A house of cards?

Martin McGuinness has attacked the suggestion that the protected buildings at the Maze be delisted. The decision lies with DUP minister, Arlene Foster but McGuinness warned:

“I would be shocked if any minister in the executive thought it was a good idea to de-list the buildings,”

However SF made it clear earlier this year that the national stadium and conflict transformation centre were inter-dependent projects:

“Both the stadium and the preserved prison buildings projects must proceed simultaneously”

So if one falls don’t both fall?

  • Sean Graham

    Good picture Faur Deal. It is always inmportant to show the guiding hand of the Pope in these matters. Did the UDR shit on any Catholic altars in Derry by the way? If not, why not?

  • Er…back to the post,
    So if one falls don’t both fall?

    That’s not Edwin’s interpretation of the situation:

    However, Mr Poots has responded by saying the H-blocks are listed buildings (H-block One and the prison hospital have been listed) and would remain on the site regardless of other development.

    “If people don’t want any development at the Maze, these maintained structures will still be there, irrespective of whether there is a stadium developed there,” he told the BBC.

    “There is a far greater potential for a shrine to be developed if that’s the only thing left on the site,” the Lagan Valley assembly member said

    Whatever happens SF get their centre, the H-blocks stay, we can only prevent the “shrine” if a stadium is also built on the site.
    According to Edwin.

  • fair_deal

    oneill

    Thanks for that forgot about that interview. Mind you Poots will pretty much say anything to get the Maze proposal going forward. Also it is guff, just because they are listed does not mean they automatically become the proposed centre plus delisting is an option.

  • Cahal

    I seriously doubt SF said anything about a ‘national’ stadium. Unless you mean croker.

  • Sean Graham

    Ok. Let’s ignore the photo which contextualises the comments.

  • willowfield

    Neither the Terror Museum nor the White Elephant Stadium are popular projects.

    Scrap them both and spend the money on something useful and sensible.

  • Sean

    yeah like burning all those rags flapping in the wind and the propper long term disposal of thos nast orange thingys they put up

  • I seriously doubt SF said anything about a ‘national’ stadium. Unless you mean croker.

    Funny enough, afaik, it’s only Barry McElduff who’s ever complained about the media using this proposed title.

    I think the rest of SF may be keeping stum on this one and looking at the slightly bigger picture, what do you reckon Cahal?

  • heck

    last week I went on holiday with the wife to san francisco and took the tour of Alcatraz.

    This is part of the history of the area. The idea that citizens would want the place leveled because they did’nt like the people who were imprisoned there or that they would want to build a baseball stadium on the site are unimaginable.

    Long kesh and the h-blocks are part of our history. Comments like willowfield’s show the narrow minds that exist in Nor Iron.

  • Cahal

    “I think the rest of SF may be keeping stum on this one and looking at the slightly bigger picture, what do you reckon Cahal? ”

    The bigger picture, IMO, is a stadium which nobody wants except a couple of thousand northern soccer fans.

    By all means preserve the Long Kesh. But nobody seems to want a stadium built (anywhere) except the IFA.

    With the hard earned money of English people might I add. The norths economy is utterly shite. Shouldn’t we be going through a prolonged period of belt-tightening? Sponging bastard syndrome raises its head again.

  • One or two small factual errors there Cahal and I had a vision of Maggie Thatcher on whizz during that last paragraph, but yes, you’ve nearly got the bigger picture.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Heck I suspect that Willowfield is more worried about how the site will be marketed by the republican movement.

    I doubt that you were informed in your Alcatraz tour that any of the inmates were selfless freedom fighters or that they were oppressed under the jackboot of their govt. That sort of guff and much more is sure to be trotted out and that’s before we broach the subject of the people who committed suicide there.

    We’re currently in a relatively peaceful situation, yet the various parties can’t even agree on such basics as what to call Derry, The Maze or even NI itself. The chances of them agreeing on the context / design / wording of any shrine or whatever on the Maze site are pretty much zero.

    Face it, the Maze / Long Kesh was a prison that happened to contain a large amount of paramilitary prisoners, protagonists in a grubby pointless little conflict which nobody emerged from with any shred of dignity. If we really need some sort of memorial, it should be a neutral monument to all the victims positioned near the border. Encouraging what is inevitably going to be a one-sided shrine is merely going to achieve the exact opposite of ‘conflict resolution.’

    My tuppence worth is bulldoze the site, build some houses, give Casement, Windsor & Ravenhill a wad of cash to improve their grounds and put the rest into health and education.

  • ciaran

    I was on a tour of the prison last year and would recommend it to all. It was interesting to tour a place that was the focus of so much world attention over the years. The people who took us on the tour stressed that they were impartial and the stories they told of the prison were interesting and in parts humuorous. The stories were about both sides of the paramilitary inmates and glorified no-one.Even in the hospital no attempt was made to tell anything other than the facts of what went on there. I would be of a republican background, but I have no wish to see the site become a shrine. It is an interesting historicl site, nothing more.

  • Clint

    It looks like Martin McGuiness is having difficulty making politics work at home AND abroad! When he failed to even listen to the expressed views of the AOH on the invitation to the Orange Order to visit Washington it was, given the difficult circumstances he was in, somewhat understandable but also somewhat discourteous to the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

    Deputy First Minister McGuinness is now jointly in charge with Ian Paisley of delivering and maintaining British Rule in the Six Counties but he should not desert those that showed him and Sinn Fein unqualified support when he was not exactly in ‘High Office’.

    His snub to AOH President Jack Meehan is one that could have been easily predicted by non- supporters of Sinn Fein and does not surprise Irish men and women who have always seen through their bluffing but I am convinced that their loyal supporters within the American Divisions of the Order never believed such a let down to be possible.

    Many true Irish Republicans within the AOH must be quietly asking themselves why they parted with their hard earned dollars and valuable time to reach this point.

    Was it to promote the continuance of British Rule in Ireland or to one day accept snubs from Sinn Fein?

    The answer I believe may be found in Martin’s new found friend Big Ian’s famous utterance Never, Never Never.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    That’s Martin for ya — a big fat salary, a big fat friend and a big fat sell-out.

  • Cruimh

    “Many true Irish Republicans within the AOH must be quietly asking themselves why they parted with their hard earned dollars and valuable time to reach this point.”

    Terence O’Neill called it right 1969.

    “It is frightfully hard to explain to Protestants that if you give Roman Catholics a good job and a good house, they will live like Protestants…they will refuse to have 18 children…. If you treat Roman Catholics with due consideration and kindness, they will live like Protestants in spite of the authoritative nature of their Church.”

  • willowfield

    Society doesn’t want a Terrorist Glorification Centre, which is clearly what the H-blocks will become. Who are the ones calling for their preservation, for goodness’ sake?! Those who seek retrospective justification for their terror campaign.

  • Cruimh

    Amen to that Wllowfield

  • George

    Cruimh,
    I don’t think O’Neill realised that, using these criteria, by 2007 the Irish Republic would be far and away the most “Protestant” part of Ireland.

  • Cruimh

    Strange comment George.

  • George

    Cruimh,
    I was starting from a strange base, namely you quoting O’Neill’s what I will politely call “bizarre” comment.

    I wonder if he thought that if Protestants didn’t have good houses and jobs that they would start “regressing” towards the “Catholic” condition in spite of the less authoritive nature of their church?

  • Cruimh

    George, O’Neill’s comments were spot on as regards the pygmalion-like transformation from uncouth Corner-boys to docile property-owning figures of the establishment.

    Sure, the South HAS become more ‘protestant’ – it’s why it has prospered. But we were discussing the miraculous transformation from OTR armalite weiding AOH Icons to people more British than the Brits.

  • kensei

    “Terence O’Neill called it right 1969.

    “It is frightfully hard to explain to Protestants that if you give Roman Catholics a good job and a good house, they will live like Protestants…they will refuse to have 18 children…. If you treat Roman Catholics with due consideration and kindness, they will live like Protestants in spite of the authoritative nature of their Church.” ”

    Actually, that’s more than a wee bit offensive, condescending. nasty, and superior just as it was in 1969. There are a lot of factors behind the drop in Catholic birth rate, and it has more to do with trends that have fuck all to do with this place than anything else. The waning influence of the Catholic Church (and consequent impact on attitudes to say, birth control) has little to do with Catholics here getting “decent jobs” but has undoubtedly been a serious contributory factor. We’ve also had feminism and more women in the work place. Birth rates have also tended to fall across Europe, in response to a number of factors.

    Perhaps not one to bring up at polite dinner parties, that.

  • kensei

    “But we were discussing the miraculous transformation from OTR armalite weiding AOH Icons to people more British than the Brits.”

    Oh please.

  • Cruimh

    “Actually, that’s more than a wee bit offensive”

    what you should be considering is that it was so terrible that he was right in so many ways.

    Incidentally- not having the lingo – is this AP/RN feature by Paris hilton for real ? 😉

    http://www.anphoblacht.com/news/detail/19759

  • Kevster

    When O’Neill said “It is frightfully hard to explain to Protestants…” he might have been onto something. ;o)

  • Reader

    kensei: Perhaps not one to bring up at polite dinner parties, that.
    But possibly one to raise at republican revisionist conferences – after all, if it turns out that the IRA weren’t fighting for a 32 county socialist Ireland for all those years, maybe they were fighting for O’Neill’s dream instead?

  • Cruimh

    The leadership certainly were Reader 😉

  • Ice-9

    “My tuppence worth is bulldoze the site, build some houses, give Casement, Windsor & Ravenhill a wad of cash to improve their grounds and put the rest into health and education.”

    This for the win!

  • marc

    I would suggest refraining from giving any of them money unless they meet the relevant funding criteria.

    Money is already available within different schemes and has been used by both the Ulster branch of the IRFU & the Ulster Council of the GAA for ground improvements etc..

    It usually involves raising a percentage of overall costs for improvemnets etc.. and the balance is met by the govt. agency.

    The IFA seem to constantly be holding out a begging bowl while the other associations get off their arses and raise cash.

  • gram

    Willofield: “Society doesn’t want a Terrorist Glorification Centre,”

    Agreed.

    “which is clearly what the H-blocks will become.”

    How do you know? I’d expect them to be independently managed like a museum.

    “Who are the ones calling for their preservation, for goodness’ sake?!

    Me for one.

    Those who seek retrospective justification for their terror campaign.”

    No. There will be an economic benefit (have a look where the tourists in Belfast visit) as well as a social/historical benefit in keeping part of the site open.

    It’s obvious that there is a sound economic argument for keeping some of the H bocks.

    If you don’t fancy it don’t go.

  • kensei

    “But possibly one to raise at republican revisionist conferences – after all, if it turns out that the IRA weren’t fighting for a 32 county socialist Ireland for all those years, maybe they were fighting for O’Neill’s dream instead?”

    Don’t be an fucking ass. They were fighting for a 32 county socialist Republic. If you offered it them now, they’d jump at it. And SF will still continue to push for a United Ireland. However people involved learned the need to compromise and adapt. Would you prefer otherwise?

  • willowfield

    GRAM

    How do you know?

    Because the only people interested in preserving them are those who wish to glorify terrorism.

    I’d expect them to be independently managed like a museum.

    Better not to have them at all.

    There will be an economic benefit (have a look where the tourists in Belfast visit) as well as a social/historical benefit in keeping part of the site open.

    The economic benefit is outweighed by the social cost of the message such glorification will send out to future generations.

  • jim

    ‘The economic benefit is outweighed by the social cost of the message such glorification will send out to future generations.’

    So the orangefest and associated events should receive zero funding ?

    Terrorist glorification, sectarianism, hatred etc….

  • me

    “the South HAS become more ‘protestant’ – it’s why it has prospered”-WHAT???I seemed to have missed out on this mass conversion because according to a recent survey “The Republic of Ireland is 86.8% Roman Catholic”.Weve been hearing about the drivers of the celtic tiger Ad nauseam for ten years now-low corporation tax, highly educated workforce,english speaking.But its the first time ive heard it put down to becoming more protestant

  • willowfield

    JIM

    So the orangefest and associated events should receive zero funding ?

    Indeed.