On the streets or in the chamber?

Antrim Borough Council have called for a British Army ‘homecoming’ parade, a move opposed by Sinn Fein. We’ll have to wait and see if the parade materialises or if a SF protest occurs on the ground, a response they‘ve previously been happy to endorse. Given both éirígí and other republican groups have been willing to protest in Antrim it may be a situation were Sinn Fein yet again have to decide if they respond to scene setting by traditional republican groups or decide to act in a manner that ingratiates themselves with their Unionist partners at Stormont.

  • Or as Cllr Watson puts it:

    “Ninety nine per cent of this community would be supportive, and if you’re not supportive just stay out of Antrim for five minutes while it walks by,” he said.

    “You don’t have to get out of your lazy bed to come down and be offended, just stay away.”

  • dunreavynomore

    If the bookies are taking bets, Mark, ingratiation would be a firm favourite.

  • ngg

    ill be there with my family cheering them on.

    its my country not some provo cowards.

  • Mark McGregor

    Ignited,

    Its my council, they aren’t speaking on or behalf of 99% of people that pay the rates no matter how they wish to present it. That’s just BS.

    Being honest about it might help with this ‘stay out’ argument.

  • Of course he is pulling figures from thin air – but I take it out of 19 councillors, the 3 SF cllrs objected. Its pretty clear the vast majority either favour or will be passive in their response.

    Its a fitting tribute to those young soldiers and their regiment.

  • Bottom line is;

    These troops are foreign born, not from the island of Ireland and therefore should not be welcomed by any Irish Council!

    I urge every Republican, Socialist and Democrat to strongly oppose any parade by an Imperialist and Occupying Army.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Mark,

    Isn’t it a bit agenda-laden to talk about SF trying to ingratiate themselves with the Unionists given that the SF members on Antrim borough council voted against this decision ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    These troops are foreign born, not from the island of Ireland and therefore should not be welcomed by any Irish Council!

    Does that include the many senior IRA volunteers who were English ?

  • Rory Carr

    “…were Sinn Fein yet again have to decide if they respond to scene setting by traditional republican groups or decide to act in a manner that ingratiates themselves with their Unionist partners at Stormont.

    Great choice offered, Mark. Most lawyerly.

    “Have you or have you not, Mr. McGregor, yet ceased from beating your wife?”.

  • eranu

    sigh…. are republicans not tired of all this bitterness? surely it takes an awful lot of energy to be angry all the time? its such a waste. can they not think of something else to be about other than hating on young men returning to their wives and children? its beyond understanding.

  • Clady cowboy

    “You don’t have to get out of your lazy bed to come down and be offended, just stay away.”

    Question. Is there a product on the market called a ‘Lazy bed’ that presumably is in the same vein as the ‘lazy boy’ armchair?

    Or has Cllr Watson just ascribed a human behavioral trait to an inanimate object?

    [keep it civil – edited moderator]

    Perhaps he was being poetic. Watch out, Heaney.

  • Clady cowboy

    “[keep it civil – edited moderator]”

    Come home quick our brave boyos! Another Taleban awaits your attention here! 🙂

    Cllr Watson, you’re a genius and the sinew that keeps this Kingdom united!

  • Scaramoosh

    You would have thought that those that aspire to the dissident cause, would be only too aware how easy it is for young, disadvantaged and gullible teenagers to be persuaded to engage in military activity, by those that should really no better.

  • picador

    It seems to me that the blogger’s agenda is more anti-SF than anti British Army.

    While I disagree with British Army parades here I am not aware of any specific atrocities that they carried on the streets of Antrim, a town that remained by and large peaceful during ‘The Troubles’.

    Were it not for the recent shootings it’s unlikely that Councillor Watson would have proposed such an event for a largely English regiment were it not for the recent shootings. Is there an election coming up?

  • fin

    haha love it, which I think I can safely say is not the attitude of the poor bloody soldiers involved. Are unionists of their skulls, the day before they go off to a war zone 2 of their colleagues are shot dead at their barracks, off they go to Afganistan for a few months to get shot at somemore and then unionists think its a great idea to get them to march through the town when they get home hahahahahahahaha ffs you gotta feel sorry for the poor bloody squaddies with friends like that who needs …………..

  • Oiliféar

    I assume there has been no word from the British Army about this. And I assume there never will be. In fact, I assume it will never happen. Not because Sinn Féin don’t want it, or because Éirígí don’t want, but because the British Army don’t want it.

  • redhugh78

    “It seems to me that the blogger’s agenda is more anti-SF than anti British Army”

    Seems the same trait runs through the majority of the blogs on here.

  • storm over

    Why should we honour war criminals? Men who willingly volunteered to fight an illegal war?

    “We must never forget that the record on which we judge these defendants today is the record on which history will judge us tomorrow.”

    US Chief of Counsel for the Nuremberg Trials, Robert H Jackson, after prosecuting soldiers for merely following orders.

  • Brian MacAodh

    Just four years earlier, the Robert Jacksons country was basically fighting an undeclared war on the German and Japanese navies, and supplying massive amounts of war material to the Allies…all while being “nuetral”

    Please don’t call these troops war criminals, get a clue.

  • storm over

    yes i can see how your little slice of history relates to anything stated by myself or that at all affirms the statement made below

  • I’m pretty agnostic about these parades. It’s not that I have no fondness for the British Army for republican reasons (clearly, as I am not a republican) but, rather, they elicit the same feelings in me as any other army would: Irish, British, US, Israeli, German or whatever.
    That being said, I don’t begrudge the families of the young men the chance to see them come home and to show their pride in that. I just wouldn’t go myself as I support neither the wars they are fighting in nor the way in which they are fighting those wars.
    It is the case, however, of people here on both sides being ridiculous; republicans are playing their predictable role in spouting rhetoric about foreign occupiers while staunch unionists make a point of welcoming home a bunch of people they probably don’t know and who are fighting in places that have no interest in. Both sides need to wise up a bit.

  • Harry Flashman

    “Does that include the many senior IRA volunteers who were English ?”

    Ah now CS, that’s unfair, just because Johnny Stephenson was a cockney wideboy and Private James Connolly was an Edinburgh squaddie should not reflect badly on proud IRA officers of Irish birth like Lady Constance Gore-Booth, Mr Charles William St John Burgess, Sir Roger Casement or Senor Edward DeValera.

  • eranu

    but 1967, welcome home parades are normal in any country. not all the people that turn out actually know the the troops personally. they are just welcoming home their country’s troops.
    i would like to know in which countries it is normal to not feel some sort of welcome, pride, gratitude, or some kind of similar feeling towards their troops?
    i think on too many issues people in NI think that they find the pro or anti viewpoints stupid, and thus think what is normal is to be ‘non of the above’. the reality in this situation is that ‘normal’ is to be pro your countries troops. simple as that.

  • Harry Flashman

    Oh, and how could I forget Patrick Henry Pearse? Born in Dublin, the son of Mr James Pearse, a fine man from Birmingham in Warwickshire.

    It’s good to keep the distinction between foreign born people and the Irish very clear at all times.