz on May 12, 2006 @ 06:25 PM “… The Dublin & Wicklow Lodge of the OO wanted to parade in 2000 and they were advised against it. “ because the shops on Dawson street objected to the parade as they didn’t want O-men ruining their business as their presence isn’t very welcome in RoI. Not welcome because to anyone outside of the Sick Cos and to half the population of the Sick Cos. OO means riots and disgraceful behaviour. Even the OO know this and that’s why they are on a re-marketing type ploy these days. Secondly I don’t believe the clergy of St Annes church on Dawson St wanted their parade as they objected to the OO’s behaviour in Portidown (rightly so. I think, most Protestants in RoI despise the OO behaviour at Drumcree). Lastly, everyone with an eye in their head could see that the only reason the parade was being ask for in the first place, was to see could they show the RoI as sectarian – failed. Of course you had CCOB and RDE and the Reform cloud-cuckcoo-folk who wanted media masturbation.

    “The last Orange parade in Dublin was 1937 or 38 and the marchers got attacked. “ I’ll research and get back to you on this. Shocker tho that an OO parade can be connected w violence !!

    “ Look at the Mother and Child scheme,” excellent idea but ahead of it’s time. Govt planning not implemented – big deal.

    “..the Mayo librarian,…” Small mindedness in this instance doesn’t make the country sectarian. She was allocated a better job elsewhere.

    “… look at the couple in Wexford.” Objecting to NI fundamentalism – not too bad. Resolved by the local priest. As soon as they were accepted in Wex they moved out.

    All three of you cases that I’m familiar with display pettiness rather than sectarianism. No blood spilt possibly not even raised voice or fists. If this is the best example of a sectarian state then please, can I live there? We’ve all been refused jobs for a lot of petty reasons (dickhead not liking the format of a CV etc) and all govts have had good ideas booted, but Miss Fitz you’ve to get better ammunition that that given.

    “ Look at the reduction in protestant population. “ interesting question. I don’t think it was because of sect’ism but because they lost power in their colony. No more favours and jobs for the boys. If the spiritual home is London then what do you expect – retire to where you feel most comfortable. The more fundamentalist (or those resident nearby) moved to their idea of valhalla ie the bigoted Sick Cos. Where did all the Brit residents in HK move after China took over? What about Rhodesia? If the Reform Move took power in the Dail (coalition with McDowell and John Bruton) rejoined the Commonw and reported to Betty Windsor & Westminster, I’d bet a lot of Irish people would move from the 26 to USA, Europ or Aussie.

    “You cannot deny that Dev tried to create his idyll” a politician’s idyll should always be taken w a pinch of salt and I think I’ve given a point by point above as to how the nation got on w their daily lives and didn’t expect there to be ‘comely maidens dancing at the crossroads’

    “Sorry but he was responsible for the holding back of a country that could have become a better place sooner. “bollocks, he and others got our independence and allowed us to create our own destiny. It’s not like any of the other recently freed colonies burst onto the economic scene as top performers. USA and Europ were also going thro recession during RoI’s tender years. By today’s comparisons the world was a backward place back then but you can’t lay the blame for this at Dev’s feet. He may have been pompous and determined to take & hold power but he should be viewed in the positive by a long, long shot. Contempery revisionism will come full circle someday and there’ll be a collective shiver up D’Olier st.

  • marty

    To all who’ve mentioned their interest in a thread on us rebellious prods, yes it does seem quite daring.

    spirit-level, i’m with you too. Protestant background by way of school, location etc. However I’ve never voted Unionist or aspired to any of those ideals. I would gladly walk into a UI if it seemed that it would be beneficial from an economic point of view (and let’s face it, it’s not about to get any better in NI on that front).

  • Rory

    To be boring and return to the original matter of the thread….

    Ms McKay’s remarks on the Christ imagery of the H-block protesters appear really cheap and are certainly crass. If she had occasion to visit my stomping ground of South Tottenham and Stamford Hill she would see many more live, walking similarities with classical artistic depictions of Jesus the Christ among the Hassidic Jewish community and yet again further towards the City into Dalston, where mosques proliferate, among a different community. That the men of either community were so attempting to look like Jesus might not be understood nor appreciated.

    It simply will not do to excuse every latest Loyalist atrocity on the reaction of northern catholics to fifty years of unionist oppression. It almost appears as though the thinking within the unionist community is as it was at the time of the Civil Rights movement – that if we beat them and kill a few of them then that will stop them asking for democracy.

    Ms McKay is, I assume, a woman and may be forgiven for her ignorance of the many different reasons why men do not shave their facial hair. But Ms MKay is a journalist and her remarks betray her as one of no serious import. She may learn.

  • elfinto

    It’s good to see so many Lundys on this thread!

    Rory,
    I don’t agree with Susan McKay’s comments about Bobby Sands concsiously trying to model himself on Christ but she definitely deserves to be taken seriously as a journalist as she writes very well, particularly on the darker side of Protestantism in NI (which is why she is loathed by loyalists).

  • missfitz

    Anonymous
    I feel sorry for you really.

    You need to read more. You are still singing from a dusty and yellowed hymn sheet, but the words have changed.

    This argument needs to be balanced because Eamonn deValera was by no means all bad. Howver, I believe he let his catholicism rule his actions as leader of the country.

    You’ve all quoted wiki, but none of you saw fit to mention that it also says Dev was a frustrated priest, and could not become one as a result of being illegitimate.

    Its a nonsense to say that there was no special relationship with the church and the arch bishop of the time. I mentioned the Mother and Child scheme primarily because when it was re-introduced, it was cleared through the church and then passed into law.

    Ireland of the 1950’s was a desperate place, much worse economically than the Ireland of 1910. My own parents emigrated at that time, and became part of a pattern of emigration from a leadership that could not look outside its narrow economic interpretation.

    It took Whittaker’s plan of economic development to breather any life into a failed country, and that could only happen with dev off stage.