United at last

Kilkeel has long been known as a bitterly divided town, and famously has a catholic and protestant side of the main street. Indeed, Newry and Mourne Council’s says that ‘Kilkeel suffers from a sectarian image which is “strangling” the town – flags and graffiti, poor image. and reputation. – There is no vibrancy to the town …’

However, news that the local youths were united in endeavours at the weekend before last (update) could not be met with any enthusiasm…… Both sides got together to engage in a street fight with Lithuanians who were in the town at the time as well. UUP councillor Henry Reilly said:
It seems extraordinary that Protestants and Catholics have joined forces to fight Lithuanians in Kilkeel.
“I am told that there were substantial numbers of people involved and that police were quite stretched.
“There seems to be a problem of bad relations and this seems worse in Kilkeel than elsewhere.
“There seem to be a lot of fights at weekends and I don’t know the solution.
“It is unfortunate that Protestants and Catholics appear to be reconciling to participate in a new type of tension.”
Reports suggest that the focal point of tension is often how boys from one community relate to girls in the other, with claims of problems both ways.

You’d need to read that carefully to see Henry’s reference to the supposed source of the problem, the wimmen. If only we had always known it was that simple

  • Bemused

    Just read the PDF report attached to this article. Deeply depressing. How do the authors propose to deal with the fact that ‘Kilkeel suffers from a sectarian image which is strangling the town, flags grafitti etc..’?

    Answer – ‘enter into negotiations(!) with the relevant bodies to ensure flags are removed AFTER THE MARCHING SEASON(!!!!!)’.

    Oh well, that’s that sorted then…bunch of useless cunts.

  • fair_deal

    “famously has a catholic and protestant side of the main street.”

    Since when? Even the nationalist majority part of the town which doesn’t include the main street still has a sizeable Protestant minority.

    “Nery and Mourne Council’s says that ‘Kilkeel suffers from a sectarian image which is “strangling” the town – flags and graffiti, poor image. and reputation. – There is no vibrancy to the town …’”

    A nationalist council says very uncomplimentary things about the large Unionist town. Hmmm.

    As for tourism, the Council have been slow to invest in the town. There was a piece on the radio a few months back about how they wouldn’t even provide public toilets for tourists!?! Hmmm.

    Also they have persistently refused or given little support to initiatives around flags and the 11th night in the town then complain about the image of the place. Hmmmm.

    In terms of economic development, it does boast a number of very successful manufacturing businesses. Also it is quite possibly the most geograhical inaccessibility seaside town in Northern Ireland which might be a bigger problem in getting people to go there.

  • Miss Fitz

    Okay FD

    The Main Street. The side that runs to the Newry Road is commonly seen as the catholic side, while the other side of the road, formerly of the SIlver Herring, or the corner that is in the picture above is absolutely known as the protestnat side.

    The report was commissioned independently, and was not done to bring approbation on the town, rather it was done to make suggestions for a better future. Indeed, some great strides have been made in Kilkeel, but lots more work is needed. There is absolutely no basis in your insinuation that this was a criticism of a nationalist council on a uinionist town, and I resent the inference.

    You are grossly misinterpreting the radio piece on the toilets. I heard it as well, and it was a case of works that were on-going with very state of the art facilities being provided.

    Fair Deal, whens the last time you went for a swim in Kilkeel? It has the finest leisure centre for miles around, and a magnificent community centre down by the harbour. Money has been spent there, and spent wisely in many ways.

    As to your comments about initiatives on the 11th night….. do tell, as this is news to me.

    I disagree with your comments, and I think before you make such comments you know of what you speak.

  • fair_deal


    “The side that runs to the Newry Road is commonly seen as the catholic side”

    Newry Road yes. The side of the main street I think you’ve been sold a pup, considering protestants live on it. Technically the Presbyterian church would be on the Catholic side too. The most significant community division is not so much the main street or the town but the town and the outlying villages which are strongly nationalist/republican for which Kilkeel would be the nearest large town/source of services. As you will know the nationalist bands which parade through the town on St Pat’s day are almost entirely from these outlying villages.

    “The report was commissioned independently,”

    Your thread stated “Nery and Mourne Council says”


    IIRC works that were delayed, they hadn’t told anybody why and they didn’t provide any interim measures.

    “whens the last time you went for a swim in Kilkeel?”

    Never as I can’t swim.

    “It has the finest leisure centre for miles around,”

    As it is miles from anywhere that is not surprising.

    “a magnificent community centre down by the harbour”

    I am not aware of tourists visiting a seaside town to look at a community centre but different strokes for different folks or how exactly a community centre is a driver of economic development which is the focus of the report?

    “do tell, as this is news to me”

    I would have thought you would have been well aware. Kilkeel was one of the first to have a cultural intiative around the 11th night to make it a family event and manage the bonfire site better etc through the Schomberg Society and other groups. Its good fun and I go every year, stop at annalong for a steak, go for the entertainment and then back to belfast for the more proletarian version. It has had to rely on Ulster-Scots Agency support to cover costs IIRC Council gave no support or only for one year. They also wanted to develop a dedicated bonfire pit that could be hidden and landscaped for the other 364 days of the year but the council rejected this proposal.

  • Miss Fitz

    The side of the main street I think you’ve been sold a pup,

    FD, I havent been sold a pup. You may think what you like, but I have lived in this area for 15 years, and my children all went to school in Kilkeel. The local perception is without question or doubt, sides gather on one or the other side of the road according to their religious persuasion.

    I did not say that there was 100% compliance with a religious divide, I referre only to something that a very large number of people, excepting yourself, appear to know and accept. Weekends in Kilkeel have been very difficult for many years, with the focus of both sides coming together in the town for frequent encounters of a violent nature. You are throwing in lots of red herrings here, and mentioning the bands is not germaine to this argument. This is about Kilkeel.

    The report was indeed from Newry and Mourne council. You read that, then you go to the link, You open the link. You read the PDF and you can se that this was an independently written report commissioned by the council. I fail to see either your point or your problem here.

    You say that no-one was told about the toilets being fixe. Now, by that do you mean the one man that phone Talkback? Or would you believe the spokesperson from the council who told a different story. Or perhaps Talkback is the new gospel of truth and enlightenment?

    There are leisure centres in Downpatrick, Newcastle and Newry that are within distance for local people. Kilkeel is a fine leisure centre with great facilities, and the local people are justifiably proud of it.

    The community centre doubles as a tourist centre, with restaurant, fish shop, tourist shop and other facilities. It was built for the community with the bigger picture of tourism in mind, but remains the heart of Kilkeel and the community.

    I cant argue on the bonfire bit, as I dont have that information to hand, but given that I feel you have willfully misconstrued and taken away form the post, I dont have the confidence to believe what you are saying at face value.

    My post was making a point, and you have strayed it away from any semblance of what it has been about. If you are trying to make a point, just make it and dont try to insinuate and move around a non existent argument.

  • páid

    I’m no fan of Charles Haughey, but his comment that “Northern Ireland is a failed political entity” is, IMHO, shown to be true by this thread.

    I know of no other place in these islands where such a debate about P and RC sides of the street would cause tension, or even take place.

    Sir Reg Empey decried Haughey’s comments on Newsline tonight, but if he (and the rest of them in Stormont) reflected on matters, could they honestly say that “Northern Ireland is a successful political entity”?

  • Miss Fitz

    You know the ironic thing is that I once had a really serious run in with Charlie in the late 70’s. There was a FF youth conference in Limerick, and I had been on the organising committee. Part of the agenda was a debate on Northern Ireland.

    The night before the conference, I recieved a phone call to say the Boss had changed the agenda, and removed the item on NI. I was incensed, and spent the evening organising people and gauging opinions.

    On the day, in Limerick, I got up to speak at the very first session, and asked anyone that believed we had a right to pursue our own agenda at our conference, and to speak about NI to follow me out.

    Poor Charlie was mortified as nearly all of the 300 delegates present followed me out into the parking lot. We stayed there until the afternoon debate was re-scheduled and we had NI restored as a debate item.

    I often wonder now, what was going on in the background in terms of talks and negotiations, but at the time, our right of speech was paramount.

    Just a little aside, as a result of going to the conference, I was suspended from my job. Charlie interevened on my behalf, and I got my job back in a local hospital.

    I have mixed feelings about him, as I was one of the economic emmigrants of the 80’s, but may his soul rest in peace.

  • McGrath


    “A nationalist council says very uncomplimentary things about the large Unionist town.”

    Clever propaganda FD! It isn’t accurate to characterize Kilkeel as a Unionist town, never mind a large town. As such it throws a different light on your argument.

    You are implying that Unionists in a Unionist Town are being neglected because they are under to control of a Nationalist council. When in fact Unionists are in a minority in a largely Nationalist area and simple principles of democracy are coming into play.

    Anyway, I guess I will be postponing my trip to Lithuania.

  • elfinto

    Sorry to disappoint Miss Fitz but Kilkeel’s ‘bitterly divided main street’ isn’t nearly as famous as you might imagine. Except ,perhaps, in Lithuania.

  • Dualta

    Well said elfinto.

    Isn’t it telling that the posts on this thread have almost entirely ignored the issue of attacks on Lithuanians and instead has degenerated into another sectarian wrangle.

  • Donnacha

    Good point Dualta. It seems that ethnic tension only counts when it’s our own ethnicity we’re talking about.
    This is one point on which the two Irelands appear united: treating immigrants with utter disdain if not outright violence. Ireland of the welcomes me arse. As far as welcoming people with open arms goes, I fear the majority of Irish skangerhood (North and South) would prefer to open up with small arms.
    I’d have given anything to see the Lithuanians give the mindless little chav wankers a good hiding, mind you.

  • Harry

    Isn’t it telling that the posts on this thread have almost entirely ignored the issue of attacks on Lithuanians and instead has degenerated into another sectarian wrangle.

    Bugger the Lithuanians, we have our ancient enmities to be getting on with. They’ll have to tool up and integrate.

  • McGrath


    “It seems that ethnic tension only counts when it’s our own ethnicity we’re talking about”

    I have said it before, I’ll say it again, we are so racist in NI that we dont even like white people. (Its black humor! Ironic description huh!)

  • Donnacha

    Yes, and the blackest (in the depressing sense) part of it all is the gobshites who came together to fight a common rival for the affections of their womenfolk don’t even realise how absolutely thick, ignorant and mindless they look. Pure blaggardism.

  • Peking

    Fair Deal is right, this is a very lazy, ill-thoughout thread topic.
    Far from this being something that happened last weekend it was actually reported on Radio Ulster about 3 weeks ago.
    If Miss Fitz can’t think of something current to write about, she should just write nothing.

  • Miss Fitz

    You’re spot on, the reason I posted the thread was to allow some ventilation on the irony of our two tribes only being able to come together in the name of shared hatred against another group.

    It saddens me that people with much more narrow agendas tried to deflect this with distractions.

    I dont see where Fair Deal has called this lazy and ill thought out, unlike your post which has both of those characteristics. If you cant contribute to the threads I post, stay off them and dont be upsetting yourself. There is a Slugger commenting policy posted there to the right side of your screen. Read it.

    Perhaps a legend in its own mind? I dont think that issues we consider infamous locally attract much attention in other more enlightened parts of the world, but regionally there would be a level of acceptance that there has been a history of division in Kilkeel. The point has been that this division has not really moved on too much until recently, and it should sadden us as a nation to see our inhospbitable reaction to foreign nationals.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Kilkeel is well known as a rotten sectarian shit hole and the jump from sectarian violence to violence of a racist nature is hardly gargantuan.

    I would support what miss fitz has said on the famously divided Main St. I have friends from Bryansford; Newcastle and Annalong and they have told me of how Catholics stay to one side and Protestants to the other. While this is undoubtedly exaggrated to an extent, the story is still out there.

    Just because Kilkeel is festooned with loyalist/unionist flags and paramilitary paraphanelia does not make it ‘a large unionist town’. Although given the penchant for unionists in that area for marching around the town to enhance their sectarian credentials one could be forgiven for thinking so.

  • Briso

    Dualta :
    >ignored the issue of attacks on Lithuanians

    Were there attacks on Lithuanians or attacks by Lithuanians? It sounds like this started when a carload of Lithuanians stopped to beat someone up in a case of mistaken identity. I don’t mean to belittle it, but this sounds like the kind of teenage gang stuff one hears about from all over England.

  • martin

    A warning from history I would say to anyone interested, what appears to be a little fracas today involving a few foreigners, can soon erupt into a full scale invasion, look what happened in our beloved wee country when the dummy tits put their feet on our soil, todays migrant worker ,tomorrows oppressor, as if the f@#kin dummy tits wernt bad enough.

  • Valenciano

    Yes Martin, I’m sure the Lithuanian army is right now making preparations to invade NI with the help of all the Lithuanian fifth columnists whose mushroom picking is just a sinister front.

    Wise up.

  • martin

    well valenciano just take a look at how many of our people these fuckers have wiped out on our roads. they have messed up their own country big time. we dont need another influx of wasters like our previous landlords, jasus whaterever next never mind ulster/scots but for fucks sake ulster/lithuanian

  • Councillor Balls said:
    “It seems extraordinary that Protestants and Catholics have joined forces to fight Lithuanians in Kilkeel. They should be fighting each other like healthy young lads did in my day, and leave the Lithuanians to get on with doing all the work, thus leaving plenty of opportunities for our young men in the traditional Scots crafts of our countryside, such as petrol and cigarette smuggling, extortion, and heroin distribution.”

  • martin

    now yer talkin Alex, we need to maintain our tradional values, after all all gods creatures got a place in the choir, ours is knocking the fuck outa each other, we dinna need this outside distraction.

  • Jo

    As I have eaten recently in the “best fish n chip shop in Norn Iron” in the centre of Kilkeel, I now demand to know if the cod I consumed was Protestant or Catholic or interloping Lithuanian?
    It is all terribly fishy but this sad tail is hopefully short lived and small scale.

    Mr McLarnon
    The more I read your “contributions” the more relieved I am that you recently described me as not being “a serious player.”

  • BogExile


    I’d be more worried about the fact that if the fish was caught in the Irish sea it probably has enough nuclear energy in it to run Iran.

    But I totally agree with comments re PML. I haven’t come across a more naked ‘headcounter'(headbanger?)who loves to inflame a thread with bigotry since I read my last posting.

    There is a point to make about the ‘independent’ analysis of Kilkeel (quite apart from what was in the minds of those who commissioned the report). The issue of sectarian flags is well made but it is then tied to the ‘marching season.’ This immediately confers an asymmetry to the all important blame game which is the last resort of the management consultant.

    Unionists in Kilkeel probably perceive themselves to be the last bastion of Britishness on the road to the border. How much does this sense of beleaguredness contribute to the unpleaseant sectarian manifestations which the report identifies? Do the actions/reactions of the majority Catholic hinterland have an impact – are they culpable? And more impoprtantly, how can community confidence be improved to reduce the need for munters to do the symbolic equivalent of pissing on lampposts.

    Hope that’s clear.

  • martin

    and in ulster/scots now please bogexile, also dont take yer eyes of the ball so to speak those sneaky foreigners are slipping across the now defunct border in their droves even as we speak, never mind goats being boiled in buckets in da kitchen it will be our kids next, an I can tell you they dont care if the wee uns are orange or green we are doomed I tell ya.

  • Jo

    “Unionists in Kilkeel probably perceive themselves to be the last bastion of Britishness on the road to the border.”

    ..along with Portadown and Banbridge.
    Shall we join the dots and form a new “Frontier”?

    It’d be interesting to hear from actual Kilkeel residents. As a blow-in to Rostrevor, I cannot but marvel at the contrast in attitudes/outlooks just a few miles around the coast from that lovely wee place. It reminds me of when I lived in Ballynafeigh, the changes and polarisation was almost palpable when you walked in certain directions.

  • BogExile

    “Unionists in Kilkeel probably perceive themselves to be the last bastion of Britishness on the road to the border.”

    ..along with Portadown and Banbridge.
    Shall we join the dots and form a new “Frontier”?

    I wasn’t condoning that sort of mentality, just trying to think myself into that context without having a great middle class pogo stick to jump away from ever having to experience it.

    Of course if you relocate the frontier, you relocate the problem 🙂

    Martin, a rough translation in Ulster Scats would be:


  • Jo


    I didnt think you were condoning it, 🙂 I think the attitude of retreat and consolidation away from “themmuns” has already drawn a line in the minds, if not in the topsoil.

    Concentration of population minus middle class withdrawal behind electric gates = intensification of attitudes?

  • martin

    boyzadere bogexile ya ken gie a quare wee gunk there, we dinna polish or teeth here in Belfast we sharpen them de ya kin

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘Mr McLarnon
    The more I read your “contributions” the more relieved I am that you recently described me as not being “a serious player.”’

    Jo you pick these tetchy little fights and invariably end up getting slaughtered. It happened on ATW and it happened on UI. For goodness sake please don’t feel the need to unburden yourself (whichever one you are today) on me.

  • martin

    hi Jo and a fuckin 12 bore sure helps as well.

  • Jo

    However some may regard the supine position as being preferable/desirable for the human female, you can’t keep a good woman down.
    Now, anyone got some pics of the typical Lithuanian Kilkeel female, so that one can judge whether they were more likely to have started the fracas or, being the highly attractive object of unrequited desire, were the prize being fought for?

  • martin

    hiya Jo maye just maye the female in question was a local lass, and now consider this, would it be possible that the person in question ie, our Kilkell lady is/was so contaminated with locally caught fish ,that she glowed in the dark, now again just maybe, them there lithuanians were not just passing through that lovely wee village, but were in fact a crack squad of dirty bomb makers sent to kidnap our local wench, and turn her into a horrendous nuclear bomb ,its possible innit

  • Jo

    It is better to have a glowing girl to light the way than to curse the KIlkeel darkness.

    Some of us shine like a shaft of gold, but others turn out to be a stream of bat’s piss.

  • martin

    I dunno Jo some of those kilkeel weemen are hard lukin. I think a beg over their heads woild be the order of the day, and in hindsight I think we shouldnt be fighting over them, but give those lithuanians all the wenches from around that part of the world, on condition they fuck away of back where they came from and never darken our doorsteps again , amen

  • BogExile



    By: Chip O’Supper

    Reporting on the scene from Castlewellan

    Local Sinn Fein activists have uncovered a plot by Kilkeel unionist supremacists to murder dancing colleens at any crossroads north of Newry according to this press release I’ve just been copying.

    Lifelong vegetable (shurely vegetarian? ed) and local Sinn Fein MLA John Dory says he has proof that unionists are secretly coercing local Cod and Mullet to swim through the outflow pipe near Sellafield and then irradiated with sectarian hatred attack freedom loving nationalists on their way to cultural events in Hiltown.

    ‘I have the proof here,’ said Dory displaying a packet of Fish Fingers he states was fired at him from the porthole of a PSNI/Stasi/KGB landrover.

    Paul Berry reclined to be interviewed.


  • martin

    did you say Paul Berry was reclined, wouldnt ya think the stupid fucker would have learned his lesson,or was he just acting the cod

  • Jo


    Proof that Irish Sea cod have in fact already mated with Kilkeel men is in evidence

  • Jo

    or indeed here

  • Jo

    Damn it.

    http://www.fundaciondoctordepando.com/Miss MUNDO 2003/lithuania-Vaida Griksaite.jpg

  • martin

    hi Jo how very dare you call our wee Paul a man that s tearing the arse out-of-it oops

  • martin

    anyway the main story is about our brave irish lads defending their pravince from hordes of murdering lithuanians, and what Iwould like to know, [just so as I can rest in me bed no not the seabed] . who won the scrap and will there be a rematch how much is the ringside tickets ,is it in euros or pounds or barrels of salted cod which may or maynot glow in the dark,that we pay

  • martin

    kilkeel is begining to look like the place to be I,m moving there , how much is the houses going for, Im sure the electricty bill will be minimal,and I here its daylight 24/7

  • BogExile


    That’s bizzare, what’s wrong with her (not Paul Berry) She’s a babe (Not Paul Berry)

  • Jo

    Shes okay, just a bit fishy around the eyes lol

  • I thought babe was a pig ,I heard the bold golfball was a tailend gunner, but are you saying that Jo is a mermaid, well is it any wonder that kilkeel is going to the dogs. This must be a case for Scully and Mulder,

  • James MacLochlainn

    Tell me are these Lituanians Roman Catholics or Prostestans.