First homecoming parade

The first homecoming parade took place in Ballymena this evening. The RIR will be granted the freedom of Larne tomorrow and then the Belfast parade will take place on Sunday. I heard earlier today that of the 280 or so Armed Forces personnel parading on Sunday 23% (approximately 65) will be from the Republic of Ireland.

  • Rory

    So it is confirmed then, 23% of those marching with the the British regiment of the RIR on Sunday are, in their terms, foreign mercenaries, or soldiers of fortune as they are sometimes known or the more pejorative, but then also more classical, dogs of war.

    But we ought not be concerned that these poor fellows from unoccupied Ireland might be embarrassed for after all their ‘British’ comrades, all volunteers, can fairly well be described as professional soldiery,indeed their recuitment posters glory in that description, which is really the same thing as mercenary, they fight for the pay and conditions and follow the boss’s orders whatever. And kill whoever is required to be killed just so long as the pay is right.

  • slug

    Great to see the homecoming parades get off to such an excellent start.

  • percy

    a time for protest and a time to remember the fallen

    Welcome the boys home, have a good w/end slug and fair-deal. We don’t take the controversy over the war out on the soldiers.

    Chuckie ar la 😉

  • slug

    We have the right to parade and the right to protest. That right was fought for it. Let us use those rights and enjoy the values of liberal democracy, and respect those who sacrificed their lives that we may enjoy those rights.

  • pith

    Afghanistan and now Larne. Hope their luck changes soon.

  • Driftwood

    Rory
    Have you applied for the new series of Provo Grumpy old men which BBC2 are commissioning for next Spring? You can complain all you want about how the Taliban and Al Queda were forces for good, how Saddam was treated rather shabbily by the allies, poor old Milosevic not getting Sky in his nice Hague apartment, the hounding of Mugabe etc etc. Do you know how much a soldier is paid to be a crown servant? Clue, significantly less than Gerry and Marty to be the same (servants of the crown), though they have easier lifestyles I imagine. Now go back to your Wolfe Tones CD’s to make you feel better.

  • Driftwood

    Just 1 thing I’d like to ask though. Why are the Irish Guards not getting the same chance for a welcome home. Surely they deserve it also?

  • James

    Driftwood, the Irish Guards will be on parade on Sunday.

  • Good to here that the first parade has gone well. hope that you can all bury the hatchet and go along and honour our brave service men, after all they represent all sides of the communtity and two seperate countrys! but thats a hole different affair.

  • Idon’tLikeRory!

    Rory,
    i am tired of all your bickering about such affairs
    just go to the march and stand their looking offended by the mercenarys marching past, hurl some abuse and wake up in casulty next month
    Or
    Go to the SF parade and fight with the dissidents, that would kill two birds with one stone, possibly literally

  • Steve

    Idon’tlikeRory

    So you are saying the parade chearleaders are violent, intolerant, vicious wee spides?

  • Big Maggie

    pith

    Afghanistan and now Larne. Hope their luck changes soon.

    LOL! Reminds me of the time when the godfathers of Ballymena refused to grant returning hero Liam Neeson the freedom of that town—he being a Taig dontyaknow. Eamon McCann had a wonderful piece on Talkback where he likened the Freedom of Ballymena with ‘the Cleanliness of Dublin and the Beauty of Belfast’. Now it’s the Freedom of Larne :^)

  • Big Maggie

    Rory,
    i am tired of all your bickering about such affairs

    Then stop reading Rory’s posts. Or is that too logical for you?

  • pith

    Big Maggie,

    There used to be a mural when you drove into Larne from the coaldust side – maybe it’s still there – that had ladders and stars and “No Pope Here”. I used to think what’s the chances of the Pope waking up in the middle of Rome and thinking, “I’ll maybe nip over to Larne later”.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “Provo Grumpy old men”

    classic series, can’t wait

  • Big Maggie

    pith

    I used to think what’s the chances of the Pope waking up in the middle of Rome and thinking, “I’ll maybe nip over to Larne later”.

    LOL!!!!

  • Idon’tLikeRory!

    I Can’t help but read rorys post
    and no i am not saying that the followers of such a parade are visuous i am saying that someone who booes them deserves to wake up in casulty!

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Idon’tLikeRory, violence begets violence. Don’t encourage the neanderthals.

  • Idon’tLikeRory!

    Yes But, ulster my homeland, the sort of people who would boo people who have risked their lives in a foreign land for you and i deserve whats coming to them. Now im all for freedom of expression but i beleive booing of people who have died or been injured is a terrible afront!

  • frank

    ‘the sort of people who would boo people who have risked their lives in a foreign land for you and i deserve whats coming to them’

    How the hell is fighting the Taliban ‘risking their lives for you and me’

    Jesus wept!!

  • Pancho’s Horse

    How can they parade in Béal Feirste if they are dead and wounded? And BTW the standard of spelling here has gone to hell.

  • oh noe

    I just hope the admin of this site dnt bn on ip addr :(((((((((((((

    [See commenting policy – edited moderator]

  • Ri Na Deise

    I see loyalisms great intellectuals are getting involved in the debate. How quaint.

  • skullion

    Can anyone here tell me when exactly Afghanistan declared war on Northern Ireland?I keep hearing about my freedom being defended but the last time i checked there were no no Taliban heading down Stranford Lough and as far as i’m aware Afghanistan hasn’t tried to invade anyone recently so what’s it all about?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    frank

    “[i]How the hell is fighting the Taliban ‘risking their lives for you and me’2[/i]

    do you know a neighbour who’s child is addicted to heroin or a neighbour who’s a victim of a heroine related crime?

    Frank, if you have to ask that question, people like you must think Harry potty comes along with a big stick and solves all social problems. When are you going to welcome harry potter for preventing the flow of heroine into our country?

  • skullion

    Ulsters my homeland

    Then stop advertising the fuckin’ stuff on your lapel

  • Ulsters my homeland

    skullion

    “[i]Then stop advertising the fuckin’ stuff on your lapel 2[/i]

    Still making an ass of yourself I see.

  • Ri Na Deise

    I think your a tad confused re heroin UMH. Have a read of Howard Marks book ‘Mr Nice Guy’ for a clue as to who really controls the drugs trade.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Ri Na Deise, do you like referencing a convicted drug smuggler?

  • Pancho’s Horse

    I’ve heard good reports about dried orange lilies, 6cos my homeland. Try it out.

  • frank

    umh

    ‘a neighbour who’s a victim of a heroine related crime’

    I presume you mean ‘heroin’ rather than ‘heroine’

    Don’t know many ‘heroines’ who commit crime!!

    During the Afghan war against the Russians, drug addiction soared among the Afghans who were exposed to the huge wartime growth in drug production, which had been encouraged by the CIA to pay for weapons and wages for mujahideen fighters. Former allies of the Americans are now prospering as drug lords and financing the Taliban and other insurgents.

    The British & Americans continue to do nothing about the opium trade in Afghanistan.

    Interesting that we have the ‘Jackie McDonald/Bunter Graham fan club’ in this evening.

    Enjoy yer day out on Sunday!

  • Ri Na Deise

    When referring to the subject in hand I feel it quite appropriate..

  • skullion

    Ulsters my homeland

    Is that the best you can do?If you don’t understand the drugs trade don’t comment it’s ok.If you think heroin problems in Ballymena are to do with Afghanistan yo’re way off the radar.

  • Driftwood

    Driftwood, the Irish Guards will be on parade on Sunday.

    James
    Thanks thats good to know. I wanted all decent , civilised people to be represented on Sundays Army parade. As opposed to the SF/Taliban/Al Queada/FARC protestors. Hopefully CNN etc will be there to record the 2 viewpoints. I really want America to see Sinn Fein standing up for the Taliban. Please let this be shown across the USA.

  • skullion

    Driftwood can you please tell me when Afgahanistan declared war on Northern Ireland?At what stage of their invasion of Europe are they now at?The Russians invaded Afghanistan and the Taleban fought them.The Americans invaded Afghanistan and the Taleban fought them.What’s the difference?

  • latcheeco

    “Gordon”
    “Yes Gerry”
    “Look its a vacuum and they’re all back to their oul tricks, can you help us out?”
    “Right Gerry, P&J;comin up right away”
    For a Sunday afternoon in a Belfast shopping precinct there’s mastercard.
    Onionist stupidity, PRICELESS.

  • Hugh Dubh Oneill

    UMH is right.afghanistan is responsible for people dying of heroin overdoses in NI.
    lets invade columbia next and wipe out the cocaine.

  • Driftwood

    skullion
    Now the Taleban have an ally in Western Europe- Sinn Fein. Previously they had no allies in the west, NATO should take note. And Al Queda and the Taliban/SF are bosom buddies. Just making sure that the US, NATO, British and Irish governments know what side SF are on. Just for the record.

  • skullion

    It wasn’t so long ago the Taleban had an ally in every western country including Britain who had no problem selling them weapons when up against those pesky reds.Again i ask you from their point of view what has changed.?When did Afghanistan declare war on blighty?I have yet to hear any Sinn Fein member declare their support for the Taleban.No one from Afghanistan was impicated in 9/11 so why the invasion.You need to sort your head and your history out because none of what you say makes any sense.

  • Rory

    I know that it’s late at night and I am a wee bit of an old geezer and that, but the idea of ‘heroine related crime’ did send a bit of a shiver down me longjohns.

    Mind you, I am a civic-minded citizen and if that Wonderwoman ever took advantage of me against me will I definitely would get around to reporting her to the rozzers – after I’d sold me story to the Sunday Telegraph and boasted to all me mates down the local.

    It used to be called the Stoat and Parrot but is just now renamed, the Grandad and Slapper. I just hope this is not a bleedin’ piss take of me and my Wonderwoman fantasy.

  • skullion

    Rory
    go to bed ffs mate.you’ll find it’s cold and empty ‘cos there’s a phone box in my bedroom and any second out will walk the delicious….oh fuck it’s a tardis “evening mr tennant”bollox!

  • niall

    Well, i’m still at work, tho doing feck all.

    Ulsters My Homeland you really need a year or five outsideof norn iron, the shit about Heroin! You are clueless, I know the story you’re gonna try to back that up with but it’s pathetic.

    Seriously fella. Round the world or even just yer beloved UK for a couple of years, it’ll do ya good.

  • Wilde Rover

    UMH,

    “”How the hell is fighting the Taliban ‘risking their lives for you and me’2

    do you know a neighbour who’s child is addicted to heroin or a neighbour who’s a victim of a heroine related crime?”

    I’m beginning to see your point UMH.

    Before the British army arrived in Afghanistan, heroin production had been reduced, but now British-controlled Afghanistan accounts for over 93% of total global heroin production.

    These guys and girls are out there fighting to keep the price of smack down in an attempt to reduce crime.

    I suppose that’s kind of noble.

    Still no sign of Tim Osman though, seven years on.

    It would all be very amusing if it weren’t so very tragic.

  • WindsorRocker

    [i]I have yet to hear any Sinn Fein member declare their support for the Taleban.No one from Afghanistan was impicated in 9/11 so why the invasion.You need to sort your head and your history out because none of what you say makes any sense.

    Posted by skullion on Nov 01, 2008 @ 12:21 AM[/i]

    The Taleban in Afghanistan sheltered Bin Laden and Al Quaeda in the aftermath of 9/11. Many people died in the twin towers that day including plenty of British and Irish citizens. If it hadn’t have been for the invasion of Afghanistan there is no doubt Al Quaeda would have been stronger and would have conducted many more attacks than they have managed up to now.
    So therefore, any one opposed to an invasion of Afghanistan (Sinn Fein), wanted to see the Taleban continue in power with the danger that would have posed to all citizens of Western democracies……

  • Rory

    I sure hope that RIR posse don’t invade Tottenham and start taking out all me brethren wot holds da ganja. That would not be cool, man. They would feel serious dissed an’ you doan wanna go round dissing me brethren. Serious!

  • mzrti

    “The Taleban in Afghanistan sheltered Bin Laden and Al Quaeda in the aftermath of 9/11.”

    I think you’ll find the Taliban offered to hand Bin Laden over to the Americans, once they were shown the evidence America claimed to have proving Bin Laden was the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

    Also under the Taliban the growing of poppies was greatly reduced and only when America and it’s allies invaded did the growing of the poppies go through the roof.

  • butter battle

    yep, heroin production increased from 2% to about 95% of world market since us-led invasion.

    not to mention the fact that the us-appointed karzai, the head of this new ‘democratic’ afghanistan, is former taliban himself, a cia asset all through the 80s. unable to step beyond kabul.

    not to mention that the coalition is engaged in talks at this very moment with taliban, hosted by saudis.

    not to mention the fact that us plans to invade afghanistan preceded the 9/11 attacks.

    not to mention that the resistance that has emerged over the past several years includes both ex-taliban and secular[ish] afghani nationalists, as is recognized even by british commanders. the simple fact is that you cannot any longer describe the resistance to us-uk occupation as ‘taliban’–that’s inaccurate, as any serious security assessment acknowledges.

    not to mention that the rir and others have done such a swell job that the us is now calling for doubling of troop numbers in the next year, which obama will no doubt give them.

    in other words all the shite about the good war is just that. all the rubbish about the ‘fine job’ your boys are doing is just that. an operation directed by butchers with a full-time pr operation and a compliant media to aid them. a well-worn tradition of imperial lies.

    thus the parallels, and the appropriateness, of a protest in belfast, where they did much the same.

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    The sooner the better all this is over and done with! But I dunno why some Nationalist/Republican folk are engaging in this tit for tat slagging match about the British Army and making such an OTT issue. Surely you should know by now that British NI Unionists are steeped in the British Military, ie parades, marching bands, duty, service, wars, battles, queen and country, god and Ulster, etc… It is an important part of British culture….and it’s a very important part of British NI Unionist culture, whether one likes it or not! Accept that there are British people in Ireland. Your never gonna change such a fundamentalist cultural aspect about the NI Unionists and hollering at them about their culture is only gonna make folk more determined.
    BTW, Nationalist/Republican folk would never renounce those who strived for Ireland’s independance and self governance!

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    …and it was good that the parade passed off well in Ballymena last night and all the Unionists enjoyed themselves and the occasion!

    Live and let live!

  • Jolly good.

    The more homecomings, the better. Bring them all home from these pointless, unwinnable wars. And note that, on both sides of the Atlantic, the same people (with the blacks in the American case) are sent off to the blighted and blighting harvest: the Irish Catholics, and the Scots-Irish.

    And the more ties between the Republic and the Commonwealth to which even Bertie Ahern (of Fianna Fáil, lest we forget) now says that it should accede, the better.

  • nato

    Can anyone here tell me when exactly Afghanistan declared war on Northern Ireland?

    In fact Afghanistan DID in law declare war on Northern Ireland. NATO passed 9/11 as an asault on a member country, triggering the mutual defence pact.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nato#After_the_September_11_attacks

  • Ri Na Deise

    So I presume nato you can prove beyond reasonable doubt that the perpetrators of 9/11 were Afghan and did so at the will of and with the express consent of the Afghan government and people?

  • picador

    In fact Afghanistan DID in law declare war on Northern Ireland. NATO passed 9/11 as an asault on a member country, triggering the mutual defence pact.

    If I call correctly only three countries actually recognised the Taliban regime at the time of 9/11: Pakistan; Saudia Arabia; and the United Arab Emirates.

  • nato

    If I call correctly only three countries actually recognised the Taliban regime at the time of 9/11: Pakistan; Saudia Arabia; and the United Arab Emirates.

    Whether it was a war against “Afghanistan” or a war against “the Taliban” article 5 of the NATO charter was fulfilled regardless.

  • Red Kangaroo

    The Taleban in Afghanistan sheltered Bin Laden and Al Quaeda in the aftermath of 9/11. Many people died in the twin towers that day including plenty of British and Irish citizens. If it hadn’t have been for the invasion of Afghanistan there is no doubt Al Quaeda would have been stronger and would have conducted many more attacks than they have managed up to now.

    WindsorRocker

    If it hadn’t been for the criminal invasion of Iraq then perhaps the Afgan war could have been won. The Taliban should be rooted out as should the Saudis. Iraq was and remains a waste of time and a crime against humanity. The west supported these criminals when it suited them.

  • Red Kangaroo

    In fact Afghanistan DID in law declare war on Northern Ireland. NATO passed 9/11 as an asault on a member country, triggering the mutual defence pact.

    nato

    I don’t believe any of the criminals on 9/11 were afgans. Most were Bush’s mates the Saudis. Having said that I support destroying the Taliban. Mob of right wing reactionaries that they are. Would fit in well in Alabama or Ballymena

  • Peter Brown

    I went to the parade in Ballymena on Friday and there were thousands if not tens of thousands there – the whole route was packed 3-4 deep and there were no loyalist symbols on display that I saw and the atmosphere was one of relief not triumph.

    Having said that I would like someone to explain why Sinn Fein (and Relatives for Justice etc) are protesting about the deaths of civilians at the hands of the Army during the Troubles (160 according to Table 18 in Lost Lives) when PIRA killed 636 civilans or four times as many (Table 20 – and at the risk of repeating myself from other threads none of their other killings were acts of war justifiable under any International Treaty – which is why the lily is not the equivalent of the poppy)?

    And finally can someone also explain why Gerry Kelly a man convicted of offences in relation to the killing of a civilian in a bomb explosion is the keynote speaker at their rally? Is it intentional irony or unbelieveable hypocrisy?

  • Jackie

    “a heroine related crime?”

    Does Gina Adair deal?

  • Bomb Belfast

    Driftwood is right!