Derry Essay: The Protestants of Londonderry

First there is a generational difference. Older people who came through the 1969 – 72 experience, many of whom moved across the river from the Cityside to the Waterside and further afield have vivid memories of that time and perceptions have been formed as a result of it. Then there is the younger generation who not only did not come through that personally but now live in a different environment and accordingly have a different perspective.

There have been a few publications and programmes which outlined the Unionist case in Londonderry. Two programmes broadcast by the BBC called “The River Crossing” in the 1980’s, another “The Exodus” in the last couple of years, also an excellent book entitled “Londonderry revisited” by Paul Kingsley, offered an insight into the Protestant experience at different times. A common theme in respect of each was the sense of outrage each elicited from the Nationalist / Republican political classes. It seems that Nationalists are at ease when being described in terms of being the most oppressed people but get very agitated when evidence emerges that portrays some of their number as the aggressor rather than the aggrieved.

Protestants have over the years been made to feel that they are not welcome in Londonderry. The ethos and makeup of the City, the sectarian violence, jobs almost exclusively for Nationalists, political decisions taken by the Nationalist dominated Council all combined to make Unionists feel their identity and culture were not welcome.

Nationalists / Republicans simply don’t get it. The continuing name change row is a case in point. Political nationalists say bluntly “We are the majority, the majority here call this place Derry so what’s the problem?” When Unionists then in response say “Ok, where unionists are in the majority does the same criteria apply?” and then there usually follows a convoluted diatribe about the evils of Unionism which supposedly justifies the negative response to the question. Cross community approaches requiring consent only apply for Nationalist minorities it seems!
Another analysis makes the point, there is the tendency now to devise a Derry/Londonderry moniker for the City’s name. This was true for the City of Culture bid and has been true on other occasions, if we turn to the name of the Council, the airport, the football or County gaelic team that nationalists support all of which have “Derry” in the title. No –one ever hears the airport called “City of Derry/Londonderry airport” I have never heard people going to Brandywell to support “Derry/Londonderry City FC” or heard Martin McGuinness express support for “County Derry/Londonderry” at Gaelic. This is proof again of the double standards that apply where nationalists are concerned.

In 2010 Nationalists would love to present Londonderry as a City at ease with itself acknowledging and accepting the diverse traditions of all it’s people. The people who live in the Fountain area under regular attack can testify to the irony of that boast.
Sinn Fein politicians in other parts of Northern Ireland complain of Unionist controlled councils who don’t vote a Republican in as Mayor, and this is usually cited as the distance that some Unionists have to travel to offer equality. In Nationalist dominated Londonderry we Unionists get to have a Mayor every fourth year but the disadvantage, disdain and detrimental treatment still goes on. Have thousands of Roman Catholics moved out of Castlereagh or Craigavon because there hasn’t been a shinner Mayor? Of course not. They haven’t moved out full stop. In Londonderry Unionists are experiencing the start of the third generation of their people moving across the river.

There is now the opportunity for a new start. The brit awards hopefully will come to the North West as a result of the City of Culture award. The Brits welcoming the Brits, or those of us who are British and Unionist being accepted as equal in this, our shared United Kingdom City of Culture!

, , , , ,

  • Canny See It Sur

    “No –one ever hears the airport called “City of Derry/Londonderry airport” I have never heard people going to Brandywell to support “Derry/Londonderry City FC” or heard Martin McGuinness express support for “County Derry/Londonderry” at Gaelic. This is proof again of the double standards that apply where nationalists are concerned.”

    This is a convoluted piece which doesn’t really approach the subject from an even handed point of view. I know it’s hard to ignore personal bias both on your part and on mine but your “proof”, above, is anything but proof.

    Ask the question why are they not referred to by those names? The answer is simple… it’s simply not their name. To put across the idea that this is some form of Nationalism shunning/ignoring the Unionist minority is folly.

    Besides…. most people still refer to the airport as ‘Eglinton Airport’.

    You have referenced the film made a few years back, “The Exodus”. This was a decent documentary but the conclusion and all the evidence contained within displayed the reason that people moved was more down to being uncomfortable as more and more Catholics moved into their streets. A prime example of this is the Rosemount, Glen and Belmont (pennyburn) areas of the city. I’m not saying some people weren’t intimidated out of their homes, there is no argument there. But a lot of people, due to the trouble in other areas of the city, felt more comfortable living amongst their own people and so moved on to the likes of New Buildings. It’s a sad fact but one that caused our fractured community as it now stands.

  • Magazine

    Is this under your byline Mick, or will we see who the author is (I am assuming that it is not you, apologies if I am worng on this)?

    Some food for thought here but I am not sure that some of the key contentions are correct or usefully framed. The nationalist sense around the films cited was not so much outrage as embarrassment and some denial about why the prods might have left the cityside, and I think that both films reflected this. The book mentioned, whilst interesting, didn’t offer a balanced insight (and nor did it claim to) so offers little useful comparison (and as one of the few owners of the text I struggle to remember any reaction to its publication?).

    Around the name issue, the examples that you cite offer little ‘proof’ of double standards – the Derry~Londonderry soubriquet has only been applied to the name of the City in any instance that I am aware of, it is not applied to any other institutions here, certainly not in common usage. And I would have thought that its very usage, which has developed around the City of Culture bid was a genuine indicator of positive movement on all sides?

    And around the population shift/mayoral issues – giving Castlereagh (how many RC’s ever lived there?) or Craigavon (didn’t exist until the latter half of the 20th Century) really harms your own case. Upwards of 9000 protestants left the cityside over a 20 year period – comparing that to these places only serves to trivialise yuor own argument.

    What has happened to the protestants of Derry is a horrible tale from a horrible period of history and really does merit close discussion, but an article like this just includes so many invitations for whataboutery and that it is ultimately self defeating and adds little to any debate. Lets have more light and less heat around the subject…

  • I thought for a minute there that A Mangled Web had now migrated onto the WordPress platform. If you’re trying to make sense of post-1968 history anywhere in Northern Ireland without contextualising it in the previous 50 years and refusing to get outside of the convenient little teleological bubble you create by doing so, I’m afraid you’re just going to get lots of trolls and flames.

    [Mick – I assume that should have someone else’s byline?]

  • Mark McGregor

    I’ve contacted Mick, I’m sure he didn’t write this too.

  • MariborKev

    Mick,

    Have to agree with Canny See It Sur. What about the rugby club? Plenty of Unionists there, they all call it “City of Derry”, or what about First Derry Presbyterian Church. Doesn’t fit the convenient “slot” for this piece though……

  • Neil

    All this piece underlines for me is the fact that while Unionism ruled the roost, discrimination in jobs, housing, politics etc., was the order of the day. However once the shoe is on the other foot and Unionism loses it’s top position then come the calls for Nationalism to abandon it’s aims in the name of being good neighbours. As they say, the shoe pinches once it’s on the other foot.

    Bearing in mind that Unionism held the top spot in that city only through gerrmandering, and enforced it’s aims and ideals on the majority population makes it all the more repugnant that Nationalism should stand accused of any wrongdoing in pursuing the aims that we have consistently pursued for hundreds of years.

    But to hear Unionism say ‘Ok, you are now in political control of this council, through democratic means and without cheating by gerrmandering – now you have to be the bigger man and do the decent thing, like we Unionists did when we cheated you out of political power, discriminated against you in terms of housing, work and quality of life. And while you’re about it we want you to stop referring to the city as Derry as a sign of good will, despite the fact that you have been referring to this city in this way for several hundred years. It’s now just bad form because you won the council.’ Ridiculous.

    Time for Unionism to realise that losing really does mean losing. This applies to the UI thing as well, should the 50%+1 scenario come about, don’t expect Nationalists to all of a sudden turn Unionist and foresake the UI dream just to be good neighbours.

    You ran the roost and did so badly, so much so that the beloved British government had to prorogue Stormont. Now the numbers are evening up and you want Nationlism to just roll over? Catch a grip.

  • Dewi

    “jobs almost exclusively for Nationalists”

    That’s a pretty specific allegation. Evidence?

  • edgeoftheunion

    It is an essay by Gregory Campbell, so I assume he will not be responding to crits.

  • JAH

    The problem with the ‘we are the masters now’ approach is that it effectively ensures the siege mentality will live on. Surely if SF want to convince Unionists that there is nothing to fear in a United Ireland they must show magnanimity when they are the majority.

    The past is a bit irrelevant…we are now in 2010 and with the threat of CIRA making a total mockery D/LD City of Culture role, its time that fears were talked about and addressed.

  • Skintown Lad

    Gregory, you don’t do unionism any favours with this sort of whingey article. It doesn’t stand up to logic and comes across as sour grapes. What about an acknowledgement that unionists do not have a great track record in governing Londonderry, which would make the expression of your hope that Nationalists do not make the same mistakes all the more legitimate.

  • Anon

    Certain this isn’t by Mick? It’s not like he hasn’t from in blaming Nationalists for all Derry’s ills. Can’t find the thread now, but it was along the lines of “Londonderry Nationalist Ireland’s secret shame” or some such.

    Nationalists / Republicans simply don’t get it. The continuing name change row is a case in point. Political nationalists say bluntly “We are the majority, the majority here call this place Derry so what’s the problem?” When Unionists then in response say “Ok, where unionists are in the majority does the same criteria apply?” and then there usually follows a convoluted diatribe about the evils of Unionism which supposedly justifies the negative response to the question. Cross community approaches requiring consent only apply for Nationalist minorities it seems!

    Northern Ireland remains within the UK. It remains so as and until 50%+1 – that is a majority – say otherwise. Whoops. There are accomodations and concession below that yes, but thems the facts. Natiionalists proposed and negotiated soem of them. Are Protestants doing the same in Derry? They could basically write their own compromise.

    What’s that? No? “Not an inch” you say? Whoever it is, stop embarassing yourself.

  • Neil

    Surely if SF want to convince Unionists that there is nothing to fear in a United Ireland they must show magnanimity when they are the majority.

    That’s assuming that SF don’t directly benefit, along with the DUP, from the siege mentality. I also, along with a fair few Unionists I’d say, see SF’s ‘outreach’ attempts as a gimmicky waste of time.

    Let’s face it, Unionists will not turn Nationalists into Unionists any more than Nationalists will turn Unionists into Nationalists with a well argued debate. Bollocks, we have to get round to accepting each other for what we are, and let democracy sort it out.

    It’s also worth pointing out that this kind of behaviour is replicated on councils across NI. However. it’s not noteworthy to talk about the Unionist councillors of Lisburn, Stoneyford, Ballymena etc., their dominance over the minority Nationalist populations in those towns is not news, it’s been the way it is now for some decades. It’s noteworthy in Derry because the former gerrymandered council lost power to democracy, and now the Nationalists are in a position of power, this scenario hasn’t been repeated across the north.

    I don’t think it’s realistic to turn to a political movement and say – ok you’ve now achieved the power required to try and succeed in some of your overall political aims, but you can’t do it now, because you have to be magnanimous in victory, quite unlike the Unionist shower that went before, or the Unionist councillors in other towns where Nationalists rights come second to triumphalism which has been ongoing for hundreds of years.

    It’s also interesting to see that the past is irrelevant now. It’s a shame some of the orders didn’t see things the same way, or the Strand Rd. bombers, or the booby trappers, or the rioters. The past to me seems far from irrelevant, and the only time it’s considered irrelevant by Unionists is when the historical facts make Unionism uncomfortable. Certainly plenty of folks around the 12th July, on both sides, seem quite focused on the past.

  • Where would you start? The 2008 Equality Agency report from 2008 gives the percentage of City Council employees as 25.5% Protestant, 74.5% Catholic(http://www.equalityni.org/archive/pdf/MonRpt18FAppendices.pdf). Protestants made up 20.8% of the Derry Urban Area population in 2001 census. Not sure how the two equate but that doesn’t suggest under-representation. I don’t think factual detail is important to the author here.

  • Obelisk

    I have to agree with JAH here Neil. Whilst I can see where you’re coming from, Nationalists in Derry do have to be the bigger man so to speak. Everything you said about how Derry was was true. But if we are ever to fulfil our dream of unity we DO have to convinced some Unionists our point of view. We keep saying that in a United Ireland their culture and identity will be respected.

    Well we have to demonstrate that. The onus is on us there. And no matter what Gregory argues, a Unionist mayor every four years (a similar rotation is operated in most councils where Nationalists have a majority I believe) is a start, if not an end. Not to be petty, but it is more than is offered Nationalist minorities in Unionist controlled councils.

    We can never forget all the discrimination that Gregory likes to ignore in his essay, for him all that matters is what has happened since 1968, the previous fifty years which created the situation the troubles emerged from are to be ignored because they don’t agree with his preferred narrative.

    The one thing we cannot do is prove Gregory right, that we are as bigoted as his own precursors. Not only because such triumphalist governing is hypocritical, not only because it is morally wrong, but also ultimately self-defeating.

  • CW

    “Have thousands of Roman Catholics moved out of Castlereagh or Craigavon because there hasn’t been a shinner Mayor? ”

    I wasn’t aware that these areas had such large Italian communities!

    “No –one ever hears the airport called “City of Derry/Londonderry airport” I have never heard people going to Brandywell to support “Derry/Londonderry City FC” or heard Martin McGuinness express support for “County Derry/Londonderry” at Gaelic.”

    Maybe Greg should write to the Londonderry county board of the GAA and petition them to change the name. Could be confusing though if they ever played London at Ruislip. And in any case I don’t think the scoreboard at Celtic Park is wide enough to accomodate the word “Londaindoire”.

    And while he’s at it why not petition the Apprentice Boys of Derry to change their name to reflect the city’s rightful title.

  • Obelisk

    If Mandelson was the Dark Lord of Spin, I believe our own Gregory Campbell would qualify as the Dark Lord of whataboutery.

    Whilst he represents a valid point of view, everything he says seems qualified by events or by a narrow grasp of history with certain events or facts ignored if they don’t agree with his world view.

    And while he points out several shortcomings of the current Nationalist controlled council, I can’t help but get the feeling that if fifty years ago he had been around, Mr.Campbell would probably have been a staunch defender of the then status quo.

  • Dan

    This is Ireland. If you’re unhappy with Irish ways, you’re free to leave. Nobody’s making you stay here.

  • Obelisk

    Again, that’s the wrong response. How does simply telling Unionists to leave solve anything?

    It’s that sort of petty response that Gregory says is typical of Nationalism.

    Dan, all you’re doing is proving him right.

  • Dan

    It’s not really though. If Greg sauntered into Abu Dhabi or somewhere similar and started telling them what to do, it wouldn’t be stood for – so what difference does it make here. By being in Éire you have made a choice to come to Éire and therefore abide by it’s way of doing things. If you want to be English, then there’s a place called England you can go to. There’s no point going to Afghanistan and complaining it’s not England, so don’t go to Ireland and complain it’s not England.

  • Dan

    – was meant to be a reply to Obelisk, above.

  • Obelisk

    I’ve seen Unionist responders say that we simply ‘just don’t get Unionism’. Usually it’s a circular argument, we don’t understand Unionism because we believe we can convince them of the benefits of Irish unity.

    According to them if we truly understood unionism, we’d realise we can never convince them, and we’d stop asking and accept the status quo.

    But in your case I don’t think you even begin to get Unionism. Unionists were born here, this is their home, and they currently form the majority (albeit a majority on the cusp of becoming a plurality). How can we ever hope to convince them of unity, of the benefits of a shared future when the stock response from many Nationalists is bugger off where you came from.

    People on the other side of the divide could just as easily say bugger off to the free state if you love it so much in response. The reason either response fails is our shared love of the land and our deep and undeniable ties to it.

    Gregory was born here. His point of view is valid and he has the right to make that point of view known. I strongly disagree with his point of view, but if I’m ever reduced to saying ‘bugger off back to England’ then I’ve lost the argument with him. It’s almost like you’ve discovered a local version of Godwin’s Law.

  • Skintown Lad

    Very interesting view from Dan there. The commonality of viewpoint between Dan’s form of Nationalism in Ireland and the ‘N’ in BNP is striking.

  • Sam

    Does the present situation in Derry not indicate that so called gerrymandering as a survival technique, was necessary? Had the Unionist government of the time not acted in the way it did would there have been a complete ethnic cleansing of the protestant population of Derry?

    “..Time for Unionism to realise that losing really does mean losing.” Why? Maybe it is time for nationalists to realise that taking the long view and working to convince unionists that we ‘could’ all have a better future in a UI is the way ahead. It will be a long hard sell but there will never be truly ‘United Ireland’ until we all buy in to the concept. Why must there be a loser? Why can’t we aim for a future where everyone has a chance of winning in life?

    From the time of partition to the present day a constant theme from the nationalist community has been the complete inability to see the non-nationalist person as worthy of consideration (when it comes to a UI). Claiming the sins of the old Stormont government as a justification for perpetuating discrimination, along the lines of “now it’s our turn” is profoundly depressing.

    “..This applies to the UI thing as well, should the 50%+1 scenario come about, don’t expect Nationalists to all of a sudden turn Unionist and forsake the UI dream just to be good neighbours…”
    This is a stupid comment; Why would or should they? If the aforementioned nationalist community (as the largest grouping on the island) spent some time making an effort to be good neighbours and building relationships instead of being churlish and waiting their chance to ‘get their own back’ maybe by the time the 50 + 1 comes about we could have some proper debate instead of the sectarian headcount suggested by your comment.
    Do you really want a truly united Ireland or just revenge?

  • HeinzGuderian

    Bearing in mind that Unionism held the top spot in that city only through gerrmandering, and enforced it’s aims and ideals on the majority population makes it all the more repugnant that Nationalism should stand accused of any wrongdoing in pursuing the aims that we have consistently pursued for hundreds of years.

    Yer havin’ a laff there,right ?? 🙂

    The UK City of culture,as recognised by our shinner friends…………….took them a while,but they are finally getting the picture !!

  • madraj55

    Obelisk. You only have to watch Gregs cringeworthy and mealymouthed reaction to Saville Report to see how bitter and bigotted he is. end of story.

  • Obelisk

    Sam

    Whilst I agree with the majority of what you say, you’re opening paragraph is ludicrous. Nothing can justify the way the city was run in the past. The gerrymandering and the discrimination caused the poisoned community atmosphere that led to this ‘exodus’.

  • Damian O’Loan

    I don’t know much about Protestants and Protestantism in Derry. So I clicked the link. I learned absolutely nothing from this ‘essay’. This man has been alive for 57 years and he’s writing here on his specialist subject. This really is the most tedious of diatribes.

    This is just a strong argument for Gregory Campbell not being elected as a politician. He has, it appears, no interest in what is positive and what makes things work.

    So, in brief: Protestants in Derry have been victims for a long time. There is an argument about the place’s name. There is now some power-sharing at local government level. British is good. If this is the size of the ball, you can’t help but tackle the man.

    I could add – Protestants have been victims for longer than Campbell intimates. Power-sharing is still not permitted on some unionist-dominated Councils. British is good and bad, so is Irish. Well done me.

    That this is his cultural learning of 57 years alive is tragic. His boredom threshold is impressive though, so he’s well placed for Wagner’s Ring cycle in a single sitting. Then he can tell us something we don’t know.

  • Paul

    I think Mick should have left Gregory Campbell’s name off the piece (with his permission of course) for a day or so.

    Would have been interesting to see what kind of comments the piece got, still “bitter and bigotted” ” end of story”?

    More than likely, I’m afraid.

  • foyle observer

    This ‘essay’ should not have been given the luxury of such a platform as Slugger. It was a piece of subjective bigottry we could have all done without.

    I wish he could answer me this, was this particular little nugget a joke or was it intended to be serious? :

    ”There is now the opportunity for a new start. The brit awards hopefully will come to the North West as a result of the City of Culture award. The Brits welcoming the Brits, or those of us who are British and Unionist being accepted as equal in this, our shared United Kingdom City of Culture!”

    Horrible. Just horrible reading.

  • andnowwhat

    A history lesson from a man who called the Bloody Sunday inquiry revisionism?

    I don’t think people having issues with Gregory’s piece is an attack on unionism as I don’t think he is typical of modern unionists..

    When I hear comments from Gregory I check UTV to see if Teatime With Tommy is on

  • redhugh78

    Poor Gregory, he has never come to terms with the whole ‘equality’ aspect of the GFA etc.

    The uber bigot needs to take a chill pill and realise that republicans/nationalists are never ever going to be second class again.

  • andnowwhat

    Ah Red, I bet Greg wishes he was about in these days..

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front_page/newsid_7968000/7968199.stm

    Of course, according to Greg the gaig, it was all in our heads…bless

  • Mark McGregor
  • Didlee D O’Squat

    Wow, when members of slugger’s republican pack decide to shoot the messenger they really come out all guns blazing.

    Then again, republicans and guns just feels so…. familiar.

    Dan the Man put it most succinctly; Prods don’t buy into the mono-cultural ‘Oirish’ take on what it is to be Irish so however long they and their kin have been here they’d better just f*** off (or else).

    What has happened in Londonderry since 1969 is simply the latest manifestation of a continuum of the treatment of Protestants in Ireland whenever Nationalists have the upper hand. 1641, 1798, the Republic post 1921 all witnessed Protestants being ‘encouraged’ to go. Granted they are not, at present, pitchforked into rivers, burnt alive in barns or shot in the back from the hedgerow, but the intent remains the same.

    Protestants know the orange in the tricolour to be a sham and they know what awaits them in the ‘Ireland of Equals’. Ask the folks in Londonderry’s Fountain Estate what it feels like up close.

  • Mark McGregor

    At one point, admittedly over pints, I suggested to Mooch that a TtV project for Derry could be to take portraits of people on the Waterside that used to live on the Cityside and get people to display the former residents’ pictures in their window

    Maybe Mooch can remember the exact words he used to laugh off the idea as unworkable and ridiculous. (of course many of the actual homes will have been redeveloped – so maybe a display in certain areas))

    I still think it’d challenge the hell out of people.

  • andnowwhat

    Erm Diddly, a journo is a messenger, a blogger is a messenger but Gregory is a politician.

    Different kettle of fish right there.

    Like Allister and his fun boys. his job is denial and playing silly games. Again, like them, he has nothing to offer and he (with a couple of hi mucjers) is at odds with the rest of his party and the greater political direction here.

    There were tons of communitie that shifted in the late 60’s and early 70’s. It’s a horrible and sad fact of our history here.

    Maybe I should put up a blog about the shift in the previously mixed estate of Rathcoole? Of course I won’t because that is an example of its time, of modern history

  • Obelisk

    I’m so glad you agree with Dan. This is a shining example of the two communities finding common ground despite our centuries of differences. There is obviously hope for us all yet.

  • madraj55

    andnowwhat. Not only that, but at the 30th Sunday anniversary, londaingreag called Bloody Sunday itself an irrelevant event. More to be pitied than laughed at, really.

  • andnowwhat

    How the hell did you work out that I agree with dan FFS?

    Did I not say that Gregory’s remarks are appart from the vast majoriy of unionists’s?

    Maybe you are just one of those people who reads in to things for your own agenda

  • RepublicanStones

    I think we might be able to take the third Proclaimer more serious if somebody could provide a link to demonstrate if he ever objected to or criticised tha manner in which his forebears use to run Derry city. If not then it appears to be a case of boy in bubble with big bunch of sour grapes.

  • andnowwhat

    Stones, Greg’s standard reply is that he had an uncle or some relative, who lived in an impovrished house.

    I guess he’s saying it’s an exceprion disproving the rule

  • Didlee D O’Squat

    Obelisk/andnowwhat

    Perhaps Bob and Weave should be the nom de poste best suited to the pair of you.

    Clever words and a soupcon of whataboutery doesn’t really cut it. But hey I widened the arcs and drew some fire from poor Greg.

    (BTW andnowwhat the “agree with Dan” jibe was I believe directed at me by your buddy.)

  • andnowwhat

    Madraj, Greg makes me believe in reincarnation, it’s like the spirit of Seawright is within him. I see NO difference between him, Allister and his band of merry men and the dissadent republicans.

    Murder is an act the affects the unfortunate victim, hatred assaults all that one despises.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Is there not even a basic level of proof needed before what are essentially lies are headlined here.

    I know Prods vote knowing full well that this is the kind of atavistic people they get, but is unsubstantiated echo chamber nonsense really acceptable fare.

    I remember this topic was done to death here several years ago. All the evidence was for a white flight scenario and none-despite the scurrillous nefarious claims -was for levels of intimidation worthy of the name.

    A degree of honesty is required here in lieu of the mud………….but I’d guess that is really what it is always about anyhow.

  • andnowwhat

    Whilst I think your tone is not helpful it did spark a thought in my mind.

    Where would Gregory’s and his clique’s politics sit in Britain for example.

    Would they be Tory, UKIP, BNP?

    I don’t mean the policies but the aggresive, denial based attitude.

  • Obelisk

    andnowwhat

    I was indeed replying to Didlee D O’Squat, not to you.

  • Reader

    CW: I wasn’t aware that these areas had such large Italian communities!
    He was referring to the Catholic Church run from Rome as opposed to the ones run from Canterbury and Downpatrick. Methodists are Catholic too, but I don’t know if they have an HQ in the same way.
    Or you might be one of those people who insist that Anglicans aren’t Catholic. Are you?

  • Damian O’Loan

    There’s only one of the parties you mentioned which has, like Campbell and more importantly Peter ‘God”s law’ Robinson, advocated reintroduction of the death penalty. I’ll let you guess which, but it combines policy similarity with an aggressive, denial based attitude.

  • Alias

    “It seems that Nationalists are at ease when being described in terms of being the most oppressed people but get very agitated when evidence emerges that portrays some of their number as the aggressor rather than the aggrieved.”

    That’s true, generally. But while victimizer can rationalise himself into the role of victim, the victim doesn’t stray from the designated role, again for self-serving purposes. Mr Campbell could have done a better job of highlighting the complexity of the cultural interplay of these roles.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    My tone is what it is because I refuse to treat shite with any higher level of gravitas.

    In Britain up until lately I’m not sure they would recognise as a ‘British trait’ those kind of attitudes espoused by Irish Unionist politico’s and their ilk. Mind you with all the jingoistic “go go our boys…..help our heroes…support our troops” that seems to permeate(I prefer pollute) the atmosphere at present you never know.

    btw. the jingoism has now reached the point where I believe that the politicians are using it as a helpful aid to pull the wool over the majorities eyes to the fact that so many young lives are being utterly wasted on a pointless escapade in Afghanistan. The charade at wooten basset for eg saddens me to see. The missus has banned me from shouting at the telly for the eedjits who let their sons/husbands etc go there. I pity them for their loss and their stupidity almost equally.

    Sorry for tangent!

  • CW

    Reader

    “Or you might be one of those people who insist that Anglicans aren’t Catholic. Are you?”

    I’ve got no time for religion of any kind. As far as I’m concerned it’s all superstitious waffle based on a book of fairy tales.
    Anglicans (or should I say “Canterbury Catholics”?) can call themselves whatever they like, but I really couldn’t give a toss.

  • Munsterview

    Bit puzzled about all this nationalist negative attitude to Gregory Campbell!

    Is this not the same Gregory that proved himself so accommodating, understanding, appreciative, responsive, generous, forthcoming, sympathetic etc in relation to Nationalist efforts to have the Irish Language supported and propagated as guaranteed by the GFA ?

    You bad lot, where is your sense of gratitude for this sensitive soul ?

  • redhugh78

    The cheek of them fenians asking for ‘one man one vote’.

  • Nowhere else would an award to encourage all cultures be cynically hijacked by a politician to launch a bigot-driven attack on another group. If the events of the city of culture year are met with mass apathy/derision from the nationalist community, Campbell and his ilk have only themselves to blame.

    Campbell, wise up. You’re doing your community absolutely no favours with your predictable, spiteful, hate-motivated drivel.

  • Cushy Glenn

    well for all the ranting against Gregory- whose essay is a perfectly accurate impression of the perceptions of many of us Protestants forced to leave Londonderry in the 1970s and 80s by the way- there isn’t any recognition of the experiences of the Unionist community in that city.

    Sure why would the republican troll pack that hovers round the edge of cyberspace be bothered that the Prods see a man who coordinated the attacks on their businesses, and oversaw the murder of their neighbours airbrushed and soft focussed in the joint figurehead of this country? Good enough for themmuns.

    But the more you half educated prejudiced social workers, teachers or media studies alumni try to rationalise your self adjudicated moral superiority, the more you forget that Gregory is an integral cog in the arrangements that put Marty and his -your-pals in power, but just doesn’t do the propaganda as well as Punt Plug or Nigel. Be grateful to the lad

    One might almost get the impression that Gregory is unwilling to continue in a sham which he knows to be amoral, disfunctional, and bloated with non entities- almost.

    So until you grow a pair ,Greg, I say “Lundy”

  • Me, of course

    “Sure why would the republican troll pack that hovers round the edge of cyberspace be bothered that the Prods see a man who coordinated the attacks on their businesses, and oversaw the murder of their neighbours airbrushed and soft focussed in the joint figurehead of this country? Good enough for themmuns.”

    What exactly do you call the marches then?

  • barnshee

    “All the evidence was for a white flight scenario ” As one of the people actually involved in the “flight” from Belmont -cobblers It was active sectarian attacks damage to cars bricks though window, attacks on children wearing identifiable school uniforms to name but a few. Carried out by “neighbours”

    Burn the shithole to the ground

  • Vincent D

    ‘Disfunctional’ indeed.

  • andnowwhat

    I’ll briefly join your tangent Prionsa. I remeber reading Robert Fisk recounting when he heard that they were going in to Afghanistan. He happened to be sitting with a Russian friend of his who went in to a fit of laughter.

  • JM

    The displacement of people from NI due to the troubles brought this music video to mind. Its a rap about growing up in Shannon (Co. Clare) and the chorus line is:

    Move to Shannon if you are bored.
    Nearly everyone’s parents are from the North.

    http://www.videosurf.com/video/s-h-a-n-n-o-n-103627172

    About 55 sec in.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Kinda hard for me to take you seriously Barnshee considering yir history of hysterical outpourings.

    Whilst I am tempted to just dismiss your comments with an aside regarding yir probable desire to see the inhabitants of shithole (sic) burn with it.

    Are you seriously suggesting that there was/is no ‘white flight’ phenomena going on similar to that exibited in areas across the north when fenians move into an area in numbers?

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    CG

    “..whose essay is a perfectly accurate impression of the perceptions of many of us Protestants forced to leave Londonderry in the 1970s and 80s…”

    If you were in fact forced to leave Derry as you say why would you need to rely on an impression such as this dubious one? Surely your own horrific experience would far outweigh Greg’s pretty pathetic sweeping generalisations?

    “..see a man who coordinated the attacks on their businesses, and oversaw the murder of their neighbours…”

    Evidence? or more idiotic ethnic cleansing/concentration camp type hyperbole…………..nah! hyperbole at least requires some basis to expand on.

    “..you half educated prejudiced social workers, teachers or media studies alumni…”

    Don’t get me started, I happen to know a lassie who is newly qualified as a teacher and I was so pleased when she told me which school she was assigned I was so happy. It was not the one my weans are at.

    “..just doesn’t do the propaganda as well…”

    It would also help if he had better material.

  • Todd

    This guy is fairly popular aroiund Clare/Limerick, he’s got some good video’s online…

  • madraj55

    Greg knows well that the number of times he used ‘London in that comical effort makes him look like a proper anorak even to his own side, but he can’t help it. the bile spews out constantly.

  • barnshee

    “history of hysterical outpourings.”

    Sure also known ase eye witness accounts that don`t suit some people

  • barnshee

    “whose essay is a perfectly accurate impression of the perceptions of many of us Protestants forced to leave Londonderry in the 1970s ”

    OK just change it to

    whose essay is a perfectly accurate record of the experiences of us Protestants forced to leave Londonderry in the 1970s

    (I have already given chapter and verse elsewhere on slugger on both Bloody Sunday and then events of 1968 I was present at both. check the facts )

  • Peter Fyfe

    Obelisk

    Very honourable sentiments you have expressed here but having a mayor every 4 years for unionists already illustrates nationalism is the bigger man than the DUP. I agree with your sentiments completely but I will not be taking lectures on the matter from Gregory Campbell. A man who cited Widgery as a valid alternative view of Bloody Sunday six or seven hours after it had been repudiated on the floor of the commons as he sat there. The man does not care of honesty but misrepresenting to get his own narrow bigoted view across. It may not be saw as much but most nationalists got behind the UK city of culture bid except one muppet from the Shinners who should probably look at an Atlas before she opens her mouth again. It might not be much but they are acknowledging their current position within the UK.

    This is one of the poorest posts I have saw in a while on here and it is so sad to see a post of this quality coming from an elected representative. He dedicates over half his post to the subject of the name. It is good to see he has such a grasp of the issues people out there are dealing with daily, I wonder how many of his voters spend half their days worrying over the name of the City.

  • RealityCheckTech

    ‘Nationalists / Republicans simply don’t get it. The continuing name change row is a case in point. Political nationalists say bluntly “We are the majority, the majority here call this place Derry so what’s the problem?” When Unionists then in response say “Ok, where unionists are in the majority does the same criteria apply?” ‘

    Correct me if i’m wrong but isnt the core principle of unionism, the constitutional position of northern ireland within the UK, based solely on the declaration ”We are the majority so tough!” The lack of any nationalist mayors on unionist dominated councils also exposes greg and unionism’s breathtaking hypocrisy.

  • madraj55

    Well said, Skintown lad. If Campbell could find a way of justifying the 40 years of gerrymandering by pairing it off with something wrong on nats side in his usual whataboutery, he would ‘put it in context’
    but since he knows this was unprovoked electoral abuse, he won’t discuss it. He still gets votes though, mainly in the northcoast triangle [Coleraine/Portstewart/Portrush]

  • DerTer

    Please see my complaint on the later thread started today entitled ‘After Gregory’, about why it was necessary for Brian Walker to open a new thread on this topic instead of contributing to this one.

  • Lor

    Gregory, you are my local MLA and my respresentative in Westminster. I am a nationalist, yet I do not resent “your community”. I am PART of your community. I know it’s my responsibility to feel that sense of belonging here, because there’s certainly no one trying to integrate my values or cultural identity into the area. I feel part of the community despite Coleraine and the surrounding areas (even 50/50 areas) being littered with union flags, orange halls and more recently Israeli flags (flying worringly close to your office, and which I admit I have a bit of a problem with.) But generally, I accept all of this because I myself was born and bred in a unionist stronghold, and that’s just the way it is.

    I think it goes without saying that you yourself do not seem to have much time for the minority within your own constituency, best seen in your less than respectful rhetoric directed at nationalists. Also, referring to us as if we’re all one in the same – all looking to get one over on unionists or something. Wouldn’t it be amazing for you, for once, to practice what you preach.

    I’d be really genuinely interested to see the evidence that protestants/unionists in Derry city are worse off with regards to jobs. But I suspect your blinkered, albeit emotional perception of the situation is much more powerful than the reality. I really hope the seige mentality ceases to exist. And soon.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    If you had a credible eyewitness account Barney I’m sure we would have heard it in spades long long ago. I know you have failed to address my previous points entirely (well apart from metaphorically sticking yir tongue oot) so could ye put up or shut up…………..please?

  • Fred Flintstone

    Would that have been the French Republic?

  • percy

    Tony,
    Isn’t your denial of the unionist experience in Derry, equally as absurd as unionist denials of 6county discrimination?

    in other words, aren’t ya fed up of all that piss coming back on yirsel, drencing you?
    Maybe ya tell the missus, its just a bit of beer spilt on your shorts?

  • Cruimh

    “the Republic post 1921”

    Would that have been the French Republic then?

  • sliabhdubh

    Gregory is not an ordrinary protestant,he is a super prod,how do people take him serious,we are all human,and if taigs and prods did not exist,he would invent a division,wellhe is a politican,he has to stir up his electorate

  • Cushy Glenn

    … but is not the corollory of this that the republican narrative- so frequently trotted out on this thread- fulfils the same criteria?

  • CW

    It’s a bit depressing that we’re still banging on about this thread after the arse has well and truly been torn out of it.

    I’m surprised that none of the Slugger contributors have seen fit to start a thread on Martin O’Neill’s resignation or last night’s international matches involving the two Irish teams – or even the Vatican’s refusal to accept the resignations of the two Dublin bishops. (or a multitude of other more interesting topics).

    Come on Mick & co – get a finger out!

  • Greenflag

    ‘it appears to be a case of boy in bubble with big bunch of sour grapes.’

    Or ‘reaping what was sown ‘ might be more appropriate for the biblically inclined 🙁

    But when all is said and done and I recall making the point may times in the past when ‘repartition’ was discussed – the ‘repartitioning ‘ of Derry was going on while most of the unionist MP’s and nationalist /republican MP’s were on extended vacation by virtue of the long Stormont suspension and the several Assembly temporary suspensions since .
    Its a sad story nonetheless and further proof if ever it was needed that there is still a lot of work to be done in NI in re of reconciliation.
    While Gregory Campbell is fully deserving of the nat/republican shower of brickbats etc the man at least has spoken out on an issue which it would appear most commentators here would rather not see raised .

    A tyranny of the majority is no less unctious and may even be more so than a tyranny of the minority 🙁

  • Greenflag

    I recall making the point may times in the past when ‘repartition’ was discussed – that the effective ‘repartitioning ‘ of Derry was going on while most of the unionist MP’s and nationalist /republican MP’s were on extended vacation by virtue of the long Stormont suspension and the several Assembly temporary suspensions since .

    Its a sad story nonetheless and further proof if ever it was needed that there is still a lot of work to be done in NI in re of reconciliation.

    While Gregory Campbell more than most is probably fully deserving of the nat/republican shower of brickbats directed at him , the man at least has spoken out on an issue which it would appear most commentators here would rather not see raised .

    A tyranny of the majority is no less unctious and may even be more so than a tyranny of the minority . But shure we all know that don’t we ?

  • madraj55

    ANW. It’s your post on Campbell/Seawright point i’m responding to, but there’s no reply facility after your post. Anyway, Seawright would have had the benefit of Londongreg’s staunch support for his vile outburst. in ’84. No doubt, it would have to be set ‘in context’ . It noteworthy that Seawright was only thrown out of the DUP after his refusal to retract his incinerator remarks. If he had done so, [which would obviously have been insincere, he would still be in the party. Revealing glimpse into Planet DUP there.

  • Steve

    My Grandmother lived on 82 Foyle Road, the house where she was born and her mother before her. The Friday after Bloody Sunday her door was knocked shortly after 9pm. As she opened it a hooded man kicked the door wide, hitting her in the face as he did so. Three or four men charged into the house, one running his arm or a hurl across the dresser in the living room as he did so, smashing everything on it. The third man to enter placed a hurl on my grandmother’s shoulder, who at this time was lying on the floor by the front door, blood streaming down her 62 year old face. In a calm manner he told her they were the Provisional I.R.A and she had 24 hours to get out or she would be shot. After a few more seconds of playing hurly in her living room they left to move on to the next Protestant family in the street. By this time a crowd of around thirty-to fifty supporters were in tow who followed up with insults and a couple of stones through the windows. When the crowd passed, neighbours called to offer help. There was no point in calling the police as the number of houses getting the treatment was too many for them to cope with. Some families fled that night. My grandmother stayed. She had to pack and prepare where to go as neither of her daughters lived in the city. On the Monday she went to work as normal at Irvine’s the printers where her boss ‘suggested’ she retire, in truth she was given little choice. When she returned home she was met by a man in a balaclava who was helping a family move in. This time he was more sympathetic, stating he was an ‘Official I.R.A.’ member. He told her that he was sorry for her trouble but that Derry was now at war and that any Unionist who stayed in Derry would be shot. She was not allowed back into her home to get her posessions and a taxi took her to Duke Street where it left her by a phone box. six weeks later the Council gave her £200 for her family home [which she had owned outright and had a market value of £4,000] She never got her possesions back, including family pieces that had belonged to her mother and grand mother, or items belonging to her late husband. This is the reality that hundreds of Unionists in 1972 faced in the Cityside and that is why 17,500 Unionists left. Thirty-eight years on and derry people under 40 are told that the Protestants simply left the city. Those over the age of 40 know what really happened but history, they say, is written by the victors and in a city that is now almost exclusively Republican the history of what really happened to the Unionists of Londonderry is being gently airbrushed.

  • Paul

    Thanks for that Steve.

    One small quibble:

    “…history, they say, is written by the victors”

    Only if you, and others whose family members suffered likes yours, let it.

    You owe it to your grandmother to ensure that her story is kept out there in the public domain, how inconvenient those facts may be for the self-image of the majority who live in the city and the majority who comment on threads like this.