“We’ve never been near Irish republicans..”

Along with the background articles in the Irish Times noted previously, it’s worth mentioning the reported disturbances in Craigavon, and elsewhere, following the murder of Police Constable Stephen Carroll – and more reported tonight. Meanwhile there’s been plenty of TV coverage today of a meeting between the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Sinn Féin’s Tom Hartley, and UPRG spokesman Frankie Gallagher. Interestingly the Irish Times reported that Frankie Gallagher told RTÉ

“We are going to meet the Lord Mayor of Belfast .. we’ve never done this before. We’ve never been near Irish republicans or ‘Shinners’.”

Hmm.. Not quite “never been near”, Frankie.. Btw, how is that decommissioning going?

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  • Sinn Fein and the DUP are far from in the clear in relation to recent dissident republican attacks.

    First the performance of Sinn Fein in government has been below par and would not inspire great confidence in any thinking Nationalist that they are capable of delivering on the promised United Ireland. I think that the intelligent dissidents, presuming that there are such people, are entitled to dismiss any notion that Sinn Fein will deliver significant change when they seem unable to take on the DUP.

    The DUP for their part have been less than generous to Sinn Fein, and this lack of generosity caused the five month walk-out last year, resulting in what many considered a humiliating climb down from mainly Sinn Fein. In recent weeks Ian Paisley Junior humiliated Sinn Fein by gloatingly telling viewers on BBC Hearts and Minds that he would prefer to deal with the SDLP as they had a greater degree of competence than Sinn Fein.

    With these attitudes doing the rounds, it is little wonder that dissident republicans are becoming nervous that the political process is falling back into the old Stormont mode and that their community is traveling backwards in time. There is, of course, no justification for the use of violence because that really does take us back in time.

    But the public’s choice of the two largest parties as Sinn Fein and the DUP is being seen for what it is and that is an almost cynical, blind attempt to assert their national identity at the expense of a genuine vote for peace. So what do they expect now?

  • alan

    Mabe Frankie has been very ‘near’ to irish republicans,.Perhaps now he is beginning to understand and listen to them. Well I suppose that is to be welcomed even if we might feel a bit cynical mabe we should at least give them the benefit of the doubt and suspend judgement. Not sure how any other route gets us further? Does not mean of course that we should be seduced by the photo ops… and we should watch every move. That does not mean that it is totally smart to dismiss it either

  • Rory (South Derry)

    John O Connell

    I am glad to see some finally put on the record EXACTLY what people in Republican Areas are thinking:-

    (1). The Stormont Game is joke – The Provos simply
    are deluding themselves if they can not see
    that the DUP are running rings around them

    (2). Some of the people they have sitting there
    are simply “not fit for government”

    (3). This farce WILL NEVER as long as the sun
    shines deliver a United Ireland

    (4). They bullshitted people into accepting the
    PSNI and many in West Belfast would ring the
    UDA to police their areas

    (5). Crime levels and drug dealing are through
    the roof

    (6). The Minister for Education needs to go to
    school

    And this is what countless people died and went to prison for – A return to Stormont – NEVER on the agenda when we fought

    These people have created a disolussioned mass of people who are seeking refuge with Eirigi, RSF, RNU and The hardline Military parties

    The reality is being cloaked by SF rhetoric – The community they claim to represent think they have lost the plot!

    Martin stood at Stormont yestrday and does he realise how many former volunteers want him strung up – bet he doesn’t!

  • riverlagan

    I just heard on BBC Radio Five Live, that The Mail is reporting in tomorrows newspaper the security forces are facing a race against time to intercept a bomb, which has been smuggled across the border by dissidents.

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Yes, I know what you’re thinking but my goal is a social democratic Ireland under the governance of a competent SDLP and similar minded parties in the south.

    That’s much more likely to happen than your violence will deliver a united Ireland. We just have to bide our time until people get fed up with Sinn Fein’s incompetence.

  • George

    I just heard on BBC Radio Five Live, that The Mail is reporting in tomorrows newspaper the security forces are facing a race against time to intercept a bomb, which has been smuggled across the border by dissidents.

    It’s just like an episode of 24, which is probably where they got the storyline from. That’s not to say there isn’t a bomb. There’s always a bomb.

    40 people get blown away in the Republic’s drug wars in a 12-month period and people are disinterested, apart from when the innocent plumber got murdered.

    Two soldiers and a policemen die and it’s Armageddon. Bombs are in transit and no doubt the hills of Wicklow are full of na Fianna Óg brandishing weaponry and looking for that mythical underground shooting range.

    Let’s keep things in perspective here.

  • Rory (South Derry)

    John

    I am an unrepentant hardliner but I have been driven to it by Sinn Fein and the mess and division that they have caused in republicanism

    THEY are not capable of delivering a United Ireland and are only interested in the glory of the Game at Stormont.

    Pre – the PSNI acceptance we in South Derry invited them to listen to us and they wouldn’t – similar things were ignored in Tyrone & Fermanagh and they wonder why there are dissidents as they like to call us

    I think that a TOTAL Nationalist think tank wants to be pulled together so we can all clear the air before this goes mental as many are hard to restrain

    Would moderate Nationalism consider this – cause PSF are majorally annoying people

  • foreign correspondent

    ´´This farce WILL NEVER as long as the sun shines deliver a United Ireland´´
    This farce as you call it may or may not end up with a United Ireland some day, and for the record I hope it does, even if we are talking about a very long time-scale, longer than most of us Sluggees will be around for.
    However, the grotesque act of horror that is the murder of soldiers, policemen or whoever, will never ever get us a United Ireland, except in the sense of everyone being united in opposition to these crimes. Will ye never understand that?
    I wish people that feel obliged to ´´take to arms´´, would just turn them on themselves and do us all a favour.

  • riverlagan

    George

    I would understand your concerns regarding headline grabbing reporting if it were the Daily Star, or, The Sun. However, The Mail is a notch more sophisticated than the previous two newspapers mentioned. Maybe the newspaper didn’t report it word-for-word in that manor, as it was Richard Bacon who read out the headlines of tomorrow’s newspapers.

  • Rory (sd)

    I cannot speak on behalf of moderate Nationalism but I know that no party will speak to dissidents while the guns are being fired.

    But I share your frustration with Sinn Fein. The reason they give about violence never bringing about a united Ireland is valid in respect of them at Stormont. The unionists will never give in to Sinn Fein because of their past violence and that is why their leadership of the peace process is a waste of time.

    The only party that can actually deliver a united country is the SDLP. It cannot be done through Sinn Fein.

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Catholic Observer

    The Guardian Article appears to be idle tittle tattle with Agent Fulton climbing back out of a hole somewhere

    Would be amazed if there is anything anywhere

    People are mad but there not fools!

  • borderline

    Some of us have been warning for some time that this trouble was brewing, and that ‘republican’ which means in fact ‘extreme nationalist’ violence was going to make it’s way back onto the stage.

    Bertie claimed to the US HOR that Ireland was finally at peace, but then Bertie claimed lots of things in Dublin Castle which were false.

    There is an inexorable longterm process at work in which the aftermath of the Plantation of Ulster is being worked into the fabric of Ireland.

    Rory I will buy your argument that a re-start of the campaign is the only way to go if you can persuade me that the IRA campaign (which had some justifications) brought a United Ireland any closer.

    But it didn’t. However for the first time in ages Protestants have just started to move back into their grandfathers’ space and allow themselves to be Irish and British, which is what they are.

    Don’t start shooting Irish bullets at them, ‘cos they won’t like it. Instead, try and sign them up for the GAA team. Not easy, I grant you, but it’s the only way to go IMO.

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Borderline

    The Armed Struggle got the brits to talk couple with the unholy mess made in few english cities!
    FACT

    The change in government in Britain also was significant in getting discussions going!

    BUT PSF have got the republican family in a mess:-

    (1). We don’t believe a word they say

    (2). They lied

    (3). They can not deliver Unity EVER

    (4). They are not fit for even that farce at
    Stormont

    (5). They have abondoned EVER principle we fought
    for

    A Nationalist forum bring all strands of Nationalism and Republicanism around the table to trash out the mess may be the only solution

    Failing that many are gonna back the RIRA & CIRA

    Your views would be appreciated!!!

  • foreign correspondent

    Rory, before the provos started their bloody campaign I wonder how many Northern Protestants considered themselves Irish and how many did so by the 90´s?. You really believe the old line about removing the ´Brits´ and somehow Protestants will suddenly embrace their Irishness. Or do they have to leave as well?

  • Rory (South Derry)

    FC

    Somewhere down the line we are all gonna have to live together

    The brits dont really deep down give a damn for either side

    The Protestant community should not and must be attacked – The Brits are only enemy

    Sorry along with PROVISONAL SINN FEIN

  • Pete Baker

    Rory

    “The Brits are only enemy..”

    And those in the “protestant community”, not to mention those in the “catholic community”, who consider themselves to be both Irish and British and European?

    An idiotic position.

  • Clady cowboy

    Yes Pete,

    “The Brits are only enemy..”

    And those in the “protestant community”, not to mention those in the “catholic community”, who consider themselves to be both Irish and British and European?

    An idiotic position

    And all the talk of exterminating ‘republicans’ this last few days also,eh.

    Let’s not get sensitive.

    My condoloences to the harshly afflicted families of these last few mad days

  • Crime levels and drug dealing are through the roof

    When my Dad was in jail, as an IRA prisoner, our house, in a staunchly Republican area, was burgled four times in less than a year by hoods who knew that because my Dad was in jail, my mother was alone at home with two young children and could offer no resistance. This was in the year of the Hunger Strikes when fantasists like you would have us believe that Republican communities were so galvanised in the struggle that there was simply no will for anti-social crime.

    Then, the next year, our garden wall as demolished by joy riders who came within about a metre of ploughing into our living room and killing us all. Back in those wonderful pre-ceasefire days when crime was allegedly unknown.

    I grew up in a Republican area in the height of the Troubles and in terms of day-to-day crime, things were overall no better and no worse than they are now. There was probably less street violence and less anti-social behaviour. There was undoubtedly a lot more burglarly and scamming of the elderly seemed pretty common back then as well. There was probably about the same amount of joyriding as there is now, and less than there was in the early-mid 1990s. And while there was undoubtedly less drug dealing, there was equally a lot more wife beating and child abuse back then, and none of that has anything to do with the Troubles, and everything to do with secular changes in social attitudes to drugs, children and gender equality.

    Oh, and there was a lot of crime classifiable as “loyalist gunmen driving into Catholic areas as shooting people at random” which doesn’t happen any more. That’s certainly made a major difference to my quality of life. And there was a lot of “getting stopped for no real reason by a bored Brit with an attitude problem looking to put his evening in” and “having your heart in your mouth every time you needed to go into a loyalist area”, all of which is welcome by its absence nowadays.

    Maybe it was different up the country, but Belfast pre-ceasefire was no crime-free paradise.

    I know it’s probably a bit off to criticise the PSNI this week, but I agree entirely that the PSNI’s performance in detecting crime is often woeful. And the PPS make it worse by cocking up prosecutions. But if you think a return to war by dissident Republicans is going to solve any of that, let alone bring about a united Ireland, then sorry, but you need your head examined.

  • Clady cowboy

    To avoid confusion, Rory, You’re being an idiot but then i suspect you realise that.

    Wolfe Tone would’ve looked down on you and with good reason

    Poliitcs is the only way mo chara

  • Pete Baker

    Cowboy

    “And all the talk of exterminating ‘republicans’ this last few days also,eh.”

    You obviously have been reading something other than what I have written.

    Best to stick to criticism of what I have actually said, rather than that which you wish I had said.

  • Harris

    John O’Connell

    “The only party that can actually deliver a united country is the SDLP”

    Is your logic here based on the fact that unionists won’t work with Sinn Fein? I hope you have something more concrete than this, because the SDLP will do nothing but acquiesce to every unionist demand!

  • Clady cowboy

    PB,

    Hadn’t suggested you said or thought that. I only brought it to your attention that republican bashing was abundant recently. You were less sensitive when other posters were calling for ‘republicans’ to be hunted down and erased.

    Just keeping you honest, guv.

  • NCM

    You guys on all sides of this do realize that so far a random nut in Alabama has been deadlier than the entire RIRA/CIRA “offensive,” right?… and probably had more guns stockpiled too.

  • IRIA

    NCM: Probably right.

    Also: Please keep Fulton/Keeley and O’Callaghan out of any news item. Once I see those names, the BS meter goes way up. Those guys have been overused.

  • It must be a difficult pill for Mr.Gallagher to swallow but these are crunch time for the the loyalist movement. In the past they have appeared to be obstructionist and lacking in pragmatic credentials when compared to the likes of Sinn Fein, but Mr.Gallagher’s actions show evidence that a new maturity may be creeping into the Loyalist movements’ leadership. Surely this can’t be a bad thing in this distressing times?

    Mikerkeag

    http://canyouwalkonthericepaper.blogspot.com/

  • Independent Observer

    Ulster is British so he is obviously meeting british Republicans.

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Clady Cowboy

    The Idiots in PSF lied – bottom line

    They will fill the ranks of RIRA & CIRA with their arrogant bullshit that says – we are better Republicans than you

    Don’t you see how they are DUP Lackies just now

    And for threats to be sent to 2 of most senior republican families in Tyrone is just laughable

    THESE PSF PEOPLE ARE SUPPOSTED TO BE PEACE PEOPLE!

    Clady is 5 miles from where I live and you boys always where Cheerleaders for Connolly House!

  • Neil

    They will fill the ranks of RIRA & CIRA with their arrogant bullshit that says – we are better Republicans than you

    Is that not in essence, precisely what you are saying to the various Republicans who you have been debating with? Everyone else’s Republican credentials are worth fuck all, our arguments will be ignored, in fact, as long as the dissidents have guns, then they will bestow upon themselves the greater Republican legitmacy and will do as they please?

    Nice post Samnmy.

  • amber valence

    Does nobody grasp the point that young MEN, by definition, need to prove themselves?
    Repub/Loyal is less relevant than the testosterone.
    If only the women would do a Lysistrata.
    Until then it’ll be boys beating their toys.

  • 6 County Prod

    John O’Connell: dissident republicans are becoming nervous that the political process is falling back

    What a ludicrous statement. Waken up, John! The dissidents have always been opposed to the political process and want to destroy it.

  • Clady cowboy

    Rory

    I’m from Clady, west Tyrone.

    I know people who spent time in Long Kesh. They too have doubts with the SF strategy but the only threats issued where from ‘dissidents’ to local SFers.

    If we work under the assumption that

    (a) Sinn Fein are arrogant sellouts
    (b) The DUP are thwarting SF
    (c) Violent republicans have enough support to wage a campaign

    The model of violence still won’t achieve a united Ireland. It makes it harder to attain. Hence, violence is counter-productive.

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    “The model of violence still won’t achieve a united Ireland. It makes it harder to attain. Hence, violence is counter-productive.”

    Very true! The goal is to unite the people of the island, not drive them apart. Violence and murder ain’t gonna produce a harmonious society? The penny has dropped with most folk, realising the fact.

    Unfortunately the very slow-learners don’t understand this!

  • daisy

    “evidence that a new maturity may be creeping into the Loyalist movements’ leadership”

    and new designer sunglasses for the grassroots, going by the loyalists holding the banner at yesterday’s rally.

    Re SF “sell-out”, let’s see what happens at election time. I suspect their vote will increase as a show of strength against the republican ‘alternative’.

  • Unfortunately the very slow-learners don’t understand this!

    the very slow learners have hatred in their hearts.

  • Harris

    Is your logic here based on the fact that unionists won’t work with Sinn Fein? I hope you have something more concrete than this, because the SDLP will do nothing but acquiesce to every unionist demand!

    It seems that Sinn Fein have been doing a lot of acquiescing lately. But the basis of my point is that because of, and I mean because of, the IRA campaign of the 1969-1997 period, the unionist people will feel obliged to oppose and humiliate Sinn Fein whenever they get the chance.

    There will be no united Ireland achieved through Sinn Fein. It simply defies the protocols of human psychology.

  • 6 County Prod

    What a ludicrous statement. Waken up, John! The dissidents have always been opposed to the political process and want to destroy it.

    The dissidents have been a bit like the unionists then. In fact, they’re a lot like the unionists only the political process is presently framed in favour of the unionists, and they don’t have to impress us with their killing in order to get their way.

  • TAFKABO

    Well done John, another example of someone pontificating that they can deliver a united Ireland (and here’s me thinking it would take everyone working together to do that but no, your party has some magical ability to deliver it) whilst at the same time inferring that all Unionists are killers.

    When you wake up to your own sectarianism, come back and talk to us about how we’ll achieve an agreed future.

  • TAFKABO

    and here’s me thinking it would take everyone working together to do that but no, your party has some magical ability to deliver it)

    Maybe you would like to address the argument I make that Sinn Fein are leading a UI strategy that will never result in the persuasion of the unionists. They will always oppose that strategy. Or maybe your a republican idealist who just doesn’t realise how much the unionists despise you.

    whilst at the same time inferring that all Unionists are killers.

    You’re imagining things. Clearly a few bullets from the dissidents has disoriented you idealistic republicans – or is that an oxymoron.

  • Neil

    TAF’s no Republican ye donut…

  • fin

    TAFKABO,you’ve posted a few times here mentioning conditions for a united Ireland, are you really open-minded on the possibility or is it a stick to beat hardline republican
    ationalist thinking with.

    Do your conditions for a UI weigh-in at less than the whole island joining the UK, and adopting GStQ and the union flag?

  • TAFKABO

    Fin.

    I long ago came to the conclusion that to be against a United Ireland on purely ideological grounds was illogical.
    Of course it probably helps that I’m already a republican, albeit a British one.
    If a United Ireland offers the best way forward for me and mine, I’ll vote for it.
    Having said that, I’ve yet to see a decent offer, or to be convinced by the rhetoric.

  • fin

    TAFKABO, well thats a bugger as, since the celtic tiger, the south has never been further away from republican ideals in its purest sense.

    However at a basic level to be a republican is to be anti-monarchist, so to be fair its a bit closer to the goal than the UK is now, or ever likely to be.

    Yet you still haven’t outlined (even in broad brushstrokes) what would make you comfortable in a united Ireland

  • TAFKABO

    Fin.

    I currently live in France, though I’ll be back in Belfast in about a month.
    Someone once remarked that it was strange that I didn’t want to be in a united Ireland when I already lived in a catholic republic. I had to point out to them that no, I didn’t live in a catholic republic, I lived a secular republic that happened to be full of catholics, it’s not the same thing.
    That ought to give you and idea of what I’m talking about, besides, it’s not my job to tell you what to offer me. I’m happy being part of the Union, if you want that to change then it’s your job to convince me.

  • veritas

    I don`t whether to laugh or cry at some on this thread…

  • fin

    TAFKABO, to be honest I’ve never been overly religous and possibly thats why I’ve never really noticed the Catholic church been involved with affairs of state (or took any notice of it) but hell if a complete seperation of church and state would swing enough unionists behind a yes vote for a UI I don’t think there would be an issue.

    A reason I support SF and the GFA (and I don’t think hardline republicans have thought about this) is that I don’t want a united Ireland which is FF v FG and more of the same. The GFA allows for a dismantling of how the north and south is at the moment and allows for the whole island to be rebuilt as a better place. Not full of corrupt politicans, dodgy developers and thieving bankers

    However, I don’t think you’re been fair with the ‘convince me’ approach without giving a hint as to what will make you buy.

    It is always better to negotiate from a position of power, the power of the community which considers themselves British in NI has declined steady since the states creation, surely it makes sense for them (and you) to discuss this option while still in a majority and therefore be in a position to bargain for more. Should there be a UI in the future, it is possible that the British community will only get the same position in the new state that the nationalist community gets in NI, which frankly at the moment is a lot more than previous, but still not alot.

  • Greenflag

    Fin ,

    its a bit closer to the goal than the UK is now, or ever likely to be.’

    To all intents and purposes the UK is a ‘Republic ‘ as far as day to day life for most people is concerned . Although I’m personnally anti monarchist it would not disturb my personal life if I had to live in ‘pagan ‘ England as opposed to ‘pagan ‘ Ireland . Most people in Northern Ireland look to London for ‘guidance ‘ . It’s the source of their econonomic well being or lack of well being ;). If any are looking towards Dublin it’s as a ‘neighbour’ and a State which can assist NI through to normalcy .

    Tafkabo is right . Those opposed to the status quo have the most to do to change any situation . Sometimes unforeseen circumstances arise which can change the status quo quickly as we see from the present financial crisis .

    Those who are hooked into a UI ‘solution’ may have to wait a lot longer to be able to buy out Northern Ireland .

    Personnally I’d rather invest in some bio tech shares or in GE not GM ;

    In the current financial climate a UI has been relegated from Number 29 in the order of political priorities for the people of the Republic to maybe 129 . And as we won’t have an election anytime soon my guess is that events in NI will muddle along as usual until some major ‘power sharing ‘ crisis brings the Stormont experiment to an end . It seems clear that the Assembly will be able to handle any resumption of activity by ‘dissidents ‘ of either side .

  • Stephen Copeland

    TAFKABO,

    Someone once remarked that it was strange that I didn’t want to be in a united Ireland when I already lived in a catholic republic. I had to point out to them that no, I didn’t live in a catholic republic, I lived a secular republic that happened to be full of catholics, it’s not the same thing.

    That was me, amongst others, but you mis-quote. I actually pointed out to you that France was a secular republic where most people were nominally Catholic, just like the south. No-one (except those voices inside your head) has ever said in recent times that the south is a ‘catholic republic’.

    I now understand better why discussing things with you was so frustrating. You simply didn’t listen, and mis-interpretted everything to fit into your own world view.

  • TAFKABO

    No-one (except those voices inside your head) has ever said in recent times that the south is a ‘catholic republic’.

    From where I’m standing it is a catholic republic. People may not say this outright but in order for me to contemplate voting to be part of it, it would have to modernise and that means putting more clear water between church and state.
    By the way, I’m not against people having their religion, here in France people are still religious but it is kept in its proper place, that is to say private.
    And yes, I do recognise that the Ireland of today is not the Ireland of 1950, I think things are moving in the right direction.

  • fin

    Greenflag, thanks for your input, I’m guessing that the people you are talking about is the 55% of the population which deems themselves british, for sure the 45% who consider themselves Irish do obviously look towards Dublin

    Yes, those hoping for a UI may have to wait for an opportunity “to be able to buy out Northern Ireland” but thats ok because the price will keep dropping as the bargaining position of the ‘British’ community weakens.

    And you’re right the importance of a UI for people in the south has probably dropped in a very short of space from 29 – 129 (or whatever to whatever) people are very fickle these days. Of course you should also be wary that it could jump from 247 to 1 just as quickly, nation states do seem to come and go quickly these days, if Belgium could hit such a rocky patch recently couldn’t Ireland do a similar crisis (in reverse obviously)

    How long to wait is the question, one thing is for sure the gap between votes for each is narrowing in the favour of nationalists. Yes I do think it is DUP scaremongering suggesting SF will top the poll in Europe or be the largest party in Stormont, but how far back do you need to go for that to have been a ridiculous statement, 5 years?, 10 years?

    Obviously if the gap keeps narrowing the bargaining position keeps weakening on one side and strengthening on the other, and in the meantime nationalists continue to chip away at the state, powersharing, a right to be Irish, all Ireland bodies.

    Apart from making money, not much happens when times are good, its when times are bad that governments need to distract their people, whatevery about 2016 there are a lot of dates over the next decade or so to bring this question into the public domain, first Dail, war of independence, partition, Civil war……

    I don’t think unionism has a plan B, apart from doing their damnest to hold back the full implementation of the GFA, which is a bit of a Cnut effort, their politicans have stuck their heads in the sand and refused to acknowledge the possibilities of a UI (at least in public).

    It is actually in republicans favour for unionists to debate this and offer their input/terms, not just for the obvious reasons, but, as I said earlier most republicans have no love for the current structure in the South, and do not have the presense to change it, strangely, unionists are in a better position to do this.

  • fin

    TAFKABO, I’ve always had my doubts about religion, not helped by finding out that the CoE held quite a few BAE shares, Army Chaplains also seem to be a contradiction, not to mention the head of state double jobbing as the head of the states religion, and one person having his own religion and political party, well, thats just scary.

    Been honest, if putting religion into its proper place is all it would take to swing people around, I don’t think to many people would object.

    Consider it done, whatelse is needed?

  • TAFKABO

    With all due respect, and I know that you’re a bit of an egomaniac, but the Church is not the problem for most unionists.

    It’s really about overcoming their own prejudices against what they feel to be something inferior to what they have. By the time we have bent over backwards facilitating you, we’ll have a queue of people with other barriers in the way of a UI.

    I would say that trying to facilitate the untypical unionist is as much of a waste as trying to talk to the dissidents.

  • Yes I do think it is DUP scaremongering suggesting SF will top the poll in Europe or be the largest party in Stormont

    No it isn’t. It’s quite possible that the Shinners will top the poll in June in less Allister really, really, bombs. It’s unlikely they are going to become the largest party in Stormont any time soon (the DUP lead is a hefty enough 8 seats), but if Unionism doesn’t lose its overall majority in 2011 it will in 2015.

    Welcome to the era of permanent no-one in a majority status.

  • fin

    Sammy, I’d love to see it, and I’d love for them to spend the political capital it would produce, but I’m not sure it’ll happen this time round. But yes, barring disasters, its only a matter of time.

    But then, nationalist success only seems to push unionism further to right and farther from engaging, so God knows what big rock they would scurry under should results go SF’s way.

  • TAFKABO

    Been honest, if putting religion into its proper place is all it would take to swing people around, I don’t think to many people would object.

    I was speaking for myself Fin, I don’t have a mandate to speak for all Unionists.

    Consider it done, what else is needed?

    I don’t think that question can be answered because we don’t know what the future holds, especially in today’s economic climate.
    It’s entirely possible that Marx was right and capitalism is in the process of self destructing, who knows what is going to emerge from the rubble?

  • TAFKABO

    TAFKABO

    With all due respect, and I know that you’re a bit of an egomaniac, but the Church is not the problem for most unionists.

    It’s really about overcoming their own prejudices against what they feel to be something inferior to what they have. By the time we have bent over backwards facilitating you, we’ll have a queue of people with other barriers in the way of a UI.

    The problem with your rhetoric John, leaving the ad hominems aside is that you’re playing the same card as the UUs did with their disasterous decent people vote for us strategy.
    tryig to convince people that they should be a united Ireland because frankly, they’re not fit to run things on their own is unlikely to ever succeed.
    I don’t need you to bend over backwards to faciltate me, don’t foel yourself that you’re doing me any favours. Oh and by the way, if Robbo really believed that the SDLP would do a better job of tangling with the DUP, he’d never have admitted it publicly, he was playing mind games with the Shinners and it’s a bit embarrasing to see how easily the SDLP fell for it.

  • TAFKABO

    It really does seem to be the case that you’ve been in France too long. Any independent observer, not one given to wishful thinking in relation to seeing Sinn Fein in Government, would see that they have put up a terrible show, and are an embarrassment to Nationalists. Ian Paisley junior didn’t need to say anything about that, but he knows that his party has humiliated Sinn Fein on major issues and relied on the fact that Sinn Fein are stuck and can’t do anything about it because they have no alternative to government with the DUP.

    I have no problem criticising both the DUP and Sinn Fein for their double act has triggered the recent violence.

  • fin

    TAFKABO, your thoughts are similar to many people not only unionists regarding religion, as I mentioned earlier the status of religion and religous leaders in the UK is disturbing, as a Catholic there are things I find deeply offensive in both the CoE and CoI articles of faith, primarily the references to the Pope been the anti-christ, also the public declarations by certain individuals that all catholics go to hell, also the ‘alledged oath’ of the OO regarding attitudes towards catholics,and although I am not aware of similar canons within the catholic faith, or within religous organisations in the south, and to be fair I think there is a willingness to change as evident by the adoption of a neutral christian ‘time to reflect’ theme with the Angelus after complaints from the leaders of unionism.

    Withregards to everythingelse its a fairly onesided conversation, SF are ridiculed for saying they want to build an Ireland of equals, and the Irish government is ignored when it says that unity will only come through persuasion

  • borderline

    The warnings that rory puts out about a shift to the dissidents should be heeded. I don’t believe it’s the case that the dissidents were always there, in fact I believe that there is a dynamic at work whereby lads are drawn to the dissidents due to a number of factors:
    e.g. frustration at lack of nationalist progress,

    economic issues,
    attitude of local ‘republican’ leaders,
    attitude of loyalist and British politicians,
    perceptions of effectiveness of new groups,
    reaction of ‘crown forces’ etc.

    So this business of a ‘tiny minority determined to drag us back to the troubles’ is not really the story, though it suits the soundbite merchants.

    Rory is of course correct when he states that the IRA forced the Brits to talk due to the English bombing campaign. In weak moments, they will admit it. But that’s not the point IMO. OK, it forced concessions, and a grudging respect, and Nationalists (all of them) gained status, but was it all worth it? Was their an easier way?

    Their is a dynamic at work which leads to people marrying their neighbours, and Ireland is an island. Folk with names like Cowen, Adams, Magennis have all ‘changed sides’, maybe a few times.

    All violence does is drag people back into their ancient Orange and Green redoubts.

  • Frank.ie Goes To Hollywood

    There is only six degrees of separation between you