Witness knew catholics “by looking at them”

One of the most tedious cliches to emerge from the conflict in the north of Ireland has been the suggestion flippantly made in jokes, books or films about this place that you can tell somebody’s religion by the distance between their eyes.
The appearance of Stacey Bridgett before the Robert Hamill Inquiry was noteworthy this week for an unnerving assertion made by Mr Bridgett, who was one of five men initially charged with the murder of the Portadown catholic before the charges were dropped after witnesses withdrew their evidence. During questioning over the events of that night, he claimed to have pretended to be a catholic when approached by a man as he feared being attacked if identified as a protestant. Upon being questioned about how he knew the man’s religious denomination, he offered this response:
“Sometimes you can sort of tell one by looking at them. I can sort of tell what they look like.”

  • Dec

    Dimwitted Bigot admits to talking sectarian bollocks.
    In terms of the actual inquiry, far more revealing was his assertion that after the attack he engaged in apsot of social chit chat with a policewoman who openly admired his sartorial elegance. It’s interesting that this woman couldn’t see a fatal attack 30 yards from her but could spot a snappy dresser from a mile away. Of course by interesting, I mean absolutely horrifying.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    It’s a pity the taigs weren’t black then you could be really sure whose head you were stamping on.

  • evil bigot whose nasty mind runs out of control

    I was watching the Carling Cup final today and this thought appeared in my mind:

    “Jonny Evans looks Protestant”.

  • Danny Boy

    I don’t know about eyes, but a remarkable number of politicians display Unionist Neck. I’ve never worked out if it’s physiological or something about the cut of their shirts.

  • Righteo

    Those damn prods and peelers again! How fortunate that we are so much better than them. Why I’m even tempted to call them sub-human.

    What will we do to finally solve the prod problem?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Excellent game show potential.

    Presumably with little cross-breeding for centuries some physical traits must be more spceific to one tribe rather than another which would be confirmed with DNA comparisons.

  • suzzie

    “the north” – Donegall??

  • Driftwood

    A lot of ‘catholic’ friends used to presume British soldiers were ‘protestant’ even though polls show the vast majority were atheist.
    Presumably I’m a bigot for assuming the majority of PIRA/INLA terrorists were Roman Catholic?

  • INLA is a Marxist organization. It is impossible to both a Catholic and a Marxist.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Marxism believes in social justice. Is that not the bedrock of catholicism?

  • Lurig

    I used to get some venemous looks walking around Belfast on Ash Wednesday with my ashes and St. Patrick’s Day with the shamrock. It’s probably the same look that some Unionists get with a poppy in their lapels. We all say it’s a ‘personal thing’ but truthfully many of us are looking to annoy the f*ck out of and wind up themmuns. I used to laugh at some of my work colleagues who asked for nothing but fish in every Belfast cafe on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. They also got some funny looks when they asked for an ‘occupied six counties (Ulster) fry’. Likewise some of my Unionist work friends loved to wear the Poppy at the earliest opportunity and the bigger the better. When I mentioned that fact that my Catholic father was in the Royal Navy in the 50’s and what right did they have to wear and flaunt the Poppy over him they took fits. All military talk and no action.

  • PaddyReilly

    Usual confusion here. There may be a look assumed by members of a particular sect, but the main difference is between the gene-pool of the Irish natives and the English and Scottish settlers. Conversions have taken place, and these make total certainty harder.

    But one English visitor found that though he didn’t believe in this story, he found that he had discounted a particular bus because he felt that the passengers were Protestant and he was travelling to a Catholic area. He ran to the front to confirm and found that his instinctive judgement was correct.

    So while it is not possible to tell with total certainty whether an individual is actually Catholic or Protestant, it is easy to tell a Protestant crowd from a Catholic one.

    But another factor is that in a world in which we automatically identify everyone as Catholic or Protestant, we have built up quite a data-bank of half-forgotten mug-shot memories with only the words ‘Taig’ or ‘Prod’ listed against them. So when we identify an apparently unknown individual as one or t’other, it may be that we have actually seen him before in a give-away environment (Church, Orange March etc) and have stored this information in our subconscious against the day when out life might depend on it.

  • Modernist

    Jesus was a socialist

  • “Marxism believes in social justice. Is that not the bedrock of catholicism?”

    No. The bedrock of Catholicism is Jesus the Christ. Social Justice emanates from that.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Where exactly then does Marxism differ from from Catholicism in everyday life? If we discount the myth of a Jewish person who lived on earth and who was a good person, how does a Marxist’s outlook on life differ from a Catholic’s/

  • picador

    INLA is a Marxist organization. It is impossible to both a Catholic and a Marxist.

    You’re obviously unfamiliar with Liberation Theology then? It’s the 1980’s. Jesus moves into Divis Flats and starts racketeering. But soon there is trouble among the twelve disciples, at least half of whom are drug dealers who work for the police. Will revolution prevail? A great watch.

    With regard to Stacey Bridgett. He sounds like a cross-dressing papist to me.

  • Harry Flashman

    If there’s no difference between how Catholics and protestants ‘look’ then how come we all laughed instinctively at the characters in “Give My Head Peace”?

  • abucs

    Isn’t Tony Blair looking much more Catholic these days ? …….

  • edward

    harry

    because you are a racist

  • Dan Breen’s Revolver

    INLA were just gangstas for the most part. They give real marxists a bad name

  • Dec

    …then how come we all laughed instinctively at the characters in “Give My Head Peace”?

    Speak for yourself.

  • Harry Flashman

    edward, you are a cunt, and I have as much evidence to back up my assertion as you have yours.

  • Grannie

    It’s easy, wait to a Sunday, the prods will be the ones making an effort to dress as they go to church. The Catholics will be wearing a range of cheap tat, rip-off designer ‘leisure wear’ and with a significant percentage wearing what passes for their nightwear.

  • cynic

    Oh do grow up children!

    Personally, I usually find that the Celtic / Rangers tops, various tattoos on knuckles, arms and neck and mobile phone ring tones of The Soldier’s Song or the Sash are all good indicators.

  • cynic

    Grannie

    Haven’t you noticed that many Catholics do mass on a Saturday night to avoid sitting in church with a hangover on Sunday / so they can have a lie in / to fit an extra mass into the week as 7 aren’t enough

  • edward

    ah harry you never fail to disapoint

    granie you missed out on the whole soap dodgers routine, you’re letting down the side only being half stereotypical

  • Glencoppagagh

    Anyone who says he can always tell the difference is a liar. Anyone who claims he can never tell the difference is also a liar.
    Perhaps it may be difficult to accept in Belfast where miscegenation has taken its toll but in rural parts you occasinally come across people whose features indicate that they could not be anything other than Irish.
    Is it rubbish to suggest that you can’t distinguish Eastern Europeans by their physical features (apart from the fact that they’re usually a foot taller than natives)?

  • Where exactly then does Marxism differ from from Catholicism in everyday life? If we discount the myth of a Jewish person who lived on earth and who was a good person, how does a Marxist’s outlook on life differ from a Catholic’s/

    It would be hard to collectively generalize entire groups of people given that both Catholicism and Marxism can encompass a wide range of different cultures and modi operandi. A Catholic living in Ireland will obviously differ hugely from a nomadic coreligionist in the Saharan Desert. And if you ‘discount the myth of a Jewish person’ you cannot be Catholic, therefore your view on life wouldn’t be related to Catholicism. If Catholicism was purely about Social Justice then Ghandi, Martin Luther King et al could be counted as Catholics.

    You’re obviously unfamiliar with Liberation Theology then?

    Unfortunately I am. It is not Catholic either; or at least the variant I am acquainted with isn’t.

  • Democratic

    What do you get from this sort of crap Edward?

    You do realise that Harry is not a loyalist don’t you?
    Really has trolling got to the stage were the offender doesn’t even bother to try and deny it anymore…
    What happened the yellow carding business?

  • Democratic

    He’s nothing like a loyalist from memory – but I’m sure he can tell you that himself…
    As for yellow cards Edward – trolls top the poll for me everytime – especially when they are brazen enough to announce their intent – complete waste of an interent connection in my opinion….

  • John K Lund

    A good Mouthwash with carbolic soap is called for here. Are some of you regardless of your bakground capable of using the English language properly?.Do you talk like this in your family circles?.

  • left-foot

    Once again some blatent examples of upper middle class sectarian bigotry from the Slugger set. What you really mean is its easy to spot a poor Catholic, sure isnt it much harder to spot a well off fenian, they could almost pass for a respectable Prod.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Edward and Latch,

    That’s a straight red! You have both been at this game before; so there is no damned excuse for it.

    On a thread where it is pretty difficult to see where man and ball is; you two pretty much managed to completely ignore any ball that might have been played and systematically tried to take another player out of the game.

    And if/when you do come back, I’ll be watching the pair of you for the least repeat offence; for which you will certainly earn yourselves a permanent ban!

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    All,

    I’m really sorry this foul slanging match went on for as long as it did. I was working elsewhere this afternoon, but I will always respond to a timely email; and I am very keen to jump on people who knowingly break the rules.

    For clarification’s sake, Harry did use some pretty foul language here (for which there is no excuse, but it’s pretty clear to me he was subject to two pronged troll attack from two regulars I have and to deal severely with in the past.

    I do wonder at the quality of the debate on this thread, but even low levels of argument are still argument nonetheless.

  • ed

    You red card me even though I did not start the man playing, use a single curse or rude word.

    I see your legendary double standard for those that share your perspective is still at work

  • PaddyReilly

    I can always spot a Protestant troll by the smallness of the dots on their Is.

  • PaddyReilly

    I can always spot a Protestant troll by the smallness of the dots on their Is.

  • Harry Flashman

    I shouldn’t have used the language I used but it was a reaction to an completely unfounded and personally offensive allegation made against me, I would be perfectly happy to have my reaction removed and I apologise to the admin for the vehemence and bad language used but in justification I am fed up to the back teeth with being personally insulted when I make a non controversial point that someone happens not to agree with.

    As to latcheco, well he simply made an utterly repulsive and quite astonishingly racist remark about a member of my family. He is not the first to do so here and I am at my wits end as to how to react to such vile abuse which seems to be directed towards me and my family and which is becoming more and more common.

    I have suggested to Mick that maybe the best course of action is for me to simply stop posting here as I’m not sure I can take much more of this racist filth.

  • Democratic

    Remember Harry – the trolls are the people that are secretly seething about the fact they cannot assail your arguments – so they assault your name instead – ancient tactics – good to see the axe being wielded against such wastes of bandwidth though….

  • David Balfour’s Pal

    “Sometimes you can sort of tell one by looking at them. I can sort of tell what they look like.”

    He would sort of like you know have a 45.6% chance of picking out a (insert denomination here) and a 40.3% chance of picking out a (insert denomination here) and a 13.9% chance of picking out a non-denomination type.

    Cue Shania Twain?

  • taig

    PaddyReilly says….

    So while it is not possible to tell with total certainty whether an individual is actually Catholic or Protestant, it is easy to tell a Protestant crowd from a Catholic one.

    whis is correct.

    Be happy to prove it anytime.
    No Rangers tops or Claddagh rings required.
    It’s just the cut of their jib. Anyone who denies it is confusing their personal utopia with the reality of small, decreasing, but still visible racial (for want of a better word) differences.

    For the record. Prods blonder, more brown eyes, more tanned skin, more germanic looking. Taigs more black hair, blue eyes, whiter skin, freckles. Sharper features. Taigs have slightly more gingers and I cant see any height or shape differences.

    Don’t knock me, this info has saved folks’ lives.