Voice of the people?

The Belfast Media Group prints regular reader texts pages across its titles. Of late it has drawn numerous comments on recent killings and SF’s response.

In yesterday’s ATN, a paper not known for providing a voice to viewpoints critical of SF, there was a flurry of texts attacking their position.

Full texts can be accessed here. The relevant ones below the fold.

From the ATN Thurs 26th March

As a young republican I would like through your paper to ask Sinn Féin a question. Would all the martyrs throughout our history, from victims of the Vikings to the B-Specials to our hunger strikers, have accepted what you people are offering? I don’t think so, the Brits are still here. Elderly people are getting mugged and murdered in their homes. The place is rampant with hoods let out of jails, while you call yourselves republicans, getting paid by people you are supposed to be at war with. You people have a cheek to say you support Palestine and democracy, while you dine with America which supports Israel and murdering innocent people, women and children, in Palestine, Iraq and beyond. And then you say tout on anyone who knows about dissident. You have a cheek. Sands, Pearse and Connolly would call you traitors.
WATCHING

For years I have voted Sinn Féin but after listening to their spokesmen in recent weeks it breaks my heart to say this – I will give my vote to the Workers’ Party before I will vote for Sinn Féin because they are no longer the republican voice. As for what Martin McGuinness said, he should hang his head in shame, but seeing as it is coming up to Easter what do you expect from a Judas? True republicans are turning in their graves.
GAA SUPPORTER

Can anyone tell my why Sinn Féin is playing the same fiddle as the SDLP, or is it that they are scared that they will lose a lot of cosy seats and high wages up at Stormont. So much for republican values – and they called the Sticks traitors. Well, they still have their guns even if they are rusty.
IRSP ALL THE WAY

As a supporter of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement I would like to ask Sinn Féin: You say go to the cops and tout on Irishmen and women. How many people did the PIRA murder claiming that these people were informants? Or does that not count, seeing that Sinn Féin is now in government. Grass roots members should stand up to the so-called leadership because they are no better than Collins and co in 1921.
TRUE REPUBLICAN

lot of people send texts in about the RIRA and the CIRA but it seems the ATN will not print them. Why don’t you admit that you are the voice of Sinn Féin and anyone who supports dissident republicans will get no say in your paper. Anyone can send texts or letters in as long as you do not do down the republican movement (ie Adams and McGuinness and co). Roll on June 4 and you shall find out in the European elections what the working class think of Sinn Féin.
SOCIALIST WORKER

I really think Gerry Adams (him that was never in the Ra) and the rest of the SF leadership shot themselves in the foot. The reason being, when they asked people to Brussel to the Trevs about true rebels who were sitting on the sidelines sitting tight to see where this Good Friday Agreement was going, but when SF said give in to the peelers that was one step too far. We all know the history of the peelers and their treachery. So see those rebels on the sidelines, to them the ref really blew the whistle, hence they walked away from the line. And ATN I have met some rebels while out hacking and your good selves at Teach Basil and SF. We all know there are a lot of wise men and women who were very wise foxes who hail from the republican family. After all Gerry, Mr President, they are your former comrades.
AND ONLY HER RIVERS RUN FREE

The so-called republican dissident groups in Belfast have terrorised the nationalist community for over ten years. They have murdered some of their own people, threatened community workers and ordinary people, taken backhanders off drug-dealers, tortured people for protection money and burned their property and swollen their ranks with hoods and armed robbers. Also in order to free Ireland they threaten traffic wardens. The only people safe from these muppets in the past ten years have been the Brits. They have carried out hundreds of armed robberies for funding and what annoys me is people using the names of dead hunger strikers and and IRA volunteers to defend these wasters. In over ten years how far have these dissidents advanced the cause of Irish freedom. These clowns have been running about for over ten years claiming they are sorting out the anti-social problem, so over ten years later why are areas like the Lower Falls such a mess and have you noticed since these dissidents have come on to the scene. The drug problem has got 100 times worse.
OPEN-EYED

Previous texts to the BMG

I am outraged about Martin McGuinness’s comments on the news (“the war is over”). It’s been going on over 800 years, who is he to say it’s over and to speak for the people of Ireland? So is that it then, Martin? England has won, after 800 years no united Ireland because the war’s over for you. Young Irishmen want a united Ireland and it’s not over for us. You tried and failed, now step aside.
THE ONE ROAD

I would like to ask the RIRA, who gave them the right to murder two soldiers and say they are fighting for Ireland? These people do not speak for me, my family and other people. I think Sinn Féin have a lot to answer for with these so-called dissidents. They are former members who were trained by the Provos.
TURF LODGE READ

I am a 32-year-old man, married with three brilliant kids who are all doing well in school. I heard the news that two British soldiers were shot dead in Antrim by supposed republicans. All my childhood life was robbed from me because of the Troubles. I can remember having to go to school and having to walk through a riot during the hunger strike and being terrified. I voted for the Good Friday Agreement so that my kids wouldn’t have to go through what I went through. So I say to these so-called republicans, go away, you don’t represent me, nor my family or anyone or any of my friends or anyone I know. To whoever did the shooting, I hope you’re proud of yourself because nobody else is.
SICKENED

If Sinn Féin want peace then after what happened in Antrim why do they not give the names of their former members to the PSNI so they can face the courts?
GIVE US PEACE

I think it’s time the Real IRA dropped the ‘Real’ from their name and reclaimed the title IRA as the ones who formerly used that are now supporters of British rule. They have gone away and the true owners of that name are now prepared to take on the British army and RUC.
EVER ONWARD

I’m sure I speak for the majority of West Belfast when I say to the dissidents that this is not what we want. We don’t want soldiers or peelers shot, we want the thugs that are destroying our neighbourhoods dealt with. We want peace, go away!
HAIL, HAIL

Sinn Féin claim to have a long-term strategy for a united Ireland by peaceful means. All well and good. But do the readers truly believe that the unionist community will hand the keys to the occupied six counties without a fight?
REALIST

But Gerry, how can the Ra bring the Brits back on to the streets when they never left? The UDR/RIR are regiments of the British army. Stop talking nonsense Gerry, Kelly and Martin. Last British soldier killed before this was in ‘97, didn’t hear you crying your eyeballs out about that. You started this war and now you’re freaking out because you can’t stop it. What are you going to do Gerry, oh what are you going to do?
STRAIGHT TALKER

Can’t wait until the next election.
SPOILER

Thanks RIRA, a death warrant for a fellow Irishman.
RFA

It’s a disgrace what the Real IRA did to those poor innocent soldiers and pizza delivery men. If the Real IRA are such hard men then why don’t they rid the scum out of the ‘Murph and Lower Falls etc? They don’t have to shoot them, just ask them to leave Belfast because we don’t want punishment beatings.
ENOUGH’S ENOUGH

The people who did the shooting of the Two Brits need to clean up the Lower Falls. The thugs down there are more of a danger than the two young lads who were murdered. They are destroying your people’s lives and areas. When was the last time you saw a Brit giving a member of your community a hard time?
GET REAL

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