The King Is Dead…

[Original picture removed by request of the copyright holder]

Long Live the King?


  • RN, who is the King? I don’t recognise any of these faces or the location or ‘PRIDE OF’.

  • BB

    er, yeah a bit of background would be nice.

  • Frank Ryan

    It would appear that the provisional movement has lost the ability to control the youth of ardoyne. It was not so long ago that when the provisional movement wanted a quiet marching season, and quiet ardoyne, they got it.

    E.Mallie states in his book the Provisional IRA that without the provisional IRA standing behind it the republican movement would be insignificant.

    Any realist would see that this is not the case yet due to the electoral strength of sinn fein, but the signs are there…. Open defiance on the streets.

    Is this the beginning of the end???

  • Mullaghbawn

    A picture tells a thousand words. Was he sent packing like Gerry Kelly? Changing of the guard!

  • stoop-down-low

    Is yer man wearing a Cliftonville scarf? Something about foreign games.

  • Ceist

    End of Storey?

  • hodgie

    i thought it was the dissidents who bussed outsiders in? is storey from ardoyne or was he bussed in?

  • Watched on UTV at lunchtime. Enlightening.

    Harder they rise, harder they fall.

  • James Driscoll

    Sorry mate; Bobby who..?

  • Brian

    Bobby Storey, i believe. Provo gunmen in his former days if I recall correctly.

    What do the youths have to be afraid of? The provo’s/sinn fein can’t dole out punishment beatings anymore because of political reasons, and they probably aren’t willing to turn them over to the PSNI without risking their support among the underclass as well as their genetic disgust with informers.

  • redhugh78

    ‘Do your parents know you’re out?’

    Seriously tho, looking at news footage of the ‘rioters’ does the parents of the children involved have no shame as it seems a majority of the rioters look juvenile to me, the rest act juvenile.

  • Dec

    Ah it’s refreshing to know that after 3 days of mayhem by rent-a-mob, Rusty Nail slithers from under his rock to pinpoint the real villain ie someone who actually has the balls to challenge these scumbags face to face.

  • sdelaneys

    Are you the old man in the history book?

  • Realistic Idealist

    How could this be portrayed as “Changing of the guard!” type moment? Regardless of your views on the IRA and the just or unjustness of their cause – they did have a cause and were driven by political ideology.

    What are these current scumbag rioters driven by? Politics, Ideology, aye some chance! whatever your views about the IRA or Storey personally, these scumbags aren’t in the same league in any way shape or form, so to think this is the younger equivalent is ridiculous, so no need to get your hopes up lads and ladies.

  • tomas gorman

    What year did SF supporters decide that young people attacking the police became scumbag rioters?

  • RepublicanStones

    I didn’t know John Daly wore glasses.

  • Cynic

    ” If you dont do what we say we will leaflet yer”

    How are the mighty fallen. How in the wee small hours of the night they must toss and turn

  • Cynic

    About 2002 when SF and PIRA fought had to hand with them at Ardoyne shops to stop them attacking the Prods

  • Cynic

    About 2002 when SF and PIRA fought hand to hand with them at Ardoyne shops to stop them attacking the Prods

  • Cynic

    Regardless of your views on the IRA and the just or unjustness of their cause –

    errr… that never worried me….the fact that they murdered people did

  • Frank Ryan

    I think you are right IR this moment is not a changing of the guard moment. This is not one of the ‘young turks’ of Irish republicanism. He is by no stretch of the imagination a Brian Leeson.

    However, the point that comes across, whatever the political dimension the viewer is coming from, the very fact that they are facing down Bobby Storey would indicate that people they once listened to/scared them no longer do.

  • Think the last riot was 2005. Since then there were four years of direct dialogue to find accommodation and to move forward on some sense of shared space. However, the republican/nationalist representatives kept changing. Ironically it is said that some of those on the Ardoyne Parades Dialogue group are now in the Collective. 2009 something seemed to happen and CARA/GARC have emerged as competing groups, each using their position on parades as some form of yardstick as to who is the daddy.

    There has been steadily increasing violence directed towards neighbouring unionist/Protestant areas in the run up. In recent nights efforts have been to break through police lines to escalate tensions in the area to launch a sectarian onslaught.

    However, on the one hand there is a group that believes negotiation is futile and the other that wishes to ‘sanitise’ parades – references in here So which is the more likely to offer an accommodation through meaningful dialogue? That is the question for the Parades Commission and for the OFMDFM in its Parades & Protest suggestions if dialogue is central to moving ahead.

  • West Sider

    Stoey said the hood: “Why are you hiding your face? Is that the image you want for Ardoyne? This is a proud district. You’re a disgrace!”

    The intellectually challenged underclass representative croaked in response: “Yee ha!”

    That’s the depth of political thought, communal pride, self-respect and strategic thinking present in the new dissie foot soldiers.

    From Connolly and Pearse to ‘that’.

    Hope all those, including Rusty Head and co, on here defending those who would impose themselves on working people, destroy their community and property, oppress them in their own homes, and generally make life hell for them can now see what they have been defending.

    It shows how much bitterness and hatred can twist and corrupt their thinking and moral compass.

    They should be ashamed of themselves, unlike the young thug, they should know better.

  • Oracle

    “Look mate you’re a balding fat-man with a wrinkley old face and a wineo’s nose, go home da fuck you’d be useless in a riot for fucks sake”

  • lamhdearg

    Bobby must of thought he was looking in a magic time mirror.

  • Oracle

    “No Way Man” it was bad enough of being accused of using outsiders…….. if we let old people like you from the nursing home riot the media will murder us!

  • ranger1640

    A by stander over heard this conversation.

    “Da what time will I call for me Ma and me wee sisters, to start rioting.You know the way they like to fill the petrol bombs”?

    “Well son, I will be down at the Shamrock Club, you give them a wee text on your Blackberry, to find out if they have got their hoddies and ski masks ready”!

  • Frank Ryan

    UTV shows that Bobby Storey then said to him “is that your answer?” and the hood replied “well whats your answer?”…….quite profound actually.

    What is sinn fein’s answer?

    Do they want to clean up the image of Ardoyne so Belfast and go for UK city of culture and follow in the footsteps of his colleague Martin McGuiness who is doingit for Derry?

    That will bring about a 32 county socialist republic.

  • West Sider

    So answering a question with a question is profound?

    And going by your ‘logic’ is Ardoyne not entitled to be free from violence and the scars of riots?

    Or do you think that’s the answer for the people of Ardoyne?

    Do you think that’s what they deserve?

    Your bigotry is showing.

    I don’t know why I bother with braindead trolls like yourself.

  • Frank Ryan

    No it is profound in the sense that whilst Bobby storey asked him his answer he had himself failed to provide the people of ardoyne with an answer.

    And of course the people of ardoyne deserve better than to be subject to the coat-trailing bigotry that they are subject to year in year out from orangism and the PSNI, AND the violence that stems from it! The groups have stated that they do not want these parades – but the parades commission and the british and their agents force it through anyway. So when the peaceful force of argument falls on deaf ears, the only road to understanding is the argument of force.

    What I have found when pro-sf supporters on slugger get stumped by questions over their double dealing hypocritical strategy the people asking the questions get dismissed as trolls, just like in the political arena opponents to the ‘peace strategy’ get labelled dissidents with no mandate. Ironic.

  • ranger1640

    And Story never wore a mask???

    “Ye Ha”, is the politics of the street, and that is where Sinn Fein/IRA, the dissidents and the other republican groupings carryout most of their politics, with the resulting violence.

    But when you get offended by everything what do we expect from republicans.

  • ranger1640

    And Story never wore a mask???

    “Ye Ha”, is the politics of the street, and that is where Sinn Fein/IRA, the dissidents and the other republican groupings carryout most of their politics, with the resulting violence.

    But when they get offended by everything what do we expect from republicans.

  • Cynic

    “F*** off or I will send for Gerry”

  • Cynic

    “The King is Dead?”

    Elvis …..dead?

  • Dixie

    Big Bob: “Look mate times have changed, Derry is now UK City of Culture thanks to Martin!”

    Rioter: OK then, if I stop throwing stones will I be funded round to your way of thinking?”

  • Alan maskey

    It is a disgrace that Storey wears a GAA jacket. He should be wearing a Rangers one; after all, none of the rioters wore Rangers gear. Good to see this old tough guy being mocked here. Interesting to see the Provo apologists attack the current batch of Ardoyne’s finest. Whilst the SDLP stalwearts might have had education or something to kick start their social climb, Adams, Storey, Kelly and the rest had nothing but the sacrifices of those they now mock. The ultimate leeches.

  • An Amateur Anthropologist

    “Evidently, unconstructive stereotyping significantly undersells the importance of former prisoners in sustaining and indeed nourishing the peace process to date”

    Peter Shirlow and Kieran McEvoy “Beyond The Wire: Former Prisoners and Conflict Transformation in Northern Ireland”.

  • RepublicanStones

    Spide – “You’re a big man, but you’re in bad shape. With me it’s a full time job.”

    (I made that up…..honestly…cough)

  • Cynic

    “Picture removed by request of the copyright holder”

    Did he have a visit?

  • Cynic


    Yes…many people in Ardoyne don’t want the parades but those who parade do want them and they have rights too. Many of those parading would probably prefer that the Ardoyne was relocated elsewhere. Should the Government then force them to move?

  • Cynic

    GAA jacket? Many PSNI officers wear those now too. Its part of their cultural heritage …indeed one of the founders of the GAA was a member of the RIC

  • Brian

    “Well, what is your answer?”

    One could understand that to mean: “Well, I am blatantly and publicly showing you and your former comrades that I don’t give a f*ck about what any of you have to say, I could care less if you used to be a prominent provo, I’m not scared of you, so what are you gonna do about it?”

  • DeValery had a canary

    That is just the attitude that the Sticks had to the Provos – a bunch of corner boys with Celtic scarves. What happened next is written in the blood of 3000 people.

    One doesn’t have to have any sympathy with the rioters to understand that simplistic dismissals are not going to do the job.

  • DeValery had a canary

    Sadly the picture just proves the foresight of Goulding in remarking that ” we were right but twenty years too soon, Adams was right but twenty too years too late and O’Braidy will never be fucking right” (or words to that effect).

    The rioters will “never be fucking right” but – wile I ave nothing but contempt for the Provos – the truth is that it is now up to them not to make Goulding’s mistake and pretend that visceral hate doesn’t have a constituency amongst Catholics/Nationalists

  • West Sider

    Thank God for the video. Now people can get a flavour of the type of lowlife spide Storey was up against – and how scum like that besmirch the proud name of Ardoyne.

    My only quibble would be that every time this thread is refreshed or clicked on, the video and the NI tourist board advert plays immediately.

  • Frank Ryan

    There are two possible responses to your question.

    The first is legal, in particular convention rights. Does the right to freedom of assemby i.e. a parade, usurp or override the right to private and family life. I would presume due to the nature of the parade, in that orangism has an anti-catholic ethos, and parades through a catholic/nationalist area that the right to private and family life would take precedent.

    The second response is common sense. Why cant the parade take an alternative route or be bussed around ardoyne? Must it march past/ be forced through an area that does not welcome it. Quite simply, No.

    Would the US government permit a KKK march through Harlem, or the UK government a BNP march through Bradford??

  • Frank Ryan

    These are the same low life spides that did the rioting over the years when the provisional movement approved of it, and gave cover for gunmen in riot situations.

    Felon setting is now an established trait of modern provisionalism.

  • West Sider

    So you’re saying that everything that happened before must happen again. That nothing can change. That people must put up with this type of behaviour?

    Is that your point?

    I am not a republican – thank God – but to say that just because it was something approved of at one time, it must continue to happen is absurd.

    Also, hundreds of people from Ardoyne came out tonight to protest at the rioting.

    That NEVER happened before.

    Are you saying they should be ignored? Are you saying they shouldn’t haven’t the right to do that because of what went before?

    If so, and I think you do, then you are no better than the Orange Order who impose on these people year after year.

    Furthermore, your adherence to republican dogma framed over one hundred years ago to oppress and imprison and abuse their own people sounds very like the pre-Ryan report Catholic church.

    That’s the company you’re in.

  • West Sider

    To add:

    You’ve spent these past few days trying to justify the behaviour of these thugs – there was no parade tonight, last night, or the one before that.

    Are you saying that Ardoyne people should just put up with it regardless of a parade going through?

    Are you seriously trying to tell people here that they should have their cars taken off them and burned, be corralled in their homes, have their children uses as human shields – just to reenact scenes from the Troubles?

    Is that what it has come to with dogmatic, twisted maniacs like you?

    I’m from Ardoyne and have fmaily still living there – I doubt you do.

    You are a facist voice more at home in collectives which impose their doctrine on others with the threat of violence.

    You have more in common with the Orange Order in that regard that you would care to admit.

    And those dissies in their continued abuse of children and imposition on the Catholic working class with their century old dogma have more in common with the unreconstructed Catholic Church than they would care to admit.

    A shower of wasters the lot of them.

  • West Sider

    The people of Ardoyne should be allowed the space to find their own answer to this. They should not have to put up with violent interlopers exploiting the situation for their own violent, sinister ends.

    Tell me, since you are so concerned for the people there – do you think RIRA members from Derry and west Belfast, along with their lumpenproletariat foot soldiers should be allowed in during this tense time to further add to the woes of the people there?

    Or should it be Ardoyne people only?

    Simple question.

  • Frank Ryan

    Firstly to answer your first point WS I was merely pointing out the hypocrisy of this new dispensation. It was fine for kids to riot when they were under sf control but not now that they are not and it doesnt suit them.

    Secondly, people are entitled to protest for an end to the rioting of course but there is a struggle for the hearts and minds of republicanism and ardoyne is only a microcosm of it.

    Thirdly, I have nothing in common with the Orange Order nor the catholic church. Remembering it was fr Donegan who jumped to sf’s aid and ran to the media. I for one believe secularisation would go a long way in solving the problem.

    Meanwhile you seem to have some unresolved issues with the catholic church as I never once brought it into this debate.

    As for your argument on human shields the PSNI are the best people to ask about human shields as they built and remain in their barracks around peoples homes using them as human shields.

    You seem to forget in all of this the worst atrocity that has been committed is the comandeering of our country by a foreign rogue state that has sponsored murder gangs to kill the people in our communities, (most notably ard eoin) and you and others in our community have invited them in. The PSNI are unchanged and unchangable.

  • Frank Ryan

    They were invited in by GARC. Good enough for me.

  • unlucky erb

    My God frank you’re not seriously suggesting you found anything in that hood’s retort profound?

    Are you really that desperate to be on the opposing side? Cos I know you’re not stupid (I liked your articulation of why the OO should not coat-trail through the community.)

    The SF answer is simple – they have an overwhelming electoral mandate for the area and support the wishes of the residents; and the residents do not want this parade. The residents were also equally clear in the meeting in Holy Cross before the parade that they did not want violence. And would not support any action that encouraged violence.

    The fact is that GARC is made up of prominent anti-SF, anti peace process figures (a legitimate political stance). GARC delivered and collected a questionaire asking people if they objected to the parade – and guess what…they did!! GARC then used this staggeringly obvious objection as their mandate.

    As I said before that’s not a mandate Frank – that’s stating the bleedin obvious! Things turned even more farcical when it transpired that GARC had lied about doing the questionaire in conjunction with Holy Cross Monastery. Fr Gary angrily dissociated the church from GARC and their silly little survey.

    This rioting is not an expression of the community’s outrage. It’s not a sign that the mainstream republican project has been rejected by Ardoyne (as proved in May’s election). It’s party time for the hoods who were given an excuse to wreck the community by these alleged super-republicans with delusions of grandeur.

    But anyone who wants to stand by the hoods…I mean the true soldiers of the republic will find tonight’s heroes usually down at the interface, housebreaking in the district or doing (and selling drugs) round the Bone Hlls most weekends.

    Actually sounds like they’d fit in well with a couple of the dissident groups already.

  • unlucky erb

    “and you and others in our community have invited them in. The PSNI are unchanged and unchangable.”

    Errrr Frank these ‘others’ in our community who now agree to a partnership approach to policing locally….Would that be the vast majority of voters in these same areas who continue to support SF??

    Presumably as opposed to the huge mass of voters who support RNU, RSF, 32CSM etc…so many in fact that these groups run scared from elections or get soundly spanked when they stand as independents.

    Being intensely opposed to the SF strategy is absolutely fine. But don’t pretend the nationalist community shares the same sentiment – because the facts state otherwise.

  • old school

    You’d almost think, listening to Storey, that the rioters of the 70s and 80s, were bookish types who carried the Works of Marx inside their jackets as they rioted.
    Most weren’t political at all, but had a hatred of British authority which they inherited from their parents.
    “hiding behind a mask”…is he for real? Thats too easy to counter.
    “The police said they received mobile phone images from members of the public”. It’s clear PSF is now acting as the eyes and ears of the British State.

  • old school

    This Marley character and the Priest of the area should ask themselves, how many of those, who fired 70 plastic bullets against rioters (as young as 8 according to them) came from Ardoyne.
    This parochial, small mindedness and blatant animosity against Derry wans is pathetic.
    These are the boys who welcomed George Bush at Hillsborough but cant welcome Derry lads in Ardoyne.

  • Cynic


    Its not just ‘your country’ its my country too, there are more of me and we voted to remain British. Also 99.2% of the Irish voted for for that too. Complaining about murder gangs in Ardoyne is a bit rich. Much of this rioting took place on ‘murder mile’ and it wasn’t the Prods doing most of the killing there.

  • Cynic

    “It’s clear PSF is now acting as the eyes and ears of the British State.”

    Nice to see them supporting law and order. Who elected the thugs?

  • The self-fulfilling idiocy of the Irish version of republicanism laid bare.

  • Cynic – don’t know where you’re getting your numbers from but nearly twice as many people were killed there by loyalists and the security forces as by republicans (check the Sutton index if you don’t believe me).

    As to Frank – if Ardoyne is a microcosm and there is a battle for hearts and minds – how would you present Gerry Kelly’s increased vote in North Belfast in the last election? You’re really flattering the so-called dissidents if you believe that they are battling for anyone’s hearts and minds.

    Lads, I really hope all this Faustian rubbish doesn’t come back to haunt you – Jim Molyneux was right about the de-stabilising effect of the IRA ceasefire.

  • Frank Ryan

    A quote to reflect on through all the political smears coming from sinn fein in relation to their opposition to the peaceful sit down protest in Ardoyne.

    “Unless the residents invite the Orangemen to march, there won’t be a parade, and if there was one against the wishes of the people, I would be sitting with them in the middle of the road.” Gerry Adams, Irish News, Feb 2010.

    The identity crisis continues!

  • Nice misquote to reflect on here – you’ve deleted ‘people of Garvaghy Road’ and inserted ‘residents’ instead. It’s from APRN not the Irish News, as well.

    You’ve got a bit of an ongoing truth crisis, Frank.

  • Ni neart go cur le cheile

    Those hoods are nothing but scumbags, disrepectfull brainless idiots, who have no respect for the past and what it has taken to get to this far! they’ll achieve nothing. It makes me so angry to see wasters like that running around with tri colours, big men with their faces covered and mouthing off to respected people who sacrificed so much to get us to where we are now and they have such an arrogance about them that they think they are actually achieving something! My only regret is that Bobby Storey and the likes cant discipline these hoods in the old fashioned way, that would fairly knock the talk of old fashioned republicanism and so called changing of the guard out of them! Bitter Sweet!

  • Ni neart go cur le cheile

    These people are not republicans, nor do they represent them, or nationalism in any way, shape or form.
    But I will agree with you that they are idiots, furthermore it would surprise me to find one of them that could actually spell the word republicanism, or indeed spell at all!

  • Cynic

    In Belfast we have a natural aversion to culchies.

    Also there is only so much Buckfast and blow available to go round.

    If you want a riot have one of your own the city of culture and use your own children as shields

  • Cynic

    Some songs from the King to help console poor Bobby as he goes about his missionary work in Ardoyne:

    Are you lonesome tonight?

    I forgot to remember to forget

    Dont be cruel

    One sided love affair

    Treat me nice

    Dont ask me why

  • Cynic


    All depends where you draw the boundaries. The figures for NI as a whole show that 60% were murdered by republican groups of various shades with over 48% attributed to PIRA alone and many others killed by PIRA front organisations like DAAD.

  • Cynic – I just took you literally. You said “Much of this rioting took place on ‘murder mile’ and it wasn’t the Prods doing most of the killing there.” The ‘murder mile’ is in North Belfast, not NI.

  • Realistic Idealist

    funny you should say that…

    “Overnight on Sunday sectarian graffiti was daubed on fences in the Glens area, including ‘INLA’ on the main road, ‘NATIONLIST GLENS’ (sic) and ‘HUNS OUT’ on a fence in the estate. ”

    The fact that the copycat wannabe’s in Limavady can’t even spell the word NATIONALIST right in their graffiti basically speaks for itself. Someone should ask them what they think the tricolour represents, see if they are as bad at history as they clearly are at english…

  • These people are not republicans, nor do they represent them, or nationalism in any way, shape or form.

    You see you say that, but Irish republicanism has time and again reaffirmed it’s inability to evolve – it’s got the same bloodshed/resistance mentality it’s always had. The only difference this time from before – so far – is a lack of martyrdom. But with an endless supply of idiots apparently without parents who give a fuck who knows.

    They’ve never failed to gain support by this strategy before. Irish Republicans say their ‘principles’ – read agitation/violence/pain in the hole for the rest of us – are timeless.

    And SF’s Kelly finally showing his face was some sight – 10 years ago he’d be ‘Chief Strategist’ for the rioters as they smashed their own homes up.

  • qwerty12345

    Christ some of you are clutching at straws. When Sinn Fein’s electoral mandate collapses because of pressure from the hoodie / buckfast / urban culchies come back.

    Seems like some would rather make questionable capital from stupid pointless rioting than have to admit that we HAVE moved on here and that Sinn Fein have been involved. Sad.

  • castrosghost

    Thought Bobby was pretty composed, had the camera’s not been there i think the dialog and end result could have been very different.

  • Alan Maskey

    This ITV/MI5 report is a felon setting disgrace. ITV/MI5 should be reporting the news, not speculating on the home addresses of the pacifists who blocked the RUC/PSNI. One wonders how this ITV Loyalist would have reported the Warsaw Uprising and if her Polish/German is better than her Irish: they obviously did not teach her to pronounce Eirigi at MI5 boot camp.

  • old school

    Win-win for separatist Republicans.
    Images of Storey acting hard and getting rebuked, photos of Copeland chatting to cops, more photos of middle aged PSF activists harrassing Republican youths down back alleys, quotes of Gerry Kelly supporting the PSNI’s actions (on a night they fired 70 plastic bullets)…This is reminiscent of Fatah’s behaviour before they were booted out of Gaza.

  • Alan Maskey

    This is really a disgraceful report. The Loyalist reporter speaks of a hard core of a dozen dissidents; she speaks of dedicated RUC(“PSNI”) officers working to bring Ardoyne to heel again and she signles pout peacegul protesters for assassination.
    I can’t however see PSF/RUC getting booted out. They hold too many cards.

  • and simultaneously prove they’re simply following in the footsteps of yesterday’s thugs.

  • when SF were in control riots happened and they blame the police. When SF are not in control riots happen and they blame someone else.

    What is the difference to non-‘activists’ sick to the stomach of their inglorious little revolution?


  • Dixie

    How the Brits funded PSF round to their way of thinking….

    Bean charts the entry of Sinn Fein into community activism and politics in great detail. He provides evidence that some republicans, from the 1960s onwards, jealously guarded their independence and autonomy from the state and were acutely aware of the dangers of being sucked into a reformist agenda. The activists took inspiration from the Catholic Housing Action Groups, direct action and tenants’ associations that emerged from the radicalism of 1968. The Tory government’s attempts to deny funding and to stigmatise any groups with republican members served to reinforce their image as radical, bold and innovative.

    However, in a policy u-turn in the 1970s, British governments slowly moved away from the political vetting of ‘dangerous’ groups towards increasingly funding and drawing these groups into a relationship with the state. This changing approach was part of a government counterinsurgency policy known as ‘normalisation’. British governments began to channel millions of pounds to radical community groups, which in effect transformed them into

    ‘gatekeepers’ between the British state and the local community.
    In an insightful case study, Bean points to the example of the Upper Springfield Development Trust (USDT) in the republican Ballymurphy area of Belfast (Brian Keenan’s estate). Under the guise of tackling deprivation, the British gave the USDT a grant of £6.9million. With a salaried staff of around 60 people, it was to become one of the largest employers in West Belfast. In effect, many autonomous republican activists who had been at the forefront of the battle against the British in the Ballymurphy area were being drawn into actually implementing British social and pacification policies.

    Former revolutionaries and radicals who set out to subvert the state were slowly, but surely, transformed into the new establishment. Of course, such activists are almost always well intentioned, but as one leading critic of the peace process quoted in Bean’s book explains, the nature of the structures, the strings attached and the financial terms of Britain’s dealings with these community groups have ‘dulled the sharp end of [their] politics’. The fusion of community and identity politics has moved republicanism well away from anything radical or revolutionary towards municipal politics, a political and cultural framework similar to that used by the former London mayor, Ken Livingstone.

  • Kathy C

    Hi Alan,
    they don’t hold as many cards as you think. Do you know the song Gambler by Kenny Rogers? The chorus is perfect for this—–
    You got to know when to hold ’em,

    know when to fold ’em

    Know when to walk away and know when to run

    You never count your money,

    when you’re sittin’ at the table

    There’ll be time enough for countin’,

    when the dealin’s done

    Seems like sinn fein in gerry kelly and bobby storey did a bit of running away. As for sinn fein…they have been sittin’ at the table counting THEIR money …and the dealin’ aint done.

  • Cynic

    Oh dear oh dear.

    It still hasn’t sunk in has it? You lost the war.

  • Cynic

    Admit defeat. Move on.

  • Alan Maskey

    Toney Catney has denied he is a RIRA bigwig. He is more entitled to peacfeully protest than the RUC/PSNI are to intimidate him. Catney gave up the chattels of being a Sinn Fein apparatchik for being true to himself and his people. For that, he should be admired.
    When is the last time Adams, Storey or any of their little boys engaged in a protest, peaceful or otherwise? Surely Armani suits can take a bit of rough and tumble.
    Singling Catney out for assassination (and there is a history of this) brings back ideas of Stakeknife and McGurk’s bar. Given that Catney claims Gerry Kelly, his inlaw, is passing info/leaks to the RUC/PSNI, this whole affair just gets curiouser and curiouser.

  • McGurk’s Bar? In spite of myself, I’d be interested to hear how you are trying to work McGurk’s Bar into this.

  • Briso

    Summoned by text to the Ardoyne riots

    GERRY MORIARTY Northern Editor

    Some of the rioters were as young as eight. Others travelled all the way from Dublin, to take part in the organised chaos of Belfast’s Twelfth of July

    THE CHIEF CONSTABLE of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Matt Baggott, was talking to the press in the force’s headquarters, in Knock in east Belfast, the morning after the Twelfth of July disturbances. Behind him a screen showed footage of rioting in Ardoyne, in north Belfast, filmed from a police helicopter.

    He told us that the cost of the overall violence would run into millions – money that could be used for schools and hospitals – that arrests would follow, that dissidents incited the trouble, that scores of his officers were injured and that a “big debate” was required to try to find a way out of the annual Twelfth of July violence.

    As he spoke our focus was also shifting to the images on the screen; to the ferocity of the attacks on the police lines; to the rage of the rioters; to their callousness; to how young many of them were – some aged eight, nine and 10 – to how they were fired up in their attempt to kill or seriously injure officers.

    The rioters, with dissident back-up, were using blast and petrol bombs, bricks, stones, metal bars, long spikes – any implement that would inflict serious harm – to attack the police lines. We’d all been there the previous night and had seen how the long-established rituals of rioting were played out.

    Fr Gary Donegan, a local priest, noted how many of the adults at Ardoyne on the Twelfth were not from the area. That was obvious from the Dublin, southern and other non-Belfast accents that were heard. One Dubliner was brazen about it. “We are here to show solidarity with the residents,” he said. Local community leaders said it was solidarity Ardoyne could have done without.

    The trouble continued during the week. On Tuesday night Fr Donegan stopped a youngster with stones in his hands to throw “at the Prods”. The priest took his stones; the boy was nine and had walked two and a half kilometres from Oldpark to join in the trouble. Fr Donegan was not alone in wondering about the lack of parental control.

    Young rioters were drawn by texts and social-networking sites. Young teenage girls dressed up to watch their boyfriends hurl petrol bombs and stones: “Like models on a Milan catwalk,” said Fr Donegan.

    Most locals abhorred the violence and resented the visitors. But for most of the week they appeared helpless. What happened at Ardoyne was a nihilistic act by disaffected youth on a “recreational” rampage, spurred on by dissident republicans who, apart from Brits Out, have no political agenda. It’s a lethal combination and is difficult to combat.

    It happened this year, it happened last year and could happen again next year. Peter Robinson, Martin McGuinness and other politicians are working towards a “shared future” agenda, but from the debris of Ardoyne earlier this week, it was hard to see how they could devise a blueprint to end this annual carnival of destruction.

    After fierce rioting at Ardoyne in 2005, the three following years were remarkably peaceful. That was because senior IRA figures, backed by Sinn Féin leaders such as Gerry Adams and Gerry Kelly, were on hand to ensure there was peaceful nationalist protest. Last year, in the week of the Twelfth at least, the dissidents and what one community activist called the “feral gangs” gained the upper hand. It was the same this Twelfth. Sinn Féin leaders called for calm and restraint but didn’t have the muscle or influence of previous years to help maintain the order they desired. It was left to the police, who exercised courage and restraint, to try to keep a fragile control in the face of people who wanted to murder them. Is it possible to deal with wild youth – some of whom weren’t born at the time of the Belfast Agreement, in 1998 – spurred on by dissident republicans?

    The Orange Order could act generously by forgoing its return parade past the Ardoyne shops on the Twelfth in the interests of community harmony. It would gain the moral high ground and puncture the dissidents’ balloon. But such Orange selflessness seems unlikely. Before Monday night one generally sensible senior Orange Order source shrugged and said the best Ardoyne could hope for was for the night and the week to conclude without full-scale sectarian conflagration. That was just about achieved.

    What may be forgotten, and as Baggott also pointed out, is that, outside of Ardoyne and a small number of other areas, Northern Ireland was quiet over the Orange holiday.

    Up to Wednesday night the consensus was that relative success – to use an old phrase of Reggie Maudling’s from the early 1970s – was to maintain an “acceptable level” of violence at Ardoyne and hope that the rioters would give up from exhaustion by this weekend, as is often the trend.

    But then, on Thursday night local people said enough is enough. Backed by Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly and the SDLP’s Alban Maginness, and a few “hard” Provos re-asserting their authority, the people of Ardoyne rallied in their hundreds and in no uncertain terms told the trouble-makers to get off their backs.

    It was an important, hopeful and perhaps even watershed moment in a very bleak week for Ardoyne. Decent people power could be the blueprint for the future.

    To Ardoyne from the Republic

    THE attempts of the PSNI and the Garda to identify those from the Republic who were at the Ardoyne riots will focus on the group Éirígí. (Gardaí believe some of the rioters may also be members of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, essentially made up of hard-line republicans opposed to the peace process and with links to the Real IRA.)

    Eirígí was formed as a campaigns group in April 2006, to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising. It became a political party in 2007, opposed to British presence in the North. It also supports “the creation of a new all-Ireland Democratic Socialist Republic”.

    It is a relatively small group, with a membership concentrated in Dublin, as well as a smaller presence in other counties, including Antrim, Armagh, Cork, Donegal, Down, Fermanagh, Sligo, Tyrone and Wicklow.

    It has a policy of becoming involved in high-profile protests, many of which result in clashes with gardaí. In Mayo, for example, its members went to protests by the Shell to Sea campaign. Éirígí members also clashed with gardaí outside the Dáil in May during the right-to-work protest.

    The group confirms that some members were in Ardoyne over the past week.

  • West Sider

    Great article. Captures the detail and the mood perfectly.

  • West Sider


    Methinks you doth protest too much. Know what I mean?

  • Alan Maskey

    McGurk’s bar: MI5 and the Guardian blamed it on the Provos: that is the continuum link. That and the fact that it is always blamed on outsiders and agitators. That – and setting up Republicans for death squads – has been the motif long before any of us were even born.

  • Colin Carberry

    Tony Blair (in an interview on YouTube; I don’t know the link off-hand) in his first meeting between him and the Sinn Fein leadership said that he had arrived at the conclusion that neither the British government nor the Provos could win the war. But my feeling is, long-term, people will look back and say the Provos actually won the war, as slowly but inexorably Britain is ridding herself of the North. First step: integrate the economies of the two Irelands; then, slip out the back door when nobody is looking. Don’t kid yourself. The Brits are leaving. The real problem for them is that the South of Ireland can’t fund the absorption of the North.

  • qwerty12345

    “What is the difference to non-’activists’ sick to the stomach of their inglorious little revolution?”

    Well you answer your own question, whatever happens it’ll always be Sinn Fein’s fault.