“From then on we are into the story of his grotesque deterioration..”

Malachi O’Doherty was at the Belfast screening of Steve McQueen’s Hunger and he’s posted some immediate reactions from the audience here. And his own thoughts on the movie.

When we get to the allegedly interminable scene in which Bobby Sands debates the morality of hunger strike with a Catholic priest, it comes as a relief from the audience’s own sense of confinement in the ghastly world of filth and violence. Sands, joking about the wounds on his face implicates the priest unwittingly in a joke about the man who has been murdered by the IRA.
There are a few difficulties in the exchange between Sands and the priest. Sands’ recollections of Gweedore include barley fields and woodland. Mine don’t. These are local incongruities, like the prison officer leaving his home in Gransha off the Glen Road, details that won’t trouble foreign audiences.
The priest tells Sands that he has become an obsessive fanatic, unable even to love his own child. He accuses him of planning his own suicide. He throws every argument a sane compassionate person could muster against a ruthless man who is prepared to march boldly to his own death and take, potentially, dozens after him.
When the camera then turns to close-up on Sands the effect is almost unnervingly intimate. Then Sands delivers his reply with a story from childhood to illustrate his own courage and individual moral conscience. From then on we are into the story of his grotesque deterioration.

Where there’s “Hatred as an element of the struggle..” Update Malachi responds to the comments in his update here.

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  • latcheeco

    Tiocfaidh ar la

  • Yvette Doll

    Not many Americans will know, that after a hard toil, many peelers and screws returned to their little houses on the Glen Road completely unmolested by us the local injuns. That was the kind of noble spirit we had.

    The barley and trees are a bit hard to spot, it is a pretty enough spot. Arizona Street, it had a few peelers maybe, until the unpleasantness. We had flowers baskets on the Glen Road barracks. Such was those days.

  • Unionists rarely understand the respect that republicans accord these convicts who sacrificed their own lives for their cause (or perhaps who were manipulated into the sacrifice, but that’s a different argument).

    Republicans rarely understand the unionist revulsion for this idolisation of a group of people they saw as engaged in a murderous campaign against them, their community, and their country.

    It amazes me both how differently the same story is seen and felt, and how little awareness there is of the differences.

  • latcheeco

    Malachi,
    “Suicide of Bobby Sands”. Really? Mal, is this where you are now? Is this how far you’ve come? Not only did you sell out everything you were, but Malachi, you sold out everything you could have been. Is that your ambition Mal? A two bit shill for the Brits, scrounging around trying to make tidbits out of men that actually lived their lives? Fair play to you.

  • So Malachi quotes a priest’s argument against Sands’ suicide protest, and now he’s a traitor to the cause (or his class or faith or something)?

    Get a grip!

    And it’s kind of ironic that you seem to represent Sands, determined as he was to end his own life, as having actually lived life more than Mr O’Doherty.

    I disagree with quite a bit of what Malachi says, but it seem to me that he has made a far more positive contribution to this country, in a far more principled way, than any number of terrorists – however principled their self-inflicted and unnecessary deaths may have been.

  • Uncle Tom

    At least Malachi was able to judge the feelings of his paymasters straight away and write accordingly. Poor old Antony McIntyre had to do a volte-face after his original review. Those 18 years don’t wash away as easily as he’d like.

  • Rory

    Whatever one may feel about the hunger strike neither Bobby Sands nor any of the others who died were “determined to end their own lives”. On the contrary they were fighting to preserve the dignity of their lives and refusing to live those lives as criminals. Caged they may have been for reacting against a corrupt and brutal state but cowed they never were.

    What a pity that their example of quiet courage is now traduced to the advantage of those who find their coin in cosy revisionism.

  • fin

    Notmyopinion, I think what nationalists and republicans cannot understand is unionists reactions to the dead, the many attacks on republican funerals. Following the murder of Rosemary Nelson the unionists councillors chanting “where’s Rosemary at SF councillors. The REV Ian’s “one swallow doesn’t make a summer” quote after a shoot to kill incident.
    I suppose we understand it to the extent that you believe nationalists are somewhere less than human and so not entitled to any basis term of respect.
    I don’t think the onus is on nationalists to understand or accept the status unionists confer on them, the onus is on unionists to join the world in the 21st century.

  • WIASAUUPV?

    Golly, but aren’t these True-Green attacks on the sell-outs O’Doherty and McIntyre on the nose? My bet: the next thing you know these scoundrels will be working for the crown, operating partitionist institutions and drawing their fat British salaries in public for a change. I mean, obviously they’ll *start* doing that after Gez and Mart stop.

  • iluvni

    Could you imagine anything more miserable than the DVD collection of the typical mope IRA sympathiser?
    Row upon row of crap movies about ‘the cause’.

  • Bookworm

    “Could you imagine anything more miserable than the DVD collection of the typical mope IRA sympathiser?
    Row upon row of crap movies about ‘the cause’.”

    Still beats row upon row of the six county soccer team being hammered by all the pub teams of international soccer.

  • @fin: I suppose we understand it to the extent that you believe nationalists are somewhere less than human and so not entitled to any basis term of respect.

    Where, exactly, did I say that? Please be specific.

    Or is it something you “just know”?

  • @rory: “Caged they may have been for reacting against a corrupt and brutal state… What a pity that their example… is now traduced to the advantage of those who find their coin in cosy revisionism.”

    Since you raised the issue of revisionism, it’s worth pointing out that they were actually “caged”, not for “reacting” against the state, but for killing people, planting bombs, collecting explosives, and other such terrorist acts.

    All too often, anti-terror laws are misused against things that clearly have nothing to do with terrorism – the Icelandic Banks is one of the latest examples. But in this case, the application of anti-terror laws would seem entirely appropriate.

    More generally, and returning to my earlier point – a large part of unionist revulsion at the hagiography of the hunger strikers is due to the way their crimes and victims are so casually airbrushed out of the narrative.

    If any of you have trouble understanding this feeling, consider how nationalists (quite reasonably) felt when many unionists were unsympathetic to the complaints of the relatives of those who died on Bloody Sunday.

    Perhaps it’s easier to understand grievances from your own side?

    I have attempted to understand why republicans so revere these suicide protesters, and I do not belittle the hunger strikers’ determination – even courage – as they paid the price they had been so willing to extract from others.

    But I still believe their methods were repugnant, their goals were misguided, and their victims are all too often swept under the carpet.

  • iluvni

    …and swept off the street.

  • get your facts right, right?

    “The REV Ian’s “one swallow doesn’t make a summer” quote after a shoot to kill incident.”

    Gregory Campbell, early 80s.

  • RepublicanStones

    “Row upon row of crap movies about ‘the cause’”

    Well I doubt the movies that portray unionism in a sympathetic light would fill a dvd player nevermind shelves. Care to enlighten us as to why that might be?
    Be honest as well, don’t resort to the “we don’t need….It’s just Provo propaganda…blah blah blah..”

    Anyway, it was interesting that at least a semblance of balance was attempted by the director through showing the worst screw was infact a loving son as well.

  • Rocky republican: Well I doubt the movies that portray unionism in a sympathetic light would fill a dvd player nevermind shelves. Care to enlighten us as to why that might be?

    It’s a whole area of debate in itself, and we’ll hardly do it justice here. I suspect though that it has more to do with the preconceptions of the creative people involved than with anything so mundane as truth.

    Besides, doesn’t everyone have their own version of truth, these days? And “this is just the story of one man” or some such is trotted out when tedious questions of balance are raised about works of filmic art which ignore complexities like, say, a million dissenting unionists.

    The only film I can think of at the moment that even acknowledges the existence of unionism as anything other than the enemy is Bateman’s Divorcing Jack. Not high art, perhaps, but darkly humorous. And with more insights into what drove the situation than any amount of Tim Pat Coogery and right-thinking Hollywood orthodoxy.

    But seriously – nobody should be getting their history from the movies. The history books themselves have enough of an agenda (ours did, at any rate).

  • Ann

    Even after all the hunger strikes and suicide bombers we still don’t know what drives a man (or woman) to take their own lives for the cause? How come hunger strikers are reveered yet suicide bombers are not. Is it because one took victims with them, while the others killed their victims before hand. Either way neither have an attachment to their own lives, (or their childrens). Are the children of these people to somehow understand that the cause was more important to their dead parent than they were?

    I’ve seen too many children fatherless because the stupid feckers devoted their lives to the cause and not the upbringing of their children which they were committed to once they brought another human being into this world.

    We’re they mixed up people? Confused, or simply little boys who hadn’t grown up and wanted to run off and play with their friends while their children were raised by the state?

    The lure of the seventy two virgins, or dying for Ireland was more of a goal than raising independent educated and self reliant human beings, what stupid bastards they were.

    If they want to kill themselves, go ahead and do it but don’t expect the rest of us to salute you, though your death may provide entertainment. Thats about the height of what these guys did for Ireland, or Islam.

    Now wheres me remote….

  • RepublicanStones

    Rocky republican?????

    ‘I suspect though that it has more to do with the preconceptions of the creative people involved than with anything so mundane as truth.’

    Pre-conceptions? Aren’t you preconceiving yourself, by naturally assuming they aren’t in possession of the facts or the ‘truth’?

    ‘nobody should be getting their history from the movies.’

    Who said anyone was?

    Still the question goes unanswered. Why isn’t unionism able to be romanticised in the filmic art form?

  • dunreavynomore

    “one swallow doesn’t make a summer..”
    Paisley, Campbell??? also Ken McGuinness in the 80s so exactly who was first is irrelevent, that was their view on the death of their enemies and a fine ‘christian’ view it was, wasn’t it? (you know, it probably was, going by the bible)

  • Sneakers O’Toole

    How come hunger strikers are reveered yet suicide bombers are not

    It’s a cultural thing, I think.

    Plenty of people around the world do revere suicide bombers, just not here.

    David Beresford in his book Ten Men Dead theorises that hunger striking is an Irish Catholic thing that possibly stems from that religion’s veneration of martyrs. I don’t know about that, but the history of hunger strikers in Ireland goes back a long way.

    My family, incidentally, was virulently anti-IRA, yet hung a black flag after each of their deaths. The unionist horror at the turnout for Bobby Sand’s funeral shouldn’t have been interpreted as support for the IRA; (although I understand why many seen it that way) I’d say in the case of a lot of the people there it wasn’t.

    Long before even Terence MacSwiney, it was seen as a way to draw attention to a neighbour’s or bosses wrongdoing. As far as I know, centuries ago hunger striking as a form of protest was enshrined in the Brehon laws for more day to day matters.

    Perhaps that’s why Ulster Protestants just can’t fathom it. It’s part of the Irish Catholic psyche to respect someone like Bobby Sands, even if they didn’t necessarily agree with what he stood for.

  • fin

    Ann, I don’t believe they joined the IRA/INLA to get killed, more so to ensure a quality of life for their children which they and their forefathers had not enjoyed.

    Nationalist children were not always robbed of a father (or mother) because they had joined the Provo’s, been a nationalist or catholic was often reason enough to stop a bullet (or to be carved up in a romper room).

    However if you wish to persist with that particular line of thought, I imagine you also apply it to fathers who joined the British Army or RUC and put themselves in the firing line.

  • Rory

    Ann,

    Your arguments would apply equally to any member of any armed force anywhere, any police or security force, increasingly ambulance and fire crew, and also to those who work in dangerous jobs such as civil engineering and mining not to mention those who engage in rough or dangerous sports or indeed those who continue to live in areas subject to famine, hurricane or blizzard. Do you intend that they should?

    Notmyopinion,

    I haven’t seen Divorcing Jack but then I believe neither have many others. I shall check for a copy of a remaindered DVD version at the next church hall jumble sale.

    I have read a few of Bateman’s novels. He’s not bad – a sort of a wannabe Christopher Brookmyre without the literary flair or political nous.

  • dunreavynomore

    Sneakers o’toole.
    good post. It is correct to say that many people, opposed to the ira, sympathised with and supported the hunger strikers. i personally know of people who had been hurt by the ira yet voted for bobby sands. it even goes further in that people who were opposed to the ira sometimes had to make a choice, for instance, to warn the ira that there were soldiers dug in on a piece of ground or suchlike. this is the way life works and things are rarely black and white.
    no doubt republicans/nationalists and unionist/loyalists are a long way off understanding each other and many of our respective ‘leaders’ have made a trade of keeping it that way, more’s the pity.

  • “Ann, I don’t believe they joined the IRA/INLA to get killed, more so to ensure a quality of life for their children which they and their forefathers had not enjoyed.”

    So you don’t think killing Prods had anything to do with it then?

  • Seamus friel

    Malachi Doherty, a man whose views are deemed irrelevant by most in Northern Ireland nowadays. A man who harbours a fierce bitterness against republicans. Why ? no one really knows! A man full of his own self importance. A self styled intellectual!!! A man wheeled out by the media when they want a puppet to deliver anti republican sentiment guaranteed every time. A man who makes me laugh because his ” Conor Cruise O Brien” views are rejected by the vast majority of Nationalists at every election. Who cares what he thinks apart from him and his Unionist fans. NO ONE. That’s perhaps why he has turned ever more bitter.

  • Richard James

    Seamus,

    For someone who doesn’t care what O’Doherty thinks you’ve put some energy into that rant. Feel good to release all that hatred?

  • Richard James

    “Nationalist children were not always robbed of a father (or mother) because they had joined the Provo’s, been a nationalist or catholic was often reason enough to stop a bullet (or to be carved up in a romper room).”

    So our heroic young Provo’s went out to put a bullet in those from a Unionist area. Bravo, for our moral champions. Poor Thomas McElwee, surely he shouldn’t have to wear a prison uniform, she was only a dirty hun after all!

  • Ann

    Rory,

    Your arguments would apply equally to any member of any armed force anywhere,

    Lets take the guy who got killed by the down wind from the helicopter.

    Yes he joined the forces and knew the risk, as someone would join the IRA and knew the risk, BUT the young man waiting on the helicopter in the field didn’t want to die for that particular cause. Fight for it yes, but the choice to die wasn’t his. Everything was done to save him, but the wrong vehicle took his choice away. Same with a fire man or anyone else in a dangerous job. They don’t want to die, even if they do want the excitement.

    Bobby Sands chose to die, and that is the difference. Not even for a cause celebre but over what clothes somebody wanted to wear. If ever there was a trivial reason to die, there it is, it has to be the most stupid reason a human being could come up with.

    Considering that life is precious, that most of us cling to it with a death like grip, Bobby decided to die because of the fashion inside the prison.

    It isn’t that I don’t admire them, I do. I admire their spirit, and dedication to see through their principles, but over clothes on the inside? Not too many Jews died because they didn’t want to wear a yellow star..

  • Ann

    As to the issue of hate and was it an element of the struggle. Maybe not. Hate could be said to also be an element of Jihad, but I rather think its as has been already pointed out here, young men looking for excitement. Can’t this be verified by the peers of those who starved themselves for Ireland, now embracing the very thing they fought to destroy, dressing it up as a stepping stone to the fulfillment of their cause.The bomber, being a social climber is hardly a new idea.

    Is fighting for a cause, like hooliganism something that young men go through, it certainly isn’t something that older people go through. Young men who are impressionable by more intelligent minds and who end up doing the dirty work of carrying out these crimes.

    The fact that causes like hooliganism and thuggery are populated by young males must have something in common.

    So can we do away with the hate element, and insert excitement for young men, and do away with the romantic causes for which they die, and replace it as being headstrong and wanting to wear their own clothes, and can those clothes include beards and long shirts over trousers that look like pantaloons?

  • Driftwood

    There was a similar film to this out quite a while ago, Ressurection Man, glorifying a similar terrorist to Bobby Sands- Lenny Murphy. If people want to watch this sort of stuff, I recommend Hostel, or Saw. On roughly the same level, only better made.

  • fin

    for various, accusing people of joining the provo’s to shoot prods or unionists just doesn’t hold up, the conflict was between the provo’s and security forces, hence the reason why republicans never had the equal of the shankill butchers or romper rooms.

  • Greenflag

    The Jewish parents in a Polish village in the 1940’s told their two children aged 9 and 10 to always obey their parents and do as they were told and not to go with strangers . When news that the SS were going to storm the village became known these children found themselves alone as one parent was at work and the other was away temporarily . When their friends parents pleaded with them to go along with them as they fled the village for their lives -the children being good children obeyed their parents and stayed and died.

    And have Unionist ‘politicians ‘ learned anything from recent history 1969 to the present .

    Frankly – No . And that’s why this Assembly is going one way only -into oblivion .

    The SS killed them for being ‘good ‘ as well as for being ‘jewish’.

    Bobby Sands died for what he believed not for a fashion statement . I would’nt pass any moral judgement on the man one way or the other and least of all as regards the contradiction between his Catholic faith and the manner of his death . Neither would I absolve HMG from it’s policy at the time . HMG has eventually had to accept Bobby Sands comrades in Government . As always in matters regarding British rule in Ireland – reform or change has always had to be extracted from HMG by violence and the price has always been predominantly Irish blood that has been spilt. The response from HMG and their Unionist supporters in NI has always been too little and too late . If for no other reason than that, it makes absolute political sense for Irish people to govern themselves.

    Sands ‘death’ and the deaths of others was to sound the death knell for the SDLP and lead to the ascendancy of SF among the nationalist people of NI .

  • Ann

    Have you read what you wrote?

    Sands ‘death’ and the deaths of others was to sound the death knell for the SDLP and lead to the ascendancy of SF among the nationalist people of NI .

    And have Unionist ‘politicians ‘ learned anything from recent history 1969 to the present .

    Frankly – No . And that’s why this Assembly is going one way only -into oblivion .

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Driftwood

    I saw Resurrection Man too, but I don’t remember it “glorifying” terrorism.

    Hard watching it may be, but the loyalist protagonist was never portrayed as something to emulate or look up to, and his demise waylaid any notions the viewer may have had about the director’s intentions.

    When I saw this in the cinema years ago, the girl I was with walked out about 15 mins in, claiming much the same as you.

    However, I feel that both she and you may have misunderstood the film.

  • So Fin who committed all those sectarian murders of Protestants then?

  • Driftwood

    Gonzo
    I thought Stuart Townsends portrayal (of Murphy) ‘romanticised’ the character as charismatic and focused. One of the scenes in the ‘romper room’ when they were playing Muds Tiger feet was very disturbing and my partner walked out in disgust. It was certainly exploitative.
    This our terrorists were better than their terrorists diatribe is puerile.

  • fin

    oh for gods sake garibaldy, why do you bother posting with the sole purpose of trying to point score, it achieves nothing and means nothing to anyone and only serves to fill this site with rubbish.
    Here we go, yes, innocent people lost their lives intentionaly and accidently (though its hard to claim a death was an accident when you plant a bomb) was there a specific focused IRA campaign to kill unionists\protestants, don’t be silly, these communities live side by side and the death toll would have been huge, for example why give a bomb warning. If the IRAs sole aim was to kill the other community, why attack the BA\RUC if any prodestant or unionist would do, why give bomb warnings (why stop ringing the BA\RUC with warnings and start calling radio\tv stations with them to ensure they were acted upon)

  • Greenflag

    moderator.

    Please remove my post 8 above Oct 18, 2008 @ 04:36 PM.

    I mixed up two separate replies and the result is beyond correction 🙁

    Ann,

    apologies I forgot to preview 🙁

    An emotive subject on both sides of the fence and not one that will ever be ‘resolved ‘

    As regards your point about the ‘young’ being more prone to ‘die’ for a cause I’m afraid this is a universal phenomenon not just an NI one .

    I look forward to the day when all those grey beards and starched collars or bearded/unbearded priests/ayatollahs/politicians who advocate war display the courage of their convictions by leading the first frontal assaults on the enemy from the front – and not as we know only too well from historical experience from a chateau well apponted with a drinks cabinet and plenty of food -forty miles behind the front lines 🙁

    I have to remind you however that this is one expectation of mine that is unlikely ever to happen in the real world .

  • brendan,belfast

    So Seamus, to grow up in a republican area and not have a republican viewpoint is some sort of crime in your view. That’s a wierd way to look at life. You know, there are lots of people (17,700 of them as recently as 1997) who went out of their way to reject the SF / republican analysis and tactics.

    I know revisionism comes pretty quickly in these parts and maybe according to Seamus and co we are not really supposed to mention the war, but I for one am glad to be on Malachi’s side of this argument.

  • I’m not point scoring. I’m exposing big blind spots in your description of the motivation of the Provos and INLA. To say the thing was the provos versus the security forces is totally inadequate, as inadequate as saying that it was just sectarian – which I never said.

    There was of course an ongoing campaign to kill protestants and unionists, of varying intensity at varying times. Most intense during the 1972 and 1974-5, but constant throughout the Troubles. And carried out at its worst by exactly the generation that was in gaol during the hunger strikes.

  • Rory

    “Bobby Sands chose to die, and that is the difference.” – Ann

    Except that no, he didn’t, Ann, and no, it is most certainly not the difference.

    Bobby Sands and his fellow hunger strikers chose only not to wear the garb of common criminals nor to be treated as criminals. The actions for which they were gaoled were committed solely in pursuance of a political end and not for personal gain.

    They had had their status as political prisoners denied, for political reasons, by a new British administration, when it had formerly been accepted. To accept treatment as criminals would have implied denial of the political motivation for the actions for which they were imprisoned.

    It became a war of political will. Thatcher won the battle and Bobby Sands and his comrades died in that battle. The war continued. C’est tout.

  • Richard James

    “for various, accusing people of joining the provo’s to shoot prods or unionists just doesn’t hold up, the conflict was between the provo’s and security forces, hence the reason why republicans never had the equal of the shankill butchers or romper rooms.”

    Kingsmill, Darkley, Tullyvallen all show otherwise. Thomas McElwee was in for murdering a Prod. Bobby’s best buddy Bik McFarlene was in for the Bayardo massacre.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Kingsmill, Darkley’

    I suggest you ask the former Aide-de-Camp General to the Queen circa 83-85 about these two in particular.

  • Driftwood

    RS
    Was he also responsible for the murder of Joanne Mathers in L/Derry in 1981? Or was she partly responsible for administering Unionist/British oppression of the nationalist people for x zillion years etc etc, and therefore a ‘legitimate target’. I wait your defence of her murder with baited breath-not.

  • Driftwood

    Since this thread has now gone in to whataboutery mode, and i admit my own contributions. I haven’t seen the film, I probably will. I watched The Wind that Shakes the Barley, and I guess this is the same kind of thing. No-one is EVER going to make a film about the likes of Joanne Mathers murder, because it isn’t ‘sexy’ enough. Just another victim. But that’s the way it goes. I enjoyed Black Hawk Down and one could argue it has an American military jingoistic fervour. So be it.

  • Ann

    Bobby Sands and his fellow hunger strikers chose only not to wear the garb of common criminals nor to be treated as criminals.

    Then we have to examine why it was that they decided to wear the garb and suck up to the po’s in order to get friendly and dig a tunnel. If it were nothing more than a tatic, why die for it and leave your children fatherless? Why not live to fight another day?

    Or was the political goal to get Gerry and Martin into Stormont?

    Either way it boils down to conditions within the prison, there were other ways to improve those and to gain status. They were doing that with the dirty protest, but it wasn’t getting the result, they needed a sacrificial lambs. And if you are intent on dying then you may as well die for a IRA lamb as an Islamist sheep.

    Either way wasted lives.

  • RepublicanStones

    Drift I was referring to two incidents in particular as you well know, why did you feel the need to be so facetious and ask such a stupid question?

    You seem blissfully unaware of the policies adopted by your beloved govt and its armed forces in their dirty little wars. If not, you seem to believe, rather naïvely, that the same govt thinks too much of unionism to employ the same tactics in what is essentially its first colony.

    You should take Bertrand Russell’s advice and hang that question mark.

  • Sneakers O’Toole

    Ann’s correct, of course. When put up to cold logic, the taking of your own life, especially if you’re a father, makes no sense.

    But to A LOT of people it makes perfect sense.

    May I direct you to John 15:13.

  • OC

    It does seem ironic that various IRA hunger strikers died in the RoI, but no gov’t buildings were burnt down in protest.

    And if the UK gov’t force-fed the hunger strikers, it would be a violation of their right not to eat.

    And why no pro NI unionist films? Not sexy enough. I mean, how can one compete with The Friends of Che, or The Gang of Seven?

    Both sides were inconsistant. If being in the PIRA made one a soldier, what’s wrong with shoot-to-kill? Isn’t that how they’d have treated a UK soldier?

    And if a PIRA is a criminal, rather than a soldier, then the police have to extend civil rights to him.

  • Driftwood

    RS
    You didn’t answer, who murdered Joanne Mathers?
    Was it
    (a) The British Government
    (b) Martin McGuinness

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘You didn’t answer, who murdered Joanne Mathers?’

    Why should I, you never even asked me who murdered her. You asked one was infamous British General to blame. Why choose one event in the most recent incarnation of the difficulty between Ireland and Britain and demand to know if it was carried out by so and so? Childish in the extreme. If your beloved armed forces tactics make for uncomfortable reading don’t blame me.

    How about instead of the facetious questions you go and do a little bit of reading regarding your beloved british govts policies, instead of childishly scoffing at what are actual and real policies adopted by british armed forces in numerous armed conflicts. It seems instead of one or the other your both ignorant and naïve of history, both here and in other british colonies.

  • Ann

    But to A LOT of people it makes perfect sense.

    May I direct you to John 15:13.

    This?
    13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

    Would you ever get a life? Sod your kids its the friends that count?

    Is that the best you could do? LOL Gimmie a break, thats laughable!

  • Sneakers O’Toole

    Take a deep breath Ann. As it happens I’m an atheist, and if you read my post I agree with you.

    I’m trying to explain why many people don’t, which your anger seems to be blinding you to.

    This is my last post on this thread, since you’re determined to post pretty much the same thing over and over for some reason.

  • Ann

    An atheist who quotes from the bible?

    Thats a new one.

    I’m trying to explain why many people don’t

    Why can’t they explain for themselves, and when did they elect you to speak on their behalf..

    which your anger seems to be blinding you to.

    I am not angry, I merely threw the head up at such a silly post from you.

    This is my last post on this thread, since you’re determined to post pretty much the same thing over and over for some reason.

    I merely responded to your post where you were trying to speak for other perhaps non exsistent people.

    if you read my post I agree with you.

    Most of us when we agree don’t argue.

  • Pat McVeigh

    “He has chosen death:
    Refusing to eat or drink, that he may bring
    Disgrace upon me; for there is a custom,
    An old and foolish custom, that if a man
    Be wronged, or think that he is wronged, and starve
    Upon another’s threshold till he die,
    The common people, for all time to come,
    Will raise a heavy cry against that threshold,
    Even though it be the King’s”

    “And when I and these are dead take us to some windy hillside
    Where we may lie
    Faces uncovered a while
    So that leper and mankind can know dead faces laugh King
    King!! Dead faces laugh”

    WB Yeats – The King’s Threshold

    Ann, you raise the question of young men ending their lives by hunger strikes, suicide bombings etc. Is there a difference between these young men and the young men that consciously ran to swift and certain death by going “over the top” in WWI into heavy and sustained machinegun fire or does the fact that it was sanctioned by the state, via their commanding officers orders, give it come kind of legitimacy which the others don’t deserve ?

    [Cue Unionist outrage at comparison]

  • Ann

    Pat very poetic, even prophetic, but Yeats yeats was a senator in Ireland in 1922, so unlike Seanchan he himself wasn’t refusing any food for political ends. Beware men of words.

    Anyhoo… about the ww1 comparison, I refer you to my earlier points on the forces.

    Really good selection from Yeats though.

    nite all.

  • Danny O’Connor

    I believe it was Terence Mc who coined the phrase that it was not those who could inflict the most but those that could endure the most that would prevail-Why then did the provos try to inflict the most?
    I am afraid that I see courage more in people like John Hume and Ivan Cooper than I ever will in Bobby Sands.

  • steve

    Danny

    Your own words prove you wrong

    There is no evidence that Bobby Sands inflicted damage on a single soul

    There is ample evidence he endured

    By your own words Bobby should be your hero

  • RepublicanStones

    Oh Danny boy, you also seem to live in a bubble. The pain the provos inflicted is but a mere scratch when compared to the pain the british have inflicted on our fair island down through many generations. Context, dear boy, context.

  • Danny O’Connor

    RS,Two wrongs dont make a right,all murder is wrong.
    Steve,anybody who joined the provos has to bear responsibility for their membership of that organisation-they knew what they were joining,which is why I admire those who chose the non violent alternative.

  • RepublicanStones

    Oh Danny boy, a wrong committed should be put into the wider context into which it belongs and those who were wronged against, then their wrongdoing as a result is, if not excused, at least understood.

  • Driftwood

    RS
    Do you also believe 9/11 was ‘an inside job’? or do your conspiracy theories only apply this side of the pond? I take it you make sure and filter all your tap water also. MI5 agents have been seen pouring stuff in to the Silent Valley reservoir recently.

  • Steve

    Steve,anybody who joined the provos has to bear responsibility for their membership of that organisation-they knew what they were joining,which is why I admire those who chose the non violent alternative.

    Posted by Danny O’Connor on Oct 19, 2008 @ 12:13 PM

    Then you would agree the same conditions apply to those that joined the ruc, rir, udr, b specials, uvf, uda, rhc, and the rest of the onionist alphabet killers

  • Danny O’Connor

    You cannot equate the police or army with paramilitaries,but I do agree that those who joined paramilitaries were all wrong.Innocent people were murdered-for what?the same deal ,more or less that was Sunningdale.
    I agree that there were elements within the police and army who were guilty of collusion,and murder,they were however very much in the minority,and dont represent the vast majority who din not.Terrorists on the other hand were guilty of mass murder for 30 years.

  • Driftwood

    Perhaps ‘Hunger’ could be released in a double bill with this:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/is-baader-meinhof-film-a-tasteless-action-movie-941216.html
    Terrorist chic is all the rage these days

  • RepublicanStones

    What has 9/11 got to do with policies adopted by the british in their colonial wars Drift?

    How about instead of acting the child you go and do a bit of reading?

  • Reader

    Steve: ruc, rir, udr, b specials, uvf, uda, rhc
    Now, *there’s* a mismatched collection. The RUC and UDR were very large organisations with lots of rules, a relatively small kill total and a very large death rate within the organisation. The CAIN archive will show you that. So, *they* aren’t the organisations that a killer should wish to join.
    However, the IRA, UVF, INLA, UFF, RHC, LVF were precisely such organisations. (With a wee statistical quirk in that the INLA also got to kill each other). If you were filled with hate, those were the organisations to sign up for.

  • Driftwood

    RS
    I suspect your reading list (David Icke, David Irving etc)would be rather unlike mine. Take the tinfoil off your bonce and stop peddling this conspiracy nonsense. Is this to do with the Kitson bogeyman? Get real.

  • RepublicanStones

    Christ Drift talk about shooting the messenger. Now your linking me with the lizardman Icke???? Any more childish mud you wanna sling?

    Are you actually stating that the british never employed such policies? may I quote you on that?

  • Driftwood

    Northern Ireland is not a ‘colony’. It is an integral part of the UK. Whatever techniques were employed by all the European powers in their colonial adventures in Africa and Indochina, I cannot see any possible relevance to the terrorist threat here. What happened here had more similarity with Baader-Meinhoff, Carlos the Jackal etc.
    You seem to think the British Army here has some sort of parallel with the French Foreign Legion in Vietnam. It hasn’t. And this pseudo bogeyman Kitson seems to occupy a strange fantasy for you.

  • RepublicanStones

    The north of Ireland was indeed colonized and in my view is one of Britains last remaining colonies. Im entitled to hold that opinion Drift. Your entitled to disagree.

    Its a simple question, are you actually stating that the british never employed such policies?

    A simple yes or no will suffice.

  • Driftwood

    Not anywhere in the UK, including Northern Ireland.

  • RepublicanStones

    How can you say that with such certainty Drift? Are you suggesting the British military is racist and would only use such tactics against say people of a darker tan for instance?

  • Driftwood

    RS
    FFS, God knows what happened in the colonies of the major European powers in the early 20th century, and post WW2 periods. If the British military is racist, why is The Brigade of Gurkhas held in such high esteem? SOE employed off the wall tactics against the Werhmacht, indeed one of their operatives testified in defence of Otto Skorzeny. Maybe the good people of Gibraltar have been drugged in to a state of compliance toward GB. What great resources does NI have (indeed RoI) that would mesmerise the Westminster government in to this fantasy neo colonial outlook?

  • RepublicanStones

    Yep the Gurkhas are held in high esteem alright, which is why they had to go to court recently to get to live over in Britain.

    Its a simple question again. Are you suggesting that the british military is racist and would therefore only employ such tactics against ‘darker’ people?

    Its not a question of resources Drift, its a question of attempting to defeat ones enemy.

    Please tell me how you can say with such certainty they did not employ similar tactics here?

  • runciter

    What […] does NI have (indeed RoI) that would mesmerise the Westminster government in to this fantasy neo colonial outlook?

    Proximity.

  • Steve

    danny
    I agree that there were elements within the police and army who were guilty of collusion

    but danny you said

    Steve,anybody who joined the provos has to bear responsibility for their membership of that organisation-they knew what they were joining

    so logically anybody joining the police or army has to bear responsibilty for their membership of that organisation-they knew what they were joining

    they knew they were joining a force of colluding muderers and therefor became colluding murderers by joining the police or army

    Steve: ruc, rir, udr, b specials, uvf, uda, rhc

    Now, *there’s* a mismatched collection. The RUC and UDR were very large organisations with lots of rules, a relatively small kill total and a very large death rate within the organisation.

    Just because they werent very capable doesnt change the nature of the organisation, murderers are murderers

    The CAIN archive will show you that. So, *they* aren’t the organisations that a killer should wish to join.

    They werent an organisation any morally upstanding individual should wish to join either

    However, the IRA, UVF, INLA, UFF, RHC, LVF were precisely such organisations. (With a wee statistical quirk in that the INLA also got to kill each other). If you were filled with hate, those were the organisations to sign up for.

    Posted by Reader on Oct 19, 2008 @ 06:32 PM

    Many onionists signed up for both the alphabet killers and the police and army

  • Reader

    Steve: Just because they werent very capable doesnt change the nature of the organisation, murderers are murderers
    What? Are you saying that the thousands of members of the UDR failed to kill more than 8 people because they were unable to do so? Did they lack the opportunity? Did they lack the means? Or did they lack the motive? Or do you actually reckon they were consistently unable to find the trigger?
    Steve: Many onionists signed up for both the alphabet killers and the police and army
    And many nationalists signed up for both the alphabet killers and the GAA. In fact, based on your criterion of common membership, wouldn’t it be your guess that the GAA was more lethal than the RUC and UDR combined? But what would that prove?

  • Danny O’Connor

    Steve,the raison d’etre of the paramilitaries was to kill people-the fact that a small minority in the police and army were colluding with Haddock and Scappaticci etc does not make it right,but it does outline the differing standards adopted by apologists for terrorist killers,if the police and army had been putting bombs below terrorists cars and blowing them up in front of their families there would have been outrage.Those terrorists who signed up to the agreement in ’98 were 2000 lives too late.Terrorism was wrong then ,it is wrong now.
    Those police and army who were indeed guilty of murder did not represent the greater proportion of their organisation,whereas terrorists did.

  • steve

    Danny/Reader

    What makes the ruc, udr and the rir the equivalent of the IRA is that they did NOTHING about the killers in their midsts. There by accepting the blood stains onto their own hands

    To do nothing is to give tacit approval and therefore permision to continue

  • male

    Ann,

    Women and children have next to zero impact on what happens in war-torn societies; women generally just shag the victors, like they do at sporting and other competitions.

    Any societal power you have is gleaned from your personal relationship with a man or men, so put a bit of lippy on love, and give up your ‘oul guff about fatherhood.

  • Danny O’Connor

    steve ,your logic dictates that John Taylor was right when he said that 40% of Catholics supported the IRA ;- either by sheltering them , not informing on them , or voting for them .
    I do not share that view,you cannot be serious in suggesting that everybody who voted for SF has all those murders on their hands,- can you ?

  • steve

    danny

    its your premise not mine

  • Danny O’Connor

    steve ,you are the one who introduced the alphabet organisations,I simply said that people made a choice,I admire those who chose not to kill people,Bobby Sands made his choice,John Hume,Ivan Cooper etc made theirs,I support the dignity of a peaceful protest,but given the circumstances of the blanket,dirty protest, hunger strike inside the maze/long kesh coupled with the murder of prison warders on the outside ,-the two were inextricably linked,it was all part of “the war”.Indeed it could be argued that it was all very Pearse like in terms of a “blood sacrifice”,brave men but wrong nevertheless.

  • USA

    I didn’t bother to read the posts. I am aware of the different arguements, in my view, ultimately, Bobby Sands and his nine young comrades were very brave young men. Anyone who denies that is a fool.

  • I would have replied earlier, but I was away.

    About loyalism, republicanism and why the movies portray more republicans… I had said:
    >> ‘I suspect though that it has more to do with the preconceptions of the creative people involved than with anything so mundane as truth.’

    Republican Stones replied:
    > Pre-conceptions? Aren’t you preconceiving yourself, by naturally assuming they aren’t in possession of the facts or the ‘truth’?

    I said there were a number of “truths” or stories. The reasons why republican stories are preferred in Hollywood are several.

    I would suggest that prejudices, or natural affinities, or however you want to put it, may account for part of this preference.

    Another reason may be that a narrative of rebellion against a stronger force [the republican self-image] produces more epic tales than defending a status quo, or even suffering under a terrorist threat.

    Of course, trying to subvert the wishes of the greater number of NI residents to remain part of the UK isn’t a particularly great narrative either – so that wasn’t about to make it into anyone’s film.

    >> ‘nobody should be getting their history from the movies.’

    Who said anyone was?

    Not accusing anyone – merely anticipating the objection that these aren’t supposed to be history. Just the story of one man / side / community. Art, don’t ya know. Always the same side each time, but still, if anyone asks inconvenient questions, the implied claims of historicity are quietly jettisoned.

    Still the question goes unanswered. Why isn’t unionism able to be romanticised in the filmic art form?

    I’m sure, given the motivation, something could be found. But as I said, people like stories about underdogs and revolution.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Of course, trying to subvert the wishes of the greater number of NI residents to remain part of the UK’

    So unionism didn’t subvert the wishes of the vast majority of irish people who had never any wish to be part of your beloved union?

    You see, if your honest, unionisms very beginnings have ruined any credible argument you may put forth regarding the principle of consent.
    Also if your honest, you would admit nobody cheers for the bully in a schoolyard fight, which is why unionism if a billy-no-mates ideology except among other colonialy minded people.

  • Pete Baker

    Just to note

    Malachi has responded to the comments in an update to his original post.

  • Grassy Noel

    Fantastic commentary/review/personal reminiscence hybrid by Ronan Bennett on the Guardian about Hunger:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/oct/22/maze-prison-film-northernireland-hunger

    Can’t wait to see it.