Loyalists pack court as first charges brought over Coleraine murder

As nine individuals appeared in court today facing charges in relation with the murder of Kevin McDaid in Coleraine, the BBC has reported that “70 loyalists” packed the court, with many captured entering the courthouse with scarves and hoods shielding their faces [though we have been ‘assured’ by Assistant Chief Constable, Alistair Finlay, that loyalists were not involved in the murder- awful big turnout for a ‘maverick’ crowd…]
Meanwhile, the news that the loyalist Pride of the Bann flute band have decided to shorten their parade on Friday night to avoid the area of the murder has been welcomed by some, but BBC Talkback’s Mike Philpot was decidedly less than impressed with the band- and others.

  • Doctor Who

    Chris D.

    “[though we have been ‘assured’ by Assistant Chief Constable, Alistair Finlay, that loyalists were not involved in the murder- awful big turnout for a ‘maverick’ crowd…]”

    At it again Chris, as you well know the ACC assured no such thing. He ruled out UDA involvement. That is orders carried out on behalf of the UDA to kill Mr. McDaid. The killers where most definately loyalist neanderthals, many of whom im sure have UDA connections.

    Why are you so obsessed in having official loyalist paramilitary involvment in this murder. Is it not time to step back, let the family grieve, let the police establish the facts and let justice take it´s course and have these animals put away for a very long time.

    I think a better obsession would be putting energy into the eradication of sectarianism in NI. Any ideas.

  • Pride of the Bann and Spirit of Freedom are exemplary role models for the new generation, aren’t they Chris? You might wonder what Bebo and NICCY are doing about it. Perhaps Mike Philpot will tell us.

  • Paul

    Doctor Who

    Where were you when the yahoos were trying to hang the Quinn murder around the neck of the IRA?

  • Dec

    Why are you so obsessed in having official loyalist paramilitary involvment in this murder.

    Doctor

    Why are you so obsessed in denying it?

  • Chris Donnelly

    Dr Who
    But he hasn’t said that, has he? Finlay’s quotes are below:

    “There is no suggestion it was in any way organised by any particular group. This was a group of about 15 males who went on a rampage with devastating consequences.”

    He later depicted them as ‘mavericks.’

    Nowhere has it been asserted by PSNI sources that UDA members were involved in the murder.

    As for the idea that the best thing to do is ‘step back and allow the family to grieve,’ that hardly warrants comment, but I’ll proceed anyway.

    This is a site dedicated to discussing key political stories in the north of Ireland (as well as other matters.) Following the murder of the two British soldiers in Antrim and that of a PSNI officer in Lurgan, there were dozens of threads (quite rightly) dedicated to the topic.

    I don’t remember anyone suggesting that the threads be ceased to facilitate family grieving- such a call would have been foolish then, as it is now.

    This story has led the news agenda for a number of days. That it warrants comment and (in typical Slugger fashion) is the subject for a number of threads is beyond doubt.

    Getting back to the issue of loyalist involvement, I’m quite interested in ascertaining just who the PSNI were ‘negotiating’ with on the loyalist side prior to the murder of Kevin McDaid.

    If you had read my earlier posts, you would have worked out that I believe it is revealing that the PSNI would see fit to negotiate the removal of Irish tricolours at the behest of loyalists threatening violence (which was ultimately delivered, albeit we are led to believe by ‘mavericks), not least because such a willingness to intervene to remove flags is rarely- if ever- the response of PSNI officers faced with complaints from nationalists residing in mixed residential areas.

    Indeed, one protestant woman living near the McDaid family and interviewed on the Stephen Nolan show this morning complained bitterly that loyalist flags fly undisturbed from lamp posts across Coleraine without PSNI concern.

    It is an important issue because it suggests the persistence of a prejudicial mindset within the PSNI, which saw fit to indulge loyalist belligerence in Coleraine in the hours prior to the murder of Mr. McDaid.

    Furthermore- and more seriously- when there is clarity over whom the PSNI were ‘negotiating’ with from the loyalist community throughout the day, it may emerge that leading loyalist figures- and associates of some of the accused- were those who provided the guarantees that catholics wouldn’t be attacked, the very guarantees which the PSNI clearly took at face value and subsequently took the vital decision to reduce their presence in the estate.

  • Lenny Deans

    I agree with everything Chris has said, why did’t the band do the decent thing and pospone or simply cancel the parade in the name of good old common sense.I also lisened to Mike Philpot’s comments and agree whole heartitly with him. it is a disgrace, that in 2009 this is still going on. Moreover,the (covered up) “supporters” of the nine individuals facing charges in relation with the murder of Kevin McDaid;how can anyone support this secterian murder? I honestly thought we were moving on from this secterainism, and more-so murder.

  • Chris Donnelly

    On ideas for eradicating sectarianism, here’s one:

    Let’s neutralise the whole argument around flags and symbols by promoting mutual tolerance and respect for the National flags and emblems of both communities.

    Stormont and every local council should fly the flags of both communities, Tricolour and Union Flag, in recognition of not just our differences but to promote a culture of mutual respect and tolerance, one clearly at variance with that in some areas.

    Let Union flags fly from Orange Halls and GAA clubs feel free to fly the Irish National flag- tolerance through mutual freedom of expression, officially sanctioned by a power-sharing administration.

    Some argue you can’t eat a flag and that’s true; but we in this part of the world know better than most that such glib phrases won’t be enough to get us from where we are to a much better place.

    Any takers?

  • LURIG

    Chris

    Loyalist & Unionist sympathies are STILL firmly entrenched in all the machinations of the Northern statelet including the PSNI. Didn’t Martin McGuinness publically state that in a speech in Derry last week when he referred to those in parts of the Civil Service who are STILL opposed to change? It’s becoming quite obvious that the DUP, and other Unionists, now firmly believe that they are in total control of the Executive and that’s it the Bangor Pickypool days of the 40’s and 50’s all over again AND it’s hard to argue otherwise. I mentioned on Slugger last week how I recently travelled along the Shore Road and marvelled at the wonderful, abundant public housing/leisure/play facilities in Unionist/Loyalist areas. Good luck to them but a walk across the peaceline to the New Lodge/Ardoyne/Oldpark/Bawnmore tells a very different story. Families crammed up against peacelines, crime pandemic & anti-social criminality out of control and NO leisure facilties. It’s NO wonder the DUP boast to their constituents that they are firmy running the show because on the ground they are. Sinn Fein & the SDLP have delivered nothing and sorry to transgress on this thread but the heirarchy of victims also has also been exposed this week. The death of Mr. McDaid has caused very little comment or annoyance within both governments OR Unionism unlike the murder of the policeman and two soldiers. What has really changed here? For many people within the Nationalist community NOTHING, NOTHING AT ALL!

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Chris,

    regarding the questions you have asked above – have you enquired from the Omdudsman’s office whether they will be looking into any of these issues as well as their declared investigation into whther the PSNI should have reacted differently.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Chris,

    regarding the questions you have asked above – have you enquired from the Omdudsman’s office whether they will be looking into any of these issues as well as their declared investigation into whther the PSNI should have reacted differently.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    LURIG: “Loyalist & Unionist sympathies are STILL firmly entrenched in all the machinations of the Northern statelet including the PSNI. Didn’t Martin McGuinness publically state that in a speech in Derry last week when he referred to those in parts of the Civil Service who are STILL opposed to change?”

    Of course, that is simply the nature of a bureaucracy, LURIG – nature abhors a vacuum, bureaucracies abhor change. Throw in that some segments of that bureaucracy spent a healthy slice of their lives looking over their shoulders due to and cleaning up after PIRA’s antics and I can understand why they might be a bit chapped…

    LURIG: “Families crammed up against peacelines, crime pandemic & anti-social criminality out of control and NO leisure facilties. It’s NO wonder the DUP boast to their constituents that they are firmy running the show because on the ground they are. Sinn Fein & the SDLP have delivered nothing and sorry to transgress on this thread but the heirarchy of victims also has also been exposed this week. The death of Mr. McDaid has caused very little comment or annoyance within both governments OR Unionism unlike the murder of the policeman and two soldiers.”

    The hierarchy has more to do with the crime, rather than the victim. The latter trio were slain by an active terrorist organization making no apologies or efforts for their actions, whilst the UDA is playing the game — says the right words, genuflects to the right sacred cows and then does as the will.

  • Dave

    Flags are national symbols and flying them is a political act. The removal of the flags was also a political act. Since the attack on Mr McDaid was by a loyalist mob that were on the way to remove the flags, it was an attack by a mob who were engaged in political acts, not sectarian acts. It is likely that the murder was also a political act. Depicting it as sectarianism is simply a means of avoiding the political dynamics that underpin interaction between the two communities in Northern Ireland.

    I find it hard to fathom why the PSNI did not have police officers in this area when their own actions in negotiating the removal of the flags on behalf of the loyalists who objected to them shows that they anticipated violence. I also find it disturbing that the son of the murdered man (who was one of those in negotiation with the PSNI) should say that he called on the police to intervene while his father was being murdered and that the police did not do so. The police now deny that this occurred but why would the son of the murdered man lie about this or be mistaken in his recollection? It is also disturbing that this man should later be informed by the PSNI that he has received a murder threat from loyalists.

    Why exactly the PSNI are now trying to distance the loyalists from this attack is also a mystery. Is it to cover up for the embarrassment of their policy of cooperating with loyalists becoming collusion? This man was murdered by a mob that the PSNI had deemed to be community activists and murdered right under their noses.

  • IRIA

    hear hear Dave. It’s time SF rethink their support of the PSNI. They have their excuse.

  • Big Maggie

    Dave,

    “Flags are national symbols and flying them is a political act. The removal of the flags was also a political act. Since the attack on Mr McDaid was by a loyalist mob that were on the way to remove the flags, it was an attack by a mob who were engaged in political acts, not sectarian acts. It is likely that the murder was also a political act. Depicting it as sectarianism is simply a means of avoiding the political dynamics that underpin interaction between the two communities in Northern Ireland.”

    Oh for heaven’s sake! Politics and religion are so inextricably mixed in NI that one can’t in all honestly differentiate between the two. Are you attempting this? If so, good luck to you.

    I’ve stated on another thread that Unionist equals Protestant and Nationalist equals Catholic. Broadly brushed, I’ll grant you, but true in most situations.

    To hell with politics. I’ll warrant that most of those involved don’t even vote. It’s naked sectarianism. End of.

  • IRIA

    hear hear Dave. It’s time SF rethink their support of the PSNI. They have their excuse.

  • Driftwood

    Unionist equals Protestant and Nationalist equals Catholic.

    So, Big maggie, where do us atheists appear on the spectrum? Or we’re so off the radar we don’t count.

    As a member of the Adam Smith Institute, therefore a Tory, I’d be categorised as a Unionist. But my relatives south of the border do not have any badges attached to them. They share a few of my views, but there is no ‘Liberal’ party in the Republic.

  • ed

    Driftwood

    Surely you know us atheists are just lumped in with the religous/political idiology we most clearly identify with

    The god botherers do not trump politics

  • The Raven

    …and yet this still rolls on.

    And yet there STILL remains to be any analysis of the wider situation in the Heights which has led to this murder.

    And yet there is still no word from elected representatives as to what civic path they are going to take to resolve this issues, nor have they accepted any of the responsibility themselves as to why this has happened.

    And yet, there is still much sniping from the sidelines…much tarring of the whole Coleraine community (“sectarian hotbed” in reference to the whole town was my particular favourite)…

    I think the past few threads on this have revealed more about the community in this Province than I thought was possible.

  • Dave

    “Oh for heaven’s sake! Politics and religion are so inextricably mixed in NI that one can’t in all honestly differentiate between the two. Are you attempting this?”

    Religion has little or nothing to do with political violence. The paramilitary alphabet soup did not kill people because they were engaged in an extreme form of theological debate about the finer points of catholic and protestant Christianity with each other. Most unionists/loyalists moved to a country that was predominantly catholic from countries that were predominantly protestant, bringing their religion and their sense of nationality with them. That’s how religion became associated with politics via the connection between the church and the state, and as a way of differentiating British nationalists from Irish nationalists. Religion is part of culture.

    The violence is essentially a struggle for national rights by both nations in Northern Ireland, not a struggle for religious rights. Flags are symbols of nations and, where flown, symbols of national territory. The flag is a statement of which nation controls the state. So, naturally, British nationalists take offence when flags are flown on their national territory which then claims that territory for another nation. That is why it is nonsense to suggest that British and Irish flags should fly from state buildings.

    You are badly mistaken to assume that all catholics oppose the union. This is the flaw that nationalists made when they signed the GFA, so they now engage in wishful thinking to sustain the believe that they haven’t signed away all realistic prospect of living in an Irish nation-state. Even those catholics would assume that they would vote Northern Ireland out of the union will not do so without considering how that vote will impact on them. As I pointed out before, the constitutional issue will not be decided on one big issue but on thousands of little issues. Most of your employment, for example, is in the public sector, so they’d all be turkeys voting for Christmas. A great number of lawyers, for example, will think that they are too old to retrain to learn Irish law and a lot of people won’t want to exit investments and other schemes that require them to be UK citizens. There are thousands and thousands of little details and each of them matters profoundly to those affected by them. Unless everyone is answered to their satisfaction, you’re guaranteed a no vote – and every one of them will be whipped up to hysterical dimensions by the no camp.

    The more nationalists come to grasp the mistake they made, the more desperate they will become to remove the border at any cost – including the cost of extending British rule into the rest of Ireland. This will separate them from their counterparts in Ireland who will come to see them as quislings, further retarding any prospect on unity. The Irish support the extension of Irish rule into Northern Ireland but do not support the extension of British rule into Ireland. I suspect that the wiser ones will see that the game is up and between to build their “shared” nation of Northern Irish and will work their two nations and two states solution, or else repartition within the new two states dynamic.

    “If so, good luck to you.”

    I think it’s you who needs the luck. 😉

  • the future’s bright the future’s orange

    lock em up and throw away the key.

  • the future’s bright the future’s orange

    lock em up and throw away the key.

  • Doctor Who

    Dec

    “Why are you so obsessed in denying it? ”

    No Dec i think you need to pay attention more, if you read my posts again I say it is incomprehensible to think that there was no paramilitary involvement. The questions are was it official (I don´t know), and if not are groups like UPRG credible when they say they speak on behalf of the UDA.

    The purpose of linking the murder of Mr McDaid to the UDA, is political, as Dave has pointed out the Police had dealings, assurances from so called community leaders earlier, it then leads to allegations of collusion. Irrespective of the PSNI acting within reason and and their resources they will always face accusations of this nature.

    Chris ideas on eradication of sectarianism. Has to start at an early age, the benefits of integrated education may take a couple of generations to show progress, but it´s inconceivable that progress will be acheived over night. In relation to flags and emblems, would it not be beneficial to have a new agreed and official flag for NI. Certainly groups like the OO and GAA will go using what they want, put putting new impartial concepts to the young should have a positive affect. Open it up to NI schools, design a new flag for NI competition. Try it on your pupils on Monday.

    The real difficulty in eradicating sectarianism begins at home, reading the list of the accused yesterday it was soul destroying to see a father and his son before the court. It doesn´t bode well for the future.

  • Raven, contentious issues here usually generate more heat than light.

    I was curious about the reference to a possible band parade in the Heights last week-end. Have you heard anything? Just wondered if rumour had triggered a series of actions that ended in murder and critical injury.

    Have there been threats to any other parts of the town where there’s are significant percentage of Catholics?

  • Chris, if those two flags are the problem then, perhaps, an agreed flag for public property could be a solution.

    Weaning some folks off contentious flags might be just as difficult as weaning others off fags.

    For example, the flax symbol seems to be an agreed one. Blue flax on a yellow background? A bit of Latin to give it gravitas?

  • The Raven

    Nevin, I don’t about any parade last weekend here. But “have there been threats to any other parts of the town where there’s are significant percentage of Catholics?”

    Well I know for a fact that the main “needle” in the town between factions has been “intra-loyalist”, between Harpur’s Hill, Windyhall, the Heights and Ballysally.

    Like the flag idea, by the way.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Woth a try but dont think national flag agreement would make that much difference as territory could be marked in other ways.

    I understood the police said no organised paramilitary involvement – like they said in the Quinn case – that does not mean the police believe there were NO individual members of paramilitiary groups involved.

    As mentioned above – I wonder if Ombudsman remit will inlcude period leading up to the violnce?

  • Mike

    Chris

    As I’m sure you’re well aware, the flying of a flag on government buildings symbolises national sovereignty.

  • Mike

    A national flag, that is. Interesting idea to have a new flag for Northern Ireland that could fly in the same way as the constituent countries’ flags do in Scotland and Wales (and England?).

    However, is there any chance of one being agreed? I can’t imagine SF would sign up to the idea of Northern Ireland having a flag, and the DUP would be likely to want to stick to existing flags.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Looks like Ombudsman remit may be widening to cover pre-murder police behaviour.

    http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/foyle_and_west/8073280.stm

  • Neil

    Beat me to it Sammy. We shall see one way or the other if the PSNI have anything to apologise for.

  • Rory Carr

    ‘Fighting back tears he [Ryan McDaid] said his father’s face had been totally battered, all his teeth were knocked out and he was bleeding badly.

    He said: “I was there when it happened. We heard screaming and shouting and Damien Fleming was lying on the ground. There was a gang of about 70 people arrived, they came up in cars and taxis and jumped out.

    “We were totally outnumbered. There was nothing we could do, they were local UDA members.” ‘

    From a report in the Belfast Telegraph 26 May by Lesley-Anne Henry (my emphasis).

  • Diss Chronology

    “Loyalists pack court…….”. How disgraceful that members of the tribe went to the court to support their mates. What were they thinking?

    Why did they not mirror the other tribe when its men of violence appeared at court and shun them?

    Hold on a minute, didn’t that tribe not vote in thousands for their men of violence and propel them into government?

  • Greenflag

    Nevin ,

    ‘A bit of Latin to give it gravitas? ‘

    ‘Taigus Irlandus Mortuus Est’? sounds good

    Should get a high approval rating in parts of Coleraine & Ballymena anyway 🙁 Gravity in a grave sense is implicit in the motto (;?

    How about NO FLAGS at all at all for a decade ? Think of the savings on imports . Probably cause a few factory closures in South China

  • Greenflag

    To add some more ‘gravitas’ the above flag emblem could be changed from Oct through March end with

    ‘Billibus Nord Irensis Mortuus Est’

    For sectarian balance of course. Standards must be upheld ? ?downheld ? take your pick !

  • “A national flag, that is. Interesting idea to have a new flag for Northern Ireland that could fly in the same way as the constituent countries’ flags do in Scotland and Wales (and England?).”

    Sorry mate, the six counties was never and never will be a nation, over 40% of the people there are quite happy to see its existence disappear.

  • 1922-2012: 90 Years of Northern Ireland

    Thanks to the courage of the SAS, the British Army, the RUC and 1,000,000 British citisen in NI, the IRA have been defeated, surrendered their weapons and Sinn Fein have accepted British rule in NI.

  • Reader

    “Sorry mate, the six counties was never and never will be a nation, over 40% of the people there are quite happy to see its existence disappear.”
    Well, if you won’t help to pick an agreed new flag, then we’ll all just have to put up with the Union Flag until there’s a United Ireland, when you’ll no doubt expect to use the Tricolour instead.
    It could be some time, though.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Nevin and Dr Who

    Avoiding the source of division and therefore, tension and antagonism, is never a good idea.

    There is no desire for abandoning loyalties or affiliations with national entities as symbolised through National flags here- and I know some within the Alliance Party and others may dearly wish for an alternative, shared identity.

    I’d like to think that, in the longer term, we can have both.

    But the problem will be resolved by teaching and accepting the validity and legitimacy of both national identities.

    I have noted with interest- but no great surprise- that several posters on this thread and others have brought up the erection of the Irish national flag in Coleraine as being the trigger for the violent events at the weekend.

    Indeed, those posters have indicated that this could only cause trouble “in a unionist town.”

    Taking that argument to its logical conclusion, then these individuals would have to concede that Union Flags should not be flown in Derry, Newry, Armagh and many, many more towns with a nationalist majority- and, furthermore, that the PSNI should be obliged to ‘negotiate’ the removal of such flags under threat of republican violence against the minority unionist communities.

    The flying of the Irish National flag was not the problem in Coleraine (though I remain a firm opponent of flying flags from lamp posts anywhere); the absence of tolerance towards expressions of the Irish nationalist identity within Coleraine and elsewhere, was, and remains, the problem.

  • Reader

    Chris Donnelly: the BBC has reported that “70 loyalists” packed the court, with many captured entering the courthouse with scarves and hoods shielding their faces
    So Chris – about the trial itself – should we have 70 loyalists packed into court with a local jury, or would you rather the matter was dealt with by a judge?

  • redhugh78

    “Well, if you won’t help to pick an agreed new flag, then we’ll all just have to put up with the Union Flag until there’s a United Ireland, when you’ll no doubt. expect to use the Tricolour instead.”

    Fine by me….tick tock tick tock

  • Comrade Stalin

    redhugh78, you’ll be tick tocking for quite a while yet.

    To me, the court scenes in Ballymena and the way these people behaved inside the court clinches it; this was a murder carried out by members of the UDA. If it were me I’d investigate every single one of those thugs who turned up in court yesterday for membership of a prescribed organization.

    The fact that the UDA may not necessarily have gotten together and issued a formal order to commit the murder is a relatively insignificant detail.

    And because we are clearly dealing with the UDA, it’s time for unionist politicians to get off the fence. Jim Allister finally put a statement out, 4 feckin whole days later, but instead of addressing the root of the matter and calling for those who committed this act to be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted, he issues some glib nonsense about increasing police resources so that people can live together. What the fuck ?

    Turgon, are you out there ? Do you think Allister’s statement is sufficient ?

  • “Avoiding the source of division and therefore, tension and antagonism, is never a good idea.”

    Well, that’s exactly what happened in the 1998 Agreement, Chris. On the one hand, the signatories committed to working together; on the other, they endorsed a 50%+1 constitutional switch which manifests itself in the sort of territorial marking that has transformed Coleraine from a place of relative tranquillity in the 70s and 80s to what we have now.

    How can we work together when the politics of ideology rip communities apart? JCSS, the group of young folks I worked with, was very successful in accommodating all creeds, classes and nationalities and it flew no flags. I got a warm welcome in the vicinity of Pate’s Lane just as I did in any other part of the town.

    One of the Fleming girls participated but I don’t recollect any McDaids. Our eyes met in a Coleraine supermarket recently. There was instant recognition even though we’d not bumped into each other for years. Turned out she was on the mend after a stint in hospital. When I walked out of the supermarket I bumped into one of her JCSS contemporaries who also had grown up in the immediate vicinity of Pate’s Lane.

    “I’d like to think that, in the longer term, we can have both.”

    Our group demonstrated its shared identity in the 70s and 80s whilst there was bedlam elsewhere. The ideologists care nought for the victims just so long as they can get another lamppost to hang a flag on. Territoriality rules KO 🙁

  • danielmoran

    chris, i would like to have heard what philpot said, but missed the item and can’t use the iplayer option as i have no sound source.
    i’m sure he would have vhad some strong views on mc quillan’s spurious contribution. but i hope he took campbell to task also, for his ‘carefully worded ‘reaction. newton emerson was scathing about both apologists for loyalists in his column on thursday.

  • Tiocfaidh ar la-la-la-laaaa-zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Chris Donnelly

    “[i]the absence of tolerance towards expressions of the Irish nationalist identity within Coleraine and elsewhere, was, and remains, the problem.”[/i]

    I’m an Irish Nationalist and the only place I find an absence of tolerance towards my identity is from other Irish Nationalists and Republicans.

    They seem to think the only flag which represents Irish Nationalists is the tricolour because they mistakenly think Irish Nationalism can only be described as a 32 county, all-Island, Gaelic Irish Republican Nation State.

    Is it little wonder with so many prepositions to becoming an Irish Nationalist of the 32 county, all-Ireland, Gaelic Republican type, that a growing number of Irish Nationalists see their identity represented in the St. Patrick’s flag?

  • Greenflag

    Nevin ,

    ‘Our group demonstrated its shared identity in the 70s and 80s whilst there was bedlam elsewhere.’

    How much of the present ‘tension’ or unease in the Coleraine area is due to changing demographic balances locally in the here and now and not the 50% + 1 feared unionist nightmare on the far horizon ?

    I don’t pretend to know the numbers locally but I did read a research article a while back that said when the numbers were 80/20 one way or the other there was less sectarian tension ( North Down ? West Tyrone ?) but when they hovered in the 45 /55 region or closer that ‘edginess ‘ crept in and every ‘job’ or house sale or farm /business bought /immigrant entry is looked at for it’s political ‘creep’ impact , by locals fearful of being ‘minoritized’ ?

    Could Coleraine have now moved into that zone now whereas back in the 70’s and 80’s when you were helping out it would have been strong majority 60%/70% Unionist ? Just a thought .

    Territoriality may take on even heightened importance when numbers either side approach the 50/50 mark particularly given the current political dispensation ?. BTW experiments conducted on rats(fellow mammals ) having to share parts of a territory in common have shown a strong predisposition for one group to wholly exterminate the other if a new boundary cannot be enforced . One would hope ‘homo sapiens’ would be capable of avoiding ratomorphic behaviour?

    One hopes that rising education levels and economic prosperity will eventually make inroads into the sociopathic mindset of the people who carry out these acts . The present danger may lie in ever declining economic prospects and a narrowing of options for the kind of people who get involved in sectarian conflict and other other anti social crimes in that area ?

  • Big Maggie

    Greenflag,

    “One hopes that rising education levels and economic prosperity will eventually make inroads into the sociopathic mindset of the people who carry out these acts .”

    I hope so too but doubt they will. NI has an usually high standard of education, some would say second to none. And compared to many countries (and not only in the 3rd world) NI is pretty prosperous.

    No, I don’t believe either education or money is the answer. I see it more in good parenting and good home environment. Kids pick up stuff like sponges. A violent father will have violent sons. A mother who binge drinks will produce girls who do likewise.

    The children need better role models. Those are not Andrew Geoffrey Freeman and the other Unionist terrorists commemorated yesterday evening in Coleraine. It’s up to each community to provide those role models at local level. I greatly admire such selfless people.

  • Mack

    Driftwood

    Fianna Fail are the Liberal party in the Republic.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0228/1224241991228.html

    The PDs also categorised themselves as a Liberal party.

    Fine Gael are part of the Conservative grouping in Europe.

  • Greenflag, according to NINIS Coleraine is 22.7% Catholic community background so that should indicate low tension according to the theory.

    You’ll have noted that the 1998 Agreement has strengthened the positions of the extremist politicians. Also IMO the decision by London and Dublin to strengthen the hand of chosen paramilitary godfathers to ‘control’ local communities has weakened the position of the UUP-SDLP part of the political spectrum. It seems that the police have been coerced into ‘housetraining’ the chosen view – or community representatives as they are sometimes labelled.

    I’ve quite a bit of sympathy for the bobby on the beat. Under the scenario I’ve just painted the ‘heid yins’ simply point out to local police officers, “We know where your partner and kids live.” What was done to Kevin McDaid in Coleraine had been done to Constable Taylor in Ballymoney a few years ago. Within communities the heid yins decide who enters, who stays and who goes.

    Feedback that I get from Dublin civil servants highlights two strands of thought. Those from the Department of Foreign Affairs would take the same line as President McAleese and claim that these community representatives are the greatest thing since the Ormo bap. Those from the Department of Justice appreciate that what the bad boys can do in, say, Derry today can be done in Buncrana tomorrow.

  • Lenny Deans

    Are we not regurgitating all the old rhetoric,did i hear in the news that drugs (trafficking) was involved?
    Maybe I’m being cynical,but i think, on whatever side they are using politics/sectarianism etc. as a cover for criminality. We could argue from now to next year the points and opinions that have been made about this murder. Murder is murder,and if drugs are involved, it is our responsibility as a community to help and stamp out this scourge on our society.

  • Greenflag

    Nevin,

    Thanks for the numbers. So not for the first or last time ‘theory’ murdered by the facts on the ground ?

    Should the police go in and take out the ‘heid yins’ ? What then ?

    Housetraining takes time . Your feedback from Justice is imo appreciated in ‘theory’ . In practice I can’t see what’s happening in Coleraine or Derry ever happening in Buncrana or being ‘tolerated’ there . While geographically close, the background constitutional support for the ‘law’ on both sides of the border differs enough to make what would seem intolerable in Buncrana -dare I say ‘tolerable ‘ in Coleraine or Derry .?

    For what it’s worth I sympathise with your frustration on this issue .

  • Greenflag, the ‘heid yins’ are the chosen few. I can’t see London and Dublin letting the police interfere with the peace process. Even if matters were devolved to Dormant the status quo would most probably be maintained. There’d be lots of pious platitudes and rank hypocrisy but Joe and Josey Public would barely spot the join.

    It must be a bit difficult for Dublin civil servants who have to operate such diametrically opposed policies in each jurisdiction. They could be in Dublin or Limerick on the Wednesday and Coleraine or Derry on the Saturday.

  • Greenflag

    Nevin ,

    ‘It must be a bit difficult for Dublin civil servants who have to operate such diametrically opposed policies ‘

    In theory yes Nevin -in practice no . A bit like a member of the OO on the morning of the 12th being able to pout freedom and civil liberties for all in church , while in the evening following a few tipples, forcing himself in denial against earlier more sober pronouncements , to kick the living sh** out any Taig that crosses his path ?

    Perhaps those Dublin Civil servants indulge in a tipple before the crossing to Coleraine ? Can’t say I’d blame them .

    Not professional behaviour of course but then as I look around at a world dragged to the edge of an economic abyss by the ‘professionals ‘ I’m afraid the term ‘professional’ no longer inspires much confidence not that it ever did mind you ;)?

    What you predict for Dormant will probably also be the case. On the brighter side give it ten years of ‘normality’ and the ground under the ‘heid yins’ will give and their influence will wane . In the longer run people of all denominations and none will prefer the rule of law backed up by the police .

    I don’t think there’s much disagreement among the powers that be of the final objective . It’s just the methodology of getting there that raises eyebrows and hackles . But then I’ve always accepted that politics can be a filthy business but a good i.e effective practitioner of the art is probably worth his/her weight in gold particularly in a fractious society like NI.

  • Skintown Lad

    Apologies if this the wrong thread, or has become the wrong thread, but I just wanted to register my disgust at the Pride of the Bann deciding to carry on with their parade despite the recent murder of Mr McDaid. Given the circumstances, a proper loyalist/protestant/unionist, whatever they consider themselves to be, would have shown some basic humanity and leadership and cancelled the parade this year. It must have been very hard for the family to have to hear the sound of the band parading while they were carrying Mr McDaid’s coffin. As I unionist I am ashamed and I can only hope that our Catholic neighbours do not tar us all with the same brush as these idiots.

  • “a bit like .. to kick the living sh** out”

    I’ve met a few Dublin civil servants, Greenflag, and I never felt they were likely to give me that sort of treatment. Mind you, I’m told that a certain Nationalist MLA has described me as a ‘dangerous b’stard’ …

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Spill the beans Nevin?

  • Greenflag

    skintown lad ,

    ‘As I unionist I am ashamed and I can only hope that our Catholic neighbours do not tar us all with the same brush as these idiots.’

    Good man . I’m sure a few will reach for the tar all brush but if we’ve all learned anything over the past 40 ? 80 yrs or more, it’s that tar all is the wrong way to go about ‘reconciliation’ and permanent peace -apart of course from being bat shit crazy irrational in itself! The reason NI has not become a Rwanda /Burundi is because the majority on both sides in NI have always drawn back from the brink of outright uncivil war .

  • Greenflag

    nevin ,

    ‘I’ve met a few Dublin civil servants, Greenflag, and I never felt they were likely to give me that sort of treatment.

    Well that’s because they’re not members of the OO and probably are at work on the 12th and not beating a path to your door for ‘treatment ‘ purposes ;)?

    Whoever that Nationalist MLA was/is he gets full marks for observation 🙂 But I’d encourage you to continue in your ‘illegitmate ‘ undertakings after all being a ‘bastard ‘ is a mark of respect these days eh ? The bigger the bastard the higher one rises in the fields of politics ,investment banking , the law , the church /churches , and the mortgage broking world ?

    I would’nt be too upset . Was’nt it Henry II First Lord of Ireland (father of Richard Lionheart , John Lackland and 2 others whose names escape me right now , and who was also the father of numerous bastards who commented on his deathbed when his legitimate sons failed to appear that they were the ‘real ‘ bastards !

    I suppose he had a point . After all together they managed to undo the Angevin Empire and bankrupt England due to pursuing crusades in a sunnier clime . Am I getting deja vu again or is that just an Iraqi oil field I see before me and a half destroyed US economy ?

  • Eric

    Remember in backwardsland and this particular laager there was a flag used as an excuse to attack a team in the Milk Cup. No such flag was flown.

  • Big Maggie

    Skintown Lad,

    “As I unionist I am ashamed and I can only hope that our Catholic neighbours do not tar us all with the same brush as these idiots.”

    Fine sentiments and my compliments for speaking out. No, I doubt Catholics will tar decent Unionists with the same brush. Why would they? There are enough good men and women in e.g. the Alliance party to who set a good example.

    The Shame of the Bann should hang their heads. And I’d still like to know what they chanted that night while Kevin’s coffin was being brought home.

  • Lenny Deans

    Skintown Lad,

    “As I unionist I am ashamed and I can only hope that our Catholic neighbours do not tar us all with the same brush as these idiots.”
    I am also a Unionist, and i fully endorse the comments made by “Skintown Lad”. It’s a disgrace that this s***t is still going on. I’ve experienced 30 years of the troubles and this is like a flashback from the 70’s,have we learnt nothing?

  • Big Maggie

    Lenny Deans,

    Some of us have learnt something, others nothing. Among them the MP for the area, Gregory Campbell. This is what Martin McGuinness said about him:

    Earlier, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said there had been a failure of leadership by politicians in Coleraine following the murder.

    The Sinn Fein MP said DUP MP Gregory Campbell needed to do more to help end sectarianism in the town.

    “Condemning the violence and the murder of Mr McDaid is not enough,” he said.

    Mr McGuinness said the relationship between Protestants and Catholics in Coleraine could be improved.

    Mr McGuinness said Mr Campbell’s refusal to speak to him at various events in Derry despite knowing each other for 20 years was symptomatic of a wider problem in society.

    “The difficulty is that if that sort of behaviour is translated to grassroots level then I can quite see clearly see where the problems are coming from,” he said.

    That last is very pertinent. Right from the get-go Nationalist politician have displayed a willingness to engage their Unionist counterparts. It is rare that the approach comes from the Unionist side, as is seen here with Gregory Campbell. You’d think the man would have learnt by now.

    When you befriend your enemy he’s no longer your enemy. This really is basic stuff.