‘Micro vigil’

Newry Republican turns a cynical eye to the vigil called in opposition to the bombing of the city’s courthouse.

This irrelevant micro-group had every right to peacefully protest on Friday night but it seems the call for people to come out in force was ignored.

He notes a turnout of around 20, the BBC put numbers at 30 while UTV declared 100.

Adds: as a comparative this protest in support of republican prisoners in Newry in December seems to have attracted similar numbers or perhaps more people.

Further addendum: looking at the prisoner protest I can see a considerable number of people not from the Newry area.

Blogging at: http://heartsofoakandsteel.wordpress.com

  • west belfast

    Another pointless self serving thread from the anybody but SF brigade.

    Explain the 1998 all island referendum to Newry Republican et al.

    Put yourselves and your non existent strategies to the electorate north and south – but then again you all know more than the Irish nation.

  • John O’Connell

    A very dangerous thread. It seems that a low turnout means that people supported the bombing. That is just a perversion of the truth.

  • granni trixie

    Throughout the troubles,when I could, I turned out for vigils, peace rallies etc, all time people mocking and it is difficult to explain “what good” it did but I will try.

    First of all, its therapy for the individuals involved – a sense that you are not without some sort of control. Secondly, every person who protests is probably representative of hundreds of others. Thirdly, it presents a picture opportunity for media outlets to influence the news agenda and affect public discourse.

    Need I go on?

  • RobertEmmett

    these vigils have no support, no direction and lack support from the community. We appeal for them to just stop.

  • Mark McGregor


    I don’t see how it is dangerous. I agree with you thoughts that far more people than attended and a huge majority would not support the bombing.

    I did note NR’s blog as ‘cynical’ but I did find the use of language interesting.

    Maybe people are so just wanting to move on even the idea of vigils is a backwards step they just aren’t interested in?

  • KieranJ

    “Need I go on?”


    And neither does Squire McGregor.

  • west belfast

    Agree that vigils are non-effective but the trivial nature of the post says more about those people than anything else.

    Robert Emmett – Im sure you believe your little play on words is ever so clever. But then again I believe you are too young to remember just how bad the 70 and 80s were – thats the only reason I can give for you being so flippant. If you’re over 30 then you should really know better.

  • John O’Connell


    Its dangerous because certain people will regard the small protest as an indication that the public really support them. As with Gerry Adams and Co there is a certain amount of self-delusion in being a user of the tactical use of human suffering.

  • West Sider

    Is there a point to this thread? Other than Mark’s forehead throbbing over a possible dichotomy between a vigil and a protest on behalf of ne’re do wells.

    Maybe he’ll explain this time, rather than going into hiding as he did the last time I asked a question of him.

    BTW – vigils are sad and I don’t know why poeple bother with them, they only give boners to the crackpots who like to kill.

  • An Lorgain

    Just drove past Willy Frazer, he’s standing in Craigavon with a camcorder, seems there was a bomb attack on another empty police station.

  • West Sider

    @west belfast

    I don’t think it’s getting tiresome, I find it hilarious the utter convulsion the bloggers on here are caught in with their hatred of Sinn Fein and the people who vote for them.

    Let’s have a laugh at it and enjoy… It’ll serve some author well 🙂

  • Mark McGregor


    Paranoid much?

    Cllr Gary Stokes of the SDLP called the vigil.

    You may see covering blogging and/or media reports of attendance as an attack on SF – I’d suggest you are becoming just a tad fixated and a bit irrational.

  • Thankfully no one was hurt or killed. So many of us would think why hold a vigil for a dead car?

    Lack of turnout is not a sign people are in favour of the dissidents. To me it shows sensible people not wanting to go out in the cold for car. Why should it be seen as more than that.

  • Paddy

    We can see where Newry Republican is coming from and independent minds won’t croak on about themselves. But, if he (!) dismisses this vigil, what will he say of the small vigils for the RIRA/CIRA prisoners/propaganda fodder?

    His site seems ok,. He has a job. Is that not a disqualification?

  • West Sider

    Ha ha! Mark, you’re a cad.

    I’m not the one fixated old bean, it seems you’ve lost the run of yourself given a few roastings on here in the last few days.

    Do you have a life? And as for the irrational jibe… well, projection is a funny thing.

  • The bloggers on this site get more and more like a Northern version of the Revisionist school ca 1988/1999 – a beaten docket.

    ABUs – Anything But Sinn Fein.

  • West Sider

    Agreed offworld. Hope you’re well, sir. Enjoy your blog a lot.

  • west sider

    go raibh maith agat a chara

    I think I’m going to head off into the blogging sunset and away from this site because (whilst I love the cut and thrust of debate) this place feels some dank crypt

    mo sheacht beannacht ort

  • West Sider

    Maith thú, Pol.

    Get you back to filmaking again – you were a brilliant producer/director back in the day. It’s time you made another cracking doc.

  • west sider

    carpe diem – do everything ye can (and even trust yourself to try things ye think ye cant) and be positive. That’s what I’m at.

    Some people on this site might find that they are happier people if they try the same thing.

    sin é

    ádh mór agus buíochas ó chroí a chomrádaí

  • Alias

    “Put yourselves and your non existent strategies to the electorate north and south – but then again you all know more than the Irish nation.” – west belfast

    Explain it to yourself first.

    There were two separate referendums involving two separate acts of self-determination in two separate sovereign jurisdictions where two separate nations voted on two separate agreements. In that part of the United Kingdom, you voted to endorse the Good Friday Agreement. In Ireland, we voted for the 19th Amendment, which removed the Irish nation’s claim to Her Majesty’s sovereign territory and approved the British Irish Agreement.

    So the catholic tribe in NI voted to renounce its national rights and live within a legitimised British state in its agreement, whereas the Irish nation voted on no such document and made no such declaration.

  • Alias

    Another one on the trail of the ‘disappearing’ loop hole?

    I think what all of the people of this island voted in resounding numbers for is peace.

  • Alias

    Well, the law is a bit funny, Pip, in that what you think or were told you voted for is not the same thing as what is now constitutional law.

    The lie that is told to the catholic tribe in NI is that the Irish nation voted for the GFA when nobody in Ireland voted for it. The two separate acts of self-determination were held on the same day in order to create the misleading impression that there was one act of national self-determination. That’s the sort of shyster mis-selling that the EU likes to ban. 😉

    In reality, the outcome of the separate act of self-determination in the two separate sovereign jurisdictions were not in any way interlinked. Indeed, if there was one nation and one act of self-determination and the majority in Ireland supported something and the majority in NI rejected it, then the minority would have a veto over the majority. So all that such farcical dependency would have done is highlight the unionist veto. But anyway, they both voted on separate agreements. All that would have happened in the Irish nation did not support the British Irish Agreement is that the British state would not have been able to claim sovereignty over institutions of the Irish state via the external strands that are outlined in the British Irish Agreement – and the only reason the Irish nation voted on that at all is because the Irish constitution requires the Irish nation to approve whenever its sovereignty is given away t third parties such as the British government or the EU.

  • Turgon

    “I think what all of the people of this island voted in resounding numbers for is peace. “

    That is incorrect and actually grossly disingenuous. The overwhelming majority of people in Northern Ireland and the RoI have been consistently voting for peace since the 1920s at the latest. No party in NI or the RoI has endorsed violence to end partition since then. Throughout the troubles SF received a small minority of the vote of the minority community of NI and only started doing better when its political wing stopped killing people. On the other hand SF in their latest incarnations (post 1920s) have always received a derisory vote in the RoI.

    In NI parties supporting loyalist terrorism have consistently received very low levels of support.

    What people voted for in 1998 was not peace. It was a political agreement. I agree that it was an agreement which was itself opposed to political violence.

    This may sound like pedantry but remember that one can be opposed to the current agreement and yet also opposed to violence. I certainly am and to be fair judging by all his comments and blogs on this site Mark McGregor though from a very different political analysis from me is also opposed to violence whilst for very different reasons to me opposed to the current agreements.

    Conflating support for the 1998 agreement with support for peace was a dishonest attempt to blackmail people into supporting the 1998 agreement.

  • Alias

    Just to add to that: while it is misrepresented that the sovereignty over institutions of the Irish state was not given to the United Kingdom but to the ‘Irish’ nation in NI, this is exposed as a rather farcical fraud by the Irish nation renouncing its claim to the territory.

  • Turgon

    You are telling me the 1998 vote for the agreement was not a vote for peace. I disagree. The people of Ireland changed the constitution. The hope was for a time of peace to allow people to choose properly with no threat of violence to falsely influence opinion.

    Some object to the agreement on principle and without endorsing violence, and that is as it should be in a democracy. The one does not negate the other. An opinion is not wrong because it is different.

    I did not intend to gloss over or distort history. I merely offered my opinion on why the vote went the way it did.

  • Alias

    Again with the pedantry!

    The people of Ireland changed the constitution, not because they no longer want the north, but because they hoped that given the peace and freedom of normal political debate, time might, and I for one believe will, result in united Ireland.

    I keep hearing what the Brits wanted but quite frankly what any country of sixty million want against a country of four million, the country of sixty million gets, that, I am afraid, is bald simple arithmetics. In addition there is the fact that the UK is Irelands largest trading partner, we have too much to lose to be a serious opposition. Part of me really doesnt like that, but part of me doesnt like snow. Its still snow!

  • slappymcgroundout

    “No party in NI or the RoI has endorsed violence to end partition since then.”

    There was a party, you simply engaged in a monumental act of intellectual dishonesty by pretending they weren’t there.

    “On the other hand SF in their latest incarnations (post 1920s) have always received a derisory vote in the RoI.”

    And so…? How many of the homeless did you take in? So they’re self-absorbed cretins who care only for themselves. Much like here in America, with obligatory signature line for the one trooper, to wit, America is not at war. The US Army and the US Marines are at war; America is at the mall.

    “In NI parties supporting loyalist terrorism have consistently received very low levels of support.”

    Which parties would those be? The ones that Bobby Morton claims told him, get into them boys? To continue with Bobby, they never fought, they never died. That was left for people like Bobby. Recall also the Rev. Ian’s “shots across the border”. You might otherwise ask Bill Craig how many PIRA he “liquidated”. As the junior officer asks his superior office in Clancy’s Red Storm Rising, do you blame the sword for the hand that wields it, and if so, what does that make you? And here’s much “little support” there was:

    Looks like a sold out show to me (1:14-1:22). And see one of your claimed men of God giving his best for King Rat and the cause (2:44-4:10). What party was and is he in? Peace Lovers R Us?

    Here is some bonus coverage of the sold out show:

    And, here, you decide whether 30K were present at the services for King Rat [at 4:10 or so]:

    Here is a sold out daytime show, and after that show, kindly note the funeral procession starting, again, at 2:39:

    Lastly, recall those games wherein you match up. I’ll give you three names, you add the fourth, and then match them as parading partners, and here think Loyalist strike that wrecked Sunningdale:

    Andy Tyrie
    Ian Paisley
    David Trimble

    Like, Mr. McGregor, you too need a new teacher. Either that, or a new argument, one that won’t be torn asunder by a bored me while I wait for my overlords to cancel the tsunami warning so that life might get back to normal.

  • Turgon

    It always fascinates me the great trust and store which some seem to give to claims by loyalist terrorists. Why should anyone believe what Bobby Morton or for that matter David Ervine or any of the other criminals say?

    As to William McCrea: remind me when was he in the TUV?

    As I said before SF had low levels of support until its military wing stopped killing lots of people and changed to only killing smaller numbers. In the RoI they have consistently garnered low levels of support. Or maybe you want to deny those painfully obvious facts.

    However, do continue with your fantasies: they have some comedy value as well as demonstrating your views on such terrorists.

  • slappymcgroundout


    Claims made by terrorists? A head count. Count them if you can, like stars in the sky, those present at King Rat’s night poetry reading, and then later for his funeral procession. The head count is its own witness that he and some others had the support of their community. He wouldn’t be walking around surrounded by all those people if he hadn’t.

    Comedy value is otherwise TUV. What tradition? The tradition that penned them in, denied them employment, and beat and shot them?

    I don’t otherwise always believe terrorists. David Ervine was wrong. Like Republicans, Loyalists did have a choice and are responsible. If your society is under attack, ask why. And maybe instead of shooting the random Catholic, you drive your car on over to Derry, partner up with some, and then go on your freedom ride together.

    To continue with the words of terrorists, do you mean the late Mr. Ervine saying that Paisley’s nail through lumber crew and the dead in Derry gave rise to the PIRA? Here, hear the same in a song (0:00 to 0:44 or so):

    And you have the equation wrong. Sinn Fein and the PIRA never held power in your state. They also didn’t have their parliament dissolved, which is the supreme manifestation of your unfitness to govern, as some gave you the ultimate in the way of a vote of no confidence.

    Which brings me to some other words of the late David Ervine, terrorist: …had confirmed for them that the state was irreformable. Wasn’t simply the words of a terrorist, as Westminster said it as well via its dissolution of your parliament. So it is you, and not Sinn Fein, that need demonstrate that you are fit to govern. So govern well.

    And when you ask, why should anyone believe, simply consider that even paranoids have enemies. So they aren’t wrong all the time. And they sure make a lot more sense than the Rev. Ian’s “priestcraft” (whatever that is), Bill Craig’s “Westminster/government compromised the Crown” (as if the Crown needs Bill Craig to make the point should the need to speak to compromise of the Crown arise), etc.

    Lastly, if you’ve well and truly got the vision, then you know that it wasn’t merely to pen them in, deny them jobs, and beat and shoot them. It was for the larger purpose of instilling in them the notion, let us leave this God-forsaken hell hole of a place (as many have). Call it you trying to preserve your majority, by telling them that there is no place here for you. You aren’t the only group of humans in human history to have engaged in the practice. We humans otherwise aren’t the only animal species to practice the thing.

    Almost forgot, but why would Irish Catholics be any less repelled by SF/PIRA today than you are? Recall that unlike the PIRA, the UVF simply killed random Catholics. According to Bobby, theory was, we kill Mr. and Mrs. Random Catholic, in front of the little ones, and some will go crying to Uncle Gerry…please, Uncle Gerry, say Uncle…

    So if they were well and truly against SF/PIRA, wouldn’t they be more repelled than you, seeing as how they didn’t support the SF/PIRA struggle but yet they were killed by the UVF for purposes of putting pressure on SF/PIRA? If it was as you posit re their non-support, they’d loathe the UVF and wouldn’t be happy with SF/PIRA either. And so while they might be pleased that SF/PIRA cessation of hostilities means no more them as walking target for the UVF, doesn’t mean that SF/PIRA get their vote.

    You have otherwise posited no mechanism (as it were) that would explain the current sentiment as evidenced by the vote, you simply assert your assumption as fact. The contradiction you must deal with is simply that you say that the UVF didn’t fare well at the polling place. Correct. You say that such means, no support. Assuming arguendo that such is so, then why not the same phenomenon with SF/PIRA? Do they put something in the water of Irish Catholics in the north there that makes them do the opposite of what you do with respect to armed struggles that you and they detest?

    Truly lastly, what am I to otherwise make of Mr. Allister being Willie’s biggest fan? See lucky no. 7 comment here:


    When Willie and Jim speak to Fran O’Toole then they can say that they aren’t bigots. And I’ll cut Willie some slack, since whatever the view taken with respect to the activities of his kith and kin, no doubt an extreme trauma for him. Of course, such is why Jim should be doing something other than serving as mere cheerleader for Willie and his crusade.

  • Prionsa Eoghann


    >>In NI parties supporting loyalist terrorism have consistently received very low levels of support.<< What apart from the UUP and DUP. And how well will the TUV do in the elections if they are campaigning to release loyalist prisoners? You may well wish to keep yir heid in the sand, doesn't mean we have to allow you to get away with it.

  • Paul McMahon

    “It always fascinates me the great trust and store which some seem to give to claims by loyalist terrorists. Why should anyone believe what Bobby Morton or for that matter David Ervine or any of the other criminals say?”

    – Or indeed Sean O’Callaghan?

  • Paddy

    Well said Turgon. We should not listen to Loyalist terrorists. We should believe there was no MI5 involvement in bombing Dublin and Monaghan. We should forget the connections between Paisley’s church and the early bombings abd that many Loyalist terrorists (to use your word) are on record as saying they wished they never heard of “Dr” Ian Paisley.

    Right back to the McMahon murders and Lloyd George screaming: kill, kill and keep shgouting murderer.

    The clowns (puppets to be more accurate) who bombed Newry courthouse probably deserve a good kick in the arse. But Paisley and all his political progeny deserve a lot more than that.

  • petermac

    The vigil in Newry may not have big numbers but it contained Republicans & Nationalists and the difference between this and previous protest gatherings (excepting Civil Rights in the 60s/70s) we were all standing together

  • wee buns

    An ancient ploy was used, I am told, to have cornered the electorate thus. We saw it with recent Lisbon treaty: Those who vote NO were deemed to be against Recovery. With the GFA it was: Those who vote NO are agianst Peace. Loaded with a capital L.

  • west belfast

    Wee buns – it was a private polling booth. Where you mark your X remains private – you vote as you see it.

    Its the same argument that has been used that SF voters dont really support SF.

    The Irish people are not stupid even if you think they are. Just because you disagree with the outcome of a given referendum doesnt mean you are right.

    An empty argument.