Stand off? No! Trade-off…

RATHER than a ‘battle a day’ in the next Stormont government, others are expecting a ‘sectarian trade-off a day’, and perhaps that’s what prompted Breandan Mac Cionnaith to jump ship from Sinn Fein. However, Newton Emerson wonders whether the DUP really is “dumb enough to offer a fully funded Irish Language Act, for example, in exchange for a one-off Sunday stroll by 50 Lambeg-thumping losers” down the Garvaghy Road. Possibly – the DUP and Sinn Fein could be involved in a joint working group on parades before you can say “no talking to unreconstructed terrorists.” What next? “Here Caitriona, swap you a modified transfer test for a Maze hunger strike commemoration”?

  • Murphy

    Well hopefully it’s progress to the eventual solution of ‘the Irish question’. i.e the unification of Ireland by peaceful means.

  • hotdogx

    its agreements like this that could make nationl reconciliation a reality as well as making an ni government and cross boarder bodies work

  • Watcher

    I posted this on a previous thread:

    In relation to Drumcree/Garvaghy Road, could I say this, no matter how facetious (but factual) it may sound. At the height of Drumcree, the OO and unionist politicians regularly stated that the Drumcree march only commemorated those who fell at the battle of the Somme. That being the case, could some OO or unionist spokesperson please explain why July this year marks the 200th anniversary of the same parade? After all, the Somme only happened in 1916.
    In the pre-1990’s, the Drumcree parade was advertised in the Portadown newspapers as a “Boyne Commemoration”.
    The OO also organise an annual march in Portadown (which has been attended by Paisley and others) to commemorate the “massacre of Protestants at the Bann in 1641”.

    My solution to Drumcree/Garvaghy Road is very simple.

    If Protestant/unionist/OO/descendants of planters can celebrate their victory over the Catholic/nationalist/indigenous Irish at the Battle of the Boyne by marching through Garvaghy Road, then surely the reverse should also be permitted –
    a Catholic/nationalist/Republican/indigenous Irish parade should be permitted to march through residential areas of Portadown which are populated by Protestant/unionist/OO/descendants of planters in order to mark the Irish/Catholic victory/massacre of 1641 which actually happened in Portadown,unlike the battle of the Boyne.

    If one side objects to the other sides commemoration/celebration, then neither should be permitted to march.

    I also believe that SF would only damage themselves in the eyes of nationalists/republicans if they agreed to a march on Garvaghy Road over the heads of local people. While Adams might not do a jig, Paisley must certainly would. That’s why I still believe the like-for-like scenario should apply.

    Over the years, I’ve read and listened to commentators asking why the Derry solution can’t be replicated in Portadown and other areas.
    The answer is simple.
    The Apprentice Boys parade is confined to commercial parts of Derry.If they tried to put the same march through residential areas of the Bog or Creggan, there would be absolute uproar, and no agreement.

    That’s why I believe the scenario set out above will solve Drumcree/Garvaghy Road – in short, what’s sauce for the goose, is also sauce for the gander!!

  • kokane

    I think Newton arguements are muddled. He says “the fight is lost already” for the oo.

    But if they are allowed down the Garvaghey Rd – then they will have won – they have achieved their objective.
    The fact that may be prepared to pay a high cost for their victory and that it is unwise is a separate thing.

    From a nationalist point of view this is good news its a a bit like articles 2 & 3 being traded for southern involvement in NI affairs.

    But of course it much easier to say this when you dont actually live along the route.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    What Newton, through his muddled thinking doesn’t realise, is the Irish Language Act is a low water mark for Irish nationalists in the north. It’s about recognition of Irishness in Ireland, north and south. This recognition is the very anti-thesis of what’s involved with the attempted Orange March down Garvaghy Road. There the message is quite unequivocal from the Orangemen.

  • exile

    Interesting post watcher, but nobody that I would consider worthy of the terms catholic, nationalist or republican would be even slightly interested in the celebration of killing of their fellow Irish (unlike our chums in the OO), even if they hadn’t been around the place for as long as they have now. Maybe that is your point, as sacrificing a parade nobody wants would hardly be a difficult price to pay to keep the drummers quiet.

  • Comrade Stalin

    kokane:

    But if they are allowed down the Garvaghey Rd – then they will have won – they have achieved their objective.
    The fact that may be prepared to pay a high cost for their victory and that it is unwise is a separate thing.

    Actually, I don’t think a successful march down the Garvaghy Road would lead to a return to form for the OO. They truly are on the way out; they’ve lost support across the board, and have become increasingly associated with riotous wrecking scum, as events in Bangor last week showed. The garden centre prods don’t want anything to do with them anymore.

    Let them have their silly wee march and their five minutes of victory. Given time, they’ll die out.

    Oilibhear Chromaill (can I call you “The O.C.” ?):

    What Newton, through his muddled thinking doesn’t realise, is the Irish Language Act is a low water mark for Irish nationalists in the north. It’s about recognition of Irishness in Ireland, north and south.

    Aye your arse. few of the Irish people I know other than myself can speak Irish fluently. I lived in Dublin for a year and never encountered it anywhere other than the signs.

    I do not object to an Irish language act, I just think it’s a bit of a joke. Half the people arguing for it don’t speak a word of Irish themselves. If you replaced all the English road traffic signs with Irish ones overnight, the country would degenerate into chaos. Since so few Irish people actually speak Irish, how can the language have anything to do with recognition of Irishness ?

  • James

    comrade stalin,
    your views on the level of irish language usage is amazingly ignorant. perhaps you haven’t encountered anyone speaking it, probably, again due to your own ignorance, but there are many, many people who can understand irish with no problems.
    as for your little traffic theory, or your little notions on half the people not being able to speak a word of it…well, we can all spout all sorts of bullshit on here, and thankfully, most people can see through yours.

  • kokane

    Wales is a great example of how to do language really well and one that north and south should study closely. Although there are many differences, and Wales has a number of important advantages, the take up rate from non speakers in Cardiff for example offers shows how it can be done when attacked properly.

  • joeCanuck

    Apart from blatant man playing, James, do you have any specific point(s) to make?

  • Flyways

    Comrade Stalin

    “I do not object to an Irish language act, I just think it’s a bit of a joke. Half the people arguing for it don’t speak a word of Irish themselves. If you replaced all the English road traffic signs with Irish ones overnight, the country would degenerate into chaos. Since so few Irish people actually speak Irish, how can the language have anything to do with recognition of Irishness ?”

    What it really amounts to is glorified kerbstone painting.

  • fair_deal

    Methinks the media is getting itself over-excited with speculation building on speculation. They seem to be thinking that everything the DUP and SF have disagreements over are going to all be done and dusted by 8th May. Very unlikely.

  • GavBelfast

    What it really amounts to is glorified kerbstone painting.
    Posted by Flyways on Apr 15, 2007 @ 01:44 PM

    I think there’s probably a lot of that about.

    Likewise, if more Ulster Prods embraced an interest in the language, it would be interesting to see if the interest of many of those who describe themselves as activisits or defenders of the language would find their enthusiasm mysteriously fading?

  • kokane

    “if more Ulster Prods embraced an interest in the language” …

    it would help them integrate more easily with south – probably the main objective of GFA/STA.

  • Reader

    exile: Interesting post watcher, but nobody that I would consider worthy of the terms catholic, nationalist or republican would be even slightly interested in the celebration of killing of their fellow Irish (unlike our chums in the OO)
    If republicans had victories to celebrate, they would do so. But then I suppose you would claim that celebrating a victory isn’t the same as celebrating the killing. But wouldn’t the OO say the same?

  • exile

    Reader
    I would say that victories are different from killings. And there have been plenty of killings to celebrate if people wanted to celebrate them. The OO may well say the same, but I’ve also heard them claim to be nonsectarian. What is underneath the public statements always needs to be examined, whether from orange or green. As I’m reasonably cheerful today, I would say rather than celebrating killing, the OO traditionally have celebrated continuing discrimination, both political and economic, and that in itself should be distasteful to most people.

    Its true that nationalism has rather more martyrs to remember than victories, but I would suggest that the easter rising was a victory of a sort, in that it managed to gain the support needed for a successful campaign for independence. You may have noticed a few people commemorating that event recently, and the difference between commemorating and celebrating seems pretty fine to me.

  • Flyways

    Reader

    “If republicans had victories to celebrate, they would do so. But then I suppose you would claim that celebrating a victory isn’t the same as celebrating the killing. But wouldn’t the OO say the same?”

    Anyway, in the context of 1690 the Williamites were the good guys, unless someone wants to argue in defence of the divine right of kings.

  • Flyways

    GavBelfast

    “Likewise, if more Ulster Prods embraced an interest in the language, it would be interesting to see if the interest of many of those who describe themselves as activisits or defenders of the language would find their enthusiasm mysteriously fading?”

    Well I guess Prods could call it Gaelic to reject any pan-Ireland national connotation and adopt the Scots Gaelic spelling conventions and promote it as a British Isles language. Then Norn Iron could be divided by the same language just like with Serbo-Croat.

  • Reader

    exile: As I’m reasonably cheerful today, I would say rather than celebrating killing, the OO traditionally have celebrated continuing discrimination, both political and economic, and that in itself should be distasteful to most people.
    And as I’m also cheerful today, I would say rather than celebrating either killing or discrimination, the OO are celebrating physical and cultural survival – and victory was a neccessary pre-condition.
    But surely what you are really saying is just the usual 4 legs good, 2 legs bad stuff that we can hear any day?

  • exile

    reader
    Do you mean the OO are celebrating the physical and cultural survival of the protestant people in Ulster? Because for nationalists that is not the issue. And if that has been the aim for someone, then I would say that is a nationalism I want no part of. Or do you mean they are celebrating the survival of protestant dominance? Or is it the survival of the OO itself? Positive culture is something I have no problem with, but the traditions of the orange order are not positive, they centre around discrimination, aggression and triumphalism. And that is something most people would be happy to see wither. In fact, I would say that the sort of culture that the OO represents has served to blot out the better, more admirable traditions of Ulster protestantism.

  • exile

    And if you can hear something every day, maybe there is something in it. Good four-legged people from both traditions will always be able to find common ground, its the 2 leggers we have to worry about.

  • Reader

    exile: Do you mean the OO are celebrating the physical and cultural survival of the protestant people in Ulster? Because for nationalists that is not the issue.
    Easy to say that more than 300 years after the main event. John Hume wasn’t around back then.
    (That “4 legs good, 2 legs bad” is quoted from Animal Farm. The animals were fed hate propaganda and speciesism instead of freedom of thought. It’s normally quoted as a hint not to over-generalise about themmuns.)

  • Ondine

    The animals were fed hate propaganda and speciesism instead of freedom of thought. It’s normally quoted as a hint not to over-generalise about themmuns.

    If so, I can hear Orwell rolling from here. The humans are definitely the bad guys in Animal Farm. The whole point of the ending is that the pigs have become just like the humans.

  • Reader

    Ondine: If so, I can hear Orwell rolling from here.
    The pigs were bad news from the start. At the end it was at last obvious to all of the other animals. “Four legs good…” kept them fooled until it was too late.

  • exile

    Jesus, I know the quotation, Reader. I too was a sixth former a few years ago. I just don’t think it was terribly appropriate. “Themmuns” make up many of my friends, but that doesn’t include members of the OO. To make a rather more appropriate paraphrase, this time from Marx (Groucho) “I don’t want to be friends with any club which wouldn’t have me as a member”.

    And with reference to your previous point, no, Hume wasn’t around then, but Tone wasn’t long in turning up. The more noble elements of ulster protestantism I refer to include everything he stood for, and everything the OO are against.

  • Alex S

    similar story carried in the Sunday Independant with a picture of wee Jeffrey, Drumcree March in exchange for an Irish Language Act, an expensive walk if there ever was one!

  • Ian Sectar

    Exile I think you misquoted Groucho there, I believe the quote is “I wouldn’t like to join any club that WOULD have me as a member” unless I’m very much mistaken…i.e. the humour is in the irony

  • exile

    The misquote was deliberate, thank you.