Bonfire Night

Link to video

Forgive me if this doesn’t work, but I have had numerous comments and e-mails about my Flickr photies of the bonfire, and I also have this little bit of video. It was my first time to actually see the Tricolour being burned, and I was greatly saddened. I hadn’t fully appreciated that it is the highlight of the evening for many, and there was a huge cheer when it went up. Many people left the bonfire site at that point in time.

While I hold firmly to my view that the 12th can be morphed into something different, a little less threatening and a lot more fun, we have to remove this blatant and painful sectarianism. Yes, Yes, nationalists need to get their house in order, but goodness some parts of the Twelfth are agressively anti- catholic and would never make one feel at home.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Whatever’s in the top box isn’t appearing on my screen.

  • Is it impossible that the burning of the tricolour can ever be seen for what it is (to me anyway) – a political statement?

    I’m all for removing sectarianism – the hatred for Catholics exhibited by some and the glorification of terrorist organisations is a damning indictment of the mindset of too many people in Northern Ireland, but the ill-feeling towards the southern state given their terretorial desires towards the province will be difficult to change.

    (Disclaimer: Obviously effigies of the Pope and particularly the disgusting scenes in Ahoghill last night would not be encompassed in the political statement referred to above).

  • Miss Fitz

    I dont know how to make that go away Gonzo, but can you play the video in the second box? I know its poor quality, (I was shaking), let me know if its worth keeping up?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Yup and yup. Where is it?

  • Miss Fitz

    Secret location in County Down…..??

  • ben

    And, by comment two, we have an apologist for flag-burning!

    If you think that it would be remotely possible to say “OK, lads, no singing ‘we are the Billy Boys’ and no burning of effigies of the pope or the Taoiseach or beating up Taigs — but carry on burning the flag, no problem there.”

    Another manifestation of that wonderful Christian religion you all practice, I”m sure.

  • Miss Fitz

    Beano
    On the Ormeau this evening, a group of youths were going to burn a Union flag.

    There was an immediate intervention by community figures, and politicians, and it did not happen. Indeed, I was surprised to see an SF figure respectfully fold the flag, before taking it away.

    There’s nothing political about burning the flag in this way, its ritualistic and hate filled

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Hate filled I get, but ritualistic? Most things are. How is that a criticism?

  • “Is it impossible…a political statement? “ no it’s not. It’s pure naked sectarianism against almost 50% of the population of the Sick Cos.

    “I’m all for removing sectarianism…” I don’t see that coming thro in your postings when you seem to approve of the burning of flags etc which are representative of your neighbours. To me you seem familiar with and spouting the usual sound bites.

    “…but the ill-feeling towards the southern state given their terretorial desires towards the province will be difficult to change. “ and here’s me thinking that Articles 1 & 2 and writing the GFA into Irish law removed this idiotic basis held by some in the north. Oh well, I guess there’s no pleasing some mopes.

    “Obviously effigies of the Pope and particularly the disgusting scenes in Ahoghill last night would not be encompassed in the political statement referred to above. “ don’t ya just love that ol’ disclaimer trick.

    If only the lowlifes around the bonfires were as intelligent as yourself and were able to cloak their feeling of hatred as well as you’ve then we would have the whole Mickey Bo story going around again, eh? We gotta teach them how to use the ol disclaimer trick. Note to myself: Must bring it up at the next LOL 1690 meeting. The child killing of Mickey Bo (lets not forget Lisa Dornan, the North Belfast kid (see what I mean, I can’t even remember his name) and of course the 3 Quinn boys) doesn’t look good when celebrated as part of Loyalist bonfire heritage.

    Miss Fitz, if you think “the Tricolour being burned, and I was greatly saddened” you can’t seem to differentiate between a piece of cloth in Green, White and Orange and how it’s supposed to represent a people and their culture.

    How’s that flag burning debate coming along in your native country? Any governmt or civic funding being proposed these days? What’s GWB’s opinion on burning “Ol’ Glory” and is he advotating tax payer funding of insults to a neighbour?

  • Miss Fitz

    What I meant Gonzo is that it has become part of the ritual, as opposed to a purposeful political statment, as Beano is implying

  • Rory

    It just all appears so terribly sad, dank and dreary. A celebration lacking in any joy or bonhomie.

    The French resistance fighter and philosopher, Simone Weill, a Jewish convert to Catholicism, once remarked how it is that, even in everday life, while the contemplation of engaging in positive, useful activity often seems gloomy and boring and yet the contemplation of doing something destructive and negative often seems exciting, yet in action the reverse was true. Simple, laborious goodly tasks of kindness reward us with a feeling of joy and well being while entering into destructive, negative hate-filled activity merely generates an initial excitement that leaves us feeling empty, sad, lonely and wasted.

  • “Another manifestation of that wonderful Christian religion you all practice, I”m sure.”

    I’m not sure if that was directed at me, but as you were responding to my comment I’ll answer. I don’t practice any religion, Christian or otherwise.

    Anonymous, is it really that difficult for you to grasp the difference between burning a flag in protest at aims (real or perceived) of another state and the celebrating the callous murder of innocent children? If so I think you seriously undervalue human life.

    “What’s GWB’s opinion on burning “Ol’ Glory” and is he advotating tax payer funding of insults to a neighbour?”

    I wouldn’t advocate adopting all the laws in place in the US of A anyway, so I’m not sure what GWB’s opinion has to do with the price of spuds.

    Miss Fitz, it obviously has become part of the ritual, but I’m not sure that that detracts from it’s original purpose. To be fair though, I can only really speak for what it brought to my mind (I use the past tense as I haven’t been to a bonfire in years). To me it always seemed more defiant than anything.

    Anyway it’s late so I’m done for the night.
    Re: the Ormeau incident, I don’t know the circumstances, but I think it would be fair to draw a distinction between burning a flag in like-minded company and (and I stress I don’t know anything about the even you describe, so I’m not saying this is what happened, but hypothetically speaking) going to an area where you will offend or waiting until people who are likely to be offended are present.

  • hat

    “On the Ormeau this evening, a group of youths were going to burn a Union flag.

    There was an immediate intervention by community figures, and politicians, and it did not happen. Indeed, I was surprised to see an SF figure respectfully fold the flag, before taking it away.”

    meanwhile the orange order introduce a banner during this years parade commemorating the person who murdered 5 innocent people & injured a further 9 in Sean Graham’s bookmakers on the Ormeau Road.

  • Kevin

    All this Orangefest Cultural integration PR stuff is a total bunch of garbage that belongs in the nearest toilet. Paisley’s over the dead body speech sums up the Loyalist mentality perfectly, so the Nationalist people need to realise this and take a stand…No more Orange parades through their areas and no more public funding for sectarian events and organizations opposed to power sharing.

  • Fucking bastards.

    And these people were probably saddened at the death of Michael McIlveen (though you can’t be sure) and yet they don’t realise they are furthering the kind of sectarian mentality that led to the child’s tragic death.

    They disgust me.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    UI: “And these people were probably saddened at the death of Michael McIlveen (though you can’t be sure) and yet they don’t realise they are furthering the kind of sectarian mentality that led to the child’s tragic death. ”

    Hell, more than a couple of them were celebrating it.

  • slug

    Miss Fitz makes fair comments. I do think that this practice of the burning of the Irish Tricolour should be discontinued as it is negative and not diplomatic towards the Republic, with whom we have no quarrel.

  • lib2016

    slug

    “I think that this practice of the burning of the Irish Tricolour should be discontinued…”

    Agreed – when will the idiots on both sides who go in for carry on like this realise that they are disgracing the causes they claim to support? Like the lamebrains who write political slogans on toilet walls!

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Beano

    “I think it would be fair to draw a distinction between burning a flag in like-minded company and going to an area where you will offend or waiting until people who are likely to be offended are present.”

    What do you make of the situation at Annadale embankment? The Upper Ormeau is not only mixed (with a slight Catholic majority, natch) but one of the very few examples in NI of a really successful mixed community. The bonfire takes place on the Embankment, on a main road, from where the many tricolours and other effigies are clearly visible from the Lower Ormeau, Stranmillis, and to the large numbers of motorists who pass by every day.

    Furthermore the UDA have erected a banner on Candahar Street, which is a mixed street.

    So the situation at Annadale (which is the most directly relevant to the Lower Ormeau) is anything but the discreet ritual among like-minded people that you seem to suggest. On the contrary it is probably the single most provocative of all Belfast’s hatefests.

    Doesn’t that seem to you to present a stark contrast to a situation across the bridge where flag-burners are faced down, and where “enemy” flags are saved from the pyros?

  • Moochin photoman

    Billy Pilgrom
    There shouldnt be a distinction between one bonfire being more inflammitory than another. I have no problem with bonny’s and people walking (they can do that till the blisters pop for all i care) What i do object to is blatant sectarianism, discrimination and what is essentially incitement. I thought there were laws for that kinda thing.
    Its a good point you make about the Ormeau Rd being mixed but accomodation was reached there yesterday and it passed peacefully enough aside from a few idiots on the return leg

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Moochin Photoman

    “There shouldnt be a distinction between one bonfire being more inflammitory than another.”

    Nice pun! But wouldn’t you agree that a loyalist bonfire in an exclusively loyalist area out of the way of anyone but loyalists is different from a loyalist bonfire with all the trappings in a mixed area? That it’s more inflammatory? Incendiary even? (Okay, I’ll stop now…)

    “I have no problem with bonny’s and people walking (they can do that till the blisters pop for all i care) What i do object to is blatant sectarianism, discrimination and what is essentially incitement. I thought there were laws for that kinda thing.”

    Yeah, but having laws and enforcing them are two different things. One has to ask why these laws aren’t enforced? If people want to have bonfires, fine, but I think they should be subject to strict regulations and should be licensed. Currently, no-one is responsible for these bonfires. That is just crazy.

    “It’s a good point you make about the Ormeau Rd being mixed but accomodation was reached there yesterday and it passed peacefully enough aside from a few idiots on the return leg.”

    But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. My life has been made a misery for the last month by the emboldened thugs who have been strutting around the area. The entire area was festooned with pro-union paraphernalia – last year was the first time in the several years I’ve lived here that that had happened (other than around the Orange Hall). This year there is a UDA banner across a mixed street. The road into Delhi Street from Annadale Embankment was rendered impassable by debris from the bonfire (which was still smouldering last night, 24 hours after it was lit.) Official-looking signs on behalf of the “Residents of Annadale” have appeared on the main road containing dark warnings that people should stay clear of the bonfire site, and should not dump material at the site.

    I took a stroll up to my local shop yesterday and you could’ve cut the atmosphere with a knife. There were tumbleweeds blowing up and down the Ormeau Road, except for gangs of conspicuously loyalist-looking youths casting aggressive looks around them. I didn’t feel safe about leaving the house after that.

    Now, I would perhaps accept this if I lived in the Shankill or Sandy Row or Ballybeen or somewhere like that. But I don’t. I live in a peaceful, relaxed and mixed area where, for a month or so (so far…) every year these malign forces are allowed to take over.

    Now, you talk about a “few idiots”. True, things could have been much worse, but I own a house in this area. How many thousands of pounds have these “few idiots” cost me, in terms of the value of my house? How many tens of thousands have been shorn from the value of my house over the years, as a result of living in an area that loyalists and Orangemen are allowed to deface for months of the year?

    The Upper Ormeau is a rare beacon of co-existence in NI. Major demographic change has taken place here in the last 10 years and has happened largely without incident. But in the last two years we have seen an upping of the ante, with vastly increased numbers of flags, paramilitary banners, and the bonfire has been geting bigger.

    Why should the peaceful, co-existing majority of Catholics and Protestants here, who are appalled by this neanderthal takeover, be expected to tolerate this annual disgrace?

  • smirkyspice

    moochin photoman i love your ‘everyday orange’ photos on flickr.. billy pilgrim, we are neighbours and i thank you for articulating what i have been feeling for the past month.. intimidated.. the annadale embankment is an abomination, absolutely disgusting..

  • Moochin photoman

    i lived on the ormeau for 11 yrs untll o couple of years ago and the demographic has changed significantly.The annadale embankment is unique and harks back to the past when it was used as a sink estate by the Housing Executive.
    I agree that house prices have been affected there and that yes the “few idiots” are the tip of the iceberg.
    We shuold i think be grateful that by and large it all passed off peacefully yesterday.
    As regards the policing and organisation of the bonfires….until there is real leadership shown by the loyalist/unionist politicians we will have to put up with it. Dialogue has taken place this year and compromises reached, this can only be a good thing.
    Evey journey begins with a step.
    Thanks smikspice…are u gonna contribute any shots? All welcome sure its a bit o craic
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/everyday_orange/

  • Prince Eoghan

    Billy Pilgrim.

    I think one of the main reasons they do it, is for exactly the story you relate. There is far too many uppity fenians/non-Loyalists, whatever about. They need to let people know who the bosses are, this allows the oh so dignified more mature gang members in the OO to strut their stuff along the road.

    Tourism anyone, oh was the tumbleweed a blow in from Europe.

  • Moochin photoman

    A little of thread perhaps but i was around their yesterday and went past the site of the Kimberly Bar which has been thankfully been demolished.
    The red hoarding around it is very eye catching.
    I noticed some grafitti scribbled on it. Whether the irony was intended or not seeing as the Kimberly was a notorious loyalist drinking den where a number of people have been murdered.

    Fuck I’m Thirsty

    I did laugh i have to say

    Billy btw is the Errigle open?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Moochin Photoman

    “Billy btw is the Errigle open?”

    I’m sure it’s open today. When I went past it yesterday the doors were shut and the shutters down, but the lights were on inside, so I guess they were open for business to regulars and people who knew the secret knock, but not to the, ahem, visitors to the area.

    Which, if I were a publican in the area, would seem like a reasonable damage-limitation strategy to me.

  • Moochin photoman

    The Big House is the same they both have the same password… Mahogany Bannister!!!

    btw new photoblog just created…

    http://www.moochinphotoman.blogspot.com

    u might recognise a shot or 2

  • Billy Pilgrim

    MP

    Thanks, that’s a fantastic bit of info! Great photos. It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes for the site to be cleaned up, the flags to come down, normality to return.

    Months, probably.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Smirkyspice

    Great name! Yeah, it’s been a terrible pain in the arse, hasn’t it? Ah well, sure it’s only six weeks til Black Saturday….

  • smirkyspice

    mooch i just uploaded my first ‘everyday orange’ flickr photo hee hee *blush*

    cheers billy it’s nice to know there’s good people in the ‘hood 🙂

  • “Anonymous, is it really that difficult for you to grasp the difference between burning a flag in protest at aims (real or perceived) of another state and the celebrating the callous murder of innocent children? If so I think you seriously undervalue human life. “

    yes it is that difficult for me to see the great political protest and symbolism of the lowlifes burning a flag as ONLY a reflection of their well thought out disputes with neighbors as opposed to some same trash burning the same flag emblazoned with insults to a murdered child.

    Maybe I don’t understand the great loyalist politico artistry of flag burning and how it’s vastly different to the base, repugnant insult to one of their sectarian victims. Excuse me for mixing up the two. The actions are so dis similar that it was so foolish of me to mix up your respectful counter-arguement to Kildare street with those who revel & gloat in the chasing a young boy some distance and then the mob pummeling him to death. I’m so sorry that your honourable custom and tradition could have been mixed up with Neanderthals’ party antics. Foolish me, like those knuckle draggers, I should have clearly seen that you would never have anything to do with them (conveniently noted in your disclaimer for those of lesser IQ)

    To some, the traditions of the 12th of July, from unwanted parades, No Pope in Rome tunes outside Churches, bonfires with Mickey Bo gloats and general repugnant, obnoxious behaviour, are signs of loyalist intimidation and of the failed unionist society. The majority of people in the Sick Cos. do not want this (almost 50% being RC and then a lot of Prots). Your ridiculous claim that burning the Tricolour is a political statement isn’t accepted by the majority but will be used as another example of the pathetic state of loyalist society (soon to be sponsored by civic leaders – more leeching).

    “I wouldn’t advocate adopting all the laws in place in the US of A anyway, so I’m not sure what GWB’s opinion has to do with the price of spuds. “ yeah, the Fed laws against the KKK might put the OO out of biz. MissFitz seemed to think that 12th July was a quaint festival and high lighted the burning of the Tricolour…I just wanted to point out to her that in her native USA it wasn’t accepted let alone sponsored by govern. I note that you missed that subtle analogy. I also note that she didn’t answer my question.

  • Miss Fitz

    Miss Fitz, if you think “the Tricolour being burned, and I was greatly saddened” you can’t seem to differentiate between a piece of cloth in Green, White and Orange and how it’s supposed to represent a people and their culture.

    How’s that flag burning debate coming along in your native country? Any governmt or civic funding being proposed these days? What’s GWB’s opinion on burning “Ol’ Glory” and is he advotating tax payer funding of insults to a neighbour

    Anonymous
    I didnt answer your question, as you point out, cos I found your argument difficult to follow, and I didnt know what the question is.

    OK, I was born and lived in America, but do you honestly expect me to intelligently answer or defend the actions of a government I know nothing about? Being born in America doesnt give you magical powers, or special life-long insight.

    So, I didnt answer cos I had nothing to say. It doesnt concern me, so I havent really brought myself up to date on the subject.

    Now, moving on slightly, I have no idea what George Bush’s flag issues have to do with this thread? If you are making a tenuous link because of my accident of birth, you may slide on sunshine and pick another fight, this one aint gonna fly.

    You take issue with my being saddened to see the tricolour burn. Yeah, I was. I knew what to expect, but it was difficult and painful none the less. Yes, green white and orange cloth, but the cloth with which I identify, where I believe my cultural allegiance lies, and where I find my place of symbolic safety.

    I’ve read your point again and again, but I dont see a point in what you say. They burn the flag to prove oppositional identity, to show that they have power and control over the symbolism of the opposing state. Ach, its auld nonsense really, it’s nothing more than an unmatured attempt to establish some sense of being.

  • Rory

    As an antidote to ‘whataboutery’ that blights so much discussion on this site and elsewhere (Jeez! even on the tongue-in-cheek threads) I have decided to introduce ‘Howsaboutery’.

    Miss Fitz, honey, how’s about (geddit?) you slip round to my place while Herself’s off on holiday (swimming with whales or something. Frightening the bejasus outa poor dumb creatures, and they call that ecological) – and while I slip into someting more comfortable and a leetle notty, no? – long johns and string vest I’m thinking – you can take some candid intimate shots which could then be sold on to Page 3 of Loyalist News or such.

    We’ll split evenly (60 me/40 you – don’t argue I’m an accountant and you a mere woman). Whatta say blue eyes?

  • Miss Fitz

    Rory
    I have too much respect for herself, and fear I would leave you in an exhausted and fraught state, and no use to the woman for manys a day following any encounters we would have…….

    Now, its not that I’m not tempted you see……. but imposing my massive libido on your accountants fragile frame would be an uneven and unfair contest

    (writing this knowing mick will shoot me)

  • Rory

    Miss Fitz,

    My disappointment is only overcome by my relief.
    It is probably true that the wider world is not yet ready to recieve my image, and of course I’m terribly shy really.

    Herself, nevertheless, is hopping mad – she thought once I found fame with the photies she’d get shot of me.

    There’s just no pleasing the wimmin.

  • MissFitz,
    The questions were American related as you have mentioned that you were born in The Bronx (when, I don’t know, when you departed, I don’t know), you frequently mention the USA and that you are a native of the place and only yesterday wrote…”…if anyone wants to see the 12th through the eyes of a wandering, Irish American woman in Northern Ireland. “

    Why then do you find it strange that I might ask you a question about the USA? Why shouldn’t I point out that a Tricolour being burnt seems a mere ‘saddened’ episode to you when the burning of the national flag of your oft mentioned USA is a very topical point (indeed criminal in many of your States). I thought you might shed some knowledgable insight, as an American, to how the US debate came to being, as many US citizens see the burning of “Ol’ Glory” as a huge disrespect to the country and people and not just setting alight some material.

    While you were merely saddened, I’m disgusted as I think it shows a base disrespect for the people and goven of ROI; I also think it is a form of dehumanization of almost 50% of the population of the Sick Cos in the same mode as one might see by some angry Taliban burning your “Ol’ Glory”. I don’t care for a piece of cloth but the symbolization involved. This dehumanization is what I think has continued the sectarianism in the ‘failed entity’ and as such these belligerent actions shouldn’t be sponsored by civic govern or Westminster.

    “… I have no idea what George Bush’s flag issues have to do with this thread? If you are making a tenuous link because of my accident of birth, you may slide on sunshine and pick another fight… “ I mention GWB not ‘cos I like him (I don’t) but as he’s a personification of your USA. Outside of the hate filled Sick Cos you’ll find that the real world take great offense to flag burning. I was speaking of your oft mentioned USA as an example where they have initiated laws prohibiting such activities. In contrast the civic leader of NI are aiming to fund these rabble rousers…and you’re just saddened !!
    “Tenuous link” – not. You continually mention it, so you, Miss Fitz should slide back in and explain how you’re merely saddened by the disgracefully, dehumanizing activity of flag burning and the possibility of it being govern funded.

    Beano tried to cover up his support for these action in implying his support of the activity as a form of protest against govenmt but I think he distinguishes too finely (disclaimer not withstanding) from his fellow flag burners who gloat and applaud the Mickey Bo child killing.

    Flag burning => dehumanizing => child killing (disclaimer not with standing or FreeP opinion on entry to Heaven)

  • londonderry_loyal

    The majority of the flags stole in the village of Newbuildings outside Londonderry will be burned on the 15th august at the Top of the Hill bonfire!!

    At least the tri-colours are made and not stole

  • Moochin photoman

    londonderry_loyal.
    U r so wrong there, i have photos that i took on the morning of the 11th of 2 wee lads walking down Sandy Row with a tri-colour that they bought off a stall on Sandy Row….wind ure neck in
    Give me half an hour or so and you can see it here…

    http://www.moochinphotoman.blogspot.com

  • Miss Fitz

    Anonymous
    I’d answer your question, only you’ve essentially answered it for me.

    You’re right, I described myself as a wandering Irish American, and indeed I am just that. I also offered to describe events in Northern Ireland, not Kentucky, Tennessee, the Bronx or New Jeresy. I dont pretend to follow affairs over there, and I dont keep up with anything other than the American Anthropological Society.

    So, asking for my opinion on flag burning in Anerica is redundant. Not only dont I know, I dont pretend to know.

    I used the word saddened, as an Irish citizen. I knew what to expect, and had heard colleagues describe it. However, I was unprepared to feel so sad, and…..Pained is as good a word as I can come up with.
    I wasnt angry because I know the story, the genesis, the feelings and I had spoken to a lot of people researching this. It’s representative of how they can justly sum up their unquantified fear, loathing and disrespect for the unkown of the Republic of Ireland.

    Dont forget, these feelings brought us the OO in 1795 and the Battle of the Diamond, the UVF and Ulster Convenant in the 1910’s and countless other oppositional manifesations of seige protestantism.

    So, I am not angry. I am sad. I will remain sad until we can remove a lot of the hatred and replace it with conversation and understanding.

    I hope you find this a more satisfactory answer.

  • Miss Fitz

    Anon
    You should make your posts more succint….. I was born a LONG time ago, and have a shortening attention span.

    I just see I missed a bit there about funding for the bonfires.

    Well now here’s a newsflash. The point about the funding is to try and find new and creative ways to express cultural heritage without the need to burn flags. Hence the spires, art competitions, new murals etc etc.

    These are positive steps in the right direction. I have been active in this area for about 7 years now, and I can see some movement in a positive way. Obviously, I cant go into major details in this forum, but this summmer has given me hope.

  • The People’s Front of Judea

    A few nails on the head re upper Ormeau. Comin from the country, it’s the only place in Belfast that I’ve lived and that was precisely because of its mix of people.

    It’s a grand part of town with decent pubs where ye don’t take yer life in yer hands for a pint. Disagree about the Kimberly tho as it was a good honeypot for the knuckle-dragging scumbags, leavin the Eriggle and Big House for the rest of us.

    This is important all year round but esp round the 12th when, as pointed out, the atmosphere changes palpably. The feral little fuks who hang around outside the Offie grow in numbers and confidence and ensure that outsiders (like me) feel uncomfortable at best and downright scared at times.

    Can anyone confirm whether the tramps from the Kimberly have migrated to the pubs along the road? I’ve not been back for a while.

  • Moochin photoman

    As far as i know the Kimberly crew now drink in the band hall round the corner, cant blame em the beers alot cheaper.
    This year the Big House was closed for the 12th and 13th their proximity to Ballynafeigh LOL where they assemble causes some issues.
    The Errigle used the closure to sand and varnish the floorboards in the middle bar….i got stuck there last night!!

  • Mainlander

    Completely off the run of the thread…censor me if you dare!

    Once again, a must illuminating Slugger Discussion.

    The nationalist nouveau, petty (in more ways than one)bourgeouis look down from their twin towers of “Gaelic Purity and Santimoniousness”, holding their noses at those oh, soooo vulgar, flag-waving working-class Unionists that they’re forced share their public-spaces with and condescend to share with us, the afore-mentioned Great Unwashed, their valued (by themselves if no one else) opinions about just why we are just so….well…wrong.

    How would I summarise, in three lines, the comments on this thread?

    “Why can’t those troublesome oiks forget that they and their families having been living here a lot longer than us middle-class blow- ins and just jump in the Lagan and do all us naice (some of whom are even Protestant you know!!) people a favour.”

    But these comments, especially, deserve repeating, guys:

    “except for gangs of conspicuously loyalist-looking youths”

    Billy Pilgrim, what exactly, in less than your customary 250 words if you will, does a:

    “conspicuously loyalist-looking” youth look like?

    And beware,I’ll be watching like a hawk for any sectarian stereotyping;)

    “the annadale embankment is an abomination, absolutely disgusting”

    I had a flashback when I heard that one.

    My gran, the most irredemable, orangest oul bxxxt ever to fight her way out of Derry, used to say exactly the same thing about the Bogside.
    But that was different of course. As I said,she was a bxxxt.

    “The feral little fuks

    When I read this little gem, (leaving aside the intemperate language), the thought that crossed my mind was how very Col Blimpish the nationalist middle-class of Northern Ireland have become. I can just imagine you all “Disgruntleds of South Parade”, sitting in The Errigle, sipping your G &Ts, discretely reading the Daily Mail, complaining about how how the lower orders are affecting real estate prices in the “locality”.

    And it is just so (in an Alanis Morissette kinda way )…… ironic.

  • George

    British loyalists used to put an effigy of De Valera on the top of many 11th night bonfires.

    Saw a good programme on the Whiterock bonfire and a room full of locals were asked why they didn’t have any effigy of people like Dev anymore.

    “Who is he?” came the reply. Nobody in the room had ever heard of him. They younger ones happily cheered the burning of the Irish State’s flag because it represented “Catholics” to them.

    So the burning of the Irish flag is either done out of hatred for the Irish State and its citizens or out of hatred for Irish Catholics. Take your choice.

  • jim

    The uda/uff crowd from the Kimberly are now reguars in the apprentice boys band hall.

    Not sure how this fits in with the apprentice boys ethics i.e running a paramilitary drinking den.

    There is also a n.i supporters club based in the den,

    makes you wonder about all those n.i & uff flags in South Belfast.

  • Mainlander

    jim
    You told me you were going to keep off them there drugs.
    Just say “no”.

    George,
    “So the burning of the Irish flag is either done out of hatred for the Irish State and its citizens or out of hatred for Irish Catholics. Take your choice.”

    You’re one of the more balanced nationalists on here (one or two of your northern brethren could take lessons), so I will pay you the courtesy of giving you a better reply tomorrow.

    In the meantime, somthing to ponder; when people burn the Stars and Stripes on the streets of Europe are they doing it simply out of a hatred for the American State and its citizens?

  • jim

    “jim
    You told me you were going to keep off them there drugs.
    Just say “no”.”

    mainlander

    I don’t do drugs, maybe thats why i don’t frequent the ‘band hall’

  • Mainlander

    I’m pleased to hear that jim.
    Goodnight.

  • idunnomeself

    Miss Fitz

    How is burning a flag demonstraing hatred on the basis of religion?

    Call it a lot of things (you’re probably close to the mark when you say it’s about rejecting the agenda of republicanism- ‘to make us all Irish’) But Sectarian it ain’t, unless the meaning of the word has changed when I wasn’t looking

  • Miss Fitz

    Sectarianism refers (usually pejoratively) to a rigid adherence to a particular sect or party or denomination. It often implies discrimination, denunciation, or violence against those outside the sect. The term is most often used to refer to religious sectarianism, involving conflict between members of different religions or denominations of the same religion. It is also frequently used to refer to political sectarianism, generally on the part of a tight-knit political faction or party.

    Sectarianism may, in the abstract, be characterized by dogmatism and inflexibility; sentimental or axiomatic adherence to an idea, belief or tradition; and idealism that provides a sense of continuity, orientation, and certainty. As a pejorative term, accusations of sectarianism may sometimes be used to demonize an opposing group.

    Idunnomeself……. hope this helps (from wiki)

  • The People’s Front of Judea

    MP and Jim:
    Cheers for the info. Thankfully the band hall wasn’t on my “to-do” list for next time I’m over.

    Mainlander:
    “When I read this little gem, (leaving aside the intemperate language), the thought that crossed my mind was how very Col Blimpish the nationalist middle-class of Northern Ireland have become. I can just imagine you all “Disgruntleds of South Parade”, sitting in The Errigle, sipping your G &Ts, discretely reading the Daily Mail, complaining about how how the lower orders are affecting real estate prices in the “locality”. ”

    This is obviously a well-rehearsed “gem” of your own that you trot out time and again as if it had just crossed your mind. Consequently you manage to be spectacularly off the mark with your presumptions. Never mind though, you managed to share your favourite caricature with the class. I bet that felt good.

    My problem with the tramps who put a downer on an otherwise excellent area is not that they are working class (like me) or that they are loyalist (unlike me), but that they are clearly and deliberately anti-social.

    So they can buck off to the band hall or wherever else will tolerate their behaviour. Everyone’s happy.

  • idunnomeself

    sec·tar·i·an ( P ) Pronunciation Key (sk-târ-n)
    adj.
    1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a sect.
    2. Adhering or confined to the dogmatic limits of a sect or denomination; partisan.
    3. Narrow-minded; parochial.

    if you use it in sense 1 it is self-defining (you have ascribed motives to an act made by what you have defined as a group)
    If you use it in sense 2 it is incorrect
    If you used it in sense 3 it loses all its impact

    good posts on the twelfth by the way

  • Miss Fitz

    Idunno
    I was being lazy when I posted that wiki definition of sectarian, but I guess I am a wee bit weary too.

    Burning the Irish Flag isnt done when they run out of tyres, wood or other inflammables.

    It is a deliberate, purposeful and hate-filled act. You know, I was there this year, and it was just stunning to see the reaction. It was the highlight of the evening. I have another bit of video I might post where you hear people asking….. ‘Is it gone, is it gone, has it burned yet?’

    When the tricolour burned, there was a huge cheer and applause, and a lot of the older folk started to go home, and some of the mothers and children left.

    So that was it. That was the point of the night. To see the Tricolour burn on top of the bonfire.

    And its not an accidental tricolour, like pink, yellow and purple…. It’s the flag of the Republic of Ireland, near neighbour and wanna be friend.

    Burning the flag of my country on the 12th bonfire signifies that you are not too spoony with me. It means that you are destroying what I represent. It means that you cannot stand the sight of me. It means you wish me ill.

    The Republic of Ireland that is being burned, is in some ways the ROI of years gone by, the ‘Home Rule/Rome Rule’ state that Northern Protestants seem to think is still lurking under neath the tail of the Celtic Tiger.

    But guys, wise up….. that is sooooo yesterday. The ROI has moved on, shifted up and made good. It is no longer the catholic state that you love to hate.

    But for a sole catholic standing at the side of the bonie on the 11th night, surrounded by happy, cheering, drinking protestants, it was a very lonely, sad and upsetting moment. And it felt sectarian from where I was stood

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Mainlander

    “Billy Pilgrim, what exactly, in less than your customary 250 words if you will, does a: “conspicuously loyalist-looking” youth look like?”

    In the instance I’m referring to, they wore Rangers jerseys, and had Union Jacks and Ulster flags wrapped around their waists like sarongs. They also, of course, had the obligatory baseball caps, burberry, bling etc. I considered this to be “loyalist-looking”, and in this area the fact is that it is somewhat conspicuous. (53 words)

    As for the Annadale Embankment being “an abomination, absolutely disgusting”, well, it is. The Embankment, that is – it’s covered in rubbish and debris. Your granny was talking about an area of a city, and clearly referring to the people who lived there as “absolutely disgusting”. Smirkyspice was referring to the bonfire site (Annadale Embankment is an open green area on the Lagan, and it IS a rat-infested rubbish dump.)

    Nice try though, attempting to turn this into a class issue. As though threatening, anti-social gangs = working class. I know enough about, and have sufficient respect for working class people to know different thanks.

    “when people burn the Stars and Stripes on the streets of Europe are they doing it simply out of a hatred for the American State and its citizens?”

    In my experience, I’m sorry to say that the answer is yes. It’s one thing for Americans to burn the stars and stripes, but when you’re burning someone else’s flag, it’s dangerous. It’s warlike. When you do it ritually, then it seems like you’re settled into perpetual war. I have seen American flags, among others, being burned and it’s never an edifying sight. There are flags I don’t like, and I’m in favour of one’s right to burn a flag, but I’m personally dead against the exercising of that right.

  • Mainlander

    The People’s Front of Judea

    “This is obviously a well-rehearsed “gem” of your own that you trot out time and again as if it had just crossed your mind”

    Have you seen it elsewhere?
    Certainly not on this site.

    I do believe it is the first time that I’ve shared it with the class on Slugger, who are more than used to seeing on this site, the most crudest of caricatures of working-class unionists and stereotyping of unionists generally. It’s not a nice feeling to see this constant demonisation and dehumanisation of people from my community day after day on here.

    But I didn’t realise that people like yourself would be so sensitive if the tables were, for once, turned and a rather OTT generalisation was made in the other direction. Interesting.

    Billy Pilgrim

    “The annadale embankment is unique and harks back to the past when it was used as a sink estate by the Housing Executive.”

    Not from Scareyspice, but Moochin’.

    He’s talking of the estate, not the bonfire site here. And the use of that kind of terminology like “sink” usually precedes an anti-working-class scrounger tirade in one of the more right-wing rags. Perhaps Moochin will enlighten us further with what he means here…

    And I’ll take your and others’ word that it is not just a class thing, all that talk of dropping real estate prices confused me;)

    Re the burning of the Stars and Stripes and flags generally;

    I’m not convinced that it is in every case simply done out of a hatred for the American State and its citizens.

    More often than not, in certain locations, yes it is, but I also believe it *can be* an attempt, albeit inarticulate, to express an abhorence of the US government’s policies, the ever-increasing domination of US culture,the damaging effects of globalisation etc.

    Is a student in Paris or Berlin burning the US flag, really showing how much he hates his fellow students in LA or New York or does he think in his own small way that he’s sticking two fingers up at Bush and American foreign policy?

  • Miss Fitz, I can appreciate what you’re saying about the alienation you felt around the bonfire, but I’m not 100% sure that anyone is trying to make the bonfires a cross-community event.

    For many loyalists their ‘political views’ are based largely (probably too reliant, in fact) on defiance – defiance of the terretorial ambitions of Irish republicans. To compare the Irish Republic to a friend is a poor analogy – unless you’ve had a friend in the past who has had a desire to steal your house out from under you – but I think we’re in danger of deviating way off bonfires and burning tricolours if we go down the road of whether loyalists are right or wrong to be so aggressive in their defiance of republicanism.

    As I’ve said before, in truth I can only really speak for myself, but the tricolour doesn’t represent ‘catholics’ but the Irish Republic and/or Irish republicanism.

    My views on the issue would be different if these crowds wanted to build their tricolour-burning bonfire in the middle of the falls road, but I don’t see that happening any time soon. In their own areas at their own celebrations, I can understand why the burning of the tricolour is of such significance to people. It may not be the most articulate way of expressing their views (much like my posts on this thread), but I don’t know that that makes it an illegitimate expression.

    Those (loyalists) who may see the tricolour as representing Catholics are in sore need of a political education – or even 5 minutes to think about it.

  • Moochin photoman

    Mainlander,
    “Harks back to the time when Annadale was used as a sink estate”
    I suppose it comes from how Drumchapel in Glasgow was described to me many years ago and i applied the terminology.
    My understanding was/is that people who had been thrown out of other areas (either by the locals or the authorities) ended up in designated estates(after often asking for a specific area). This policy caused many problems as you can imagine.In recent times it has changed tho there are a couple of estates in Downpatrick which would still have problems.
    The comment was not made with the denigration of the working classes in mind it was descriptive (maybe too much for some eh) I am involved with community groups across all sectors of society here in NI and laugh at the suggestion that i would be a right winger(stop it my ribs are sore) and that (snicker snicker) i would be reading anything supporting the views ascribed to me by you.
    btw
    I live in shared rented housing very near the short strand/ albertbridge rd…handy for town, spacious enough and cheap but by feck it gets noisy sometimes!

    oh if you ever do come back from the mainland and you happen to be in the area have a guiness in the errigle i can recommend it. G&T’s are soooo colonial don’t cha think?

  • Mainlander

    Moochin
    Thanks for the honesty of your answer.
    So, in summary, you were giving us your opinion of the estate and the calibre of its residents as opposed to the present state of the embankment’s landscape.

    (Note for Billy Pilgrim: Perhaps the comparision with Granny Mainlander’s non pc-ness wasn’t that stretched after all?)

    “oh if you ever do come back from the mainland and you happen to be in the area have a guiness in the errigle i can recommend it. G&T’s are soooo colonial don’t cha think”

    G & Ts colonial? Yes, perhaps.
    Colonialism, the belief in and support for the system of one country or group of people controlling and imposing their beliefs on another. Just this once, I’ll resist the temptation to point out the rather obvious simile;)

    And thanks for the recommendation, comrade. Supping Guinness is, indeed,great for the street cred, but I suspect that, given the season that we’re in, The Chattering Classes of Upper Ormeau are more likely to be sipping a nice glass of chilled Pimms at the minute;)

  • Moochin photoman

    If i choose to have a pint of Guiness, it’s because i wanted one not because i needed to boost my street cred and it is more than likely that i was thirsty.
    I’m not interested in turning this into a thread on class.
    Unionists do get a bashing here and so what. I think that they deserve it….because of the intransigence of their Leadership (no laughing at the back of the class) this country is stuck in the past.
    The country needs to stand on its own multi denominational feet and take steps towards a pluralist and all embracing democracy.

  • idunnomeself

    missfitz, you went on your own?? much respect, don’t you know anyone who could have brought you along?

    I think that the flag burning is, as Beano says, defiance. Defiance against Republicans more than anything else, who fly it in Northern Ireland to show their territorial ambition. The origin is that Loyalist youths would ‘raid’ republican areas, bring a flag back and burn it. So they were burning flags erected in NI by republicans who were using them to claim NI for republicanism if you like.

    I don’t think it has much to do with the ROI at all, it’s to do with rejecting an agenda that republicans have (perhaps wrongly) used the tricolour to represent.

    There is another reason it may seem like the highlight. The flag is at the top, when it goes on fire the fire is fully lit. Most bonfires have something on top and when the fires reach that it is the climax- a guy or a rocket or something, but there’s always something on top. Invariably they dance about defying the flames that lick around them, teasing the crowds. Flags are new-ish, i don’t remember them on bonfires in my youth.

    (also the fire i was at had a UDA flag on top too as the local heavies are UVF)

    None of my arguments above should be taken to mean that I don’t think it is a particularly healthy aspect of loyalist culture, it is negative rather than positive, and emphasises what Unionists aren’t rather than what they are. I can clearly see that an Irish person would misinterpret it.

    I should emphasise that i enjoy and value your posts, and am maybe in danger of being pedantic, but I don’t think that Sectarian is the right word and I think it is thrown around too easily sometimes.

  • missfitz

    idunno
    is that an invitation for next year??

    am touched and accept…..

    will bring bottle of buckie and non-threatening icon to burn……

  • dantheman

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/letters/story.jsp?story=698758

    I think this young man has hit the nail on the head. If we had realised that it was the banner of truth being paraded, we’d be dropping our trousers for the orangemen, not opposing them!

  • Mainlander

    “Unionists do get a bashing here and so what.”

    “The country needs to stand on its own multi denominational feet and take steps towards a pluralist and all embracing democracy.”

    Keep bashing Moochin’ and see how far it pushes us towards the pluralist and all-embracing democracy that both of us are after.

    Dialogue’s the answer, not stereotyping and the constant demonisation of a complete community, which appears in far too many comments on Slugger nowadays. If you and others are really interested in engaging Unionists in debate on here, then think about some of the terminology and lazy descriptions you’re using.

    Having said all that, might well see you in the Errigle for a Guinness, next time I’m back (it’s sort of in the neighbourhood;)), but only if you promise not to bash me 😉

  • smirkyspice

    mainlander are you sure i’m middle class? my bank doesn’t think so..i’m usually one paycheque away from having to move out of an ormeau rd rental and in with mum-in-law on a ‘loyalist’ working class housing estate.. and referring to me as scareyspice is out of order.. think about your own stereotyping and lazy descriptions.. the annadale bonfire site is a sight for sore eyes, and it makes me feel sad that the people who made the mess don’t clean it up. i don’t like the bonfires, i don’t think they do anyone any good.

  • Mainlander

    Sorry about the name-change Smirky-spice,

    While you and one or two others may have been talking about the bonfire, as Moochin admitted, he was talking specifically about the type of people who lived on the Annadale estate. And I don’t think your mum in law would be happy to see the kind of generalisations made of those who live on “loyalist” working-class estates on this and other threads.

    And if my slightly OTT generalisations have shaken some of the more thoughtful commentators on this thread out of their usual “holier-than -themmuns” complacency,then so much the better. Won’t do them the slightest harm to be on the receiving end of a bit of reverse stereotyping for once, it’s always the poor old w/c Unionists who get too much of a bashing (oops sorry, Moochin;)) on Slugger

    And finally ignore what your bank-manager tells you, you be whatever class you wanna be, dont forget it’s your overdraft that pays his wages.

  • Moochin photoman

    Mainlander….
    I was merely commenting on how the estate came into being and not on the people there.
    Wind ure neck in

  • Mainlander

    “I was merely commenting on how the estate came into being and not on the people there.”

    Then I suggest you do a bit more research about how the estate originally came into being.