“I think I am well rounded, compassionate and understanding”

I see that one of Dr. Paisley’s best friends has been interviewed on the Eamon Dunphy show on RTE today. You can listen to the programme via this link. Mr. McGuinness came across, in an admittedly hardly challenging interview, as a friendly, affable individual. Behind the bonhomie, however, it was most interesting that we heard lots about people killed by the British army and a little about British soldiers who were killed. We heard about how Bloody Sunday “Hardened our attitudes considerably” and McGuinness proclaiming his wish: “If I had of had the opportunity to kill every single British soldier that was on the streets of Derry I would have killed every single one of them without any difficulty whatsoever.” I suppose at least that was honest though it sounds like what one would expect from the likes of Torrens Knight or Michael Stone; which is of course about the same level as that which practically all unionists hold Mr. McGunniess.

However, less honest was McGuinness’s claim that in Londonderry it was “A straight fight between the army, RUC and IRA”. Not one word was mentioned about people like Frank Hegarty, Patsy Gillipse, Jeff Agate nor any of the others who were in neither the army nor RUC yet were murdered by Mr. McGuinness’s friends.

Some other quotes from McGuiness are also enlightening. “I think I am well rounded, compassionate and understanding”; that without a hint of irony, along with this about his own mother: “Thank God she is still with us”. A pity that due to McGuiness and his friends there are a large number of people on this island and elsewhere who cannot say that about family members.

Still William McCrea seems to think this gives weight to the DUP’s view that policing and justice should not be devolved. Funny though, that it does not stop Dr. McCrea accepting Mr. McGuinness as Deputy (and in reality equal) First Minister.

  • [aside]Harvey Bicker, former Ulster Unionist Councillor, joins Fianna Fail.

  • Pete Baker

    And before Bloody Sunday?

    Did that event, in any way, change the now deputy First Minister’s objectives?

  • Pete, perhaps we should be told what subsequently softened Comical Marty’s attitudes.

  • Pete Baker

    Perhaps, Nevin.

    Perhaps, as Francie Molloy claimed, he was a also member of a party which “never endorsed violence at any stage..”

    Or perhaps, whilst he did endorse such violence, he, as Gerry Adams also claimed, “was of the view that no military solution was possible..”

    In any event, when Bloody Sunday is being pointed to as being pivotal, it’s worthwhile asking just how pivotal it actually was in the thinking, and objectives, of our now deputy First Minister.

  • Pete Baker

    Additionally, perhaps for the now deputy First Minister such objectives were just keeping faith with the republican past..

    Or, perhaps, Bloody Sunday was seen as a vindication of, and example for, the strategy of using “hatred as an element of the struggle..”

  • yingyangsang
  • Jo

    I heard this and was somewhat surpised, as was my partner, as to the strong way the views on soldiers was expressed.

    However, while I would have prefrred this has been folowed up in the interview by something along the lines of *I no longer feel that way* I would have thought his occupying joint office with Paisley was eloquent proof that he didnt.

    Think for a moment what position Paisley occupied in mid 1972. And who he (Paisley) associated with. David Ervine viewed wallpaper.

  • You’re revisiting old turf here, and I’m not sure why. McGuinness has his inconsistencies – he’s human.

    The larger positive view, is that Marty had the fortitude to move beyond a position that was entrenched. It’s remarkable the distance he has come. The man deserves credit. Dragging up old ghosts won’t help, nor will it help to bring back those who were, and I agree, innocent victims in that struggle.

  • Jo

    Rory

    Both Marty – and Ian. Thus, they are hated.

    But hate is an end in itself. The results of their relationship have been more productive than anything Jim Allister, Vance, Calvert or Bob McCartney ever achieved.

    As M said: Ian told me, lets get Peter Hain out of Stormont castle. They did – Peter took the lightbulbs. The subtext was brillaint: “Fuck him”!

  • Turgon

    Jo,

    I am surprised that you are surprised. This man in my opinion (and I doubt I am the only one) would have been perfectly happy to order your or my or our partner’s or children’s murder in an instant if he perceived us to be Brits, or Prods or Catholics who had offended his “ideals”. I very much doubt if he has changed one iota. Remember friends that this is the man who is our Deputy First Minister.

  • PeaceandJustice

    rory_and_me – “Dragging up old ghosts won’t help, nor will it help to bring back those who were, and I agree, innocent victims in that struggle.”

    Therefore I’m sure you will agree that the Bloody Sunday inquiry is waste of money.

    Instead of just telling us how he would have liked to have carried out mass murder of human beings in Londonderry, why doesn’t he come clean and tell us how many people he actually murdered. Why does Sinn Fein PIRA think the truth must come out about Bloody Sunday but not about the activities of the Butcher of the Bogside?

  • Jo

    Turgon

    He is our – *our* DFM precisely because people voted for him and his party. I do not acquiesce in his position because of fear. I agree with the democratic process.

    I did not vote for any SF member but the fact that they have positions in government is something I accept.

    It is accepted by both the democratically elected Irish government and the democratically elected British government.

    It is not something I will either protest against peacefully or protest against violently.

    Nor will I protest againt Martin McGuinness in the hope that in so doing, I will replace stability with violence.

    I wish I felt that those who reject a democratic assembly felt the same about rejecting violence.

    But they dont.

  • Jo – my comment was directed to the lead post. You make a lot of sense.

    Turgon is raising these ‘insights’ with respect to Martin McGuinness’ comments during a Dunphy show interchange. He/she is shining the headlights (full beam) on the comments for a purpose that isn’t really spelled out. Some lingering sense that justice hasn’t been served? I mean … whatever … this isn’t Derry back in the day. Northern Ireland has moved on.

    If it’s one thing about Irish politics that has been a curse throughout the centuries, it’s the tendency of people to have an almost compulsive/obsessive need to revisit the past, scorecard-in-hand.

    So Martin McGuinness says of his mother “thank God she’s still with us” … and this is what? … a reason to resurrect a raft of grievances relating to the troubles?

    Oh please …

  • “If I had of had the opportunity to kill every single British soldier that was on the streets of Derry I would have killed every single one of them without any difficulty whatsoever.”

    It’s my impression from Clarke’s book and other sources that Comical Marty was something of a Lundy figure ie when the going got tough he jumped on a trusty steed and hooked it back to Derry, leaving his colleagues to confront ‘the enemy’.

    It’s more than likely that the events of Bloody Sunday helped fill the ranks of the PRM, the same organisation IIRC that had ‘terminated’ the lives of two police officers in Derry a day or two earlier, one Catholic, one Protestant.

  • Mick Fealty

    Jo and Aidan,

    I’m not sure you can wipe out the past so easily as all that. It’s good that many good people survived the Troubles. But one of the problems is that there are long memories of some pretty awful things that happened ‘along the way’.

    For example, the killing of Paddy Duffy: a 37 year old father of seven who was abducted whilst he was on an anniversary trip to Buncrana with his wife in August 1973. He went into a pub whilst she went to the chip shop. When she came back he had been ‘disappeared’ by the IRA. Five days later his body was ‘returned’ (after some considerable internal pressure) to his family. The corpse was covered in quicklime.

    Apparently the IRA had shot him as an informer, something the RUC in Derry denied at the time. Yet few, outside family and friends, believed them at the time.

    There is little doubt that the move into democracy has been phenomenally successful for Sinn Fein. They have been remarkable in turning a movement that was once solely committed to a fundamentalist armed struggle into a viable democratic movement in the last ten years.

    But the tragic legacy from those early desperate days still lingers. And for many directly affected by it, well, they just haven’t gone away you know.

  • Jo

    Mick

    As someone who never lived in Derry, a term I never hesitate to use, despite its political significance, I would venture the follwoiing views:

    Martin is electorally supopotered, no matter what he did

    In Derry, unlike Belfast, there was a lot less sectarian murder, though I would contest Martins assertion that in Derry, it was IRA/Brits.

    The influence of the current FM was 6 county wide.

    Those who suffred at the hands of First Minsiter inspired paramiltaries are more likely to forgive.

    ..finally, please attention to David Vances views on Slugger. He has no elelctoral support. He engages in ad hominem argument.

  • Mick Fealty

    SF’s electoral mandate is beyond question Jo. But some aspects of the past are a matter of record. If you think the only recognisable truth is that which has been mandated by public election, then I would venture a slightly bold opinion that it is a good thing you don’t work in the media. 😉

  • Jo

    Can I have an example of a recognisable truth which doesnt fit? Yeah I know, one which is recognised by a local blog. Which doesnt understand the local culture? (I gaze up my own ass) 😉

  • perci

    there is genuine sorrow and there is making a virtue out of bitterness and stubbornly refusing to move on.
    So we need to pity and comfort the anguished and tell the cry-babies to stop taking the piss !

  • Jo

    I think a firm line needs to be taken: ok, you’re a victim. You count.

    If those who are not victims use you, that counts against you.

    I have named victims – who wanted others to be victims. I got censored.

  • Mick Fealty

    Jo:

    “I think a firm line needs to be taken”

    Why? (back in the morning for your answer…)

    Night all..

  • Mick –

    Unforgivable crimes were committed. Not only by IRA elements, but also by the UVF/UDA and other loyalist paramilitary groups. I don’t think anybody in his or her right mind would argue the contrary.

    Too little has been done to adequately compensate those who were victimized, directly and indirectly – on both sides.

    Of equal urgency, is the need to forge a new understanding and trust between communities that have been at each others throats for centuries. While righting wrongs is a part of that, there needs to be some perspective.

    Martin McGuinness is a key actor in this renewal, and I don’t think it is helpful to raise these hypotheticals with respect to what he is alleged to have done, or not done in the absence of a formal process. Like it or not he is an elected representative of the people.

    Ian Paisley in my opinion, who hides behind his clerical collar, was a major instigator from day one and responsible for inflaming the violence. He may not have been a trigger man like McGuinness, but his hate filled rhetoric arguably did more to drive violence and the climate of hate.

    The Irish from the North of Ireland (of both stripes) are an intensely proud people. You have to respect that. At the same time a lot is to be said for burying the hatchet in the name of a higher objective.

  • kensei

    Pete

    Did that event, in any way, change the now deputy First Minister’s objectives?

    Who knows, but if we take him at face value, he said it hardened his attitude. The second statement you refer to leaves room for change in two senses: he may have not wanted to kill every British soldier, or he may have had ethical difficulties doing it.
    He may also be capable of complex or conflicting views.

    Have you any point or hope of answer to your question?

  • yingyangsang
  • yingyangsang
  • Jo

    “This man in my opinion (and I doubt I am the only one) would have been perfectly happy to order your or my or our partner’s or children’s murder in an instant”

    Yeah, ok. So would David Ervine. Both men changed. Why was/is that?

    My welcome for the changes was/is a matter of record. It doesnt mean you forget what they did/ordered.

    As a matter of fact, despite my repugnance for all political violence, I welcome, on reflection, the way in which MMcG said what he said. He is older now. And wiser. Like, I think, all of us will/should be. It doesnt detract, if you beeive such stuff, that Judgement will be any different.

    On cool reflection, it is better to be bitter for part of life and attempt to make recompense for a part of that life, rather than be bitter and encourage bitterness and violence for the entirety of this short life.

    Those who pursue the latter course are responsible, in an alternate universe for hundreds of widows/gfs/bfs/children. In this universe, they, like the rest of us, continue to enjoy their own families – and peace – while spouting bile at the rest of us who, democratically, have chosen a path other than mutual hatred. Thus endeth my sermon – for today. 🙂

  • pia lugum

    A general gut-wrenching distaste (a TUV phrase I think, but nevertheless quite apt) is felt by a significant weight of middle-of-the-road citizens of NI by having this person as DFM and Ian Psnr as FM.
    The past performances and proudly stated views of both of them puts both equally them in the category of the playground bullies who have stolen and eaten/destroyed everybody elses sandwiches at lunch break.
    And and the bulk of the pupils go hungry. At what stage and how do they get justice/revenge/compensation.
    Currently the school has moved the situation on by making them Head Boys!
    Where is there any sense of a new direction in either of their hearts or minds for the benefit of people who primarily want to live here as normal humans?

  • I remember

    SOME UNIONIST POLITICIANS in my opinion (and I doubt I am the only one) would have been perfectly happy to let protestant paramilitaries MURDER your or my or our partner’s or children’s in an instant if TheY perceived us to be Brits, or Prods or Catholics who THREATENED THEIR COMFORTABLE WAY OF LIFE “ideals MY ARSE”. I very much doubt if They had any and if it has changed one iota. Remember friends that our First Minister may be a man like this. Remenber if there had been no apartheid there would have been no problem.

  • The irony about making Martin McGuinness the focus
    of this type of discussion, is that there are a lot of people who haven’t changed their position. Hard liners are alive and well. McGuinness on the other hand, actually got to the table and made a remarkable transition to straight politics, minus the armalite. Given the positions he was staking out in the past, that can’t have been an easy trick.

    To be perfectly honest, I think one of the biggest challenges facing Ireland is organized religion. It is an insidious poison that breeds division. The present pope is a reactionary and a threat to progressive change. For example he’s been interfering in the Spanish elections, largely as a result of the commendable step forward when gay marriage was given recognition. Benedict is on record stating that he views homosexuality as “an intrinsic moral evil”.

    I presently live in Canada, and I’ve been impressed with the tolerance of Canadians and their ability to broker a compromise. There’s a debate going on at the moment to replace or remove the Lord’s Prayer from the legislative assembly here in Ontario. This makes complete sense because Ontario is made up of people of many different faiths, including agnostics and atheists.

    Although the historical grievances in the north of Ireland have social and political roots, organized religion has been a distillery in which a lot of the attitudes were bottled and capped. It’s influence runs deep.

    Religion needs to become increasingly a private matter. The intrusion of religion into public life creates problems. Keep it to the church, the family and the local community of faith – or better still, toss it. Opium is a bad habit, as we all know.

  • rural dweller

    Wiile McCrea is a scream.This is the man who laid down preconditions before he would enter gov with SR/IRA then when he realised that Team McCrea might have to be decommissioned he roll over and allowed McGuinness and his coherts into government.Talk about selling your soul for twenty pieces of silver.
    It is interesting that with junior out of the way Willie now takes on his mantle. Has someone checked if Baby McCrea is renting his office of the Free P’s(his daddys church).
    Willie: Money and power are the root of all evil, a great subject for you to preach on Sunday!!!!

  • “Too little has been done to adequately compensate those who were victimized, directly and indirectly”

    I do my best not to vote for the likes of Paisley or McGuinness as IMO to do so would be an insult not just to the victims and their families but also to the decent folks here, irrespective of their background.

    Those who demand respect for the mandates of such users and abusers get short shrift from me. As do those who’re not masquerading as democrats 😉

  • Shaughnessy, you could also argue that organised religion, in the form of the Redemptorists and with active support from the Vatican Curia (Rigali), ‘weaned’ Adams and McGuinness away from the armalite alone option.

    If I read Ed Moloney accurately, Alex Reid and his colleagues persuaded these PRM leaders, in particular Adams, that the Catholic Church could be a greater engine for constitutional change than the paramilitary one. Ironically, liberal Unionists facilitated the Redemptorist ‘stepping stones’ process.

    Cardinal Brady has portrayed the Catholic Church as the leading agent of the ‘society within a society’ in Northern Ireland. When I looked at Adams speaking from the pulpit in Clonard monastry I wondered if the leading agent mantle had passed to the PRM in those areas where the paramilitary writ is wrote large. When I look at some recent events in south Armagh I wonder how effective the ‘weaing’ has been.

  • Rural dweller, McCrea sharing a platform with Billy Wright is not that much different from the Chuckle Brothers comedy routine or a Michael Stone piece of performing art.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Turgon,

    I am not at all surprised that McGuinness is openly admitting that he would have killed every soldier in Derry if he possibly could. Before we all get on our moral high horse about this, we have to remember that this kind of strong feeling was prevalent across the board during the five years surrounding that period which was pretty much the darkest point of the troubles.

    I hope we’re not all forgetting that many unionist politicians would have felt the same way about killing every republican in the vicinity. This includes the leaders of the two large unionist parties who were both associated with violent organizations; Sir Reg, with Vanguard, and Paisley with too many to mention.

    I remember after the Shankill bomb, a woman being interviewed on the street saying “I think our ones should go over to the Falls and bomb them”. Obviously it’s not pleasant that people feel this way, and I’d like to think that I would try to be forgiving in the circumstances (impossible to say, though) but I can’t pretend that I do not understand where she was coming from, and I’m sure you would feel the same way.

  • Comrade Stalin

    “I’m sure you would feel the same way.”

    Just to clarify what I said, I am not trying to imply that you would be sympathetic with killing anyone; what I meant was that I think you would be able to see what would drive people to believe that this was necessary.

  • Jo

    “this kind of strong feeling was prevalent across the board during the five years surrounding that period ”

    Indeed. I do think, however, that he could (and perhaps did) add to this declaration something to the effect that he no longer felt that way.

    The strength of feeling behind it, though, leads me to think that that anger is still there. All the more commendable, then, that he puts that behind him and works as he is doing.

    There is no hierarachy of *gut wrenching distaste* either. He has negotiated with a government whose *armed wing* was responsible for Bloody Sunday and (arguably) he administers their policy in NI.

    I say this as someone who has never voted for SF nor shares their aspiration.

  • Chris Donnelly

    A pity that due to McGuiness and his friends there are a large number of people on this island and elsewhere who cannot say that about family members.

    Turgon
    A pity that due to Ian Paisley and many of his associates (as admitted by members of loyalist organisations) there are a large number of people on this island and elsewhere who cannot say that about family members.

    A pity that due to the British Army and RUC there are a large number of people on this island and elsewhere who cannot say that about family members.

    A pity that due to the unionist establishment who governed in a one-party state for 50 years there are a large number of people on this island and elsewhere who cannot say that about family members.

    And so on and so on. Really, we could go on forever…

    But in the end, you’re going to realise that the past has many versions. Like in your posts about La Mon, Mairead Farrell and symbols and emblems in official buildings, you fail to appreciate that every argument you make can immediately be responded to by a nationalist/ republican who will (naturally) believe their own ‘version’ of events, with admittedly as little appreciation of your thoughts and opinions as you clearly have of ours.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Jo,

    My opinion is that the fact that McGuinness said it in the past tense is enough to suggest to me that he no longer feels that this is necessary. I think McCrea was probably actually right, that he was playing to his home audience and was looking for a way to get a hardline position across. You’ll hear a lot of that from SF as time goes on. The DUP do the same thing.

    Chris,

    you fail to appreciate that every argument you make can immediately be responded to by a nationalist/ republican who will (naturally) believe their own ‘version’ of events, with admittedly as little appreciation of your thoughts and opinions as you clearly have of ours.

    Chris, this is true, although in all fairness the Unionists are slightly more careful than to try to arrange a commemoration of, say, the Greysteel killers up at Stormont.

  • Jo

    Comrade
    I gathered that. I am very sensitive to how whatever he says is regarded by Unionists. I think if he had been wearing that hat, I would have advised accordingly.

  • ulsterfan

    Some folk are very quick to say that McGuiness is due some respect because he has changed although the evidence for this is meagre and he has received a mandate from the electorate.
    Before we go too far down this road lets remember people like Castro and Mugabe both claimed electoral support and as History has shown they do not deserve any respect.
    McGuiness’ statement is obscene and marks him out as someone not fit for public office.
    He must never think we will forget what he has done .

  • Jo

    “He must never think we will forget what he has done ”

    Indeed. You bloggers think you have a monopoly? Buit there are 2 different types of people in this part of the world. Geddit?

  • Bigger Picture

    Get the cave ready Turgon

  • ulsterfan

    JO
    There are more than two types of people in this world and that is something we realise.
    There are those who try to live moral upright lives and those like members of PIRA who were happy to kill soldiers and policemen.

  • Jo

    ..and those who killed indiscrimately, Catholics, believing that they were asupporters of violence. Who has declared that they wont kill anymore?

  • ulsterfan

    JO

    We are talking about the right to “kill”.
    It is wrong for anyone to kill Catholics as it is Wrong for members of PIRA to kill soldiers.
    McGuiness desire to kill soldiers as reported in to days news makes him unsuitable for office.

  • Reader

    Jo: Yeah, ok. So would David Ervine. Both men changed.
    The difference is that DE *renounced* violence, and MMcG *abandoned* violence.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Religion needs to become increasingly a private matter. The intrusion of religion into public life creates problems. Keep it to the church, the family and the local community of faith – or better still, toss it. Opium is a bad habit, as we all know’

    Well yes I agree . Opium however did help to balance the books for HMG back in the early 19th century . Mr Blair Sr (George Orwell’s father )was HMG’s ‘dealer’ who helped to keep one tenth of the denizens of Chinese cities in blissful ‘nirvana’ while at the same time reaping in sufficient silver to redress the imbalance of trade with China at the time !

    Perhaps ‘religion’ in NI fulfills a similar role to Blair’s opium . Keep enough of the people in blissful nirvana so that they’d rather not open their eyes and take a cold hard look at reality !

    Wnder what it will take to redress the Trade imbalance these days ?

    Hate as somebody intimated above actually does more damage to the hater than the hated. If you have it let it go . You’ll live longer and healthier for a start .

  • Nevin –

    Take your point on the process, but that was a distinct process with a distinct aim, and nobody doubts the Vatican has influence.

    When you look though at the history of the Catholic Church in Ireland, the theme of repression and control takes precedence over positive brokerage. The abuse of children in Catholic-run institutions reveals very clearly the networks of clerical intrigue that enabled the cover-up to go on, with abusive priests shuffled around to carry on their abusive agenda.

    The anti-women policies of the Church re abortion and contraception has led to misery in countries like the Philippines where impoverished women end up with large families they can’t support. It has driven people to depression and suicide. The Church mandates these autocratic controls over women’s choice in matters of fertility in order to increase the numbers of the faithful and ensure that the people are kept in their place – dependent.

    The attacks of Ratzinger on hard won secular rights … his view of secular society as blighted by “moral relativism”, is typical of the thinking he backs across-the-board. His effort to restore medieval-type powers by fiat if necessary – the whole “one true Church” baloney – is a form of religious fascism when you really look closely at their agenda – an agenda closely tied with reactionary thinking of groups such as Opus Dei.

    So I would say that while initiatives on the part of the religious have certainly been positive at times, the overall institutional impact is negative.

    Greenflag –

    I got a laugh reading your insights. Good points. I laughed too when old Tony showed up in the Vatican for his initiation into the inner mysteries. Ratzinger looked slightly pissed off – no wonder when you consider that Blair’s policies weren’t exactly RC friendly.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Ulsterfan:

    Before we go too far down this road lets remember people like Castro and Mugabe both claimed electoral support and as History has shown they do not deserve any respect.

    Hardly a valid comparison, since the electoral system is presently very resistant to vote rigging. If you’re going to accuse them of that, you’re going to have to come up with evidence. I think you’d be better off facing the fact that SF are here to stay, and that excluding them simply on the basis of who they are isn’t on.

  • doctor

    “The difference is that DE *renounced* violence, and MMcG *abandoned* violence.”

    Can you share the evidence supporting that distinction? Less than two years before his death, the UVF was gunning down anyone with suspected LVF links, trying to silence Mark Haddock permanently, and opening fire on the police after an orange parade was blocked from the Whiterock Road. Ervine’s response was basically to shrug his shoulders and imply the victims more or less got what they deserved, while using “police brutality and provocation” as an excuse for the rioting. (Oddly enough, a sentiment publicly shared by many UUP and DUP figures. Hmm, I wondered what they would have said if the rioting was committed by republicans on the Falls?) Oh, he also was quick with the “we only provide political analysis” line whenever the UVF acted up, while quick to exploit the UVF link when necessary since vote-wise the PUP is about as popular as the Vote for yourself party.

    “Before we go too far down this road lets remember people like Castro and Mugabe both claimed electoral support and as History has shown they do not deserve any respect”

    I agree; that’s way I feel the same way about Paisley and the old one party “democracy” instituted after partition.

  • Shaughnessy, my roots are Presbyterian and my contacts with Catholic religious and laity in the realm of community projects have generally been very positive. I recall one message from a Mother Superior in the summer of ’73 when I needed some help with transport, “Anything Mr T wants Mr T can have”.

    In senior school projects that I was associated with at Corrymeela there was often a greater enthusiasm from the Catholic sector than from other denominations. I appreciate that many allegiances are somewhat nominal but that was how I found it.

    If you’ve got reservations about the Church having control over local communities then I suspect we’ve far more to fear from the paramilitary sector. Hence my comment about Adams in the Clonard pulpit.

    There’s something of the Opus Dei about the Chuckle Brothers – if you take away the smiles 😉

  • Comrade Stalin

    Doctor,

    Ervine’s response was basically to shrug his shoulders and imply the victims more or less got what they deserved, while using “police brutality and provocation”

    Indeed. In fact I remember Ervine boasting only a few years before his death that the UVF could “wipe out the LVF overnight” or something similar.

    And actually, I don’t recall that Ervine renounced violence at all. He pointedly refused to say that any aspect of the “war” that he fought was wrong.

  • Jo

    Jo: Yeah, ok. So would David Ervine. Both men changed.

    The difference is that DE *renounced* violence, and MMcG *abandoned* violence.

    Posted by Reader on Feb 24, 2008 @ 04:52 PM

    – Fucking Hell.

  • kensei

    Cardinal Brady has portrayed the Catholic Church as the leading agent of the ‘society within a society’ in Northern Ireland.

    Actually, Nevin, it was Cardinal Hume and he is quoting, and what was actually said is:

    In the midst of such discrimination and a deep sense of alienation from the
    Northern State, the structures of education, health, parish and community
    provided by the Catholic Church, made it a very natural alternative source of
    political and cultural identity for Northern Nationalists. As one commentator
    explains:

    After partition Northern Nationalists kept a respectful distance from the State
    and became ‘a society within a society’. The Catholic Church was the key institution
    in integrating the community and clerical leadership was important. There was an
    intertwining of Catholicism, Irish culture and political nationalism.

    http://www.armagharchdiocese.org/html/arch/Catholic%20Perspective%20on%20N%20Ireland%2005.05.04.html

    This is not the same at all. The Catholic Church was not the leading “agent” implying some proactive measure, it was simply the point that Nationalism rallied around, as it kept distance from the very Protestant State. Further more, he goes onto mention the role of the OO in keeping the communities separate, by on the one hand keeping Unionism from reaching out, and ont he other keeping Nationalism and Catholicism under attack.

    Moreover, the quote is flat, plain wrong. There has been an intertwining of Catholicism, Nationalism and Irish culture from at least the time of O’Connell, when he enlisted the Church to help in his campaigns: and there have been plenty of religious revolutionaries. It’s a symbiotic relationship.

    I would say sloppy, Nevin, but we both know you aren’t that dumb, so I can only assume you are being wilfully dishonest. You might want to drop that one from your repertoire posts you have.