While you’re in Paris..

Slugger may have been represented at Friday’s game at the Stade de France but we weren’t the only ones. While it’s, possibly, not a surprise that the Sports Minister, the DUP’s Edwin Poots, was there another member of the Northern Ireland Executive was also present, as noted in the comments zone by an eagle-eyed observer. NI Regional Development Minister, Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy, was there too – accompanied, apparently, by Seanna Walsh who in July 2005, as mentioned here, became the public face of the Provisional IRA’s P O’Neill. And, according to one report they weren’t there solely for the rugby, but were the guests of honour of Saint-Denis’s communist mayor, Didier Paillard, at a small gathering [100 people] on Paris’ Bobby Sands Street.From the Irish Tmes report

Conor Murphy, the Minister for Regional Development in the Northern Ireland Executive, and Séanna Murphy[sic?], the former IRA man who spent 21 years in British prisons and who now works with the cultural department of Sinn Féin, were the guests of honour of Saint-Denis’s communist mayor, Didier Paillard.

When Bobby Sands died in May 1981, 100,000 French people marched to the British embassy “to tell Margaret Thatcher how angry we were, and our admiration and support for this young hero and his comrades”, Mr Paillard recalled. Mr Murphy said the international response to Sands’s death “gave us a lift”.

Of course if Mr Murphy [or Mr Poots? – Ed] was there due his position in the Executive, or as an MLA, then there should probably be an amendment to the Register..

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  • Harry Flashman

    *Saint-Denis’s communist mayor*

    A Communist mayor, you know you have to scartch your head in amazement when you read that in France and Italy there are actually members of the most prolific gang of mass murderers the planet has ever witnessed who not only are not locked up safely behind bars but who actually hold elected postions in government.

    Can anyone imagine for a moment the idea of Nazi mayors? No, of course not indeed when mildly populist nationalist movements in Belgium and Austria gain a few votes the EU and all the great and the good of Europe begin talking as if the SS were once more massing along the Rhine.

    When young Paisley was quoted expressing some not terribly controversial opinions (for a Bible believing Christian) it was the almost unanimous view of posters on Slugger that he should resign his position. However when the Regional Development minister gets chummy with members of an international organisation responsible for the murder, torture, imprisonment and enslavement of millions of fellow Europeans not to mention the genocide of countless millions of Africans, Asians and South Americans no one seems to give a toss.

    Why are Communists never held to account for their heinous sins? Why is it acceptable to be a Communist at universities and dinner parties but to hint that you might have some sympathy for Adolf Hitler could see you doing serious jail time in some countries?

  • DaithiO

    What’s so special about the Irish Times that they expect us to pay for their online edition?

  • Rubicon

    Harry – I hardly think Marx’s “Das Kapital” or Engels’ “A Communist Manifesto” compares to “Mein Kampf”. Communism has a bad reputation in nearly all the forms of government it has taken but – in essence – it is a critique of capitalist economics and a political theory of retaining the value of labour among those that produce value from work. In theory it has its attractions – which would be difficult argue on behalf of fascism.

  • Garibaldy


    The French CP effectively turned against the USSR decades ago, and today elements within it can be found lining up with neo-cons in attacking the remaining socialist countries. The French CP has also for decades purusued a policy of alliance with (and some would say have become simply an adjunct to) the Socialist Party, hence the collapse in its vote to around 2% at Presidential elections.

    The, shall we say, ideological shifts within the French CP are one reason that this event was held in the first place. The worldwide Communist movement rejected terrorism in NI.

    The attempt to equate fascism with communism, as Rubicon points out, is silly. And I must have missed the genocidal extermination camps Communists set up in Latin America, Africa and Asia where people were killed for their nationality or religion as happened with the Nazis.

  • Redman

    Live Aid was about what?

  • Rory

    “Can anyone imagine for a moment the idea of Nazi mayors? No, of course not…”

    Could that be, do you think, Harry, because communists endured such sacrifice in being the main instument that destryed the Nazi machine and because the people of France and Italy are well aware of that sacrifice at a time when their capitalist compatriots were happy to profit from collobaration with the Nazi and Fascist regimes?

  • Harry Flashman

    *And I must have missed the genocidal extermination camps Communists set up in Latin America, Africa and Asia*

    Yes you’re absolutely right, the tens of millions of victims of Stalin and Pol Pot and Mao Tse Tung were murdered for being teachers and doctors and engineers and dentists and poets and university lecturers and journalists and architects and succesful farmers and for speaking a foreign language and for wearing glasses and for owning wristwatches and for being related to those people and for knowing people who were related to those people but they weren’t murdered because of their race or religion so that makes it ok then.

    Ah the joys of the progressive Left.

  • Harry Flashman

    Oh dear Rory, collaborating with the Nazis? Wasn’t that Joe Stalin’s speciality when Britain and France were standing alone against Hitler?

    Anyway what gives you the absurd notion that the Communists defeated the Nazis, do you believe that the British Tory party won the Battle of Britain or that FDR’s Democratic party defeated the Japanese? The peoples and soldiers of the Soviet Union through their sheer patriotic courage beat the Nazis and they did so despite the best efforts of the Communists to let the Nazis win.

    Let me recap a few facts, prior to the war the Communists destroyed the entire structure of the Red Army by their psychopathic purges, they then ordered the invasion of Finland thereby turning a peaceable neighbour into a Nazi ally. The Communists then signed an alliance with the Nazis and invaded Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. While in Poland they massacred the Polish officer corps thus depriving the fantastically heroic free Polish forces of these men’s service, a crime for which the CPSU should forever hang its head in shame.

    Then despite warnings from the British the Communists refused to believe that the Nazis were going to attck indeed they still supplied vital resources to their Nazi allies right up until the morning of the invasion. This Communist blundering allowed the Nazis to sieze vast tracts of Russian land and millions of prisoners. The Communists were so hopeless at supplying their troops they sent men into battle with no rifles expecting them to take them off the dead! As the war came to an end the Communists ordered the Red Army not to assist the Poles rebelling against the Nazis in Warsaw and stood watching their allies be slaughtered.

    The Russians won in spite of the horrific Communist leadership, with their appalling blundering which ranged form paranoid schizophrenia to downright criminal treachery, not because of it. If a sane rational government had been in charge in Moscow the Nazis would have been beaten back to Berlin by the Spring of 1942.

    Then of course at the end of the war the Communists siezed control of several formerly independent nations and enslaved them in their empire.

    But hey those Communists were the nice guys not like the big bad liberal democracies of the West.

  • willowfield


    Have you any evidence that PCF was involved in mass murder?

  • Harry Flashman

    *Have you any evidence that PCF was involved in mass murder?*

    I have no evidence that the BNP is involved in murder but I still hate them because they are fascists.

    It’s the same with French Communists or any other Communists, if they ever got into positions of real power mass murder would soon be on the agenda. How do I know? Because mass murder has been on the agenda of every single Communist government in history.

    Communism + government = mass murder, always has done, always will.

  • Mike

    Rory –

    “Could that be, do you think, Harry, because communists endured such sacrifice in being the main instument that destryed the Nazi machine and because the people of France and Italy are well aware of that sacrifice at a time when their capitalist compatriots were happy to profit from collobaration with the Nazi and Fascist regimes?”

    Woah there. When France alongside Britain was fighting against Nazi invasion in 1940, the French Communists declared themselves neutral, following the instuction of Stalin who had aligned the Soviet Union with Nazi Germany. When Britain fought on aftyer the fall of France, and the Free French forces committed themselves to overthrowing the Nazi occupation and rejecting the fascist collaborationist regime centred on Vichy, the Communists refused to get involved and lablled this as a ‘war between capitalists’. They only joined the anti-Nazi side in 1941 because Hitler attacked the Soviet Union which up until then had been an associate.

  • pith

    Harry Flashman, “…mildly populist nationalist movements in Belgium and Austria…”.

    What are the names of these mildly populist nationalist movements?

  • páid

    1. Vlaams Belang tae Glesga

    2. Freiheitliche Partei Waaterscheid

  • dewi

    Advise all (if you are strong skinned) to read “At the court of the Red Czar” by Simon Sebag Montifiore (or summat like that) – totally sickening recording of Stalin’s government…but at the same time recognising the heroism of the Soviet people.

  • Pete Baker

    I’m still waiting, but not holding my breath, for a comment close to being on the actual topic.

  • Donnacha

    Well, Pete, I suppose the relevant question is did Seanna pay his own way over or was his ticket a present form the Assembly? If he paid his own way (or even if Sinn Fein paid his fare, since he clearly has close associations there) I don’t see exactly how it is anyone’s business what he was doing there. If he was subbed by the Assembly, however….

  • pith

    “1. Vlaams Belang tae Glesga

    2. Freiheitliche Partei Waaterscheid”

    What’s mild about that lot?

  • Harry Flashman

    *What’s mild about that lot?*

    Well they don’t advocate liquidating entire classes of peasant farmers and intellectuals and rounding up tens of millions of “counter revolutionaries” and murdering them in gulags and re-education camps like the party which the mayor of Saint Denis belongs to.

  • astic

    Concentration camps were set up by the British and Nazis to concentrate people whereas Communists always set up re-education camps so thta people can learn that pi is irrational.

  • DavidD


    Admirable parties though they were I think you will find they amalgamated on April 1 to become ‘le parti de monstre raving loony’.

  • pith

    Harry Flashman, I don’t disagree with you on communism – the hammer and sickle is as despicable as the swastika. My point is that the Vlaams Belang is not “mildly populist”. Rather it is extreme right.