“our party never endorsed violence at any stage..”

Bizarre argument between the SDLP’s Alban Maginness and Sinn Fein’s Francie Molloy on the legacy of the civil rights movement during the Hearts and Minds programme. But there was a surreal retrospective renunciation of violence from Francie Molloy towards the end – as quoted in the post title – despite the recent keeping of the faith with the republican past.. as the Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has stated

“There may have been misgivings or serious concerns about particular military operations, but there was no real dissent from armed struggle. It was taken for granted that that was the way of things. While I was of the view that no military solution was possible I also felt armed struggle was a necessary form of struggle and I defended this position without being dogmatic about it.”

I can’t see anything, indeed.

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  • New Yorker

    I don’t find it a bizarre argument. Alban spoke the truth with precision and articulation. Molloy blathered blatant lies, had no argument, appears not to know which end is up and made a fool of himself.

  • Anon

    Just to be pedantic but could we at least spell Alban’s surname right- Maginness!

  • Travis

    I can see something…

    A one-time refreshing, engaging and lively blog becoming tedious, precious, and sickeningly sanctimonious.

    Ever since you set yourself up as some sort of moral watchdog going over the same boring points over and over again, preaching to your readers as if they were all blinded by hatred and bigotry.

    That might have played in the years gone by, when successive Brits came over here and thought it a job well done if they offended ‘both sides’.

    As if we were some sort of violent rabble while they were civilised intellectuals who could see what we couldn’t…

    I can see that, at least.

  • J Kelly

    This is a nonsense the SDLP are attempting to hijack the the spirit and momentum of the civil rights campaign as their history and only their history. No doubt that many members of the earlier SDLP were involved in the civil rights but as many if not more never supported or joined the sdlp. The sdlp are a floundering party under the leadership of the hapless Mark Durkan and this is another attempt to rebrand in a long line of rebranding, post nationalist, pan nationalist, republican, 100% for a united ireland, stronger and finally now we have the feeble attempt of the civil rights party.

  • happy lundy

    I have to agree with New Yorker.

    Off thread – but I couldn’t help contrasting Alban’s performance with Stephen Farry’s vs Simon Hamilton of the DUP in the other interview on last night’s programme.

    Alliance could do with a spokesman of Maginness’ calibre. Decent and honourable Stephen Farry seemed to struggle with Hamilton when he could have been wiping the floor with him. For example Stephen Farry seemed almost apologetic in response to Hamilton’s cheap crack about Irish medium schools which he should have treated with the derision it deserved.

    It was encouraging to hear Stephen Farry air the idea of area planning as something to be used alongside integration as a way to make the education system more efficient. With 94.6% of children in n.Ireland not in integrated schools Alliance needs to lead the drive for integration within and across existing schools (and management boards) at the same time as holding position as the champion of “beacon” integrated schools.

    Irish medium schools in NI taught just 2,302 kids in 2006/2007, a minute proportion of the total 335,946 in primary and secondary education. (http://tinyurl.com/y5dgs5)

    It’s a tiny price to pay for the preservation of a national asset and parents who commit to the effort of rasing kids who can keep the language alive should be encouraged all the way.

    Stephen Farry should have told Hamilton to justify the absence of Irish from the controlled sector, to stop trying to score cheap sectarian points and to grow up.

    If I wanted a piece of legislation drafting or a department running I’m quite sure I’d get a more considered and better executed job from Naomi Long and Stephen Farry than another cookie-cutter Orangeman like Simon Hamilton but Alliance could do with a couple of big guns for this kind of event.

    Any Integrationist liberal barristers out there? Your party seems to need you.

  • harry

    J kelly,

    are you talking about the SDLP or Sinn Fein?

  • willowfield

    J Kelly

    The civil rights movement was founded on the principle of peaceful protest – and consciously so. The SDLP emerged from the civil rights movement and many of its key founding members came from that movement.

    The civil rights movement was distinct and separate from violent “republicanism” – and consciously so.

    It is entirely reasonable for the SDLP to celebrate this aspect of its origins.

    On the contrary, then, it is entirely unreasonable – and, indeed, dishonest – for Provisional “republicans” to “hijack the spirit and momentum of the civil rights campaign”. The Provos poisoned and destroyed the spirit and momentum of the civil rights campaign and shame on them for doing so and shame on them for their ongoing efforts to re-write history.

  • Debbie

    Alban wiped the floor with Molloy. SF never endorsed violence ha ha. Who is he trying to kid? Himself?

  • Mark McGregor

    While the SDLP and SF may spend 2008 fighting over the CRM, many Republicans will be more interested in commemorating the 150th Anniversay of the Fenians founding.

    In the presence of God, I, …, do solemnly swear that I will do my utmost to establish the independence of Ireland, and that I will bear true allegiance to the Supreme Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and the Government of the Irish Republic and implicitly obey the constitution of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and all my superior officers and that I will preserve inviolable the secrets of the organisation.

  • willowfield

    “… and that I will preserve inviolable the secrets of the organisation.”

    They’ll certainly be commemorating that bit, given the current concerns about investigating the past crimes of the Troubles.

  • Bloo

    Have to say I though Alban Maginness took Francie Molloy apart over this issue. The only point I think Molloy scored off Alban was the reference to vote-splitting and putting Devlin out in Mid Ulster, although I suppose by that stage she had all but abandoned any genuine civil rights/non-violent policies.

  • brendan,belfast

    Molloy: SF didn;t endorse violence? even for the provos thats extra quick revisionism. I thought they were proud of the ‘the struggle?’

  • RepublicanStones

    The civil rights movement was distinct and separate from violent “republicanism” – and consciously so. – willowfield

    this begs the question, why was unionism/loyalism so vehemently opposed to the CRM….wait we know why, there was no room at the inn for ‘taigs’ !

  • nmc

    There were many elements to the civil rights movement here. It belongs to everyone and no-one. Militant Republicans were there, (it was them at Burntollet), obviously SDLP people were there and I’m sure there were plenty of moderate prods there too. SF can’t claim it as their own nor can the SDLP. It belongs to the people who supported that movement at that time, which is a lot of people and ideologies in the mix.

  • willowfield

    RepublicanStones

    this begs the question, why was unionism/loyalism so vehemently opposed to the CRM….wait we know why, there was no room at the inn for ‘taigs’ !

    It doesn’t beg the question although, for you, it raises the question.

    Why was unionism/loyalism so vehemently opposed?

    First, not all unionism was vehemently opposed: indeed, the O’Neill faction of the Unionist Party won a majority of unionist seats in the 1969 election.

    Second, those who were vehemently opposed were probably so opposed for a variety of reasons including fear, ignorance and sectarian prejudice. I would say fear was the most important factor. I would also say they were very wrong – indeed stupid – to be fearful.

  • I was there

    Good show from Molloy. SDLP trying to hijack the CRM smacks of desperate irrelevance.

  • Hogan

    Why are we even debating who won the argument?

    Molloy said Provisional Sinn Féin never endorsed violence?

    Either the man is a complete f*cking idiot or he didn’t attend the SF 1981 Ard Fheis for Danny Morrison’s show stopper?

  • There may have been misgivings or serious concerns about particular military operations, but there was no real dissent from armed struggle. It was taken for granted that that was the way of things. While I was of the view that no military solutiion was possible I also felt armed struggle was a necessary form of struggle and I defended this position without being dogmatic about it.

    I’ve taken to watching UKTV History a lot recently (after all, it’s free with Virgin). Every once in a while, as they run yet another My-My-Weren’t-The-Nazis-Beastly programme, they carry interviews with elderly Wehrmacht soldiers, discussing their experiences in the Partisanerkrieg in the Ukraine or somewhere else on the Eastern Front. When confronted with German atrocities, their comments are often uncannily similar to Gerry Adams’ comments above.

    Also, Gerry needs to be careful not to move the timeframe of his alleged opposition to the armed struggle back into a period where he just makes himself look like an eejit. I am happy to accept that, by the late 1980s, Adams had come to the view that the struggle was a waste of lives and was trying to move the IRA away from violence. But, back in the late 1970s? When he was (successfully) restructuring the IRA to move it from the top of Roy Mason’s anvil? When he was serving his last period in prison and writing the Brownie column? I mean, be serious Richard; if you’re trying to ghost write “Adams: The Movie”, try not to give the reviewers something to pan you with.

  • Hogan

    And i’m dissapointed Thompson didn’t gut him like a fish over it.

    Open goal Noel.

  • willowfield

    Could the fact that many unionists vehemently opposed the CRM, beyond prejudice, have been due to the common belief amongst unionists back then that it was a communist front?

    Whilst it was not a CPI front their militants did play an important role in getting it off the ground and in all fairness they should be considered the founders of the CRM.

    By the way what is interesting about this SDLP-SF spat is that traditionally political schemes that fail normally end up as orphans, so this rush to claim the CRM has more to do with todays politics.

    Simply more re-writing of history courtesy of the GFA.

    Best regards

  • Harry Flashman

    Mick you make a very fair point, the role of the Communists, such as Betty Sinclair, in instigating the Civil Rights movement is certainly overlooked today.

    But then given the absolute and appalling disregard that Communists displayed towards civil rights around the world at that time, slaughtering and imprisoning millions at a whim, it was perhaps not unreasonable for Unionists to be very wary of an organisation like the CRM with such connections to repulsive global mass murderers.

    Thankfully the Reds soon dropped away and the eminently sensible moderates took over and then went on to form the SDLP who later opposed the green fascists (as distinct from the red variety).

  • willowfield

    Mick

    Could the fact that many unionists vehemently opposed the CRM, beyond prejudice, have been due to the common belief amongst unionists back then that it was a communist front?

    Possibly. Such claims seem laughable today, but you are right that CPI was involved (although CPI was viewed with contempt by the more radical elements such as Eamonn McCann who thought CPI too conservative an influence).

    Do McCann and Farrell count as communists? I think McCann went on to join the SWP, so I guess he was/is. Was the People’s Democracy communist?

    Also, I guess the “Official” IRA/SF could have been described as communist at that time?

    How’s your knowledge of communist politics in NI, Mick? Within the Protestant community, I would have thought there was some (albeit very, very small) sympathy with communism – through the trade union movement, for example.

  • Mayoman

    Its so depressing that people actively search to avoid the meaning of what was said. Who would ENDORSE violence? You may feel moved to use it, and the argument is whether there was ever enough justification to warrant its use (by any side), but that is far from ENDORSING it. Republicans (and the state, and loyalists) will always say they had no choice, they were forced into it (and I don’t personally agree with that). For those so blind they WON’T see, that is obviously where Molloy was coming from.

  • Greenflag

    Northern Ireland

    Land of an uncertain future and an even more unpredictable past 🙁

    jayzuz wept

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    “our party never endorsed violence at any stage..”

    If I’d been a volunteer for the ‘armed struggle’, I’d be well pissed off with the current blatherings of SF.
    Not content merely to decommission, endorse the police service of Northern Ireland, accept partition and administer British rule in Stormont, they’re now declaring that actually they never even supported the actions of their own military wing.

    Needless to say Unionists always regarded SF as being full of crap, but now they’re determined to prove it to their own supporters.

  • Red Diesel

    The key point was really when Alban Maginness told Francie that the first RUC man killed by the Provos was unarmed, effectively disarmed by the Civil Rights Movement. As far as I remember that was an uncle of Geoffrey Donaldson who was killed by a booby-trapped car along with another officer at Drummuckavall, near Crossmaglen, in June 1970 on the day of the Westminster election. The point is that all the main demands of the Civil Rights Movement had either been achieved or conceded when the Provos launched their campaign. The people who formed the Provos were anti-Civil Rights from day one, and that is the key reason they fomented the split in the Republican movement at the time. Francie may have been a steward on the Coalisland march while still a member of the pre-split movement, but he and all the other Provos soon quit and badmouthed all the republicans like Paddy Joe McClean who stayed with CRM. An armed campaign was their end, not a means at all, and they ridiculed the achievements of CRM as propping up Stormont. That was their part of the deal for the Fianna Fail money.

  • willowfield

    MAYOMAN

    Who would ENDORSE violence?

    The Provos for a start. They consciously consider themselves to be in the “physical force tradition”.

    RED DIESEL

    You are quite right. While republicans were involved in the CRM from the very start, these were the very republicans (Goulding, etc.) whom the Provos opposed. The Provos represented that faction within republicanism which was uncomfortable with the evolution away from violence after the “border campaign” and the movement towards a more political, left-wing agenda. They were the faction that should more accurately labelled as “militant nationalist” than “republican”, notwithstanding their arrogation of the latter term for themselves and themselves alone.

    So the Provos emerged as the (minority) opposition to the civil-rights-strategy within the IRA and SF, but soon emerged as the stronger of the factions once they began their murder campaign.

  • Willowfield

    You are correct there was always a small cadre of communists who came from a northern protestant background, if anything due to the great hostility of the Catholic church to communism protestant were more likely to join the party than catholics. I’m not sure but Betty Synclair’s dad may have been a Protestant.

    Indeed many leftists still blame the Provos for not following Connolly’s advice when he said not a shot should be fired in the north. [said just prior to the 1916 rising]

  • happy lundy

    Red Diesel,

    “An armed campaign was their end, not a means at all, and they ridiculed the achievements of CRM as propping up Stormont. That was their part of the deal for the Fianna Fail money.”

    This is interesting given the mooted merger between the SDLP and Fianna Fail. Any links?

  • Red Diesel

    Mick,
    Connolly’s advice was heeded in the 1950’s. One reason there were so few guns in the Falls in 1969 was that in 1956, before the launch of the Operation Harvest border campaign, the Army Council told the Belfast Brigade they would not be taking part and all their weapons apart from a few sidearms were sent to Mid-Ulster where Seamus Costello was forming a flying column based near Maghera. The thinking was that any armed action in Belfast would bring a loyalist reaction and tilt the whole thing in a sectarian direction. It was about the only coherent piece of strategic thinking in the border campaign, but it really pissed off some Belfast people. They figured centrally in the events of 69-70, and specifically in events in the Short Strand which deliberately flouted the Connolly advice in order to create a groundswell for their campaign. It was part revenge for 1956, Belfast against the rest. In jail, rural republicans in the 1950s and 1960s regularly asked to be separated from their Belfast counterparts, who they reckoned just wanted to get their hands on weapons to ‘pop a few Prods’

  • willowfield

    Mick

    Betty Sinclair’s father and mother were both Protestants (her name should be a bit of a give-away!). I think she was brought up in the Ardoyne area during the time when Protestants lived there. I’m not sure whether she identified (culturally/ethnically) as a Protestant herself in adulthood – presumably in religious terms she was an atheist. She did, as an adult, live in Protestant districts: Greenisland estate and then Cregagh Road.

    There was another leading Belfast trade union guy in the CPI who was a Protestant, but I can’t remember his name.

    There was also another leading Protestant female in the CPI in the late 60s – from Tiger’s Bay – who moved on to the feminist movement and ended up living in Turf Lodge or somewhere.

    I was reading Irvine Welsh’s “Glue” recently and was interested to read about characters from the west of Scotland in the 1960s who were both Orangemen and card-carrying Communists. Obviously this was fiction, but no doubt this was not necessarily unusual, given the strength of trade unionism, hard left politics and Orangeism in that part of Scotland and the fact that Communism is (or was) strongly anti-Rome (and Rome strongly anti-Communist).

  • willowfield

    The other CPI woman I was thinking of was Madge Davison

    http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/s-davison.html

    I only assume she was a Protestant (from her name and also Pittsburg Street is in a Protestant district). She did, though, seem to be involved in Irish republicanism.

    The man was Andy Barr, who worked in Shorts.

    http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/s-barr.html

    Sinclair is very interesting. She ended up on the payroll of the Soviet Union – and quite a sad ending – she died in a fire in her flat where she lived alone (never married).

    Belfast communism is also interesting – it was de facto unionist for a period and there was a separate CPNI up until 1970. After 1970, it was clearly and unequivocally nationalist. I’ve often wondered what Sinclair’s views were on the “constitutional question”, but I guess she would have considered it almost irrelevant.

  • The Third Policeman

    I was reading Irvine Welsh’s “Glue” recently

    Bet you couldn’t put it down.

  • URQUHART

    I’m disappointed that no one has pointed out another obvious possibility.

    Perhaps when Francie said that “[we] never endorsed violence at any stage..” he was not referring to SF but rather his alleged close relationship with HM Intelligence Services.

    No, sorry, they were murderous lunatics as well.

  • Sinclair is very interesting.

    When running against Rafton Pounder (woodentop Unionist MP) in the ’50s, her slogan was “Flounder With Pounder”.

    Irish Communism has always been riven by the border issue. As well as the various splits and splinters you mention, we should not forget BICO and the odd collection of Free State Indo-Unionists around Brendan Clifford that accreted around it, although they came at a later period and to some extent where a reaction to the degree of support offered to the Provos by the McAlliskey/Farrell student radicals. You’d kind of think all this would be irrelevant to people who thought world revolution and the brotherhood of all working men was imminent. But then again, maybe they didn’t believe that shit any more than any one else did.

    I think the other point worth making is that, if I recall correctly, the vast majority of Irishmen who went to fight for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War were from Catholic backgrounds; it should not be forgotten that Irish Republicanism has always had a deeply anti-clerical element, especially in Belfast, often mixed in an odd way with defenderism, socialism and militant nationalism.

    Just a final piece of wittering – one of the exceptions in the Spanish Civil War was Bob Hilliard, native of Killarney, Church of Ireland curate in Derriaghy and at the Belfast Cathedral Mission (which I think was up the Shankill), fought against Franco and died in action at the Battle of Jarama. Someone who I presume is a distant relation writes lefty but decidedly odd letters to the Church of Ireland Gazette to this day!

  • willowfield

    Sammy – worth recording, too, that during the Spanish Civil War, Harry Midgley (Labour MP at the time and pro-Republican) engaged in a quite hard-edged slanging match with (I think) a Nationalist MP (pro-Nationalist) about the War.

  • nineteensixtyseven

    Very well done, Alban. The SDLP took on the spirit of civil rights and still do so today while the Provos undermined the non-violent philoshopy of the CRM, undid many of its gains and gave an excuse for the forces of reaction to respond in the way that they did. That left us with 30 years of self-perpuating violence which has only just ended.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>I was reading Irvine Welsh’s “Glue” recently and was interested to read about characters from the west of Scotland in the 1960s who were both Orangemen and card-carrying Communists.<< Very interesting stuff Willow! Strangely enough, all the Orangemen I know of here in the west of Scotland vote Tory. Well at least that's what they say anyhow. I'd account this to being the party of the establishment. I believe that Scotland still returned a majority of Tory MP's up to the sixties.

  • Continental Drifter

    Just as a random point of interest, why the hell are they debating stuff that happened before most of the population were born?

    Great way to progress, boys.

  • In the past there seemed to have been what can only be described as a left and right wing of unionism, with some of the people who have been mentioned here being on the left and official unionism on the right, do you feel anything like this exists today? [leaving PUP to one side]

    Is there a left within the DUP/UU?

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Long before the CRM started, Austin Currie and his fellow travellers were touring the Hib halls in Tyrone to try and build a young new party on the comatose remains of the Nationalist (sic) Party. All that remained was to find the most effective moment to unveil it. This moment was chosen when the CRM emerged as a popular vehicle for their ambitions.BTW the silky smooth Maginness does not fool anybody just because he has a fine lawyer’s training in semantics. The people eventually saw through his party.

  • New Yorker

    Molloy’s laughable attempt to rewrite history leads to the question as to why SF is now trying to rewrite history. Are they beginning to realize their history is a record of failures and atrocities? By foolishly trying to glom onto the CRM are SF they trying to say we were not all bad news after all?

  • Rory

    Anyone who participated in and was a member of NICRA, as was I, would lind it laughable, were it not contemptuous that the SDLP should attempt to claim its mantle.

    Pancho’s Horse has it right about Austin Currie in particular who was ever popping up to claim credit for the brave actions of others. The SDLP was founded because of the CRM all right – but that was because the existing nationalist politicians were terrified of being left behind and concerned at the way the popularity and potential for success of the movement was exposing their past failures to combat all that was rotten in the Unionist state in which they had been little more than complacent time-servers.

    The SDLP or its founders were never leaders of NICRA and were forever condemning it’s initiatives and then rushing to claim credit for any success or increase in popularity. The leaders, as I recall, were: Kevin Agnew (Republican Clubs); Frank Gogarty (Wolfe Tone Society); Betty Sinclair (Communist Party of Ireland) and the better known leading activists were (among others): Aidan Corrigan(Dungannon independent republican); Eamonn McCann and Bernadette Devlin (independent socialists) and Michael Farrell (People’s Democracy) and all of these were absolutely detestful of the SDLP and it’s opportunism as were the rank and file and forcefully rejected it’s assumption that once the ordinary people had demonstrated their power on the streets and before world opinion they must now hand it over to the same old band of tame House Catholics wearing new coats. Not on your Nelly, mate!

    Pity someone didn’t ask Alban about the disgraceful role during the rent and rates strike that was “called for by the SDLP” as the peaceful form of protest against internment (it had in fact already started quite spontaneously) and how they later sold those who answered that call down the river. But then it wasn’t the Catholic middle-classes who were affected was it?

  • New Yorker

    Rory

    How many founders of SDLP were in NICRA? NICRA stood for the non-violent attainment of right to vote, housing, employment, etc. SDLP has always stood for the same goals pursued non-violently. Thus SDLP is the embodiment of the goals and methods of NICRA. The Provos will not rewrite history because they are wrong on the facts and have no credibility in the wider world.

    Regarding the rent and rates strike, did you think that people were never going to pay rent and rates? It was a tactic at the time, it was not promised that you will never ever have to pay rent and rates – that would be the never-never land SF sense of reality. Taxes are a fact of life. No responsible party would hold otherwise but some led the credulous down the path to never-never land, just as they said follow us to a 32 county socialist republic.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    New Yorker, I stood near Austin Currie in Coalisland when he was ‘endorsing’ the Rent and Rates strike. He said “Some people are asking me what should we do with the money. Should we save it for we’ll have to pay it sometime. I say buy a car, take a holiday – it won’t be paid” Tumultuous roar from crowd.That was the high principled 50p Currie from the high principled SDLP. Who was it stood against Bobby Sands?

  • New Yorker

    Pancho’s Horse

    If Currie said that, he was wrong and out of step with SDLP. It was never the SDLP position that all debts would be absolved.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    WHEN Currie said that it received widespread Press coverage. Why was he not disciplined by the Party? And did the Party ‘endorse’ him standing against Sands? They weren’t christened the Stoop Down Low Party for nothing.

  • Mark McGregor

    Did Currie stand against Sands? I thought he gifted the seat to Unionists by standing against Maguire and then Carron.

  • Mark McGregor

    Of course his attempt to give Maguire’s seat to Unionism failed, it was later he and Rosemary Flanaghan both successfully ensured the people of FST were represented by a Unionist.

  • Harry Flashman

    Austin Currie never stood against Bobby Sands (he’d have been perfectly justified to do so if he wished, what, was Sands Christ almighty or something?), Harry West stood against him.

    I suspect anyone who doesn’t know that doesn’t know what he’s talking about in other matters too.

  • Garibaldy

    Rory’s list is quite accurate, but missed out a few people including Billy McMillen of the Republican CLubs, and one of the people driving the IRA to the left. Betty Sinclair had a close relationship with Left members of the Republican Movement such as Jack Brady. She consistently opposed sectarianism and terrorism.
    Many within the PDs saw her as, and I quote, a reactionary old bitch.

    The violence, from all quarters, wrecked a great deal of the success of the civil rights movement.
    But it was Bloody Sunday and following events that wrecked the attempt to successfully rebuild mass peaceful protest to gain progressive change. Nealry as great a pity.

    As for Sands, didn’t Tom Moore stand against him for the Republican Clubs too?

  • Garibaldy2

    Seems I was wrong on the Sands eletion. It was the following one.

  • Travis

    Anyone read The Sunday World today?

    Interesting front page and accompanying story on pages 2 & 3.

    Gerry McHugh’s departure from Sinn Fein received a high amount of coverage on Slugger.

    What an honouorable man!

    Or, can Slugger not see the Sunday World?

    Do they not see the story?

    Very telling…

  • Garibaldy

    what did the story say?

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Harry Flashman Post 25,
    I bow most humbly to your superior knowledge (in this instance)and confirm that Austin Currie did not stand against Sands. If my memory serves me well, he was of ‘a mind’ to but was dissuaded. I knew he was involved in something low but I just forgot when and where.

  • Travis

    Garibaldy,

    I cannot reveal that here or it might get nixed.

    Suffice to say, the story claimed his departure from Sinn Fein was less to do with the party’s stance on policing, or the idea that ‘unionists run the place.’

    It’s all rather more prosaic.

    However, might I pre-empt the Slugger mods and bloggers?

    I can’t see anything.

  • New Yorker

    Pancho’s Horse

    “I knew he was involved in something low but I just forgot when and where.” More ignorant poormouthing.

  • Lamenteor

    Molloy and his party is no stranger to hypocrisy. They supported the imposition of a minority view over the majority for four decades. As Maginness says “…the provisional IRA campaign went on an offensive campaign…” It is clear that Mollloy is simply promoting a self-serving revisionist agenda here in the belief that the Nationalist community will just accept what they are fed.

    Maginness is such a clear and articulate speaker; he should be leader of the SDLP. His sound reasoning, calm manner and clarity of thought make him a refreshing change to the usual drivel that passes for public representation here.

  • willowfield

    Prince

    >>I was reading Irvine Welsh’s “Glue” recently and was interested to read about characters from the west of Scotland in the 1960s who were both Orangemen and card-carrying Communists.< < Very interesting stuff Willow! Strangely enough, all the Orangemen I know of here in the west of Scotland vote Tory. Well at least that’s what they say anyhow. I’d account this to being the party of the establishment. I believe that Scotland still returned a majority of Tory MP’s up to the sixties.

    Yes, very interesting. I’d say the Tories would always have been (and still are) the main party of choice for Scottish Orangemen and the Orange Communists, assuming they existed, would have been small in number: there is a kind of logic behind them.

    MICK HALL

    In the past there seemed to have been what can only be described as a left and right wing of unionism, with some of the people who have been mentioned here being on the left and official unionism on the right, do you feel anything like this exists today? [leaving PUP to one side] … Is there a left within the DUP/UU?

    In the UUP, the McGimpseys and Fred Cobain are supposedly broadly on the left. In the DUP, Sammy Wilson used to be known as “Red Sammy”.

  • Cuchulainn

    Sorry to bring up a really old thread, but i was wondering if the video of this debate still exists?