Protest for the travelling people

I hope Moochin Photoman can forgive me but when I heard someone had climbed to the top ofthe Big Wheel outside City Hall last night, I assumed he had made the dash for the best view in town.

However, it seems that the man who climbed the Wheel was making a protest on behalf of Tavellers. There has been much indiganation, comment and protest about the plight of Romanian travellers here last week, but what of our own Travellers? The chap who climbed the Wheel had been parked in front of City Hall for a couple of days and been helpfully told he could go to a site in Strabane. It appears that the two Belfast sites are full to capacity.

I have no difficulty or issue supporting the right to a dignified life for the Roma people living here, or indeed not living here any longer as the case may be. However, let us not become the ultimate hypocrites by contiuing to ignore the lack of resources and adequate halting sites that are provided for the indigenous traveller right here ad right now.

  • jim

    this gypo climbing round the wheel didnt mention he wanted a FREE halting site no rates rent toilet ect pity he didnt slip

  • The Raven

    Jim. Yer a troll.

  • cynic

    Sending anyone to Strabane must be a breach of their rights

  • Mark McGregor

    Wouldn’t have fancied the over two hours trapped on the thing.

  • Eddie

    A travellers spokesperson said on Nolan than Strabane was too far. Nolan said he didn’t want to be faceitous (spelt wrongly) but wasn’t the man a traveller, wasn’t that the whole idea. I don’t knwo what to make of this.

  • Eurocrat

    Miss Fizz> good post and an important one. After the whole Roma debacle people need to take a long, hard look at themselves. There needs to be a wholesale revision of how travelling people, Irish or whatever, are treated by local people and authorities.

    Cynic> LOL

  • Border Fox

    @eurocrat: Indeed that may well be so…BUT

    This particular Traveller may be mis-representing his own situation somewhat and perhaps performed this act in relation to the wheel as a result of his own motivations rather than for any reason connected to or on behalf of the wider Traveller community.

  • jim

    raven wats a troll this scroat endangered peoples lives hes in court tomorrow probobly plead not guilty n seek legal aid margaret richie will step in n let him leapfrog the housing list n give him a grant the way shes doing with the other gypos from roma land were ever that is

  • Eurocrat

    Check your facts Jim, I don’t think the Roma are entitled to social housing. Typical sterotyping like this is just easy- try to take a look into the real picture.

  • Miss Fitz

    Border Fox
    If you check the story, you can see that up to 5 caravans were taking part in the protest outside City Hall for several days.

    I was very curious about the reasons someone would want to climb to the top of the Wheel and had been looking at various sites today. I eventually found it on a frend’s FB site, so again the MSM were not rushing to te defence of an travelling people defending the right to live or indeed promoting their protest very loudly.

  • dunreavynomore

    I’ve had a little bee in my bonnet for some time on the use of the term ‘social housing.’ So far nobody has been able to explain just what this term means.I know it refers to housing supplied by the NIHE or, nowadays, concerns called housing associations but what is meant by ‘social housing’? Is all other housing ‘anti social’ and is that where all the wee blackguards that are wrecking the place in ‘anti social behaviour’ are coming from?
    The term has negative connotations and I am wondering if it crept in from the dear old USA, that bastion of concern for the poorer members of society. Wherever it came from those who use it must have a reason for doing so and I would like to know your explanation of and reason for the term ‘social housing.’

  • iluvni

    Was this the same arsehole who was scrapping with his wife in the street in front of the CityHall, earlier the same day?

  • Miss Fitz

    Dunrevy, maybe this will help:

    In the United Kingdom public housing is often referred to by the British public as “council housing” and “council estate”, based on the historical role of district and borough councils in running public housing. Local semi-independent non-profit housing associations have begun to operate some of the older council housing estates in the United Kingdom. Housing Associations are now referred to as ‘Registered Social Landlords’ (RSLs). Despite being non-profit based, they charge generally higher rents than council properties. However, in England the Government has introduced its rent re-structuring policy which aims to bring council and RSL rents into line by 2012. Since 1996, public housing has been referred to as ‘Social Housing’ to encompass council and RSLs. Additionally local planning departments may require private-sector developers to offer “affordable housing” as a condition of planning permission. This accounts for another £700m of Government funding each year for tenants in part of the United Kingdom.

    Governments since the early 1990s have also encouraged “mixed tenure” in regeneration areas and on “new-build” housing estates, offering a range of ownership and rental options, with a view to engineering social harmony through including “social housing” and “affordable housing” options. A recent research report[1] has argued that the evidence base for tenure mixing remains thin.

    The dear old USA still using Public Housing, or in my day Section 8 Housing as a way of describing this kind of housing

  • Big Maggie

    Has anybody who has issues with this protest asked themselves what serious problem could have induced the aforementioned person (choose slang shite where applicable) to climb to the top of the wheel?

    A question to them: which important issue would have tempted you to do something similar?

    You see where I’m heading? The guy must surely have had an important motive, one we’re not prepared to acknowledge here.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Big Maggie: “Has anybody who has issues with this protest asked themselves what serious problem could have induced the aforementioned person (choose slang shite where applicable) to climb to the top of the wheel?”

    I can think of a couple, but they qualify more as either personality defects or mental illnesses…

    Big Maggie: “A question to them: which important issue would have tempted you to do something similar? ”

    Not a blessed thing in the world — “issues” aren’t solved by grandstand plays, such as climbing local landmarks or dropping a bomb in a pub.

    Big Maggie: “You see where I’m heading? The guy must surely have had an important motive, one we’re not prepared to acknowledge here. ”

    Or, simply (and more likely), he’s got a screw loose.

  • Harry Flashman

    “After the whole Roma debacle people need to take a long, hard look at themselves. There needs to be a wholesale revision of how travelling people, Irish or whatever, are treated by local people and authorities.”

    Here’s a revolutionary proposal, it might seem strange but bear with me, how about we, local people and the authorities, treat travellers in precisely the same way as everyone else?

    Radical eh?

    They should get the same entitlements, benefits, rights and privileges as every other citizen, simple isn’t it? In return they behave in accordance with the laws of the land and if they break the rules they get treated in exactly the same way as anyone else.

    It’s a shocking idea but maybe if we tried it out it might just work.

  • Davros

    Geunine question. I don’t know much about the issue. Do travellers pay council tax?

  • Neil

    I heard that when he got up there he started banging his head off the wheel. It’s metal, I would say that’s indicative of an irrational person. Plus, in fairness, if you need a home, a pitch or a roof over your head and due to some European law or another NIHE are now obliged to provide just that, why would you turn down Strabane?

    Are they holding out for Stranmillis roundabout or something? They want free land, they are entitled to free land, they get offered free land and … then they start griping about their human rights cause the location of the free land isn’t what they were quite hoping for. So sad, too bad; life sucks get a helmet.

    If they were truly desperate for a pitch they would have taken the one they were offered, and in fairness if anyone’s ever had dealings with the ‘travelling community’ then you’ll know they negotiate like fuck. They’re playing their hand the best they can that’s all this is.

    As an aside I heard a Canadian who was trapped inside for three hours, who was relieved when the man safely got back to ground. Personally I think that just underlines the good naturedness of Canadians generally. My patience would have been worn out after about fifteen minutes.

  • Jimmy

    I recall several years past that washing facilities, toilets etc were built on a site adjacent to Colin Glen forest park on the Glen Road at the cost of Thousands from BCC. When the site was officially opened the days proceeding saw the travellers strip the whole site of its copper and brass, smashed toilets and showers and wrecked every building. The ruins are a testament to the fact that you can only help some people sometimes.The travellers have a knack of playing the system and are justified by bleeding heart liberals blinded by thier own PC agenda, they are never investigated by the assets recovery agency even though many milk the benefits system while having buisness’s, seems one has special dispensation if your a minority and a blind eye is turned often enough.Being without an address has it benefits.
    This is not about prejudice, its about fact.

  • Big Maggie

    Sort of relevant, and because it speaks to my inner nomad:

    Born in the middle of the afternoon
    On a horse drawn wagon on the old A5
    The big twelve wheelers shook my bed
    “You can’t stop here,” the policeman said
    “You’d better get born in someplace else”

    So, move along, get along, move along, get along
    Go, move, shift!

    Born in the tattie hoking time
    In a canvas tent near the tattie field
    The farmer says “Your work’s all done
    It’s time that you were moving on
    You’d better get born in someplace else”


    Born on a common near a building site
    Where the ground is rutted with the trailor wheels
    The local people said to me
    “You lower the price of property
    You’d better get born in someplace else”


    Born at the back of a blackthorn hedge
    When the white hoare frost lay all around
    No eastern kings came bearing gifts
    Instead the order came to shift
    You’d better get born in someplace else


    The winter sky was hung with stars
    And one shone brighter than the rest
    The wise men came so stern and strict
    And brought the order to evict
    You’d better get born in someplace else


    Wagon, tent or trailer born
    Last month, last year or in far off days
    Born here or a thousand miles away
    There’s always men nearby who say
    “You’d better get born in someplace else”

    Tommy (they don’t) Makem (like that any more) RIP

  • Treat Travellers equally with the rest of us. I’d like to think if my neighbour parked her dodgy caravan in front of the City Hall she would be moved on pronto – and if she wasnt then in all likelihood she would realise the very high chances of her windows being put in by local hoods and the wheels nicked. Its a bit of an eyesore – drove past City Hall last night – as is my neighbours dodgy caravan – but at least she aint ruining one of our major tourist sights. That said some tourists probably find it amusing just like when they get stoned on the Tourist buses (thankfully not often). But the fact the caravans are still there is a sign of our tolerance if you ask me. How many other City Halls across Europe would allow it?

  • Framer

    Why would a clutch of hoodies from the Holy Land break the windows of a nearby Protestant church?

    Because they were racists and did not like the church helping Romanians?

    Because they were sectarians who did not like Protestants worshipping so close?

    Because they wanted the Village loyalists to get the blame?

    The police know it was entirely motiveless (i.e. non-racist) so we can sleep more easily but does the PSNI understanding of motiveless mask one or more of the above?

  • Neil


    pointless speculation. The perpetrators will face court, and we will know who they are. Although I find it amusing that faced with a choice between a certain Loyalist community doing what it does best, and a conspiracy by the dirty fenians you choose the conspiracy.

    Personally I’m going to speculate that you’re talking shite, that they are the usual suspects doing what they have done in the past. If I’m wrong I’ll concede that on a post on this thread, how about it, will you do the same? If it walks like a duck etc.

    People from the Village should bear in mind that we are all conditioned by the things we experience and witness from birth on. So some of the kids who witnessed the braying mob trying to move the catholics out of their area will now accept that as normal behaviour.

    You have to be careful with these things, cause the kids of today are the thugs of tomorrow and if you keep acting like an utter arsehole in front of ’em it might come back and bite you on the ass. One day when the Catholics and the immigrants have moved on, then what will they do? Just stop? Or move on to that old bastard who shouted at us for kicking a football through his window?

  • Keith

    I still find it absolutely abhorrent that when it was thought to be a suicide attempt, members of the crowd (not just kids) were yelling “jump!”.

    that sent shivers through.

  • Eurocrat

    That is truely despicable. It happened last year in England too. What does it tell us about society? It’s warped

  • sinless

    How about all the victims of GBH by the knackers? It got so bad a few years ago that even the do gooders had to STFU. Reading the piece, I was hoping to hear an army sniper had plied his trade to effect. But alas, snipers are no longer at work.
    Don’t feel too badly for them. Begging, tarmacadding and burglary seem to be recession proof.

  • Brian MacAodh

    i’m sick of hearing about these people

  • Brian MacAodh

    i’m sick of hearing about these people…although I guess I didn’t have to click on the link

  • marty

    i met the guy two days before he went up on our great big wheel..hes a man with a least hes fighting for somethin he beleives in…and wot better place to do it.bigger balls than them who snipe anyhow.

  • Skintown Lad

    what are the arguments for not treating travellers the same as everybody else? can miss fitz or anyone else explain it?

    there was an interesting programme a couple of years aago, where robert kilroy silk stayed with travellers for a week or two. he stayed at one of the ‘travellers’ sites in england which turned out to be populated by what can only be described as pre-fab houses that certainly couldn’t be moved anywhere else without a crane, a wide lorry and a police escort. i am not clear as to what exactly the culture of being ‘a traveller’ is. it seems to me that the point is not the actual travelling, but opting out of civic responsibility, like paying tax for example. it is when travellers use the benefits that civic organisation produces, like hospitals and roads etc that people get annoyed. that appears to mean that the travellers’ culture just cannot be acceptable in our modern world.

  • marty

    so robert kilroy silk opened your eyes to the traveller situation..thats one programme i woulda loved to see!!! if you want to know skintown fella,just go and ask…they dont bite