Rossport and the dead hand of Northern politics?

There was an interesting piece in the Sunday Independent on the Shell to Sea campaign. Recent protests at Bellanaboy and a heavy police response has galvanised some attention online, with some exaggerated claims of parallels with the brutalisation of the Ogoni in Rivers State and the Niger Delta. But it was the involvement of Sinn Fein in the campaign that caught Declan Lynch’s eye:

…here is their schedule for one day, according to an internet source.

Sinn Fein picket at Shell in Clare Hall; Sinn Fein picket at Donnycarney church; Sinn Fein picket at Shell in Glasnevin; Sinn Fein picket at Shell at Lucan bypass; Sinn Fein picket at Shell, Taney Road, Dundrum; Sinn Fein picket at Shell in Dalkey; Sinn Fein picket at Statoil in Castleknock; Sinn Fein picket at Statoil in Hartstown.

Picketing was from 5pm to 7pm, and venues outside Dublin were not listed.

He goes on:

Could Sinn Fein, indefatigable as they are, have invented a controversy more suited to their needs than Rossport?

Here in one package is the perfect gift for them, wrapped up in an emerald green ribbon – an apparent David vs Goliath struggle which can make them look good, for a change; an issue which stirs the old nationalist blood, with the all-powerful foreign oppressor looting the natural resources of Ireland and grinding down the poor but defiant Irish people; a controversy which can advance Sinn Fein’s project in the South, and a means of getting an immediate result by chipping away at the local political establishment, the Enda Kenny types who echo McDowell’s dark talk about “Provo tactics” when they refer to “outside forces”.

All of this, he argues, is likely to be counter productive so far as the wider Irish population is concerned:

…any vaguely normal Irish person has already turned away from Rossport, for one obvious reason: when the light catches it a certain way, what’s going on there looks like something brought down from the North. Which, to the vast majority of folks watching the “clashes” on the RTE News, means that they don’t want to know about it.

The blazing intensity of it, the sheer west Belfast style of the protests, including some outstanding footage of men resisting arrest, writhing in the ecstasy of oppression as they are carried away by the peelers, all this turns the hearts of the people of the Irish republic to stone.

He concludes:

…part of the statement issued by the Rossport 5 on their release might have been drafted by Adams himself, with Ferris pacing the floor adding helpful suggestions. It went: “We remind Shell and their Irish Government partner that imprisonments have historically and will always fail as a method to secure the agreement of the Irish people.”

Ah yes, it’s that old ecstasy again – though with the TV cameras rolling and the press writing it all down, and an appearance on the Late Late, these days even oppression is not what it used to be. At this point the men were evoking the tradition of romantic republican heroes, the last line of resistance to the Crown.

At this point too, the cause was lost.

An interesting conclusion, the truth of which very much remains to be demonstrated in practice. Not least at the polls next summer.

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  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Just tell us Mick, how you consider the claims of violence against protesters by Gardaí to be exaggerated? The scenes were clear to us all from watching our TVs on Friday week. Gardaí banned a protest, didn’t tell the protesters and then set about removing them violently, with batons drawn, from the road. Yeah, Declan Lynch is right about West Mayo resembling West Belfast but it’s not down to Sinn Féin, its down to the Gardaí and their imitation of the heavy handed tactics of the PSNI/RUC.

    What Declan overlooks to mention is the involvement ‘The Man’ – ie his boss Tony O’Reilly, who has considerable interests in terms of oil exploration via Providence Resources – has in his rather lopsided view of what’s happening in Béal an Atha Bhuí.

    He also fails to mention that one of the main spokespeople for Shell Рone Paddy Ruddy Рis actually a local big wheel in Sinn F̩in. This was reported in the latest edition of Village.

    When Michael McDowell muttered darkly about ‘Provo’ tactics etc, and when he was echoed by Enda Kenny and his ‘dark forces’ from outside, he was of course talking through his hat. He had no evidence – but then again that never stopped him making unfounded allegations before. And when he was brought to book on one such allegation, the charge against Daily Ireland that it would be akin to a Nazi broadsheet except for SF, he relied on the Pinochet defence to get him off. And he gets plenty of airtime and his mutterings are written down by the press, especially Mr Lynch’s colleagues.

    It’s a new form of journalism which the Sunday Independent has pioneered, the journalism of extreme prejudice. It’s something they should be proud of, their contribution, along with slandering the dead (Liam Lawlor) to the profession.

    However Mr Lynch’s conclusions are not interesting in what they say about the Shell protesters in as much as they would be interesting in what they have to say about his narrow and ignorant view of the world. If his narrow and ignorant view of the world was interesting….

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Oillibhear, I’ve linked to pictures on Indymedia of the violence. What I actually said was “some exaggerated claims of parallels” with Nigeria with a specific link.

  • URQUHART

    Mick, I think the OC’s response illustrates Lynch’s point beautifully.

  • funny how OC misses the point and offers us more
    “writhing in the ecstasy of oppression”. inadvertantly but hilariously confirming lynch’s claim.
    Then OC, running out of farm-yard steam goes onto say something ignorant and unkind about Mr.Lynch a journalist and playwright.
    You couldn’t make it up.
    Writing plays is all about the very opposite of narrowness and prejudice … hello !
    I wonder how many plays ,have you written OC?

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Parcifal, I’m not sure which planet you call home but I don’t know and don’t care what plays Declan Lynch is written – it’s his journalism which concerns me on this occasion and I believe I’ve made my point with the facts to back it up. If Declan Lynch wants to write a play about the Shell protest, then let him go ahead and no doubt he’ll get a rave review from his Sunday Indo colleagues and he’ll be a success. Good for him. But I stand over my assessment of his and Sunday Independent journalism in general as ‘narrow, ignorant and extremely prejudicial’.

    As for Urquhart, why don’t you try an argument? Are you not able for it?

  • seabhac siúlach

    In those recent protests at Bellanaboy no more than 20 of the 150-200 odd demonstrators were from Sinn Fein…that has been reported in the Village magazine amongst others publications that do not so obviously toe the 26 county govt. line. The Sinn Fein supporters who were present, moreover, where from the local cumann. There is no evidence that ‘outside forces’ were bussing in Sinn Fein members from outside Mayo. What the media and 26 county govt. do not seem to realise it that this issue has genuine support among a wide spectrum of people in Ireland, some of whom are willing to travel to support it and most of whom are not politically affiliated. In any case, I do not see the Sunday Independent as being, ahem, exactly unbiased when it comes to reporting stories on Sinn Fein (or most other matters) and to use it here as a basis for a serious discussion on Rossport is laughable…
    The Sunday Independent, in addition, will always toe the official line on most matters, particularly where it comes to the rights of big business versus the ‘common man’. Its report should be seen in this context, when it attempts to ‘smear’ the protesters with the tag of Sinn Fein supporters. We can, I think, also see the ‘comments’ of McDowell and Enda Kenny, far-right politicians, in this context (Kenny, a Mayo T.D. should be careful of this outright support for Shell, and disdain for the demonstrators, come the next election…)
    To attempt to link the bulk of the protesters, involved in a genuine local attempt to stop an unpopular and potentially dangerous industrial development in their area, to the Provos or Sinn Fein (the ‘marxist’ bogeyman of the urban middle-class imagination!) is a very low and very old tactic, designed to scare off the middle-classes from supporting the rightful protests of these Mayo people. McDowell and others know that linking these protests to Sinn Fein (the dreaded ‘marxist’ Provos) will be enough to make most voters see the issue as one where those leftist Provo trouble makers are stirring up trouble again, and thus, be happy to see the Gardai (who were shown to be, ahem, less than upstanding in the Morris tribunal) go about their work of smashing the heads of the ‘troublemakers’, etc.
    It is a scurrilous attempt to divert the masses attention from a government attempt to force through building work (in the name of a private corporation of all things) against the will of the local democracy.
    Sinn Fein themselves are supporting the protests. And why shouldn’t they? Someone should stand up for the people in Mayo who have been badly served by their local politicians. That is not to say that Sinn Fein are running the protests. A casual look at the make-up of the Rossport demonstrators and their leadership will tell you that…and it is clear that Declan Lynch has no hard evidence of a link going by his crude attempt to associate Martin Ferris with the Rossport demonstrators, etc. This is not ‘journalism’…it is disinformation and propaganda, all in support of a foreign corporation and big business generally…

  • Mick Fealty

    I thought the piece was interesting not because it was comprehensive, but that it was a literate judgement on a given moment in time. That judgement may be wrong for all manner of reasons, not least that he may not be familiar with the internal dynamic of SF’s real target audience in the Republic. But, at the very least, it is always useful to mark such judgements for future reference.

  • URQUHART

    “As for Urquhart, why don’t you try an argument? Are you not able for it?”

    And there I was thinking I was going to make it through today without having a laugh. The last time I heard that very line I was about 13. The genius who said it then escalated his argument by calling me ‘specky’!

    I think the point of this thread OC is that Lynch is making the argument. I simply think that your post proves it.

    BTW, your citation of Liam Lawlor’s innocence to make your ‘point’ must surely stand as a Slugger Classic?

  • URQUHART

    SS: “In those recent protests at Bellanaboy no more than 20 of the 150-200 odd demonstrators were from Sinn Fein…that has been reported in the Village magazine ”

    Alas, if only Daily Ireland were still around your case would be irrefutable.

  • OC I’ll take you on.
    Now, you’ve a chip on your shoulder about the Indo, that much I’ve learned from you.
    Your hostility comes from what you claim to be its “narrow, ignorant and extremely prejudicial’, journalism.

    But I put it to you sir, that you’re writhing in the ecstasy of oppression, ( that’s what the article is all about )in other words you’re already on a downer, and as such you cannot see the fair point he’s making.

    Now your defence is:

    ” Am I bovvered, look, face, bovvered,”

    Take the shame, you’ve been spotted!

    What lynch is saying is that Republicanism, and he cites a good example at the Shell protests, in its current form represented by SF is a joke, its a total “downer” and the southerners find it utterly ridiculous.

    the hope is when Republicanism can turn itself into an “upper”, it’ll be a force to reckoned with.
    That’s the planet I’m on .

    Glad to make your aquaintance .

  • OC-

    You say

    “And when he was brought to book on one such allegation, the charge against Daily Ireland that it would be akin to a Nazi broadsheet except for SF, he relied on the Pinochet defence to get him off.”

    but then you say

    “It’s a new form of journalism which the Sunday Independent has pioneered, the journalism of extreme prejudice.”

    and

    “But I stand over my assessment of his and Sunday Independent journalism in general as ‘narrow, ignorant and extremely prejudicial’.

    Without wishing to spark a debate on the respective qualities or shortcomings of the aforementioned publications, is it not a bit odd that you complain about McDowell’s comments about DI, and then indulge in levelling similar (if slightly less dramatic) accusations at the Sindo?

    If you wish to protect the right of newspapers to take certain viewpoints and produce copy with their own political slant (regardless of whether one finds it to one’s liking), then you can’t exactly attack a newspaper when it exercises that right.

    What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, an Ireland of Equals, and all that.

    Just a thought…

  • seabhac siúlach

    URQUHART:

    “Alas, if only Daily Ireland were still around your case would be irrefutable.”

    I believe the Irish Times also made the same estimate as I gave…would that be a right-wing enough source for you, perhaps? I do not have the link at hand…but perhaps someone else does…

    By the way, if you look at the ‘Shell to Sea’ webpage
    http://www.corribsos.com/
    and go to ‘contacts’ you will see that it is an organisation run, not by Sinn Feiners (surprised?) but by local people (shocker!), plus an independent T.D.
    Ah, but then the pre-chewed brainless agit-prop from News International is so much easier to digest, isn’t it? Doesn’t involve having to take an independent view on the matter…

  • URQUHART

    SS, since you haven’t got a link to the Irish Times (right wing? have you ever read it??) I’ll give you that the Shell to Sea campaign website backs up your argument.

    I’d already had a look at it earlier in the day. Got the address from the PSF website, where it sits between Restorative Justice and South Armagh Farmers and Residents Committee – another two independent ‘grass roots’ movements.

    You say: “Ah, but then the pre-chewed brainless agit-prop from News International is so much easier to digest, isn’t it? Doesn’t involve having to take an independent view on the matter… ”

    I expect that the humour in that statement is unintentional?

  • Henry94

    It is funny to see Declan Lynch looking into his heart and seeing what the Irish people are thinking.

    This was the guy who said during the last Presidential election that he didn’t know anybody who was voting for Mary McAleese or anybody who was not voting for Nora Owen.

    On hopes that he has broadened his circle since then but I still wouldn’t look to him for an insight into public opinion.

    Mind you I enjoyed both his novels and his columns are often hilarious.

  • Henry94

    Not Nora Owen. Mary Banotti.

  • Rory

    “…Writing plays is all about the very opposite of narrowness and prejudice …”

    Such touching faith in the highmindedness of all playwrights, Parcifal. Obviously you have been spared having to endure the works of Miss Agatha Christie, Jeffrey, Lord Archer, Tom Stoppard and a few others I could name.

    Mr Lynch may write his little plays but he is not to be included in the ranks of Synge, Brecht, Miller, Pinter or Friel nor do his valiant attempts at theatre exempt him from criticism for his political stance in support of an oil giant.

  • kensei

    No one actually seems to have tackled any of OC’s points, instead engaging in ad hominum attacks and straw men.

    This is truly a trainwreck of a thread.

  • Jocky

    I’m sorry but does nayone have anymore more links regarding this story? have I missed something or does this story indicative of the mindset thats failing N.I.

    Feck me, a great opportunity for overseas investment (and it’s not a handout), a bit of proper development, some people might even get proper jobs. No wait cant pass up a chance to be oppressed. It’s those big bad Norwegians this time, yeah they’re a right shower them lot.

    Nah we wont protest in the proper channels, no well get out in the road, stop people doing their jobs, have a rammy with the polis, magic.

    Do these people not have anything better to do?

  • URQUHART

    Jocky
    You’re spot on. Energy security or Irish wealth don’t come into it when you’ve a chance to get your head knocked on the evening news and the chance of picking up a few vulnerable votes.

    Parcifal, you say “What lynch is saying is that Republicanism, and he cites a good example at the Shell protests, in its current form represented by SF is a joke, its a total “downer” and the southerners find it utterly ridiculous. ”

    I think you’re spot on too. I just hope that the Northerners cop onto it too before long.

  • Jocky

    OK to address OC points in detail,

    Protestor sits on road, bloking road preventing folk going abot their business, police removes protestor from the road using force (yes including baton to the head).

    Exaclty what is the problem? why do the protestors have the right to feck up everyone’s elses lives? Sitting down in the middle of the road fecking peoples lives is not normal behavious a baton to the head is what you should get if you participate in that type of behaviour.

    And then he criticises a paper for having a different (Id say more realistic) view of the world than him. Pathetic

  • Jocky

    Also, can someone explain how the great SF advance in the south is going to happen when at heart they are peddling antics that would not look out of place with Scargill in the mid 1980’s. It’s a brave new world out there with the shinners, it’s 1984!

    This type of agit-prop piffle is about the level of your G-8 anarchists and is taken as seriously as that.

    What these people don’t realise is people notice this type of thing and factor it in their decisions on where they invest their money. Still can always blame the brits for the unemployed.

  • marty

    What these people don’t realise is people notice this type of thing and factor it in their decisions on where they invest their money

    Agreed Jocky. I would have thought that if the Sinners wanted to increase their vote in the South they would want to appeal to the people enjoying their relatively new-found prosperity rather than looking like they’re opposed to big business.

  • seabhac siulach

    URQUHART:

    “SS, since you haven’t got a link to the Irish Times (right wing? have you ever read it??) I’ll give you that the Shell to Sea campaign website backs up your argument.”

    Yes, the Irish Times is the same paper that has an ex-Progressive Democrat as the editor and ultra right-wing columnists such as John Waters, John Krauthammer (previously Mark Stein), isn’t it?

    “I’d already had a look at it earlier in the day. Got the address from the PSF website, where it sits between Restorative Justice and South Armagh Farmers and Residents Committee – another two independent ‘grass roots’ movements.”

    You do not appear to know the history of the Rossport dispute…it was ongoing for quite some time before it was ‘discovered’ by Provo. Sinn Fein (for the obvious electoral advantage it gives them as supporters of the poor farmer classes). Oh, I see, because PSF supports the local residents then the Rossport residents must be tainted by the association…is that it? I believe back in the day PSF was against apartheid in South Africa…I guess, using your logic, that tainted the whole anti-apatheid movement there…maybe because at the time An Phoblacht advertised marches in support of Mandela.

    “I expect that the humour in that statement is unintentional?”

    Yep, it is all about the humour, isn’t it?

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Let me take you back to the very first point I made – that is that SHELL has as a spokesman in this dispute one of the main SF personalities in the area. Sure Sinn Fein have taken an interest in this story – but no more so than Labour or the Greens or Joe Higgins or Tony Gregory.
    But, fancy that, Declan Lynch is trying to paint up this ‘so called’ northern influence in order to, as he thinks, discredit the Shell to Sea protest because he has looked in his heart and he thinks people in the south are turned off by the north. Maybe his venal, vacuous and vacant friends are of such a mind – but he shouldn’t overestimate the worth of the ‘polls’ carried out by the Sunday Independent,(rather than actually going out and doing some real investigative journnalism).
    This is all plays into the journalism of extreme prejudice for which the Sunday Independent is infamous – this attempt to tar with one brush very different groups with different agendas and modus operandi simply because they may share one point of view.
    This is why, for instance, Fianna Fáil, the Republican Party, has to regularly reassure the SI that they will not be going into government with Sinn Fein, another republican party, or even going into government if it’s as the result of a SF TD voting for them. Does anyone – other than the Sunday Independent – believe that FF have any principle left which they wouldn’t sell for power? Of course the SI doesn’t see this – because they don’t believe in principles either – but like a spoiled child it gets thrown a morsel in order to placate it from to time so it doesn’t go into a hissy fit.

    a great opportunity for overseas investment (and it’s not a handout), a bit of proper development, some people might even get proper jobs. No wait cant pass up a chance to be oppressed. It’s those big bad Norwegians this time, yeah they’re a right shower them lot.

    The problem is, Jocky, that there’s not going to be proper development, there’s going to be exploitation by overseas interests rather than investment and the ‘proper jobs’, the vast bulk of them anyhow, are going to people from outside the area.

    People in Rossport want this gas and associated development but not on the pretty poor terms negotiated by former FF Minister, jailbird Ray Burke. Remember him? I’m glad Jocky mentioned Norway as Statoil would never get the deal from their own government that they got so handily here from Rambo and his successors.

    The arguments made by the Rossport community are unanswerable and that’s why people like Declan Lynch and associated fellow travellers try and throw us some red herrings.
    And they desperately, desperately, desperately don’t want the link between Tony O’Reilly, the owner of the Indo, and Providence Resources and further exploitation rights off Ireland’s western seaboard.

  • mark

    I find it interesting the Sindo has reverted to giving large column inches to SF again (way beyond that of Labour in particular) after a period of trying to ignore them. I’d suggest Sir Tony has realised his paper doesn’t influence the working class, socialist or Republican vote and is now selling scare stories to those implacably opposed to Sinn Fein and his interests in the Corrib gas field.

    The Rossport issue was initially, for many, social drama mixed with serious environmental and economic concerns – SF stayed with the issues after the protesters were released from gaol, have continued to raise the environmental concerns and exploitation of natural resources while others evaporated after the glamour of the ‘Free the 5’ campaign ended.

    SF stuck with the campaign after the ‘victimhood’ (prison for locals) ended. Stuck with the policy, environmental and economic issues long after those that hung around for the gaol shots went home.

    Far from ‘writhing in the ecstasy of oppression’ SF stuck with the people of Rossport and Ireland on a political issue while those that saw a photo opportunity cleared off once the 5 were free.

    The issue always was about environmentally unsound practises and unfair exploitation of natural resources.

    Heads get cracked now. People got gaoled before. SF are sticking to fighting on the issues while others cry ‘Scargil’ and ‘whingers’ without addressing the substance of the debate. [removed]

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    And they desperately, desperately, desperately don’t want the link between Tony O’Reilly, the owner of the Indo, and Providence Resources and further exploitation rights off Ireland’s western seaboard, they desperately don’t want the spotlight on this link….

  • nice one URUQHART and Jocky, some sunshine, through the clouds.
    OC,SS, Mark: rain, rain, more rain.

  • Hercules

    The Rossport issue was initially, for many, social drama mixed with serious environmental and economic concerns – SF stayed with the issues after the protesters were released from gaol, have continued to raise the environmental concerns and exploitation of natural resources while others evaporated after the glamour of the ‘Free the 5’ campaign ended.

    SF stuck with the campaign after the ‘victimhood’ (prison for locals) ended. Stuck with the policy, environmental and economic issues long after those that hung around for the gaol shots went home.

    I am no fan of SF, but I did attend a conference a year ago when this was an issue and they were making valid points (and with evidence). So SF have been consistent and as far as I can determine right.

  • mark

    And Moderator/Mick,

    If you are going to fuck around with my contributions I’d prefer you just deleted them entirely instead of editing them.

    Could you remove my above edited post, it doesn’t represent my views, is not what I contributed and accept my permission to delete rather than edit my thoughts in future if my additions test your sensibilities.

  • Mick Fealty

    Mark,

    You know the rules better than most.

    The back end of that comment was highly speculative and related to the man, not the ball.

    Now can we get on with the topic in hand?

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    It is fair to say that the views of Declan Lynch as expressed in the article at the beginning of this thread tally sweetly with the vested interests of his employers in discrediting any and all people who protest against the over generous terms on offer to the exploiters of the oil and gas reserves off the Irish seaboard. A neat coincidence that.

  • mark

    You allowed the top section, deleted the bottom. Both are my opinion and both were prefaced as supposition.

    I’d like you to delete my thoughts in their entirety rather than bastardise them.

    Thanks.

    I’ll play by your rules – no choice – you delete what you don’t want. They are partially applied rules again.

    I can criticise the owner but not the hack? No thanks.

    I offended as much against Sir Tony as his monkey and would like my edited comment removed, if you don’t mind too much.

    (note to self: saying journalists may have a bias only concerns the owner when it’s certain journalists on this site – never heard him edit when the DI lads were getting slapped about)

    Now please delete my post. It isn’t what I contributed. Thank you.

  • URQUHART

    Hercules: “[SF] Stuck with the policy, environmental and economic issues …”

    Ho ho ho! That there’s a goldmine, but I sense there’s little point in trying to exploit it in the current thread.

    I’ll leave the last word on this one to the Sinn Fein fundraiser who hung around Ryan’s Hogan Stand bar in Dublin during the Championship collecting variously for ‘Support the Rossport 5’, ‘Save the Heath Service’ and ‘SF Building an Ireland of Equals’. When asked whether he thought it appropriate to bring politics into sport, he responded “fucking capitalists”.

    I thanked him, the cut of his angry 80’s shinner beak having already sweetened the taste of my Stout.

    Oiche mhaith.

  • mark

    Mick,

    I’m not going to take this to email. I’m amongst the few that put my real name on contributions.

    I don’t want my name on things that do not represent my full opinion.

    If my posts infringe your rules, delete them. Don’t edit them.

    It has my name on it and is no longer my view once you mess with it. Please delete the contribution you bastardised.

  • Mick Fealty

    I realise the first Mark, and it is to your credit. Would that more followed your good example.

    However, I’m going to be obstinate on the removal of the post. The guidelines are clear:

    “We reserve the right to edit or even delete comments for reasons of legal compliance, taste, decency, good management or any other reason that we see fit”.

    I only remove whole posts if I find there is nothing redeemable within it. That was clearly not the case here.

    The bottom line: the onus is on the commenter to make the post past what is a fairly clear and simple test.

  • mark

    And I’ll join those that don’t use their real names with that decision. Bye.

  • Harry Flashman

    Seabhac Siulach

    Just so’s you don’t embarass yourself again, here’s a clue; the Daily Mail is a right wing newspaper, the Sunday Independent is a right wing newspaper, the Daily Telegraph is a right wing newspaper, the Sun is a right wing newspaper, the Irish Times is NOT a right wing newspaper!

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Harry,
    As far as the Rossport situation is concerned, the Irish Times is ‘right wing’. It’s editorials have consistently supported the government line and have been biased against the people of Rossport. There are other issues it is right wing on – it is, of course, ‘liberal’ on the fashionable liberal issues.

    Mark – you’re right about the selective application of the editorial pen on this site, Daily Ireland’s reporters didn’t get too much protection when they were being lambasted, without reason, by the various head the balls that lurk in the darker recesses of Slugger.
    I hope you carry on commenting because people do need to stand up to the Dark Side of Slugger…..

  • DK

    Am I reading this right – a post about how Sinn Fein enjoy victimhood in the causes they take up has turned into… a thread about how Sinn Fein supporters are victims of the blogs posting policy.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Shucks, DK, don’t tell us you feel victimised by a conversation you took no part in. Why don’t you go away and eavesdrop somewhere else?

  • seabhac siúlach

    Harry Flashman:

    “Just so’s you don’t embarass yourself again, here’s a clue; the Daily Mail is a right wing newspaper, the Sunday Independent is a right wing newspaper, the Daily Telegraph is a right wing newspaper, the Sun is a right wing newspaper, the Irish Times is NOT a right wing newspaper! ”

    Aye, it is not right wing, when it has a far-right wing PD editor, has a right wing chief political correspondent Stephen Collins, and has mostly right wing journalists writing the opinion pieces (oh, except for the token Fintan O’Toole who is right wing in everything except trendy social issues). Do you think that a paper that consistently supports the PDs, the Gardai, big business is anything but right wing? Oh, but it is for immigration, therefore, it must not be right wing, right? Wrong…it is pro-immigration as that is what big business wants…cheap labour…

    Besides, I thought this was about Rossport, not my embarrassment…

  • kadenza

    Ok let’s look at the argument here by Declan Lynch.

    He claims that Sinn Fein are behind the Rossport protests and implies that they manufactured the protests and running the PR and have initiated violence.

    All of these claims are false.

    One bus went from Dublin to Rossport Friday last, when they protestors were attacked by the Garda (see RTE and TV3 News for footage), I know for a fact that of the 60 people on the Bus, 4, yes that’s correct only FOUR were members of SF. The others were a mix of the following organisations WSM, SP, SWP, Eirgi, Labour youth, Greens and other unaligned.

    In terms of the violence if anyone can show me a still or moving picture of any protestors at any time over the past number of months throwing a punch, kicking, or striking in any manner, including with any sort of missle, at a Garda or any person employed by Shell, then please do. There is hordes of material on the protest filmed by mainstream media and alternative media none of which I have seen shows violence on the protestors part, plenty of which shows garda assaulting citizens. Lots of this is on the web.

    [Removed – you were doing well enough, playing the ball!]

  • Mick Fealty

    OC,

    Most of the time I leave people to get on with it. As you know, I am never slow to intervene when a violation is brought to my attention.

    But we have had a series of sustained attempts at sullying the reputation of certain journalists, from a relatively small number of individuals: apparently in an attempt to draw attention away from the subject in hand. Nasty, but transparent.

    Useful information kadenza. Thanks.

  • “But we have had a series of sustained attempts at sullying the reputation of certain journalists, from a relatively small number of individuals: apparently in an attempt to draw attention away from the subject in hand. Nasty, but transparent.”

    Mick to go one step further, the hostility is the reaction of taking a defensive position on the subject. simply put declan lynch shines the light into areas that people don’t want to go.
    They feel the heat.

    You’ll get more of this rage and false accusations if you continue to expose the darkness.
    ( see 9:27 am post )
    Please don’t lose your nerve, otherwise we’ll just have mediocrity and tedium on Sluggers,
    rather than the cutting edge place it ought to remain.

  • seabhac siúlach

    “You’ll get more of this rage and false accusations if you continue to expose the darkness. ”

    The only ‘darkness’ I see from all that has been written is the essential falseness at the heart of that piece by Declan Lynch…a pure piece of sophistry designed to mislead people over the true nature of the Rossport protest…by the simple device of linking it to Sinn Fein (the usual bogeyman Provos for the Sindo) in the hope of scaring away the ‘decent’ people. Pathetic…
    By all means, shine the light of truth and inquiry into all the dark area…but let it be into all areas…including the ones that, e.g., link Tony O’Reilly (the ultimate patmaster of hired hacks like Lynch) and others to prospecting rights off the west coast of Ireland, etc., etc…
    Strange how when the Centre for Public Inquiry (CPI) tried to shine ‘light’ into many dark areas of Irish life, Michael McDowell and others, e.g., Sam Smyth (of the Irish Independent…another from the Tony O’Reilly stable…strange coincidence that…) quickly used questionable, some would say, extra-legal tactics to keep these possible ‘dark’ things hidden…
    And what is this darkness, parcifal, that you talk about? That Sinn Fein, for electoral purposes, have decided to support the Rossport protests…big deal…
    It is a democracy…a political party can support whatever it wishes, and give it whatever support it sees fit. They are merely filling a vacumn left by the Trade Unions, the Labour party and others suppposedly on the left. Where are the other parties on this issue? They, not anyone or anything else are the ones leaving Sinn Fein to make all the running on this issue… and I would guess that it will be to their detriment come the election.
    In any case, it is clear from other posts, e.g. that of 10:16 today that Sinn Fein are a bit player in the protests…

  • kadenza

    Parcifal. You claim that Lynch shines a light into…..

    What are refering to. Lynch claims that SF are running the rossport show.

    I know they aren’t.

    So what is it you think he is exposing??

  • Mick Fealty

    To be honest ss, it was the electoral angle that prompted the post in the first place. I think you are one of the few on this thread to have taken it seriously.

    By and large, and outside personal venialities between posters, the side sniping at other parties seems to have been a diversionary tactic to draw conversation away from that topic.

    We covered the CPI scandal. And it was a good deal more complex than you are now suggesting. It was certainly troubling that the minister seemed able to bend his ministerial privileges to such a degree, and I remain to be convinced that such actions will not come back to haunt him and/or the state in future. But, as I argued at the time, it was at least as troubling that the CPI itself was less than open about certain matters of public interest. Indeed, openness would have been an unassailable defence against such obvious steam rolling.

    So, back to the thread. Rather than muttering speculatively against journalists, politicians and big media owners, can we just hear whether people think he is right or wrong about the potentially damaging effect of this campaign on Sinn Fein’s electoral future in the south?

    My own thoughts are fairly simple:

    – it will play badly in places where SF are already unpopular, and may have a marginal negative effect on core urban constituencies.

    – it will play better in some of the western constituencies, where a tardy decentralisation programme and poor infrastructure has meant the Celtic Tiger has been slow to deliver its goodies.

    Donegal’s two constituencies come immediately to mind.

  • sorry seabhac and kenza but I have to go,
    back in a few days, but I intend to write an article on this and send it to Mick to post up.
    Its to do with brand image and getting away from early 80’s anarchism.
    “The writhing in the ecstasy of oppression” has to go, and I’m taking about something much deeper than just this protest.
    In a nutshell what’s required is a clause 4 moment for SF, to thunder like a juggernaut.
    You might say “New Sinn Fein”, coming soon to a cinema near you.
    Regards

  • seabhac siúlach

    “- it will play badly in places where SF are already unpopular, and may have a marginal negative effect on core urban constituencies.”

    My own view on this is that the Sinn Fein vote in urban areas relies on traditional working class voters but also on floating (mainly middle-class) voters that are attracted to a ‘none-of-the-above’ party that is seen to campaign on different topical issues. In this, the support that Sinn Fein can get from Rossport will be shared between it and the Green party. Do not underestimate how well Sinn Fein’s support for the ‘Shell-to-Sea’ campaign is playing in middle-class homes (well, at least, in the homes of the more ‘radical’ well-to-do class that might typically vote for the Greens or formally Labour, for example). If the latest opinion polls are anything to go by, there is up to 20-25% of the vote available for such socially/environmentally ‘radical’ parties.

    “- it will play better in some of the western constituencies, where a tardy decentralisation programme and poor infrastructure has meant the Celtic Tiger has been slow to deliver its goodies.”

    I do not see how the Rossport issue will obviously affect the Donegal consituencies. Donegal is not really in the ‘west’ and is perhaps more influenced what what takes place in the six counties that in Mayo.

    However, Sinn Fein are actively targetting a seat in Mayo. It is obvious that the Rossport issue is causing the Sunday Independent’s editor some worries and, by incorrectly linking this isuue so closely to Sinn Fein they may inadvertently be giving that party a leg-up in the next election. It is unlikely whether you could buy that level of publicity. It will be interesting to see come election-time (after the assumed devolution of power to Stormont in March) whether the old and tired tag of Provo will be enough to stop Mayo people voting for the one party that stood up for their rights regarding local democracy, the environment, etc.

  • George

    My own take on this is that the overwhelming majority of people in the Irish Republic don’t associate Sinn Fein with what is happening at Bellanaboy.

    From what I’ve experienced, the strangest collection of people support this protest – from Swimmies to Blut und Boden eco warriors.

    It won’t damage Sinn Fein to support it. In fact, people would be confused if they didn’t.

    Don’t know if it will help their vote in North Mayo though. But considering SF got 2,000 votes (3%) in Mayo in the last Dail election, it can do no harm in trying to build a presence.

    I think Jerry Cowley will get any of the disillusioned votes. But it’s an “unusual” place so time will tell.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    An interesting avenue opened up by Parcifal as he bid us ‘au revoir’ as there may be a time when a New Sinn Féin is needed – ie a corporate Sinn Féin with snazzy suits and flash pr. Perhaps – but when that day comes – there’ll still be a need for politicians who get out and support the people on the ground, who get the baton in the face for justice for the commoners/cosmhuintir.
    The transformation described by parcifal as a Clause 4 moment is what happened to FF – but that took seventy years and its still not complete.
    Declan Lynch’s article is typical of the Sindo in that it ascribes to everyone the mindset of those who write for the paper – ie they’re bored with the north, therefore everyone must be bored with it. Ironically they keep returning to it and SF’s vote keeps going up – it certainly hasn’t gone down. The absence of quality journalism at the Sindo has led to a decline in its sales, however, and no amount of opera cds can hide that.
    For another example of Sindo’s journalism of ‘extreme prejudice’ – and nothing to do with SF – it’s worth looking at its treatment of the arrival of its rival, Irish Mail on Sunday, and the articles castigating the ‘British’ newspaper’s invasion of Ireland. (Never mind that AJF played the British card when he was buying the Belfast Tele). This is relevant to the debate in hand as we’re told this article by Lynch is interesting and it raises an interesting point. From my point of view, the point is obscured by the prejudicial aspect of the journalism, playing on base ‘fears’ which only the journalist harbours.

  • kadenza

    Mick, its “too far” away to effect its vote in the cities, beyond as you point out putting further distance between them and conservative middle classes.

    In rural areas postive on the balance sheet, and will increase support in the likes of Mayo, Galway and Clare.

    Donegal – well there in a world of their own so who knows!

  • truth will out

    Kevin Myers summed it up for me and all decent Irish citizens when he called on the gards to crack some heads at Rossport and end this Provo inspired nonsense. Hopefully they’ll break some arms and legs too and give them something to really scream about. Scum.

  • URQUHART

    OC, whether you mean to or not, every word you type supports the hypothesis of Lynch’s article.

    I genuinely hope that you’re right and Parcival’s wrong in your respective analyses of where the Provos are now.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    The problem with what you say is this, U, I can’t stomach the yellow journalism of the Sindo and the various sindo wannabes. It was epitomised for me by the Liam Lawlor shenanigan but it’s reinforced every week when I see the headlines on the news-stand.

    As for this victimology codology from Lynch, (it’s not a thesis or a hypothesis by the way, it’s plain prejudice and nasty at that), either he or you can’t be serious about suggesting that this all a northern plot. His comments about the Rossport 5 statement when they got out of jail reading as if were dictated by Adams and Ferris shows he is desperate for any way of linking them to SF and thus, in his eyes, discrediting them. If that’s his tack, I could easily argue it was as if it was dictated by Mandela and we’d be into a different zone entirely.

    There’s a certain amount of the ‘self fulfilling’ prophecy about this type of column, however, which can’t be dismissed. What he’s trying to do is place the image in the minds of the readers that the North isn’t part of Ireland, that it’s separate and different rules apply. I don’t agree. But I do see the continuous propoganda of this nature seeking to cultivate an artificial barrier lest the barbarian northerners break through the gate and upset the cosy concensus of Lynch and his fellow travelling scribblers.

    And naturally as I oppose Lynch and his ranting, I’m going to appear like that which describes. If that’s the price I have to pay for challenging his prejudicial drivel, then I’ll pay it because he’s wrong and the entire faction of Irish politics he represents is wrong. What is it that Burke said again?