GAA President participates in Hunger Strike Commemorations

The Daily Ireland reports that recently elected GAA President, Nickey Brennan offically opened a new GAA field named in honour of the IRA INLA terrorist and hunger striker, Kevin Lynch. Has the new president, the GAA clubs and members breached Rule 7A? The article says that these events were organised by “Sinn Fein and Republican Sinn Fein” and included Martin McGuinness giving an oration at St Canice GAA Hall(Update of new link). Rule 7A states:
“Non-Party Political
(a) The Association shall be non-party political. Party political questions shall not be discussed at its meetings, and no Committee, Club, Council or representative thereof shall take part, as such, in any party political movement. A penalty of up to twenty four weeks suspension may be imposed for infringement.”

Update Gregory Campbell gives a response to the weekend’s events .

  • maura

    ‘at the present time ‘

    Telling! But good:-)

  • Realist

    “Try and get your head around the fact that most Irish people see the Hunger Strikers as the Fathers of the Nation”

    The Provo’s OC in Long Kesh during the Hunger Strikes is a convicted sectarian mass murderer.

    The INLA, of which Mr Lynch was a member, were a sectarian killing squad, up to their necks in criminality, including drug dealing.

    RSF are still involved in “armed struggle”.

    These messages from the GAA and their supporters makes a bit of sectarian chanting at the odd football match pale into insignificance.

    This is a sporting organisation glorifying sectarian killer gangs who slaughtered fellow Irishmen, women and children.

    Sporting apartheid.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    circles,
    “This may pass as debate amongst the “true loyalists” you know – although I would like to imagine that there are other “true loyalists” that actually had enough courage in their convictions to be ready to exchange with republicans, without resorting to pettiness and name calling.”

    Pray elaborate…

  • TAFKABO

    Try and get your head around the fact that most Irish people see the Hunger Strikers as the Fathers of the Nation

    Whilst I don’t accept that most Irish people see the hunger strikers in quite those terms, I think there is a kernel of truth in what you say as far as most Irish people holding the hunger strikers in some kind of reverence.

    Here’s where it get’s problematic. You seem to be speaking from the point of thinking that I, and other Unionists don’t quite grasp this point. We do, we understand where you are coming from. My argument with you is that you and others seem to think that mass acceptance is a mandate to deny the sectarian truth of the activities the hunger strikers organisations carried out. Thus Darkley or La Mon are somehow irrelevant because most Irish people have decided it is?. I don’t buy that argument and I think you are fooling yourself if you think you have a sound basis to argue from using that logic.

  • Realist

    “I am in the process of writing a letter to the national Lottery with this evidence, asking them why the fund a sectarian organisation which surely must breach equality guidelines. I will duly post their reply on slugger”

    It’s just a hunch King Billy, but I suspect that those within the unionist community who have been elected to represent unionists will be taking the matter up through the appropriate channels in the not too distant future – I think it’s more than Slugger where the debate will be found.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    dantheman

    You haven’t replied to my answer to you question or was it the ‘wrong’ answer.

    You have no idea what I am doing in my community and it seems you really don’t care what anyone else thinks about what happens in yours, if so why are you here? To parrot the SF/IRA line unthinkingly is not a very useful contribution

  • harpo

    ‘Fantastic, yet another thread aimed at letting the loons preach equivilence between the sectarian Orange Order and the sporting GAA.’

    Prince:

    When there is equivalence it will be pointed out. Such as in this latest incident.

    You can divide the OO and GAA up into one being sectarian, and one being sporting, but the sports element of the GAA is irrelevant.

    Here once again we see the sectarian nature of the GAA, both at an institutional level, and at local level.

    First the argument was ‘well it’s decentralized and the institution doesn’t approve such things’ but now that has disappeared since we see the actions of the institutional level.

    And you can pretend that you beat whatever arguments come up, but you don’t. You just drone on with the same weary excuses for this sectarianism.

    ‘All in all a commemoration remembering the sacrifice of fallen members of the Republican community.’

    Odd then that you criticize the OO when OO lodges remember their fallen members, isn’t it?

    But then to you loyalists are all terrorists and republicans are fallen members.

    ‘If you do not feel comfortable with that, then do not go.’

    And doesn’t the same apply to OO parades?

  • harpo

    ‘Have you ever been to a GAA match?’

    dantheman:

    I haven’t but then I never attended a Nazi parade in the 1930s either.

    Just because I haven’t been to either it doesn’t mean that I can’t see the politics of the organizations running the events.

    Why do you keep asking if people have been to a GAA match? It doesn’t disqualify people from commenting on the sectarianism of the GAA.

  • maura

    ‘Why do you keep asking if people have been to a GAA match? It doesn’t disqualify people from commenting on the sectarianism of the GAA. ‘

    Harpo, that is a fair enough point, and is often asked of Nationalists who write/talk about the 12th or OO parades.
    Back to the ‘sectarian’ nature of these occassions. Again, as I have stated before, I am not sure that these things ( the GAA or OO parades) are in of themselves sectarian; rather the sectarianism arises in HOW they are celebrated/commemorated.
    Now if in opening this park, the President of the GAA said something anti-Unionist or anti-Protestant then I would suggest yes that is sectarian. But he didn’t, did he?
    If the OO march through the Sandy Row, with no Kill all taigs banners, that too, is not sectarian.
    We can all agree that we all disagree about whom or what we should be commemorating. We can’t get around that. But we also can’t declare it sectarian just because we do not share the political affiliations. I for example, do not think it is sectarian to commemorate King William. I do think however that in some instances, how it is commemorated, it the key.

  • peter fallow

    It is actually hard to believe the arrogant stupidity of the GAA on this. As realist rightly points out, it makes the occasional bit of sectarian chanting (now rightly stamped out, and stamped out hard by the IFA) seem almost innocuous. This is the institutional veneration of sectarian murderers. If it is wrong to have UVF men commemorated on Orange banners, then it is wrong to name GAA grounds after INLA men. If it is OK to name GAA grounds after INLA men, then you must accept that some Orange lodges should be allowed to remember what they regard as their fallen. Neither should happen in my opinion. But you can’t have it both ways and you look foolish and hyprocritical if you try to.
    The ‘logic’ of those defending this runs as follows: sectarian murder is defensible / excusable if it was our lot doing it. The double standards and hyprocrisy are breathtaking.

  • maura

    Peter: ‘If it is wrong to have UVF men commemorated on Orange banners, then it is wrong to name GAA grounds after INLA men. If it is OK to name GAA grounds after INLA men, then you must accept that some Orange lodges should be allowed to remember what they regard as their fallen. Neither should happen in my opinion. But you can’t have it both ways and you look foolish and hyprocritical if you try to.’

    Peter, I for one , have no problem with anyone remembering their fallen. I see the UVF victim of the troubles, as I see the IRA victim of the troubles and ( although not in the same way) I can understand the commemoration of the Security forces member. The civilian victms should of course be our major concern, from whatever ‘side’ and not used a fodder in political disputes.
    The fundamental difference in who we believe should be commemorated in all of this is of course directed by our political affiliations. The problem lies in HOW we remember, not in whom, because as we see, we will not be changing our political affiliations anytime soon!

  • Ringo

    Carsons Cat

    If the GAA were determined not to get embroiled in controversy then they would steer clear at least from official representation at the events.

    Firstly – the only ‘event’ that Nicky Brennan attended was the opening of a GAA facility in his capacity as the president of the organisation that would use the facility. If it was being named after Chairman Mao he’d have been there. The pitch wasn’t created to commemorate a hunger striker, it was created to play ball. The issue about the naming of the pitch has nothing to do with Nicky Brennan.

    Secondly – the president of the association not attending the opening of a GAA pitch because it was named after a hunger striker would be a one-way ticket to controversy for the GAA.

    Try and get your head around the fact that most Irish people see the Hunger Strikers as the Fathers of the Nation

    Anyone that takes that statement at face value needs their heads examined. 25 years on it is Stardust that people chose to remember from 1981. The hunger strikers are absolutely irrelevant beyond the fringe of militant republicanism. Only goes to prove how detached from the reality of where Ireland is today some of the republican contributors here are.

  • maura

    Moderator,
    Might I apologise publicily for me tone toward you:-)

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Maura,

    MOderator is a serial impersonator, last known to be impersonating The Glorous King Billy. Now banned for his trouble.

  • Pete Baker

    Hmm.. perhaps, Mick, that could have been better phrased.. to avoid confusion in future attempts to moderate? ;o)

  • Moochin photoman

    Sport and politics do not and should not mix.

    I do not agree with a sporting venue being named after a fallen hero/convicted terrorist (delete as applicable).

    I would agree that national figures from the past could be used but in this instance i feel that the GAA have messed up and should not have countenanced the naming of the ground after him.

  • harpo

    You know, if what our nationalist defenders of the GAA are saying on this thread is actually true, then I wonder why they bother posting anything on any thread on Slugger. Or anywhere else.

    If they really believed in this stuff about ‘we all have different narratives’ then wouldn’t they just read about some event that had taken place and say ‘now that’s not my narrative, but it is a different narrative, so I don’t need to comment on it’.

    That’s why I don’t think they believe in it at all. It’s just a useful platitude to pull out when some representative of nationalism is exposed as having done something bad/stupid.

    They certainly don’t believe in it when some representative of unionism is exposed as having done something bad/stupid.

    That’s why when it is exposed that some OO lodge has a banner commemorating some dead loyalist they howl with disgust at this evidence against the OO, and unionism in general that supposedly bred such behaviour. That action is to be condemned outright, and the ‘well it’s a different narrative, isn’t it?’ theory is forgotten.

    It’s as regular as clockwork. Something is done by a unionist or unionists, and out come the knives. Instant condemnation of the event and claims that it shows the ongoing bigotry that unionsism breeds. No analysis of context, no explaining that it is a different narrative, nothing other than outright condemnation, and the extrapolation of the event to all of unionism and/or the British.

    It’s all weasel words, based on the working procedure of ‘the unionists are evil, so attack them every time you get the chance, we are good so defend us every time we come under attack.

    I think the nationalist defender of the GAA who said ‘so what?’ over the weekend sums it up best. When some element of nationalism is attacked for their behaviour, his answer was ‘so what?’.

    That’s the nationalist starting point, and it expands from there so that every single detail is disputed. Thus an INLA guy can’t be considered to be a terrorist because seemingly most NI nationalists say so. Or if his organization engaged in terrorism, they didn’t do that much. Or he wasn’t personally involved in any of the terorrism. Or he isn’t known to have murdered anyone. Or nationalists don’t remember him as an INLA member, they remember him as one of the patriot dead. He sacrificed himself they tell us.

    Why isn’t this same analysis done by nationalists when it comes to the likes of Billy Wright? In his case he is just condemned as an evil loyalist terrorist, and a typical example of what unionism produces. No analysis is done. No examination of his alternate narrative is carried out. He’s just plain evil.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I see no possibility of power sharing when these nationalists have the attitudes that they continue to have.

  • maura

    ‘Maura,

    MOderator is a serial impersonator, last known to be impersonating The Glorous King Billy. Now banned for his trouble.’

    Ach well then! Should I retract or just be nice and let it stand, seeing as I am a Republican and we appear to have a need to be in a permanent state of apology:-)
    I was bit curious as to why a moderator would be offended at me condemning an offensive name-calling blog. I was almost going to write about sectarian moderators! 🙂 Good job I didn’t.
    Thanks guys, this is what comes from being a complete ignoramus at this stuff.

  • harpo

    ‘That is where the nationalist morality comes in, we mightn’t have agreed with his decision to join the INLA or whoever, but he was prepared to lay down his life for what he believed in, and that should be respected and remembered.’

    new boy:

    ‘nationalist morality’? Now there’s an oxymoron.

    Tell me this then. Does your nationalist morality enable you to divorce one thing from the other when it comes to Billy Wright say?

    Can we hear you say this: ‘we mightn’t have agreed with his decision to join the UVF or LVF or whoever, but he was prepared to lay down his life for what he believed in, and that should be respected and remembered’.

    Are you prepared to say that? Divorce the actions of the man from his fate.

    And let’s not stop there. How about Hitler? Should nationalists respect and remember him because after all, he laid down his life for what he believed in?

    Again, I think you are engaging in cheap platitudes that you don’t really believe in. Nationalists don’t do this when it comes to loyalists, do they? Nationalists just go hysterical and say ‘how can anyone commemorate a loyalist terrorist?’. There is none of this supposed nationalist morality that you speak of.

    This supposed morality is reserved exclusively for IR terrorists.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Maura,

    No fault lies with you… just our dear (now departed from Slugger) friend…

  • harpo

    ‘Can our opposing narratives ever merge in some type of understanding?… Why oh why can’t Unionists face their truths?’

    maura:

    So, ‘merging our opposing narratives’ involves unionists facing their truths?

    Well there’s as short a summary of the nationalist opinion as one could ever come up with.

    Unionists have considered every opposing point on this thread, and have found them all wanting. Nationalists can whine on about ‘opposing narratives’ as much as they want, but the unionist narrative is that this guy was an IR terrorist, and it is shameful that the GAA at all levels entertains, for whatever reason, commemorating people like this.

    Now, you may not like that narrative, but the truth is that is what it is. How you merge that with the supposed nationalist narrative is beyond me, but go right ahead if you want to try.

    And so long as the nationalist narrative is what IT is, unionists aren’t going to want to have anything to do with the GAA, given that in our narrative, this is yet more evidence that the GAA does not provide a neutral environment in which all would be welcome to play their sports. Unionists certainly would not be.

    The GAA in word and deed is a nationalist organization, That makes it sectarian, no matter what the GAA or the nationalist narrative thinks.

  • Realist

    “he was prepared to lay down his life for what he believed in, and that should be respected and remembered”

    Was the PIRA OC in Long Kesk during the Hunger Strikes “prepared to lay down his life for what he believed in”?

    Sorry, but I ain’t got any respect whatsoever for those led by this piece of filth.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brendan_McFarlane

    The said thug is heavily involved in promoting the “commemoration” at GAA’s Antrim HQ.

  • John East Belfast

    Ringo

    “Secondly – the president of the association not attending the opening of a GAA pitch because it was named after a hunger striker would be a one-way ticket to controversy for the GAA.”

    Does the GAA not consider such a struggle as essential for the integrity and decency of their organisation ?

    Are they afraid to take these people on ? – if they are what does that tell you about the Jack boot nature of Republicanism ?

    As I said he was either supportive or fearful – I would consider the latter as more sinister if I was a nationalist.

    DK made a good post at 3.55 on this thread contrasting the sterling efforts by the IFA to give sectarianism the boot with the GAA who havent even tied their laces on this one.

    Never again will I feel the need to defend the G&W Army to some of the posters on this site.

  • Moochin photoman

    Harpo..take a chill pill ffs!
    You cannot condemn the whole of the GAA as sectarian.
    Certainly elements and individual members may well be involved or connected but you cannot tarnish all with the same brush.
    I agree with some of your points but you seem to be getting increasingly angry…..as the scousers say “Calm Down” …you’re beginning to sound like that demagogue that we have had to endure for so long here!

  • TAFKABO

    Harpo.

    Thank you for articulating mine, and I’m sure many other unionists and protestants feelings on this matter. It’s a rare day that sees me refer to my protestantism, but the commemoration of an INLA man, the same INLA who would have shot me for being a protestant, reminds me where I come from.

  • circles

    Realist: Was the PIRA OC in Long Kesk during the Hunger Strikes “prepared to lay down his life for what he believed in”?
    Yes – the OC was Bobby Sands who handed over the role of OC to Bik McFarlane when he started the hunger strike. Does that answer your question?

    Harpo: I’m sorry if none of this is helping you understand the nationalist attitude to the hunger strikers. One of the most important aspects is the manner in which they did – which is not the same as that of Billy Wright. It was the fact that in order to improve the conditions of their comrades that these men died that inspires respect. I am not aware of an loyalist prisoners who have ever shown such sacrifice for their comrades (and of course I stand to be corrected) – that they died so that others may have better conditions.
    Unfortunately you seem to have a huge axe to grind. Indeed even the fact that nationalists and unionists have different ways of viewing the north of Ireland seems to send a rush of blood to your head. But its true.
    And one more thing – sectarian refers to religion, not politics. Being a nationalist or unionist does not make a person sectarian – youseem to have gotten a little confused on that one.
    I can understand that to you the GAA have proven yet again that they are an out and out republican organisation by allowing this park to be named after K Lynch.
    Now just imagine what it would be like live in a place where every summer the towns are closed to allow republicans to march, at times with police protection and back up, through loyalist areas. Where you are forced to take your annual holidays or watch the whole proceedings on telly being told that its a “carneval atmosphere”. Where there was a time when the local militia weres likely to members of the IRA as of the british army.
    Can you imagine that? Well, thats just a little taste of what nationalists see when they look at the picture.

  • Realist

    “Yes – the OC was Bobby Sands who handed over the role of OC to Bik McFarlane when he started the hunger strike. Does that answer your question?”

    Circles,

    Why did “Bik” not go on Hunger Strike?

    Better maybe to have a sectarian mass murderer and kidnapper as a “leader”, as oppossed to the other squeaky clean comrades eh?

  • circles

    Realist: Read Ten Men Dead by David Beresford – I’m not an encyclopedia for all your hunger strike needs.
    But if you want my opinion there were surely propoganda considerations for McFarlane not enter the strike, as McFarlane would have been a much harder “sell” to the “passive republican” community at large (thats my opinion anyway).
    This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone – they were all IRA men and aware of the “value” of propoganda.
    By the way, nobody said that the hunger strikers were “squeaky clean”. If it was sarcasm, it lacked kick 😉

  • TAFKABO

    I tried to read Ten Men Dead about five years ago. I got to one passage in the book where the author contrasted the people in jails refusing meals with protestant children “stuffing their faces” at street parties for the Queens jubilee. The undercurrent of hatred for protestant children, coupled with the saintly reverence for the men in jail appalled me so much that I stopped reading at that point.

  • maura

    Harpo, first before responding let me confess to being a complete Idealist. Do with that what you may.

    Do you agree or disagree that Unionists also have a past to own up to?
    As to your statement that ‘nationalist morality’ is an oxymoron, are you, or anyone else in agreement with you, seriously suggesting that there is not a Nationalist in Northern Ireland with morality?

    You are right in saying that neither of us particularly likes the others ‘narrative’ but does that mean that each of our ‘narratives’ are completley true/false, or that each of them contains some element of truth that we all need to consider if we are ever to move on?

    You have your version of history, I have mine. So what do you suggest we do with them. Do we ban for ever all commemorations of our respective histories, including OO marches, Hunger Srike commemorations etc, and become a society that ignores its history?

    I have been considering this issue over dinner time, and it occurs to me that the bottom line is, for many Unionists, that any expression of Nationalism is going to be condemned outright as sectarianism. Be it the promotion of the Irish language, Catholic children going to school in ‘Unionist areas,’ historical debates about 1916, hunger strike commemorations etc etc etc. I am not wont to fall into the old ‘Oh they don’t want a Nationalist anout the place’ sentiment, because that is just too simplistic, however, why is it that every expression of Nationalism meets these accusations at every point?

  • circles

    TAFKABO:
    Holy God!! Talk about different narratives! That was something that I missed completely – I’ll be scurrying back to the text for that.
    Although to be honest TAF I think you are doing the book a serious disservice in summing it up like that. “An undercurrent of hatred for protestant children”? Do you not think you’re underrating the author by implying that he might be anti-protestant?
    David Beresford isn’t the simple propondagaist you seem to paint him as in your post.

  • maura

    Cirles:’And one more thing – sectarian refers to religion, not politics. Being a nationalist or unionist does not make a person sectarian – youseem to have gotten a little confused on that one. ‘

    Sectarianism certinly seems to have been redefined on this site.

  • Peter fallow

    “You know, if what our nationalist defenders of the GAA are saying on this thread is actually true, then I wonder why they bother posting anything on any thread on Slugger. Or anywhere else.” and the rest.

    Thank you, Harpo, for perfectly distilling my feelings on this subject. This sort of thread makes me wonder whether repartition actually is the answer. Because from the evidence of this thread and others like it, republicans simply do not have what it takes to share power or territory. They want the destruction of unionism and the victory of their ‘narrative’ over all else. And they seem completely unaware of the inherent fascism of their position.

  • new boy

    Harpo
    If Billy Wright went on hunger strike for the treatment of LVF prisioners in the Maze, or for any other injustice that he believed that his comrades had bestowed upon them, and he saw it through, then Nationalists, although hating what he did as part of the LVF, would respect a man who is prepared to die for his cause. It is the whole nationalist – martyr relationship at work.
    Impling Hitler in the same light is completly wrong. He couldn’t face being held accountable for his actions and committed suicide, hardly the same as going on hunger strike

  • Prince Eoghan

    Well I did predict that the loons would take over.

    I was right. Whomever it was who suggested a thread on the definition of sectarianism is a genius. There are many here who could do with a lie down and think about what it means.

    Fine Unionists don’t like us, but don’t have a cow because we aren’t like you. I would not associate or give support to any group or organisation that is sectarian, in this I am anti-sectarian. I have a clear conscience, do Unionists? telling me I am sectarian over and over and over and over, don’t make it so. EVIDENCE. Funny we know how much evidence there is of Unionist hatred.

    It really would help if the accusations flying at Nationalism were credible, but they are a joke. Sure these commemorations would make some uncomfortable, maybe in another life we would not be in a situation where young men are venerated for their sacrifice. This is something all peoples do(think cenotaph) A struggle was fought, you guys chose not to be with your fellow Irishmen/women. It is now over, but we will remember how we choose without bullying or intimidation.

    Again it seems to be creeping in. Folks there is no moral equivalance between the GAA and OO, don’t feed the trolls.

    I am done here.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Sorry, last word. I am amazed, really that the most beligerant, b1goted, ignorant, intellectually challenged poster on here has been highlighted several times as the defender of Unionism, and highlighting good Prod concerns. Disgraceful, well he has got a lot to live up to.

    Big Ian needs a worthy successor. Any takers?

  • circles

    Peter: “from the evidence of this thread and others like it, republicans simply do not have what it takes to share power or territory. They want the destruction of unionism and the victory of their ‘narrative’ over all else.

    Hmmm – nobody, not even the most vehment reblican posting, said anything like this Peter. Either you’re simply projecting your own feelings, or you need to take something for paranoia.
    A thankfully its not up to any delusional, paranoid to decide if republican “have what it takes” – although thanks for the smile that one brought to my face 😉
    And thanks to Fair Deal for lighting the ue touch paper then getting himself safely off-side ohis one…… reminds me of a certain party leader…..

  • maura

    Peter:’ They want the destruction of unionism and the victory of their ‘narrative’ over all else. And they seem completely unaware of the inherent fascism of their position. ‘

    How does our wanting to play football, commemorate our history as we see fit, seeking the destruction of anything? Please explain?

  • harpo

    ‘Does the GAA not consider such a struggle as essential for the integrity and decency of their organisation ?’

    John East Belfast:

    I’d say the answer to that is ‘obviously not’.

    No matter what the GAA did here, it was bound to be controversial, but the path they took – and the form of controversy they chose to invoke – speaks volumes about their attitudes.

    They chose to be associated with a dedication to an IR terrorist, knowing that it would be controversial. They chose not to invoke the controversy of saying ‘no’ to a GAA club that wanted to have a dedication to this IR terrorist. They are thus much more comfortable acting on a tribal basis, on the assumption that themmuns complaining is better than our ones complaining.

    And that’s why this is all so sad.

    GAA supporters can pretend that the GAA provides a neutral environment and sport for all, but it is at best an organization for nationalists, and at worst one that is all for being involved in the commemoration of the most extreme forms of nationalism.

    Of course the GAA CAN do whatever they like, but if they do certain things they are going to be told by certainj people that what they did is not acceptable.

    What I wonder is did the GAA president even think about the likely controversy that his appearance would invoke? Or, like many OO folks, is his head so far up his own butt that he was oblivious to what was likely to happen?

    That would mean that in addition to your ‘he was either supportive or fearful’ he may have been just plain stupid and never thought of what may happen. If that’s the case then it doesn’t say much about the GAA if such a person can rise to be President of it.

  • TAFKABO

    Circles.

    It’s a difficult one to be sure. I’ve heard so much good things about that book, and there’s no denying that it is well written. But the Author crossed a line in my opinion, by painting a picture of suffering starving republicans contrasted with happy well fed protestant children. Given the tone of the book, there was no doubt that the author intended the reader to feel anger towards the protestant children. I don’t have a copy of the book to hand, but I’m sure if you do it shouldn’t be too difficult to find the passage I am referring to.

    I’m also sure that were I ever to talk about your children in similar terms, contrasting them unfavourably against Loyalist paramilitaries, or even British army personel, you wouldn’t be too pleased.

    Recently there was supposed to be a commemoration of Francie Hughes, but it was cancelled in light of the terrible murder of Michael McIlveen. No doubt some will see the cancellation as an act of largesse on the part of the organisers, in order to calm tensions in the wake of the killing. But a lot of us feel the republicans are clever enough to realise it would have been too glaring a double standard to complain about one child murder, whilst commemorating another child killer at the same time.

  • maura

    TAFKABO ‘but the commemoration of an INLA man, the same INLA who would have shot me for being a protestant, reminds me where I come from. ‘

    TAF, while I can’t agree with you that Kevin Lynch would have killed you for being Protestant, for sake of the discussion I’ll just leave that.
    I do understand what you are saying; yet I ask that you understand how offended I could be at the commemoration of the RUC/UDR victims; they have and did brutalise my community for years. That also reminds me where I come from; but the fact remains it gets me nowhere!

  • circles

    Harpo: Are you deliberately avoiding postyou can’t answer, or is it ona strange coincidence that every post addressed to you has been ignored? There were a few points in 8.11 that I would appreciate if you aressed them.

  • circles

    Thanks for that sane post TAF! Much appreciated!!
    Unfortunately I gave my last copy of it away, and won’t be getting near a bookshop for a good while, but will not forget what you said.
    I can imagine that if that were the case, then you would be mighty upset. However the book is honestly worth a read, particularly when describing just how these men ended up where they did. Its easy to label them monsters and child killers, its much harder to look behind the labels, and think that actually they weren’t that different from anybody else at one stage.

  • dictionary corner

    from http://www.dictionary.com

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

    n.
    A member of a sect.
    One characterized by bigoted adherence to a factional viewpoint.

    sectarianism

    n : a narrow-minded adherence to a particular sect or party or denomination; “he condemned religious sectarianism

  • dictionary corner

    Before anyone gets ideas that a sect pertains exlusively to religion.

    sect ( P ) Pronunciation Key (skt)
    n.
    A group of people forming a distinct unit within a larger group by virtue of certain refinements or distinctions of belief or practice.
    A religious body, especially one that has separated from a larger denomination.
    A faction united by common interests or beliefs.

    Any other dictionaries stating the contrary would be interesting.

  • circles

    thanks DC

  • harpo

    ‘Harpo..take a chill pill ffs!’

    Moochin photoman:

    No – when it comes to people supporting terrorists I will say my piece. And I don’t need a chill pill. You just don’t like my mesage.

    ‘You cannot condemn the whole of the GAA as sectarian.’

    That’s where you are wrong. I can, and just did, condemn the whole of the GAA as sectarian.

    And I’ll do it again for you. The whole of the GAA is sectarian.

    In recent weeks we have been spun various stories, the main one being that ‘the GAA’ doesn’t support the hunger strikers, or IR terrorists or whatever. And so when that shirt issue arose we were told that it was only the act of a few individuals not acting on behalf of the GAA. And that ‘the GAA’ had distanced themselves from the shirt.

    Then we get the stadium being used for the hunger-striker rally. Same story (except amended to take into account that an official part of the GAA was now involved) – the Antrim board does not represent all of ‘the GAA’ etc etc etc.

    Now we reach the pinnacle, and there can be no misunderstanding here. Here we have the President of ‘the GAA’ acting as the president of ‘the GAA’ in being involved with this dedication to a hunger-striker. I haven’t seen anyone claim that he was only acting as an individual, although I have to say I thought someone might try that angle.

    In this case ‘the GAA’ via the President of it has no problem being associated with an IR terrorist.

    This thread has been dedicated to nothing more than lots of people trying to justify why he is entitled to do so.

    I’m not arguing that he is not entitled to do so. He is equally entitled to go to that rally on August 13, dress in fatigues, and yell ‘up the INLA, fuck Airey Neave’ if he wants.

    But given that he is on the side of those who commemorate dead IR terrorists, people are in no position to paint the GAA as being anything other than a nationalist organization, and one that is happy to be involved in commemorating dead IR terrorists.

    That attitude is why it is sectarian. If it persists in that attitude it has nothing to offer unionists, or anyone else who doesn’t like being around supporters of IR terrorism. It is not simply providing sport to everyone on the island of Ireland. It is creating a pro-nationalist environment, and is OK with a pro-IR terrorist environment anywhere GAA folks want one.

    I don’t see how anyone can argue that it is anything other than sectarian, It goes out of its way to make unionists feel unwelcome.

  • circles

    I stand corrected unless told otherwise – apologies Harpo!

  • TAFKABO

    Circles.

    Let’s be clear. I never used the term monster, I try to stay away from such terminology, nor did I call all those men child killers. the fact is one is known to have killed a child and another belonged to an organisation that went into protestant churches and assasinated people who were in the middle of prayer.

    I’m happy to be corrected when I launch into emotional hyperbole, but I’ll not be deflected from stating the facts.

  • Amused (formerly known as Bemused)

    Is anyone even remotely surprised by any of this?

    The G.A.A. is one of the most embarrassing bodies in the country. It is the spiritual home of every dull-witted, quick-tempered insular bogman in the land. The constant attempts by Unionists to equate the G.A.A. and the Orange Order are of course merely a risible attempt at fig-leafing the latter’s transparent, odious and widespread peddling of b i g o t r y and (latterly) sectarian civil disorder. That said the attempts at comparison are not without some merit.

    The G.A.A. encapsulates all that remains to be changed to finally drag Ireland into the twenty-first century – parochialism, slipshod amateurism (i.e. rank incompetence) and a gag-inducing assumption that the Catholic Church has some sort of god-given right to be at the heart of the state, society and local community. The sooner these bog-ball and stick-fighting merchants wise up the better.

    As for the hunger strikes – Christ – where do you start? As a republican (in the French rather than the Ardoyne sense) I never cease to be amazed by the pompous vitriol that this whole ‘event’ continues to generate within the Shinners and the other Republican unwashed.

    Throughout the Seventies, Eighties and early Nineties Britain was at war in Ireland (whether the British establishment cared to admit it or not). Given that state of affairs, why the fiddling fuck would any British administration give a monkeys whether or not a gang of IRA/INLA prisoners decided to starve themselves to death/stick cucumbers up their bums/start learning Serbo-Croat???? The arrogance of these losers was astounding – “I am going to starve myself to death – therefore everybody must listen to what I say and grant my wishes/demands”. Oh yeah?? You must be fucking joking. Can you imagine the reciprocal reaction if the entire British cabinet had announced that they were going to refuse food until Ireland rejoined the Commonwealth?

    Precisely – utter bemusement.

  • Amused (formerly known as Bemused)

    Anyone know why the moderators keep trying to prevent me from posting under my usual nom de plume?? Between constantly having to alter my posting name and spell words like ‘b i g o t’ with spaces – posting on this site is becoming comparable to entering the Krypton Factor.

  • harpo

    TAFKABO:

    I don’t think it’s anything to do with Protestantism, it’s more to do with the decent versus the indecent.

    The difference between the decent and the indecent is that the decent look at the stupid things that the likes of the OO and the GAA do – often the exact same things – and judge them on the same basis. If they have members who honour terrorists and the central organization allows this stuff the central organization can be criticised.

    The indecent however start off on the ‘us and them’ basis. Themmuns are thus evil and to be condemned for doing something, our boys are to be honoured when they did the exact same thing.

    And you see it on this very thread. The indecent nationalist posters come up with any and every excuse to justify what the President of the GAA did. And it all really comes back to their view that the INLA terrorist isn’t actually a terrorist, so what’s the harm in honouring him. And why should anyone else mind.

    I’m sure that there are unionists of the loyalist persuasion who hold similar indecent views – that this INLA guy is a terrorist, but that Billy Wright was an Ulster patriot, but the difference is that you don’t see too many of them posting on boards like this. In contrast you see many nationalists posting this crap.

    I’d say that there is much more of this indecent attitude within nationalism. Of course those who hold such views will try to justify it as ‘majority nationalist opinion’ or whatever else, but it remains indecent.

    The fact that over 50% of nationalist voters already vote for PSF/PIRA gives the game away. Is it any wonder that at least half of the nationalist posters on here have these indecent opinions? Or that at least half of GAA supporters are all for commemorating IR terrorists, no matter what anyone else thinks.

  • A m u s e d (formerly known as Bemused)

    Couldn’t have put it better myself Harpo.

  • maura

    Harpo: ‘indecent opinions? ‘indecent nationalist posters ‘ ‘I’d say that there is much more of this indecent attitude within nationalism’

    Ah well, then that’s it then!

  • harpo

    ‘Harpo: I’m sorry if none of this is helping you understand the nationalist attitude to the hunger strikers.’

    circles:

    I think you have me confused with someone who gives a fuck if you are sorry. I understand the nationalist attitude to the hunger-strikers. Very well.

    ‘One of the most important aspects is the manner in which they did – which is not the same as that of Billy Wright.’

    Did you mean ‘died’ there?

    Again, I don’t care how they died. They were terrorists. I see this all the time from nationalists – this ‘this is not exactly the same as that’ thinking. It’s all you have when it comes to trying to differentiate why it is OK for you to honour your terrorists and condemn other terrorists.

    Does the manner in which these terrorists died change the fact that they were terrorists? Bobby Sands was a terrorist, Billy Wright was a terrorist. They both engaged in terrorism. Of course you will ignore facts and make the glib general claim that Bobby Sands was actually a freedom fighter. I understand your views, and I still remain of the opinion that your views are shite.

    I don’t see how anyone with any decency can start ranking terrorists so that their terrorists come out better than those of the other side.

    So you can talk to doomsday about ‘narratives’ and all the other shite, but it all comes down to you (and many other nationalists) being exactly the same as the loyalist who says that Billy Wright should be honoured. You all use wierd methods of selection when it comes to who you think should be honoured and who should be condemned. Methods of selection that we decent people don’t care to have.

    ‘It was the fact that in order to improve the conditions of their comrades that these men died that inspires respect.’

    So says the indecent mind. Do we just ignore the terrorism then? It’s all OK because these men tried to bring about better conditions for terrorist prisoners? Wise the fuck up.

    Is Hitler to be respected because he did some good things for the Germans? I don’t think so.

    So why is there such emphasis from your sort of nationalist to ignore the terrorism of what these guys did, and concentrate on their role as prisoners? Remember these are the guys that were carrying out the violence that the RC church and the likes of the SDLP were condemning all the time. Yet all that is forgotten and lots of you start treating them as victims. Why is that?

    I’d say it’s hypocricy. So while many of you nodded and agreed when the SDLP condemned the latest bombing or shooting by the PIRA or INLA, you forgot all that when actual members of those organizations ended up in jail. You condemn the entity of the PIRA but feel sorry for the PIRA prisoner.

    I’d much rather prefer to stay in the group of people who don’t conveniently forget the actions of the prisoners, just as you don’t when it comes to loyalist prisoners. I don’t care that these guys starved themselves to death – they were terrorists. That’s the beginning and end of it.

    ‘Unfortunately you seem to have a huge axe to grind’

    Well no shit – as a victim of IR terrorism.

    ‘Indeed even the fact that nationalists and unionists have different ways of viewing the north of Ireland seems to send a rush of blood to your head.’

    Not at all. I understand how nationalists view it. Just as I understand how many of you view terrorists.

    ‘And one more thing – sectarian refers to religion, not politics’

    No it doesn’t. Look it up in a dictionary. It’s about sects – hence the word.

    ‘Can you imagine that? Well, thats just a little taste of what nationalists see when they look at the picture.’

    Nationalists live in a fantasy where everything is backwards?

  • MH

    Have any of you geniuses actually read anything about the Darkley massacre? If you’re going to claim that this single incident, by most accounts carried out by a single, very disturbed INLA member, whose family had been repeatedly attacked by loyalists, and his friends, defines the 30 year history of the INLA, you should at least do a bit of reading on it, and not from Willie Frazier’s site either.

  • maura

    There is nothing that can justify Darkley. Absolutely nothing! Never. It was a dark and brutal attack. Period.

  • TAFKABO

    Excellent.

    Here comes that other old chestnut of nationalist rhetoric….It was an isolated incident
    Every atrocity by republicans is to be examined in isolation and all mitigating factors taken into account.

  • harpo

    ‘As to your statement that ‘nationalist morality’ is an oxymoron, are you, or anyone else in agreement with you, seriously suggesting that there is not a Nationalist in Northern Ireland with morality?’

    maura:

    Not at all. But that wasn’t what I claimed. You mde a specific claim about what this ‘nationalist morality’ allowed nationalists to come up with. Delusions so far as I can see. Is there really some sort of shared ‘nationalist morality’ as you stated? Please explain it, as I don’t see much actual morality in it.

    ‘You have your version of history, I have mine. So what do you suggest we do with them.’

    I suggest you stick yours up your idealistic arse.

    ‘Do we ban for ever all commemorations of our respective histories’

    Nope. Where did I say anything about banning anything? Why can’t you people read. No bans. Get it?

    All I said was that when people do certain things they will be judged based on what they did. So if the GAA keeps on helping commemorate dead IR terrorists, it is going to (and already has) ended up with a certain reputation.

    I’d like to ask what the GAA – a supposed sporting organization – has to do with commemorations of dead IR terrorists anyway. There seem to be plenty of political paties and ‘movements’ into all this, so isn’t the nationalist desire to commemorate dead IR terrorists already well catered for? Why does the GAA need to be involved?

    ‘I have been considering this issue over dinner time’

    How appropriate! A good feed always helps the thought process. A pity skinny Bobby and the rest of those suicidal fuckers (that’s my narrative by the way) hadn’t done the same and thought it out before killing themselves.

    ‘and it occurs to me that the bottom line is, for many Unionists, that any expression of Nationalism is going to be condemned outright as sectarianism.’

    And that’s where you would be wrong. I don’t condemn every expression of nationalism as being sectarian. Just those that are sectarian. Like the GAA and its actions. The SDLP is non-sectarian in my opinion.

    ‘Catholic children going to school in ‘Unionist areas’

    What has that got to do with an expression of nationalism? The mask slips from your face. Is nationalism exclusively Catholic? It would appear to be so in your mind. I don’t assume that.

    Do you also assume that the GAA is dedicated to the Catholic Gaelic version of Irishness? Is that what their nationalism is?

    ‘why is it that every expression of Nationalism meets these accusations at every point?’

    It doesn’t. Again, it’s only the ones that are sectarian that are accused of being sectarian.

  • maura

    Harpo,
    I am so idealistic, I don’t even respond to direct name-calling and insults.
    Just something this indecent and immoral Nationalist does in her life:-) It is a nice tendency within those Nationalists and Unionists I associate with. Nothing personal, mind! But you have at it, in your awesome decency:-)

  • harpo

    ‘If Billy Wright went on hunger strike for the treatment of LVF prisioners in the Maze, or for any other injustice that he believed that his comrades had bestowed upon them, and he saw it through, then Nationalists, although hating what he did as part of the LVF, would respect a man who is prepared to die for his cause.’

    new boy:

    What’s the obsession with hunger-strikes? Anyway, isn’t that just your narrative?

    Earlier folks were saying they respected people who died for their cause, now of course we have it redefined to the actual way that they die for it. So that it fits only skinny Bobby and the gang.

    Didn’t Billy Wright die for his cause? Do you respect him?

    Count me out. I don’t care how terrorists kill themselves. They are still terrorists, and worthy of nothing but disdain.

    ‘It is the whole nationalist – martyr relationship at work.’

    Adapted to suit skinny Bobby of course.

    I always thought that martyrs were killed by someone else. I don’t see that killing yourself makes you a martyr. But then I’m not a deranged nationalist trying to adapt things to make them something else. Nobody killed skinny Bobby. He killed himself. He isn’t a martyr.

    But if what you say is actually true, it does mean then that Hitler is a martyr. Again – do you respect him?

    ‘He couldn’t face being held accountable for his actions and committed suicide, hardly the same as going on hunger strike’

    Yes it is. Those IR fuckers couldn’t face doing their time and committed suicide. Just like Hitler. Again, like Hitler, they killed themselves. Hitler of course did it quickly, unlik the hunger-strikers.

    On the subject of the hunger-strikers though maybe you could explain this one. 2 of the hunger-strikers were taken off hunger-strike because it looked like they were going to die too quickly. But if producing martyrs is what it was all about then why didn’t they let those 2 die?

    The obvious answer is that it was never actually about having men die – it was all about them living for a good long time in order to turn up the political pressure. They thought – wrongly – that Thatcher would give in to them if they had men geting worse and worse over a long period of time, but not actually dying. They assumed she would give up before someone died.

    That’s why they couldn’t have anyone die quickly. It would have spoiled the plans for long hunger-strikes and a gradual increase in pressure.

    Of course once skinny Bobby died the while gig was up. They knew that Thatcher would never give in, but they had to keep on killing themselves as a matter of pride. So lots more men had to die.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Isolated incident I think not! There are many but this springs to mind.

    Droppin’ Well bombing – Seventeen people, 11 of them soldiers, are killed by an INLA bomb at the Droppin’ Well pub in County Derry, on December 6 1982.

    Even allowing for republicans who think the 11 soldiers who died were ‘legitimate’ targets what about the other 6 names below? Maybe collateral damage will explain it.

    06 December 1982 Ruth Dixon (17) Protestant
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
    06 December 1982 Carol Watts (25) Protestant
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
    06 December 1982 Angela Hoole (19) nfNI
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
    06 December 1982 Patricia Cooke (21) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
    06 December 1982 Valerie McIntyre (21) Protestant
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
    06 December 1982 Alan Callaghan (17) Protestant
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)

    An a GAA club and grounds, not so many miles from Ballkelly, are named after a member of the organisation who killed them – a fine reflection on the members of the GAA who tolerate it. Do any of them care how the relatives of those above feel when they hear about activities like this?

  • slug

    Looking at that headline it disappoints me.

    Good progress in the GAA had been made as they let members of the police join.

    Now that they are supporting the Hunger Strikers it seems to speak only for one tribe.

  • harpo

    ‘A struggle was fought, you guys chose not to be with your fellow Irishmen’

    Prince:

    True enough. I kept on eating so that I didn’t end up in a hole in the ground.

    I recall that I had already worked that out for myself, but skinny Bobby and the rest of the gang were a timely reminder of the dangers of not eating.

    And what do you mean by ‘you guys chose not to be with your fellow Irishmen’.

    Do you mean that in this supposed struggle all of ‘the real Irish’ were on the one side, and that we unionists weren’t?

    If you recall, there were plenty of other real Irish people who were against the IR terrorist struggle. The decent Irish in the ROI being a lot of them. Are you saying it was unionists against all the rest of the Irish who all agreed with the terrorist struggle?

    That’s an odd picture to paint, but then this is your crazy narrative. It fits right in with all the other nonsense you spout.

    ‘but don’t have a cow because we aren’t like you’

    Heed your own advice brother.

    ‘I am done here.’

    I sincerely doubt it. You’ll be back to whine some more the next time you see an alternate narrative that you don’t like.

    And that will just be one more example of you saying one thing and doing another.

  • harpo

    Prince:

    Post 10: ‘I am done here.’

    Post 11: ‘Sorry, last word.’

    I knew that you didn’t mean it when you posted that on post 10.

    Your whining never ends.

  • harpo

    ‘I am amazed, really that the most beligerant, b1goted, ignorant, intellectually challenged poster on here has been highlighted several times as the defender of Unionism, and highlighting good Prod concerns.’

    Prince:

    I never said that about you, and I haven’t seen anyone else say so either.

    Where do you see people saying that you are ‘the defender of Unionism, and highlighting good Prod concerns’?

    Is this all part of this alternate narrative that you have? I must say it never ceases to produce wierd stuff.

  • harpo

    ‘nobody, not even the most vehment reblican posting, said anything like this Peter.’

    circles:

    Yes we did. Several of us have made that sort of point, and Peter has just articulated it again.

    Of course the IRs aren’t going to say it, but we unionists have been.

    For all of this horseshit about alternate narratives, we see again and again the statements that unionists have to move to a shared narrative. Presumably that’s the nationalist one.

    From what I can see, I don’t want my narrative going anywhere near the nationalist one. It will end up corrupted.

    I say we all keep our own narratives. I’m not one for this tribal think that nationalists like to engage in. My narrative is unique, and I am sure that it is different in many ways from those of fellow unionists. I don’t speak for them and they don’t speak for me.

  • harpo

    ‘yet I ask that you understand how offended I could be at the commemoration of the RUC/UDR victims’

    maura:

    The hunger-strikers weren’t victims.

    That’s the point. They were offenders who created victims. Honouring them offends unionists and the families of their victims.

    Maybe you get it now. Why would the GAA honour such people if it offended others? Sheer sectariansim is why. The GAA has no need to honour such people, but it does. It is supposed to be a sporting organization and these guys are honoured in many other ways. So why does a sporting organization need to honour them? When it knows that it will alienate a whole sector of society.

  • harpo

    ‘Harpo: Are you deliberately avoiding postyou can’t answer’

    circles:

    What do you mean? I can answer anything, but I can’t be everywhere all the time.

    8:11? Let me get right onto it.

    Sorry for the delay in service.

    Always remember that there is nothing that harpo can’t answer. It’s just that harpo may not answer. harpo’s time is a scare resource in this world. You can’t have it all. Others need to feel the benefit too.

  • harpo

    ‘Its easy to label them monsters and child killers, its much harder to look behind the labels, and think that actually they weren’t that different from anybody else at one stage.’

    circles:

    Nice try, but here’s the kicker. Does the same apply to Billy Wright and Johnny Adair? Are they just victims of their circumstances too?

    In the end is no one to blame for anything? No personal responsibility? Or does that just apply to nationalists?

    How is it that Bobby Sands ended up bombing a furniture store, and I didn’t harm anyone? I’d say it’s because I have some morals and he had none, but that doesn’t fit your whiney ‘we could all have ended up like that’ narrative. Does it?

    How is it that thousands in society didn’t feel the need to be violent? And some did.

    And how is it that the thousands of people who never did get violent are pissed on and ignored, while terrorists like Bobby Sands get all the attention?

  • harpo

    ‘I stand corrected unless told otherwise – apologies Harpo!’

    circles:

    Apology accepted.

  • John East Belfast

    newboy

    “If Billy Wright went on hunger strike for the treatment of LVF prisioners in the Maze, or for any other injustice that he believed that his comrades had bestowed upon them, and he saw it through, then Nationalists, although hating what he did as part of the LVF, would respect a man who is prepared to die for his cause.”

    – you mean prepared to commit suicide for his cause ?

    – not the most noblest of all human qualities – giving your life for another – nor even dying in combat – just self obsessively starving yourself to death.

    Selfish as well in terms of your parents and loved ones – and not to mention the death and destruction you knew would be unleashed on this society once Mother Ireland got its unquenchable share again of Irish blood.

    Irish Hunger Strikers or Islamic Suicide bombers – nothing to be respected – only pitied and reviled in equal measure as they insist in dishing out their own self hatred on everyone else.

  • Nic

    Holy sweet jaysis. Seven feckin’ pages of rantin’ and ravin’ over nuthin’.
    Lookit. The GAA is as political as a sporting organisation can be, it was designed that way from the start so there’s no point even bothering to discuss it. No surprise here that they’d get all weepy about an INLA bottom feeder and name a temple, sorry ground, after him.

    What I’m really bothered about is that this site is becoming little more than a feeder for what might be called the Direland mission, another stone in the mosaic that is violent marxist Irish republicanism.

    Yes, well may you advertise for a “right wing” contributor, and the best of luck with that.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Circles if you are still around.

    I missed your earlier post.

    The parts of the OO that are sectarian are the ones that:-

    Allow the commemoration or celebration of terrorists by themselves or bands that accompany them.

    Allow any reference to any terrorist organisation.

    Allow actions during legal marches deliberately designed to be provocative.

  • Richard Dowling

    Father Denis Faul, who died recently, exposed the duplicity and sheer inhumanity of all those who manipulated hunger strikers in their own hunger for power. Much the same way narrative has attached itself to suidide-bombers, terrorist planners and those who hide behind and among civilian populations — hoping for, even praying for, sufficient reaction (preferably over-reaction) to provoke the world’s sympathy on their behalf. It’s another weapon in the high stakes battles for people’s soul … as much as their political allegiance. It’s a relatively crude form of blackmail (which groups like the IRA, Hizbollah and the INLA will continue to exploit) … as long as it pays dividends.

    Of course, people like Denis Faul, through their own inexorably compassionate humanity, will always expose the darker side of this manipulation and write another, more honest narrative challenging the powers of darkness which threatens our world.

  • Thrasymachus

    “It was the fact that in order to improve the conditions of their comrades that these men died that inspires respect.”

    Perhaps they would have been better scrubbing the sh*t off the walls than contesting for slimmer of the year :o)

  • Everone must play their part

    decent people of this board, i urge you to take a minute in the cause of equality.

    one example of funding abuse

    Distributing Body Sports Council for Northern Ireland
    Good Cause Sports
    Recipient Name County Antrim Committee & GAA
    Project Name Provision of spectator seating
    Award Date 03/11/1998
    Award Amount £321,938

    http://www.lottery.culture.gov.uk/details.asp?ID=CAP971&DBID=SI

    please lodge your complaint here and demand the returning of all monies granted to antrim gaa

    http://www.culture.gov.uk/global/contact_us/default.htm

  • Keith M

    Thank you “Everone must play their part”, I have logded my protest and I hope that others do the same.

  • Peter

    The GAA community was continuously targeted by loyalist death squads throughout the troubles so it’s not surprising that some communities choose to name a field after a hunger striker. Attitudes take a long time to change.

    As for the joke of returning lottery money. Does the nationalist community not play the lottery?

  • darth rumsfeld

    “The GAA community was continuously targeted by loyalist death squads throughout the troubles so it’s not surprising that some communities choose to name a field after a hunger striker. Attitudes take a long time to change.”

    attempting to start a chicken and egg argument doesn’t wash this time.The IRA continually targetted the Unionist community too, but they didn’t go around naming supposed sports grounds after loyalist terrorists.

    I think harpo hit the nail on the head. At this time of undeniably great sensitivity in the RC community the GAA has clearly decided that it’s safer to accommodate the SF agenda. I’m aware of the “damned if they do; damned if they don’t” argument, but the endorsement of the GAA president was never necessary to that argument.

    He’s bound to have had some other commitment that could have been his excuse. He didn’t care about the political connotations of his presence because he didn’t care about the political connections of Kevin Lynch and his club, and by extension he didn’t care about the political ( as Lynch would have termed them) actions of the INLA. And he didn’t care about the acts of the INLA because they weren’t inflicted on his community ( the Cooke family in Ballykelly and others not obviously registering). And that, in a nutshell, is the institutionalised sectrianism of the GAA that no amount of Jack Boothmans (Boothmen?) can disguise.

  • Peter

    Perhaps if the Irish army had rolled into Windsor park and murdered fans and players the IFA would have developed into a different organisation. The GAA has always been a political organisation and during the troubles represented a vehicle for cultural expression for many nationalists when this was denied.

    Brennan should not have attended the event but equally I think it’s unrealistic to expect parts of the GAA organistion to forget overnight the harm inflicted on them during the troubles.

  • reality check

    keith m-your spelling is as good as you exercising your right to complain.
    ‘everone must play their part’
    why exactly may i ask are you wasting your time with such a worthless post you mindless idiot?
    talking about funding and equality,don’t the orange order and 11th night bonfires get funding?do you call sectarian cesspits containing tricolours mocking a young murdered catholic worth funding?get a grip you moron.

  • bagpuss

    Peter: Perhaps if the Irish army had rolled into Windsor park and murdered fans and players the IFA would have developed into a different organisation.

    After being the target for bombs by both the IRA and INLA maybe it should have?

    http://www.ourweecountry.co.uk/bombsatwindsor.html

    Come on OWC get supporting Everyone Must Play Their Part!

  • Tochais Siorai

    I think Darth R might have touched on something here. Brennan could have found something else to do, he isn’t the most politically astute guy on the block and I think he’s the weakest GAA president in a good while – certainly I can’t imagine Sean Kelly (his predesessor) walking into this one.

    On the other hand, unionists would do well to acknowledge that the GAA in NI & GAA members have suffered throughout the troubles and that the outlet it provided actually stopped a lot more young people joining the Provos(or the INLA).

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    Hello Peter – personally I have no problem with GAA clubs in the north displaying the tricolour or singing the Republic of Ireland’s national anthem if that is what they wish to do. These are the trappings of Northern Nationalist culture and they should feel free to engage in this if they want.

    However, does cultural expression really mean celebrating a terrorist who was part of a sectarian organisation that caused much pain and distress in Ireland – is this really what the GAA want to celebrate? Surely no right-minded person of any persuasion wishes to glorify a fairly unedifying organisation. Surely, the GAA should rise above it.

    The incident you are alluding to happened in Dublin in 1920 – I don’t see the Dublin GAA ccelebrating terrorism in the north.

  • Ringo

    Darth –

    Harpo did get it spot on when he referred to the GAA given the choice was ‘happier to upset the other lot rather than our lot’ – but as a hurl-carrying, paid up member and player, much as I’d have liked him to make his excuses and given the whole thing a miss, he never had the wriggle-room.

    Once again the fundamental problem here is the naming of grounds after a paramilitary figure – even if Martin McGuinness opened it it still wouldn’t be right.

    The political element to the northern GAA is not something that can be voted away at a Congress like the various ‘bans’. It has to be addressed from within that section of society – Croke Park can’t change it. And despite all the denials on here, if you ask northern GAA folk they’ll tell you that the political angle is central to their GAA, and us in the Republic are the ones that are wrong – so I would’t hold out much hope for change.

  • Realist

    “The GAA has always been a political organisation”

    And therefore not entitled to UK Lottery Funding.

  • lib2016

    “And therefore not entitled to UK Lottery Funding”

    Different argument and maybe even one that unionists might win though I doubt it.

    After the money going to Orangefest it will be interesting to hear what precedents your case is based on. You do have precedents?

  • Realist

    lib1016,

    “Different argument and maybe even one that unionists might win though I doubt it”

    I am talking specifically about UK Lottery Funding – of which the Antrim Board of the GAA have been major recipiants.

    Clause 12, Eligibility Criteria, for such funding states that the recipiant must not discriminate on the grounds of political opinion.

    I think this will be tested in the near future.

    Peter tells us that “The GAA has always been a political organisation”

    Indeed – a nationalist/republican one.

  • lib2016

    What discrimination do you allege the GAA is guilty of? Being in favour of Irish nationalism is not in itself discrimination, anymore than the British Legion is discriminating against anyone simply because it supports British nationalism.

    We have different political ideas. The mind police haven’t made that illegal yet, or rather it’s no longer illegal in NI to be an Irish nationalist and since the GFA it never will be again.

    If the government refuses the GAA money because of the political ideals the GAA upholds it will be up before the applicable international court very quickly because that would be discrimination. Something it is very well aware of.

  • harpo

    ‘much as I’d have liked him to make his excuses and given the whole thing a miss, he never had the wriggle-room.’

    Ringo:

    What does this mean? Wriggle room? Are you saying that he couldn’t have just said ‘no’, even if it meant lying about some other thing he had to do?

    If he really had no room to move, that means there is some force that prevented him from doing so. What is this force?

    Is the force the expectations of the GAA membership that the GAA will always stick together and not give reasons that could end up in splits?

    If that’s the case, then the GAA must work on the lowest common denominator approach, so that the leadership just say ‘yes’ to each and every request of the membership. And if that’s true then the likes of the Provos in NI will use that, knowing tht no matter what any individual or club does, the leaderhip isn’t going to oppose them.

    Is that what we are seeing these days? The Provos testing how far they can lead the leadership along this path.

    Leaders are supposed to lead, but the GAA leadership seems to be content to be led along by the nose by the actions of any individual or club. The leaders are so scared of splitting the whole, that they are afraid to take on any individual or club.

    Shameful.

  • Realist

    lib2016,

    “What discrimination do you allege the GAA is guilty of?”

    On the grounds of political opinion – I thought that was quite clear.

    It is guilty by virtue of it’s anti unionist rules, practices and ethos.

    “If the government refuses the GAA money because of the political ideals the GAA upholds it will be up before the applicable international court very quickly because that would be discrimination. Something it is very well aware of.”

    Well, we’ll just have watch that one unfold.

    The rules for UK Lottery funding are very clear.

    By the way, is it true that the current Antrim County GAA Manager is a former IRA Prisoner and Blanketman?