UDA not meeting GAA

Loyalist leaders including Jackie McDonald were due to attend a meeting in the West Belfast Patrick Sarsfield GAA club. This meeting was organised by the organisation Standing Northern Ireland Peace Process (SNIPP). The GAA club, however, cancelled the visit by the loyalists making the following comments:“Our priority remains with young people of Patrick Sarsfield and the prospect of a security and media presence at our premises clashes with various games and activities being hosted.”

The club added that it also had worries about the people invited to attend the function and felt uncomfortable with an alleged paramilitary leader coming to the club.

“We feel it is too sensitive an issue given the murders and treatment of GAA members at the hands of loyalist paramilitaries.

We fully support cross-community initiatives and the club is used regularly by various individuals and groups but with reference to the publicity surrounding this event, numerous families and individuals whose loved ones were murdered have contacted us.

We feel that to host this event now would be insensitive to all concerned.

We realise that events such as this are paramount in the building of a new dispensation and the community should be engaged in dialogue.

This event was organised without our full knowledge or consent and we hope now that the matter shall be closed.”

This decision by the GAA club is to be applauded; just as no matter how well intentioned, SNIPP’s actions should be criticised. The GAA are quite correct to note that many members of the GAA and the broader nationalist community were murdered by the organisations which Mr. McDonald and his cohorts claim to be leaders of. Unlike the UDA the GAA is a legal organisation and whatever criticisms some may have of it: it was not set up purely to murder people and, in stark contrast to the UDA, does make a significant and valid contribution to Northern Irish society.

Of course what Mr. McDonald and co are indulging in is an attempt to paint themselves as the leaders of working class unionism rather than unelected and unelectable parasites upon them. Mr. McDonnell and co are desperate to achieve any form of legitimate relevance within Northern Irish society: something they have always conspicuously lacked. As such they are more than happy to meet with practically anyone: be it Mary McAleese, working class nationalists, the DUP or anyone else so foolish as to meet them. In this case talking to these people is actively dangerous as it might give some, even microscopically thin veneer of respectability and legitimacy to these individuals and, hence, to the criminal organisations which they front.

Some within the working class nationalist community may well wish to reach out a hand of friendship or mutual respect to working class unionist communities. Such initiatives are again entirely laudable. However, the UDA do not represent anything other than the oppressors of working class unionists. Whilst the alphabet soup may no longer murder Roman Catholics (except of course young Mr. Devlin and Ms. Dorrian): they continue to blight the lives of working class Protestants and are, no doubt, quite happy to similarly afflict the lives of anyone of any class and creed whom they can suck into drug dependency and, hence, line their own pockets.

Apart from the loyalists, the others who need to be castigated in this are the likes of Mr. McCorry of SNIPP who said “I believe it’s a genuine attempt by them to move forward and I’ve been impressed by what they are saying.” The levels of naivety in such a statement are so colossal as to be unbelievable and one is left wondering to what extent Mr. McCorry actually can believe such a thing and whether in reality he is simply trying to grab headlines for his own organisation. Fortunately the GAA seem unwilling to be as utterly foolish. They have, by rebuffing Mr. McDonald and his ilk, done much more for working class unionists than Mr. McDonald will ever do. Following his rebuff Mr McDonald has promised that the UDA “won’t be found wanting” and is “committed to this sharing process.” Of course the UDA have repeatedly been found wanting of any trace of usefulness or commitment to anything other than criminality. Everyone knows what they should do: give up their guns and go away. However, expecting them to do that would be to be as naïve as Mr. McCorry.

  • ggn

    “the West Belfast Patrick Sarsfield GAA club”

    Bit more research needed.

    D+

  • Turgon

    Fine ggn: tell me where it is / where I am incorrect and I will change the blog accordingly.

  • ggn

    Turgon,

    Humble apologies, I am totally wrong!

    Must be fatigue, or perhaps a hint of arrogance.

    Sorry!

  • Turgon

    No offence taken

  • yingyangsang

    “We feel that to host this event now would be insensitive to all concerned. ”


    no blame.This is just life.

  • Late Night Mayo Fan

    So this is my story that for some reason I feel compelled to tell on this thread. I went on-line to have a virtual look at where I will be sitting tomorrow in Croker, the preceding events which granted me the pleasure of this I find quite funny and would like to share in a gloating but friendly sort of way!

    So finished work yesterday, Friday at five, was in pub at six, pints, Chinese food and home to bed by ten.
    Sorry enough head on Saturday, off to the beach one of the hottest days we have had in months, then put in two hours of really clean West of Ireland Atlantic surfing, said feck it, “go for a Guinness après surfing”. So sipping the said pint and get chatting and manage to score a ticket to the All-Ireland, checked it out I am sitting in the Hogan upper.

    What’s so funny about all this is that I had no intention of going. I reasoned that in my life time it is only physical possible to see say, eighty to one hundred All-Irelands and plus the weather is going to be great and the added bonus of been able to get a train down to Dublin and thus enabling me to dink Pints ! The Last yahoo of the so called Summer.

    Feel free to relocate my drunken ramblings to a thread about the match, actually why was their no rant thread about the match ?
    10 Points to anyone who is still reading this:) Loaded typing. Great fun.

    I suppose I should address the points that are made above. It is plain to see to any right thinking person that Jackie McDonald is just a gangster in a suit. People there are loads of these people in every city in the world. The one small difference due to history and other factors Jackie McDonald has a bit of a bonus in the form of a fiefdom .

    Now how you address this a mere mortal like me can’t figure but I am off to Croker, so come on Mayo and I will be shouting for Tyrone (Senior) as I hate Kerry with a passion, they are nothing but animals. Good Night one and all I have a Train to catch at seven.

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    Well despite the cancellation, at least it is a start of sorts, who would ever consider such organisations recognizing each other 20 years ago.

    Regarding the All-Ireland final tomorrow at Croker, I hope all the Unionist folk of Northern Ireland will tune in to BBC2 NI and cheer on their fellow Ulstermen of Tyrone. (OK, Man U is playing Chelsea as well, and a lot of folk on the island will be watching that as well) But regarding watching the All-Ireland final, that includes yourself Turgon, unless your religious beliefs may prevent you from doing so on a Sunday. At least say a prayer then for Tyrone and all us sinners!

    From a Dub, here’s to the Red Hand of Ulster and the County of Tyrone tomorrow…..Owen’s County amarach!

    Tir Eoghan abú!

    Sláinte, Good Health to all, Cheers!

  • LURIG

    It’s a tough one to call Greagoir. If Kerry play as well as they can I fear for Tyrone but then again I said the same against Dublin. As for some of our Unionist friends well their hypocrisy stinks to the high heavens AGAIN and it’s NO wonder many Nationalists are losing faith in so called ‘shared government’ which is proving to be anything but. The biggest Unionist/Loyalist cheerleaders who come on EVERY year and lecture Catholics about ‘equality’ ‘shared space’ ‘tolerance’ etc in respect Loyalist/Orange flags over the Twelfth are the SAME ones who object to TOTALLY inoffensive Tyrone football flags. These narrow minded bigots call on Nationalists to live and let live over JULY 12th parades which openly laud Loyalist paramilitaries and whose Orange Lodges are stuffed full of ex-prisoners BUT rush to Talkback if Nationalists DARE to express their culture. It is the rotten stinking illegal Frankenstein Northern State showing it’s true colours ONCE AGAIN! If BOTH Nationalist parties had ANY moral fibre OR principle left they wouldn’t give the Stormont monster ANY legitimacy. However they have taken the silver trinkets and have condemned the long suffering Nationalist community to another generation of bigoted Unionist/Loyalist rule. Mock rage and indignation from Sinn Fein and the SDLP about Unionist misrule and intransigence fools no one. They have made their bed. What did they expect? The illegal gerrymandered northern statelet should NOT be given ANY legitimacy or recognition by Nationalist politicians.

  • Driftwood

    I’m waiting on Chelsea to win for an 8 timer and £1300. But a Tyrone victory will mean I’m not the only one in late, lunchtime, on Monday.

  • I can see how the GAA might be uncomfortable with paramilitaries (of the Loyalist persuasion), but really: “the prospect of a security and media presence at our premises clashes with various games and activities being hosted.”

    Just what sort of activities were they planning that would clash with a security presence?

  • PeaceandJustice

    Turgon, you missed one major point. The GAA club said “We feel it is too sensitive an issue given the murders and treatment of GAA members at the hands of loyalist paramilitaries.”

    The GAA is an organisation which glorifies murder gangs – as long as they are Sinn Fein PIRA/INLA murderers. It allows its grounds to be used by such gangs. At least they are being honest i.e. they are saying to Protestants: we don’t care about your sensitivities or the fact that the people we celebrate murdered your family and friends.

    What Tom Elliott recently said about the GAA in Fermanagh is valid for the GAA across NI “It is clearly much more than [a sporting organisation]. Along with many other rules, like flying the Irish Tricolour and playing the Irish National Anthem at all games, wherever they are held, along with the on and off field intimidation of Protestant players leaves many people from the Protestant or Unionist community feel that the game or sport in this organisation is just a small part of it and the wider Irish republicanism product plays a much larger part of it .. the underlying ethos of the organisation cannot be ignored. I had received a number of comments from my constituents clearly upset at the continual ‘in your face’ antics of the Fermanagh GAA supporters during recent weeks.

    “That is why some of these people were saying to me that they would prefer that Fermanagh would lose in order to halt this constant barrage of Fermanagh GAA hype, which had at least an anxiety factor but often leading to what was a sense of intimidation, particularly in the workplace. This is coupled with most of these work places not allowing a Poppy to be worn in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday or the employees just being too afraid to do so, but GAA tops being a common feature to be worn.

    “However I must warn that while most people from my community have a respect and tolerance for the GAA and those who wish to participate in it, we will not accept any intimidation. There is more to Fermanagh than just the Fermanagh GAA.

    “Therefore, it may be helpful for that group to more carefully consider its approach with their fellow county citizens in future important GAA events”

  • Is SNIPP a London-Dublin endorsed loyalist and republican paramilitary collective?

  • Essentialist

    I am totally compelled by Turgon’s argument supporting the decision to cancel this non-event. It is right and proper that “Our priority remains with young people of Patrick Sarsfield and the prospect of a security and media presence at our premises clashes with various games and activities being hosted.”
    These sensitivities must be contrasted with the imposed coalition of government representatives at Stormont who can visit any place they like including schools without protest, sanction or reference to their previous activity as convicted terrorists.
    As PeaceandJustice pointed out above “The GAA is an organisation which glorifies murder gangs – as long as they are Sinn Fein PIRA/INLA murderers. It allows its grounds to be used by such gangs.”

    That McDonald and Gallagher were willing to attend such a venue only reinforces their naivety stupidity and lack of political awareness. For the GAA to feign ignorance of the event is insulting to clear thinking Protestants.

    The veto on pain and suffering does not rest solely within the nationalist community nor nationalist organisations.

    Out of interest have the GAA club suggested a substitute venue for the meeting in keeping with their familiar pc diatribe “We realise that events such as this are paramount in the building of a new dispensation and the community should be engaged in dialogue.”?

    Or have the helpful GAA given the last rites and kiss of death?

  • Ellie

    LURIG with regards to the 12th celebrations –
    “These narrow minded bigots call on Nationalists to live and let live over JULY 12th parades which openly laud Loyalist paramilitaries and whose Orange Lodges are stuffed full of ex-prisoners BUT rush to Talkback if Nationalists DARE to express their culture.” The same if not more could be said about Sinn Fein aka the IRA in a suit but yet the Unionist / Protestant people have to tolerate our Deputy First Minister (and other Sinn Fein members) openly stating that he was a member of the IRA and would he willingly have killed every police or soldier (can’t remember which off hand) in Londonderry on “Bloody Sunday” so I ask what is the difference?

  • RepublicanStones

    Im sure most Sluggerites will be cheering us Red Hands today, unless of course your a monarchist in which case you’ll probably have your toes crossed for the Kingdom. Should be a great match, even with all them september gaels snaping up the tickets 🙁

  • Rory

    Driftwood,

    Being a Gooner, a draw or a Man U win would suit me best today yet I would hate to see you lose your bet merely for the satisfaction of staying top of the league especially since I am confident that even with a Chelsea win we will soon be back on top anyhoo.

    My Gaelic heart will of course be with Tyrone and not to forget.. that was a very well balanced post, Turgon and one that was alert to the sensibilities of both communities whatever of blinkered comments that it has engendered from the usual suspects.

  • Sneakers O’Toole

    Nice post Turgon.

    I do think nationalists in West Belfast should listen to the UDA speakers at some point- it can’t be a bad thing to understand the “other side’s” motivation a bit better.

    Regarding the people getting their knickers in a twist about some GAA supporter’s/Orangemen’s/whatever’s bigoted behaviour, try to remember what country you are in.

    Any large organisation in this country is gonna be chockablock full of arseholes, because the country is chockablock full of arseholes. C’est la vie.

    Take a depp breath; instead of getting wound up at every goddamn post.

    C’mon Tyrone & Man U. Give us a nice double.

  • Glencoppagagh

    Turgon
    I think you are doing little more here than articulating the statist mentality of rural unionism and reflecting their insinctive distaste for people who don’t go to church, have irregular domestic arrangements and enjoy alcohol as well as illegal stimulants.
    This statist mentality is crudely that killing is never wrong so long as it is carried out by people in uniform who are getting paid for their trouble and if the state’s security forces had been doing their job properly, more IRA men would have been killed. Those paramilitaries had no business killing people when they weren’t being paid to do it.

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    It was too much to hope for, wasn’t it? I thought you were introducing this topic with a few sentences. Then i clicked on the link. Oh dear. Not only are you typically overstating your moral indignation (again) with terms such as: “Apart from the loyalists, the others who need to be castigated in this are…”

    The War is over. The IRA have stopped killing people although I suspect that that fact is not received with unalloyed joy by some who like to wallow in their victim status. Personally I’m surprised McDonald was knocked back. These meetings are going on all the time to the point that they I fail to see the news value of them. Loyalists have been going to the Feile for years – what’s the big deal?

    But whatever the merits of this little spat “castigating” anyone from a holier-than-thou perspective is just self-indulgent rubbish and grandstanding. Wise up.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    notmyopinion

    “We feel it is too sensitive an issue given the murders and treatment of GAA members at the hands of loyalist paramilitaries.”

    “the prospect of a security and media presence at our premises clashes with various games and activities being hosted.”

    “[i]Just what sort of activities were they planning that would clash with a security presence?”[/i]

    It’s not the Mairead Farrell (IRA/Sinn Fein murderer) Camogie tournament, or the Michael McVerry (IRA/Sinn Fein murderer) Cup, or the Gerard and Martin Harte (IRA/Sinn Fein murderers) Cup, so it must be the current all-Ireland celebrations of IRA intelligence chief Sam Maguire.

  • Turgon

    Sneakers O,Toole,
    The reason I disagree with you re nationalists meeting the UDA is that by so doing they are not really understanding “the other side.” They will be meeting and without meaning to, giving some vestige of legitimacy to the tiny minority in the working class unionist community who once thought that murdering them (nationalists) was an excellent idea and who now continue to keep illegal weapons and commit criminal acts against working class unionists (and others).

    The UDA are desperate for some semblance of genuine and acceptable relevance: they should be give no such relevance.

    billie-joe Remarkable,
    If the “war is over” why do the UDA need weapons? They do need weapons at least in part because the war they are fighting is far from over. That war is to provide themselves with money and power and in that their enemies are all reasonable and law abiding people in Northern Ireland and their main victims are the working class unionist communities they continue to hold in thralldom.

  • ggn

    Perhaps the GAA should wait until Mr McDonald can come back with a mandate from the loyalist community before giving him a platform.

    However given I made a complete eejit outof mesel at the start of this thread, nevermin the likes of me.

  • truth and justice

    Turgon

    Just curious are you a church going man?

  • As a corkman, I’ll be cheering heartily for our ulster brothers againts those sneaky arrogant bastards from kerry. I know they sound like us and their our neighbours, but they’re the epitome of sneaky, cute hoorism and an insufferable shower of arrogant f—-rs. Come on tir eoghain. Oh and f— those loyalist rednecks like p&j;, paranoid redneck bigots. A tough choice, in a hypothetical match of Kerry versus a bunch of uber unionists who hate everything to do with Irish culture, what a decision, like firing squad or hanging. I’ll stave off a decision on who I’ll support. Tir Eoghain abu, bring the cup back to the six counties.

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    The war is over. I guess the UDA keeps guns as leverage in their own community (shouldn’t Unionist politicians be doing something about that or is it only the IRA weapons that worry them?) and perhaps because they still believe, incorrectly, that “the weapons are our mandate”. It is a side issue. No-one said it would be a smooth process or that everyone involved would be as morally pure as yourself.

    My point is the holier-than-thou Unionist attitude to guns (except when it suits them to dabble in gun-related activity a la Paisley and the current first minister) which yu seem to think allows you to sit arms folded demanding that everything be done your way.

    That you think the world is waiting for you to decide who gets “castigated” is laughable. McDonald might be a murderous cunt but the situation is such that we all – you included Turgon -created monsters like him. So please, criticise him if you must but try to keep some perspective and go easy on the fundamentalist rhetoric, eh?

  • Turgon

    billie-Joe Remarkable,
    Firstly neither I nor you created McDonald: he made his own decisions to be what he is.

    Secondly by entreating with him all anyone does: be they the GAA, DUP, churches etc, etc. and whatever their motives; they give him relevance and at least some semblance of legitimacy. Such legitimacy at a time when he and his cohorts continue to prey upon the working class unionist communities they control is utterly inappropriate.

    These people need to be utterly and completely isolated and everyone should call for more effective police action against them.

    Any form of entreaty with them merely allows them to cling to some semi relevance. These people need to be treated as they are: nothing more than Mafia style organised criminals. They need to be hounded into prison: not invited to dialogue.

  • Lurig: “It is the rotten stinking illegal Frankenstein Northern State showing it’s true colours ONCE AGAIN!”

    Illegal? What laws does the very existence of Northern Ireland breach, again?

    Aren’t you slightly over-egging the pudding?

  • PeaceandJustice

    Turgon, many Pan-Nationalists support a self-confessed Sinn Fein PIRA murder gang member i.e. the DFM. Therefore any “disgust” from them at members of the UDA being accepted into normal debating circles is more to do with sectarianism than morals. I appreciate that you are coming at it from a different angle i.e. none of these organisations had any right to cause murder and mayhem. The reality is that the majority of Roman Catholics see it differently by voting for people proud of their involvement in murder, torture and bombings.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    You’ll probably not believe this but I drove past a UDA pub earlier today and there were Tyrone flags flying everywhere.

  • thewaitingroom

    Surely this post should be titled “GAA not meeting UDA”

  • borderline

    Turgon,

    you say of the UDA:

    “These people need to be utterly and completely isolated”

    A sincere belief, but a stupid wish.

    Unfortunately, all these folk who need to be isolated are part of the community. A community which contains individuals who do not have moral block walls.

    Give us an example of a group in our history who have ever been “utterly and completely isolated”.

    The UDA exist and have to be dealt with.

  • POL

    When are the plods going to move in on their weapons dumps.Seeing as they have already stated that they know where they are.

  • matalan

    Just a point the Irish News ran this story all last week and yet when Slugger finally covers it you post a link to the Newsletters follow up of it. Was there a reason for that?
    And I think the GAC should have allowed the event to go ahead what is there to fear from dialouge.

  • BfB

    Aren’t you slightly over-egging the pudding?

    These old world descriptors are brilliant…

  • Tazia Doll

    “I do think nationalists in West Belfast should listen to the UDA speakers at some point- it can’t be a bad thing to understand the “other side’s” motivation a bit better. ”

    The UDA didn’t feel understood, and most of the time they didn’t care. I’ve never really thought they had joined up politics. I’ve never known what to say to them.

    I use to install PA equipment & stuff in their clubs, and that moment, when you’d finished with the device(s), this is really silly, I use to think, “they don’t need me any more”