Pearse to keep Carson company at Stormont?

Rachel Cohen takes a perfectly proper long view of where we’ve come from, and sees a harmonious convergence in view. Yet as Frank Millar noted last week, “They made history here yesterday. But they didn’t end it.” And as Damian McCarney notes, the battle a day continues, this time over the lack of Republican icons and emblems at Stormont. He quotes new Sinn Fein MLA Paul Butler at length:

“It is Sinn Féin’s view that where British cultural symbols are involved in public life, equivalent symbols should be given equal prominence. If agreement or consensus cannot be found on this, then a reasonable alternative, which fits the required criteria, is to suspend the flying of flags until such agreement or consensus can be found,” added the Lagan Valley MLA, who in the past has succeeded in preventing Lisburn City Council from flying the Union flag for 365 days a year.

The most obvious example of symbols of unionism at Stormont is the enormous statue of Edward Carson at the front of Parliament Buildings. Mr Butler’s suggestion of an equivalent nationalist symbol could see a statue erected to a historic figure from the nationalist/republican tradition. Mr Butler would not be drawn on who he would like to see commemorated beside Carson but any statue would probably be of a leading republican revolutionary such as, Robert Emmet, Pádraig Pearse, Countess Markievicz or Bobby Sands.

  • Aldamir

    What about a statue of Roger Casement? Republican, Prod, gay, gets lot of politically correct points for these.

    He also got a knighthood for exposing King Leopold’s horrors in the Congo Free State before his ill fated flirtation with Germany and Irish nationalism.

  • Whatever Next

    I suppose real Republicans could turn round to SF and tell them – ‘if you don’t like the atmosphere at Stormont, you shouldn’t have been so keen to run into it, clutching your British salaries’.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Aldamir.

    Ticks all the pc boxes ;¬)

    I really think this topic will finally expose just how serious Unionism is with all this equality malarkey. I’m sure there are many like me who are still in mild shock at recent events, where once we had Unionist intransigence there seems now to be a spirit of co-operation.

    Is there enough maturity?

  • One wonders what the family of Sands would say if Sinn Fein proposed a statue of him for Stormont.

    Rightly or wrongly, those listed above fought for something other than a more equitable Northern Ireland.

  • Briso

    John Hume.

  • Hogan from County Tyrone

    As a nationalist i don’t think it is particularly helpful to run around the building and point to everything British and collapse in horror?

    How far do you take it? carson, the WWII commemoration plaque in the senate chamber? do you get rid of the fantastic chandeliers because they were a gift from the King?

    The inability to deal with things in mature fashion has blinkered many a political activist in the past rendering them permenantly insane.

    If there could increase some representation of irish and gaelic culture around the place then i’m sure it would be nice but i hardly think its what the public would want a major debate on?

  • kensei

    “If there could increase some representation of irish and gaelic culture around the place then i’m sure it would be nice but i hardly think its what the public would want a major debate on?”

    No, but I rather think there’d be a lot of people that want it dealt with.

  • Dear me, all the goodwill is wearing thin already. Better drag Brian Kennedy back quick to sing to them all.

    Is anyone surprised that Sinn Fein is drawing up the new ethnic battle lines? Still, perhaps some people need to be reminded that the new Executive is just a staging post for the Shinners. There’s plenty more of this stuff ahead.

  • Aldamir

    I’m not a nationalist myself, the reason I think a Casement statue would be good is that I think the man did good things in Africa. Next year is the 100th anniversary of the ending of Leopold’s regime in the Congo Free State, Casement (working for the British diplomatic service of course) was one of the main reasons for the end of the regime.

    See:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Congo_State

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Connolly seems like a logical choice. Sure, he’s a sainted figure within republicanism, but as we all know he was a socialist, first and foremost, and his role in 1916 was the result of an alliance with nationalists, rather than because he himself was a nationalist. (He wasn’t – he simply believed that individual nations could only achieve socialism if they were first freed from the capitalist system foisted upon them by empire.)

    Also, Connolly was a Scotsman who served in the British armed forces, and has strong links to Belfast. (Lived in the Falls for a number of years, helped build the local TGWU and had a minor role in the 1907 dockers’ strike.)

    I honestly think Connolly is the kind of guy in whom even unionists could find something to admire. I can’t think of anyone better.

  • culturevulture

    Ok then. Here’s just one example.

    Let’s also make sure that for every diddly dee Oirish image and theme (as used relentlessly by the OFMDFM, NIO, NITB, Tourism Ireland and all the RTPs), there is a equivalent number of images and themes of the 12th July, Scarva, ABOD.

    As well as showing Oirish pubs, they should also show pics of typical Ulster “tay and buns” church hall social gatherings and church fetes – which take place every single weekend right across Norn Irn.

    For every bodhran there should be a lambeg. For every image of a Sunday GAA game there should be an image of a Sunday go-to-meeting family. Both communities and traditions should be given due recognition and visibility.

  • Ziznivy

    Paisley should be well up for this if he can tie in some concessions for his own Orange Volk.

  • Whatever Next

    Classy touch there from Billy Pilgrim – ‘even Unionists’. Way to go Billy boy.

  • B.P

    Here’s a novel idea. Instead of erecting the other side’s statue or flag alongside your own, (who the “other side” is, depends, of course, solely on one’s point of view) how about developing symbols that both sides/traditions can agree on. The PSNI badge is good example that it CAN be done.

  • delta omega

    As a symbol of reciprocity a statue of Paisley should be erected directly facing Carson as he has done more for Nationalists than anyone else by allowing SF into joint first ministerial role in the government of NI

  • kensei

    “Here’s a novel idea. Instead of erecting the other side’s statue or flag alongside your own, (who the “other side” is, depends, of course, solely on one’s point of view) how about developing symbols that both sides/traditions can agree on. The PSNI badge is good example that it CAN be done.”

    I think you’ll find the best the PSNI badge gets is grudging toleration from both sides. Also – happy to remove the Carson statue and the rest if we want to go down the completely neutral line.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Aldimir.

    I recently saw a documentary that depicted the genocide in the Belgian Congo. Casement and others were instrumental in bringing the horrors of the king’s rule to the wider world. I have no idea of whether Casement is deserving of a statue for example above others, as I am not qualified enough to say.

    I don’t think it should be about nominating someone who is ‘Unionist’ friendly, it is not about Unionism but about parity. So in that sense we shouldn’t really have to shop around to see who is acceptable to anyone.

  • Whatever Next

    A lovely little baby kitten died this morning, and I do declare, there were Unionists who didn’t cry. When oh when will ever get true equality and start addressing the important issues like this? Second only, as it is, in importance to the statue quota at Stormont.

  • joeCanuck

    Get rid of Carson and replace him with Cu Chulainn.

  • kensei

    “A lovely little baby kitten died this morning, and I do declare, there were Unionists who didn’t cry. When oh when will ever get true equality and start addressing the important issues like this? Second only, as it is, in importance to the statue quota at Stormont.”

    Symbolism matters, especially here. Does it outrank, say, health care on the importance list? No. And believe it or not, the Assembly has enough time to debate all sorts of things. But trying to do it down in this way is indicative of lacking a compelling argument.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Whatever Next

    “Classy touch there from Billy Pilgrim – ’even Unionists’. Way to go Billy boy.”

    If indeed I’ve been wrong and unionists have actually loved and respected the memory of Connolly all these years, I do apologise!

  • Whatever Next

    “But trying to do it down in this way is indicative of lacking a compelling argument” – oh but you’ve got me there. I have no compelling arguments to offer as to how the nationalist people of the occupied six are ever going to be saved from their hideous statue-based oppresion. Poor them, has ever a people suffered more?

  • change some names…

  • GavBelfast

    Perhaps Unionists who get annoyed by this sort of thing should just play along with it and realise that they can respond in kind if and when the 50%+1 vote for unity happens.

  • smcgiff

    Robert Emmet

  • Whatever Next

    The ever so tolerant & gracious Billy – [aka mister “you’re Irish whether you like it or not, and if you don’t like it, you’re a bigot (and still, er, irish, coz you don’t have any choice, coz you’ll do what I tells ya or else), and I’ll gets ma mam onto ya &c”] – Pilgrim: “If indeed I’ve been wrong and unionists have actually loved and respected the memory of Connolly all these years, I do apologise” – yeah, coz’ if Unionists don’t sign up for that particular crush, well it just goes to show how truly evil they are.

  • kensei

    “I have no compelling arguments to offer as to how the nationalist people of the occupied six are ever going to be saved from their hideous statue-based oppresion. Poor them, has ever a people suffered more?”

    So, to sum: no actual arguments against then? And as it is of so little importance, I’ll order that Pearse statue tomorrow.

    I was thinking along the lines of that one of the Siant they wanted to stick in Derry.

  • Whatever Next

    Well, expect that you won’t, because you’re a fantasist typing posts into a blog. See that? That’s the difference between the ‘real world’, where no one gives a flying f*ck about statues, and the pretendy world of let’s whip up some conveient sectarianism that SF and its drooling supporters live in.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Whatever Next

    “The ever so tolerant & gracious Billy – [aka mister “you’re Irish whether you like it or not, and if you don’t like it, you’re a bigot (and still, er, irish, coz you don’t have any choice, coz you’ll do what I tells ya or else), and I’ll gets ma mam onto ya &c”] – Pilgrim:”

    Thankyou for the kind words about my graciousness and tolerance. As for the line you have “quoted”, I honestly don’t remember typing anything like that. Doesn’t seem like me, to be honest. Can you post a link?

    “yeah, coz’ if Unionists don’t sign up for that particular crush, well it just goes to show how truly evil they are.”

    Not remotely close to what I’m saying. I was simply noting that unionists don’t tend to be big fans of the men of ’16 (this is a controversial observation?), so I simply looked at the career of Connolly, my personal favourite, and tried to point out a few things in his life that could be admire EVEN by those who have traditionally seen him as an enemy (ie unionists).

    You’re an awful man for jumping at shadows, y’know?

  • interested

    Watchman,
    I think all unionists should breath a heavy sigh of relief that you aren’t at Stormont defending the interests of the union.

    Ooohhhh dear, the nasty Shinners think that Stormont is only a staging post to something else. Well what exactly did you think they would say? Just because they say it doesn’t mean it will happen you know!

    You obviously assume that they’re some unstoppable force but maybe that says more about your own pessimism. Paul Butler needs something to whinge about, he’s still in MOPE mode. It’ll take time for him to adjust, but lets face it he isn’t getting any statues or other trinkets (other than the salary Her Majesty pays him) to help him along the way.

    You and Darth can go off and form a mutual comforting society to worry about staging posts to a united Ireland which isn’t going to happen.

    Frankly if “there’s plenty more of this ahead” we don’t have too much to worry about. My my my – how are we going to cope with above all things – a few attempts to grab cheap publicity from a few less than intelligent SF MLAs. The union is under threat indeed.

  • Congal Claen

    Whatabout Oliver Cromwell – the most famous and successful republican ever to set foot here?

  • kensei

    “Well, expect that you won’t, because you’re a fantasist typing posts into a blog. See that? That’s the difference between the ‘real world’, where no one gives a flying f*ck about statues, and the pretendy world of let’s whip up some conveient sectarianism that SF and its drooling supporters live in.”

    I love the way you talk like there is only a band of about thirty SF supporters and call me a fantasist.

    Of course, I’m not actually going to get a 160 ft statue of Pearse, because that would be unsympathetic to the surrounding architecture and to be honest, I’m not sure if I’d prefer one of Darby O Gill.

    Just, you know, illustrating the point that you are getting very worked up about something that doesn’t matter.

  • here’s a thought

    I know which statue should be located in the canteen anyway 😉

  • Gerd Muller

    I care little whose statue is erected at Stormont as long as they are sitting on a stonking great horse.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Congal Claen

    “Whatabout Oliver Cromwell – the most famous and successful republican ever to set foot here?”

    Ah, genocide humour….

  • Whatever Next

    Still not got the wit (or basic humility) to admit that ‘even Unionists’ wasn’t really the smratest line, eh? Keep churning on Billy, keep churning on.

    As far as ‘shadows’ are concerned, if I see one that scares me, I’ll jump at it. On the other pretty relaxed hand, if, as is generally the case with stuck-record Republicans like you (“Unionists are evil bigots who are doomed and should at once face up to the fact that they are evil and guilty and should get ready for the united Irish republic that is inevitable and has always existed” and interminably boring etc”), yeah, I’ll let my boredom show. As far as your tolerant and inclusive views go, here’s you over the ‘Real Enemy of the DUP thread’. Someone who disagrees with you is a, “Victorian imperialist, blasting the fuzzy-wuzzies for their backward ways and their cussed reluctance to accept your ideas on identity”. Whereas, you’re, “talking about a sense of cultural affinity that nationalists see in Paisley – can you empathise with what I’m saying, or is your imperial instinct so ingrained that your ideas on identity amount to nothing more than an acultural mush?” A real charmer, aren’t you? Addressing other points of views head on, and not dismissing them out of hand? Oh wait, that’s, uh, exactly what you haven’t been able to do.

    But even I’m embarrassed for you when you went into this sub-Dev rant:

    I feel grateful every day that my sense of identity and cultural belonging is so nourishing, so luxurious. My country is perhaps, pound for pound, the world’s greatest producer of literary talent. Our contributions to music, the arts, film, philosophy, politics, economics, business and other fields is staggering, for a country our size.

    Gosh, your legs must be tired from all that dancing at the croosroads too. But at least you treated us to your actual credo, which is that,

    “unionism” as we have known it is in fact a Protestant alliance – a communal reaction to a perceived crisis, rather than a political movement or ideology per se – and the “true unionists” are today in a minority.

    So no legitimacy there then. No suggestion of equality either. ‘Unionists’ are an alliance of protestant malcontents, and certainly not a national idenity to be taken seriously as such, let alone conceded as such. Seriously Billy, if you’re to bullsh*t, spread the same stuff in each field. You’ll look slightly less stupid that way.

  • jaffa

    Emmet?

    Why would Dail Ulaidh want a guy from Clonakilty outside?

    Henry Joy McCracken if we’re remembering 1798.

    Still no Catholics though but sure true Republicans don’t care about that sort of thing.

  • darth rumsfeld

    perhaps at the same time Sinn fein will call for similar generosity in RoI? Put back the Boyne obelisk, King Billy’s statues In Dublin and Boyle, and Nelson in O’Connell Street. Purely in the interests of parity of esteeem you understand

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Whatever Next

    If you want to have that debate, why not have it over on the other thread?

    Related to this thread, I still don’t understand why you have gone off on one over my original post (re. Connolly). Can you explain why you’re having a hissy fit over what I said? (And please don’t resort to composing your own hysterical rants and putting them in my mouth.)

  • Whatever Next

    Ah but Darth, this is the special Irish defintion of ‘parity’ which only works, er, one way. And it only applies to the guilty, which is us, not themuns.

  • jaffa

    Are we just sticking up any old bugger we can use as a totem to piss the other guy off or is this statue supposed to be of relevance to parliamentary democracy in the Occupied Six Counties of the northern Irish Ulster Province?

    What about John Hume and David Trimble holding hands with a grinning Bono looking on. We could stick it outside the Stormont canteen and the sickly sweetness would help all the politicos keep to their diets.

  • Whatever Next

    Billy, if you’re too ashamed over that ‘even Unionists’ slip, well good for you, but there’s little point in denying the evidence of your own eyes (and those of everyone else reading) – points have been put to you, you’re running away from them, fair enough. Droning on the way you’ve been in your stuck-record Republicanism, then making that painfully revealing aside about ‘even unionists’ would embarass even Butler into irrelevance & evasion.

  • páid

    In a thread entitled

    Pearse to keep Carson company at Stormont?

    whatever next has made nine contributions.

    In one of them he claims that in the real world “no one gives a flying f*ck about statues”

    But you sure do, whatever next.

  • Shore Road Resident

    A statue of Bobby Sands in the latter stages of his suicide would save considerably on the bronze.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Whatever Next

    I think it’s fair to say you bring quite a lot of baggage, and quite a few assumptions to your debates.

    Darth

    Apples and oranges. I mean, have you actually been to Dublin? You’ll find perhaps a dozen nationalist street names (Pearse, O’Connell, Parnell and er, I’m running low already) and a thousand British ones. The British influence is intrinsic to the fabric of the city, it’s everywhere. Whereas in Belfast, you won’t find a single “nationalist” street name, while have the city is named after a single genocidal despot (all the Donegalls and Chichesters).

    Since in Dublin we have Grafton St, Nassau St, Northumberland Road, Harcourt St, Dorset St etc, how about changing the names of some Belfast streets? (If for no better reason than Belfast has crap street names.) Change, say Donegall St, to Larkin Street? (There are already so many Donegalls.) Or, since we have both a Victoria St AND a Great Victoria St, how about changing one of them to Tone Street? Or change the banal High Street to McCracken St (since he used to hang out there).

    So many exciting names with which we could renovate this boringly-named city.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Whatever Next

    I’ve tried to explain my post, to an extent that I’m sure even a reasonably well-adjusyed four year old could grasp.

    So explain to me, since I don’t get it: when I made the remark which has caused you to lose the run of yourself, what do YOU think I meant?

  • Prince Eoghan

    Whatever Next

    *Yawns* go and annoy someone else would you, badgering on about nonsense. Do you actually have a contribution to make

    Darth.

    I’m sure issue’s regarding peoples traditions would be covered in any future composite state, why wouldn’t it? I’m not sure that British royalty is an altogether appropriate symbol for representing Protestantism though. As far as Nelson goes, wouldn’t Wellesly be a much better choice? Well as long as there is no horses or stables about.

    In my first post I asked whether Unionism was serious, or had the maturity. Gey few I fear! This is one of many confidence building measures that are going to have to be faced.

  • Whatever Next

    Drone, drone, drone Paid – yeah, that’s right, poiting out how tittish it is for people to (affect to) care about statue-based oppression (weep!) shows how much I care that that statue-based oppression should be ongoing. You’ve seen right through me. No Ockham’s razor here. It’s certainly *not* the case that the point I’ve been making – people who pretend to be hurt and insulted by statues are grade-A professional tits and sectarian stirrers – is my “real” point. Oh no. So well done to you for discovering that my real point is to advance the hidden agenda of the bigoted Brit, er, statucrats, and to maintain their evil hegemony over the freedom loving Irish people of the afflicted six.

    And there’s old Billy again, answering all the points put to him, and never once running away from anything. Oh wait. Billy, face up to it – you made a fool of yourself with that ‘even Unionists’ crack, and you haven’t even had the wit to tactically row back from it.

  • Whatever Next

    Let me get this straight: are you really, Billy, going to try and try it on? That ‘even Unionists’ was a perfectly reasonable thing for someone blethering on about tolerance &c to let slip? ‘Even unionists’? The mask didn’t so much slip, as get flung aside there old son. Seriously, say sorry, move on.

    And sa for the Prince there, oh if only I could scale the heights of your contributions to Slugger. Poor you though, having to deal with Unionists, who so impertinently lack your own modest ‘maturity’ and ‘seriousness’.

  • Les Djinns

    perhaps at the same time Sinn fein will call for similar generosity in RoI? Put back the Boyne obelisk, King Billy’s statues In Dublin and Boyle, and Nelson in O’Connell Street. Purely in the interests of parity of esteeem you understand
    I thought this thread was about NI. You do realise that Dublin is in the ROI????

  • Reader

    Prince Eoghan: This is one of many confidence building measures that are going to have to be faced.
    Don’t you get it? Confidence Building is over. We’re into the Horse Trading era now.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>if only I could scale the heights of your contributions to Slugger<

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Billy,

    “Whereas in Belfast, you won’t find a single “nationalist” street name”

    Not true. One example is Hope Street, just off Great Victoria Street, named after a United Irishman.

  • Whatever Next

    Oh come on Reader – don’t you realise, SF haven’t bought into any sort of Agreement? They’ve no desire to make anything work – wreck, wreck, wreck – that’s the goal. Smallscale sectarian sh*t-stirring to begin with. You know, pick stuff so trivial as to be positively humiliating that you’re even pretending to be bothered by it, and then when you’re inevitably rebuffed on that, ratchet up the whining. And keep at it until you’ve reached a dead end of your own choosing, and then back to murdering folk again. And why not? It worked last time.

  • Whatever Next

    ‘Prince Eoghan’, subliminate your dislike for me and other Unionists whatever way you prefer – say that Unionist-minded posts are the outcome of drinking, or mental illness or whatever crude smear comes to hand. I really don’t mind. ‘Billy Pilgrim’ exposed himself well and truly with that crack about ‘even unionists’ and I’m happy to call him on it ad naus. More fool him that he can’t summon the nous, let alone sense of right and wrong, to apologise for it.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>subliminate your dislike for me and other Unionists whatever way you prefer – say that Unionist-minded posts are the outcome of drinking, or mental illness or whatever crude smear comes to hand.<

  • kensei

    “It’s certainly *not* the case that the point I’ve been making – people who pretend to be hurt and insulted by statues are grade-A professional tits and sectarian stirrers – is my “real” point.”

    So on the one hand, anyone who like to see their tradition represented a bit more is guilty of MOPEing to a level of head exploding hyperbole, but you are entirely above that, depsite the rants.

    Does this constitute man not ball, anyone. I don’t see an argument.

    “Oh no. So well done to you for discovering that my real point is to advance the hidden agenda of the bigoted Brit, er, statucrats, and to maintain their evil hegemony over the freedom loving Irish people of the afflicted six.”

    No one needs to expose anything, seeing as your over the top rants are fairly clear for a ll to see.

    So, do you have any specific objections to more Nationalist statues/symbols at Stormont? Perhaps a more sombre approach might take the heat out of “SF sectarian shit stirring” than ranting?

  • Mick Fealty

    It is playing the man, though I can also see there is a legitimate point being hinted at. Can I just ask people not to relent in your argument (that aspect is unusually enervating), but that you look at your post before you send it and take out anything that might be construed as personal.

    No matter how lightly it is meant in the first place, personal remarks have a consistent history of displacing even mildly erudite discourse.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “I thought this thread was about NI. You do realise that Dublin is in the ROI????”

    Really? Since when?
    And if you’re right- which of course you are- half of mick’s sidebars, and threads are out of bounds

  • Kloot

    Put back the Boyne obelisk, King Billy’s statues In Dublin and Boyle, and Nelson in O’Connell Street. Purely in the interests of parity of esteeem you understand

    Like this one Darth. Which has now been completed.

    Victoria Monument Restored

    Or like the Battle of the Boyne centre. Did bertie not agree to restore the Boyne obelisk last week ?

    The ROI is making those sort of overtones to the Unionist community in NI.

    Bringing it back to NI though, what is the situation inside stormont. Are there many symbols to which republicans might object. Im only asking as I have a clue.

    BTW, someone on a horse always goes down well as a good statue

  • Mick Fealty

    Carson was born in Harcourt Street, was he not? Right, I am changing that tag line now.

  • Kloot

    The ROI is making those sort of overtones to the Unionist community in NI.

    Sorry… overtures

  • kensei

    “It is playing the man, though I can also see there is a legitimate point being hinted at. Can I just ask people not to relent in your argument (that aspect is unusually enervating), but that you look at your post before you send it and take out anything that might be construed as personal.”

    The points are: this is so trivial it doesn’t matter. if you dare say anything about this, you are a “sectarian shit-stirrer”.

    Yeah, think I got it the first time.

  • Mick Fealty

    Why not wait until the ‘offender’ rephrases it themselves kensei?

    Tried to change the tagline, but it’s not recognising the comma between NI and politics and culture…

  • Jeremy

    I dont believe it was mentioned already but I would think Wolf Tone would be a strong contender for a statue.

  • Kloot

    Isaac Butt anyone ?

  • páid

    Or perhaps, the Wolfe Tones.

    They’ve split up acrimoniously, so it would all make sense.

  • kensei

    “Why not wait until the ‘offender’ rephrases it themselves kensei?”

    You’ve read this thread, right?

  • GreenProd

    Casement is a good choice for the reasons noted above, but I’d vote for Connelly. In the thirties there were Connelly clubs in many prod neibourhoods in Belfast.
    Henry Joy McCracken would also be a good choice. I think many protestants are admirers.

  • merrie

    >> Apples and oranges. I mean, have you actually been to Dublin? …The British influence is intrinsic to the fabric of the city, it’s everywhere<

  • USA

    Would probably prefer if no offending statues were on display. But we cannot really take down existing statues (Carson, Queen Victoria of England etc) as we must respect all traditions. So if others are to be constructed I would suggest Henry Joy McCracken.

  • merrie

    Joe Canuck suggested:

    >> Get rid of Carson and replace him with Cu Chulainn<

  • interested

    “Watchman,
    I think all unionists should breath a heavy sigh of relief that you aren’t at Stormont defending the interests of the union.”

    I’m glad I’m not there as well: the expenses and junkets might be nice but all the sh*t-stirring from fifth-rate politicos would bore me very quickly.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Whatever Next

    “Billy Pilgrim’ exposed himself well and truly with that crack about ’even unionists’ ”

    Explain how.

  • Taffy

    Fellow Celts! As a proud Welshman I look forward to the promise of a more equitable society in Nothern Ireland as envisaged in the Good Friday Agreement. There is nothing Irish about Stormont. For too long it has been a bastion of unionist ascendancy.
    Has the time not come for the nationalist minority – on the way to becoming half the population – to have its rich cultural heritage recognised in some small way? You could start with Grattan, McCracken and Larkin, who appeal to both traditions.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Congal Claen

    “Not true. One example is Hope Street, just off Great Victoria Street, named after a United Irishman.”

    I stand corrected. Great stuff. More needed though…

  • John East Belfast

    B.P

    “Instead of erecting the other side’s statue or flag alongside your own, (who the “other side” is, depends, of course, solely on one’s point of view) how about developing symbols that both sides/traditions can agree on.”

    I think you are spot on.

    Carson was put there 80 years ago and is part of the history of the structure and the context in which it was erected.

    A line should be drawn under that period and you dont re-visit it by dragging up other historical figures of that time and planting them now.

    Indeed it would be akin to taking a piece of art and adding to it.

    What you can do is add figures of the recent present and the future as we go forward from here.

    However such figures – in the spirit of what is happening there now – would have to have cross community support.

    That would rule out Bobby Sands for a start – no less than it would rule out Johnny Adair or Michael Stone.

    I suggest a bronze re-creation of that first Assembly painting with all the MLAs.

    From hereon anyone else wanting to be added would have to earn it for exceptional service to Northern Ireland.

  • fair_deal

    Why not a statue to Cahir Healy?

    He actually served in the original Stormont parliament and was at a time father of the house. Throughout he was one of the most conscientious representatives in the place, just check the hansard of any Stormont session to see the number and range of his interventions and questions. He was present at the founding of SF and interned twice plus he was leader of the old nationalist party, the precursor to the SDLP.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    FD

    That’s not a bad idea, though I suspect the reaction of most people, nationalist and otherwise, would be: “Who?”

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Wouldn’t a statue of a republican leader be a monument to the failure of the movement to bring about a united Ireland?

    Quick question: what do people think of the public art down at Laganside, the woman holding the hoop (for want of a better description)?

  • Nathan

    Charles Stewart Parnell perhaps