Dr Norman Hamilton – looking to the future

The new Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Dr  Norman Hamilton in his first public speech as head of the church, has addressed sectarianism and the lack of a cohesive community relations policy to address it, calling sectarianism ‘the demon among us.’

I really don’t think having at least 2  different agencies tackling the same issues (and at a time when cuts are due) is helpful, so perhaps it is a time for the Equality Commission and the Community Relations Council to be merged which would certainly save money and help for a cohesive strategy to be put in place. There could also be a case argued for including the Human Rights Commission in any such merger .

Setting that aside i think Dr Hamilton is to be praised for raising this issue and for  looking to start a proper dialogue about this critical issue.

, , ,

  • DerTer

    I heard Dr Hamilton, always a sane voice, on the radio this morning and found his appeal for some dialogue on this issue very er… appealing. There seems lttle point in having an apparent reconciliation at an institutional level while crude sectarian attitudes flourish among the young.

  • socaire

    It’s like pulling most of the bricks out of a wall and still expecting it to remain standing. This outpost is built on sectarianism and if it were to be removed, the Temple would fall. Both sectarianisms are not the same. One is the arrogance of the planter and the other the reaction of the native.

  • John East Belfast

    socaire

    “One is the arrogance of the planter and the other the reaction of the native”.

    Absolute rubbish

    Gerry Adam’s ancestors came over on the same boat as mine

    And I wont go into who the real planters and natives might have been but there is no doubt the celts occupied these lands – especially the North Eastern part of Ireland- long before the Gaels.

  • socaire

    What is this fixation with Gerry Adams? And as I often say, We may not know who the land belonged to but we know who it didn’t belong to. Anyway it was barren like Africa when the settlers landed and they turned it into a land of milk and honey. Shure the Irish were only running a couple of cows on it. Planter arrogance?

  • John East Belfast

    More like native stupidity if that is typical of the nonsense they believe

  • Comrade Stalin

    Pure sectarian bigotry. Why don’t you have a go at the blacks and the Jews as well ? They aren’t “native” either.

  • Seymour Major

    Eames Bradley acknowledged the role of the churches in the creation of a sectarian system. The Legacy commission were supposed to follow on with proposals. Presumably, their work will be lost in the spending cuts to some so Dr. Hamilton’s statement is to be particularly welcomed.

  • Drumlin Rock

    John, don’t feed the troll.

  • Drumlin Rock

    Eames Bradley was a complete farce with no credibility, and Lord Eames will never live down the shame of having his name on it. How he ever swallowed the republican story of “everyone of us is a victim and we all are equally guilty” is beyond understanding. The report is dead and buried, let it RIP.

  • Ulster McNulty

    JEB

    “And I wont go into who the real planters and natives might have been but there is no doubt the celts occupied these lands – especially the North Eastern part of Ireland- long before the Gaels.”

    The “Celts” were the “Gaels”, and the only indisputable evidence that the celts ever reached Ireland is that Gaelic is a celtic language.

    But, according to anyone’s political preference they may wish to ignore historical evidence and buy into eccentric and bizarre theories of people like Ian Adamson and the Ulster Defence League:

    http://www.ulsterdefenceleague.co.uk/history-of-ulster/

    It’s serious nonsense for people who prefer their history to be ludicrous.

    It seems to me that, in order to reduce bigotry, there is a lot of objective factual history that school children in Northern Ireland could be taught, and where it’s controversial they can be taught to recognise that there 2 sides to a story.

  • Greenflag

    JEB

    ‘But there is no doubt the celts occupied these lands – especially the North Eastern part of Ireland- long before the Gaels.’

    The first people to have lived in Ireland came probably from Scotland or Northern England circa 8000 BC . These people would have had a Mesolithic culture and were neither Gaels nor Celts . The Gaelic or Celtic ‘culture ‘ would have come to Ireland from Britain , France and Northern Spain from circa 1000 BC to 100 AD i.e before written history . It’s now believed that the Celtic language/languages gradually replaced the pre Celtic languages over several centuries probably because of continuing ‘arrivals ‘ over several centuries of ‘people’ from Britain and western Europe ‘

    The site below us a very good precis of the history of people settling in Ireland since the Ice Age and the linked references in it are all to reputable academic sources.

    http://www.wesleyjohnston.com/users/ireland/past/pre_norman_history/mesolithic_age.html

  • Greenflag

    Hey folks the thread is about the new Presbyterian Moderator not ancient history .

    Presbyterian Moderators are like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates -every one is different and you never know what you are going to get .

    But we should wish him well in his Moderatorship and hope he can do his bit to help copperfasten the present relative peace .
    Sounds like a dacent man even to a baptised atheist 😉

  • Sectarian division and hatred have deep and pernicious roots in this society. Wide civic engagement on this issue is needed and the Executive needs to produce a thoughtful and serious community relations strategy as a matter of urgency. Otherwise sectarianism and racism will continue to blight lives, create tensions, embed poverty and undermine efforts at economic growth.

    Whether CRC and the Equality Commission should merge, Slugger, is a matter for debate, though it is doubtful if that would save any money. At present they are performing entirely different roles- one is a development agency and the other is a legal compliance body.