Memorial breaches equality provisions…

The sighting of memorials relating to the troubles are problematic in Northern Ireland. Mostly, they get decided on the simple basis of who is in the local majority. But now, it seems, Omagh Council has landed itself in a spot of hot water with the Equality Commission, for ignoring its own equality provisions, regarding the erection of a memorial on the landmark site of the Dromore Old Church to the Hunger Strikers of 1981.

Update: It seems that the Old Church is Church of Ireland: which surely begs the question why this site was chosen in the first place?The Commission not only questioned this single breach, but of a wider systematic council policy:

…the Commission said the Council should hold an equality impact assessment on implications of its policies from 2001 to the present that permitted the memorial to remain on its property, and which proactively encouraged the group considered to have erected it to apply to have the land transferred to it.

The assessment should also look at the implications of any proposed policy that would allow the memorial to remain on the site in the future – and any proposed policy to dispose of the land to a third party to ensure the memorial is retained.

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  • The Equality Commission is correct. There should be a systematic policy on this and it should apply retrospectively. After all if people can apply for planning retrospectively, it should also be possible to do a retrospective eqia on memorials.

    After Dromore is knocked down, we should proceed immediately to do an EQIA on Carson’s Statue at Stormont, the Cenotaph in Belfast City Centre, the various other official and unofficial memorials throughout the north.

    When they’re all knocked, as they haven’t been eqia-ed and it’s unlikely that they would pass muster if eqia-ed in the current climate, we should commission a world famous artist and build a memorial wall like the one in Washington.

  • McGrath

    When is a memorial not a memorial?

  • Hmm…

    I think Mick is onto something here: if these things remained sight unseen we’d all be better off. Perhaps planning regs. could include a clause requiring any monument to be staffed around the clock so that blinkers/rose-tinted glasses could be handed out to passers-by?

    Do republicans really think that putting up more of these things will advance the goal of a united Ireland?

  • Yokel

    I can see where this thread will possibly lead.

    We shall call it, ‘Whatabout’

  • Mick Fealty

    Yokel,

    I hope not. I’m not sure that they should be subject to equality provisions (which I think is the point Oili is making), but the council appears to be in breach of guidelines it brought in itself (unless I’m mistaken).

  • mnob

    “I can see where this thread will possibly lead.

    We shall call it, ‘Whatabout’ ”

    Yokel – why the use of future tense – we got there on post 1.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    I listened with amusement to the republican entertainer Barry McIlduff on today’s Talkback.
    He rambled at length on the subject, throwing in the odd gem about second-class citizens and retrospective planning permission.
    The irony of course is that he’s defending this memorial to Bobby Sands, a brave if misguided individual, whose sacrifice resulted in nothing more than a SF electoral mandate and fat British salaries for Gerry & Martin.
    His supposedly forward thinking party make a career out of digging up the past and annoying their Unionist ‘equals’ at every opportunity.
    All this divisive detrius should be removed ASAP (and yes that includes Carson), otherwise our grandchildren will still be wrangling about this stuff on yeoldslugger.com.

  • So what’s the difference between Edward Carson, who was involved in the establishment of the UVF, and Bobby Sands, an MP?

    The entire point behind the complaint to the Equality Commission was ‘what aboutery’ but what the complainant forgot, of course, was that he was complaing to the EQUALITY commission and, therefore, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

    I don’t see why the vast array of memorials should be subject to an EQIA and, if found to be in breach, knocked. Then we would have an imperative to erect a memorial to all those who, in their various ways, got involved and fell victim to the Troubles, and I’m reaching back to the 1800s or further here….

    Far better to have a memorial which could become an iconic attraction rather than what are ugly and unsightly memorials around the place, including the Carson statues and the Hs dotted around the six counties.

  • Yokel

    Lets summarise.

    Council fucked up, thought it was being clever. Found out.

    Done.

  • Mick Fealty

    Someone has just brought to my attention the fact that the old Church was Church of Ireland.

  • Ulster McNulty

    “Someone has just brought to my attention the fact that the old Church was Church of Ireland.”

    I thought that was understood. Your link describes that it is “thought” to have been built in the early 17th century, which is another way of saying that it is Church of Ireland.

    Why do they want to knock it down? From the picture supplied it looks like a grand old ruin.

  • Tongue in cheek

    Was planning permission sought sought for the Plantation of Ulster and if not will the DUP be now making a retrospective application?

  • Peter Brown

    Which Plantation? Lowland Scots or Celts – who was here first is always bettter fun than whataboutery!

  • Petey

    What a load of nonsense… there are Cenotaphs, Union Jacks et al all over the feckin place… sure we’ll rip them down as well will we?

  • darth rumsfeld

    “So what’s the difference between Edward Carson, who was involved in the establishment of the UVF, and Bobby Sands, an MP?”

    well let’s see.
    Firstly the UVF was a legal organisation which did not kill anyone-certainly not on Carson’s watch, no matter what people claim about the 1920 period.
    Secondly Carson was a figurehead,and not even a member of the UVF, unlike the boul’ Bobby who was an enthusiatic volunteer and courageous..er, burner of heavily armed MI5 operated furniture stores to persuade me I needed to be set me free when I was happy to be enslaved by perfidious Albion.

    Oh, and most importantly Carson won. Poor Bobby’s still six feet under the United Kingdom, a mouldering British subject. I think they even rebuilt the furniture store.

    As far as memorials are concerned, the Provos have form for this type of thing. The memorial in Dungiven is on council owned ground outside the Church of Ireland , which nationalist controlled Limavady Borough Council ignore by claiming they don’t have any title deeds to the site- yet they’ve always maintained the grounds. Unlike Dromore this is an active church building.
    Castlewellan also has an IRA memorial outside the Church of ireland.

    It always amuses me that the IRA is so desperate for legitimacy that it …apes the evil British from whom it strove to be free in its ceremonials. Shome mishtake shurely? Would not these keltic warriors not be more true to their pretend heritage by doing something more spiritual, like planting a fairy thorn, or chucking a sword in a lough in memory of the dear departed?

    And olly, even if the sub-kitsch style of these memorials cons you and some others into thinking they are “art”, I doubt they’ll attract many tourists.

    I make no direct comparison but perhaps Barry the Leprachaun would be a bit annoyed if the Orange order started erecting arches outside chapels. Cos then he could be a victim all over again- something themmuns are forbidden to be

  • willowfield

    So what’s the difference between Edward Carson, who was involved in the establishment of the UVF, and Bobby Sands, an MP?

    The main difference – in addition to darth’s points – of course, is that the UVF had (using today’s parlance) a clear “mandate” and was accountable to the democratically-elected representatives of the unionist people. It therefore enjoyed democratic legitimacy.

    The Provisional IRA had no such “mandate” and therefore no legitimacy.

  • Mick Fealty

    There’s another layer of complication which relates directly to Sinn Fein’s manifesto. That, as Pam Tilson recently highlighted, explicitly ties their interpretation of ‘Shared Future’ objectives to equality measures. This would appear to be a case of the party’s councillors flying in the face not simply of their own council’s regulations, but official party policy.

  • JG

    Terrorist leader Edward Carson was quite prepared to use terrorism against the British government. If he is to be remembered so should other terrorists who stood up to the British government.

  • Fraggle

    Political parties having private armies legitimate – Unionist!

    whatever next?

  • inuit_goddess

    Very good point Mick. An early test of how Sinn Fein will treat such sentiments in practice.

    Admittedly, an IRA memorial in the grounds of a CofI church would seem to be a bit of a no-brainer, but we shall see…

  • dave

    FAO JG

    “Terrorist leader Edward Carson was quite prepared to use terrorism against the British government. If he is to be remembered so should other terrorists who stood up to the British government.

    Posted by JG on Mar 17, 2007 @ 12:31 PM”

    What? If you wish to tag a person as a terrorist then that is your prerogative. Please remind me and others what terrorist act was perpetrated by Edward Carson?

    And on request, I will provide you with the terrorist acts perpetrated by Eamon de valara.

  • Fraggle

    Peter Brown, I suppose all that stuff about the research showing the Irish not being celtic at all and having been here for at least five thousand years must have passed you by.

  • Mick Fealty

    Where are these Carson statues, btw?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Carson seems to get a bad rap from the chuckies, and is the victim of some serious hype on the part of the unionists. Wikipedia reads :

    He continued to lead the Unionists, but when the Government of Ireland Act 1920 was introduced, advised his party to work for the exemption of six Ulster counties from Home Rule as the best compromise (a compromise he had previously rejected).

    and ..

    Carson disliked many of Ulster’s local characteristics and in particular the culture of Orangeism. He stated that their speeches reminding him of the unrolling of a mummy. All old bones and rotten rags.

  • Peter Brown

    No but if they’ve only been here for 5000 years who was here before them????

  • SuperSoupy

    Mick,

    Ever been to Stormont? You may notice a Carson statue there.

  • Mick Fealty

    That’s one statue. And it is not sitting outside a Catholic church.

  • SuperSoupy

    That’s a statue sitting in prime position outside the seat of governance. (and the one being complained about isn’t on any church grounds, no matter how you spin it. The ruined church was previously RC btw)

  • Mick Fealty

    I was reluctant to make a judgement on the Dromore church on face value.I’m sure the story there is a lot more complex that we are being offered currently.

    I note though that the memorial at Stormont breaches neither council regulation nor manifesto pledge. Yet the church in Dungiven is still CoI….

  • SuperSoupy

    Are you claiming a memorial has been placed on CoI grounds in Dungiven? I hope not.

    If not, how far do you think Republicans should keep the rememberance of their dead from Protestants? In metres please.

    Does the same apply to Catholics and British dead? The new UDR memorial in the centre of Lisburn?

  • Mick Fealty

    Read back through the thread Soupy…

  • SuperSoupy

    Mick,

    I have done. You seem to be saying being near a church or in front of a ruined church means a memorial is on CoI land.

    No memorial has been placed on CoI grounds. If the CoI wants to own the land nearby they can buy it.

  • Mick Fealty

    “No memorial has been placed on CoI grounds.”

    True, that would have been a relatively straightforward case of trespass. But in this case it has been placed on council maintained grounds, with, according to the Equality Commission, the active encouragement of Omagh District Council.

    Whatever people feel about Carson, the EC believes there is a case to be answered here by the council. Given they have ten out a total of 21 councillors, surely Sinn Fein should be asking whether their people in Omagh have been keeping up with the project?

    I’m less familiar with the Dungiven case, but I guess they’ve not had any complaints, yet.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    The statue of a figure head of a loyalist paramilitary organisation, whether or not it committed any actual acts of terror, standing outside a home of governance, where the main intention is to put all that behind us, is the very essence of what the problem is.

    I’m no more impressed than Darth with kitsch memorials all over the place, a point I made in an earlier post even if I didn’t use the word ‘kitsch’, and that’s why I think there should be one iconic monument that represents us all.

    I am not impressed by the arguments of Carson’s apologists – nor am I surprised by its vicious and capricious nature – take a bow DR. After all Edward Carson is as dead as Bobby Sands.

    The establishment of the UVF in 1912 and their subsequent arming set a precedent in Ireland and its effects are still being felt today. The UVF was established to counter the threat of Home Rule being adapted, democratically, by the British Parliament, and was thus an anti-democratic army – in today’s parlance a terrorist force. It prompted the establishment of the Irish Volunteers/Óglaigh na hÉireann, today’s IRA.

    In contrast to the UVF, or any of the other unionist terror forces, which has yet to decommission, the IRA has displayed its democratic credentials by accepting the will of the people, first decommissioning, then declaring the war is over, then accepting the policing structures.

    All that they’re doing now is remembering their dead and because unionists are still refusing to share the six north eastern counties on an equal basis.

  • Dear Dear Dear

    I dropped in to Slugger for the first time in weeks and hit on this thread. Now I remember why I’ve been avoiding it for weeks. Goodbye and enjoy the rest of your petty lives.

  • willowfield

    Very simplistic comments by Olibhear Chromwaill.

    The UVF cannot have been anti-democratic when its purpose was to defend democratically-expressed self-determination. It was the Bill introduced to Parliament whose intention was to suppress such self-determination that was anti-democratic.

    Olibhear seems to think that any bill introduced to parliament must be democratic. An odd view from someone who presumably takes the opposite view of other bills introduced and passed by Parliament.

    He also says it prompted the establishment of the “Irish Volunteers/Óglaigh na hÉireann, today’s IRA”, yet, in actual fact, the Irish volunteers were established by the democratically-elected and accountable leaders of nationalism at that time. Redmond’s volunteers were legitimate, just as Carson’s were, and both for the same reasons. “Today’s IRA” was actually an illegitimate break-away from those volunteers, and thereby from democratic legitimacy.

    As for terrorism, neither Carson’s, nor Redmond’s volunteers committed any acts of terrorism.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “The establishment of the UVF in 1912 and their subsequent arming set a precedent in Ireland and its effects are still being felt today.”

    Eh? read some history. What about (ooops) the United Irishmen, the Fenians, the Defenders? Do you really think that Carson sat down one day and said to Crawford-” I know, why don’t we get in some guns?- noone will expect us to do that”. Where it was unique, was that the UVF was open to all classes, and..(shock) women played an active role, far in advance of the miltiary mindset of the times.

    Carson was not the leader of the UVF, and he was deeply suspicious of it, but went along with others to give the Unionists an outlet for their anger. Redmond made the same choice-and who’s to say he wouldn’t have done so first if the liberals had wavered. Given that the UVF killed or injured absolutely noone pre-1914 Carson was arguably right. Don’t forget they initially drilled with wooden rifles, and were laughed at by nationalists

    “The UVF was established to counter the threat of Home Rule being adapted, democratically, by the British Parliament, and was thus an anti-democratic army – in today’s parlance a terrorist force.”

    Quite right , up until the last clause. it was undemocratic-though given the limited franchise of the times democracy was clearly an imperfect creature. Bonar Law said at Blenheim “There are things greater than parliamentary majorities”, and he was right. If the use of a sledgehammer majoritarianism vote was OK in 1912,then it was the correct way to deal with the minority in Ireland that sought to secede contrary to the democratic vote of 1918 in the UK as a whole or in NI in every vote since 1920-and we know how well they worked- “We won the vote, so your aspirations have no validity”

    The UVF armed itself in response to the explicit threats of people like Churchill to use the army to coerce Unionists into Home Rule- Churchill having form in using the military to crush the Trade Unions at Taff Vale.

    BTW why is it that only John Bruton had the vision to honour Redmond when taioseach? Surely not because he had a greater breadth of vision than those people who distort the 1918 election result to justify the squalid little campaign of the IRA mk 1?

    So far as Dungiven is concerned, there were indeed complaints, as the memorial was sited on a public space, formerly the market, used by the parishioners as their car park on Sundays, which the local council conveniently have no title deeds for. perhaps the Equality commission will still get a call.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    It’s pure torture trying to follow the twists and turns of Willowfield and Darth Rumsfeld as they attempt to disentangle Edward Carson from the UVF, unrepentant terrorist force that it is, and from paramlitarism.

    I made the observations that I did earlier in this thread in order to point up the inequality of the Equality Commission in issuing a ruling about the Dromore memorial while failing to observe that the north is littered with memorials from all sides which would equally offend equality sensibilities.

    All the points made by DR and Willowfield to explain and excuse the UVF and how they were armed and how they constituted the first paramilitary force of the modern era in Ireland could be used with more justification by supporters of the Irish Volunteers, the 1916 Rising et al to the present day. DR and Willowfield are in the words of the Bard, hoist on their own petard.

    The point I’m trying to get at here is equality. That’s all. And my solution is simple. Carry out an EQIA on all monuments and knock those ones which offend and replace with one single monument for the entire conflict. Perhaps there’s no need for the EQIA exercise – knock the lot and replace them with one for all. And in that monument, Bobby Sands and Edward Carson would both be honoured.

  • yeah, yeah, yeah

    Perhaps more amazing is nationalists desperately trying to change the subject when some of their number have been found in breach of the equality rules. “Building an Ireland of equals” – someone better have a look at the foundations.

    darth, willowfield you should have known better than to fall for this diversionary tactic

  • darth rumsfeld

    olly, I actually agree that willowfield is getting his knickers in a bit of a twist on democracy- I have taken a different view, namely that to reduce everything to a vote in parliament is simplistic- and by that test there is some justification for the UVF and the Irish volunteers.Both could claim with some authority to be representative of their communities unlike the IRB, or modern paramilitaries

    I disagree with you that any comparison can be made with the UVF of Carson’s era and the scumbags of the present who have no connection with the original UVF.Interestingly, I believe the only memorial to the old UVF is in a church hall in the republic, now that the UVF hospital in east belfast has closed.

    And i agree there’s a certain futility in carrying out equality exercises about memorials- most british pillar boxes, courts etc in the Republic reflect the times they were built, and there’s no obvious chill factor for their users- despite the efforts of some of our more neanderthal republican friends

  • willowfield

    OLIBHEAR

    It’s pure torture trying to follow the twists and turns of Willowfield and Darth Rumsfeld as they attempt to disentangle Edward Carson from the UVF, unrepentant terrorist force that it is, and from paramlitarism.

    I haven’t made any attempt to disentangle Carson from the UVF. And you’ll have to define what you mean by “terrorist force”. I don’t see how the UVF can be described as such when it didn’t engage in terrorism.

    I made the observations that I did earlier in this thread in order to point up the inequality of the Equality Commission in issuing a ruling about the Dromore memorial while failing to observe that the north is littered with memorials from all sides which would equally offend equality sensibilities.

    The Equality Commission has merely ruled that an equality impact assessment should be carried out on Omagh council’s policy in respect of memorials. As far as I understand, it has made no judgement, nor expressed an opinion on the memorial itself.

    In any case, my intervention was in response to your attempt to claim that there was no difference between Sands and Carson. Clearly there was: the former being an illegitimate terrorist engaged in illegitimate violence for illegitimate aims, with no mandate for his actions; the latter being the elected leader of a democratic movement for self-determination, fully backed with a huge mandate. You have failed even to acknowledge or engage with this crucial distinction between the two. You apparently are incapable of distinguishing between just and unjust/legitimate or illegitimate actions.

    All the points made by DR and Willowfield to explain and excuse the UVF and how they were armed and how they constituted the first paramilitary force of the modern era in Ireland could be used with more justification by supporters of the Irish Volunteers, the 1916 Rising et al to the present day.

    They couldn’t, as I clearly explained in my last contribution. Clearly you didn’t read it, because I pointed out that the Irish Volunteers to whom you refer were actually a breakaway from the legitimate Volunteers formed by Redmond. The breakaway volunteers deliberately broke away from democratic legitimacy.

    DARTH

    olly, I actually agree that willowfield is getting his knickers in a bit of a twist on democracy- I have taken a different view, namely that to reduce everything to a vote in parliament is simplistic- and by that test there is some justification for the UVF and the Irish volunteers.Both could claim with some authority to be representative of their communities unlike the IRB, or modern paramilitaries

    Um, that was MY point.

  • In any case, my intervention was in response to your attempt to claim that there was no difference between Sands and Carson. Clearly there was: the former being an illegitimate terrorist engaged in illegitimate violence for illegitimate aims, with no mandate for his actions; the latter being the elected leader of a democratic movement for self-determination, fully backed with a huge mandate

    I presume then you’re taking into consideration Bobby Sands’ mandate in Fermanagh South Tyrone and the ever increasing mandate of SF representatives since?

    As far as I recall it, the Irish Volunteers went to fight for ‘King’ and ‘country’ because they were promised Home Rule by the British Government. When they returned from the front, they realised that Home Rule wasn’t enough which is why they voted in overwhelming numbers for Sinn Féin in the 1918 Election. Which is where the IRA derived their mandate until 1998. So I think you had better re visit your history books.

    You clearly explained this you say – while I maintain that you asserted your own bias and tried to ram it down my throat as fact. No thanks.

    As far as I’m concerned the monument in Dromore, whether or not its kitsch, whether or not it passes an EQIA, whether or not it has planning permission, is as legitimate as the Carson Statue.

    Or they’re both equally illegitimate.

    I would say the same thing about the RIR/UDR window in Belfast City Hall or the various memorials to RUC officers throughout the six counties, especially given the history of collusion between the UVF and others.

    That’s the Pandora’s Box opened by the Equality Commission. Everybody wants some equality, but no one wants it all?

  • Fair Play

    It was nice to see the Omagh Shinners on TV proving that they can do just as well as the Unionists in narrow minded bigotry. I wonder if that was what SF really meant all those years ago when they used to rant on and on about Parity of Esteem?

    Anyway, following the Omagh Council lead, can we now assume that SF will be happy to legitimise blatant acts of discrimination / coat trailing in Prod dominated councils? Why not lets have a few flagpoles with Union Jacks outside local chapels´and, while we are about it, what can the objection be to a few organge parades through Catholic areas if the majority in the local council approve.

    Doh!

  • Mr. Wilson

    The Kaiser’s Irsih Friend vowed
    to use “all means which may be found necessary to defeat the present conspiracy to set up a home rule parliament in Ireland”.

    In April 1914, 35,000 rifles and five million rounds of ammunition were smuggled into Larne Harbour and swiftly distributed throughout the province.

    And a former Trinity hurler and GAA member had nothing to do with this?

  • willowfield

    OLIBHEAR

    I presume then you’re taking into consideration Bobby Sands’ mandate in Fermanagh South Tyrone and the ever increasing mandate of SF representatives since?

    Um, being elected in one constituency out of twelve (in NI), and goodness knows how many in the whole of Ireland, is not a “mandate” to represent the Irish people and to murder in their name! Catch yourself on. While Sands and his ilk were killing and maiming, the number of votes in support of his actions was minimal.

    As far as I recall it, the Irish Volunteers went to fight for ‘King’ and ‘country’ because they were promised Home Rule by the British Government. When they returned from the front, they realised that Home Rule wasn’t enough which is why they voted in overwhelming numbers for Sinn Féin in the 1918 Election. Which is where the IRA derived their mandate until 1998. So I think you had better re visit your history books.

    The Irish Volunteers of whom you speak broke away from the legitimate volunteers under Redmond in 1914. Redmond’s volunteers formed into the 16th (Irish) Division. After the war they ceased to exist. The break-away volunteers had no mandate and no legitimacy.

    After 1918, the IRA can claim legitimacy after the point at which it became accountable to the Dáil.

    The Provisional IRA, of which Sands was a member (a break-away group from a break-away group from a break-away group) had no mandate and no legitimacy. Its aims were illegtimate and so to its actions.

    As far as I’m concerned the monument in Dromore, whether or not its kitsch, whether or not it passes an EQIA, whether or not it has planning permission, is as legitimate as the Carson Statue. Or they’re both equally illegitimate.

    You say so, but you are unable to explain why you think they are equivalents. I, on the other hand, have clearly shown that they are not equivalent: Carson had democratic legitimacy; Sands did not. Carson did not kill or maim; Sands did.

    I would say the same thing about the RIR/UDR window in Belfast City Hall or the various memorials to RUC officers throughout the six counties, especially given the history of collusion between the UVF and others.

    Then you would also be wrong, since the legitimate and lawful armed forces are not the equivalent of illegal and illegitimate terror gangs and death squads.

    That’s the Pandora’s Box opened by the Equality Commission.

    It’s not, since the perverse and repugnant equivalence that you claim is not accepted by society at large in Northern Ireland.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    You report assertions, based on dodgy history, as fact and I counter with my own perspective on what happened in 1918. I’m sorry but that’s not going to wash with me – you can continue to spout your propoganda all day long and for as long as you like after that. You’re not going to browbeat me into accepting your skewed view of history and your attempts to elevate Carson to a holier than thou – holier than Bobby Sands or whoever he represents at least – personality. Carson’s legacy to Ireland is partition and paramilitarism and therefore his hands are as bloody – if not more so – than Bobby Sands or any of his fellow volunteers.

  • willowfield

    You report assertions, based on dodgy history, as fact

    Where? What assertions?

    and I counter with my own perspective on what happened in 1918.

    I acknowledged that after 1918, the IRA can claim legitimacy after the point at which it became accountable to the Dáil.

    I’m sorry but that’s not going to wash with me – you can continue to spout your propoganda all day long and for as long as you like after that. You’re not going to browbeat me into accepting your skewed view of history and your attempts to elevate Carson to a holier than thou – holier than Bobby Sands or whoever he represents at least – personality. Carson’s legacy to Ireland is partition and paramilitarism and therefore his hands are as bloody – if not more so – than Bobby Sands or any of his fellow volunteers.

    Very weak response. Seems you are unable to defend your perverse claims about Sands, so you choose to bow out of the discussion under the disguise of an unfounded attack on the person who has challenged your crazy position.

    I haven’t spouted any “propoganda”: on the contrary, I’ve given a reasoned explanation of how Carson is in no way the equivalent of Sands. You have been unable to refute that and instead have resorted to the above nonsense. Your case is based on the most simplistic of bases with apparently no appreciation of the concept of democratic legitimacy.

    To suggest that Carson’s hands are “as bloody – if not more so” than the murderous monsters of the Provisional IRA is perverse and laughable. Carson killed no-one and directed the killing of no-one: his response was carefully measured and entirely legitimate, founded as it was in popular democratic will. The Provisional IRA, on the other hand, engaged in a 25+ year terrorist onslaught, murdering 1,700 innocents, maiming countless others, inflicting misery and destroying lives: and all done without the benefit of legitimacy – their actions opposed by the very people whom they claimed to represent.