Encouraging dissent – would a ‘Trevor’ do that?

It’s funny who or what can make you think, bumping into a Liberal Unionist at a funeral isn’t one of my normal jumping off points. When someone from such a different mindset, on meeting for the first time, asks such an inappropriate question, in such an inappropriate setting, as;

“Just how do we talk to these [dissenting republicans] people?”

First you think ‘wtf’, then:

‘I’ have no more insight than ‘you’, the state and certainly not SF – they aren’t listening and they won’t hear anything coming from you.

So, the Liberal Unionist, with what seemed like a sigh, asked can dissenting republicanism only be dealt with via a ‘policing’ solution.

I thought of recent protests in/at Maghaberry and suggested; the more people banged up, the more young men and women would be supporting prisoners and drawn into their arguments.

So where do you go?

Our conversation finished. I’ve dwelt on it ever since.

I have no desire to defeat dissident republicanism, I agree with it.

However, like that Liberal Unionist, the Stormont establishment, Leinster House, Britain, their minions and many others I think any armed actions are demonstrably fruitless and self-defeating.

But, all these groups also work towards silencing political voices of dissenting republicanism..

If political conversations aren’t happening generally, they can’t later happen with those working and supporting the 6 county, 26 county or British state.

If the establishment want all dissenters to move from armed to only unarmed political struggle they need to stop shutting down the political space for dissenting republicans.

They (both the Provos and Brits) should stop infiltrating political groups. They should stop planting agents in unity initiatives. They should stop treating political groups as armed organisations. Political opposition that seeks to challenge Sinn Fein’s hegemony should not be strangled at birth to protect Sinn Fein. For peace to truly take root, political expression needs to be unfettered, even if it doesn’t suit the favoured child.

The agents that caused the collapse of the IRFU demonstrated both the Provos and Brits would prefer to see political dissent broken over allowing any viable outlet for dissenters.

Liberal Unionist asked me how do ‘we’ talk to ‘them’. You can’t. Let ‘them’ have conversations without infiltration!

  • Pete Baker
  • Brian Walker

    Mark, I’m sure you’re right that dissidents are entitled to political space, provided they’re not actually plotting to blow people up or shoot them. Pity though you find it so difficult as a “Mick” to talk to a “Trevor.” Rather than rehearse your cross community cultural awkwardnesses, I’d really like to know how you think these conversations might go. Are they about something more profound than reviving the armed struggle? If they examine the prospects internally, does their resolve collapse under the weight of its internal contradictions? Or what?

  • Alias

    “If the establishment want all dissenters to move from armed to only unarmed political struggle they need to stop shutting down the political space for dissenting republicans.”

    That misses the point. “Shutting down the political space” is a political policy and not, as is otherwise assumed, a regrettable by-product of a security policy.

    The two main Catholic parties in NI and the people they represent have formally renounced their former right to national self-determination. They no longer claim that they have an inalienable right to be a sovereign nation, so they have discarded classical nationalism and replaced it with the ideology of British nationalism which holds that non-sovereign nations should share a sovereign state wherein they all enjoy parity of esteem between them and have a shared future as the sovereign (British) nation that united them. So the “historic compromise” involves renouncing the end rather than, as it is presented, simply renouncing a means to that end.

    They no longer seek a sovereign nation-state or claim that they have national rights, so they are no longer Irish nationalists. The British state has stripped them of their former position of classical nationalism, and left them as a depoliticized nation within the British state that is ideally suited to that state’s unique constitutional structure.

    There is no “political space” provided for those who do not agree with this rejection of their former national rights, and so they are harassed by the state and their ideology is discredited by the state associating it with murder gangs with the excellent propaganda value that reclaiming the formally renounced national rights would mean restarting the ‘war’ and so it is better all-round if they accept the historic compromise. Also, of course, the two catholic parties are bust lying to their own supporters about what they signed up to, so the British state won’t tolerate the emergence of any catholic party that isn’t another one of its puppets or any message that dissents from the message that is comprised of lies.

    Apart from that, and even if classical nationalism was not rejected, the Catholics in NI wouldn’t vote for a united Ireland unless they gained from it – which they won’t for the next 50 or so years. Their self-serving dynamic would rather renounce their national rights than renounce their well-stocked trough, so classical nationalist parties are on a hiding to nothing up there…

  • Zig70

    This reminds me of the phrase ‘for evil to flourish you need good men to do nothing’. It’s one thing to dissent but violent action against society needs a reaction. The thing to ask Trevor is can he walk in their shoes, is there any empathy? Trevor’s association with his tribe is part of the food for the dissent thinking. Can you politically be pro a UK link and not associate yourself with NI unionism and its legacy?

  • Mark McGregor

    Thanks Pete, interesting.

    I was hoping for people not to do a ‘Trevor’ response, you were straight in though. Nice for you.

  • Pete Baker

    Mark, I’m sure you’re right that dissidents are entitled to political space, provided they’re not actually plotting to blow people up or shoot them. Pity though you find it so difficult as a “Mick” to talk to a “Trevor.”

    Indeed.

  • Pete Baker

    “I was hoping for people not to do a ‘Trevor’ response”

    Difficult when you invite it in your chosen post title.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Surely Mark there’s nothing to stop these ‘dissenters’ from entering the ‘political space’? If they feel they have a valid argument, then why not test it in the political arena by fielding candidates next year?

    Fact is they DO have a valid argument — they want a 32 county socialist republic, minus any Brit influence. That’s an aspiration, just as Scottish independence, abortion rights for Irish women and the banning of medical experimentation on animals are aspirations. The problem is that this particular grouping choose to further their cause by killing people.

    Ignoring the fact that a similar provo strategy abysmally failed in any of it’s objectives, the ‘dissidents’ are ploughing ahead anyway, ignoring the clearly expressed wishes of the overwhelming majority as expressed in both the GFA and the support of pro-agreement parties ever since.

    They have put forward their arguments, which, given the fact that the British presence in NI is minimal and largely invisible, basically consists of ‘we don’t want a unionist about the place’.

    When a small minority feel unable to accept the democratic wishes of the majority, they can peacefully protest, they can field electoral candidates and argue their case (see TUV). What they cannot be allowed to do is kill people, destroy property and disrupt society. These actions can only lead to long prison terms.

    You state that ‘They should stop treating political groups as armed organisations.’
    If these political groups clearly are armed organisations, how would you propose to deal with them? And how do you feel that their ‘political expression’ is being stifled?

  • Mark McGregor

    Brian,

    I’ve no desire to set limits on conversations, or be be part of them,.

    You can do that arrogance, and totally fail, twice.

  • The following statement was released by R.N.U. tonight and gives some insight into how dissenting Republicans are being mistreated and their political aspirations boycotted…..

    RNU SLAMS POLITICAL DEMONISATION

    REPUBLICAN NETWORK for UNITY Spokesperson, MARTIN Óg MEEHAN has slammed the felon-setting of a West Belfast Republican.

    Mr. Meehan said; “A West Belfast man recently released from Maghaberry Gaol has been subjected to felon-setting by the Committee of his football team, Iveagh United. After his release on bail, the former Player returned to regular training, only to be informed that he was no longer welcome to play for the Club. The former Political Prisoner and his family are rightly angry at this decision.

    Prior to his arrest, the Player devoted over four years to build the team including dedicating much of his free time in developing its youth squad. We feel this type of action as nothing short of disgraceful. The Republican Network for Unity calls for an end to this inexcusable behavior and demand the Club issue the former Player and his family a sincere apology”.

    Mr. Meehan concluded; “RNU will expose future abuses meted out to Republicans like the mistreatment of former Political Prisoners, Brendan Hughes and Gerry Bradley”.

    http://www.republicannetwork.ie

  • As I’ve repeatedly said, holding an alternative socialist-republican view is quite legitimate and should not be stifled by anyone. Not least by those who should know better!

    As for not having a Prod/Unionist about the place……

    I can assure everyone concerned that Irish socialist-republicans are the most progressive group of people on this island and as such would not treat fellow Irish citizens in the manner in which the Catholic/Nationalist and Republican populace were mistreated by the Orange State, prior to 1969.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    The dissidents should detonate a bomb during the club’s training – killing and maiming as many innocent people as possible.

    Surely if that’s the strategy for winning Unionists over to their line of thinking on a UI it should also work with Iveagh United, no?

  • Stephen Ferguson

    Why try and create a cultural apartheid in North Belfast then?

    Surely such ‘progressive’ republicans should be fighting to protect everyone’s right to express their culture???

  • Alias

    “I can assure everyone concerned that Irish socialist-republicans are the most progressive group of people on this island and as such would not treat fellow Irish citizens in the manner in which the Catholic/Nationalist and Republican populace were mistreated by the Orange State, prior to 1969.”

    Far from being progressive, recent history shows that they are a vile mix of thugs, touts, multi-millionaire gangsters, murderers, morons, dolts, quislings and cretins. I don’t recall Stormont napalming Catholics or ‘disappearing’ its citizens but you might elighten us about that. Indeed, the so-called civil rights protest was in essence a sordid squabble about the equal distribution of British welfare state resources with the Catholics complaining that more swill was being offloaded into the Protestant trough than the Catholic one. Now that the will is distributed evenly, all the pigs are happy…

  • fin

    “I don’t recall Stormont napalming Catholics or ‘disappearing’ its citizens but you might elighten us about that.”

    Well they did kill OAPs with Tear Gas
    Adults, children and teenagers with rubber/plastic bullets to the head (as effective as real ones)

    And I believe about 20,000 disappeared over the border when the former First Minister decided Catholics shouldn’t be allowed to live in NI

    Ensuring the swill is divided up equally is a baby steps to the end goal instead of attempting a single giant step

    Bur Alias it’s a zero sum arguement,

  • Comrade Stalin

    Adults, children and teenagers with rubber/plastic bullets to the head (as effective as real ones)

    How many people (irrespective of age) died as a result of plastic bullet injuries ?

  • stk

    Alias, I get the impression that you are resentful of the economic security the “Catholics” have in the NI state. Am I correct?

    It is not their fault that the RoI is in the state it is in. The fault for that lies with its politicians and its previously compliant population.

    Them’s the breaks kiddo.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ‘I can assure everyone concerned that Irish socialist-republicans are the most progressive group of people on this island and as such would not treat fellow Irish citizens in the manner in which the Catholic/Nationalist and Republican populace were mistreated by the Orange State, prior to 1969.’

    Indeed AR the figures speak for themselves — since 1921 the protestant population in the republic fell from 10% to 3% while the catholic population in NI rose from 33% to 46%.

    Protestants/Unionists can certainly have faith in ‘Irish Socialist/Republicans’ intent on destroying their culture, nationality and in many cases their lives.
    Holding aspirations of a 32 county socialist republic is fine — killing for it, particularly with the threadbare justifications offered by today’s brand of conflict junkies, is not.

    Iveagh United are to be commended for their refusal to accept a dangerous criminal as a player. More decisions like this just might make such ‘socialists’ realise that their brand of persausion is no longer welcome.

  • fin

    How many of the deaths were justified

  • Why be so politically immature and flippant with your responses?

    I don’t for a second believe that any Republican would plant a bomb at the Club’s trainning…….

    Regards winning Unionists over to a UI, I’ve repeatedly proposed an Irish Socialist Republic, not a UI chara.

  • Unionists can have as much cultural freedom as they want in North Belfast chara…..What has been demanded and proposed has not been an end to Unionist parades but a re-routing of them!

    If the Loyal Orders are so concerned about alleged cultural apartheid in North Belfast. Why have they failed to respond to GARC’s invitation to talks? Do they not have enough confidence in their own position?

  • Strange that Alias doesn’t want to permit the politics of Socialist Republicans to be expressed without insults etc…

    During the recent conflict, ALL sides were responsible for the deaths and injuries of countless victims! No side is blameless but at least Republicans have taken responsibility for their actions unlike the British Crown Forces…..

  • Brian Walker

    Mark. The Trevor thing was your anecdote to get into the topic but is really a distraction. We can agree that policing by itself is no solution to dissident violence and that dialogue with others will not evaporate their political argument. The republican cause will survive the trauma of the Agreements. Surely the so -called inflitration is to do with planning violence and not the cause? The establishment might make that clearer and SF soften its contemptuous rhetoric against them as potential rivals. I can conceive of a Respect approach to rejectionist republicanism. I favour whatever engagement is possible. Beyond that, what’s to be done?

  • When have I expressed support for people being killed?

    I’m far from a Conflict Junkie as U claim……

    As for the history of the ‘Republic’ as U call it cannot be disputed and all I will say the 26 County State has never practised the core principles of Irish Republicanism!

    Therefore, I’m not surprised why the population of Protestants fell but let’s be honest, the fall in numbers had more to do with the poor economy and lack of employment than discrimination.

  • Mike

    Private sporting club refuses to accept convicted terrrorist as a member on his release from prison?

    And you think this is a story?

  • As for you congratulating Iveagh United for their refusal to ‘accept a dangerous criminal as a player’…….

    What a comment, this particular person has ONLY been charged, has yet to be convicted and was released on bail! Sadly, there is a mountain of evidence that the so-called Justice System in the North was corrupted beyond belief and many innocent people were ‘convicted’ in Non-Jury Courts.

    I wouldn’t fancy appearing in a Court of your choice…..Probably be hanged for my legitimate political viewpoint?

  • Anon

    Correlation is not causation.
    Correlation is not causation.
    Correlation is not causation.
    Correlation is not causation.
    CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION.

  • Anon

    Should be. If people have no routes back into normal society when they come of prison they are more likely to reoffend. True of any type of prisoner.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ‘When have I expressed support for people being killed?’

    So you don’t and never have supported armed republicanism AR? You would condemn all murders whether during the ‘troubles’ or today? That’s good to hear.

    ‘let’s be honest, the fall in numbers had more to do with the poor economy and lack of employment than discrimination.’

    A factor certainly, but discrimination against those without Irish qualifications and those educated at Trinity College hardly helped, as did the Catholic Church’s edict on children of mixed marriages being raised in the Roman Catholic faith.

    Fact is the Protestant minority in the 26 counties were discriminated against and culturally emasculated. Nothing in the way Irish Republicanism has conducted itself could give any Unionist reason to think that they would fare any better in either a UI or this mythical socialist republic you envisage.

  • Anon

    “Them’s the breaks kiddo.”

    Perhaps unintentionally you have hit the nail on the head. Kiddo is right. What odds that Alias is about 18-19 years of age and has absolutely no concept of what a return to “armed struggle” would actually mean? Too many kids in Republican areas being fed a load of hate and bile by older men who are determined to drag Northern Ireland back in to death and misery.

  • The former Iveagh Player was inside on remand….he hasn’t been convicted of anything and was released on bail…..

    Did U not the statement above, please take those blinkers off will U?

    Was also wondering Mike, do U agree with non-Jury Diplock Trials which have in the past created innocent citizens being convicted Terrorists…….

    If U don’t believe me just ask Raymond McCartney MLA and Derry Journal Journalist, Eamon McDermott!

  • Brian Walker

    I’ve just seen the Irish Times report of Owen Paterson at NIQs.

    “Mr Paterson has also urged the PSNI and British government departments and other British state bodies to use the new phrase, residual terrorist groups, or RTGs because, he contended, the term dissident bestowed on these groups an undeserved status.

    “Dissident is a term we would use for such people as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who challenged the system in the Soviet Union,” he added. “It is not a term we are comfortable applying to a terrorist group which has chosen to be left behind.”

    This is the familiar attempt by officialdom to neutralise appeal and reduce to acronym. I doubt if today’s NIO has much influence over how they are referred to although it sets a problem for the PSNI even under devolution..

    As I’ve said, at a certain level of engagement is neccesary and this is an attempt to separate out the politics from the violence. It recalls the old days of loyalist
    ” motiveless murders” and the Provos as “a small group of terrorists who have very little support throughout the community” .

    If you’re being finicky there is a problem with the term dissident but I think it has stuck, Now that Paterson has opined, it will stick all the more. People use their own terms not those handed down from a minister. Nor do I think it’s a good idea for officialdom to use different terms. It sets them apart from the people they are supposed to serve.

    In an ideal world I prefer ” rejectionist republican” but who am I?

    I don’t see Martin using ” RTG” do you? And isn’t it too close for comfort to RPG?

  • Zig70

    Irish socialist republicanism? They are a small minority of Irish republicans never mind the rest. They are entitled to their view point but they have to accept there take on socialism is never going to be popular in our conservative society. The problem I’ve found with communist leanings in socialism is that they believe they are right and really don’t listen much. Quite cute to see such conviction but inevitably leads to frustration which might be the root of the tendency to violence. Maybe they just need a hug.
    If Trevor listens to them, reads the prolific websites, he would be happy that they’ll stay a minority and advocate a cudgel to deal with the ones that get violently upset when no-one understands them.
    If the dissent main aim is a united Ireland, better start listening, drop the socialism and go for a populist politic.

  • Anon

    Those Southern Prods have an outside cultural contribution for a trod under group.

    The Protestant percentage of the population in the twenty six counties was dropping from about the mid 19th Century. Did Queen Victoria discriminate as well?

  • Rory Carr

    Mark you say:

    “If the establishment want all dissenters to move from armed to only unarmed political struggle they need to stop shutting down the political space for dissenting republicans.”

    Which could equally well be turned on its head to say:

    “If dissenting republicans want the establishment to stop shutting down their political space they need to move from armed to only unarmed struggle.”

    The argument of those supportive of dissident republicanism who would yet insist that they eschew the use of armed resistance is that the dissidents only resort to violence because other peaceful avenues of promoting their aims are closed to them by state repression. Like Alias above they insist that ” ”Shutting down the political space’ is a political policy and not, as is otherwise assumed, a regrettable by-product of a security policy.” Which, if true, leaves us in a bit of a stalemate with the dissidents insisting that the state abandon its political policy while the state insists that the dissidents abandon theirs.

    But that is not the case, is it? The harrassment of dissident political activists (and I do accept that as a given) is a direct response to the fear engendered by their armed activity and the state’s duty to protect its citizens. It is not a response to any fear of the political message of the dissidents undermining the state – that is an arrogance necessary for the psychological well-being of dissident activists who would shatter if they squared up to the reality that they are going nowhere, convincing no one.

    There is of course a way for armed dissidents to test the earnestness of the state in allowing it to freely organise and promote their political aims in a peaceful fashion and that would be if they ceased all military activity – to demonstrate in other words that they are not merely ‘conflict junkies’.

    We sha’nt hold our breath.

  • Mike

    Perhaps them, AER, you should actually think about specifying who is a remand prisoner and who is a convicted offender, instead of lumping them all together under the delusionary label “political prisoner”.

    Of course that would have to involve admitting that these people are bieng charged with, tried for, and in the relevant cases, convicted of, criminal offences.

    And yes, non-jury courts were necessary, due to the eagerness of terrorists on both “sides” to threaten, intimidate and indeed murder jurors (and their families).

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Anon: ‘The Protestant percentage of the population in the twenty six counties was dropping from about the mid 19th Century. Did Queen Victoria discriminate as well?’

    You might like to read this study of Protestant decline in the 26 counties:

    http://www.wesleyjohnston.com/users/ireland/past/protestants_1861_1991.html

    Particularly worth noting:

    The relative Protestant population was more or less constant in the period 1891 to 1911.
    The relative Protestant population fell sharply (by over 30%) between 1911 to 1926.
    The relative Protestant population has been declining at a more or less constant rate since 1926.

  • Damian O’Loan

    A related post:

    http://thepensivequill.am/2010/08/engaging-with-dissident-republicanism.html

    Mark, your point is a good one, if a little naïve regarding infiltration, and few have touched on the important distinction between Stormont/GFA-rejecting dissidents and armed Irish nationalists. There is every reason to engage a serious discussion around a 32 Country socialist republic. It’s not intrinsically anti-democratic, but not enough people want it and it would require complete isolation from Europe and collapse of the economy. It’s through the medium of that conversation, which requires consideration of all the geopolitical events post-WWII, that Irish republicanism can start to take its place in the 21st Century. There are, of course, dissidents with the intellect required. It’s a shame nobody is pushing them to engage it on political principles.

  • fin

    Mark,
    I recall Rusty Naill had a blog stating that if nothing else the GFA had created space for a new republican movement (or words to that effect) it is actually a comment worth bearing in mind, whatever political space you want for new republican movements they will have to exist in the real day to day world and that is Stormont.

    I can’t comment on infiltration of these movements by SF or MI5 or whoever, I don’t have the knowledge, but I believe it happens. However, it shouldn’t have an impact, do you really need to spy on an organisation such as 32CSM to find out what they’re thinking, surely the name says it all. The unions in GB back in the 70’s made use of undercover MI5/6/police agents, as they always volunteered for work to look keen, the unions knew who they were and had them leafleting and photocopying.

    Finally here’s a thought, all off ‘dissident’ republicanism thinks pretty much the same, and while it needs to contain the warning ‘May contain nuts’ it does also include many articulate and intelligent people, if the majority returned/joined SF do you not think that would give you a better vehicle to put your point across?

  • Skintown Lad

    Mark, I see your point about allowing the freedom to express a dissenting political view. The difficulty is of course that the dissenting political view in this instance comes hand in glove with justifcation for killing people, or worse, incitement to do so. If the dissenters would only make it clear that their political view does not include a justification/incitement to kill people, that would allow the debate to flourish unrestrained.

  • Archie Noble

    “I have no desire to defeat dissident republicanism, I agree with it.”

    Mark you have an excellent opportunity here to set out the strategy of dissident republicanism. You know the sort of thing how will you win mass support, what is the role of armed force, what are the short and medium term goals?

    Crucially you will need to explain where the mandate is to overide the expressed will of the Irish people to support the GFA.

  • Mike

    “I have no desire to defeat dissident republicanism, I agree with it”

    Elaborate please, Mark.

    Which brand of dissident republicanism?

    Does that include any or all dissident republican terrorist groups?

  • Skintown Lad

    For someone who claims to be so interested in discussing this subject, Mark McGregor is curiously quiet. At this stage, his post looks more like a good old whinge than a quest for enlightenment. Which kind of undermines the thrust of his argument if you ask me…

  • Mark, I’m sure you’re right that dissidents are entitled to political space, provided they’re not actually plotting to blow people up or shoot them. Pity though you find it so difficult as a “Mick” to talk to a “Trevor.

    Indeed.”

    So it was OK for the UK and Irish State, the catholic church and tom dick and harry to talk to the Provos whilst they were killing people, but now they have gained a degree of power in the British state-let, a line has to be drawn under such things.

    What next, no nationalist or individual brits being able to talk to Óglaigh na hÉireann without a certificate signed at Connolly House or MI5 headquarters. In your dreams you reprehensible toads, these men and women have ever right to be heard, otherwise how the hell are we to understand them.

    Some people have not learned a dam thing from all those wasted years, why not go the whole hog and reintroduce section 31 and hire a few Irish actors to speak the leadership of ONH words. Maybe bring back the RUC with a bobby in charge of the branch.

    Is it any wonder organizations like ÓNH still exist? I despair some times when I read comments like some of those on this thread.

  • Pete Baker

    Mick

    Since you’ve chosen to quote, unattributed, an earlier comment of mine in this thread I’ll briefly respond to that particular rant.

    Back yourself up and have another look at what I’ve said here and in other posts.

    Because it doesn’t tally with what you’re claiming I’m saying.

  • Pete

    Back yourself up and take a stab at those I was actually having a ‘poke’ at. If I wish to have a stab at you I would remember your name. I suppose the easiest way for you at Slugger central to solve this would be to search out if there are any reprehensible toads about the place, but then I suppose appearance is in the eye of the beholder.

    Understand old chap, I am working on the theory that one daft comment deserves in reply another 😉

  • Stephen Ferguson

    If they think it will work with Unionists surely it must work with Iveagh United too?

  • Stephen Ferguson

    “Cultural freedom – but not anywhere near us!”

    That’s cultural apartheid Martin.

    And why talk to GARC when it seems the PIRA approved residents group still have the support of most of Ardoyne?

    Why make an agreement with your gang only for the other lot to block the road? Or vice versa???

    Ardoyne needs to decide who speaks for the area and then perhaps the parade organisers will know who they actually need to talk to.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    “Well they did kill OAPs with Tear Gas
    Adults, children and teenagers with rubber/plastic bullets to the head (as effective as real ones)”

    No doubt everyone of them only left the house for a pint of milk and a loaf of bread….

  • Stephen Ferguson

    “During the recent conflict, ALL sides were responsible for the deaths and injuries of countless victims! No side is blameless but at least Republicans have taken responsibility for their actions unlike the British Crown Forces…..”

    Like denying they had anything to do with the abduction, torture and death of Peter Wilson – a catholic youth with learning difficulties?

    Or denying they had anything to do with the sectarian slaughter of innocent protestant workers at Kingsmill?

    Or denying they robbed the Northern Bank?

    Shall I go on???

    Compare that to the countless inquiries set-up by the British government to answer questions about their security forces’ conduct.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    Agreed.

    The murals, plaques, commemorations and god-awful songs need to disappear before another generation of young, vulnerable Nationalists waste away half their lives in prison.

  • Rory Carr

    You could always lead by example, Stephen and make a start by persuading those in your unionist community to do as you suggest.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    90% of Loyalist murals in my area have been replaced with Geordie Best, CS Lewis, David Healy, flute band emblems, catholic VC winners or painted over altogether.

    Off the top of my head only ‘Freedom Corner’ on Newtownards Road remains – and that seems to be solely for visiting tourists.

    Also, as 99.9% of current terrorist violence is emanating from the Nationalist community the few remaining Loyalist murals don’t seem to be having the same effect as the Bobby Sands murals, Hunger Strike marches and Wolfe Tone songs do with young, gullible Nationalists.

  • Alias

    “Strange that Alias doesn’t want to permit the politics of Socialist Republicans to be expressed without insults etc…”

    If the truth is insulting then what? Stick with crap about murder gangs being “progressive”?

    There is a not a word that is untrue in my statement: “Far from being progressive, recent history shows that they are a vile mix of thugs, touts, multi-millionaire gangsters, murderers, morons, dolts, quislings and cretins.”

    “During the recent conflict, ALL sides were responsible for the deaths and injuries of countless victims!”

    And how many would have died if “progressive” murder gangs didn’t go on a killing spree? Regressive murder gangs set progress back by decades before accepting the backwardness of their enterprise, but don’t some more truth get in the way of deflecting blame onto others.

    Incidentally, why do murder gangs in NI make socialism a mandatory orecondition to a united Ireland when the former makes the latter an impossibility? Is it because you’re state-sponsored and the idea is to make a united Ireland a repugnant prospect to the overwhelming majority? Why else, when most of your ilk are capitalists with more moneymaking rackets and hidden bank accounts than the Krays?

  • Alias

    On the contrary, I’m happy that Her Majesty provides well for her non-sovereign nation. But it does somewhat undermine your case that living under British rule is an injustice that must be rectified. Or rather, it would undermine that case if you didn’t renounce your former claim to self-determination.

  • Mark McGregor

    Thanks for the replies and apologies to those that thought my failure to hang around the comments was to do with anything other than doing other things.

    I’m afraid I don’t have much else to add other than saying I’m still very much thinking about this and have no easy answers.

    I’ll probably work on a further post with a suggestion it gets talked about on the 20th. A fair few of you that commented could make that a decent yarn – I hope you are all coming.

  • Archie Noble

    Do you not think its a bit odd to be supporting something that your still thinking about?

  • disgusted parent

    @ a.e.r re iveagh utd..This did not happen as you say. The player in question had already left the club months before the committee met, once they met he was mentioned but no such vote took place regarding his future at iveagh,as he was already away. The player in question is using RNU to attack the club, maybe you should ask him what his REAL agenda is. As for him helping out with the youth team, this is another lie as the guys who set the team up are still involved with it and have been since it started roughly six months ago. I know all parties involved in this and i would believe the committee members over the man in question every single time. By the way you should have a look at this mans history and you’ll find out hes not quite the committed republican that you make him out to be. I have also noticed that some idiots online (on other blogs etc) have called for protests/attacks etc against the club. This has to be condemned by all right minded people and your group as the blame for any damage/injuries sustained by the players, especially the youth will lie at your door.

  • Duffman

    Totally agree with the disgusted parent on this one, the player in question never asked to go back to the club in the first place he had joined another team so why would the committe of the team make a decision on any thing that was no longer nothing to do with them, the player in question would need to have a good look at himself and ask why he wants to try and mud the name of a well respected community football team by saying silly remarks, I know the guy in question from years back and after the trouble he went through with different paramilitaries when groing up why all of a sudden he’s getting on like a hard done by Republican, sounds a bit like Billy no mates, I would also know some of the players of the team and also they guys who set up the youth team also and I can tell you that “your man” had sweet FA to do with the setting up of the junior team.

    Ex Player hang your head in shame!!