Emblems and space

UVF flags have been placed on lamp posts outside a Roman Catholic school. The school is based in the heart of a Unionist community. Nationalist politicians have called for their removal. The government protocol aims to keep such displays away from schools and its processes will now begin. This mirrors the recent problems with an IRA/INLA memorial in Brookeborough.

The divisions in our community are not absolute so single identity or common services are based in areas predominated by the other community. On another thread the issue of offence was raised (repeatedly) As a community can never be made a “message” free zone what is a “inoffensive” or “tolerable” display by a community? Would national flags and bunting be ok? If not what is?

  • As the UVF kill Taigs as a matter of course and as a mark of their culture, this Holy Cross rerun should not be all that surprising and nor should the apologies being made for it. The bigotry they epitomize crops up in many places, blogs included. The inverted parity of esteem argument is the same one that drives UVF chappies to kidnap and torture GAA officials.

    Perhaps the Old Firm sums it up. The Huns had everything and all the Taogs had was a football team. As Catholics continue to outstrip Protestants in the 6 counties, “IRA/INLA” monuments will dissipate as Catholica and Nationalists have a much broader culture. All the bigots have is wearing sashes and taking slashes. Oh! And playing hurling in Rangers jerseys in Larne. Like hell!
    Anybody who supports intimidating schoolkids is a pretty low specimen. But then that is the Harryville/Garvaghy Road/Holy Cross way. If they didn’t coat trail and attzck 5 year old girls, what would these spongers have to crow about?

  • heres hoping

    FD I think that national flags would be ok but i couldn’t see the local UVF putting up Irish Tricolours but heres hoping

  • The initial responses here are almost as depressing as the disgusting erection of UVF flags outside any school, never mind a Catholic one.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Fair_Deal: “UVF flags have been placed on lamp posts outside a Roman Catholic school. The school is based in the heart of a Unionist community.”

    Well, its a step up from a mob of Protestants terrorizing the children and throwing missiles at the wee ones… progress of a base sort, but only the basest sort.

    Fair_Deal: “Nationalist politicians have called for their removal. The government protocol aims to keep such displays away from schools and its processes will now begin.”

    Ah, but as demonstrated by events in Harryville, such local matters are generally left with the local UDA or UVF godfather, not the government. Likewise, how much “process” does it take to remove illegally mounted flags? Two blokes and a ladder is all it should really take.

    Fair_Deal: “The divisions in our community are not absolute so single identity or common services are based in areas predominated by the other community. On another thread the issue of offence was raised (repeatedly) As a community can never be made a “message” free zone what is a “inoffensive” or “tolerable” display by a community? Would national flags and bunting be ok? If not what is? ”

    Spare me the glowing rhetoric, FD. Its marching season a-blooming. TIme for every sash-wearing yahoo and his idiot cousin to try and explain why playing “No pope of Rome” in front of a chapel is an “expression of culture,” and not a base sectarian insult. Time for the UVF-1912 figleaf to be dusted off, time for UDA and UVF affiliate to tune up, put on their braces and boots, give a stirring rendition of the “Billy Boys” as the march by, all for the amusement of their drunken camp-followers and co-religionists.

    You think we’ll get the spectacle this year of another functionally illiterate OO speaker yelling into the microphone on how he and his “condone” the violence?

  • Rory

    The targeting of schools and churches appears to be very popular within Loyalist agencies. Why is this I wonder? Could it possibly be some misguided attempt to endear themselves to decent people across the globe by demonstarating this essential part of their culture regardless of disapproval or condemnation?

    I think of other poor beleagured cultural practices across the globe – suttee; female circumcision; honour killings of women and the ever popular head smashing of new-born female infants by disappointed fathers.

    This century seems to have difficulty accepting these time honoured cultural traditions much as earlier generations were horrified by cannibalism and human sacrifice to appease the gods. Oh, and let’s not forget good ol’ “nigrah hanging” in the Southern USA, another lamented cultural tradition.

    The British government and its agencies in law enforcement in the north of Ireland seem as reluctant to deal with these demonstrations of “our right and our culture” as did most US administrations prior to the presidency of LBJ.

    Perhaps what is required is a tough hard skinned, red-neck “Ulster” politician, yet of humane liberal sensibilities, to be the saviour here and take the bull by the horns. Ulster’s very own Texan.

    But who would fit the bill? Ian Paisley most certainly does not but could a seasoned David Ervine demonstrate the required “moral fibre” (to refer to an earlier thread on Sylvia Hermon and Mark Haddock)?

    Thoughts from the unionist community of participants would be welcome.

  • reality check

    and so it begins.the relentless charge of the proliferation of flags and paramilitary symbols.it’s about time unionists consigned this to the past

  • f_d

    That took me a good 5 minutes!

  • Mick Fealty

    No one’s picked up the Brookeborough story then?

  • Mick Fealty

    That was me CC. You should have taken ten and it might not have been removed. 😉

  • fair_deal

    “No one’s picked up the Brookeborough story then?”

    Nor answered the question

  • Carson’s Cat

    I see by the first posts on this thread (mainly from nationalist posters on this occasion, but definately not limited to nationalists/republicans on other occasions), that the slow descent of this site away from supposedly ‘constructive’ discussions towards becoming a written word version of ‘Talkback’ has now increased.

    If we could only introduce a ‘text us your views’ to tell us that all prods/taigs are evil (delete as appropriate) then the metamorphasis would indeed be complete.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Mick Fealty: “No one’s picked up the Brookeborough story then? ”

    For starters, its been run through the press here once already… and the second pressing never quite reaches the quality of the first.

    Secondly, its apples and oranges. The INLA/IRA memorial, iirc, is to Bobby Sands. A) It at least had a contextual place, given the anniversery and B) It acknowledges a matter of history. The UVF flags, on the other hand, are glorifying a violent terrorist group and are, as such, a matter of current events, particularly given their on-going activities in the areas of murder and drug-dealing. Unless someone expect Bobby Sands to rise up and steal the children’s snacks, what threat, explicit or otherwise, is represented by this memorial? PIRA is standing down, their arms decommissioned. The UVF is not, proven themselves more than willing to kill their own if a convenient Catholic isn’t handy to bludgeon — just ask Mr. Haddock.

  • McGrath

    “No one’s picked up the Brookeborough story then?”

    How about a moratorium on ALL (I said ALL) flags, anthems, emblems, memorials, murals, curb painting etc for say a 2 to 3 year period?

    Maybe if the aggravating factors were taken out of the picture for a while, there could be focus on progressive issues.

  • McGrath

    “It at least had a contextual place, given the anniversary and B) It acknowledges a matter of history”

    All it does, at the present time, is create aggravation, even to nationalists.

    Its not constructive, its unhelpful and certainly solves nothing.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    McGrath: “How about a moratorium on ALL (I said ALL) flags, anthems, emblems, memorials, murals, curb painting etc for say a 2 to 3 year period? ”

    While your at it, would you ask Tinkerbell for a pony? Maybe a new sled? There is no magic wand, no silver bullet.

    McGrath: “Maybe if the aggravating factors were taken out of the picture for a while, there could be focus on progressive issues. ”

    “If ifs and ands” and all that. A better solution would be to elect city fathers with the spine to do their jobs. The reason these things happen is that the city fathers take their cues from the godfathers, either by dint of sympathy or fear. If the elected powers that be would do their jobs, most of this foolishness would go by the wayside.

    McGrath: “All it does, at the present time, is create aggravation, even to nationalists.

    Its not constructive, its unhelpful and certainly solves nothing. ”

    Its a reality, McGrath. Of the things to bemoan, it should be pretty far down on the list. I am willing to compromise — what say we start with the illegal and work are way down to the simply annoying? That should satisfy the Unionist “law and order” crowd, neh?

  • elfinto

    The comparison between the erection of UVF flags outside a Catholic school (which has been attacked several times previously by loyalist paramilitaries) and the appearance of a memorial commemorating Bobby Sands close to a Catholic school in Fermanagh is completely spurious. If the Bobby Sands memorial had been arected outside the a controlled (i.e. de facto Protestant school) FD might have a case. But not for the first time, this week he doesn’t (although I am sure that he wil come up with some Jesuitical sophistry to labour his point).

  • fair_deal

    elfinto

    What part of “a cross community playgroup” do you not understand?

  • Couldn’t Sir Reg sort this out?

  • Paul

    Fair Deal
    “As a community can never be made a “message” free zone what is a “inoffensive” or “tolerable” display by a community? Would national flags and bunting be ok? If not what is?”

    You remarked on another thread that:

    “There seems to be a consensus that people want NI to be a plural society and thus we act out the society we say we want, difference is aceepted whether we perceive it as offensive or not.””

    As the comments on that and this thread have proven ( coupled of course with experience of the real world outside Sluggerland!) there is definitely NO consensus that a large number of its inhabitants want NI to be a plural society.

    I think, DC & Elfinto missed the point with their previous comments. It’s not up to them to tell Unionists, whether or not to be offended to a memorial to a dead IRA terrorist (regardless of its context or the fact that it acknowledges an historical event) It offends me. The majority of nationalists/republicans that have answered on this topic, would appear not to understand why.

    On the other hand, I can’t understand how an ordinary Orange parade, minus drunken yobs,
    minus inappropriate emblems,walking up a sleepy village’s high street can cause such offence. But despite the various spirited defences you’ve made of the OO, it does obviously wind some people up. It’s not really up to you or me to tell them what they should or should not be offended by.

    Until the the time comes that there is this recipricol understanding,then Mc Grath’s suggestion of a complete moratorium of these symbols etc seems as sensible as anything else I’ve read on this thread. Isn’

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Fair_Deal: “What part of “a cross community playgroup” do you not understand? ”

    And just how many of the children in the play-group know who Bobby Sands is?

    It is a red herring, FD. As stated above, you’re trying to compare apples and oranges, or, in this case, contrasting an illegal act with one of simple questionable taste.

  • elfinto

    Let me get this straight. You are arguing that, in a deliberate act designed to intimidate Protestants, devious republicans erected a memorial to Bobby Sands outside a Catholic school in order to intimidate the handful of Prods who bring their kids to a ‘cross community playgroup’, and that the threat against these parents (and their children) is real, as there is an ongoing campaign of violence by republicans in this area including a history of attacks on those who use the cross-community playgroup? Because that would indeed be an equivalent situation.

    Could you not have provided a link to the previous thread regarding this memorial, rather than linking to the UUP propaganda site?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Elfinto: “Could you not have provided a link to the previous thread regarding this memorial, rather than linking to the UUP propaganda site?”

    The catch is is that the prior thread was linked to the UUP propaganda site…

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Paul: “It’s not up to them to tell Unionists, whether or not to be offended to a memorial to a dead IRA terrorist (regardless of its context or the fact that it acknowledges an historical event) It offends me.”

    And that is your right.

    Paul: “The majority of nationalists/republicans that have answered on this topic, would appear not to understand why. ”

    Oh, I can guess and even empathize. That said, it is not an illegal construct, merely one of dubious taste. Fair_deal is trying to compare apples and oranges. I may be “offended” by the UVF flags, but, in fact, they are illegal and liable for removal whether or not I am “offended.” If you are incapable of discerning the difference, that would a lack of understanding on your part, not mine.

    Paul: “On the other hand, I can’t understand how an ordinary Orange parade, minus drunken yobs, minus inappropriate emblems,walking up a sleepy village’s high street can cause such offence.”

    Oh, let’s see. There is the small matter of reality (the drunken yobs, the illegal paramilitary symbols) that you seek to dismiss with the wave of your wand. Additionally, the propriety of some of the musical choices leave something to be desired. Oh, and the odd riot, mustn’t forget that…

    Let’s face it, if you shear away all the offensive aspects, is it still an OO parade?

  • Paul

    It’s up to Fair Deal to confirm it, but I think the point of his post, was the question he asked at the end:

    “As a community can never be made a “message” free zone what is a “inoffensive” or “tolerable” display by a community? Would national flags and bunting be ok? If not what is?”

    So getting into comparisons between the flags and the memorial is a side issue. For what it’s worth, IMO the the PSNI should have the flag in qurstion removed asap, as you say apart from anything else, it’s a legal question.

    But whether the memorial is illegal or not, again in terms of the orignal question posed by FD is a side issue, the fact is that it would be offensive to many Unionists.

    The question is who is to be the judge in such matters of “taste”, the group that erect the monument, paint the mural or hoist up the para flag or the community offended? Like I said in my previous post, there seems to be precious little sign of acceptance of the concept of plurality in either community and until that day happens, then in a perfect world, the answer would be to have a moratorium on all such emblems, marches etc.

  • The INLA/IRA memorial, iirc, is to Bobby Sands. A) It at least had a contextual place, given the anniversery and B) It acknowledges a matter of history. The UVF flags, on the other hand, are glorifying a violent terrorist group

    So Bobby Sand’s wasn’t a violent terrorist?

    And just how many of the children in the play-group know who Bobby Sands is?

    Really really stupid comment, according to you we might as well stick up memorials to Michael Stone in Catholics schools…

    The point is, here in the 21st century we have terrorist memorials outside a cross communinity playgroup… and what is the Republican answer ‘its alrite cus he was a good terrorist’

  • fair_deal

    “I think the point of his post, was the question he asked at the end:”

    Finally 24 messages in someone gets it, my faith in slugger is restored.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Pray tell, FYU, what context is there for UVF flags around a Catholic school, given that these flags are, on their face, illegal displays of paramilitary symbols? For someone from a group that likes to thump “law and order” around like a bludgeon, you certainly don’t seem to have much of a grip on the concept…

    Were you not so busy being offended (your right, so run with it, if you must), you might have noticed I have made no values judgement favoring the Bobby Sands memorial, contrary to your insinuation. I have simply pointed out that there is a rational context for its presence near a Catholic school and that no similar context exists for the UVF flags.

    But, hey, why let facts get in the way of a good tantrum?

    Now, if you can come up with a rational context for those flags, one that trumps their illegality, I would be fascinated to hear it.

  • McGrath

    As a community can never be made a “message” free zone what is a “inoffensive” or “tolerable” display by a community? Would national flags and bunting be ok? If not what is?

    Each side have frequently used “displays” to abuse the other side. Even types of flowers, brands of beer, names, sports etc in Northern Ireland are contentious, so flags which are used globally to mark territory or to signify membership will never make both sides happy.

    The is no real inclusive sense of identity for the Northern Irish.

    I hear it all the time “I’m proud to be an American, we have the greatest country on earth” or “I’m Australian and proud of it”, they have patriotism. I have found myself thinking to my self in this situation “Im from Northern Ireland, we have 83 flags and we cant agree on the color of shite”

  • McGrath

    As a community can never be made a “message” free zone what is a “inoffensive” or “tolerable” display by a community? Would national flags and bunting be ok? If not what is?

    Why cant we have a “message” free zone? We are we obsessed about messages? No one else in any other county gives a crap about our messages. I travel widely, I have valued relationships with many people in different countries, their common opinion of our “messages” is its all a load of nonsense and we seriously need to get over ourselves and move on.

    There are more constructive things to focus on aside from “messages”, like fundamental ordinary life issues. Northern Ireland needs to become a lot more boring.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Paul: “So getting into comparisons between the flags and the memorial is a side issue. For what it’s worth, IMO the the PSNI should have the flag in qurstion removed asap, as you say apart from anything else, it’s a legal question. ”

    At least we agree on something… that, in and of itself, is a start… a fragile thing, beginnings.

    Paul: “But whether the memorial is illegal or not, again in terms of the orignal question posed by FD is a side issue, the fact is that it would be offensive to many Unionists. ”

    Ah, in the name of protecting community sensibilities, cancel marching season? I personally find this a petty question, in light of other things, such as children dead in the streets and a government so dysfunctional that they can’t even talk about talking. Besides, its a red herring, insofar as Fair_Deal is only worried about a “fair deal” for Unionists — ergo, marching season “good,” Nationalist displays “bad.” That fact that he clumsily tried to contrast the illegal with the possibly offensive reveals this bias. A better comparison would have been the mural opposite the RC Church in Harryville with the memorial (did they put that back up, btw?).

  • Dread Cthulhu

    McGrath: “Why cant we have a “message” free zone?”

    Ah, censorship… bravo… anything else you’d like “Big Brother” to take care of for you?

    McGrath: “their common opinion of our “messages” is its all a load of nonsense and we seriously need to get over ourselves and move on. ”

    Don’t let them fool you… they have the same problems in their countries. They just don’t get the same coverage.

    McGrath: “There are more constructive things to focus on aside from “messages”, like fundamental ordinary life issues. Northern Ireland needs to become a lot more boring. ”

    Amen.

  • Paul

    DC
    “Besides, its a red herring, insofar as Fair_Deal is only worried about a “fair deal” for Unionists—ergo, marching season “good,” Nationalist displays “bad.” That fact that he clumsily tried to contrast the illegal with the possibly offensive reveals this bias.”

    So what?
    Whatever his ulterior motives might or might not be, I think FD has posed a valid question here and I’ve tried within my own limitations to answer it.

    “A better comparison would have been the mural opposite the RC Church in Harryville with the memorial (did they put that back up, btw?).”
    I’ve no idea if they put it back up. But if you want to run with that comparison, OK.

    Should that mural be removed because of the offence it causes?

    And if your answer is “yes”, which Big Brother would you rely on to tell us what or what isn’t offensive?

  • McGrath

    Dread:

    Ah, censorship… bravo… anything else you’d like “Big Brother” to take care of for you?

    My fantasy is that censorship wont be necessary and communities would cooperate volentarily. However, However, I wouldn’t rule out drastic measures for a drastic people. Relax, its all very hypothetical.

    Don’t let them fool you… they have the same problems in their countries. They just don’t get the same coverage.

    Absolutely, they have their own problems, but the extent of their problems hasnt scarred their whole nations psychology. There is hatred in Northern Ireland that just doesnt exist at the same level and extent in any other western nation.

  • Wat the Tyler

    “Really really stupid comment, according to you we might as well stick up memorials to Michael Stone in Catholics schools…”

    FYU, I don’t think anyone, including children could forget that fat mess running around a graveyard shooting a pistol and throwing grenades. By the way,that was a terrible comparison. I would have given you credit for saying Billy Wright or something.

    (the word i have to submit below is “military13”, how funny)…ironic perhaps harpo (only joking haha)

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Paul: “Whatever his ulterior motives might or might not be, I think FD has posed a valid question here and I’ve tried within my own limitations to answer it. ”

    The question might be valid on its face, but the motives are just as important — is it a valid question if the asker is fishing as an answer?

    Paul: “Should that mural be removed because of the offence it causes? ”

    Personally, I would say “no,” but then, I prefer to heap scorn on such childish acts of chest-thumping — I prefer to think that men should aspire to something a little more constructive than marking their “turf” like dogs or gangsters.

    The memorial, on its face, served neither to bully the locals nor to mark turf, but to mark the anniversery of a man’s passing. Is the Unionist population so niggardly of spirit as to begrudge the Nationalist community such a commemoration, given that that same community commemorates battles and the like of centuries past?

    From my perspective, the choice is simple. Its prisoner’s dilmena — either both sides are allowed to be offensive or neither side. To expect one’s ugly little regional traditions be respected whilst denying those of the other community is a little presumptuous, isn’t it?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    McGrath: “Absolutely, they have their own problems, but the extent of their problems hasnt scarred their whole nations psychology. There is hatred in Northern Ireland that just doesnt exist at the same level and extent in any other western nation. ”

    Don’t kid yourself. Northern Ireland simply is a small country with big problems. That said, when was the last time there was a ethnic massacre, in the manner of, Rwanda? If you want to limit matters to “western nations,” shall we consider central Europe, with its long history of ethnic and religious conflicts? Yugoslavia, anyone?

    There is equally unreasoning haterd, say, in the United States — just try wearing the wrong “colors” in the wrong neighborhood.

    The thing that makes N.I. seem worse is the fact that many of the “normal” problems have been folded into “the Troubles.” Larger countries, with larger constituencies, have their problems spread out over a more diverse culture. N.I.’s population is current discrete enough that its all “us v. them,” regardless of whatever it happens to be.

  • Chris Donnelly

    As a community can never be made a “message” free zone what is a “inoffensive” or “tolerable” display by a community? Would national flags and bunting be ok? If not what is?

    FD
    Well, I reckon erecting loyalist flags outside a catholic school which has to employ 24 hour private security guards to protect pupils and staff from loyalist attacks can hardly be equated with the Brookeborough situation.

    The Loyalist actions in Ballysillan was not accidental nor is the dispute one arising from confusion over just where a loyalist/ republican area ends and a ‘shared space’ begins (though that is a worthy topic for discussion in itself.)

    This is quite evident from the fact that there are NO other flags the entire length of Bilston Road, other than the two at the entrance to the school.

    Let’s remember this school has been attacked on innumerable occasions in recent years, including a couple of attacks on teacher’s cars by armed loyalists in front of school children. I’m not aware of any attacks on unionists in the Brookeborough situation.

    That being said, I do think that Fair Deal has a point (to a certain degree).

    The erection of the Hunger strike memorial was beside a catholic maintained school: the presence of a number of protestant children at the playgroup was probably (though I can’t be certain) not known to those erecting the memorial.

    But regardless of that, I believe republicans should be careful to avoid such situations arising; at the end of the day, the hunger strike memorial campaign is about remembering and educating people about republicans who sacrificed their lives for the republican cause. Such distractions should be avoided where possible.

  • Garibaldy

    “The erection of the Hunger strike memorial was beside a catholic maintained school: the presence of a number of protestant children at the playgroup was probably (though I can’t be certain) not known to those erecting the memorial.

    But regardless of that, I believe republicans should be careful to avoid such situations arising; at the end of the day, the hunger strike memorial campaign is about remembering and educating people about republicans who sacrificed their lives for the republican cause. Such distractions should be avoided where possible.”

    Here is everything that is wrong with the Provos’ political strategy in a nutshell. It is a clear illustration that the Provos and their supporters have no understanding of what republicanism actually is, or what it is about.

    In their mindset, only Catholics can be republicans, and only republicans should seek support only among Catholics. Not much sign of cherishing all the children of the nation here, in the literal sense of the term.

    It is the Provisionals and their ilk who are in need of an education about what the republican cause is. Republicanism as preached by Tone, Connolly and Pearse is about uniting the Irish people regardless of their religion, and consigning these religious identifications to the dustbin. Only then can Ireland be truly free.

    What we witness in the above statement is the mindset of a Catholic nationalist, not a republican committed to the ideals of treating all the citizens of a country equally. Republicans fought catholic nationalists in the Spanish Civil War. This is as stark an indication of the divergence between the two philosophies as the contrast between O’Duffy’s men and the republican volunteers from Ireland.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Garibaldy

    Utter nonsense, if you don’t mind me saying.

    The point was being raised that republican memorials are being placed in contentious locations. In addressing that assertion, I made the entirely appropriate point that, in this society, catholics in general would not find such a memorial intimidatory or offensive, whereas protestants are likely to do so.

    Your rant about the provo political strategy and effort to link my post to O’Duffy’s catholic nationalists can only lead me to suggest you go and lie down for a while as, clearly, you are losing it.

  • Garibaldy: Blah blah. Why do you expect lofty statements extolling fraternal love from Catholic children in UVF besieged schools? Some people here need these forms of overt intimidation to give them a sense of security and a feeling that their base culture has some ethical validity when it is based on nothing more than Taig baiting and smponging from the British exchequuer.
    An organizing minority breeds resentment and, as recent events in Ballymena et al show, Loyalist supremacists are easily offended. Not so long ago, the good law abiding citizens of Ulster felt the need to attack five year old school grils because some IRA people live in Ardoyne. That, and the Battle of the Somme/Boyne/Dolly’s Brae is their “culture”.
    The menorials to the hunger strikers will fade in time as the Taigs move up and the trailer trash move down.

  • James MacLochlainn

    Fermanagh Young Unionist.
    Bobby Sands was found in a car with four other persons. A handgun was said to have been found in the car. Bobby Sands got fourteen years.
    Hardly a violent terrorist.
    James.

  • Garibaldy

    Chris,

    I appreciate your concern. Your comment revealed a great deal about the assumptions of those who support PSF. And those assumptions are shaped by a sectarian mindset that views only northern catholics as the proper target for people who claim to be republican. You can try and wriggle out of it if you like, but yout statement demonstrates the assumption that it’s ok to place Provo memorials at catholic schools because they’re “our schools”. This is the mindset of Catholic nationalism, not of secular republican democracy. Leftist rhetoric remains just that while trapped in a Catholic nationalist mindset shared with everyone from Daniel O’Connell to John Redmond to Michael Collins to Eamon Devalera to the presidents of PSF and RSF.

    None of these people stand in the secular democratic republican tradition that inspired revolutionaries from America to France to Russia to Ireland with a vision of equality and democracy for all the citizens of the state.

    O’Duffy was inspired by catholic nationalism. The republican volunteers were not.

    What are PSF and its supporters inspired by? Certainly those PSF members who had never heard the phrase “for the unity of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter” and who told me to vote for Pat Doherty “for the Catholics and a United Ireland” provide an answer to that question.

  • Garibaldy

    Taigs,

    I don’t expect such sentiments from 5 year olds. I didn’t realise Chris was one. I’m well aware of the nature of sectarianism from unionists, and I despise it with as much vigour as I do sectarianism emanating from nationalists.

    I believe in the ideology of Tone and Connolly. I don’t like to see it abused by people who have no grasp of what it really means. Therefore I challenge them when I see it.

    On your point about trailer trash, there certainly is a huge lumpenproletariat in NI. But they don’t all wear sashes or Rangers tops.

  • Lumpenproletariat: Marx was a disgusting snob who only never mixed with workers and who ponced off Engels who exploited child labour in Manchester. Tone was a romantic adventurist and has been mythologized. Connolly was a cranky shit who did not unite “Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter” in Belfast. He did, however, ably dispatch William Walker’s gas and water socialism argument which is the one you espouuse.

    The problems of the North of Ireland will not be solved until the DUP mind set is decommissioned. If the British were truly interested in peace, they would round up scumbags like Paisley and the Robinsons and give them the fifth degree. The fact that so many Protestants vote for these godfathers of No Popery is telling enough.

    The trailer trash culture is a unionist “proud to be British” one. The type who wear Union Jack boxers on Greek beaches and who will most likely wreck Frankfurt. The last of the bulldog breed. The scum of the earth, not The Wretched of the Earth.

  • aquifer

    The flags are a signal that spells ‘croppies lie down’, an advert for murder and mayhem.

    That the state does not take them down immediately is a disgrace.

    The rags many of them, including the union flag, degrade to says much about the people who put them up.

    The state should designate flag-free zones, show them on the internet, and have a cherrypicker on standby. And some real military to respond to these poseurs.

  • Paul

    “The memorial, on its face, served neither to bully the locals nor to mark turf, but to mark the anniversery of a man’s passing.”

    But that man is seen by the vast majority of Unionists as a member of a terrorist organisation that waged war against our country.

    Back to my original point, about who judges what or isn’t offensive, it’s not for you or the people placing up the memorial or republicans to judge what or what isn’t offensive to Unionists.

  • SpiceGirls

    IRA memorials are popping up round NI like flies round you know what. You can;t have your cake and eat it. To place public memorials of perceived terrorists/murderers is the equivalent if not worse than erecting these disgraceful rags. Lets rip down all the parimilitary trappings!!

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The post was intended to once again run with the theory that both sides are as bad as each other, a favourite them of FD. It is the same line as 99% of current violence is emanating from unionists and 1% from republicans but it just goes to prove that they are both at it.

    As has been clearly pointed out this is a bogus argument. Or Lady of Mercy has been attacked on numerous occasions by both the UDA and UVF and from residents of Silverstream. It is a fact that may make some people uncomfortable but a fact nonetheless.
    The case in Brookeborough is based on the word of a UUP politician. The ‘i’ve been phone by a few people’ line is a favourite of these type of people and was a particular tactic of Jim Rodgers in East Belfast.
    To state that the case at Our Lady’s where there is documented evidence of sustained attacks on pupils and property at the school by the UVF and others ‘mirrors’ the case of the Brookeborough mural is quite patently false.

  • fair_deal

    48 messages in and one straight answer from Paul and McGrath advocating total ban. Instead lots of FD is a nasty unionist therefore he couldn’t possibly want to ask a simple question.

    Please note the last part of the thread was written so both communities could answer it. Take a leap of faith boys and girls as Chris almost did and think about the question and offer an answer.

  • Realist

    “Bobby Sands was found in a car with four other persons. A handgun was said to have been found in the car. Bobby Sands got fourteen years.
    Hardly a violent terrorist.”

    James,

    Remind us what “top man” Bik was in for, if you will.

    Bobby was a member of an organisation which slaughtered hundreds of innocent Irishmen, women and children.

    No glory there, I’m afraid.

  • Garibaldy

    Taigs,

    I see your grasp of Marx’ biography leaves a little to be desired, as does your understanding of what he meant by lumpenproletariat. Members of the lumpenproletariat come from all sections of society. It was a comment on their lack of political thinking and their ability to be manipulated by the bourgeoisie. We can disagree over whether a romantic adverturist could have achieved what Tone and the other UI did in building a huge movement and securing aid from France. Connolly did not succeed in uniting Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter (to put the term in its correct order), but he did seek to. That’s an important difference from those who seek to appeal only to Catholics.

    I agree that our problems won’t be solved until the DUP mindset is decommissioned, because it is sectarian. Sectarianism, however, is not confined to the DUP. Nor is the trailer trash attitude confined to unionism. Have you seen the Catholic nationalist lager louts who are exactly the equivalent of English soccer hooligans who infest the Holylands?

  • kensei

    “Have you seen the Catholic nationalist lager louts who are exactly the equivalent of English soccer hooligans who infest the Holylands?”

    What are English hooligans doing infesting the Holylands?

    And they are students Garibaldly, and “lager louts” is neither a sectarian problem or unique to Belfast.

  • Garibaldy

    Kensei,

    My point exactly.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Fair_Deal: “48 messages in and one straight answer from Paul and McGrath advocating total ban. Instead lots of FD is a nasty unionist therefore he couldn’t possibly want to ask a simple question. ”

    Seeing as you founded it upon a spurious comparison in an effort to conflate two disparate examples to achieve a pre-determined response, it was neither a “simple” question. You’re fishing for the answer you want.

    Besides, your question is moot. Few would stand for the level of censorship required and, based on the PSNI’s apparent inability to handle the illegal display of paramilitary symbols without hand-wringing and foot-dragging, combined with the prosecution services obvious incompetence of late when it comes to prosecuting Loyalist rioters, why would I entrust them to enforce civility when they cannot be counted upon to enforce the law?

  • [i]”Bobby was a member of an organisation which slaughtered hundreds of innocent Irishmen, women and children.”[/i]

    Just to keep the record straight, the Provisional IRA to which Mr. Sands belonged killed 516 civilians, i.e. innocent men, women and children, “Awful!!”, says Realist.

    But, the British security forces (191) and the loyalist paramilitaries (873) who were armed, trained, coached and protected by those same security forces together killed some 1,064 civilians, i.e. innocent men, women and shildren about whom Realist is shamefully silent.

    Double standards (the hallmark of the hypocrite), anyone??

  • johnny jump up

    yis have to admit, garibaldy is spot on about the origins of irish republicanism. there is no sectarianism in true irish republicanism.