Further Sectarian Attacks in North Antrim

Two Orange Halls were attacked in County Antrim over the weekend. A tractor was used to force open a door at Tullaghans Orange Hall on Bravallan Road in Ballymoney and drums and furniture inside the building were also damaged. In an apparently related incident a tractor was also used to knock down a wall and damage the door at Granagh Independent Orange Hall in Rasharkin. Local DUP councillor John Finlay condemned both attacks which he described as “blatantly sectarian” and said they were an attempt to stir sectarian tensions in the area.
“The use of a large mechanical machine demonstrates great determination of local republicans to create maximum destruction.”
“Some people just do not want a Protestant about the place,”
he added.

Jim Allister has suggested much the same:…The conclusion that this Sinn Fein controlled community does not want a Prod about the place is inescapable. I have not doubt that if Sinn Fein wanted these constant attacks to stop then they could bring them to an end. Instead Sinn Fein seeks, enjoys and exploits the community instability and tension which they create.”

There have of course been a spate of sectarian attacks in this area of North Antrim and the adjoining area of County Londonderry with Protestant and Catholic churches, Orange and AOH Halls and business premises attacked in what at times has seemed to be a tit for tat fashion. In truth community relations have never been good in that area but they seem to be progressively deteriorating with no obvious end in sight.

  • I’ve said before and I’ll say it again – this nonsense will only stop when some of the people behind it are caught and given exemplary sentences. For decades, vandalising the other side’s “communal property” has been effectively a non-punishable crime.

    Classy of Jim Allister to throw the actions of a few bigoted thugs on the entire Catholic population of Rasharkin. But then again, there wouldn’t be many people about with much to teach Jim Allister about bigotry.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Not surprising at all, Sammy. When a Catholic man was beaten to death by a group of armed thugs in Coleraine, it took Jim Allister nearly a week before he thought it was worth putting a statement out.

    Attacks on Orange Halls are utterly reprehensible – indeed, a hate crime – and I hope those responsible for this are caught and punished to the full extent of the law.

  • Scaramoosh

    “Classy of Jim Allister to throw the actions of a few bigoted thugs on the entire Catholic population of Rasharkin.”

    Perhaps he is merely playing Sinn Fein at their own game. When they erect a mural to a dead hunger striker in Newtownbutler, they tell us that the “people” wanted it….They put themselves forward as the representatives of the entire Catholic and Protestant population of the town.

  • Or maybe he’s just a bigot.

    Occam’s Razor would indicate he’s a bigot.

  • PaddyReilly

    Well it’s fairly obvious why all this is happening isn’t it? Your Jaffa types all doing their level best to annoy and upset the Papes of Rasharkin with their wall to wall marching, and then whining when inevitably their gang huts get trashed.

    I really wonder why they don’t just trash their own gang huts and cut out the middle man.

    Cause. Effect. It isn’t the uncontentious parades who are getting damaged gang huts. An attempt to stir sectarian tensions in the area? Do me a favour! That has already been done, this is just the rebound.

  • anne warren

    John Finlay added “Some people just do not want a Protestant about the place,” .
    Jim Allister has suggested “…The conclusion that this Sinn Fein controlled community does not want a Prod about the place is inescapable”.

    Sounds like the loyalist position of not wanting a Catholic about the place has been projected on to the “Sinn Fein controlled community” . These statements serve to indirectly remind both communities of what was what. Rather than twisting sectarian platitudes in such a way as to inflame individuals on both sides can neither of these gentlemen come up with some idea/thought that might help defuse the situation and prevent these deplorable incidents from occurring?
    In Britain surely it is the responsibility of elected representatives to make a strong contribution to prevent community relations from “progressively deteriorating with no obvious end in sight”?

  • Driftwood

    anne warren
    There is a very easy way out of this:

    http://richarddawkins.net/godDelusion

    but it will take time and an end to groupthink superstition

  • “this Sinn Fein controlled community”

    Perhaps the Provisional Republican Movement is losing its grip and the Dissies are on the ascendant.

  • Sean

    How does a political party control the actions of an individual or was clockwork orange more than a movie?

  • anne warren

    Driftwood cited Richard Dawkins – preeminent scientist and atheist – who shows how religion fuels war, forments bigotry, and abuses children, buttressing his points with historical and contemporary evidence.

    In my view 1) advocating atheism for all as the solution is on a par with advocating a return to the pre-1969 state. Neither is going to happen.
    2) politicians in NI have the duty to serve the best interests of the people in NI.
    3) making statements such as Turgon quoted is proof they are failing in their duty because they contribute to progressive deterioration in community relations “with no obvious end in sight”
    4)if politicians do not set an example of stepping outside the group think, who will? And if not now when a downslide seems invitable, when?

  • Grainte

    The burning of two Prod halls is responded to by attacks on Prod politicians! It could only happen on Slugger.

    Seems that a few posters here are happy to have the whiff of petrol about them.

  • William

    I wonder where Dietie McKay is…..he was cheerleader of the anti Protestant band parade but is very quiet on this and other damage to the local halls.

    Rasharkin had many Protestants when I used to visit businesses in the area…I suppose they are being driven out over time, just as the West bank Protestants of Londonderry were driven out over the years

  • Only Asking

    advocating atheism for all as the solution is on a par with advocating a return to the pre-1969 state

    It is? Feck me!

    In Britain surely it is the responsibility of elected representatives to make a strong contribution to prevent community relations from “progressively deteriorating with no obvious end in sight”?

    Now she is stating the obvious, give that woman a banana.

  • anne warren

    Grainte wrote “The burning of two Prod halls is responded to by attacks on Prod politicians!”
    So sorry Grainte cannot distinguish between an attack (which happened to communal property) and a comment. My remarks were a comment on statements (which Turgon cited)
    made by politicians. I suggested that instead of making what could be construed as inflammatory statements they take a leadership role in defusing a situation which is apparently progressively deteriorating. This approach is known as constructive criticism.

    Only asking seems to have some difficulty in reading/understanding two consecutive sentences and resorts to insults to mask being intellectually challenged.

  • RepublicanStones

    “The use of a large mechanical machine demonstrates great determination of local republicans to create maximum destruction.”

    The use of superfluous language by politicians is always interesting, I suppose it wouldn’t sound as menacing if he had said ‘tractor’.
    Whilst the idiots who carried this out will hopefully be caught, for Allister to say

    “The conclusion that this Sinn Fein controlled community does not want a Prod about the place..”

    Is very escapable if you happen to not be a bigot.

  • Only Asking

    anne according to you, thats two of us having difficulty with what you wrote, maybe it isn’t the reader thats intellectually challenged..?

  • Frank

    ‘he was cheerleader of the anti Protestant band parade’

    william

    Many regarded it as a loyalist paramilitary parade, why else would there be so many UVF & UFF connections and glorification at the ‘parade’ in Rasharkin.

    “The use of a large mechanical machine demonstrates great determination of local republicans to create maximum destruction.”

    I don’t recall John Finlay condemning the ‘large mechanical machine’ at Drumcree?

    Perhaps there is a difference between Loyalist & Republican ‘mechanical machines’

    Wasn’t Harry Ferguson who built & invented Massey Ferguson ‘mechanical machines’ an Orangeman?

  • William,

    I have already talked to the press about this and put out a statement of condemnation. Attacks like this are futile and clearly sectarian, nobody in this community wants these attacks to continue. Your (deliberate?) mis-pronunciation of my first name would suggest to some readers a degree of ignorance on your own behalf, which is sad but something nationalists have come to expect from some quarters.

    I would agree with previous posters that it is irresponsible to blame an entire community for the mindless actions of a few and local politicians should put the blame for these attacks where it belongs – at the feet of the perpetrators.

    In regard to the issue of parades in Rasharkin I think the position of residents here is a fair and measured one. They have put on the record time and time again that there are many Protestant parades which take part here which they have no problem with whatsoever and that includes a number of loyal order parades. The problem lies in the ‘excesses’ which we see at some parades and by ‘excesses’ I refer to loyalist paramilitary displays, businesses being forced to close because of intimidation and attacks on residents and residents’ property which we saw at the Ballymaconnolly parade this year.

  • truth seeker

    I know this will be perceived as playing the man but in this instance a little leeway is needed!

    Turgon = Pete Baker….

    both full of deep seated bitterness and anger!

  • Comrade Stalin

    Not to trivialize the attack, but I wonder where all these people who are being driven out are being driven to.

  • LURIG

    As a resident of North Belfast I would concur with those sentiments Daithi. While I have my own criticisms of Sinn Fein I know that they take a lot of unfair flak from Unionism & the ‘Loyal’ Orders about what goes on regarding parading. There are those within Unionism who have latched on to some alleged mythical Sinn Fein master plan to whip up trouble around these parades. I have seen Sinn Fein reps take massive flak in North Belfast when contentious parades march and acknowledge that Sinn Fein has dissolved a lot of potential trouble. I would also agree that many Nationalists/Catholics, while abhorring what these Orders stand for, don’t actually have any major problems with the Orders themselves and are prepared to live with them. However as you say it’s what goes on around these parades and the hypocrisy involved that annoys many. There is the 24/48 hour British Security Force curfew that we have to put up with prior to and after the parades and NOT the few minutes of marching past that Unionists claim. The involvement of Loyalist paramiltaries whether stewarding or playing music in their Kick The Pope bands is a red rag to a bull for Nationalists and the tolerance within so called constitutional Unionism for this umbilical link between militant Loyalism and the Orange/Black/Purple Orders annoys many. We could extend that and ask why do the ‘Loyal’ Orders permit convicted Loyalist paramilitaries to remain within their ranks and even allow lodges and members carry banners commemorating these terrorists? Many of us accept that perceptions can boil down to one man’s terrorist being another’s freedmon fighter but as the DUP are currently demonstrating regarding Libya when you try to solely claim victimhood and blame others it can come back to bite you.

  • igor

    “how does a political party control the actions of an individual or was clockwork orange more than a movie?”

    Sean

    Well they used to start with a visit to your house to give ‘advice’ or you might be called in to an Advice Centre for some one to one counselling.

    This might be followed by a visit and further counselling by men with hurleys. If that didn’t work they might try kneecapping or exciling or just plain shooting you.

    Generally the way in which this process escalated to to more extreme forms of counselling depended upon your anti-social behaviour and how well connected in the movement your family might be.

    Did you sleep through that bit?

    But I am told they have now moved beyond all that now. Anything like that that happens now comes purely from ‘concerned citizens’ in the community and not the Army. Oh no.

  • igor

    Lurig

    SF is now caught. For years it stoked up the Parades issue as a political weapon. Remember ballot box and armalite? He forgot to mention brick and petrol bomb.

    Even after the ceasfire when shooting and bombing was off the Agenda street violence was used as tool to remind the British Governmnet that ‘they haven’t gone away you kinow’ and express the righteous anger of the nationist population that they werent getting what they wanted fast enough.

    Now as total democrats SF have to try to de-escalate it. But after two genertauions of rioting that’s a real challenge. For 40 years they told people to always challenge authority. Now they represent authority

    I am very interested in the curfew you suffer. Pray tell us exactly where is this?

    And of course you have redress. You can ask your SF rep to raise it at the Policing Board. Indeed you can toddle down there yourself at one of their open meetings and do so. You can also complain to the Police Ombudsman, the Human Rights Commission, the Parades Commission or the Equality Commission. People there will listen to you and may act on your concerns. Indeed, as you will see from recent posts on here, your chances of actually meeting / having to deal with a Prod employee in some of these bodies is remarkably low

  • Freddie

    Lurig seems to be ok with the loyal orders so long as they follow his template of what they can and cannot do. I’m sure they’ll be so happy to be tolerated by one such as he.

    Funnily enough I don’t recall his comments on the permanent paramilitary display erected (illegally) in stone in Newtonbutler recently but I assume he’ll be agin it. He also seems unconcerned with convicted Republican paramilitary representation within the ranks of Sinn Fein.

    As to the ‘British Security Force’ (whatever that is) “24/48 hour curfew”, if such a thing exists, perhaps it has something to do with the Republicans of North Belfast, as elsewhere, habit of telegraphing their “annoyance” via the medium of bricks at petrol bombs.

    BTW what ever happened to the CAPITALS? Had that keyboard fixed then?

  • Sean

    IGOR

    Get out of the lab and enjoy some fresh air

    PS The most important part of your post was the phrase “used to”, look up the meaning on google and try to think for yourself

  • fin

    Its concerning that a 4×5 foot wall on a nationalist estate, is been compared to loyalist marches through nationalist areas.

    Possibly a solution is to ban all marches and erect 4×5 walls to commenerate them

  • EyeOnTheNorth

    Let’s be clear on this – anyone who attacks an Orange Hall is a complete and utter mindless moron with too much time on his fat, tatooed hands.
    However, for a politician to claim this small group of sectarian twats represents the entire community of one village is proof of his own deep, deep sectarianism. Jim Allister is a bigot of the highest order, with a truely evil soul…..no denying this.
    Sectarian attacks by nationalists or republicans is music to his ears, as he uses them to justify his hatred for all things catholic and gaelic.
    Where was his disgusting nasal whine of a voice during the recent loyalist terror festival that was forced through Rasharkin. Why wasn’t he demanding that all terror gang flags/drums/symbols be removed? For a man who won’t sit with terrorists, he was a member of a party which openly voted for PUP councillors at city hall and elsewhere.
    For anyone planning to vote TUV at any future election, please, please think of how you would explain such a divisise, destructive action at the pearly gates. The TUV are taig-haters and proud of it. If you vote for them you need serious psychiatric care.

  • fair_deal

    BTW can I ask why is McGuinness jumping up and down explaining how majority rule is a terrible thing when on banning parades and erecting memorials it seems A-ok? Or is it only a self-serving bad thing dependent on who the majority is?

  • Hard hat

    Lurig < >

    Do you take exception to Republican stewards or protesters with paramilitary links turning up on your street?

  • James

    Frank

    “Many regarded it as a loyalist paramilitary parade, why else would there be so many UVF & UFF connections and glorification at the ‘parade’ in Rasharkin.”

    I take great exception to that Frank, any banners bands carry are memorials to victims of the troubles, just because they may have been UVF or UFF makes them no less of a victim. So please stop your shitstirring.

    These bands have a *RIGHT* to commemorate victims from their community, the same way your community does.

  • Dazzler

    James

    But why commemorate the UFF and UVF members in Catholic areas? It is totally and utterly wrong & indefensible.

    The organisers of this enormous loyalist parade in Rasharkin are whipping up enormous tension and ill-feeling by inviting these bands to the village. Indeed given that residents there have no problem with small Protestant parades unionists should seize upon that and negotiate a settlement. If they don’t you could end up with a situation where nationalists turn against all unionist parades, especially now that there is a combined Rasharkin Parades Forum which represents all orders and is supporting the continuation of the ballymaconnolly parade.

  • dazzled

    Dazzler

    “But why commemorate the UFF and UVF members in Catholic areas? It is totally and utterly wrong & indefensible.”

    are there *NO* protestants in rasharkin?, or what exactly is the definition of a catholic area ?

  • Renny

    Seems that the Republican posters’ views can be summed up as ‘they deserved it’.

    So listen up all you Prods in “Catholic” areas; button yer lip or the tractor comes through your front door next.

    Don’t cha just lurve this taste of the ‘Ireland of Equals’?

  • Dazzler

    There are Protestants in Rasharkin and that is why, as far as i am aware, there is a willingness to accomodate Loyal Order parades which are dignified and respectful. No-one has a problem with local Protestant bands, UVF bands from East Belfast, UDA bands from Coleraine, etc. are not welcome there.

  • Dazzler

    Renny
    theres no logical basis for your analysis given the comments made above. Please show me one comment here which suggests that nationalists and republicans posting here insinuated that ‘Protestants deserved it’.

  • fin

    Renny, several nationalists on this thread have condemned the attacks, however, what you and every other unionist poster here have skirted around is loyalist marches in nationalist areas which have been mentioned several times.

  • Tim

    “But why commemorate the UFF and UVF members in Catholic areas? It is totally and utterly wrong & indefensible.”

    are there *NO* protestants in rasharkin?, or what exactly is the definition of a catholic area ?

    I’m sure many within the Protestant community in Rasharkin would not identify with UVF & UDA.

    I doubt that the residents of Saintfield would be best pleased at a band commemorating some IRA man marching through their village, And rightly so.

  • Nice but dim

    Tim

    “I’m sure many within the Protestant community in Rasharkin would not identify with UVF & UDA.”

    what has the uda and uvf got to do with a band parade ????

    the gaa has strong ties with the IRA but does that make every member of the GAA a member of the IRA ?

  • Renny

    Dazzler have a read over Paddy Reilly’s comment.

    Fin. The Parades Commission was set up in response to agitation against parades yet it seems that only the Loyal Orders are expected to adhere to its directions. Republicans seem to wish to second guess the Commission at every turn.

    Republicans base this on their (God given?) right to designate places as ‘Catholic’. This extends from estates (Newtonbutler) to entire villages (Rasharkin). The irony is that this is all based on which community has the larger numbers.

    Why stop at village level can’t this be extended to larger geographical areas? What about the regional level? Can’t Northern Ireland governance not again be based on majority rule?

  • picador

    Allister’s statement mentions Rasharkin Orange Hall on the village main street. However on this occasion Rasharkin Orange Hall was NOT attacked. Rather there was an attack on Granagh Independent Orange Hall on the Mullan Road, which is a rural area outside Rasharkin.

    As the basis for Jim Allister’s statement was the ‘fact’ that a hall in the middle of Rasharkin was attacked using a tractor it follows that the rest of his statement is bogus. He should be pressed for a retraction.

  • Brit

    The attack is criminal and sectarian and should be condemned. Its obvious and needs no further explanation or contextualising.

    It would have been nice if those from a certain perspective / tradition could have said just this instead of saying:-

    It’s a bit bad but the Orange order are sectarian gits

    It’s a bit bad but the Prods had it coming as they keep marching through our areas etc.

    I love Paddy’s “and then whining when inevitably their gang huts get trashed”

  • skullion

    Renny

    It wasn’t that long ago that the Newsletter ran a series about ‘protestant’ towns in Northern Ireland.I can’t remember the catchty title they ran with but no doubt someone on here can dig it out.So in the finest traditions of whataboutery,’You started it first!’

  • JR

    Why stop there renny, why not consider the opinion of the majority on this Island.

  • JR

    By the way on the subject of the thread, I think it is totally wrong to attack orange halls.

  • fin

    No Renny, the parades commission was established to content with a small number of unwanted marches, marches by one community in anothers area.

    Wasn’t all of NI designated Protestant, although after the pogroms I imagine Catholics thought it better to remain within certain areas, you need only look at whats happened to Romanians, Poles, Chinese, Hungarians etc in what Protestants consider er… their designated area

    And no, considering the appalling and embarassing (to Britain) mess made by unionists during majority rule, them days are long long gone.

  • Jimmy

    You would expect the knuckle dragging idiots on both sides that operate in the dead of night to do such things, they know no better.
    The sad thing is that comments from Jim Allister about a Sinn Fein controlled community. (I’m certainly not controlled by them) is spurious. The PSNI have warned the sons of the murdered social worker in Ballymoney Mr Mcdaid that they have been threatened by the UDA. The local DUP councillor said it was a hoax; I really despair with local politicians on both sides, neither have the Political maturity to stand for elections with such sectarianism, lies and deceit let alone run a small country.They dont deserve to represent us. Will they ever change? It’s Sad that future generations are left with this pathetic excuse for democracy.
    All I can say is come back direct rule all is forgiven.

  • PaddyReilly

    It appears that many posters have yet to learn the distinction between deserving and causing.

    Should I walk down the Shankill Road, on my own, banging a large drum in commemoration of this or the other IRA bomber, I would not deserve to be decapitated, but that is a foreseeable outcome of my action. Cause, effect.

    For this reason I do not do so. In fact, even if I had 500 strong Fenians to accompany me, permission from the Parades Commission and the entire Belfast police force to protect us, I would not wish to do so, because I do not believe in provoking people. What is the point of giving myself blisters just to annoy someone else? Nose, face. Every bad action on your part will be met with a corresponding bad action from those you have affected. That’s karma, folks.

    The interchange appears to be traditional, with the strength of the attack corresponding to the strength of the response. A mildly annoying Orange March will be met a paint attack or grafitti on the door of the gang-hut: a really annoying one, such as the latest effort, bussing in bandsmen from East Belfast, requires the use of a tractor.

    The attack was not sectarian: the Orange Lodge can be distinguished from the Protestant people of Northern Ireland: it’s like confusing the Mafia with the Italians. Most Protestants have no time for them.

  • weespot

    PaddyReilly,Feck back off to athenrye you twat.

  • Harry T

    An orange parade “requires the use of a tractor”. Lovely sentiment. Perhaps the next requirement for them pesky Prods will be for cattle wagons?

  • Brian MacAodh

    What the hell is the point of vandalising an Orange Hall? Or a AOH building?

    These people are obviously ignorant and get a thrill out of what they are doing.

    Those that are repeat offenders should be exiled because of the polarizing effect of such attacks on the community as a whole.

  • fin

    Perhaps the next requirement for them pesky Prods will be for cattle wagons?

    cattle wagons, lucky buggers, Taigs had to walk to the border to escape the Pogroms

  • Renny

    Wrong again fin. My bet is on the Parades Commission having to consider all applications for all parades; and the loyal orders comply with the restrictions placed on them it’s the Republican protesters who trash the rules á la Ardoyne.

    And only Prods are racist?

    Go on try looking past your sectarian bigotry for once. I know it’s a big ask but give it a whirl.

  • PaddyReilly

    What the hell is the point of vandalising an Orange Hall?

    What the hell is the point of an Orange March? It’s a kind of shared male bonding competitive thing. It works much like football, you beat them (in a purely symbolic way), you feel good about it, testosterone and all that. The idea is to degrade, intimidate and demoralise the other side, to persuade them of your superior power, make them feel inferior, or at least uncertain of their future in this society. It’s a good old Ulster Tradition: they’re just asserting their identity.

    First we have the marching season, then we have the arson season. Setting Orange Halls on fire is a good old Irish tradition, they’re just asserting their identity. (I believe the Irish Independent originally started out as the Irish Incendiary). The idea is to upset the other side, make them feel uncertain of their future in this society. It’s only a few gang-huts, but it does the trick. It makes people feel good about themselves and their future. Was it not Wordsworth who said, “My heart leaps up when e’er I see an Orange Hall on fire?”

  • DTA

    Shock Horror…

  • picador

    Turgon,

    You’re a TUV-ite

    Did you spot the MAJOR discrepancy between Jim Allister’s statement and the BBC News Report?

    If not here you go:

    Allister’s statement describes an attack Rasharkin Orange Hall on the village main street. However on this occasion Rasharkin Orange Hall was NOT attacked. Rather there was an attack on Granagh Independent Orange Hall on the Mullan Road, which is a rural area outside Rasharkin.

    The clear imputation of Allister’s statement is that because the attack involved a tractor and took place on the village’s main street then the SF controlled Catholic population of Rasharkin are complicit in the attack.

    Why is Jim Allister putting out false statements?

    Is he doing it deliberately to stir up bigotry? Or did he make a genuine mistake?

    I’d be interested in your thoughts.

  • PaddyReilly

    I myself am a child of the lodge. My grandfather was an Antediluvian Buffalo. I never met the man, but my mother assured me that this was the case. I believe he started off as a kangeroo. I am not sure what this entailed. There was a delinquent in the Dr House series who made himself obnoxious to Dr Chace by describing him as “Skippy the kangeroo.” It does not appear to be a term of any great respect. Perhaps the lowest order are required to demean themselves by hopping around in marsupial fashion. The next grade is primo. Whether he made it to the rank of “Alderman of Juniper” or “Knight of the Golden Horn” I do not know. It is probably better that I refrain from speculating on the function of this last degree. I myself am unable to recite these facts without choking with laughter, so I don’t think I would be suitable for membership.

    Membership is open to all “true and loyal supporters of the British Crown and Constitution” but there is no religious bar: adult males may join without distinction as to social position, religious faith or political beliefs. They have numbered lodges, with names like “Pride of Troodos”—and they wear sashes! I think the purpose of membership was to get your children into a superior orphanage should you pop your clogs prematurely. And an excuse for male company and strong drink. Marching does not form part of the liturgy of this interesting organisation: I would recommend it to those UCUNF fans who think they’re going to win the papes over to their side. There are lodges in East Belfast and Carrickfergus, but judging by the names, I would not think there were any Catholics among them. But there might be a few mixed marriages. History does not record an arson attack on an Antediluvian Buffalo lodge. I wonder why?

  • BOM

    Catholic and Protestant villages??

    Garvagh, supposedly in retaliation, has been “marked” with lovely new union jacks and has had recent attacks on Catholic businesses. What does Jim Allister say about this? Is it ok to make those who run Catholic businesses in a predominantly Protestant village feel unwelcome too? Every action from either side against the other should be condemned – there is far too much going on that is bringing us all back to the bad old days.

    Politicians need to show leadership and stop causing more tension by saying things about one side or the other. Why cant they condemn everything and say no more and stop playing their own PR games?

    I wonder has anyone condemned the new flags marking Garvagh and stated that they are stirring sectarian tensions in the village?

    Are we to go back to the days when Catholics or Protestants are made to live outside of main towns and villages, in their own wee clusters/townlands, rather than live together with the other side?

  • Brit

    “even if I had 500 strong Fenians to accompany me” PR

    Not enough ;o)

  • Dread Cthulhu

    picador: “Is he doing it deliberately to stir up bigotry? Or did he make a genuine mistake?”

    Why is your best argument / smoke-cloud in this situation to argue that the politico was inaccurate on which two Orange halls were attacked?

    I mean, seriously, if the best argument you can make is that Allister was named the wrong Orange Hall, you’re pushing pretty small beer.

    Bom: “Garvagh, supposedly in retaliation, has been “marked” with lovely new union jacks and has had recent attacks on Catholic businesses. What does Jim Allister say about this? Is it ok to make those who run Catholic businesses in a predominantly Protestant village feel unwelcome too? Every action from either side against the other should be condemned – there is far too much going on that is bringing us all back to the bad old days. ”

    Ah, the demand for condemnation, as if empty formulaic lip-service would end the problems of Northern Ireland.

    What is necessary is, in order:

    1) Political leaders will the stomach to lead, rather than point-score.

    2) Political leaders with the stomach to not merely condemn these events, but to back the police is investigating these events and finding the responsible parties.

    3) Police who are competent and apolitical where matters of the law are concerned.

    4) Prosecutors willing to prosecute the folks in these events to the fullest extent of the law.

    Until the cost of this recreational sectarianism is made too high to be fun, this tit-for-tat bullshit will continue and no amount of singing Kum-by-yah or agitating for mixed schools or any other silly-arsed programs will amount to anything more than re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

  • picador

    Dread,

    Nice try to deflect attention from the detail. However it doesn’t wash.

    Allister made some very serious accusations about the complicity of the nationalist community of Rasharkin in a supposedly public attack on a hall on the village’s main street. Only one problem – such an attack did not take place!

    Allister should now withdraw his scurrilous and unfounded accusations.

    Turgon,

    What’s your take?

  • Bigotry

    Why complain when there are sectarian attacks on a sectarian organization? You don’t hear one football team complain when the other tries to score a goal do you? Police protection for this bigoted organization is just further evidence of where the colonial forces stand in this war.

  • Hard hat

    THIS IS THOROUGHLY DEPRESSING. People can in the same post condemn thuggery then throw the intellectual equivalent of bricks and petrol-bombs at each other.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Picador

    Interesting take. Is this guy that clever? Perhaps.

    PaddyReilly

    Apart from stealing my description of OO halls your reasoning is spot on, hence why you have not been challenged on it. Getting called a bigot for calling a spade a spade is just silly.

  • PaddyReilly

    PE

    I believe my use of your uncopyrighted term “gang-hut” was fair and reasonable use within the terms of the Copyright Acts and thus does not constitute theft at Law or plagiarism in Equity.

    Please take note that I intend to repeat the description “Thunderbird uniforms” which strikes me as most apposite, whoever first devised it.

  • Jalthan

    If Orange Halls are “gang-huts” then no one can have any issue with GAA buildings being referred to as ‘Provo Drill Halls’.

  • latcheeco

    What’s a Provo Drill? Are they more reliable than Makita or Bosch? Are they sponsoring the GAA?

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    jalthan

    Don’t people just get changed in GAA buildings?, I’d reckon the only drilling that get’s done is if some bastard get’s lucky in some quiet corner with an agreeable partner.

    Paddy

    Henceforth I demand that you cite me when you use that term, tis only good manners ;¬)

  • An Lorgain

    Renny…

    [i]So listen up all you Prods in “Catholic” areas; button yer lip or the tractor comes through your front door next.[/i]

    You must have missed this recent loyalist attack involving a digger and house.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7978401.stm

  • thetruthwillset you free

    Maybe some of these attacks are by Protestants who realise the Orange Order has been corrupted by the ritualisitic Royal Purple Arch Chapter of Ireland.
    Many realise that Orangism – especially as infiltrated by the Purple is anti Christrian

  • PaddyReilly

    So listen up all you Prods in “Catholic” areas; button yer lip or the tractor comes through your front door next.

    No actually, there is no such threat. No action has been taken against any Protestant home: the incendiary tractor-drivers were clearly able to distinguish between the private dwellings of Protestants and the collective property of Orangemen.

    As I say, most of the former have no time for the latter.

    They also, I think, knew the difference between Orangemen in general and the organisers of the recent unpopular event, so that it was not the Rasharkin Orange Hall but the nearby Tullaghans gang-hut (©PE) which received a visit from Captain Massey-Ferguson.

    This is of course a fine old Irish tradition. It would be nice if such visitations could be accompanied by a band playing such topical airs as “I’ve got a brand new combine-harvester”, but obviously, due to the hurried and clandestine nature of the operation, this was not possible.

  • picador

    I’ve got a brand new combine-harvester

    I believe that the copyright belongs to Somerset’s finest, The Wurzels.

    Ooh arrr!

  • PaddyReilly

    No, copyright lies with Melanie, who wrote “I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates.” An Irish wag (or two) produced a spoof on this which began “I drove my tractor through your haggard last night”. The Wurzels produced an amended version:-

    This began “I drove my tractor through your haystack last night”. English people mostly do not know what a haggard is.

    But the Irish authors did not wish to, and could not had they wished to, assert copyright in this spoof. This illustrates an important principle of law: the law will not protect your rights to stolen property.

    Bro Patrick Reilly
    RAOB Pride of Ballyjamesduff No 666
    Knight of the Golden Horn

  • OC

    ‘This began “I drove my tractor through your haystack last night”. English people mostly do not know what a haggard is.’

    The haystacks stood in the field for a month or so and then it was time to bring it back to the haggard – the traditional storage area for the crops.

  • Jalthan

    Yes sectarian bigotry is a “fine old Irish tradition” continually perfected by the Republican night visitors.

  • picador

    Paddy,

    I stand corrected by dare I say it and older, wiser head.

    The Buffs have a big club in the centre of Belfast. It is at Writer’s Square (or is it Cathedral Square?) off Donegall St (beside the electoral office). I once staggred into it whilst wandering around half-cut and was amazed and amused to learn that there was such a thing as the Royal Anti-diluvian Order of the Buffalos.

  • picador

    I note Turgon is ‘taking the Fifth’ over Allister’s erroneous statement.

  • PaddyReilly

    Yes sectarian bigotry is a “fine old Irish tradition” continually perfected by the Republican night visitors.

    As I say sectarianism doesn’t come into it. If an Orange Lodge offends you and you take revenge on a wholly innocent Protestant, then we have have the beginnings of sectarianism. If an Orange Lodge offends you and you take revenge against that very lodge, then any difference of religion or politics is irrelevent.

    Using a tractor to drive into an Orange Lodge is a crime, the crime of Criminal Damage, possibly others. Similarly pushing an Orange March through an area which does not want it could be Threatening Behaviour, Behaviour liable to cause a Breach of the Peace, possibly others. What we need to do is recognise the criminality of this sort of daylight event and act to stop it and the above mentioned nightime event will not happen. Tit. Tat.

    Bro P Reilly
    Knight of the Golden Shower

  • PaddyReilly

    Picador

    Ante-diluvian not Anti-diluvian.

    My grandfather died in 1942 long before I was born. All I know of the organisation was gleaned from the Internet in the last two days. It seemed to have doubled as a Friendly Society, so with the establishment of the NHS it will have lost its function.

    It was apparently founded by stage-hands in Drury Lane in London around 1822. The loyal bit was only added to stop the Government closing them down. The founding fathers were well known for taking eccentricity to the point of lunacy. Over the years it has adopted the full masonic degrees/ lodges/ regalia stuff.

    Bro P Reilly
    Alderman of Juniper (by inheritance)

  • Brit

    PR – you seem to be vacillating between saying an attack on an Orange Hall is OK because the Orange Order is nasty and saying that it is wrong but not a sectarian / hate crime because it is not directed at Protestants as such.

    This gives rise two issues. Firstly how to define a sectarian act (or a racist act which is broadly analagous) and second whether it is morally worse to commit a crime for sectarian reasons. To tackle them in reverse order I admit that I struggle with the question. A thug kicks someone to death for fun and another thug kicks someone to death because of the colour of his skin. The latter seems more sinister and could have a more damaging social consequences but morally are they really any different.

    In relation to the former these matters are usually defined very broadly by the police, the courts and by community groups. It is usually the victim community who get to decide. If the Prods feel that it is an attack on all of them designed to intimidate them then it is probably sectarian.

    Look at the “anti-Islamism” we had Bethnal Green by a group of amost exclusively white football lads / casuals waving England flags etc. Now they would no doubt argue that they were motivated by opposition to Islamic extremism and terrorism but the locals (mainly Muslims of Bengali origin) no doubt saw it as threatening and provocative anti muslim and anti asian.

    To give you another example. If there were two Catholic houses in the village and one flew a tricolour and an ex-UVF man decided to cut the tricolour down, not to intimidate the residents or because he had anything against Catholics of course, but because he was protesting against Physical force Republicanism which had monolopolised the flag in parts of NI, would that not be sectarianism?

  • OC

    “Using a tractor to drive into an Orange Lodge is a crime

    “Orange March… could be… <>liable to cause… possibly others”

    There is no daytime crime in the aforementioned OO march that you mention, only a night time felony by some who hate the OO.

    Why not just laugh at them?

    “Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.” – Mark Twain

  • Brit

    Yes the Garvachy road residents / local SF could just crack up loudly when the OO walked through. I think that would be a really good form of protest.

  • Squig

    ““I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates.” An Irish wag (or two) produced a spoof on this which began “I drove my tractor through your haggard last night”. The Wurzels produced an amended version”

    And Barleycorn produced the ammended ammended version:

    I drove my saracen through your garden last night
    You’re in the RA
    I kicked your front door down around at midnight
    You’re in the RA
    Oh somthing’s telling me boy you’re avoiding me
    And when I find you, you will go for your tea

    Chorus

    Oh I’ve got a brand new shiny helmet and a pair of kinky boots
    I’ve got a lovely new flak jacket and a lovely khaki suit
    And when we go on night patrol we hold each others hands
    We are the British army and we’re here to take your land

    My good friend Bertie he’s in the UDR
    Who-ar, Who-ar
    Searching for weapons he will go near and far
    Who-ar, Who-ar
    Up around by Cappagh you’d never find him there
    Oh the only gun he’d get there is an armalite in his ear

    Chorus

    My good friend Trevor he’s in the RUC
    I see, I see
    but now they’ve handed him his redundancy
    I see, I see
    The folks along the border won’t be seeing him any more
    That Provo sniper will be missing him for sure

    Chorus

    My good friend Nigel he’s in the SAS
    Oh yes, Oh yes
    He said a change is just as good as arrest
    Oh yes, Oh yes
    But now they’ve gone and posted him way down to Crossmaglen
    He wishes to blazes he was back in jail again

    Chorus

    My good friend Sammy he’s in the DUP
    I see, I see
    An outstanding member as all the world can see
    I see, I see
    I can go up to to Donegal if you want to have some fun
    He said I’ll take a run there if I have nothing on

    Chorus

  • Frank

    ‘Garvachy road’ ??

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Yes sectarian bigotry is a “fine old Irish tradition” continually perfected by the Republican night visitors.’

    Its only an Irish tradition now because it was brought to this country by a certain bigger country who had a policy of divide and rule and who mass imported a loyal minority to advance said policy.

  • Peter Brown

    No action has been taken against any Protestant home (sic)

    Paddy Reilly have you not watched the news about Rasharkin for the last few years? Admittedly the attackes are fewer and further between recently(if only because there are very few protestants left in the village and they don;t view it as home anymore)

  • Democratic

    Hopefully Paddy and his ilk’s good humour and prevailing logic stand the test of time when the inevitable next attack on a GAA hall occurs…

  • Brit

    “Its only an Irish tradition now because it was brought to this country by a certain bigger country who had a policy of divide and rule and who mass imported a loyal minority to advance said policy.”

    I’m curious RS, are the “Brits” responsible for all ills on the entire planet or just the island or Ireland?

    And Frank its bad form to pick up typos on a blog comments page. Sooner or later the glass houses rule comesi nto play.

  • Tochais Si­orai­

    “Its only an Irish tradition now because it was brought to this country by a certain bigger country who had a policy of divide and rule and who mass imported a loyal minority to advance said policy.”

    I’m curious, Brit, if you’re able to find something in that statement that isn’t true rather than inventing straw men to deflect from it.

  • Brit

    “I’m curious, Brit, if you’re able to find something in that statement that isn’t true rather than inventing straw men to deflect from it.”

    I was poking relatively gentle fun at the ‘vulgar Republicanism’ which often answers every question with; “it’s the Brits fault”.

    There is something fundamentally closed and at odds with the basic principles of free enquiry in this sort of approach. Its very similar to the tendency to blame the US for all world problems as exhibited by some kitsch “anti-imperialists”.

    Of course “Brits” can be the NI Prods / Unionists, or the British Empire historically, or the British Army, of the Loyalist terrorists, of the British security services, or the particular British governments and individuals who were involved in governing the provide during the troubles or the British people, now or any time in the last few hundred years. It is a nice big maleable target but it fails to acknowledge the many different and even conflicting entities, interests and objectives within that description and how they varied over time. The reason “Ulster” stayed British is because of the desire of the Protestant/Unionist people in the north east of the island not because the Brits were so desperate to maximise the size of its empire at all costs.

    In terms of RS’s particular statement there is clearly something in it. Had there been no Prods on the island (or a tiny minority) there would be no sectarianism and no doubt at times the British used, manipulated and exploited anti-Papist sentiment to their advantage. However the participants on the Island, including the nationalists, have agency and bear some responsibility for their actions. One could argue that Irish nationalism was a backward reactionary form of politics and that progressive politics in Ireland did not neccesitate independence/secession any more than in Scotland or Wales. One could argue that the green Catholic form of Irish nationalism which developed was exclusionry. A certain amount of “blame” for sectarianism can be laid at those doors.

    As to the line the the Brits “imported” the hostile minority, I am somewhat dubious about the validity of this as my understanding was that the two most Protestant counties (Down and Antrim) were not part of the official / formal plantation – though I am no expert on this . Furthermore I have read evidence that immigration from the western lowlands of Scotland went back to far far earlier than the Plantation. Finally the “hostile minority” point could be taken to be inferring that the Ulster Prods, because they have “only” been there 400 years, are foreign with less rights that the natives. Such sentiments (and note I am not claiming that this is what RS said or thinks) are racist and would render white Americans, Australians and New Zealanders foreigners.

  • PaddyReilly

    Not to trivialize the attack, but I wonder where all these people who are being driven out are being driven to.

    Paddy Reilly have you not watched the news about Rasharkin for the last few years?

    Looking at the map I find that Rasharkin is further South than I imagined.

    To the South East of Rasharkin lies Cullybackey, which, as is well known, is as black as your bute. North of Cullybackey is Dunloy, which is quite the opposite: as Fenian as Bodenstown. Nevertheless it is afflicted with Orange marches.

    South of Rasharkin and West of Cullybackey is Ahoghill: until recently slightly mixed, but of late the Catholic inhabitents have found life there impossible and been obliged to move further West, to Portglenone.

    Portglenone I always imagined a Catholic town, because it is so far West and Catholic friends of mine came from there, but it actually had a slight Protestant majority at the last census, rather like Glenarm. As a result the atmosphere is somewhat fraught, with a great deal of Orange Order activity. My uncle, who attended retreats at the Cistercian monastery there, said there was a loudspeaker in the town which constantly broadcast rants by Ian Paisley.

    This person (for the benefit of recent immigrants to this planet from Mars) is the MP for the constituency: the Rev Ian Paisley, endorsed by a massive 54.8% of the population. He is that same Ian Paisley who began his political career in June 1959 with a rant on the corner of Percy Street and the lower Shankill which went, “You people of the Shankill Road, what’s wrong with you? Number 425 Shankill Road – do you know who lives there? Pope’s men, that’s who! Fortes ice cream shop, Italian Papists on the Shankill Road! How about 56 Aden Street? For 97 years a Protestant lived in that house and now there’s a Papisher in it. Crimea Street, number 38! Twenty five years that house has been up, 24 years a Protestant lived there but there’s a Papisher there now.”

    This is ancient history but I mention it because it shows that this sort of thing has been going on for a long time, and has almost achieved respectability.

    As to Rasharkin (4 syllables, to rhyme with larrikin) I can find news reports of two persons of the Protestant persuasion who have definitely been forced out of the village. These are a man called Harold Cubitt (and his wife). He is possibly that same Harold Cubitt who won prizes as a pigeon fancier. Whether he was forced out of the village for Protestantism or pigeon fancying or some other solecism I cannot tell. The Census records another 200 or more Protestants in the village, It seems strange that he was the one picked upon.

    Another person who has suffered harrassment and may be moving out is Chris McCaughan, possibly that same Chris McCaughan who stood for the Assembly as an Independent and won 192 votes. Why he has been picked upon I do not know, but I would be interested to read what he said in his election manifesto.

    The current problems are not with the Orange Order but the Independent Loyal Orange Institute, which is endorsed by the Rev Ian Paisley. Tullaghans, the hall which received a visit from Captain Massey-Ferguson, was of this ilk.

    Wor Bro Patrick Reilly
    Scum of Ballyjamesduff No 666
    Knights who go “Ni”