West Belfast stuck in economic ‘siege mentality’?

Newton Emerson pours scorn on Forbairt Feirste’s investment conference, aimed at consolidating support for the establishment of a Ceathrú Gaeltacht (Gaeltacht Quarter) in west Belfast. (H/T Concubhar) In essence he argues that the economic aspect of case is flawed, not least since “residents of the lower Falls live within a mile of 30 per cent of all the jobs in Northern Ireland.” He goes on to accuse the area of excessively cleaving to a kind of internal separatism:

One point repeatedly raised at the west Belfast conference was that the Titanic quarter will shift the city’s economic centre of gravity to the east. But thousands of people from west Belfast once worked on Queen’s Island. They travelled there by tram and they could do so again if Sinn Fein regional development minister Conor Murphy would spend £1.86 million a year on a west Belfast light rail line.

West Belfast is a place and a community apart, not least due to the massive and traumatic population shifts of the late sixties and early seventies. Early attempts by some residents to move their families out into mixed areas, even well beyond the confines of the city ended in some of them being intimidated back into the safer reaches of their original communities. This is often underestimated by outside commentators. If there is a siege mentality, some of it arises from what many in that community would see as good reason.

But Emerson does have a point when he suggested that some of the Troubles-centric development decisions have helped deepen a sense of isolation from the rest of the city. Not least the deep (and widening) trench that is the Westlink:

One obvious and highly profitable solution would be to drop the road into a trench and roof it over, creating hundreds of acres of prime city centre real estate. It might seem perverse to suggest this while the current Westlink widening is still under way but that project ripped up years of recently completed improvements.

Even mundane cities such as Leeds manage to bury their urban motorways, despite having no local ministers with devolved powers. However, burying the Westlink has never been seriously considered throughout all the many opportunities to do so, including the Invest NI conference.

It appears that certain people, both inside and outside west Belfast, are only too happy with its tarmac moat.

He argues that Sinn Fein’s leadership on this issue is at best misguided:

Last week’s ‘cultural conference’ may have helped some republicans to cope with the stench of global capitalism emanating from the Invest NI conference. But few of the party’s constituents will be helped by pretending that a neighbourhood Irish-language quango will be a force for economic growth even if they find this tribal totem more pleasing to contemplate than the difficult decisions that are actually required.

“Whenever I hear the word ‘culture’ I reach for my gun,” Hermann Goering famously never said. Sinn Fein, conversely, has put down its gun and reached for the word ‘culture’. There is little reason to believe that this strategy will be any more successful than the last one.

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  • “The manifestation of Ulster Scots we see today is purely a political creature”

    and

    “no comparison with the Irish language is credible”

    I doubt I’m the only one to see an inherent contradiction between those two statements.

  • Feck. Must learn to use preview.

  • PaddyReilly

    There’s something disturbing about a mentality which would severely impair a child’s ability to function properly in the society he/she grew up in, in the name of preserving a piece of culture.

    Lazy thinking this. But the results tables consistently make the Gaelscoileanna the best in Ireland, and Welsh language schools are, together with Jewish schools, the most successful in Britain (not just Wales). I can only suggest that this is because they are a run by a class of people who care, and conduct their schools with enthusiasm.

    Also the attitude that jettisoning your culture is good if you can make economies thereby, hardly promotes effort and success. There is also something ignorant about the monoglot English speaker: I find Germans (Swedes etc) function as well and better in the English speaking world. As Pythagoras says, do not help someone to move a burden: we came looking for punishment, and we must find it.

  • Reader

    Concubhar: Anyhow Mr Binary seems to think that it’s ok for parents to have to commute across a traffic clogged city, spending time in congestion and congesting which they could be spending with their family as if that’s a recipe for greater social cohesion.
    Well, I’m a parent, and I commute from outside that same city – two walks and a train journey, one hour each way. Without the train, I can manage 3 miles in one hour comfortably enough – and free. How far is it from the Falls Road to the jobs?
    Strangely enough, though, Bangor doesn’t seem to be as deprived as the Falls Road, in spite of not having many jobs of its own.
    As for the children. It really, really doesn’t seem to be a requirement in the western world to have both parents present, all the time. If you are just talking about single parents, you should have made it clear. As for couples with children, surely one of the adults could leave the house to go to work? And is it just the children of the employed that are currently wrecking the place, anyway?

  • It seems that there are none so thick as those who will not see. I see Comrade Stalin has gone his merry way with his tail between his legs after being called on his wild and baseless claims re Irish medium education. As for Beano, the truth is plain to see, the Ulster Scots movement is no more than a proxy for the Orange Order at present.

    Ask them why they haven’t published a statement of accounts or an annual report since 2003 and reports issued previously to that were heavily qualified!

    The Irish language movement is not without fault but its focus remains on the language and any attempt to impute political connections is merely mischievious.

    Reader or Paddy Reilly just don’t get it. West Belfast is as entitled to regeneration as East Belfast. More so, I would argue, as it has suffered generations of neglect. Sure people from West Belfast work in other areas and even when the Ceathrú Gaeltachta comes on board that will continue but there should be some jobs also in West Belfast aimed at rebranding the area as a cultural quarter which would be capable of capitalising on its attractions and generating further tourism traffic.

  • Driftwood

    West Belfast aimed at rebranding the area as a cultural quarter which would be capable of capitalising on its attractions and generating further tourism traffic.

    At last Concubhar, the joke/wind up is revealed, for a while reading your posts I thought you were serious. Nice one. You certainly had me fooled with your increasingly nonsensical ramblings. The statement above had me laughing so hard it made Monday berable. Thanks.

  • Democratic

    “The Irish language movement is not without fault but its focus remains on the language and any attempt to impute political connections is merely mischievious.”
    To be be fair Concubhar the political connotations associatied with the Irish language began with not with Unionists but with republicans such as Danny Morrison and his famous “every word like a bullet” speech. Beyond that I think most reasonable people would have no problem with the Irish language provided it is not forced on anyone (like the southern education system and certain employment regulations) and like you say is kept free of political bias.

    ….”but there should be some jobs also in West Belfast aimed at rebranding the area as a cultural quarter which would be capable of capitalising on its attractions and generating further tourism traffic” Lets be honest here Concubhar – the main attraction for tourism in West Belfast (when the festival is over obviously) is the political and mural tours and their spectacle of tribalism and its associated rebellious sentiment – how do you think a Gaelic Quarter would fit into this market exactly?

  • Another ‘contribution’ from Driftwood which perfectly illustrates the bigotry and anti Irish prejudice which is at the heart of the opposition to the Ceathrú Gaeltachta and any and every positive project involving the Irish language.

    According to Tyrannosaurus Driftwood, West Belfast should be frozen in time as it is now and perhaps it can then be forgotten while he gets on with his life in whatever leafy suburb he inhabits. That’s not the way it’s going to go down DW.

  • ggn

    “the Ulster Scots movement is no more than a proxy for the Orange Order at present”

    I think you go too far, far too far.

    There are some very genuine people working with Ulster Scots etc. and things are more complicated that they seem.

    It is a great pity in my view that research in Ulster-Scots speech has been basically dropped in attempts to put together a complete culture package – that is not to say Ulster-Scots speech does not exist and that some people are not interested in it.

    I agree that no comparsion can be made with Irish, despite the efforts of the NIO and everything must be done possible to thwart any attempts to force marry Irish and Ulster-Scots but … Lets not go down this road I say.

    I would have to say that I consider many things with seem to be being connected with Ulster-Scots to be a relfection of how Unionists view Irish culture.

    So, in the future perhaps things will become more clear? I think that the Ulster-Scots agency must think FnaG fund Irish dancing etc.

    If one feels that Ulster-Scots is a bluff then call it. Ulster-Scots medium education now I say!

    Leave Ulster-Scots stuff alone and lets see were it goes, if people what to call traditional music ‘ulster-scots’ music, if people want to do Highland dancing (or as they say in Gaelic, dannsaidh Gaidhealach ‘gaelic dancing’), if people want to dress up in highland dress (gaelic!) and call it Ulster-Scots, fine.

  • If it were only Scots Dancing that the Boord were funding that would be fair enough – but to be funding English language cds featuring Orange Order songs indicates to me that I am not going far enough in my Orange Order proxy charge.

    Sure there are genuine people working in the Ulster Scots language movement but how disheartened must they feel when it’s been taken over by the DUP/Orange Order to advance a kitsch – supposedly non Irish – cultural separateness.

    Maybe the Ulster Scots language does exist and is viable – but it’s being made a joke of by the involvement of the DUP/Orange Order. Let’s not forget, for instance, that the Chief Executive of the Boord is none other than a former Secretary of the Grand Lodge.

    And because of the combination of this politicisation of Ulster Scots and the tendency to marry Ulster Scots and Irish in polite discourse, it will be automatically assumed that the Irish language is a creature of SF to the same extent as Ulster Scots is intertwined with the DUP. That’s the public perception and it damages the credibility of Irish – it’s guilt by association.

  • Social cohesion will improve once people get off their holes, walk the length of a street out of their ghettos and actually mix with society.
    Posted by 0b101010 on May 19, 2008 @ 10:26 AM

    According to Mr Binary and all the other naysayers around here, it’s once a ghetto, always a ghetto.

    My own take on that is from ghetto to Gaeltacht. It’s already happened. It’s a matter of now investing in it so that the dividend can be reaped for West Belfast and wider society.

  • Seimi

    I was raised in West Belfast with Irish as my first language. This has never held me back in terms of employment – in fact, it greatly increased my chances of getting a good job, and not just in Irish language schools/organisations. There is a huge Irish speaking population in West Belfast, far more than some Gaeltacht areas. Have any of the nay-sayers on here ever actually visited the area and sought out the Irish speakers, or is all their information based on second hand knowledge?
    I think the concept of a Gaeltacht Quarter is a great idea, and I’m proud that I live in that area.
    No-one involved with an Ceathrú Gaeltacht has EVER implied that it will solve all the issues in the area, just as no-one involved in the Titanic Quarter project predicted a job for everyone in a land of milk and honey in East Belfast. However, both projects will greatly enhance the chances of international investment in two badly deprived areas. I think both projects are excellent for their areas, and when they are both up and running they will both be of benefit to the entire city.
    Maith thú a Chonchubhar, ná héist le na hamadáin!

  • Democratic

    “it will be automatically assumed that the Irish language is a creature of SF to the same extent as Ulster Scots is intertwined with the DUP. That’s the public perception and it damages the credibility of Irish – it’s guilt by association.”
    Like I said Concubhar you could take this very point up with the likes of Danny Morrison if you were so inclined…remember Unionists were not the first to link Irish Gaelic with Republicanism – Republicans did that all by themselves back in the day – with not a word of protest from the powers that be within whatever governing bodies existed at the time…

  • ggn

    “the tendency to marry Ulster Scots and Irish in polite discourse”

    It is official NIO policy never to mention Irish without Ulster-Scots in the same sentence.

    “Sure there are genuine people working in the Ulster Scots language movement but how disheartened must they feel when it’s been taken over by the DUP/Orange Order to advance a kitsch – supposedly non Irish – cultural separateness.”

    I agree, but I feel those voice will eventually be heard. There is more afoot than apparent.

    As to cultural separtness, I think Ulster-Scots is about as Irish as it gets. I think it is a growing separatness from Anglo-Britishness and the from the people of Northern Ireland of English descent – that is what I would be thinking of if I was a unionist.

    “but to be funding English language cds featuring Orange Order songs indicates to me that I am not going far enough in my Orange Order proxy charge.”

    And I am glad that we have jounalists out there to highlight this sort of thing!

  • Seimi

    Did Sammy Wilson’s quotes about a ‘leprechaun language’ come before or after that quote Democratic?

  • Democratic


    it will be automatically assumed that the Irish language is a creature of SF to the same extent as Ulster Scots is intertwined with the DUP. That’s the public perception and it damages the credibility of Irish – it’s guilt by association.”
    Like I said Concubhar you could take this very point up with the likes of Danny Morrison if you were so inclined…remember Unionists were not the first to link Irish Gaelic with Republicanism – Republicans did that all by themselves back in the day – with not a word of protest from the powers that be within whatever governing bodies existed at the time…

    As I’ve said from the very beginning of my contribution to this debate, the fact that SF made statements in the past and make statements now to the effect that they see some link between the Irish language and their project for Irish unity, is neither here nor there. They simply don’t do enough for the language to be credible, within the Irish language circles, as players in the constructive and contributory sense of that word.

    Sure there’s a history there but to try and rewrite history now would be folly. The Irish language movement in west Belfast and throughout the north has evolved beyond SF and that’s a good thing.

    Less and less is the Irish language getting support from SF – and vice versa – but whenever SF MLAs speakers argue against the continued unwarranted and racist attacks by unionist politicians on the Irish speaking community, well that has to be welcomed in as much as we will take protection where we can find it, especially when we’re being described as foreigners in our own country – Ian McCrea’s latest contribution described Irish as a foreign language.

    The joke is this, however, that even though unionists constantly criticise Irish as a republican language and try to ascribe all sorts of ulterior motives to its community, what does it do. It goes ahead and creates its own political plaything, the Ulster Scots movement. Perhaps it would be more correct to say that it hijacks it for its own use – but the lines are blurry.

  • Democratic

    Not sure Seimi if I am honest – however rude as referring to a “leprechaun language” was – did he mention IRA or republicans anywhere in the same speil?

  • Seimi

    I’m not entirely sure either, but I know they occurred at about the same time. What I do remember is Irish speakers being outraged at the ‘another bullet’ quote and being very vocal about it, and Sammy’s quote, from Belfast City Council minutes, being greeted with laughter.

  • Doctor Who

    ggn

    “I am not American though I have been to America, a country where 25,000 people use Irish at home according to their census!!2 ”

    I too have visited America many times, on one ocasion a lady who proclaimed to be a fluent Gaelic speaker informed me that “long kesh” meant freedom in Irish. Do you think she was one of the 25,000. Of course I answered back with the extent of my Gaelic knowlege by saying “pogue mahone”.

  • Democratic

    Yes I can follow most of that Concubhar but you cannot complain or say that Sinn Feins (past)statements should hold no sway in the eyes of Unionists without a public distancing from the powers that be – perhaps though we are beginning to see the start of that in your own words.

  • ggn

    I think the Leprechaun language quote came four years after the ‘bullet’ quote (which having read the booklet I would say is taken out of context, I understood it a quite sly attempt to say you would be safer learning Irish than going out shooting people, Morrison definitely did not write it BTW).

    The leprechaun quote also came 25 years after people were threatened with imprisonment for educating there kids in Irish, and aproximately 60 years since the state moved againist Irish in the education system.

    I think the leprechaun quote is quite tame compared to Jim Shannon’s quote : “Irish is the dead language of a dead people”. I think was around 1986 BTW.

  • Seimi

    My parents were amongst those threatened with court and jail over starting the Bunscoil, and I was among the first 20 children in the school (my brother and sister were 2 of the first 9 in 71). Now my own two children, both teenagers, are fluent speakers and attended that same school. They are extremely proud of their grandparents and everything they struggled through back in the early 70s, as well as being proud of the fact that they speak Irish.
    I remember when the school was given recognition in 86, the now Finance Minister was asked his opinion on the Bunscoil. ‘Ah yes, the numbskull,’ he quipped. ‘An educational disaster waiting to happen.’ With over 4,500 kids currently in Irish Medium Education, and many thousands more having gone through that system, I wonder if he still feels the same way?

  • Shore Road Resident

    I didn’t realise people had ever been threatened with court for setting up Irish-language schools. Rather ironic, now we have a minister who supports them, for her to be threatening people with court for setting up selective schools.
    Seems like educational absolutists all over enjoy their legal strong-arming.
    Gotta add, by the way, that schools do not make money. They spend it.

  • RG Cuan

    Whatever about the Hamely tongue, the Irish language community are leaving the politicians behind.

    While the ridiculous and racist remarks made by some Unionist MLAs are offensive and the lack of action by most Nationalist MLAs is frustrating, Gaelic speakers are continuing with the work on the ground, developing and expanding Irish language life throughout the island.

  • Gregory

    “It goes ahead and creates its own political plaything, the Ulster Scots movement. Perhaps it would be more correct to say that it hijacks it for its own use – but the lines are blurry.”

    I don’t think it profitable to allow ownership of culture to pass to political engines.

    As somebody who has worked with Lord Laird I could point out that what goes in one direction isn’t perhaps that different to what has flown in the other.

    It is just an untidy kind of thing. I would be opposed to an Ulster Scots disneyland on the Shankill, I would be opposed to a state grant for a Shankill cultural festival.

    I tend to feel, that if you can put punters on seats, then you just do it. If you can open an Irish speaking five star hotel, you should go and open it.

    “Have any of the nay-sayers on here ever actually visited the area and sought out the Irish speakers, or is all their information based on second hand knowledge? ”

    I live there and I rarely hear Irish being spoken, one has to look it out, one can hear it, but it is not that common and it wouldn’t be very noticable, about 95 percent of the patter you hear at the Culturlann, would be the Saxon tongue or Spanish, or Portugeese.

    There is more chance of hearing Samogitian on a bus from Belfast to Dungannon.

    G.

  • RG Cuan

    …about 95 percent of the patter you hear at the Culturlann, would be the Saxon tongue or Spanish, or Portugeese.

    Totally incorrect.

    Irish of course is the language used by 95% of staff at An Chultúrlann, and the majority of regular customers. English is spoken by many other visitors and those attending classes/concerts and indeed there are quite a few tourists speaking a range of European languages.

    I was in An Chultúrlann for lunch last week, there may have been 30-40 there, and i only heard English once.

  • Driftwood

    Why not ask the people of West Belfast to choose an option
    Their benefits allowance forms in Irish?
    OR
    An extra £10 a week to spend on scratchcards?

    Then we’ll see how much they give a shit.

  • Gregory

    “I didn’t realise people had ever been threatened with court for setting up Irish-language schools. Rather ironic, now we have a minister who supports them, for her to be threatening people with court for setting up selective schools.
    Seems like educational absolutists all over enjoy their legal strong-arming.
    Gotta add, by the way, that schools do not make money. They spend it. ”

    Parents are taken or threatened with proceedings all the time for a variety of issues which could be described as cultural,

    I get it from parents opposed to hoisting, opposed to graphic sex-ed, bullied kids, a whole range of cases, I may even have more than the other NI charities combined.

    I have had kids brought over from England as a class of dissident refugee pitching for a very real type of devolved asylum at Stormont. The Polish and Sikh stuff in England, is for real, it is not a joke (to them).

    Schools make money, ( the same way the Chinese make a pile selling Americans exciting tires for US motor cars), it is a transfer of cash, whether it is wise, desirable, is for argument.

    They are clearly a major sector of the economy, people work hard to pay tax etc, they’re a bit like the old Northern Ireland, they grab tax and spend it, they’re not too good at generating it in-house,

    That’s life, it is a sector, people on welfare are a ‘real’ sector. People too ill for work make macro-money by buying stuff that their neighbors bake, pour, or grow.

    G.

  • Gregory

    “Irish of course is the language used by 95% of staff at An Chultúrlann, and the majority of regular customers”

    I know the staff can speak it.

    I go there quite often, my experience would have languages other than Irish or English doing quite well and English in the clear lead.

    I won’t put percentages on it.

    Best

    G.

  • Gregory

    “about 95 percent of the patter you hear at the Culturlann, would be the Saxon tongue or Spanish, or Portugeese. ”

    I retract the fake percentile measure.

    I should have said the ‘greater part’ in my visiting experience.

    G.

  • 0b101010

    “West Belfast is as entitled to regeneration as East Belfast. More so, I would argue, as it has suffered generations of neglect.”

    Ah, entitlement. As I said: victim and handout culture.

    “I tend to feel, that if you can put punters on seats, then you just do it. If you can open an Irish speaking five star hotel, you should go and open it.”

    Hear, hear.

  • 0b101010

    “According to Mr Binary and all the other naysayers around here, it’s once a ghetto, always a ghetto.”

    In fact, I said nothing of the sort.

  • Mr Binary,

    You obviously have a serious chip on your shoulder regarding west Belfast and the Irish language. The import of what you said was exactly as I stated – if an area isn’t to be regenerated, it’s going to remain a ghetto.

    Talking in terms of entitlement isn’t necessarily talking ‘victim/handout culture’. The entitlement to fair investment exists and doesn’t mean that those seeking it are victims seeking handouts – they’re communities seeking investment. They too have contributed taxes….and they have greater potential for greater development than other communities.

  • ulsterfan

    Col

    Why have “they greater potential for greater development than any other community”.
    This is an extraordinary statement.
    They seem to be different in some way or other which I do not understand.
    Please explain.

  • Driftwood

    I was unfortunate enough to be in Bundoran, mid July a few years ago and experience West Belfast culture. I did learn some West Belfast Irish though! Merrydown, WKD, burger, kebab, vomit, Special brew,tennents super? and various other distasteful phrases. “Under the counter fags” was prominent.
    Whatever, good luck to this thriving culture.
    What’s the “Irish” for hooped earrings, tracksuits and snakebites?

  • 0b101010

    “Mr Binary,

    You obviously have a serious chip on your shoulder regarding west Belfast and the Irish language. The import of what you said was exactly as I stated – if an area isn’t to be regenerated, it’s going to remain a ghetto.”

    Mr. Gaeilge,

    You’re awfully quick to make personal assumptions, but that’s not shocking given our culture.

    It’s a skill picked up in the business, of course, but you continue to argue past me: I believe it takes action from the people to improve their communities. Ghettos will only remain ghettos if the residents don’t have any aspiration to act towards change.

    “Doctor, doctor, I need an investment. Investment… Investment…”

    I support the rebranding of districts in Belfast, including a Ceathrú Gaeltacht, as part of a wider plan but it’s just polish; a lick of paint.

    I don’t support sinking public money into projects without an economic basis, a realistic scope or that exist only to create ideological vanity projects for Orgburos.

    “They too have contributed taxes….and they have greater potential for greater development than other communities.”

    I like the argument for entitlement based on contribution towards taxes — care to think it through to its logical conclusion?

    Not much of a stretch to imagine those innocently nebulous “other communities” would take issue with your assertion.

  • Ulster Fan – the main reason I believe West Belfast has greater potential for development than other communities is because of the lack of investment there over the generations by successive governments, including this one. I believe that the development of Irish language services in the area – the Cultúrlann, the various primary schools, Coláiste Feirste, Lá Nua, Raidio Failte, illustrate what could be achieved with the hard work of the people there. Couple that with significant investment from the state, a la the Titanic Quarter, and the possibilities are endless.

    As for Driftwood – well sure I’m fairly positive that those denizens of west Belfast were thrilled to find such a cultured fellow as yourself in Bundoran. It would have been an education
    for them. You would have been able to advise them as to the best Cider vintages and the like.

    Mr Binary,

    The people of west Belfast have already, as pointed out above, worked might and main and succeeded in emerging from the ghetto to create a Gaeltacht Quarter. All it needs now is state investment to bring it to the next level. And the case for that is overwhelming, given what’s already been achieved without signficant state investment. The ghetto exists in your limited imagination and, no doubt, that’s where it will remain.

    However this idea that you seem to be implying, that the people of west Belfast don’t pay sufficient taxes to merit investment is a joke. Significant numbers of people from west Belfast work throughout Belfast, as pointed out by Newt in his original article. They pay taxes. So the logical assumption is that the community from which the come and to which they return every evening deserves investment – a la Titanic Quarter.

    I don’t subscribe to your cynical and prejudiced point of view of west Belfast having lived and worked there for eleven years. It has problems, sure, but seeing past the arguments of cynical bigots is no problem to them or me.

  • ulsterfan

    CoL

    Thank you for your reply.
    You do however make the mistake of claiming under investment in West Belfast when in fact the opposite is correct.
    Over the years it has received more than its fair share when compared with other constituencies.
    The comparison of Titanic Quarter is not on a fair basis.
    Whilst it is situated in East Belfast people living there will not have any advantage.
    Workers in the construction industry will come from West Belfast ,Dungannon ,Cookstown and all parts North South East and West.
    The titanic Quarter is of national importance and everyone will benefit not like the inward looking investment of the gaeltacht Quarter.
    How many loyalists do you think will find employment there?

  • 0b101010

    “Mr Binary,

    The people of west Belfast have already, as pointed out above, worked might and main and succeeded in emerging from the ghetto to create a Gaeltacht Quarter. All it needs now is state investment to bring it to the next level.”

    Well done all concerned. If a successful, economically stimulating, self-sustaining Gaeltacht Quarter is already in place, why is the begging dish out for an injection of public cash? What is this vague “next level” for the Field of Dreams that will benefit the people of Belfast?

    “And the case for that is overwhelming, given what’s already been achieved without signficant state investment. The ghetto exists in your limited imagination and, no doubt, that’s where it will remain.”

    The case for what, exactly? Is it quantifiable?

    You were the one who compared the quarter to a ghetto, not I:

    “According to Mr Binary and all the other naysayers around here, it’s once a ghetto, always a ghetto.

    My own take on that is from ghetto to Gaeltacht. It’s already happened.”

    No, the ghetto exists in the minds of those, like yourself, interning themselves. That’s the fundamental problem.

    “However this idea that you seem to be implying, that the people of west Belfast don’t pay sufficient taxes to merit investment is a joke. Significant numbers of people from west Belfast work throughout Belfast, as pointed out by Newt in his original article. They pay taxes. So the logical assumption is that the community from which the come and to which they return every evening deserves investment – a la Titanic Quarter.”

    I’m implying nothing of the sort. It amuses me greatly to be on this particular side of the argument for once, but are you seriously arguing for a system where tax contributions lead directly to entitlement? Do you not see where that leads? Really?

    Dare I ask: what does the Titanic Quarter have to do with the feasibility of investment in the Ceathrú Gaeltacht? They are very distinct projects.

    “I don’t subscribe to your cynical and prejudiced point of view of west Belfast having lived and worked there for eleven years. It has problems, sure, but seeing past the arguments of cynical bigots is no problem to them or me.”

    Oops. Do up your fly, your own prejudice is showing. You know nothing of me. What is the definition of bigot for today? Someone that happens to disagree with you?

    I take the double-affirmation of cynicism as a compliment, mind, although I can’t say I share many of the ideals of those particular Cynics.

  • 0b101010

    “How many loyalists do you think will find employment there?”

    How many loyalists do you honestly think would get off their arses to apply? Of our sects, loyalists have the worst reputation for interning themselves in their own communities for fear of themmuns.

  • ulsterfan

    ob101010

    Your opinion of loyalists is unfair. After all they have a lot in common with republicans

    1 declining state hand outs
    2 hardworking
    3 tax paying
    4 law abiding
    5 support law and order
    6 tolerant of other views
    7 supportive of government
    8 etc—etc—etc( fill in the blanks yourself)