Lord Mayor avoids official Somme commemoration.. again

As previously noted here. This morning, apparently in keeping with his party’s policy set out in 2004 – which barred Sinn Fein representatives from attending “British military commemorations” – the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Sinn Féin’s Tom Hartley, boycotted the official commemoration of those who died at the Battle of the Somme and instead laid a wreath on his own at 9am – repeating the actions of SF’s Alex Maskey, when Lord Mayor in 2002.

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  • What exactly is an ‘official’ commemoration? What makes one commemoration ‘official’, and another ‘unofficial’? Surely, as the Lord Mayor, Hartley’s commemoration is as official as he is.

    Is there some kind of legal definition of commemorations? If so, where can it be found?

    Or are some commemorations considered ‘official’ simply by custom and practice? If so, these can, of course, be updated as times change. Haartley’s commemoration may become the ‘custom-and-practice’ office one soon.

    Lastly, is there not a possibility that the ‘official’ commemoration is considered the official commemoration just because it has the backing of the British armed forces? In which case, of course, Hartley is entirely correct to shun it, as it would be a one-sided partisan affair designed to promote one particular view of the past.

    I presume Hartley commemorated all Belfast people who died, regardless of which war, or which side, they fought on.

  • steve

    He shows more class then any of the unionist mayors ever have

  • Chris Donnelly

    Very good gesture by Tom Hartley- those feigning outrage by his act look pretty foolish, on here and elsewhere.

    Wonder will we look forward to similar outrage when unionist Mayors ‘boycott’ official/ unofficial commemmorations of those who died during the United Irish rebellion….

  • picador

    It’s like deja vu all over again.

  • kensei

    What exactly does this thread add the last one didn’t have? Isn’t Slugger’s bandwidth bill high enough or performance crappy enough already?

  • What exactly does this thread add the last one didn’t have?

    LOL – at least it’s not as bad as Mick’s thread on other bloggers telling him how clever he is (http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/thanks-for-the-links/).

    That one really made me wanna throw …

  • qubol

    Kensei: “What exactly does this thread add the last one didn’t have?”

    I think Pete is having one of his OCD moments.

  • earnan

    pointless thread, already done

  • T.Ruth

    A laurel wreath is not traditional or official for remembering the Somme sacrifice.. The remembrance services in Northern Ireland are British commemorations in their nature because the people who gave their lives like those at the Somme served in or side by side with the British Army .

    Nationalist/Republicans have spent generations trying to stop Northern Ireland from becoming a stable integrated inclusive society. They have sought to destroy its very fabric and now moan about everything to avoid acknowledging the reality that the Unionist people have as much right to be here and express their culture as anyone else.
    .
    Check out the War memorials around Ireland .They are very inclusive. I think we should honour anyone North or South, Protestant or Catholic, who fought against Franco or served in the Two Great Wars, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan. We must also honour all those who defended Catholic and Protestant alike in this part of the United Kingdom and Ireland against illegitimate armed fascist agression over the past forty years.
    A laurel wreath like a white poppy is a cop out. At a personal level I have a lot of respect for Hartley but he missed an opportunity here.
    Check out the long gallery in Dublin Castle-life size portraits of the Lords Lieutenant of Ireland still there in life size paintings, each frame surmounted by a crown. People in the South have become comfortable with their history and tradition. if our society is to mature like theirs we must all honour the War dead and especially those from North and South who died at the Somme in July 1916 when we had a united Ireland as part of the United Kingdom.Perhaps in November Tom hartley can manage to lay a trditional poppy wreath at the war Memorial.
    .
    “So we gather each November,
    Bow our heads as we remember,
    Stand in ranks in silence there,
    United in that silent prayer.
    And in token of that debt
    That we must never once forget,
    The hymns are sung,the lines are said
    The last post requiem is played,
    The wreaths of poppies deep blood red,
    With gentle reverence are laid
    In memory of these glorious ded.

  • ulsterfan

    It is not entirely pointless as it demonstrates the SF attitude to its own form of apartheid.
    SF –ourselves alone—–rejects all that is Unionist Protestant and British especially the Army RAF and Navy but embraces all that is Irish Catholic Gaelic and GAA.
    The freedom they have always enjoyed has in part been provided by those who made the supreme sacriface in two World Wars and yet they could not join their fellow citizens to pay respect.
    SF is indeed the biggest obstacle to a UI.

  • El Dorado

    Conas ta tu mo cairde!!
    If you live in 6 counties- put a tricolour over the part of your phone that says UK. I did it. Just make a tiny Irish tricolour and use cellotape to cover it. It’s these little things that count. I don’t live in the ‘UK’ and got tired of looking at my phone and it saying ‘UK’. Are you? SPREAD THE WORD!!!!!!!!!!!

    I also hold an Irish passport/ Yippeeeee!!!!!
    It’s funny that all north of Ireland protestants see themselves as English and yet the whole world sees the whole of Ireland as Ireland and the people as IRISH. All the immigrants refer to the north as ‘Ireland’ even who by the way mostly sympathise with the republican position. Accept your nationality or move to England…. Love it or leave it. Eireann go Bragh!!!!!!!!!

    I’m away to take me medication…won’t be back.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    Total agreement with all previous comments. Good on Hartley.

  • steve

    un T.ruth

    Nationalist/Republicans have spent generations trying to stop Northern Ireland from becoming a stable integrated inclusive society

    Name me a single time that unionism has ever tried to build integrated inclusive society?

    Albeit they did try to build a stable society, as long as those damn croppies knew ther place

    pathetic rewrite of history

  • ulsterfan

    Steve

    Perhaps you can provide one piece of legislation passed by the old Stormont which was discriminatory in favour of protestants.

  • … in favour of protestants.

    Huh? Who mentioned religion? Stormont was grossly biased in favour of unionism and the unionist ethos. It made no attempt whatsoever to be inclusive of the other tradition(s).

  • interested

    El Dorado
    “It’s funny that all north of Ireland protestants see themselves as English”

    You been on the troll juice again?

  • Dec

    ULsterfan

    Perhaps you can provide one piece of legislation passed by the old Stormont which was discriminatory in favour of protestants.

    It wasn’t so much the legislation introduced as how it was used and on whom. The Civil Authorities (Special Powers) Act (Northern Ireland) 1922 is a prime example.

  • ulsterfan

    Horseman

    Lets change the context and perhaps you can provide evidence to support your contention by quoting Legislation which discriminated against NATIONALISTS/REPUBLICANS.
    After all a Parliament is best judged by the laws it passed.
    Lets highlight those which were discriminatory.

  • ulsterfan,

    … perhaps you can provide evidence …

    Perhaps I can!

    But perhaps I’m not so stoopid as to fall for this old trick. Do your own research, read some books, spend some of your valuable time educating yourself, and then maybe you’ll be able to provide your own evidence.

  • ulsterfan

    Horseman

    I am not the person making the claim about discrimination and what form it takes and who is disadvantaged.
    I have indeed read a lot and carried out research so I do not need to follow your advice which I presume was a kindly thought on your part. Thank you.
    I do not know what you mean about a trap or trick. I assure you this was farthest from my mind!!!!!

  • The Devil

    What!!!!!!!!!!!

    That wreath was for the war dead!

    I thought it was for Robert McCartney and that’s why it was done early in the morning because they were so embarrassed.

  • Eireannach Saolta

    The veneration of the supposed glory of violence, murder and death by unionism or should I say Loyalism (Im not sure I know the difference)as an ideology never ceases to amaze me.

  • Pounder

    [i]The veneration of the supposed glory of violence, murder and death by unionism or should I say Loyalism (Im not sure I know the difference)as an ideology never ceases to amaze me.

    Posted by Eireannach Saolta on Jul 01, 2008 @ 08:41 PM[/i]

    Surely it’s the same difference that there is between Republicanism and Nationalism. The later aiming for the same goal while preferring to let the former do all the dirty work.

  • Pete Baker

    “Very good gesture by Tom Hartley..”

    Chris,

    He couldn’t really do less than Alex Maskey did six years ago in 2002.

    And given the party’s decision in 2004, it’s difficult for him to do more – even if he wanted to.

    As for those querying the existence of this post in the first place.

    Part of the Baconian method is to document every instance of relevance to a topic and note where it diverges, or agrees, with what’s gone before.

    Particularly important in an instance where we’re being invited to believe that this is an “very good gesture”.

    As Mick said in 2002

    “Mayor Maskey decides discretion is the better part of valor (for now at least) over the commemoration of the Somme in Belfast. It may be too soon for both his own and Unionist supporters in the City.”

    The SF Ard Fheis reaction in 2004 clearly indicates that that gesture then was too soon for some.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Pete

    Fascinating how this rankles with you, a sure sign that republicans have made a good move- oh, and good one about that ol’ Baconian method, had me in stitches…

    Hartley and Maskey before him have managed to find a way of showing respect for the deaths of Irishmen killed in British uniforms fighting an utterly futile war. The non-participation of republicans in official commemorations is only really an issue for those looking to be offended, as you have nicely illustrated.

  • Pete Baker

    “Fascinating how this rankles with you..”

    Chris,

    You have me confused with someone else. Where is the indication that this “rankles” with me?

    Beyond the attempt to portray a repetition of a six-year-old gesture as something other than a repetition of events, six years later?

    I note that you don’t refer to the 2004 Ard Fheis decision preventing Tom Hartley from doing anything more – even if he wanted to.

  • El Paso

    Re. “The Baconian method” and “as Mick said…” (how sweet!).

    In the absence of one of Mick’s trademark virtuous narratives on the ever gripping subject of Lord Mayorial kremlinology, would Sir Francis not conclude that the poor man is thoroughly bored with the subject?

    “…2004 Ard Fheis decision preventing Tom Hartley from doing anything more – even if he wanted to”.

    Presumably this was considered by those who voted Tom Hartley into the office.

  • LURIG

    This is just another example of the sickening, hypocritical, double standards that permeate the political & media world in the North. ALL we hear about on these blogs is how Republicans & Nationalists should be reaching out more to Unionism and recognising their British identity. Take a look around Belfast City Hall or a walk around Belfast itself. In a city where Catholics make up at least 50% of the population there is very little official recognisation of an Irish identity on Council properties. It’s Victoria this, Chichester that and now when Tom Hartley DOES lay a wreath he still gets pelters. When has a Unionist politician EVER recognised the long suffering Irish Nationalist population of Belfast OR commemorated the victims of Loyalist/British death squads? If I can remember Unionists proposed congratulations when Republicans were killed and didn’t a prominant member of the DUP call Alex Maskey ‘lead belly’ when he was shot by Unionist murder gangs? Unionists had no problem voting in the political representatives of the UVF & UDA WHEN both these terrorist organisations were murdering innocent Catholics & Protestants throughout the North. There wasn’t much concern or sympathy for Nationalist feelings then. This duplicity nauseates many of us.

  • 0b101010

    Hartley and Maskey before him have managed to find a way of showing respect for the deaths of Irishmen killed in British uniforms fighting an utterly futile war.

    From the same people that killed Irishmen with and without British uniforms while fighting an utterly futile war. It’s clear that is what rankles.

    I see the gesture as welcome progress, however minor, and personally would have expected much less before Maskey. The baby steps feel very petty for now but both sides can only run so far ahead of their base without putting more work into massaging them.

    Not that it would take that much work to more actively embrace, celebrate and commemorate the Irish involvement in the World Wars. It’s part of a mind share battle that the Republican movement should pay much more attention to, neutering the power and ownership Unionism claims over certain themes.

  • kensei

    Pete

    Part of the Baconian method is to document every instance of relevance to a topic and note where it diverges, or agrees, with what’s gone before.

    Does part of the Baconian method include repetition of the exact same thing twice without change? Because that strikes me as more like pork.

    You have also elevated a method to an ideology.

    As Mick said in 2002 –

    “Mayor Maskey decides discretion is the better part of valor (for now at least) over the commemoration of the Somme in Belfast. It may be too soon for both his own and Unionist supporters in the City.”

    Yes. Mick said. Not anyone from SF. Perhaps Alex Maskey didn’t decide on discretion; perhaps he decided he felt unable to participate in the “official” ceremony but wanted to do something. Perhaps the current mayor feels the same. It would certainly be in keeping with the principles of Irish republicanism, and it was a good gesture in 2002 and remains a good gesture now.

    That’d be “Method of Agreement”, btw.

  • El Paso

    0b101010

    No one in their right mind embraces and celebrates the massacres of WW1. Which political party to you suppose lays on the best celebration at this time of year?

  • Pete Baker

    “Does part of the Baconian method include repetition of the exact same thing twice without change?”

    Ken

    It’s the difference between noting an announcement of intention, and noting the action itself.

    And in between 2002 and 2008 there’s that 2004 Ard Fheis decision.

    “You have also elevated a method to an ideology.”

    Nope. Still a method.

    You might not like that method or, possibly, not accept its benefits. But it works for me.

  • Pete is flogging his anti republican dead horse again. In picking on the Lord Mayor, he’s picked on the wrong man. As usual. Tom Hartley is one of the more enlightened SF people, a politician who attended the Islandbridge commemoration before it was popular or profitable. He also took part in a Somme TV programme with David Ervine a few years ago. His gesture here honoured the war dead without getting bogged down in the unionist hypocrisy of it all. Their hijacking of the war dead for their own nefarious purposes dishonours the memory of the dead. As if any of these bowler hatted ceremonial sword waver would have the courage of their fore fathers – not likely….

  • 0b101010

    No one in their right mind embraces and celebrates the massacres of WW1. Which political party to you suppose lays on the best celebration at this time of year?

    Absolutely pointless side-stepping.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    T.Ruth

    A laurel wreath is a common commerative military wreath for the war dead.

    http://www.warmemorialsnsw.asn.au/traditions/laurel.cfm

    ….and I bet had the Lord Mayor of Belfast Tom Hartley has attended the ‘official’ ceremony and has presented a poppy wreath, Unionists no doubt would have been up in arms and protested at his presence.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    ….and I bet had the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Tom Hartley had attended the ‘official’ ceremony and had presented a poppy wreath, Unionists no doubt would have been up in arms and protested at his presence!

  • RepublicanStones

    All this commemoration stuff is grand if its put in context. There was no great evil in ww1 as there was in ww2. The west should also be more grateful to Russia, as it was the soviets who defeated the Nazi’s in WW2.

  • Pete Baker

    “In picking on the Lord Mayor, he’s picked on the wrong man.”

    Do pay attention, Concubhar.

    You’re constructing a straw man argument – “As usual.”

    Look again at the references to the 2004 SF Ard Fheis decision.

  • I also think that it’s about time that Unionist politicians began to show a little more respect to Irish history and culture, commensurate with the forbearance shown by nationalists/republicans to the things they hold dear. It doesn’t mean doing it in the same way as nationalists and republicans do it. Pete, if he had any sense, would see what was done by Tom Hartley and Alex Maskey before him as a positive without trying to cast it in a negative light, which is fairly obvious from his rather skewed intro.

  • The Raven

    Gosh gosh…all this talk of right and wrong and commemoration and honouring the dead….oh to have Harry Patch or Henry Allingham handy for ten minutes to get their take on whether or not Tom should be laying a wreath on his own or with a bunch of others.

    I’d say the observations of some of these discussions would be colourful.

    Fair play to Tom for going as far as he can or is allowed to.

    Concubhar, go easy with lines like “unionist hypocrisy”. It’s easy to say, but a bit of an insult to those of us who are from that community, but choose not to engage in the hypocrisy. Heat of the moment, and all that, I understand.

    Speaking of Harry, I always like this oft-quoted bit that he said a few years ago. Kinda brings it home:

    “It wasn’t worth it. No war is worth it. No war is worth the loss of a couple of lives let alone thousands. T’isn’t worth it…the First World War, if you boil it down, what was it? Nothing but a family row. That’s what caused it. The Second World War…Hitler wanted to govern Europe, nothing to it. I would have taken the Kaiser, his son, Hitler and the people on his side and bloody shot them. Out the way and saved millions of lives. T’isn’t worth it.

    “Opposite my bedroom there is a window and there is a light over the top. Now when the staff go into that room they put the light on. If I was half asleep the light coming on was the flash of a bomb. That flash brought it all back. For eighty years I’ve never watched a war film, I never spoke of it, not to my wife. For six years, I’ve been here [in the nursing home]. Six years it’s been nothing but World War One. As I say, World War One is history, it isn’t news. Forget it.”

  • Straw man argument my arse. It’s you playing the man here.

    I merely pointed out what Tom Hartley has done, in spite of all the objections, from his party and from the unionist parties. You’re just pissed off you’ve been caught at your usual games.

  • Pete Baker

    “which is fairly obvious from his rather skewed intro.”

    What’s inaccurate or skewed about the intro, Concubhar?

    “Pete, if he had any sense, would see what was done by Tom Hartley and Alex Maskey before him as a positive without trying to cast it in a negative light..”

    Ah, I see. I should be welcoming this six-year-old “very good gesture”.

    Sorry, Concubhar. I don’t do propaganda.

  • Pete Baker

    “I merely pointed out what Tom Hartley has done..”

    Actually, Concubhar, I’ve merely pointed out what Tom Hartley has done. And compared it to what has been done before.

  • Touchy aren’t you. I didn’t call what you do propoganda. You’re just wrong on this occasion, as you have been on others.

    I didn’t call it a good gesture – but it is better than the hypocritic gesture politics of the unionists. It’s a proper mark of respect. It being six years old doesn’t make it any less so. It’s consistent. A laurel wreath honours the dead without getting bogged down in the lousy symbolism of Unionist Poppy-cock.

  • PaddyReilly

    El Dorado

    Conas ta tu mo cairde!!

    What you actually mean is Conas tá sibh mo chairde.

    Another nail in the coffin of our language, I’m afraid.

  • Pete Baker

    “You’re just wrong on this occasion, as you have been on others.”

    Well, I make no claim to be infallible, Concubhar.

    And I’m sure you have a ready list of the times that I’ve been “just wrong”.

    “It’s consistent”

    Yep. With SF party policy, as set in 2004, following the reaction to Alex Maskey’s gesture in 2002.

  • El Paso

    0b101010
    You’re the one side stepping, old pal. Why nauseate readers with patronising twaddle about ’embracing and celebrating’ WW1 when nobody in their right mind would do such a thing. FFS!
    Can you point to anyone, apart from yourelf obviously, who thinks WW1 is something to be celebrated?

    Pete,

    it’s a shame you didn’t provide links to all your annual threads on the subject since 2002. Or does Baconian methodolgy only apply when the mood takes?

  • LURIG

    Concubhar.

    It’s beating your head off a brick wall here sometimes. The logic and sense of the points you make will NEVER penetrate the forcefield bigotry shield that veneers much of the Unionist/Loyalist mindset. Tom Hartley has done as much an anyone in the North to open up Nationalist/Republican minds, thinking & understanding of Unionism, particularly with respect to the history of Belfast. He acknowledges and respects ALL aspects of the Protestant heritage & tradition of the city when others would say it’s sectarian history should be more condemned than anything. His tours of the City Cemetary & Milltown attract visitors from all over and people would be surprised at just exactly who attends these. His knowledge is second to none. The fact that someone like Tom Hartley is still condemned says a lot. There are those who refuse to see ANY good in others. Unionists should reflect in their own shameful part in the conflict and the reasons for it. Recognising that 45% of the North are Irish would be a start. I won’t hold my breath and is there any chance of a bit more even handed coverage on Slugger, it’s turning into a Unionist whingefest!

  • paul kielty

    It is obvious that majority unionism does not want Irish people of a nationalist/republican ethos anywhere near their little shindig. The fact that many more Irishmen than themselves fought, were wounded, died, and won victoria cross medals in WW1, is totally ignored. It is time for an attempt at a totally honest reappraisal of the unsurpassed violent misery suffered by everyone on this island during that period.
    Are we mature enough to do this, without dragging in the twentieth century colonial wars?

  • paul kielty

    LURIG,

    Well said!

    For his knowledge on the local history of this city, he should be commended. Then again, anyone telling the history of predominately, the working classes in this city, are usually marginalised. Whereas, those telling the history of the (high brow) arts are revered.

  • The Raven

    Paul Kielty wrote: “Are we mature enough to do this?”

    Errr….no.

  • kensei

    Pete

    It’s the difference between noting an announcement of intention, and noting the action itself.

    No new information at all. Was there ever any doubt at all after the announcement that this is what would happen? No, there was not. Hartley going fuck it and attending the ceremony anyway: that would be news. Hartley saying I really wanted to go but SF prevented me: that would be news. It’s not even like there is a significant gap of time between the announcement and the event. There is no new content here. Zip, zilch, nada. Heard you the first time, and this is effectively spam.

    And in between 2002 and 2008 there’s that 2004 Ard Fheis decision.

    Yes. You said. On the last thread.

    It remains consistent with the Republican principles that led Alex Maskey not to attend in 2002 and Tom Hartley not to attend in 2008. Perhaps I’m wrong: maybe Tom really wanted to attend and was barred by SF policy. He doesn’t strike me as a man who would be held by it if that was what he really wanted to do, but in any case it is simply speculation. Not particularly scientific, Pete.

    As for

    I should be welcoming this six-year-old “very good gesture”.

    They have laid poppies in the official commemoration for many more than 6 years: I’m sure you still find it a welcome gesture. SF’s gesture was a good one at the time, and remains so now. It would be absurd for republicans to attend the “official” ceremony. If there is anything extra you think they can do short of that then by all means suggest something constructive. But sneering at what is an honest gesture should really be beneath you.

  • Grassy Noel

    It’s posts like this which makes me think a competitor set up to balance Slugger’s Newsletter-Bele Tele (on a bad day) editorial slant would be a very good thing.

    Hmmmm….

  • I have better things to be doing than listing the times Pete has been wrong, in my opinion, on issues. But he’s badly misjudged this one. Tom Hartley of SF is the wrong target for his ‘Oh My God, SF have boycotted the Official Somme Commemoration AGAIN’ rant.

    The boycott, it seems to me, was of the Unionist Commemoration. Their shindig seeks to wrap the dead of the UDR and the B Specials and all other discredited state paramilitary groups up with the slain of the Somme which taints the commemoration – which Pete wants Tom Hartley to attend – with sectarian bigotry. If that’s the test which has to be passed to get into the ‘club’ – then the ‘club’ isn’t worthy of membership…..

  • LURID

    “The fact that many more Irishmen than themselves fought, were wounded, died, and won victoria cross medals in WW1, is totally ignored.”

    “Today’s ceremony at the Peace Park was not just another journey down a well-travelled path. For much of the past eighty years, the very idea of such a ceremony would probably have been unthinkable.

    Those whom we commemorate here were doubly tragic. They fell victim to a war against oppression in Europe. Their memory too fell victim to a war for independence at home in Ireland.”

    MARY McALEESE 1998.

    There is no depth to THE DISGUSTING HYPOCRISY OF REPUBLICANS ON THIS BOARD. For 80 years the ONLY PEOPLE honouring the whole of the Irish sacrifice in WW1 were UNIONISTS and “WEST BRITS”.

  • bollix

    Someone asked to provide a link to Stormont legislation which discriminated against nationalists.
    Flags and Emblems (Display) Act (Northern Ireland) 1954. (now repealed)
    http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/hmso/fea1954.htm
    you can find it at the above link. (its not on the usual legal links as it has been long repealed)
    Its an offence to interfere with the display of the Union Jack. A police officer may require the removal of a provocative emblem / flag but the Union Jack is expressly excluded from being a provocative emblem.
    This legislation directly discriminates against nationalists – Unionists can fly their flag freely, Nationalists cannot do so.
    The legislation also indirectly discriminates against catholics as its effects will be more felt by catholics than by protestants.

    One of the earlier posters (T.ruth i think) has inadvertently set out precisely all those reasons why nationalists find themselves unable to take part in war commemorations – i think it is worthwhile to remember all those who died in WWI. however, for T.ruth’s commemorations, he wants to remember them in glory, and to add on all the other conflicts the UK army have been involved in and to wrap it all up with a red white and blue bow.
    Even some within deepest england are unhappy with the “glorious dead” approach to war commemorations, preferring instead to remember the futility that war is.

  • There is no depth to THE DISGUSTING HYPOCRISY OF REPUBLICANS ON THIS BOARD. For 80 years the ONLY PEOPLE honouring the whole of the Irish sacrifice in WW1 were UNIONISTS and “WEST BRITS”.

    Point made and taken, Lurid. However Tom Hartley was even ahead of Mary McAleese in his recognition of the sacrifice of the Irish who fell in WWI -he attended, if memory serves, the Islandbridge event in 1995 or 1996.

    It would also be worth remembering that when, for instance, James Magennis won a VC in WW2, his achievement was ignored until recently by unionists in Belfast City Hall because he was a Catholic…..

  • LURID

    GOOD POINT!

    There is no depth to THE DISGUSTING HYPOCRISY OF UNIONISTS ON THIS BOARD!

    When John Redmond raised the Irish Volunteers he proposed to Kitchener that the colours for the 10th and 16th should be an uncrowned Gold Harp on a green field. Ireland would have her own colours and divisions as had the Australians, Canadians and New Zealanders.

    Kitchener refused! To his credit Lloyd George pointed to Kitchener’s disgraceful behaviour at the time.

    The 36th were permitted by Kitchener to fly the. Ulster banner.

    DISGRACEFUL DISCRIMINATION!

    Tom Hartley has provided a laurel wreath in the manner of Irish remembrance in a manner commensurate with that of the dignified (and rather touching) ceremony at Dublin’s memorial gradens or of the presentation of a fir wreath at the Ulster Tower by senior officer of Ireland’s defence forces.

    Tom Hartley is an Irish politician serving in Ireland. He is not an ambassador to Britain. He is not required to slavishly follow the British format for remembrance. He is right to follow an Irish one.

    It might help if the Royal British Legion rebranded as the Irish Legion aussie style, (at least for WW1 & WW2 events.)

    GOD BLESS TOM HARTLEY AND ALL WHO SAIL IN HIM!

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Should it not be ” Conas atá sibh, a chairde” ie Vocative case. The posessive adjective is not used.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    As many learned commenters have said, this is a public show of loyalty by the unionist colony – nothing to do with remembering ‘our glorious dead'(including the ‘glorious’ sectarian murderers in the UDR/RUC)Who wants Taigs to attend such an Orangefest?

  • LURID

    “As many learned commenters have said, this is a public show of loyalty by the unionist colony – nothing to do with remembering ‘our glorious dead’(including the ‘glorious’ sectarian murderers in the UDR/RUC)Who wants Taigs to attend such an Orangefest?”

    Surely, when the UDR or RUC are remembered it is those who did not fall to the temptation to respond in kind to republicanism’s worst excesses who are honoured, not those (few) who disgraced their uniform and their mission.

    Maybe not. Maybe all those evil prods are so depraved that they’re standing by the cenotaph secretly glorying in the murder of innocents at the hands of their jackbooted stormtroopers!

    “the unionist colony”

    A sweet discription. Send ’em back where they came from!

  • Pancho’s Horse

    I didn’t mention prods – many pro Brit Catholics lend an air of respectability to these functions but NO Nationalists or Republicans attend. I was under the impression that ALL UDR/RUC who fell in the struggle were remembered and consequently all native Irish who died at the hands of the British and their running dogs ‘got what they deserved’.This is a British colonial outpost hankering back to the ‘mainland’ so they are a unionist colony.

  • willowfield

    Keep ’em comin’, Pancho. Keep ’em comin’.

  • Running Dog

    ‘got what they deserved’

    Care to source that quote Pancho?

  • Reader

    Pancho’s Horse: I was under the impression that ALL UDR/RUC who fell in the struggle were remembered…
    As are all of the Tommies etc. who fell in WW1 and WW2. Presumably no-one assumes that all of those million or so dead were saints. We remember the sacrifice, and leave individual judgement to someone a bit more omniscient.
    You would assume that the brutes and vicious zealots among your political idols aren’t representative of the rest, and you wouldn’t demean your goodies by concentrating on the unnamed minority at Easter, would you?
    Of course, there is still room for us to argue about what I think of the majority of rebels or provos, and what you think of the majority of the RUC, UDR etc.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Aah, willowfield, I feared that you had retired. Running Dog, that wasn’t a quote, hence no quotation marks. But how about”We don’t call it Bloody Sunday, we call it Good Sunday” Mayor of Coleraine?

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Reader, the majority of the ‘tommies’ may indeed have been good decent men but their job was to annihilate the Nazi/German menace by fair means or foul. Likewise, the ABC Specials and their offshoots the sectarian RUC/UDR whose job it was to cleanse the 6 counties of the republican menace. This does not entitle them to be included in ‘our glorious dead’. This commemoration is more of a ‘rub the Fenians nose in it’ than remembrance of our brave boys. Anyway, it’s a british thing so who cares?

  • Reader

    Pancho’s Horse: Likewise, the ABC Specials and their offshoots the sectarian RUC/UDR whose job it was to cleanse the 6 counties of the republican menace.
    That wasn’t in the job description. The RUC had the same role as the Garda – a role that brought them both into conflict with the IRA, and brought the RUC into conflict the Loyalist alphabet soup too. Loyalist murders were more likely to result in convictions than republican ones. And the UDR was set up in response to the 1969 Hunt report which saw the need for an armed force under Army, not local, command. Under the circumstances, I will certainly give any member of either, past or future, living or dead, the benefit of the doubt until I know more about them as an individual.
    But for republicans, doctrine suffices as a motive for collective hate – the organisation that justified blowing up a van load of plasterers before and after the fact, at Teebane – has come a long way to get Maskey and Hartley anywhere near the Cenotaph. A step too far for some republicans, of course.