Rearguard in Westminster, but were there any signs?

Now let’s see what people make of this. After Robert Piggott’s report (begins about 16.30) on last night’s Nine O’Clock News, Nick Robinson briefly mentions problems in Northern Ireland where, he quotes a Westminster MP suggesting there were signs up in Northern Ireland saying ‘No Catholics’. Not from my memory. But perhaps you know better?

  • Percival

    An utter lie. Typical of the sheer ignorance of some journos. What next? Protestants eat Catholic babies?

  • Mick Fealty

    An MP actually.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Wasn’t Kevin McNamara was it?

  • Percival

    Or Claire Short? Or maybe Sylvia Hermon? (sorry Michael couldn’t resist!)

  • Not that I’m ever aware of, but it was far from unknown to specify that a Protestant was required in job ads in papers, particularly for domestic work. And it wasn’t limited to the North either, it was fairly common in the Irish Times until the 1950s.

  • Perecival.
    Are you suggesting that there was no institutional, systemic discrimination against catholics in Northern Ireland?

  • Mick Fealty

    A currently red carded contributor sends this link: http://tinyurl.com/2yenhn with this verbatum from Lord Brookeborough:

    “I recommend those people who are loyalists not to employ Roman Catholics, 99 per cent of whom are disloyal.”

  • tom

    a large number of ‘no catholics’, ‘taigs stay out’ signs were erected in East Belfast in 2002.

    A number were in place for almost 2 years.

    The lampost signs, graffiti etc on the Newtownards,Cregagh, Albertbridge & Castlereagh roads were erected during sectarian trouble in the surrounding area.

    A number of unionist owned businesses closed during the period due to Catholic customers being scared to shop in the areas.

  • might he be mixing up stories and locations… Johnny Lydon’s semi auto bio is called “No Blacks, no Irish, no dogs” in reference to boarding house signs that used be seen in the area of London where he grew up. We’re all familiar with prime minister’s Brookborough’s pathetic speech. Likewise at the end of the nineteenth century in Boston the frequently posted addition to job vacancy signs was “no Irish need apply”.

    Does this show a sign of internationlism in stupidity ;>

    Percival, denial ain’t just a river in Egypt is guess ?

  • páid

    As this was reported verbally, perhaps it is all a huge misunderstanding and the sign was actally erected by ecumenical prods and said ……..

    ‘Know Catholics’

  • Ulick

    There was a business in Lurgan High Street which continued the practice of appending ‘No Catholics’ to their ‘Help Wanted’ signs up until the late 80’s.

  • If the Catholic church gets an exemption for the equal rights legislation, then does that also apply to those who wish to refrain from employing Catholics on the religious grounds of faith?

    So, a sign at a Catholic adoption agency saying
    “No Gays” is tolerable.

  • BonarLaw

    Art Hostage

    “So, a sign at a Catholic adoption agency saying
    “No Gays” is tolerable.”

    Not in NI. The same government currently dithering about these regulations in England and Wales introduced them in full here.

    Don’t you love progressive wee Ulster?

  • jone

    I do recall the ‘No Short Strand Fenians On Our Road’ signs going up at the bottom of the Ravenhill from the time of the Cluan Place trouble which stayed there for at least at year.

  • lib2016

    Advertisments for ‘Protestant housemaids’ etc were common right up to the 60’s. Capt. O’Neill was discredited among nationalists after it was revealed in the mid 60’s that the O’Neill household had run such an advertisment in 1959. Can’t remember whether it was in the Newsletter or the Telegraph.

  • lurker

    I suspect the Catholic church isn’t the only church in Northern Ireland that would hold that position Art Hostage.

  • Yokel

    Anonymous,

    The legend of such signs in NYC was recently disproved by an American academic who did his research and found bugger all evidence.

  • Yokel on Jan 24, 2007 @ 05:59 PM wrote “…The legend of such signs in NYC was recently disproved by an American academic who did his research and found bugger all evidence. “

    good job I wrote about Boston then isn’t it (about 200miles apart – double the distant between Belfast and Dublin). Are you mastering the technique of …two plus two equals twenty-two ? Who was this academic genius who come to the conclusion about the city that I didn’t write about? BTW an Irish academic thinks I’m gorgeous… is that now a fact and every else who called me an ugly fcuker is now dismissed?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Yokel: “The legend of such signs in NYC was recently disproved by an American academic who did his research and found bugger all evidence. ”

    The efforts of a single academic are not absolute proof or disproof, Yokel. There was a similar academic who set out to prove that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was not intended to be an individual right and, using selective sources that could not verified in peer review, he claimed to have done so. Peer review, however, led to him losing a great deal of his professional reputation, when his attempts at “bootstrap levitation” were discovered.

    Likewise, to conflate the lack of a given bit of signage with an utter absence of anti-Irish / anti-Catholic bias in the United States of the 19th Century is to ignore a considerable swath of American history, particularly in NYC.

  • Yokel, denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, I guess ?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:NINA-nyt.JPG

    I also found the following which is kinda amusing…’During the time of the Penal Laws, the town of Bandon in Co. Cork had a sign which said: Enter here, Turk, Jew or atheist, any man except a Papist.

    Underneath those lines, some Irishman, fighting back with the only two things left that could not be stripped from him – his wit and his dignity – wrote: “The man who wrote this wrote it well, for the same is writ on the gates of Hell.”‘

  • Henke

    I remember reading the lonely hearts section of the News Letter about 10 years ago (don’t ask!) and laughing out loud at the sad cases who’d added P (as in, Protestant FFS!) to their GSOH and all that jazz when looking for a mate.

    Come on, if you’ve that much bother getting a ride could you not just try a pape? Or maybe I just don’t take my big o’try seriously enough?

  • Sammy Morse

    the O’Neill household had run such an advertisment in 1959. Can’t remember whether it was in the Newsletter or the Telegraph.

    Belfast Telegraph, 14 November 1959:

    “Protestant girl required for housework. Apply to the Hon. Mrs. Terence O’Neill, Glebe House, Ahoghill, Co. Antrim.”

    Didn’t even need Google to check that one – checked it out in a real book!

  • observer

    Every year we have signs and catholics spouting – No prods and no orangemen in such places as the ormeau and garvaghy roads

    catholic bigotry alive and well in the 21st century

  • raja

    “I do recall the ‘No Short Strand Fenians On Our Road’ signs going up at the bottom of the Ravenhill”

    I recall even worse during trouble in the East of the city in 2003.

    Protestant/Unionist women were filmed outside a Catholic church with placards reading ‘ go bury your fenian dead somewhere else’.

    The incident was part of an attack on the funeral of a woman who died of cancer a few days earlier.

    The coffin had to be removed from the Church via a side exit.

    East Belkfast MLA’s David Ervine & Sammy Wilson watched the episode from opposite the church.

    The most striking result of the tension was the closure of several protestant business premises in the local locality, due to the Loyalist paramilitary ban on Catholic/Nationalists from using local shops etc…

  • Henke, I’m probably going to regret asking this but… what is GSOH?

  • Billy

    Anonymous

    GSOH – Good Sense Of Humour.

  • Billy

    Observer

    The “signs” you refer to are graffiti and have no legal standing or signifance any more than the graffiti (common in “Loyalist” areas) saying “Taigs Out” or “Catholics Out” does.

    This thread is talking about the practise
    of Protestant businesses and people specifically saying in adverts that No Catholics need apply – a practise that, thankfully, would be completely illegal today.

    The quote from Brookeborough and the advert from O’Neill perfectly sum up the Protestant/Unionist attitude to Catholics pre 1969.

    Your attempt to compare puerile illegal graffiti which is found in both “Loyalist” and Nationalist areas with the legalised and institutionalised discrimination against Catholics practised at he highest level in NI, is incredibly stupid and transparent.