What a difference 5 years make

In 2005 Ardoyne had exactly the same problems surrounding the 12th of July parade as those that transpired last night (and it has been going on a lot longer than that). Back then, a full five years ago, 80 police officers were injured during what Gerry Kelly described as control being lost for for a time.

In that distant almost forgotten, for some, era he fully blamed the Orange Order for creating the conditions that resulted in the violence:

The situation was created by the demands of the Orange Order to march along this route and the Parades Commission acceding to that demand…

However the fundamental problem is being sustained. That is unionist and loyalist demands to dominate nationalist neighbourhoods by forcing unwanted sectarian anti-catholic parades through them…

The consistent rewarding of the Orange Order in North Belfast for refusing to enter into a process of dialogue which seeks to resolve this issue is untenable. It is unacceptable. It is a recipe for ongoing tension, disharmony and conflict…

However the PSNI immediately intervened with a baton charge and water cannon. This action disempowered the local residents stewards and for a time control was lost.

The blame game for last night’s riot is now in full flow and Kelly is leading Sinn Féin’s charge again, this time from a white stallion as he rounds on;

“A number of small factions including Greater Ardoyne Residents Coalition, Eirigi and Republican Network for Unity, who had called for a mass mobilisation from outside this community, moved onto the road four hours before the parade was due.

All that was achieved by this was that it undermined local residents and prevented them holding their planned protest.

But it is obvious by the small numbers involved that there was no mass mobilisation here this evening.

Facing almost a mirror of the situation in Ardoyne in 2005 this time Gerry Kelly has only a few words for the Orange Order and they are very much milder with the passage of years:

“I would also appeal to the Orange Order to seriously consider whether year after year these are the headlines they want associated with their parades.

There are only a handful of Orange Order parades which are contentious. It is time that the Loyal Orders faced up to this reality and entered into dialogue with local residents to resolve these issues.”

Seems for Sinn Féin the problem in Ardoyne is no longer focused on unwanted parades but those that oppose them and he isn’t letting them play a ‘control was lost’ (don’t blame me guv) card.

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  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Mark,

    As a general rule, in your summing up, it is best not to contradict what you have earlier quoted.

    Summary:
    “Seems for Sinn Féin the problem in Ardoyne is no longer focused on unwanted parades but those that oppose them ”

    Earlier Quote:
    There are only a handful of Orange Order parades which are contentious. It is time that the Loyal Orders faced up to this reality and entered into dialogue with local residents to resolve these issues

  • Mark McGregor

    Sammy,

    Gerry very clearly blamed the Orange Order for creating the situation whereby riots took place in 2005.

    He is now clearly asking them to consider some associated headlines.

    That is a big change in focus.

  • awesomeness32

    eh he was quoting Gerry Kelly:)

  • Bussed in (like Gerry)

    Sammy/Moderate Unionist

    in no shape or form are McGregor’s comments contradictory or illogical.You’ll save yourself a lot of bother if, kn future, you engage your brain before playing with the big boys.

    I’m surprised Kelly didn’t blame his brother-in-law for the trouble, as per last year

  • spige

    Just watched BBC1 Newsline. One of the sit down protestors at Ardoyne yesterday was caught on camera months ago storming a meeting of the policing board up in Derry. Funny as fuck… Maybe he’s moved house recently though and is an actual Ardoyne resident nowadays.

  • Kathy C

    As I remember it…

    “There are only a handful of Orange Order parades which are contentious” this was true back in 1997 at the begining of the sinn fein peace process and it is STILL true today. Sinn Fein hasn’t stopped the parades through their constituents neighborhoods…they are just playing nice nice with those that parade.

    What Gerry Kelly fails to understand…the orange order doesn’t care if they are seen in head lines as marchers through Catholic neighborhoods…what the orange order cares about is keeping Catholics as second class subjects to the queen….the same queen who by law can not be a Catholic. Gerry Kelly may like serving the queen ..but many Irish Catholics and Republicans do not.

  • I hate this dissident-lite nonsense.

    So you can’t perform any kind of public assembly in Ardoyne without the resident’s permission.

    Since that appears to apply to the Orange Order, why doesn’t it apply to the dissidents, since, to my knowledge, no-one anywhere has elected them to anything?

    Or are we all to pretend that did they not have to bring anyone in from outside because they have such overwhelming support in Ardoyne? Or does criticising the dissidents for this nonsense count simply as sectariana? If the parade breached the terms and conditions, it should have been properly documented and slammed down the throats of those who pretend that it didn’t.

  • Rory Carr

    “…a big change in focus” you say, Mark.

    Well let us then focus on Kelly’s cleart assertion that,

    “A number of small factions including Greater Ardoyne Residents Coalition, Eirigi and Republican Network for Unity, who had called for a mass mobilisation from outside this community, moved onto the road four hours before the parade was due.” and that this action “undermined local residents and prevented them holding their planned protest.”

    Is he wrong in saying this?

    If he is not wrong do you agree with the action of these factions in hijacking the protest planned by the residents?

    Do you believe or not that the local MLA should support the plans of the local residents’ group over and above the actions of small groups hell-bent on derailing those plans and causing their own form of mayhem?

    The residents of Ardoyne have too long suffered from the infringement of Orange marches upon their peace for them now to have added to that the additional destruction of their peace by a mob of drunken youths organised by dissident republicans.

    Kelly correctly targeted the twin causes of havoc in Ardoyne – the Orange Order and dissident republicans and yesterday the dissidents won out in nuisance value by an Irish mile.

  • Mick Fealty

    Boys, boys, boys… we don’t deal in yesterday’s news as chip paper here… Mark is helpfully noting the change in the message from 2005 until now… I could add that it didn’t happen over night and that Mr Kelly has his arm broken in the interim for his trouble…

    Not many people will be upset by the change, but Mark is perfectly correct to note that there has been one…

  • Hmmm. He has to ignore a hell of a lot of context to do so…

  • joeCanuck

    Orange Parades are not going to go away, and nor should they. However much some repubulicans make deride the idea, they are a part of the Protestant Culture. They have a thanklelss task but the Parades Commission have done a reasonable job; some parades banned outright, e.g. Garvaghy Road, some have restrictions and the majority which cause no trouble go ahead.
    By all means Residents should use every legal means to stop unwanted marches or to peacefully protest when they go by, but violence cannot be justified.
    Has anyone ever tried for an injunction?

  • redhugh78

    Just for clarity Mark you might want to read what Gerry Kelly actually said as of this press release today.

    Kelly comments after Ardoyne ParadeJuly 13, 2010

    Commenting from Ardoyne this evening local Sinn Féin Assembly member Gerry Kelly said:

    “The first thing to be said about what happened here this evening is that this situation was brought about by the insistence of the Orange Order to march through three nationalist areas as an add on to their main parade and the decision of the Parades Commission to facilitate them in this. Only a few weeks ago at the Tour of the North the Parades Commission came to a different determination and we had a relatively peaceful parade.

    “The rioting we witnessed this evening is wrong, counterproductive and should not have happened. The decision of the PSNI to fire plastic bullets was also wrong and unacceptable.

    “This morning residents from Mountainview, the Dales and Ardoyne held a peaceful and dignified protest at the morning parade. It was their intention to repeat this for the return parade. However a number of small factions including GARC, Eirigi and RNU, who had called for a mass mobilisation from outside this community moved onto the road four hours before the parade was due. All that was achieved by this was that it undermined local residents and prevented them holding their planned protest. But it is obvious by the small numbers involved that there was no mass mobilisation here this evening. Indeed many of those who did turn up are the same anti social elements who were involved in rioting at Broadway and North Queen Street last night.

    “In fact the rioting which took place here tonight did so after the Orange Parade had passed. Residents of these areas do not want it, what they wanted was to protest peacefully against the sectarian parade being forced through their communities, not an excuse for anti social elements to hijack cars, abuse local people and throw petrol bombs. And I would appeal to these people to return to their own areas and allow the people of Mountainview, the Dales and Ardoyne to get on with their lives.

    “I would also appeal to the Orange Order to seriously consider whether year after year these are the headlines they want associated with their parades. Are they prepared for hundreds of thousands of pounds of scarce resources to be wasted on forcing a feeder parade through these communities? There are only a handful of Orange Order parades which are contentious. It is time that the Loyal Orders faced up to this reality and entered into dialogue with local residents to resolve these issues.” ENDS

    No ambiguity over where the blame lies there is there?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    What a difference 5 years makes…….or indeed 40 plus. It seems preferable than the Groundhog Day philosophy of the dissidents.
    Is it all over for another year?
    Well until mid August.
    hope so. Looked nasty. But it seems we got to the brink and it was no doubt nasty….but generally speaking everyone lives to march and protest another day.

    Essentially all movements are supported by people one step down the social ladder from the people who lead them. Im increasingly of the opinion that the dissidents are all leaders and no real followers……teens with hoodies are hardly even good cannon fodder.
    Or put another way….there isnt actually a known step down the social ladder from “dissidents”.
    I dont actually say this to insult them…..merely an observation that the people throwing stuff yesterday are hardly people with a stake in “Society”. Now we can of course agonise about an inclusive society but there are just some people who will never be part of Society.
    These people seem to me to be feral..or semi feral. Hard to think that they are waiting on Alevel/GCE results or doing a driving test or visiting an elderly relative ….the stuff we take for granted. They are more likely to be resident in Hydebank than Ardoyne.

    And this is where MMG misses the point about the difference that five years makes…or 40 plus. A heck of a lot more Ardoyne folks have a stake in society than five years ago. A lot of SF Alliance & SDLP politicians as well as genuine community workers have made that possible.
    Now clearly there is an issue about parades.I despise the ethos (“culture”) of the Loyal Orders but it is a heck of a lot better than it used to be.
    We all saw the TV footage. Was there a single “leader” involved in climbing a roof above the shops, a single leader in the confrontation.
    But 24 hours later, the “leadership” and the apologists tell us what it was like.
    Is a single dissident aplogist going to climb a roof in Ardoyne? Er ……no. “Pass me my blackberry”.

  • Kathy C

    Hi Joe,

    I think that the parades are part of the orange order culture not the Protestant culture. A protestant church group in most other countries will not say it is their culture to march in celebration of william of orange victory over Catholic king James. The motivation of the orange order parades are to march triumphantly celebrating a protestant win over Catholics.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Mick,

    Mark has deliberately misrepresented SF position as I pointed out above with his statement

    “Seems for Sinn Féin the problem in Ardoyne is no longer focused on unwanted parades ”

    SF have clearly said there are 2 problems to focus on – one with disser violence and one with the lack of dialogue.

    The problem when you overstate your case is that you undermine it – just as Mark has done – and when you do it for overtly ideoligica reasons, and make a habit of same, you get rumbled.

  • Kathy C

    I was just thinking…how would the people of the Netherlands feel if the people of Spain marched in celebration every year to come in the Netherlands celebrating the Spainish world Cup win over the Netherlands….and we can’t forget when the Spainish march through the neighborhoods in the Netherlands they will bang drums…and carry banners…all celebrating a Spanish win.

  • Probably not a good example. The Dutch would just sit in their lovely coffee shops smoking their legal substances and thinking, eh well, it was only a football match, but wouldn’t tapas be just great right now…

  • spige

    Marching through Holland would be a gift what with the flat landscape and the odd foray into brothels, coffee houses, etc.

    In fact, lets ship The Twelfth to Holland and bus in a clatter of Eirigi protestors too while we’re at it.

  • joeCanuck

    I understand, Kathy. I should have been more specific and said N.Irish Protestant culture.
    Over here, in Toronto, up to about 40 years ago, the July 12th parade used to be a massive affair involving thousands. Now it’s a couple of hundred at most confined to the back streets and even the locals scratch their heads wondering what it’s all about. This has come about from worldwide immigration making Toronto one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, perhaps second only to London.
    As young folk turn away from religion in increasing numbers, N.Ireland parades will eventually dwindle too, I suspect.

  • willis

    The Dutch are currently in the throes of a massive theological dispute about the the purity and soul of their football. And quite right too. If only the other Orange had a capacity for reflection

  • GavBelfast

    I sense you’re enjoying this mayhem (and the cruel attempted murder of the police-woman) from the safety of your computer.

    Sad and pathetic.

    That is all.

  • Greenflag

    ‘lets ship The Twelfth to Holland’

    Would’nt work . The Dutch are too intelligent . About half the Orange football supporters in Holland would be Catholic anyway given the demographics of the country . Dutch Protestants and Catholics are Dutch first and foremost .

    They don’t suffer from the existential ‘angst’ and paranoid mindset that seems to afflict large numbers of the NI Orange Order and members and supporters . Dutch ‘orangemen ‘ also tend to believe the Earth is somewhat more than 6,000 years old and bot Dutch prods and catholics tend to be much more secular and practically minded in regard to social and health issues than either ‘tribe ‘ of antediluvians in NI .

    ‘if only the other Orange had a capacity for reflection’

    About as likely to happen as a clan of retard chimpanzees understanding the basics of quantum mechanics being taught to them in Arabic 🙁

    Not just a failure to communicate . More a failure to relate to the other half of the population of Northern Ireland and the rest of these islands and the European mainland .

  • Gendjinn

    You might have heard of this small town called New York.

  • joeCanuck

    True, Glendjinn, and to my embarrassment, I’ve been there. OK, I’ll award you number 2; I still think London is number one from my experiences there over 40 years.

  • Kathy C

    Hi GavBelfast,
    I for one am not enjoying it at all….it is a sad state of affairs.
    However, discussions regarding why this is happening is a good thing that hopefully may lead to the orange order giving up their hate walks through Catholic neighborhoods.

  • Harry Flashman

    Mark is of course entirely correct in his analysis and Sinn Fein have to no one to blame but themselves for this state of affairs.

    It all stems from their extremely wrongheaded decision to get involved in the parades issue in the mid 1990’s. One can understand the strategic reasoning behind the decision, the need to give activists something to occupy themselves with during the ceasefire and the electoral benefits of some visible street level agitprop but it made a nonsense of any claim to being truly Irish Republicans and exposed them as merely sectarian Catholic nationalists in a parochial faction fight.

    True Republicanism would view a dispute between Irish Catholics and Irish protestants as a matter of supreme indifference, no more relevant to the national question than the dispute between Louth GAA supporters and Meath GAA supporters over the Leinster championship, a local dispute and nothing more. Indeed I would go further and say that a true Republican would take the side of whatever faction was in dispute with the forces of the Crown. Thus in 1995 and 1996 an Irish Republican would have been aghast at the sight of heavily armed British troops blocking an Irish country road to stop a peaceful church parade of Irishmen returning to their homes.

    Padraic Pearse, a man who was perfectly comfortable with robust muscular Orangeism viewing it simply as a manifestation of a variant of Irishness would have looked on such a sight and armed himself to join the Orangemen in shooting the Brits off the road, instead Sinn Fein stood quite comfortably behind the British lines as the squaddies did their bidding.

    There is a variant of soi-disant Republican, often witnessed in this forum, who seems incapable of distinguishing between Catholic nationalism and Irish Republicanism. They cannot see that there is no inconsistency between being a fundamentalist protestant who loathes the Roman Catholic church and all the manifestations of Popery and being an Irish Republican, indeed in the past many brave Irish Republicans held exactly those beliefs. In France the birthplace of Irish Republicanism such hatred of Catholicism is almost de rigeur, you couldn’t get a cigarette paper between an Orangeman and a French Republican when it comes to their visceral antipathy to the role of the Catholic Church in society, although an Orangeman might blanche at the excesses of a French Republican.

    At the end of the day it should come as no surprise I suppose, after all the present Provisional Republican movement was founded on the basis of northern Catholic defenderism so it is hardly to be wondered at that the present bunch of “dissident” splitters must look at the activities of the Provos forty years ago and ask “what has changed?”

    Just because the fiery young radicals of yesterday are now respectable grey beards sitting up in Stormont administering the Northern statelet doesn’t make them any less of Stoops and Stickies after all. True Republicans didn’t fight to end the second class citizenship status of Catholics in Northern Ireland, they fought to end the citizenship status of Northern Ireland altogether.

  • alan maskey

    Our hearts go out to the heroes of Ardoyne who are keeoing the orange hordes and the RUC paramilitaries at bay.

  • vanhelsing

    Please tell me this man does not represent the views of anyone but a tiny minority in NI….

    Don’t feel I should even bother replying to your idiotic statement but three nights of mainly youths and in some cases children rioting, destroying THEIR community, trying to injure or kill other human beings [RUC paramilitaries] and doing unmeasurable damage to NI PLC. You call that a result for the great green vision of the 32 counties.

    You know what, as a Unionist it envisions me to redouble my efforts to ensure that people who think like you never achieve your aims.. 🙂 Put that in your bigoted pipe and smoke it…

  • slappymcgroundout

    “True Republicanism would view a dispute between Irish Catholics and Irish protestants as a matter of supreme indifference, no more relevant to the national question than the dispute between Louth GAA supporters and Meath GAA supporters over the Leinster championship, a local dispute and nothing more.”

    Apparently, you don’t worship at St. Matthews. If some had been as indifferent as you, you’d likely have never had the chance.

    “True Republicans didn’t fight to end the second class citizenship status of Catholics in Northern Ireland, they fought to end the citizenship status of Northern Ireland altogether.”

    Please speak to the more than 800,000 residents of the land who don’t want your new citizenship. Why is that your breed can never grasp that single, salient point? So if you were and are advocating armed struggle to change their citizenship, well, then you’re a fool. Please tell me when in all of recorded human history, the citizenship was changed owing to a local revolution, when the majority of the residents did not want that change? As I said in post a while back, now that some have their place at the table and some equality of right, time for some love and kisses.

    Lastly, if I were them, I’d be having no more of you. Who needs an imperial master when there’s “dissidents” who use the poor and the unemployed for their own dimwitted purposes. Note the . So a statement and not a question. Might as well stick with the imperial master some have now. And so the true republicans were the ones who got what they could with the Armalite and the semtex and are trying to get the rest through some power-sharing, some equality, and some love and kisses. And no doubt it seems wholly counterintuitive to you, but as Malcolm X so aptly put it, by any means necessary. And so if love and kisses will work, then love and kisses it is. By any means necessary.

    Almost forgot, but ever hear of Shoichi Yokoi? Time to come out of the cave, as that war is over.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Bussed in,

    I’m not sure ‘big boy’ Mark (perhaps an intimate observation?) will thank you for continuing to draw attention to the inconsistencies in what he has written.

  • joeCanuck

    VH,
    He’s clearly a troll simple trying to upset people. As you say, he represents virtually no one. Just ignore him, hard though it may be to do so.

  • “Who needs an imperial master when there’s “dissidents” who use the poor and the unemployed for their own dimwitted purposes.”

    What are you saying here? The economically disadvantaged and the unemployed are to stupid to make up their own minds as to who they support, what arrogant nonsense. If you cannot pick up a history book, at least show people a bit of respect.

    If some people who fall into this category support dissidents, they do so because they choose to, lets leave rubbish about god fathers manipulating simply minds to the British media. The fact is, it is pretty clear most people in the areas under discussion do not support the dissidents, but that does not mean they never will. If the likes of Mr Kelly does not want a rerun of the past, and what sensible person would, he would be better reflecting on this, instead of aping an SDLP politician of the last century.

  • vanhelsing

    Joe – I’ve calmed down – you’re always the voice of reason. Now if YOU want a UI – I’ll play you a game of chess for it 🙂

  • slappymcgroundout

    Did see any reply button to reply to you, so I’ll have to reply to myself. With that in mind, the words of the late Steve Biko:

    The most weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.

    If we had signature lines here, that line would be my signature. And the late Steve Biko may have been many things, but spewer of arrogant nonsense was not one of those things.

  • slappymcgroundout

    Was interrupted there, so to add to my last, more Biko:

    It becomes more necessary to see the truth as it is if you realise that the only vehicle for change are these people who have lost their personality. The first step therefore is to make the black man come to himself; to pump back life into his empty shell; to infuse him with pride and dignity, to remind him of his complicity in the crime of allowing himself to be misused and therefore letting evil reign supreme in the country of his birth.

    Does that work for you? Surely, Biko wasn’t seeking to excuse the white oppressor. Nor am I. Matter of fact, in context, I’m dissing the “dissidents”. Though, again, as Biko and I understand, some are indeed complicit in the crime of allowing themselves to be misused.

  • Alan maskey

    Vanhelsing: So you are a Unionist rdeaching out to the people of Ardoyne? Guess what? They do not want you or your marches. I am not sure if they want Gerry Bus Pass Kelly either

  • slappy

    To pull Biko in to defend your position may be a neat piece of footwork, but it does not alter the fact you displayed absolute contempt for a whole section of society when you know full well only a minority of it support the dissidents.

    What worries me about your language is you claim they are unable to form their own opinions if they do not agree with your beliefs, if so does that make them geniuses when they do?

    I just feel it is better to ask why some people feel so angry with the process they support dissidents. (If that is what occurred)

    Perhaps, [not dissimilar to those young people whom Mr Biko was a hero to] they did not wish triumphant marches in their areas and they have concluded the only way officialdom takes any notice of their wishes, is when they lob the odd brick.

  • vanhelsing

    alan maskey – you’re clearly insane so I won’t be answering any more posts of yours 🙂