A Real Reason to cheer this Twelfth

A fascinating display of cross-community co-operation in Tyrone occurred yesterday afternoon (full story in today’s Daily Ireland and retold on Talkback.) After loyalists stole memorial posters to Hunger-Strikers from Galbally and placed them on top of a bonfire, two Dungannon Council politicians, Sinn Fein councillor Barry Monteith and UUP councillor Walter Cuddy, co-operated to ensure the posters were removed from the bonfire and returned ahead of this Thursday’s republican commemoration in Galbally for local volunteer, Martin Hurson. I know it’s only July, but these two are surely out in front for any ‘Politicians of the Year’ award. The south Derry area in particular has witnessed a tit-for-tat series of attacks between loyalists and republicans, with attacks on Hunger strike memorials and Orange halls continuing right up to yesterday. We have already heard of a series of sectarian attacks on Orange halls in the 24 hours preceding the Twelfth, but what’s only becoming clear now is that loyalists seem to have conducted a series of similar attacks on republican memorials across Tyrone and south Derry.

All the more reason why this type of leadership is needed to defuse tensions and allow people to see sense at a time when emotions run high.

Well done!

  • smcgiff

    Well, the UUP councillor Walter Cuddy, anyway.

  • joeCanuck

    Small step. Excellent.
    If they’re drinking men I hope someone takes the pair of them for a pint, in a neutral pub, of course.

  • lib2016

    Well done both men for being willing to work together to sort out a difficult situation.

  • seanniee

    Bravo.Shoots down the usual stereotypes.

  • peter fallow

    No wonder the UUP are in terminal decline nd haven’t a shred of credibility within unionism. Thankfully the electorate will give this lundy his just desserts at the next poll.

  • Well done to both the councillor gentlemen SFs Barry Monteith and the UUPs Walter Cuddy. An excellent example and one that augers well for the future. Exceptional circumstances like this bonfire incident require radical solutions. Congratulations to both.

  • Proud

    Sensible steps taken to diffuse any possible tensions, only wish there were more examples of this every day, many more.

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    I am from the galbally area where the hungerstrike memorials were taken and I would have to commend the politicans from both sides who worked behind the scenes to return the monuments.
    But I would have to question weather the items taken would have been returned by the Orange Order had Sinn Fein councillor Barry Monteith not contacted Walter Cuddy after coming under increased pressure from a very angry nationalist community in the Galbally area.
    I witnessed the bonfire in question and it was decked with not only the hungerstrike memorials but at least fifty Tyrone flags taken from our area last August till september on almost a nightly occurance.
    They were not taken from telegragh posts on main roads but from peoples property in the dead of night and then put into storing for the eleventh night. On the top of the bonfire was a set of childrens gaelic goalposts that was taken the night before along with the hungerstrike memorials.
    All these incidents heighten tensions in my community and when this stolen property and sick sectarin messages like “Fuck Micky Bo” as seen on a tricolour in aghohill is put on display on eleventh night bonfires not only in Granville but in all loyalist areas accross the north it is for the sole purpose to taunt a reaction from the nationalist community.
    If the Orange Order are truelly sincere about trying to make the twelth a less sectarin event then they have to be more proactive in dealing with the scourge that are the eleventh night bonfires.

  • Jim

    Surely the need to put Tyrone flags, republican icons, tricolours, papal stuff up on their bonfires shows that denigrating someone else culture is as central as celebrating one’s own.

    All a little inadequate?

  • pid

    He was a decent helper so maybe Cuddy is one of these…

    from http://www.hoganstand.com

    Cuddihy
    Cuidigtheach means helper and Cuddy is a popular Laois-Kilkenny name.

    And maybe Barry could understand the mentality because he is one of these…

    from http://www.ancestry.com

    Scottish: habitational name from a place in Perthshire, named in Gaelic as ‘hill pasture (above) the Teith’, from monadh ‘hill pasture’ + Teith, a river name of obscure origin. This name was introduced to Ulster, where it is now quite numerous in certain areas, particularly County Tyrone

    Only maybe, of course.

  • English

    “I know it’s only July, but these two are surely out in front for any ‘Politicians of the Year’ award.”

    Well they don’t exactly have to contend with any decent competition do they?

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    Actually the goalposts did not go up in smoke they were surrendered back to the child who owned them by Councillor Cuddihy

  • Maura

    Tir Eoghain Gael,
    Yea I have heard about the goings on up in Galbally and the stolen and returned goal posts. But I suppose it beats the old days- when it was Loyalist/RUC death squads coming up the road!

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    Maura
    Yea we have had our fair share of security force collusion in this part of the country and I suppose we can be glad that those days are behind us, in terms of murders. But there are a sizeable number of our orange brethern neighbours who seem intent in goading the nationalist community into a response by flaunting these bonfires as a means to stoke up tensions under the impunity of the local orange lodges.

  • elvis parker

    Jim
    “Surely the need to put Tyrone flags, republican icons, tricolours, papal stuff [? sic] up on their bonfires shows that denigrating someone else culture is as central as celebrating one’s own.

    All a little inadequate?”

    Putting these items on bonfires may well reveal inadequacy Jim – but sticking up football flags (gaelic or otherwise) flags (tricolours or otherwise) and erecting ‘republican icons’ And leaving them up indefinitely also shows inadequacy and a desire to ‘pee on lamposts’.

  • Maura

    Elvis, I would argue there’s a bit of a difference in lamp posts and bonfires!
    On a broader level, I love the 12th of July and almost wish we ( Nationalists) could just manage to sit back in silence and allow the ‘traditional mayhem’ to continue, with the press of the world looking on! Let the Unionist community show the world what their traditions and commemorations are really about. They speak for themselves, don’t they?

  • Nevin

    Mark Durkan, the SDLP leader, will not be cheering. His nephew, also called Mark, is critically ill after falling from a ladder.

  • Moochin photoman

    Having witnessed the Ormeau Bridge stand off over the past 10 years on and off, it was heartening to see today that an accomodation had been reached and that Ballynafeigh and other lodges peacefully crossed the bridge then down the embankment and thru the Holylands with a scaling down of the security presence.
    This can only be a good thing. Every journey begins with a step, our society has many steps ahead of it and one the biggest strides that will have to be taken is that of the burning of flags and sectarian slogans/signs.
    Such hatefull invective and actions only serves one purpose…..to incite hate crime and sectarianism.

  • tony

    The Ormeau Road compromise seems to have gone unnoticed by everyone, i wasn’t aware that orangemen even crossed the bridge.

    Is this the first occasion, or just the latest ?

  • Moochin photoman

    Tony
    I’m not sure about last year tho i was surprised and as i said heartened by what i saw today.
    There would have been around 20 Residents looking on…and around 10 peelers actually on the road with 7 or so landrovers parked up along the embankment.
    I didnt hear any comments from the hangers on and it passed very peacefully

  • attacked

    The Ormeau Road compromise seems to have gone unnoticed by everyone”

    Except it would seem that by the last news report I’ve heard the parade has been attacked by republicans on the return leg.

  • Ken A. Biss

    A triumph of political maturity. Well done to both sides. Keep up the good work.

    p.s. Really enjoyed my recent visit to Belfast. I had a great view of the fireworks display on 1 July from my room in the Europa Hotel. I thought it was something to do with Portugal’s victory/ England’s defeat, but then I was told it was to mark the Tall Ships Race.

  • Roger

    After reading this story I’ll nver vote for the UUP again. These hunger strikers were evil IRA men whom very rightly imprisoned and wrongly glorified.

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