“You’re not one of those, are you?”

Former Limavady Presbyterian Minister, David Armstrong, has been featured prominently in the media this week, as The Irish News in particular have followed up on the decision of Limavady unionist councillors to block moves to give the Freedom of the Borough to the now Anglican Minister with a series of articles in which Armstrong speaks of his memories of that dark period in his life. Amongst his revelations is the news that then Archbishop of Armagh, Cardinal O’Fiach, provided him with money to help relocate his family and continue his studies. Armstrong is also firmly of the opinion that the Orange Order were implicated in his treatment 25 years ago and again more recently through the actions of the unionist councillors in Limavady.

  • frustrated democrat

    I have absolutely no time for the things that happened to David Armstrong, in fact I support what he did and wish more had done the same over the last 30 years.

    However I am not sure that it has a bearing on being given Freedom of the Borough which is normally reserved for those with a life time of service to an area. Can someone explain the exact reasoning for the proposed award?

  • Pancho’s Horse

    To poke themmuns in the eye. Long live the revolutionary stoops.

  • lorraine

    frustrated democrat

    whatever the reason the effect was certainly spectacular with unionism again showing itself to be as entrenched in the animosities of the past as ever

  • Limavady

    …and it appears they walked on in through the open door, so admirably left ajar by Cllr Coyle.

    Or was it Alderman Dallat, who seems to forget that he is a Councillor over in Coleraine, another place where acceptance is the norm? But let’s not bash the whole population, as was the custom on this site a few weeks ago. And let’s not for a second have a squint at what goes on in Kilrea.

    But back to the subject in hand. The SDLP has been losing ground to Sinn Fein for ages in Limavady. So every opportunity to win back a few votes has to be taken. There was nothing genuine about this Freedom of the Borough motion. It was, as usual, a wee stunt.

    Ask any person in the area who’s just lost their job. What would YOU like to see your local councillors debating? Freedom of the Borough, or how to convince Invest Northern Ireland to get some investment back in the area. Sure, wouldn’t the Freedom thing win every time?

    Well wouldn’t it?

    And what’s the outcome? A borough that has lost 1000 jobs over the past year, very rural, always playing second fiddle to its larger neighbours in terms of virtually every kind of investment, gets dragged backwards through the hedge of indignation, while people like Chris, here, refuse to focus on more important issues affecting that area.

    But sure, why bother? The blog above is much more entertaining than asking other pertinent questions.

  • frustrated democrat

    lorraine

    Was he resonably entitled to freedom of the borough? are there normal criteria? did he meet them?

    Is there a list of previous recipents and the reason for their grants?

    Unless we judge the decision against those answers we are guilty of the lynch mob mentality of those who want to convict without reason.

    Maybe he was entitled and maybe he wasn’t I don’t know but I would like to find out

    Do you know the answers?

  • Chris Donnelly

    Limavady

    Nice try. Age-old tactic, the ‘haven’t we much better things to discuss’ line.

    Doesn’t really work, though, does it……Logical conclusion being let’s not discuss anything short of resolving world poverty and global peace.

  • Chris Donnelly

    frustrated democrat

    What we do know is that those councillors voting against the move steadfastly refused to justify their actions, their ‘dumb’ strategy actually speaking volumes in this case.

  • HeadTheBall

    Why could those Limavady lamebrains not simply have coupled it with a proposal to honour similarly a former British Army commander in the area for heroic service against PIRA murderers and see what Coyle et al made of that?

  • frustrated democrat

    CD

    I take it you are not interested to know the answers, just to jump to conclusions that suit your purpose.

    Does anyone in Limavady have the answers?

  • Sam Graham

    What a load of old cobblers.

    If the Protestant people of Limavady don’t want to recognise that David Armstrong’s ecumenical relations reflects their convictions then that is their prerogative. It disgusts me that we all have to buy into the ecumenical politically correct mainstream as a matter of right.

    The UUP and DUP have stated they were opposed to any physical intimidation of Armstrong so what is the big deal here. HYPOCRISY doesn’t even come close to describe the action of the SDLP and SF here. Considering the butchered remains of Protestant civilians and off duty UDR men in the borough, they have nothing to be proud off. Let us see how far they have moved on by a Freedom of the Borough for all the IRA victims of terror. Then we can consider the helples, principled Mr Armstrong with his Oxbridge Anglican degree funded by the SF Cardinal and murder apologist, O’Fiach!

    At least Armstrong is alive and well! At least Mad Marty was able to bury his mother in peace today in Buncrana – a basic human right he denied thousands of sons across this land.

  • finn

    Regardless of the SDLP reasons for raising this motion, posters on this thread have once again shown what normal people are up against in NI, sad to see that in 2008 so many people are stuck with the concept of Roman Catholic=IRA

    I think this thread gives a good indication of what people like the Rev Armstrong faced back than and how far a lot of people have yet to travel.

    Also.

    “Former Limavady Presbyterian Minister, David Armstrong”

    I believe the “Rev David Armstrong” is his correct title, however, for most posters here I’m guessing its “Mr David Armstrong”

    On a brighter (and even sadder) note the Rev also said he had received support from a senior member of the DUP at the time, brighter that it happened, sad that even today he feels he can’t release his name.

  • Comrade Stalin

    If the Protestant people of Limavady don’t want to recognise that David Armstrong’s ecumenical relations reflects their convictions then that is their prerogative. It disgusts me that we all have to buy into the ecumenical politically correct mainstream as a matter of right.

    It’s a little word called “tolerance”. It means that you can respect someone’s views, and their achievements, without having to agree with them. Society works when we give some, and expect to receive it in return. Society breaks down when people refuse to show a little leeway. I’m sure you are disgusted by the idea that sectarianism of this kind of considered political correctness, but that just shows us that the problem isn’t anything to do with the man at the centre of this argument.

    The UUP and DUP have stated they were opposed to any physical intimidation of Armstrong so what is the big deal here.

    The UUP and DUP stated that they were opposed to terrorism, yet the leaders of both in the past have held talks with people like Billy Wright. What does that tell you ? Don’t worry, I don’t expect you to answer that. You people never do.

  • Reader

    Comrade Stalin: The UUP and DUP stated that they were opposed to terrorism, yet the leaders of both in the past have held talks with people like Billy Wright. What does that tell you ?
    Well, John Hume, when leader of the SDLP, met the IRA army council. What does that tell you?
    In each case, doesn’t it depend on context – i.e. what they were talking about, and why?

  • Sam Graham

    “It’s a little word called “tolerance”. It means that you can respect someone’s views, and their achievements, without having to agree with them. Society works when we give some, and expect to receive it in return. Society breaks down when people refuse to show a little leeway. I’m sure you are disgusted by the idea that sectarianism of this kind of considered political correctness, but that just shows us that the problem isn’t anything to do with the man at the centre of this argument.”

    Sorry – you are off the deep end here!

    No one is asking for David Armstrong to be burned at the stake. He is entitled to his views and the majority of Limavady Unionism including his own Church are against them. Why cannot we tolerate their rights also? If I am a Conservative, no one expects me to say I am a Socialist just because it would “look good” or be politically correct.

    If I believe the Roman Catholic Faith is different from mine, then I am entitled to do so. That is the essence of tolerance and a basic human right. This whole thread and debate is about suppression of basic rights not upholding them.

    As for your DUP/UUP quip, I am not a member or supporter but as far as I know the only person who ever met Wright was McCrea and that as a constituent when his life was threatened by the UVF. You clearly have more evidence so please give us evidence. It is far removed from the Pope sending Boby Sands a golden crucifix for support on his hunger strike suicide!

  • x

    Personally I thought all Christians and particularly clergymen were working not for earthly glory but for a reward that will not pass away.

    Therefore, a truly humble Christian would refuse any earthly gong for what was a simple act of Christian charity.

    The forore and political games being played by all sides moves the simple act of Christian charity into a political game – discrediting all involved.

    Maybe all those invoved and I stress all those involved should learn to forgive and forget. THat would be another simple act of Christian Charity

  • The Watchman

    “The UUP and DUP stated that they were opposed to terrorism, yet the leaders of both in the past have held talks with people like Billy Wright. What does that tell you ? Don’t worry, I don’t expect you to answer that. You people never do.”

    Actually we do, Comrade Stalin, but we just get bored when you challenge us to repeat it afresh every few weeks.

  • “No one is asking for David Armstrong to be burned at the stake”

    just in passing – I read recently that in Lewis they annually burn the pope….

    interesting…..

  • sorry that would Lew’e’s of course… east sussex

  • David Camerons Tories are keepin a very low profile on this.It would be interesting to hear their views on the behaviour of their prospective merger partners.
    Does David really want to drag his party down to the level of ulster unionist neanderthals.

    David be very afraid,very afraid!!!!!

  • grouch

    Interesting threads here. A lot of hot air, some sensible, but majority seem to miss the key points.
    1. It was obvious that SDLP wanted to test the mood of the council and that there was really no expectation of a successful outcome.
    2. The Unionist axis fell into their trap by rejecting it out of hand, and without a good and proper reason.
    3. The honour being proposed needs to be tested against a set of criteria as Frustrated Democrat said in an earlier thread, to ensure fairness, lack of bias either by religion or political and that it should be of benefit not just to the recipient, but also the Borough.
    4. Did the Rev David Armstrong agree to his name being put forward? If so, did he not realise the potential forore, and if he did, then he was trying to make some sort of political gain from this – or he was a very stupid man.

  • George

    Sam Graham,
    The UUP and DUP have stated they were opposed to any physical intimidation of Armstrong so what is the big deal here.

    Fair enough but what about the claim members of the Orange Order came up to him and called the bombing of the Catholic Church by British terrorists as “God’s work”?

    Would that be a big deal for you?

    but as far as I know the only person who ever met Wright was McCrea and that as a constituent when his life was threatened by the UVF.

    By sharing a public platform with him at a rally of course … But then McCrea has form for appearing on the most unusual of stages.

    Did he not share a platform with masked UDA terrorists in 1972 too, calling for true British loyalists to support the group?

    Would that be a big deal for you?

    Perhaps you didn’t know this?

  • limavady too

    “Limavady Nice try. Age-old tactic, the ‘haven’t we much better things to discuss’ line.”

    as a regular lurker here I would like Chris to come to Limavady and say that to my face.

    I HAVE lost my job. We DO have better things to discuss.

    Would it help to say I kick with the other foot, just to preempt any well you would say that your a prod lines coming my way. Time to get real. chewing over this nonstory frankly disgusts me when the place has so many other problems.

    Come on up Chris and tell me how this wee thread is going to help me get a job back. Fool.

  • The Serpent

    could David Armstrong be burned at the stake ?

    Thank you.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Limavady too

    Firstly, if indeed you have lost your job, then my commiserations.

    Secondly, I can’t think of a single thread on Slugger now or in your ‘lurking’ past that really would have helped you get a job, so perhaps you need to re-assess the reasons why you visit this site.

    Claiming to be disgusted by a ‘non-story’ (one that has been carried rather prominently by all local media outlets here) is your right; suggesting it doesn’t merit discussion is a bit foolish, though.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘I HAVE lost my job. We DO have better things to discuss.’

    Perhaps if you spent less time on the internet…..

    ‘Come on up Chris and tell me how this wee thread is going to help me get a job back. Fool.’

    Well if its a job your looking for, a site about the culture and politics of Northern Ireland isn’t really the place to look for one is it?

    Here try this…

    http://www.jobs.ie/

  • The Raven

    These are perhaps one of the most cutting and disingenuous remarks I’ve read yet. I suppose you both think that the job search process is 24/7 and this fella should only be stopping for a meagre bowl of gruel at about 8pm.

    Aren’t you nice people? It says a lot about the Ireland we’ve become.

    Limavady Too, perhaps I can be of more useful assistance.

    In addition to blithely throwing out a site that you are already doubtless using, you may find the
    following to be of some use. It’s right in your area, and if previous affairs are anything to go by, you get to meet prospective employers face to face.

    I can also recommend some agencies and employment consultants who have good expertise in the mass lay-off scenario, plus some other New Deal options that you may wish to look at, should you not already have been offered these locally.

    Good luck with your job search at this difficult time. The email at the bottom is genuine, and you can reach me there if you want.