IRA and Sinn Fein both at protest…

In marked contrast to last year, the Orange parade on the Springfield Road passed off without serious incident. As Susanne Breen notes, there were some prominent figures in both Sinn and the IRA to make sure the protest remained quiet and dignified. As Breen notes, “The cost of policing the march and the subsequent rioting was over £3m”.

, ,

  • darth rumsfeld

    just a wee question for the nationalists who regularly post on parade threads-
    Is it just coincidence that the local residents’ groups always seem to “appoint”( or perhaps more properly “have appointed for them”) prominent (ex???) IRA personalities as their leaders? When was this latest group formed, and how many members has it? What are the membership criteria?
    I don’t like Gerry Kelly, but at least we know (roughly) the size of his mandate.

    I mean, if you were a cynic, you’d almost think that SF set up these groups when it suited them- on an extremely charitable interpretation to control their communities-or on a more realistic view to have an outlet for the youth of their areas if they needed to turn up the pressure>

  • circles

    Yes thats right darth.
    We nationalists – by golly we’re just so silly that we can only be grateful that those big fellas with the haircuts come along and organise our community groups for us. Give the young fellas a bit of run out and tell us to stop walking on the grass – that sort of thing. We need to be told what to do you know. Just a pity the unionists aren’t up to the task anymore, but at least we have Sinn Fein and the IRA men to tell us croppies to lie down. And thank goodness.
    Thats the way we like it cos we can’t think for ourselves darth.

    Did the cynics ever stop to think that maybe they are involved in the republican movement because they are active members of republican communities? Which could actually also explain why they get involved in things that effect that community?

    Hmmm – maybe not. Sounds almost logical. Lets just revert to the old “community control” dogma – it makes it that much easier to understand if yer a cynic.

  • mickhall

    Well said circles, this one always amuses me, darth get your head around this. Like Republicans and Democrats in the US or Labour and Tory Party members in England, bar the odd psycho or British tout Irish republicans are political activists. As such they get involved with their local community in much the same manner as political activists everywhere. Wether it be on local councils, tenants associations, governing committees of schools etc.

    Nothing devious, surprising or underhand about this, as anyone who has been involved in local politics will know, this is how it works and the fact is such political work is as boring as hell, so few wish to do it. Loyalist parades can be a problem for many republican/nationalist communities for obvious reasons, so communities set up organizations to decide how to deal with them and who represents their interest in negotiations with the powers that be.

    Garth I have taught you to suck eggs go forth and democratize.

  • darth rumsfeld

    very good dummy, circles,neatly avoiding the issue-almost, but only if you accept the idea of an homogenous “republican community”-pure and unadulterated by outsiders-like SDLP supporters,Poles, Asians and ,er..Prods, natch.

    Thus the Springfield community is presented as uniformly republican, and the group decides it speaks for all persons in the Springfield road-including the Methodist Church presumably, without ever obtaining a mandate, and indeed presumably by an arbitrary drawing of a boundary to suit is definition-y’know-gerrymandering, if there was ever an election to the residents’ group, which of course there isn’t ever going to be.

    Well shucks, I’ve been at many an election count, and its amazing to see boxes from Dunloy with votes for Paisley, or votes for the SDLP in Sandy Row, and I wouldn’t ever be so presumtuous as to say that these people by daring to hold different views weren’t members of the community. So in actual fact it’s those very people who abrogate unto themselves the right to say what people think-until these single-issue groups can demonstrate that they exist outside to confines of stirring up trouble when it suits them, and turning off the tap again when it doesn’t.

    And I don’t think for one minute you’re so stupid that you don’t know all of this-but hey, the people have to be led- or driven- for the greater goal, don’t they?

  • circles

    Well actually darth, I think you’re stretching now. Nobody ever said that SDLP voters, or Poles, Asians (quite a huge blanket you’ve thrown over that particular group – not that you think they all look alike or anything is it darth?) were part of the republican community. Part of the community – most certainly – but that doesn’t make them republicans.
    Those men and women in republican groups are REPUBLICAN community activists – which means that they are active republicans (what part of this is so complicated?). The fact that the SDLP activists don’t show at things like this is a greater reflection on SDLP activists than it is on republicans I think you’d agree.
    The springfield road is not being represented as being uniformly republican – but the active republicans on the springfield road are simply froming a group to reflect their opinion.
    Now you can hmmm and hahhh and try and find a way out of the corner you have painted yourself into with you first post (which was, lets face it, quite daft), but it doesn’t change the reply that both mick and myself gave.
    But still, if you insist on seeing the picutre you have in your head, no amount of logic is going to help you see anything else.

  • darth, you sound just like a KKK Klansman or a Southern US segregationist of 40 years ago, “All those white boys and uppity Northern niggers comin’ down here to stir up our nigras who were just happy ol’ folks until they got ’em stirred up.”

    Pure nonsense, darth. Those good folk had been seething in silence for a long, long time and all it took was a little l;eadership and a little organization to bring it all to the surface.

    The point you are missing is that all the leadership and all the organization wouldn’t have gotten off the ground if the resentmanent and anger had not been not there to begin with.

    And, that resentment and anger in NI nationalists can be laid right on the British political establishment and the unionist community that supported the legalized discrimination and the unionist thuggery — if only by their shameful silence and steadfast refusal to do anything to straighten out the mess.

  • martin

    circles if you know anything at all you would have to agree whether you like it or nor darth is as about spot on as one can get , as someone who knows exactly how these schemes work, s/f have made sure every community appointment is acceptable to themselves alone, I dont like having to admit darth is correct but honesty is the name of the game we should play here and not petty politics ,and if you come from a nationalist area you would know this to be true.

  • lib2016

    martin,

    Despite sundry attempts at misinformation nothing has disturbed the growth in support for Sinn Fein. Does Team Ingram now fancy attempting to persuade us that they have all suddenly become uber republicans or is this just another attempt to avoid being posted to the Eastern Front?

    I think we should be told.

  • Stephen Copeland

    martin,

    The best measure of a ‘representative’ is the ballot box, surely?

    Take a look at all of the results in the Springfield Road area over the last decade and you’ll see that Sinn Fein actually do represent the voice of the people, expressed democratically and privately, even where they have alternatives. You may not agree with them, but you cannot deny their mandate.

  • circles

    martin – I come from a nationalist area and know that the people involved in the work of community groups are the people who are dedicated to the community. The constitution of community groups has bog all to do with shadey Shinners sitting in a smoke filled room vetting out unacceptable candidates to achieve their master plan of community domination. Its dictated by people from the area who get up of their backsides and actually do something for where they come from.

    Now for some this may be a more scarey idea (that reps and nationalists are active of their own free will) than imagining Gerry and the bogeymen appointing local barons to run the empire – but its the truth martin – and if YOU came from a nationalist area you would know this.

  • martin

    dear stephen agus 2016 lads I need to inform ye a word you should be familiar with if you are as fond of s/f as you appear to be ,I am not the martin you think I am , I am not as clever or as waitfor it well informed as the said gentleman, no my friends my information comes from the street ,I for my sins was a member of big house Gerry,s s/f president for life litte team ,that was in the days that a bullet was the expected result for putting community politics to the fore, I have long since parted company with the shinners, and before you say ach sure your just an oauld dissident my friends you could not be futher from the truth, I watched s/f morph from a party that famously declared that it was grass root lead to just a bunch of grass,s

  • circles

    A bit disgruntled then are ye? Poor wee lamb martin – but that doesn’t make you right, sorry.

  • Betty Boo

    It doesn’t really come as a surprise that so many names caused multiple personality disorder.

  • martin

    disgruntled is not the word I would use circlec mo cara , no I would rather use the word sad,Iwatched good men and women die for what ,er um I wish to nominate Ian Paisley lord Divis St as first minister jasus circles dont please tell me that was just tatics ,my sides could,nt take it, what the hell was the last 30 years about, putting a bunch of carpetbaggers into stormont,is that what the hunger strikers died for ,

  • Stephen Copeland

    Don’t worry, martin, I had no illusions that you were friend Grantham. His style is, shall we say, different.

    I respect your personal kmowledge, which I do not share, since I am not from west Belfast. My point is a more theoretical one – if SF have morphed away from what they once were, and yet the voters still vote for them, then have the voters not also morphed?

    Maybe both voters and votees are moving in the same direction, and maybe there will always be some people – perhaps you are one of them? – who move is a slightly (or radically) different direction. That is neither new nor surprising. SF is not the United Irishmen, nor the Fenians, not the Parnellites nor the Redmondites. They are not even the SF of the early 20th century. So if they are also no longer the SF of 1969, is that a surprise? Times change, and so do political projects and methods. If we, the voters, disagree, then we can dump them and chose another brand, just as our great-grandparents dumped Redmond.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Circles
    “but the active republicans on the springfield road are simply froming a group to reflect their opinion.”

    Well Circles, I think you summed it up actually – whether you intended to or not is a different matter.

    What you have clearly stated is actually the case – the group on the Springfield Rd (and in other areas) is representative of the republican community, but not necessarly the community as a whole.

    We know that republicans dont like parades. The point darth made, and which you have backed up, unwittingly or not, is that republicans dont equate to the whole community, even in places like the Springfield Rd. What about having a group which is actually representative of everyone in the area? That too much to ask? And before you harp on about the OO not being representative – they never claimed to be. The difference is that these ‘residents’ groups pass themselves off as being the authentic voice of the community – all the community supposedly whereas they would be a little more honest in marketing themselves as ‘anti-parade groups’.

  • martin

    makes a lot of sense Stephen , but politics should be for the betterment of all the people, and politicans have a duty to remember that they cannot play god with peoples lives it is what they have been doing here and it fuckin stinks

  • frank

    Perhaps if there were less paramilitaries and loyalist paramilitary bands at orange order parades, they may be a little less contentious.

    Loyalist paramilitaries kill catholics, you know.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Why doesn’t one of the countless quangoes here do an independent survey of the area to find out how people viewed the weekend?

  • [i]”Loyalist paramilitaries kill catholics, you know.”[/i]

    Yup, according to the Sutton database, 686 Catholic civilians, i.e. innocent bystanders, were killed by the death squads. And that’s not counting the Protestants who were killed because the thugs thought they were Catholics.

    I have to wonder just why out unionist posters can’t seem to understand or appreciate why Catholics might not welcome OO parades which hire death squad bands and carry death squad flags and other paraphenalia on the streets in front of their homes. Very inconsiderate of those protesters. After all ……. it’s only an expression of unionist culture, right?

    And just why should those Catholics who have to live in homes with bricked up windows complain? After all, throwing bombs, rocks, paint and assorted missiles at Catholic homes is just another expression of unionist “curlture”, right?

    I suggest less quibbling and more downright honesty and respect for others would be a welcome response from unionism.

  • Nic

    It seems to me that the “nationalists” are slowly being forced to admit that they do/did support the IRA in word and deed, since they not only tolerate but support advocates of murder as their community representatives.
    The excuse/explanation that darth whatsit offers on a plate is that they are scared witless of ending up like McCartney if they protest too loudly.
    Ask yourselves what if, in fact, all those witnesses in the bar that night who were in the toilet all at the same time were there because they support the men accused and condone what they did, rather than as we are assured, they are simply that afraid of them?
    And which excuse/explanation plays better with your sponsors in London, Dublin, Washington?
    Really lads, yer not doing yerselves any favours letting the mask slip like that…

  • páid

    He does write well, our Darth.

    Not daft, either.

  • [i]”they not only tolerate but support advocates of murder as their community representatives.”[/i]

    Three points”

    First of all: while the PIRA may well have been guilty of murder, HMG and the death squads are far more guilty. Between them, the security forces and their death squads killed 1.064 civilians. And, to this day, the unionist community and its political, civic and religious leadership has done little — nothing is more accurate — to put an end to their terrorist campaign. So, I suggest that the hypocrisy of the unionists is total.

    Second point: When you are talking about murder, you are NOT talking about killing combatants on the field of battle. So, let’s take anoth look at the numbers. The security forces and their death squads killed 1,383 all told, of which 1.064 — almost 77% — were civilians. On the other hand, the Provisional IRA killed 1,706 all told. of which 516 –slightly more than 30% — were civilians. It is blatantly clear that the PIRA targetted combatants, i.e. soldiers and paramilitarized police, while the secuirity forces and their death squads targetted civilians, i.e. innocent bystanders.

    Third: it was John Hume, leader opf the nationalist party, the SDLP, who did the real work of bringing about a PIRA ceasefire.

    Sorry, nic, but the facts simply do not support your analysis

  • SpiceGirls

    oh bob, so the murder of soldiers and policemen in cold blood, often in their beds at night is totally acceptable to you – you are such a nice guy. many of these soldiers were either ex-soldiers, part-time or yound english men, placed against their will in this hell hole, but shooting them in the back of the hear with a sniper rifle is perfectly fine I take it – charming. Combatants my ass, they were doing their job, what they were ordered to do by the British Government.

  • Rory

    If Darth Rumsfeld has his way and the Springfield Road community is not to be represented by the political and community leaders of the overwhelming majority of its residents but instead by the spokesmen for a small non-homogenous group of SDLP supporters, Methodist church goers, Poles and Asians then I have something to add.

    Back in the 1960’s I often stayed over at a friend’s house in the area when we had been out late at a dance or a party and I do believe I once left a toothbrush which may still be there. Shouldn’t I have a deciding voice too? I’ve often wondered what it would feel like to impose my views on a whole community and this would be an ideal opportunity.

  • Ingram

    Quote Copeland.Don’t worry, martin, I had no illusions that you were friend Grantham. His style is, shall we say, different.

    LOL Thanks Mate.

  • nmc

    Combatants my ass

    Combatant
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    (Redirected from Combatants)
    Jump to: navigation, search
    A combatant is a person who takes a direct part in the hostilities of an armed conflict who upon capture qualifies for prisoner of war under the Third Geneva Convention (GCIII).

    I.e. All soldiers of the armed forces of a country.

  • Briso

    SG:Combatants my ass, they were doing their job, what they were ordered to do by the British Government.

    Who, the army, the police, the IRA, the INLA, the UVF, the UDA or the FRU?

  • [i]”A combatant is a person who takes a direct part in the hostilities of an armed conflict”[/i]

    Right! And that includes both the Army and the RUC since both took a direct role in the armed conflict. It also includes the thugs in the unionist death squads. But, the term does NOT inlcude civilians who were innocent bystqnders in the conflict.

    HMG agents in NI and the thugs they hired killed 1.064 of the during the period from 1969 to 2001. Over the same period, the Provisional IRA killed 516.

    So, just who are the terrorists in the Troubles in NI? Seems to me the answer is pretty obvious.

  • Betty Boo

    No one is picking on the “job, … they were ordered to do by the British Government”?

  • DK

    Bob – seems that you love Cain so much that you like to lump some groups together in order to keep the beloved pIRA as the saints you appear to think they are.

    Go to http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/sutton/crosstabs.html and put in organisation, and then status summary.

    Who has killed the most civilians….
    IRA at 516, followed by UVF at 358, then unknown loyalsits at 233. The army come in fourth at 152 (158 if you add on the 6 from the UDR). The RUC trail at 31.

    Not nice stats, since all those numbers are someones son/daughter. But Bob – you need to re-think exactly who were the terrorists in the troubles.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Rory dear boy, there’s no need to spend all morning thinking up tortuous analogies to defend the indefensible.
    Of course SF are stakeholders in that part of town but they don’t speak for all the residents any more than Ian Paisley articulates the views of Dunloy, even though he is the choice of the electorate of north Antrim. To invent a homogenous community for Springfield is as bogus as John Taylor’s hypothesis of the British-Ulster people of Northern Ireland.Particularly to dignify a street as a distinct community is risible. Is Donegall pass a separate community from Sandy Row? of course not.

    To identify the supposed community on the basis of a fluid concept like political belief is even more nonsensical. Was there a NI Conservative community in North Down 10 years ago? Is it now a Sylvia Hermon community? It’s like the term “gay community” being applied to an enormously diverse group of people with one small aspect of their personalities in common. A true gay community would have a gay butcher, baker and candlestick maker, and so would a true republican community. Brick Lane is a true community, with a distinct Bangladeshi concentration.

    The fact that any child with brains is out of Springfield quicker than the Republic are out of the World Cup , leaving it to the lumpen proletariat, doesn’t mean they change their politics. The fact that SF politicos- with their book deals, designer suits, Donegal holiday homes, and lust for Stormont ministerial cars-are now trying to rein in these “communities” shows how bogus is the nonsense of a political community, even to these soi-disant “community leaders” with their secret dreams of a house in Balmoral Avenue . It’s just a new variant on the big house Unionists visiting the Shankill in the week before every election and proclaiming protestant solidarity, and only the terminally stupid won’t see through it sooner or later.

  • lib2016

    DK,

    Collusion is a fact. The British have used local patsys to do their murdering right round the world as they are presently doing in Basra. Do you really want to continue being a willing stooge for the Brits now that they are finally leaving Ireland?

  • lib2016

    darth,

    unionists are consumed by their picture of republicans to the point of absurdity. We spent the last thirty years trying to explain that the IRA consisted of the guys we went to school with and their sons and daughters. We KNEW that they weren’t into drugs on an organised scale even though ‘the dogs in the street’ insisted that they were.

    What really scares unionists is that the emerging Catholic middleclass is taking Sinn Fein with them to the surburbs. Don’t you know that the Revolution always comes from the middleclass?

  • darth rumsfeld

    “What really scares unionists is that the emerging Catholic middleclass is taking Sinn Fein with them to the surburbs. Don’t you know that the Revolution always comes from the middleclass?

    Posted by lib2016 on Jun 27, 2006 @ 02:49 PM”

    Eh? The revoultion comes from the working class dullards conned by the middle class into doing their dirty work, possibly. But Che’s middle clas clique didn’t do too well on its own in South America.
    RC first and second generation middle class types have stopped IRA terrorism, and will stop IRA criminality. And the retreat from true republicanism to the GFA by SF shows they know thr revolution is dead and buried.Snouts are sniffing the trough, and dreaming dreams of the Malone Road.

  • circles

    To Carson’s cat:

    “What you have clearly stated is actually the case – the group on the Springfield Rd (and in other areas) is representative of the republican community, but not necessarly the community as a whole.” Thats right Carson’s cat. You managed to understand that part of my post – republicans represent republicans. Republicans do not represent everybody. Now did you read Stephen Copelands 07.46?? Let me remind you what he said:

    “Take a look at all of the results in the Springfield Road area over the last decade and you’ll see that Sinn Fein actually do represent the voice of the people, expressed democratically and privately, even where they have alternatives. You may not agree with them, but you cannot deny their mandate.”

    Now you ask
    “What about having a group which is actually representative of everyone in the area? That too much to ask?”
    If you want to ask that kind of question surely you have an idea as to how everyone in the area can be represented. Just how would you measure this CC? What would be the criteria to be able to say that “everyone” supports something? I think you’d agree thats a nonsense proposal.
    But going back to what Stephen said. If the majority of the people on the springfield road vote republican, then I think we can assume that the are republicans can we not? And even if that does not describe everybody on the springfield road, certainly large stretches of it run through what is known as “republican” areas.
    So the question is CC, do the majority of the people who live in an area have the right to demonstrate when they do not agree with whats going on in that area? Or should they just be quiet, because while it may be a community group, it doesn’t represent EVERYONE in the community?

    Darths initial post remains as daft as ever. The fact that people try and back it up doesn’t change that.

  • DK

    “Collusion is a fact. The British have used local patsys to do their murdering right round the world as they are presently doing in Basra. Do you really want to continue being a willing stooge for the Brits now that they are finally leaving Ireland”

    So the nasty brits made the IRA kill all those civilians did they? And paisley’s rhetoric must have been ignored if the dratted brits also got the loyalists to kill all their civilians. The brits killed everyone – I am freed from being a stooge!

  • [i]”But Bob – you need to re-think exactly who were the terrorists in the troubles.”[/i]

    I’ve already done so and HMG, all of its agents in NI and their hired thugs come out on top.

    The unionist death squads–armed, trained, coached, and protected by the Army and RUC– killed 873 civilians. Yes, I group them all together because all of them are much the same. BTW, of those 873 civilians killed by the death squads, 686 were Catholics.

    All the British security forces combined killed 191 civilians, of which 164 were Catholics.

    My figures are quite correct and accurately identified. You, on the other hand, are leaving out some security forces and some death squads.

    Live with it: YOUR government of choice through its armed agencies in NI and the thugs those agencies hired killed more then 2 civilians for every 1 killed by the Provisional IRA,

    The real terrorists in NI during the Troubles were the British security forces and the death squads, i.e. the loyalist paramilitaries.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Circles
    “So the question is CC, do the majority of the people who live in an area have the right to demonstrate when they do not agree with whats going on in that area? Or should they just be quiet, because while it may be a community group, it doesn’t represent EVERYONE in the community?”

    I dont believe I ever said that. Anyone has the right to form a group in an area, whether that group represents everyone in the area, a majority of those in the area or a minority interest.

    Those are all perfectly legitimate so long as they do not sell themselves as something they are not. Therefore the Orange Order are a perfectly legitimate representation of a section of the community – they never sell themselves as some kind of cross-community group. However these residents groups sell themselves on the basis that they represent the totality of the views expressed in the particular area which they purport to represent.

    There are several problems with that – firstly the area is usually contrived to ensure the maximum number of people of their particular view are included. Lets take Dunloy as an example – the group purports to represent ‘Dunloy’ and whilst the village area may be majority republican, no account is taken of Protestants who whilst they could live a mile or two from the village still shop, use the post-office and importantly, go to Church in the village. These people are immediately categorised as not being ‘residents’.

    Secondly, if they were to publicly describe themselves as a ‘republican residents group’ or an ‘anti-parades residents group’ then they might actually be a little more honest. They deliberately attempt to give the impression that they represent everyone whereas you yourself have at least acknowledged that they only represent a section of the community – albeit in many cases a fairly sizeable section of the community, even a large majority of people. However, they always ignore whatever minority of people within ‘their’ community and obviously they dont particularly care about their views.

  • circles

    “However these …groups sell themselves on the basis that they represent the totality of the views expressed in the particular area which they purport to represent.
    “There are several problems with that – firstly the area is usually contrived to ensure the maximum number of people of their particular view are included”

    For the briefest second I thought you were talking about the six counties CC.

    But to be honest CC I have never heard any residents group claim that they speak uni sono for everybody in their particular community. Never.
    But that was not Darths point to begin with. Darth contested that residents groups were basically only being orchestrated by the shinners or (ex) IRA people to 1) Control the community and or 2) Give the young bucks a bit of a run out and a riot.
    My argument was that this was not the case and that the reason republican activists were being active republicans is actually much less sinister and much more obvious than he implied.

  • Carson’s Cat

    I dont dispute Darth’s point. But these groups do sell themselves as ‘residents’ groups rather than anti-parades groups – as if many of them operate to help the old folks when their drains were blocked as well as agitating against their Protestant neighbours. They feel so confident in who they represent that they can give views on how the entire neighbourhood thinks and when any independent survey is carried out as to what the actual thoughts of local people are they are immediately dismissed by the group. That has been the scenario in both the Lower Ormeau and Maghera (IIRC) which was blogged on here by Fair Deal.

    Its a seperate point about the surprising coincidence that its always someone who is either a paid up SF member or a former IRA prisoner who is the usual spokesman for the group. I dont doubt that SF has a strong electoral presence in the area but it is a little surprising that everone involved in the group happens to be such a dedicated republican that they are a card carrying Shinner.

    Of course we were all told that people like Brendan McKenna were picked at random by the community and had nothing to do with Sinn Fein. Must have just been another conincidence that he turned up as a SF researcher at Stormont a while later.

    The fact that these anti-parade groups also started out calling for dialogue in these areas but still opposing any parade once dialoge has taken place is another matter completely.

  • circles

    Let me see know CC – if I can just try and understand your point here.
    Does a community group not have the right to voice its opposition to something that directly effects it? Or does that automatically qualify as “as agitating against their Protestant neighbours” if they don’t accept what they don’t want? Thats one thing I’d appreciate you to clear up for me.
    Regarding the second thing about community spokesmen etc. I have already stated why I think certain active people are community activists (which by the way is not an exclusivley republican phenomena)

  • harpo

    ‘Did the cynics ever stop to think that maybe they are involved in the republican movement because they are active members of republican communities? Which could actually also explain why they get involved in things that effect that community?’

    Ah…the old tried and trusted vague use of the phrase ‘republican movement’ when it suits Provo supporters.

    Darth didn’t say anything about republicans in general or members of the ‘republican movement’ (whatever it is defined as today). He specifically said ‘IRA personalities as their leaders’, as in the leaders of residents groups.

    The question has been avoided, and replaced with explanations around the theme ‘all republicans are activists so of course they will be involved in residents groups’.

    But that ignores Darth’s point, which is why are there IRA personalities in leadership positions of so many residents groups? It may be true that every person in republican communites is an activist, but given that they weren’t all in the PIRA, how is it that PIRA people keep coming to the fore? As opposed to people who were not PIRA members. Surely there are lots of people who were active in republican communities – in PSF, in other political parties, or in some community group (prisoners support groups etc etc) – who were active in all sorts of ventures, but weren’t actual members of the PIRA.

    Are you all scared to address the question?

    I think that the theory that they are put there deliberately by PSF/PIRA (aka the Provisional ‘republican’ Movement) is quite correct. Adams etc wanted there groups to do their bidding and follow their agenda, so who better to put in place as the leadership of the residents groups than PIRA people? And using ex-prisoners also makes sense as part of the deal is to have it known by all concerned that they are PIRA people. There wouldn’t be much use in having someone as a leader who wasn’t known to be a PIRA person. Ex-prisoners are great for the role as they are acknowledged to be PIRA members, as opposed to those who were never caught and never did time.

    So how about you address the issue for once?

  • harpo

    ‘Irish republicans are political activists’

    mickhall:

    Fair enough, but not all IRs were/are members of the PIRA. So how is it that so many ex-PIRA prisoners end up as the leaders of these groups? That’s what what Garth said, not that ‘republicans’ end up leading them. He referred to IRA personalities, not republicans.

    Unless of course you are now claiming that all republicans were/are members of the PIRA.

  • harpo

    ‘As Susanne Breen notes, there were some prominent figures in both Sinn and the IRA to make sure the protest remained quiet and dignified. As Breen notes, “The cost of policing the march and the subsequent rioting was over £3m”.’

    That latter comment refers to last year and not this year. You make it sound as if the two notes from Breen relate to the same march and protest. There was no rioting this year.

  • circles

    harpo:
    I think we’re talking past each other here. Firstly as you don’t buy the fact that activists are activists that makes one half of the discussion redundant – you won’t be convinced by my arguments and yours seem to me to be the usual paranoid “the shinners are taking over the planet” ramblings of the unionist conspiracy theorists.
    Secondly though, lets just look at the numbers at the demonstrations. Now I’m not well enough informed to say exactly how many people were there, but I would confidently say that the “IRA personalities” were certainly in the minority. The fact that they are known to, and picked up on, by the press does not mean that they were the only people there. If the press were able to identify other individuals in the mass as taxi drivers, accountants, housewives, teachers etc. it may give you a clearer idea of the people involved.
    On the other hand you may scratch yer head and complain that the daft people on the springfield are being manipulated by sinister housewives / taxi drivers / accountants …..

  • darth rumsfeld

    I think carson’s cat has put my point better than I have. If, for example, the Garvaghy Road Residents’ Group called itself the Portadown anti-parade forum then it would display a great deal more honesty. People from my perspective suspect that it hides behind the title “residents’ group” to abrogate to itself the idea of a cohesive area entirely occupied by republicans- an intentional self-ghettoisation-at least partly to squeeze out dissent. The hysterical overreaction to my point proves this to be right.

  • circles

    Hmmm – hysterical darth? Who was that? Is non-agreement the equivalent of being hysterical?
    OK now that the point has been expressed clearly, we could turn the question around and ask why the Orange Order doesn’t change its name to something more honest too.
    In fact there are quite a few organisations and groupings who could do with a “does what it says on the tin” type of renaming.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Circles
    “we could turn the question around and ask why the Orange Order doesn’t change its name to something more honest too.”

    Please dont embarass yourself any further with those kinds of comment. The Orange Order has never marketed itself as anything other than what it is – that’s part of the problem with the Order, its been far too bl**dy honest!

    The anti-parade groups attempt to sell themselves. Yes they may speak for the community, but only for a section of the community in any area and only on one specific subject. A ‘residents’ group would probably be more interested in play facilities for children, or the installation of traffic calming. At least those are the concerns of every residents group with which I have had contact.

    Whether ‘other’ organisations need rebranded is of course totally besides the point in this argument, unless of course you’ve actually accepted the point we’ve been making but dont want to admit it, and so have decided to go down the ‘themmuns are just as bad route’.

  • Carson’s Cat

    First sentence of my second paragraph should read:

    The anti-parade groups attempt to sell themselves as being something which they are not.

  • DK

    Bob – if you are just going to lump every single protestant group in with the security forces and assume that they are all acting in concert with one another, why do you not do the same with the republican groups and just ring-fence the IRA.

    Go back to sutton and do organisation summary by status summary and you get the following civilian casualties: British Security: 191, Republicans: 737, Loyalists: 873.

    This looks to me like the bad guys were the Loyalists and Republicans, with the British a distant third (although still bad guys).

    My government of choice would not involve any of the above 3 organisations. I fail to understand your desparate attempt to run around with statistics to try and prove that the organisation of your choice was somehow best because they have killed less civilians than others (even though it is still hundreds).

    There are organisations that have killed no civilians – ever think about them Bob?

  • circles

    CC – I have been sticking to my point the whole way through this – which is that the leaders of these groups are there not because the daft people can’t think for themselves (darth’s assertion), but because the leaders are community activists.

    Now if you feel like jumping around from point to point saying “no I mean this” ” well actually I mean this” thats your problem.
    My point was never what purpose these groups serve – that is another discussion entirely that I feel both of us would not be able to comment on as neither of us come from those areas. For all we know there is a garvaghy road residents committee flower show every fortnight, but as the telly only shows up when there might be a diggin’ match, we may never know – unless of course you can categorically state that residents groups do nothing but “agitating against their Protestant neighbours” (your words cat – take a reddener).

    But I’d say you can’t do this – instead you’ll stick to your mantra that they do it cos they don’t like their neighbours (whereas the Order want to march where they’re not welcome out of pure brotherly love and a sense of promoting religious liberty, right?).

    Unless you can bring something new to this cat, I’d say we’re gettin nowhere. Let’s agree to disagree.

  • Harry

    I think I speak for all rational-minded people when I say take your parades and shove them up your hole.

  • [i]”My government of choice would not involve any of the above 3 organisations.[/i]

    Assuming that your govbernment of choice is HMG, the unfortunate truth is that the collection of evidence that HMG knew of and ignored the collusion of its agents in NI, i.e. the Army and RUC, with the death squads is growing almost daily, it seems. You are hiding your head in the sand if you choose to ignore the evidence that elements in the Army, the UDR and the RUC colluded with the death squads over a long period of time and on a regular basis. So, yes, I include the whole lot together because, in the final analysis, they were all closely working, i.e. murdering, together.

    On the other hand, a quick look at the same statistics shows that the various republican guerrilla groups were often at odds with each other, more accurately, at war with each other.

    And I concentrate on the Provisionals for the simple reason that unionists are denying the r right of the Irish/Catholic/nationalist/republican community to freely select their representatives by denying Sinn Fein’s electoral mandate when the same rules as they invoke completely destroy the unionist electoral mandate.

    Simple as that.