“The photographs were posted on a social networking site by a Lurgan Sinn Féin member”

BBC Radio Ulster’s Talkback couldn’t get anyone at the Ti Chulainn Cultural Centre in Mullaghbawn, nor anyone in Sinn Féin, to comment on this story in today’s Belfast Telegraph.  We’ll wait to see if the Northern Ireland Children’s Commissioner can get any further.  From the Belfast Telegraph report

Children have appeared dressed up as republican paramilitaries and brandishing replica guns in a south Armagh community centre which has received hundreds of thousands of pounds in EU funds.

The children, some of primary school age, were photographed at the Ti Chulainn cultural centre in Mullaghbawn.

They were wearing balaclavas, combat jackets and trousers, dark glasses and berets, and brandishing replica weapons including AK47s and Armalites.

A complaint has been made to the Children’s Commissioner Patricia Lewsley. The PSNI will also be asked to investigate.

Despite several telephone calls and written questions submitted by the Belfast Telegraph, no-one from the Ti Chulainn centre would comment on the matter.

The photographs were posted on a social networking website by a Lurgan Sinn Fein member.

As the Belfast Telegraph report points out

The Ti Chulainn centre has benefited from local and international public funding. The Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) has confirmed a previous award of £42,000 and a current award of £264,500 to the centre for “specific tourist-related activity”.

Sinn Fein declined to comment directly about the matter.

In a statement the Ti Chulainn committee said: “The event in question took place six months ago and in all that time we have received no queries or complaints about this event or any previous event held in Ti Chulainn; rather we have received many positive comments relating to this event and Ti Chulainn in general.”

Well, that’s all right then…

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  • The Raven

    Just asking, like…but…is the funding linked to these photographs? Or did a centre which received funding from an EU programme do a project (in however poor a lapse of taste) outside the parameters of that funding…?

    ““As a result of our meeting, SEUPB is now developing a code of conduct for all organisations to sign up to in order to secure funding.” – which, of course, should only be linked to activities which are part of the funding received. But there’s nothing like getting a cheap line in, is there, Diane…?

    “The TUV’s Barrie Halliday said: “We’re constantly being told to forget the past as Northern Ireland has moved into a new era…” ” Indeed. And yet people still vote TUV. And go on tribal marches down roads.

    But then, of course, you DO have the right to be offended…

  • Tweedybird

    Raven, the sad thing about this story, youngsters of primary school age are,in a youth club environment. being shown/ taught and allowed to dress up in paramilitary uniforms, by their superiors .What sort of example is this setting for the adults of the future.
    Dare i say it, a bit of SF propaganda gong on ? .

  • I dont see the problem.
    A person can go into Toymaster and buy dressing up army uniforms. You can even get Action Man endorsed by the British Army.
    Anyone going down to the Aughrim Battle site outside Ballinasloe, can go down to Aughrim and dress up in Jacobite red or Williamite grey. Indeed the younger members of the FitzjamesHorse clan have dressed up there…in red of course. And we took pics. Harmless I think……after all they will hardly grow up to join the Jacobite Army. It doesnt exist.
    Likewise the young kids dressing up as Irish Republican Army men can hardly grow up to be in Irish Republica Army. It doesnt exist. Does it?
    Indeed the Mullaghbawn Centre sounds like an excellent day out. I sincerely hope that the adverse publicity does not mean that they will cancel such dressing up.

    Of course propagandising children is not something we should encourage. I have seen young children dressed as little Orangemen in parades. Of course these kids CAN grow up to be Orangemen. They do exist. Unlike Jacobites or Irish Republican Army. I think Ive even seen photographs in the Belfast Telegraph. …without adverse comment.
    Indeed Ive even seen photographs in

  • son of sam

    No one available from the super efficient Sinn Fein press office!What a surprise! I noted that stalwart of all things Republican, Jude Collins was on Talkback earlier criticising the B B C film on the Orangewomen.Could he not have been asked to comment?

  • RyanAdams

    “I dont see the problem.
    A person can go into Toymaster and buy dressing up army uniforms. You can even get Action Man endorsed by the British Army.”

    I believe the problem is the fact the British Army is a legitimate organisation, and while it has made some mistakes including Bloody Sunday, It didn’t carry out the murder of 3,000 innocent people – I believe there are significant differences if you take off your rose tinted goggles.

  • Nunoftheabove

    RyanAdams

    Not much difference to the families of the dead. Legality and legitimacy are not quite the same thing either mate. And which organization are you referring to which killed 3,000 innocent people ? And how are you defining innocence while you’re doing that ?

  • I never claimed that the Irish Republican Army didnt exist. Your figures are slightly askew but no matter. They certainly murdered several hundred people (if you look thru my posts you will find no claim to the contrary)……and the British Army er “made some mistakes”.

  • “NunoftheAbove”
    With respect your question sends this thread off on a tangent.
    The furore is entirely synthetic. Not one single person will be turned off voting Sinn Féin as a consequence. Mr halliday of the TUV has got some publicity and maybe The Daily Mail will take it up.
    Me……I just want to visit it.

  • aquifer

    No one available

    They used to do that a lot

    The Sinn Fein press office are still very efficient when it comes to not defending the indefensible.

    Good sound tactic, also for small armies

  • Alf

    “I dont see the problem.”

    That is the problem.

  • Henry94

    Didn’t young Harry Windsor get in a spot of trouble with the papers for dressing up as a Nazi. That was in the context of a fancy dress party. We don’t know what the context of these pictures are or who was involved or really anything much at all.

    If the journalist thinks there is a story then why don’t they do a proper investigation rather than just asking people to comment. They could stake out the community hall and see if this is a regular thing. That would at least be a story of some sort.

  • qwerty12345

    So, Like the TA but with less chance of someone involved ending up shooting someone.

  • Alf

    “We don’t know what the context of these pictures are or who was involved or really anything much at all.”

    Apart from the fact that schoolchildren were dressing up as terrorist murderers.

  • Tweedybird

    How can these photos be defended ? The simplistic view that you can dress up as a British soldier? Please take your blinkers off, if the theme of the photos were innocent why is there no rep. from this hostel, or even the Lurgan SF member that published these photos not available for comment?

  • Nunoftheabove

    Yeah, be much healthier for society all round if the youngsters were to dress up as, say, priests, right ?

    Aye, what an array of fine role models the wee ones have to choose from, right enough.

  • Alf

    “Yeah, be much healthier for society all round if the youngsters were to dress up as, say, priests, right ?”

    Nun,

    You pick a fine example for comparison.

  • qwerty12345

    Ok I’ve looked at the photos now, oh dear. Who the hell thought this was a good idea and even is you think its a good idea who the feck was stupid enough to put the pictures out where others could see them.

    Someone really needs to catch themselves on.

  • Mark

    IDF produced a photograph which they claimed they found during a raid of a Palestinian baby dressed as a suicide bomber ( red handband & fake explosives etc ) . It turned out an uncle had taken the picture at a party . The IDF tried to use it as a propaganda but most people saw it as harmless fun …

    A few US army photos turned up today of soldiers posing with their dead victims …not really harmless fun …….

  • Mark McGregor

    How times change. All those weapons, some seriously large and not a peep about them. A total acceptance they are on display. A total acceptance they aren’t real/able to damage.

    It’s almost like a final admitance from Unionists that the provisional movement actually did decommission (surrender arms) and all they now hold are toy guns that children can play with.

    Funny how Unionism’s gripes with provisional republicanism are down to how they let children dress up.

  • Henry94

    Who can say they never played with toy guns as a kid

    http://i30.tinypic.com/2eyz3a8.jpg

    The real problem is the uniform isn’t it. If the British Army wanted to send recruiters into schools the same people would be all for it.

  • qwerty12345

    Nice piccy of Robinson, on the Golan heights if I remember right.

  • Alf

    “The real problem is the uniform isn’t it.”

    The real problem is that children have been dressed up as terrorists. Anyone who can’t see a problem with has a real deep rooted problem themselves. Comparing this sort of sick crap with children dressing up as GI Joe just makes it all the more surreal.

  • Alf

    “Nice piccy of Robinson, on the Golan heights if I remember right.”

    The relevance being?

  • SK

    That is quite messed up.

  • ranger1640

    Republicans getting a new generation of youngsters ready for the front line. Republicans Embarrassed by Nothing Offended by Everything

  • The Word

    I don’t the problem either, FJH.

    When we were children we played with swords, spears, bows and arrows, built huts and tree huts, swung from swings on trees, climbed trees, had gangs with brutal names that actually meant little in the longer term.

    If this is an attempt by Sinn Fein to trivialise their violent friends in the IRA and an acceptance of their failure to change the real world, then it’s welcome.

    But good people don’t use children.

  • Mark McGregor

    Arming children (this time with real weapons) and dressing them up as members of a sectarian army – how awful is it? Just some times?

    http://www.newtownardsorange.org.uk/131%20soldiers.jpg

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    ‘Kids blowing up people is good K?’

    Erm actually it isn’t. Yet another attempt to portray the provos as something other than a bunch of failed psychopaths who had to murder nearly 2000 people before realising they’d achieved nothing.

  • Alf

    Mark,

    I think the earlier comparison with the Priests was a bit closer to the mark.

  • The Word

    Mark

    “Arming children (this time with real weapons) and dressing them up as members of a sectarian army – how awful is it? Just some times?”

    A thread set up to cross one over for you in Sinn Fein to nod in. An old communist ploy, and a fascist one too.

    Some day soon you’re going to realise that the game is up. No more games.

  • qwerty12345

    Alf the location of the Robinson photo has little relevance to the thread but it is bloody funny. Robbo and Willian McCrea off getting hardons posing with guns on stolen Syrian land. I bet frumpy girls all over mid ulster had those pics on their walls.

  • qwerty12345

    Now that is a lovely photo Mark McGregor

  • vanhelsing

    MMG,

    World of difference between some kids dressing up as historical figures from a war 300 years ago and dressing up as terrorists from more recent times. I honestly can’t believe that some people here think this is ok. No wait…let’s dress them up as suicide bombers to, no difference..

  • Mark McGregor

    And of course it has never been beyond the DUP to have people (including young people that have never worn the uniform for real) turn up in public dressed as terrorists.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dupphotos/4638738924/

  • Alf

    “Alf the location of the Robinson photo has little relevance to the thread but it is bloody funny. Robbo and Willian McCrea off getting hardons posing with guns on stolen Syrian land. I bet frumpy girls all over mid ulster had those pics on their walls.”

    Just random sectarian hatred from you then. Fair enough.

  • Aráto O’Teach

    Crazy amount of deflection and whataboutery.. How can anyone deflect or try to diminish the fact that these kids were being dressed up as terrorists, and asked to pose with weapons for photographs!

  • Alf

    “No wait…let’s dress them up as suicide bombers to, no difference..”

    In Northern Ireland that would mean dressing them up as the local breadman. The terrorists here were somewhat adverse to putting themselves in harm’s way.

  • Alf

    “And of course it has never been beyond the DUP to have people (including young people that have never worn the uniform for real) turn up in public dressed as terrorists.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dupphotos/4638738924/

    Mark,

    Those are some big kids. Where are they dressing up as terrorists though?

  • Dec

    Usual outrage from the same people who thought it was great when the British army officers went to a primary school in Twinbrook to inform p8 year olds how great the British army is (despite the odd mistake along the way).

  • qwerty12345

    “Where are they dressing up as terrorists” – uh at Stormont Alf, at Stormont. Sorry couldnt resist.

  • Alf

    “Usual outrage from the same people who thought it was great when the British army officers went to a primary school in Twinbrook to inform p8 year olds how great the British army is (despite the odd mistake along the way).”

    Dec,

    Basically you see this as Keeping the Provos in the Public Eye? How would you feel about the Shankill people getting their kids to dress up like Lenny Murphy and the boys?

  • Mark McGregor

    Alf,

    Of course. The USC are a bunch of terrorists. They were so vile even their own government disbanded and disowned them.

    Only Unionists celebrate them.

    The clear fact is, for Unionists it is ok to dress up as those that killed Irishmen across the ages, just up to the point you are dressing up as the members of the suppressed majority when they were fighting back.

    My violence ok? Your violence terrorism?

    Give us a break.

  • vanhelsing

    Thread full of whataboutery by the usual suspects…

    Whatabout the old men in USC uniform [relevance?]
    Whatabout the British Army in Twinbrook..

    Whatabout the kids dressed up as terrorists – thought even the republicans would think this is at best embarrassing at worst shameful…clearly not…

  • Zachariah Tiffins Foot

    Anyone trying to pass off the weapons shown in the photographs as ‘toys’ is deluding themselves. Or perhaps as children this type of hardware was lying about their own homes and they were told ‘ah sure don’t worry they’re only daddy’s playthings’.

    Says all you need to know about Irish Republican ‘culture’ I suppose.

  • Alf

    Mark,

    With the greatest of respect.

    1. The USC were not by any stretch of the imagination terrorists.

    2. The people in your USC photo have an average age of about fifty and are therefore irrelevant to the discussion which is about the sick republicans who dressed their children up as terrorists.

  • Kevin Barry

    Bunch of Republicans in S. Armagh have kids dress up as someone in the IRA? Here was I thinking that an election was around the corner and we would get something interesting.

    None story here, next.

  • Zig70

    politically stupid. Lovely place though, well worth a visit . I can’t really judge, I let my kids play COD. Some of it depends on what they were told as to what they were dressing up as.
    There probably is money to be made from letting tourists dress up in balacavas.

  • Henry94

    How old do people reckon the guy or girl in the picture is? S/he could be anything from 14 to 40. It actually quite hard to tell.

  • Alf

    Henry,

    I congratulate you on an original approach to covering for the scummers who did this. At least it demonstrates an acceptance that dressing children up as murderers is wrong.

  • Mick Fealty

    Alf,

    You come here to discuss with your opponents civilly, or not at all. And BTW, anyone who thinks it’s fun to wind him up, may be following shortly after!

  • Kevin Barry

    Ah now Mick, and here was I thinking of bringing up the point that the youth of those days got a lot more work done than now. Sure my name sake planned on doing that ambush AND getting back to class for a test all in one day.

  • Alf

    Mick,

    My apologies. I assumed that he chose that user name because he admired what Kevin Barry did.

  • Mick Fealty

    It would pay to remember the play the ball, and NOT the man rule. Save us all getting into a Adam Boulton-like rage about ‘mind-reading’ critics.

    That goes for you too Kevin!

  • Alf

    Mick,

    The ball that Kevin Barry ‘played’ was a group of unarmed teenage soldiers who were picking up bread from the bakery.

  • Mick Fealty

    So you want me to ban both of you?

  • Kevin Barry

    Alf,

    [Offensive language removed – Mods] I would venture that the fact that you were having a go at me/my name sake rather than the points raised which is the kids in their garb in a particularly aggressive manner as opposed to being civil is what he happens to be pointing out.

    Have a go at what the kids are dressed up in by all means, I wouldn’t dress my own (if I had any) in that as I see it as being crass in the extreme, but I couldn’t give a fiddlers either as they’re from S Armagh and there’s an election round the corner and this stuff is a distraction from real issues.

    Pete B, great post again, you do have a knack for getting us all posting on even the most trifling of matters.

  • Alf

    “I would venture that the fact that you were having a go at me/my name sake rather than the points raised which is the kids in their garb in a particularly aggressive manner as opposed to being civil is what he happens to be pointing out.”

    Kevin,

    The historical parallels are clearly beyond him. Mind washed children make for perfect terrorists.

  • Mick Fealty

    Right, now just play on the pair of you…

    Alf,

    Devil’s advocate here. You say mind washed children, etc, etc, etc…

    Yet that’s just one speculative view of what’s going on here… It could equally be argued (as I think FJH has) that is merely an attempt to historicise the recent (traumatic) past.

    Taking them out on ‘patrol’, giving them weapons training, that WOULD be worrying…

    I’m not saying it was such, and since SF have clammed on the subject, we cannot be absolutely sure what the motive was…

  • andnowwhat

    To all the kids I know (even those in to their 20’s), footage of the coverage is to them what footage of WWII was to me. I thought that was hopeful and yet, in some corner of Co Armagh some eejits clearly do not want this for their children.

    As I understand (based on today’s Talkback) this event took place some months ago. Here’s the mentality of these people, they stuck it up on Facebook or some such media.

    IT is sad, pathetic and disheartening but a massive deal? Well, this is NI.

  • between the bridges

    motive? hmmmm… lets see ‘ok kids everyone put on a ski mask, pick up a smg, take aim and repeat after me ratatat tat tat ,that is how we hero’s killed the proddy barstewarts, in the low density genocide war’,
    of course it could all be perfectly harmless street theater ala mick stoner.lmao.

  • Mr Fealty has speculated on what I was actually trying to argue and Id just like to clarify and confirm that I saw a historical context to it.
    For the record my oldr grandson is 8 and I wouldnt take him to see it.
    Nobody should have any problem with me taking a grandson of say 13 or over to see it. …and indeed dress up. Id not expect anyone to phone Patricia Lewsley unless of course I was taking THEIR grandson.

    But I also wanted to point out that Id not want a grandson to have access to shoot em up arcade games which sanitises violence to a greter extent.

    And the other point I made was that its not much different (although some understandably see things differently) from children in orange sashes.

  • Kevin Barry

    ‘And the other point I made was that its not much different (although some understandably see things differently) from children in orange sashes.’

    On this point I would slightly disagree with you FJH. I would equate it with being simply akin for some with dressing your kid up as a soldier or cop.

    The OO is a bunch of men wearing bowler hats with bands that are actually quite good, though I don’t like a lot of the rest of their message or the mess on the Lisburn Road afterwards.

  • Mark

    Between the bridges ,

    I think the term he used was ” performance art ” …..lol

    Did Denver enjoy the parade ? …..

  • vanhelsing

    Fitz,

    I understand the concept of the historical context but there is no historical context here. Do you think that Unionists would be upset if there was a historical reenactment at the Boyne and for a change the green side won. Actually perhaps some might be annoyed – not my point 🙂

    My point is that history is what it is. A week might be a long time in politics but it is not in the memories of the casualites of the conflict here. Likewise innocent Catholics, Protestants, Policemen and Soldiers, Taxi drivers..whatever. Some of these people will never get over their loss and from the Unionist side having kids dress up as the terrorists who committed some of these acts is reprehensible.

    I was challenged to understand the nationalist side of Bloody Sunday on this site and I did. I would have thought that some of our more intelligent commentators could see the offense these images cause to Unionists. That is not a slight btw.

    Anyway this is too soon to call this ‘history’ and I think others may agree. It’s closer to the images of child soldiers aka Charles Taylor than playground fun for me.

    VH

  • andnowwhat

    As Mick Fealty said, we do not know the proper context of what happened here in relation to SF.

    For all we know, serious enquiries and serious bollockings could have been going on since the story broke.

    To me, this is just a bunch of s**t kickers doing what s**t kickers do.

    BTW, I highly recommend listening to today’s Talkback. Willie Frazier was good value, as always. Now, what was that he once said about loyalist paramilitaries and catholic victims?

  • between the bridges

    jfh i certainly can see the attraction for the kids dressing up and playing with big guns sure we would all love a go at it! ( on a stag in prague no probs) but what was the message these kids took from it? this is how we shot prods/ brits? and if we don’t get our way sure we can do it again! because we haven’t gone away? the whole thing is pathetic in the extreme, at best its rather poor judgement.

    mark we enjoyed both parades great day out and rather culturally diverse!, mind you according to some on here the second one wasn’t a paddy’s day parade!lol!

  • qwerty12345

    I cant imagine why such large replica guns would be on show and then I remembered this sport http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airsoft
    they even have large replica sniping rifles like the barrett light 50.

    Are we sure there wasnt something to do with this rather strange hobby going on?

  • Cynic2

    “enquiries and serious bollockings could have been going on”

    Yes – getting caught is the a terrible sin

  • Cynic2

    Whatever happened to the crime of glorifying terrorism?

  • ForkHandles

    Its actually really interesting to hear about these types of events in remote hardline republican areas. It really gives a glimpse of how much the people there live in a totally different world than the rest of us. Imagine adults/parents thinking that it is a good idea to dress children up as terrorists complete with replica guns. The mind boggles… To a normal person they would be horrified at exposing their kids to such a display of evil being portrayed as good. But the people in these areas must think that the terrorists are actually the good guys. Somehow all the killing they did was actually a good thing.
    There should definitely be some prosecutions to try and stop the adults poisoning the minds of the next generation with the support for murder and destruction that they clearly have.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The OP, although linked, does not highlight the fact that the complaint to the Children’s Commissioner has come from Willie Frazer and FAIR. In fact the whole story seems to be driven by that constituency.

    The Telegraph piece also details the amount of EU funding that the Ti Chuilann centre receives.

    The unionist victims group FAIR have had their EU funding withdrawn because they were unable to stand over their accounts and because of ‘irregularities’.

    Similarly another unionist victims group from the Sth Armagh area, SAVER-NAVER, was the focus of a recent BBC Spotlight light investigation. This programme highlighted alleged corruption within that unionist group also.

    I am sure that the concern of FAIR, the TUV et al is all to do with the nature of fancy dress worn by the young people rather than a vendetta to get the ‘other sides’ funding stopped, no matter how dubious the excuse.
    .

  • DoppiaVu

    Blimey what a post.

    Forget about the epic whataboutery, for me the winner is this new word (to me, anyway): “historicise”.

    So, it appears that somehow, by glorifying terrorists, (many of whose victims still lead lives shattered by terrorism) you are in some way doing A Good Thing.

    Every now and again Slugger really does go a bit surreal. Or maybe, as ForkHandles suggests, this is normal in republican circles?

  • Van Hesling
    My actual point about History was actually the lesser of the two points I made which is why I clarified Mr Fealtys point as it might be construed as my only one.
    If Im stretching things……..and I am ..that its about History. I think youre stretching it a little to evoke images of Charles Taylors child soldiers.
    The kernel of my point is that we rush to see fault in themmuns much too readily. And ignore our own shortcomings.
    Posting anything on a social networking site is the height of stupidity
    Bt you hint I think at the sham fight at Scarva…a regular feature on BBC and UTV news. King James and Patrick Sarsfield in green (Jacobite colour wasactually red) defeated by Orange forces and the green colours shot thru by the Orange faction to the cheers and jeers of the crowd.
    An edifying sight?. Harmless fun? Sinister?
    Ah but it was 300 years ago. And IRA terror was 20 years ago.
    Its different.Well no I dont think so. The Orange/Green thing is surely ongoing. No doubt the Banbridge Chronicle and Portadown Times cover the Scarva Sham Fight as well as UTV/BBC.
    But it strikes me as odd that that these ratherstupid pics from Mullaghbawn are the cause of such one sided outrage.
    Liberal Unionism really needs to rid itself of the unsubtle belief that Republicanism/Nationalism is inferior to their culture and those who adhere to it are children of a lesser God.
    Margaret Ritchie wearing a poppy in Downpatrick=good.
    UTV/BBC presenters exercising their right NOT to wear one=how dare they?
    Man carrying Irish flag in Downpatrick=horrible bigot

    Belfast Telegraph outraged over Mullaghbawn but already looking forward to publishing a supplement for the Twelfth featuring little kids dressed as kick the Pope band leaders. Aint that cute?
    Aint that sinister in Mullaghbawn?

  • Mick Fealty

    Pat,

    But are you surprised the complaint has come at all?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Not all all Mick, the bona fides of FAIR and TUV regarding the welfare of children from a republican background are well established.

  • Pete Baker

    Update BBC report, and from today’s Belfast Telegraph

    Sinn Fein declined to comment directly about the matter.

    In a statement the Ti Chulainn committee said: “The event in question took place six months ago and in all that time we have received no queries or complaints about this event or any previous event held in Ti Chulainn; rather we have received many positive comments relating to this event and Ti Chulainn in general.”

    Well, that’s all right then…

  • DoppiaVu

    “rather we have received many positive comments relating to this event”

    So hang on. This wasn’t just some bunch of republican knuckle-draggers who happened to be using their facilities. This was something that Ti Chulainn either sanctioned or, at the very least, were fully aware of. And indeed, their response suggests they are pretty happy with themselves.

    Shame on them. And shame on everyone here that tries to justify this sort of crap.

  • JR

    I just saw the pictures, those are like no toy guns I played with as a kid. pretty realistic replicas.

  • vanhelsing

    FITZ “Liberal Unionism really needs to rid itself of the unsubtle belief that Republicanism/Nationalism is inferior to their culture and those who adhere to it are children of a lesser God”. – I wouldn’t call myself a ‘liberal unionist’ and even I don’t subscribe to the above – it’s rubbish. In fact Lord Bannside refered to such in the Assembly today.

    “Bt you hint I think at the sham fight at Scarva…a regular feature on BBC and UTV news. King James and Patrick Sarsfield in green (Jacobite colour wasactually red) defeated by Orange forces and the green colours shot thru by the Orange faction to the cheers and jeers of the crowd.
    An edifying sight?. Harmless fun? Sinister?
    Ah but it was 300 years ago. And IRA terror was 20 years ago. Its different.Well no I dont think so. The Orange/Green thing is surely ongoing. No doubt the Banbridge Chronicle and Portadown Times cover the Scarva Sham Fight as well as UTV/BBC.”

    Yip – but I think it is different. No one has a close relative recently killed by the French Huguenots – 300 years ago. Forgiveness for rights and wrongs in WW2 between Germany and the Allied Powers is evident.70 years ago.

    IRA murders 15 years ago? You see I don’t feel that is part of the historical fabric of our society and those families who suffered at the hands of said murders defo don’t.

    Kids dressed up at the 12th; you could make your case against the loyal orders I’m sure but you would struggle to make the case of parity between a kid wearing a sash and walking round Fivemiletown and then having a picnic and other kids dressed up as terrorists from a conflict [not forgotten by either side] clearly saying how cool are we and not really realising the symbolism.

    If it were prod kids in east belfast I would be saying the same thing. I’m just concerned that some here don’t see this as a massive issue…

    VH

  • Barry the Blender

    A person can go into Toymaster and buy dressing up army uniforms.

    Since when did Toymaster get peace money?

  • vanhelsing

    Now if we got EU Peace III money for Toymaster that really would be useful…:)

  • Skinner

    Pretty shocked at the ‘don’t see what’s wrong’ reaction of some on here. Trying to compare it with Skarva sham fights and action man just seems a joke but the posters above seem to be serious.

    The only realistic comparison that could be made is if a DUP man posted photos on his Facebook of kids in Tigers Bay dressed the same. True, we don’t know the context, but I would venture to suggest that the republican-minded on here would be outraged. The difference is, the Unionists on here would also be outraged in that hypothetical scenario.

  • between the bridges

    mc pat ‘the bona fides of FAIR and TUV regarding the welfare of children from a republican background are well established.’
    as are SF’s…

  • Neil

    Kids dressed up at the 12th; you could make your case against the loyal orders I’m sure but you would struggle to make the case of parity between a kid wearing a sash and walking round Fivemiletown and then having a picnic and other kids dressed up as terrorists from a conflict [not forgotten by either side] clearly saying how cool are we and not really realising the symbolism.

    Even the couching of your language demonstrates how different we view things. Yes the kids may enjoy a nice day marching and a wee picnic. Or they may observe pissheads urinating in public and attractive young girls with kill all taigs scrawled acorss their chops. Hell those kids in Armagh might even have had a picnic, does that make things sound less sinister to you?

    Nice wee protestant kids having a nice day of music and a wee picnic, versus sinister Catholics dressing up to glorify terrorism. How about I change that around so we can hear about Protestant children out listening to party tunes and singing about being up to the knees in fenian blood while surrounded by pissed Loyalists and the nice Catholic kids having a fancy dress party and a nice wee picnic.

    It’s all about how you decide to look at things. As little as you may like it, the IRA was supported by many people here. Did you think, come Good Friday, that all Nationalists had ditched every belief they held prior to that date? They somehow escaped from their psychosis and realised they were actually happy little Brits all along?

    In the words of Big Ian, no.

    I supported the IRA throughout my youth (and Sinn Fein in my adulthood) though would never have had the ability to do anything to anyone myself. And of course I was touched by some of the tragedys to happen, personally and generally. But if my kids want to dress up and play with guns (which they will do I’d imagine) I’d allow them to.

    I’d go further than that. If it was a straight choice for them to dress as a RA man, a cop or a British soldier, the RA man would be the only option whereby I wouldn;t hit the roof. Hard.

    As an aside http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-12828607 I await Loyalist indignation at the Loyalists of South Belfast fleecing the taxpayer with a view to heading off to Poland for a well (European) funded ‘stag weekend’. Given that that funding has been withdrawn one can safely assume it was in contravention of the rules. Thankfully our friends in Armagh didn’t make that mistake.

  • vanhelsing

    Neil “Even the couching of your language demonstrates how different we view things. Yes the kids may enjoy a nice day marching and a wee picnic. Or they may observe pissheads urinating in public and attractive young girls with kill all taigs scrawled acorss their chops. Hell those kids in Armagh might even have had a picnic, does that make things sound less sinister to you?

    Nice wee protestant kids having a nice day of music and a wee picnic, versus sinister Catholics dressing up to glorify terrorism. How about I change that around so we can hear about Protestant children out listening to party tunes and singing about being up to the knees in fenian blood while surrounded by pissed Loyalists and the nice Catholic kids having a fancy dress party and a nice wee picnic”

    Even your language shows that the best you can do is muddy the issue with generalisations, assumptions and lies. I have been to ‘the field’ twice in my life, I have friends who are members of the Order. I have never witnessed anything of which you relate. Yes sometimes that goes on – it’s wrong and should be condemned – I condemn it. Of course there was M Photmans KAT picture [ah the whataboutery of the Republicans rears it’s ugly head again]. I’m sure you’re at the field every year with sound recorder and camera at the ready – collecting evidence:)

    Funny never noticed any children walking in the parades dressed as paramilitaries, gloves, balaclavas and AKs. Perhaps if the order wanted them they should be carrying pictures of the people they have murdered – it would be a nice way to remember their glory days…

    I condemn all murder on both sides, always have, always will – there is [as I pointed out to Fitz] no difference with religion.

    But this is not a thread on the Loyal Orders it is about kids dressed as terrorists who committed murder. Spin it anyway you want but leave the whataboutery out!

    Clearly you think it’s all ok- no wait you’d go further you’d like your kids dressed as RA men.

    As Slugger says ‘the comments say it all about the commentator’ – I’ll stop there – never had a yellow – never having one. Have a nice day Neil 🙂

  • PaulT

    unionism takes issue with displays of republican history on a case by case basis, colour parties, parades, commenerations, films, documentaries etc

    Is there a narrative on republican history that is ‘allowable’ for unionism (one that doesn’t include sackcloth and ashes)

    In deed for a sizable portion of unionism all nationalist history on the island is questionable.

    If the young people had dressed in Irish Volunteers or Citizens Army uniforms would that have been ok?

    What if they had just played with the guns?

  • Paynoattentiontome

    I suppose these pictures posted on the FAIR Website are just harmless fun and shouldnt be taken out of context. Have a look at http//victims.org.uk/s08zhk/images/stories/gallery2

  • changeisneeded

    So RIR/UDR parades through the centre of belfast are ok but no IRA commemorations etc. allowed

    Once again the “shared future” is called into question.

    Taigs keep your heads down..

  • Neil

    Even your language shows that the best you can do is muddy the issue with generalisations, assumptions and lies. I have been to ‘the field’ twice in my life, I have friends who are members of the Order. I have never witnessed anything of which you relate. Yes sometimes that goes on – it’s wrong and should be condemned – I condemn it.

    VH all I’m saying is that your own words boil down to one side glorifying terrorists, boo hiss; on the other nice kids having a wee march and a picnic.

    What I’m pointing out is that the way you’ve couched that in a kind of language that paints the whole party tunes, sectarian music, kill all taigs side of the twelfth as a nice innocent afair while Catholic kids commemorating or paying homage to Republican relatives killed over the past 90 years in Ireland is simply barbaric. Protestant kids at the twelfth – picnic.

    You’ve never witnessed it but I have, lived in Ballymena for half my life. It’s an annual thing. I also have friends (from Broughshane) who are in the order. Hard to believe I know, but true.

    Of course there was M Photmans KAT picture [ah the whataboutery of the Republicans rears it’s ugly head again]. I’m sure you’re at the field every year with sound recorder and camera at the ready – collecting evidence:)

    Nah no need. I live in Belfast these days, so I have no need to hit the field to find the evidence I seek – plenty of well named bands and fingers waved on the lower Ormeau. Not a pretty sight. I know you seek to minimise it, but unfortunately for people of my background (we don’t attend parades as a rule) we have to gleam what info we can from either unluckily finding yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time when the Order are doing their thing, or we watch the news.

    Seems to me that all that hassle round Drumcree was about the order. How as the picnic?

    Funny never noticed any children walking in the parades dressed as paramilitaries, gloves, balaclavas and AKs

    Never said you did. Fenian blood lyrics I mentioned. You see that much? See many ‘party tunes’? I mentioned those.

    I condemn all murder on both sides, always have, always will – there is [as I pointed out to Fitz] no difference with religion.

    But this is not a thread on the Loyal Orders it is about kids dressed as terrorists who committed murder. Spin it anyway you want but leave the whataboutery out!

    Whataboutery though? I’m responding to your post. I didn’t bring up the order – you did. So what now I’m not allowed to mention the order (which I didn’t bring up) as it’s whataboutery? I see.

    Clearly you think it’s all ok- no wait you’d go further you’d like your kids dressed as RA men.

    I wouldn’t stop them. I’ll certainly tell them with pride about their great, great uncle James who was in the flying columns. They’ll meet their uncles and hear from them about their time inside, (both the IRA and prison). They’ll hear about the missus family (Albert Street) in which there are some very significant people, no longer with us. They’ll hear about their grandfather being shot by the RUC. And if they want to dress up, I’ll let them. If they’d prefer to dress up as Frankenstein or Osama I’ll let them do that too.

  • The Word

    The beauty of children is that they grow up some day and they realise that they were being used to send messages.

    I’m sure they’ll not like that. Sinn Fein have a lot of growing up to do. The centrality of the growing up process is in the accepting that you yourself should see yourself as a child, innocent and free, rather than guilty and imprisoned by the voices of insanity in today’s world.

    You know, I was in a bar shortly after I heard the news about the Greysteele Rising Sun bar murders where seven people died and people were genuinely shocked.

    But as we stood there a man entered the bar with a Nazi uniform on (it was Holloween) and a machine gun, unaware that this disturbing event had taken place. I turned and saw a man from the Greysteele parish standing there and I didn’t like to tell him about the event because there might have been trouble.

    So what can we say about the used and abused children? Someone is going to tell them that they were used one day. And they’re going to come to regret wearing a uniform that trivialises human life and sends out a message that there was something happened that was in some sense funny.

    As at least one man can tell you in Sinn Fein, wakening up the morning after dawning a Nazi uniform in gest can be very embarrassing.

  • Zachariah Tiffins Foot

    I’m not shocked that bears sh*t in the woods. No surprise there it’s just what they do.

    I’m not shocked that Irish Republicans what to revisit their ‘glory’ days and tell the children just how they racked up the bodycount; no doubt in technicolour detail.

    No surprise there it’s just what they do.

    I expect that the good people of South Armagh moved on from slavering over the guns to having the kids make their very own ‘disappeared’ from a toilet roll tube and some sticky-backed plastic and then bury it in the sandbox. Then just before the journey home it’s into the toilet to cover the walls in…

    Irish Republican culture I suspect is an acquired taste but you’ve got to pity the children who have to swallow it.

  • vanhelsing

    Neil,

    Lot’s of things but I don’t have the time.

    It’s disingenuous to suggest that I believe the Loyal Orders are completely ‘clean’ they’re not. Also what they are not is what you describe – lot’s of taig haters and band tunes. You may not like them, people here may not like them but they exercise their democratic right to march. My brother in law is in the Order – he works with Roman Catholics and has friends who are RC – he may disagree with their religion but would never dream of treating them differently as a result of that. The majority are good people. The order certainly did not wage a 30 year murderous war and dispatch people in the most cowardly of ways.

    The whataboutery was based on the fact I was drawing a parallel from previous events in history – you were using it as a ‘whatabout the Orange Order’ – two different things.
    But again this is not a discussion about the order it’s a thread about kids dressing up [with guns] in paramilitary uniform and not really knowing why.

    Yes we have different points of view; who you call ‘heroes’ I call murders. The difference between us is that I condemn all murder – Protestants and Catholics – IRA / UVF unreservedly. But you consider that when a soldier was blown up with a UCBT he would be a ‘legit target’ and you and your comrades would have rejoiced in the local… I find that sad but an inevitable fact of the history we have.

    Regardless kids dressing up as terrorists is wrong – period and I hope that the investigations that follow conclude that.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    “mc pat ‘the bona fides of FAIR and TUV regarding the welfare of children from a republican background are well established.’
    as are SF’s…”

    An authentic whatabout would have been preferable.

  • Cynic2

    Neil

    I am glad you will tell them all those things. The problem is will you also tell them the context and the whole truth?

    What did great great great uncle do in the Flying Columns daddy? Murdered fellow Irish men and fought a civil war for control of the spoils?

    What did our uncles do? Were they the IRA men who shot innocent men at their work? Blew up bus stations and fish shops? Bravely sneaked in and planted bombs at mens homes during the night? Tied an ESN man to a vehicle with a bomb in it and sent him to an army base? Murdered people and secretly buried them? Raped young girls then told them to get over it and not go to the Police? Murdered Republicans who disagreed with them in bar fights or shot them and left them to bleed to death in lifts or beat them to death in barns?

    If they weren’t that kind of IRA Man Daddy, why did they stay in an organisation that did that? And if it was so great why didn’t you join the IRA Daddy is they did? Didn’t you agree with it? Not see it as important enough? Were you scared Daddy?

    But you know I suspect that context will be missed out or glossed over.It will just be Ho ho, what bravery, Daddy. What times they must have had! That all showed the Brits!!

    And I hope that as a result you wont end up spending years traipsing to Meghaberry to visit them in jail because you encouraged them to view murder and killing as romantic ideals to be looked up to

  • Tweedybird

    After scrolling down some of these posts I still can not believe that some people are trying to defend these pics. Please go beyond ‘who did what’ or ‘they did the same’, Try and look at these photos for what they are,wrong, glorifying paramilitaries no-matter what side they belong to, this country will never move on if we don’t think of our children’s future

  • Brian

    These pics are sad but not surprising, unfortunately.

    1. Where do you get such realistic replicas? They cannot be cheap. The guns I played with as a kid were certainly not AK 47 models and the like. (I was more into Cowboys and Indians myself)

    2. What adult lets their kids dress up like this? SOmeone who enjoyed the troubles, I guess

    3. That fact that this happened in S. Armagh makes sense. I’d be more concerned if this was a common thing.

  • lamhdearg

    My children 3 1/5 and 0, will not have guns in their hands, real or otherwise. (when their 16+, well thats up to them).

  • Jimmy Sands

    Personally I’ve always been more disturbed by adults who like to dress up and play soldiers. At least in this case the behaviour is age appropriate.