“We lived in peace for a few years, and then all this is coming back”

A view from the Protestant side of the peace walls… The mystery of exactly what kicked all this off, continues…

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  • It was hard to dispute that Protestant woman on the N’ards rd the other night, saying ‘There is no New N. Ireland’ She’s right. It’s a pretension of BT9 the BBC sixth floor, and UTV newsrooms. This week has provided an opportunity for the old NI to reassert itself. Which it did in spades. Robinson asked on Wednesday with a straight face, ‘If there are grieviances……’ Where’s he been?

  • AntrimObserver

    Right, well I’m still utterly at a loss to find any coherent explanation from this bunch to explain the attempted pogrom on the Short Strand recently.

    At best, I’m picking up a cocktail of anger at the Peace Process (which, puzzlingly, many loyalist paramilitaries in that area benefitted from) coupled with anger at alleged attacks on Protestant pensioner’s homes. No mention, of course, of the regular attacks (i.e since about 1920) on the nationalist properties.

    Interesting, isn’t it, that this all kicked off just as a Catholic republican from Short Strand takes the mayoral position, and a bright and articulate lad at that.

    Throughout the last few days we’ve hear a lot of whinging from this lot that ‘no-one’s representing us’. Well, why didn’t you vote for someone who would? Duh! It’s not rocket science, you numpties.

    Don’t blame everyone else for your political impotence. Get out, do some hard political groundwork – you know, the way the Shinners have been doing for years? And, once in a while, think about who you’re voting for, eh?

    But, above all, don’t take your rage and frustration at your lack of representation out on the men, women and children who are your neighbours. You just look like pathetic, spoiled children – and pretty nasty and vicious ones at that.

    Get organised and perhaps that way you won’t have a proud, articulate and intelligent young republican lad from Short Strand as your Mayor, eh? Ah, but that would require some effort…

  • Mick Fealty


  • AntrimObserver


    Yes, alleged.

    Why, Mick, do you know different?

  • AntrimObserver

    Amazing, Mick, that out of all my comments that’s the one you pick up on.

    Poor, very poor.

    But, even if it is true, doesn’t it say a lot about loyalism that the only way it can respond to vandalism is to launch an all-out, indiscriminate pogrom on people of another religion?

    And doesn’t it say much more about the people of Short Strand – who, for generations, have had to put up with much, much worse – that they don’t engage in this Bosnian-style thuggery? And that they can still produce the likes of Niall O’Donnghaile, a bright, articulate and intelligent representative who doesn’t have to resort to the ‘themmuns is getting everything, so they is’ type of whinging coming from the loyalist community.

  • Mick Fealty

    Very poor indeed. I have no issue with anything else you said, except that the use of the word ‘numpties’ was in very poor taste given you are in part addressing a woman who is clearly in distress.

    I refer you to the first paragraph of Chris’s post last night. And this UTV report from Monday:

  • AntrimObserver

    Er, right, not sure if I’m any clearer here.

    That UTV clip isn’t clear at all. Can’t see what Chris’ comments add to things.

    Also, there were a lot of women in the other UTV report. I don’t know how any of them voted.

    As you are aware, I was referring to the mantra coming from the Newtownards Road that ‘nobody’s representing us’. I made the point that you need to vote for people who will represent you. It’s not difficult.

    If you vote for someone who doesn’t represent you – then don’t vote for them again. Again, it’s not difficult.

    Better still, get organised and nominate someone who will speak for you, eh?

    But that would require (a) hard work and (b) finding someone who can string a sentence together that contains a logical, coherent argument (devoid of ‘themmuns’ for example). On present evidence, that would be difficult!

  • andnowwhat

    I’ve asked loyalist posters to provide evidence of attacks on them on Saturday and Sunday night. So far, all I have received are links to articles about attacks in March and May of this year.

    Furthermore, I think it was Chris who mentioned attacks on nationalist’s houses on Friday night at the start of one of his blogs.

    This is something that has been going on for some years now (as I recall, it escalated during the Drumcree “crisis”) and community leaders have been trying to address the issue. As I have said before but it doesn’t seem to be sinking in with some people, Jim Wilson admitted that SF handed the names of republican rioters to the police.

    We all have theories about what sparked the attack on people’s houses by the UVF on Monday but we certainly know that it was planned and it had sod all to do with either social conditions in the loyalist area (which are very valid and which the should take up with the minister for being awfully nice, Naoimi Long) or a sudden realisation that they have a recreational rioting problem in the area.

    As Antrim passionately stated, they should stop messing about with the idea of political expression and actually organise themselves properly.

    As Chris suggested in the blog that Mick pointed out, the UVF did indeed manipulate them but can they not think for themselves? Are they totally unaware oft he reciprocal rioting and vandalism that people (mostly kids from their own community have been up to?

  • galloglaigh

    I’m still confused. The PUP have given us all a reason why the Short Strand was attacked: It’s because the political representatives have ignored them.

    I agree 100% with everything the AntrimObserver says. Let me throw a spanner in the works of the loyalist argument:

    Given that attacks occur daily, from BOTH SIDES, and given the fact that the UVF and their apologists have said the pogrom was in retaliation for Catholic attacks on Protestant homes. Would I be right in saying, that those Catholic residents who had nothing to do with any attack on anyone, have a right now to call in the RIRA to the Short Strand, and launch a sectarian pogrom on the nearest Protestant homes in retaliation for the attack on their homes?

    Given the argument of retaliation, and the excuses pedalled by loyalism/unionism, would it be fair to suggest that this is fair game?

    I’m not calling for any violent acts from the RIRA; I think their actions are as counter productive as loyalist actions, I’m playing Devil’s advocate.

  • Mike the First


    “a Catholic republican from Short Strand takes the mayoral position, and a bright and articulate lad”

    “a bright, articulate and intelligent representative”

    “a proud, articulate and intelligent young republican lad from Short Strand”

    Repeating this sort of sycophantic guff ad nauseum don’t actually make it a reality.

  • Mick Fealty


    My view is stated at the top of the thread. What kicked this off remains a mystery.

    One of the few things we can say with some certainty is that the UVF are imploding politically, and are extremely dangerous, not just to the people of the Short Strand but to the communities in which they operate.

    There is not much in the public domain that can gainsay that. And Moochin has been documenting some of the outcropping of that here on Slugger over the last few months.

    But it does not explain the impulse to what you call a ‘pogrom’ (or outbreak of ‘spontaneous hatred’). ‘Alleged’ implies you think nothing happened that led to these events, or cooked up tensions on both sides. That the proverbial ‘first stone’ was thrown into the Strand.

    Something you may genuinely believe, but which you have precisely zero evidence to support.


    See our glossary entry on Fair Game

  • Claun Place in particular has had some sort of attack NIGHTLY for years!!! AT least one missle a night and many many more most nights!! It is documented if you look hard enough, but the media doesnt like it.

    Everynow and then it makes the news. But the truth is after its reported once it doesnt get mentioned again. Despite the efforts of locals to get into the media, it simply isnt news to continually report the same thing (a simile here with the Memorial Hall in Londonderry which is attacked nightly- and acknowledged as being by Republicans).

    The Volunteer movement and broader community elements HAS curtailed and stopped attacks for years! They have held people back. During this time they engaged across the divide as well. They have been involved politically, and many many murals and other elements of symbolism were removed. Their reward has been that they havent even been allowed to maintain a status quo in terms of the most visible expression of Loyalist culture in the area namely its processions and commemerations! And this is of course on top of the fact that attacks have continued uninterrupted! (and there is no doubt they are orchestrated. It is a deliberate low scale intimidation tactic employed elsewhere designed to increase terrortory for a SHort Strand thats expaning but has no-where to go).

    In addition the plight of Cluan Place and its sister streets doesnt fit with the current Northern Ireland media narritive hence gets pushed aside.

    There is No similie in Short Strand. There is NO interface/ wall of the SHort Strand enclave that has experienced the consistency and vitriol of attacks on Cluan Place over the last 15 years. None.

    THis wasnt some random sectarian attack. It was a reaction. A threshold was reached that simply couldnt be held back anymore- it was too strong.

    The blame for this violence lies as much with those who have allowed Ardoyne Rioting, Rasharkin attack/ intimidation, etc to defacto win via Parade Commission decisions.

    Under any terms or analysis, the rioting in Ardoyne last year achived a positive outcome for the rioters. They won.16 year olds dont see the subtlety of politics in the background, but they do see the black and white process of riots delivering results for the rioters.

    The narritive the media and N.NI.O (New Northern Ireland Order) want to propogate is one that we are getting closer, and that the problems that largely remain are a few big bad prods who wont accept that they have to lie down and shut up.

    The narritive that Loyalism sees however is that violence pays.

    And you know what- it does. Course it does. Any even elementary history student can illustrate that. Always has. Always will.

    Marginalising and demonising people involved (on both sides, but in this instance mostly the ‘big bad prods’) wont help stop this. Your just telling them very very plainly that they dont count, arent important and they should disappear…

    Not gonna happen…..

    No doubt ill be cast aside as being a bigot/ sectarian/ throw back/ etc and all of the above is lies. Well the truth is that the above is a true reflection of feeling/ belief. Cast it aside and deny if you widh- that wont make it go away.

    note: Incidently, talk of power struggles etc in the East are pure nonsense. Deliberate misinformation to shift contextual position

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The problem is of course is that there has been no coherent response from loyalism as to why this happened.

    Jim Wilson gave a series of convoluted interviews on Tuesday that only added to the confusion and then we had various ‘security correspondents’ quoting ‘loyalist sources’ and this added to the chaos. Everything from being provoked to the HET and the case of the confiscated bar has been trotted out. Throw in the fact that hardly anyone votes for the PUP and you are approaching something near a full house.

    What has not been properly addressed is the very simple fact that the UVF has signed up the the Belfast Conflict Resolution Consortium. This was set up in 2007 to formally address interface violence. Structures are in place in East Belfast as well as right across the town in order to try and prevent the sort of scenes that started with the UVF attack on Monday.
    As far as I am aware the UVF did not use these structures to indicate that there was a chronic upsurge in attacks in East Belfast.

  • galloglaigh

    Thanks for that definition Mick. I would argue that I am indeed playing the ball, perhaps throwing it over the fence, just to see who will go and retrieve it. Basically what I’m asking for, is a justification for retaliation. That seems to be the crux of the argument from loyalism; if it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander. Surely that makes sense?

  • andnowwhat

    Surely “alleged” means it is unsubstantiated?

    I don’t think anyone here is denying or supporting the attacks by twats on Cluan Place etc. but does that in anyway validate a group of masked UVF men (estimated between 60-100) attacking uninvolvded members of the Short Strand community from at least 2 directions?

    Pretty much everyone on here has condemned the use of firearms on Monday night no matter about the self defence argument. Why were those loyalists not condemning the attack by the UVF?

    The distraction tactics by loyalists have failed to take traction, most notably by the national media, thankfully.

  • Pat Mc Larnon


    your analysis falls at the first. During the very serious interface violence surrounding Cluan/Clandeboye in 2002 unionists, including the unbiquitous Michael Copeland, talked of ethnic cleansing etc etc.
    Unfortunately for them the then Asst Chief Constable of the RUC Alan Mc Quillan told the policing board that the overwhelming majority of violence in that area was initiated by the UVF.
    These are the same people put in the frame for being behind the violence on Monday and Tuesday. I believe it is a bit too early to start that sort of

  • Mick Fealty

    RUC Pat? Have you gone Disser? Or did you not get the memo? 😉

  • andnowwhat

    @Pat Mc Larnon

    Did the UVF not issue a statement a couple of weeks ago calling for an end to all cross community activity?

  • perseus

    “note: Incidently, talk of power struggles etc in the East are pure nonsense.
    Deliberate misinformation to shift contextual position”

    Ah I see, so this “Beast from the East” ..
    well documented, sinister murals, and so on ,
    nom de plume known to the BelTel is what exactly?
    Is it a wildebeest perhaps escaped from a zoo in bangor?

    more importantly: Are you accusing the BelTel
    of being part of the campaign of disinformation.?

  • Pat Mc Larnon


    he was always unreconstructed RUC..

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘Did the UVF not issue a statement a couple of weeks ago calling for an end to all cross community activity?’

    I don’t believe so.

  • Toastedpuffin

    It’s interesting that Republicans are now using the same language to dismiss working class unionist greivances that unionist politicians once used to dismiss working class nationalists.

  • Pat i dont take what the RUC/ PSNI said/ say as gospel. Never did and never will. Its agenda driven and even when filled with integrity/ sincerity is prone to misinformation and external influence. And sometimes it can simply be mistaken!

    But i look forward now to you standing over everything the RUC has ever said and what the PSNI now say as being the unchallengable, undisputable truth….

  • perseus:

    “Ah I see, so this “Beast from the East” ..
    well documented, sinister murals, and so on ,
    nom de plume known to the BelTel is what exactly?
    Is it a wildebeest perhaps escaped from a zoo in bangor?
    more importantly: Are you accusing the BelTel
    of being part of the campaign of disinformation.?”

    Its simply the same as any good news story. It has an element of truth manipulated/ twisted beyond recognition with a fair smattering of ambiguity, to feed the specific needs of the outlet audience. The Bel Tel has increasingly become a tabloid of the worst variety.

    And the Telegraph has an agenda just like we all do, so yes in a way it could be said they are contributing to dessimenating disinformation.

    Bar the arrival of some new murals (and incidently the West of the City has seen dozens of paramilitary murals in the last 6 months with almost ZERO comment), the rest of the story has NO evidence to back it up whatsoever!

  • carnmoney.guy

    Cant wait to see the bumper edition of the Bel Tel tonight, full of the photos of the wanted rioters?

  • JR

    There are none so blind as those who do not wish to see.

  • andnowwhat


    I don’t think it’s ever been easier to politically organise than in the 21st century thanks to modern communications etc.

    A sad truth is that negative elements in society are fantastic at it but there’s no reason why positive elements cannot do the same.

    Here’s a well known example, mothers.net. Look at the hype and real political capital they can engender. Then there’s that group in GB who had the ConDem’s policy on forests suspended and locally, we have the fledgling PBP.

    As AntrimObserver said, its hard work. Not as hard work a the civil rights movement was in the 60’s.

  • Sick of Biggots

    What I took out of that clip was a community that had been abandoned by their political representatives and the vacuum that created has been filled by people with a much more ugly outlook. The Unionist parties need to take a long hard look at how the Sin Fein grass roots machine operates. As long as these people feel they are on their own, there will always be someone like “The Beast from the East” trying to drag us back to the 1970s.

  • perseus

    quincey, I hear you.
    However when reports of this persom “beast form the East”
    ae being backed up bycredible sources :
    the Police, intelligence services, security correspondants, even the UDA themselves,
    it does seem ill-advised to brush aside the facts so easily
    Better to stick to the beaten track, closely examine
    rather than swerve into a dirt road,
    where brambles and ditches make traversing and progress exhausting,
    never mind all the cuts and brusies ..

  • keano10

    For anyone who is remotely interested there is perhaps a much more significant and emerging story in relation to the events of this week.

    It concerns what is perhaps the first vocalised and public stand made by an entire Nationalist Community against dissident Republicans.

    Police have made it clear now that the shots fired from The Short Strand side were fired by dissident elements who had come into the area hoping to exploit the tensions that erupted on Monday night.

    What subsequently has happened is even more significant. On Wednesday Evening, a pre-agreed leaflet was distributed to all households within the Short Starnd Area signed by all of the existing political parties and community groups that exist within Short Strand. (including both Sinn Fein and The Workers Party). In basic terms, the leaflet commended all residents for the unified and measured way in which they had responded to a pre-planned major attack on Short Strand. Whlist it welcomed the messages of support which had been received from outside the area, the leaflet severly and roundly condemned the actions of dissident groups who (particularly) on Tuesday evening had attempted to flood the area intent on causing trouble.

    It further stated that any future attacks would be handled solely and entirely within the area by the residents standing together, regardless of any party and idealogical differences which they may have. (Anyone who is remotely aware of the previous history of animosity between SF and The Workers Party might realise just how significant this statement is).

    On Tuesday evening there were several instances where local Short Strand residents actually confronted dissident elements on Mountpottinger Road telling them to leave the area. There are further reports of dissidents actually falling out themselves and confronting each other before they finally got the message and decided to vacate the area.

    The symbolism of this may be much more significant than one might realise. Although there has been condemnation of dissidents in the past by Political Parties within Nationalism, this is perhaps the first time that mainstream Natonalists/Republicans have actually physically confronted dissidents on the streets of The North.

    Amid the mayhem of Ballymacarret on Monday and Tuesday evening, a positive and significant corner may finally have been turned…

  • between the bridges

    andwn..I’ve asked loyalist posters to provide evidence of attacks on them on Saturday and Sunday night. So far, all I have received are links to articles about attacks in March and May of this year.


  • JR

    What I see is a community more than happy to adopt the narrative of the UVF. The woman at 2.22 in the clip who described the actions of the UVF men who attacked the short strand on Monday night as “human shields and objected to them being called thugs” got enthusiastic applause from everyone in the room.

    I understand that many of the people in that room have experienced random sectarian attacks from the short strand but the fact that they don’t seem to recognize that Monday nights attack was a blatant sectarian attack on their neighbors orchestrated by a criminal gang the UVF is worrying. It is clear to me from that applause that the attack had the support of everyone in that room.

    My opinion is that there is a very deep rooted problem of sectarianism within the unionist community in East Belfast. The evidence is clear as day in the clip but also here on slugger. Many posters on slugger defend the UVF murals in East Belfast and defend the UVF attack on the short strand either by diversion, denial or just straight out defence.

  • andnowwhat

    @Between the bridges

    Thanks for that. I see it was in yesterday’s paper.

    Anyone know how the wee girl is now?

  • Trapattoni

    Mike the First


    “a Catholic republican from Short Strand takes the mayoral position, and a bright and articulate lad”

    “a bright, articulate and intelligent representative”

    “a proud, articulate and intelligent young republican lad from Short Strand”

    Repeating this sort of sycophantic guff ad nauseum don’t actually make it a reality.

    Which part would you say isn’t a reality?

  • “What kicked this off remains a mystery.”

    History won’t provide an answer to particular incidents, Mick, but it does suggest that there is often a long slow build up before the pressure cooker explodes.

    The allocation of housing has presented many problems in the past as our struggles have sometimes been contested street-by-street, even house-by-house. Have there been any housing changes or problems in the area in, say, the past two years?

    I was looking at the stewards’ tabards. Did the wearers as well as the tabards come from North and West Belfast? Where does the Belfast Conflict Resolution Consortium fit in this communal jig-saw?

  • Mickles

    Parents on Unionist side – stop letting your kids out at night.

    Parents on Nationalist side – stop letting your kids out at night.


  • Pat Mc Larnon


    what we are seeing is a virtual re-run of what happened in 2001/2002 with many of the same characters still involved.

    The fact of the matter is that there are existing structures in that area to deal with problems along the interface. As far as I am aware no one from the loyalist side gave any indication of their being substantial attacks on homes in Cluan place or elsewhere.

  • Toastedpuffin

    @andnowehat I suppose what I was trying to say was

    “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which”

  • Little James

    Just had a quick look at the webiste of Belfast Conflict Resolution Consortium, good to see Sean “Spike” Murray getting on in the world.

  • JR:- ditto on the ‘none as blind’

    To reiterate,im merely articulating thoughts/ feelings/ opinions on the ground.

    This isnt a sectarian issue. Its simply an issue of two ‘sides’ that happen to have specific quasi religious baggage. Its not at the forefront, merely a background and not fundamental context.

    Can i qualify that by saying that when young East Belfast men witness attacks coming from the grounds of the Chapel without church intervention, that will bring obvious types of thinking. This week incidently is the anniversary of the shooting of 2 Protestants from the Chapel grounds.

    Pat:- ‘as far as you are aware’ is the key term. As ive said, the media isnt interested. And tbh i can see in a practical sense why. It ISNT good news practise to repeat the same thing every day. It ceases to be come news. That however doesnt make the factual reality go away.

    On a side point. Can anyone provide addition information on the hand to hand fighting witnessed between factions on the Short Strand sides during the recent skirmishes?

  • andnowwhat


    Fair enough.

  • Mick Fealty


    “Beast from the East” is a loyalist insider term: ie, a nickname by one paramilitary for another. I am not sure what provenance we ought to accord it because it was reported by a quality paper.

  • There is little mystery about what lay behind these events, to put it bluntly these people have had enough, they have seen few real improvements in their lives since the peace process was proclaimed as the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    Yes some organizations will opportunistically attempt to manipulate events to their advantage, but that alone is not the source of this discontent. When folks have had enough they strike out and who better to feed their anger than those across the way.

    It has happened in nationalist working class communities where the police took the stick, rightly so some might think; and now it has happened on the East Belfast interface.

    Many loyalist paramilitaries have indeed benefitted from the peace process, as have their republican opposite numbers, and if you scratch the surface this too is a source of discontent. Some have done well out of the Peace Process, others much less so.

    It is not rockets science to work out why those communities who have gained less from the peace process, yet suffered most in the long war; are amongst the most angry and disillusioned.

    The six counties is governed by a sectarian stitch up, if you put shit in one end, shit inevitable comes out the other.

    Those shovelling the shit in, wear ties and smart suits, those who have it poured over them as it comes out, end up wearing balaclavas in the hope it will not leave a lasting stain

  • Sorry, i see keano10’s comments on the inter short-strand fighting. More clarification would be welcome however. Seemed very serious at one point.

    Pat:- “The fact of the matter is that there are existing structures in that area to deal with problems along the interface.”

    The nub. SInce 2002 community rep’s and groups HAVE been making representations and doing cross community work. Many murals were removed. Angry youths and men were held back. The result has been zero reduction of attacks and ever increasing restriction on the areas tradition of band and Loyal Order processions- with the recent addition of a new ‘only play one particular hymn’ addition. Combine with a very serious assault at the weekend and a particularly intensive barrage on homes of pensioners and young families from the Short Strand. The tide rose and couldnt be held back.THATS the cause.

  • Pat Mc Larnon


    ‘as far as I an aware’ refers not to anything that appeared in the media but what happened at meetings designed to ensure these incidents did not occur. No loyalist representatives gave any indications of what is now fast becoming the agreed unionist script.

    As I have already stated this was tried in 2001/2002 and the UVF were left holding the baby. Playing catch up at this stage is unlikely to lead to any change in that outcome.

  • Mrs jones

    Keano10-It further stated that any future attacks would be handled solely and entirely within the area by the residents standing together, regardless of any party and idealogical differences which they may have. (Anyone who is remotely aware of the previous history of animosity between SF and The Workers Party might realise just how significant this statement is).

    The SF ‘peace commission’ report in 1995 actually has recommendations from senior members of the WP.Nothing new or remotely significant about it.The leadership ruling by fooling.

  • keano10

    Mrs Jones,

    Apart from failing to address the main point of what I said, you’re knowledge of the history of antipathy between SF and WP in Shory Strand sadly demeans whatever point you arw trying to make. The most serious occurrence was in the early 90’s when there was a major clash at an internment night bonfire in Short Strand between Official IRA/ Workers Party members and Sinn Fein supporters. In the days that followed a number of people were shot in related ‘punishment’ attacks by either side.

    In any case, my point still stands- an entire community has physically stood up to and isolated dissident republican outsiders whi wanted to use this conflict to create mayhem. I think Short Strand should be commended for this courageous stand..,

  • Mrs jones

    I’m well aware of the politics of sf/wp.I’m not trying to ‘score’ points for any ‘party’ or organization.

    ‘For anyone who is remotely interested there is perhaps a much more significant and emerging story in relation to the events of this week.It concerns what is perhaps the first vocalised and public stand made by an entire Nationalist Community against dissident Republicans.’

    I’m just an ordinary decent citizen.

  • keano10

    I never actually implied that you were trying to score points for either…

    And i’m at a loss regarding your final comment which does’nt seem to relate to the comment quoted.

  • slappymcgroundout

    “History won’t provide an answer to particular incidents, Mick, but it does suggest that there is often a long slow build up before the pressure cooker explodes.”

    (1) Were you citing the late Mr. Stewart for this proposition:

    “The problem of violence in Irish history has not yet received the study it deserves. Most historians have been content to assume that it is generated by the deplorable circumstances of Irish history, and in particular by ‘bad colonial government’, the oppression of the Irish people by the English. Yet this is a very sweeping assumption, and the evidence to support it is a good deal thinner than is generally imagined. And it could just as well be argued that Irish history and Anglo-Irish relations have been tragic because the Irish are a violent and intemperate people.

    Violence would appear to be endemic in Irish society, and this has been so as far back as history is recorded. There can hardly be a square inch of earth anywhere in Ireland that has not been at some time stained with blood.

    What has always been noted about the Irish is their capacity for very reckless violence, allied to a distorted moral sense which magnifies small sins and yet regards murder as trivial.”

    (2) This was hardly earth shattering:

    “It seems hardly to occur to most observers that half the insecurity of the majority position stems from the basic anxieties which haunt a potential minority.”

    As I’ve said, the English created the same problem with the roles reversed in a smaller land area, which left the artificial majority in position of having to fear that it would not last. Keeping the artificial minority under their thumb was the forseeable result. That is partition. And hasn’t it been a blast.

    (3) his subsequent claim re why civil rights demonstrations lead to war is simply pathetic. Might have helped if he had mentioned gerrymander of voting districts, discrimination in housing and employment, etc. I would not call those “minor injustices”. And he could have followed those matters with the Burntollet that he left out. He might also have added that the Catholic mental state prior was one of defeat, except that in the 60s, as he alludes to, others across the globe were attempting to achieve their equal right, some in struggles of national liberation with the thinking that it would be national liberation that would gain the equality (all of Europe’s remaining colonies, more or less) and others in internal struggles wherein a change of nationality was not contemplated (southern US). The risings of the others gave the defeated in spirit a new hope and so they went on the march for their equality of right.

    (4) you might want to make this part your meme, since this is the one point that he actually got 100% correct:

    “Few states committed the imprudenc[e] of continuing to celebrate a victory in a civil war: in ancient times both the Greeks and Romans had been careful never to tolerate it.”

    Indeed. And we here in America don’t celebrate the Union’s victory over the Confederacy either. You all do the celebrating every summer. No surprise the result. What’s your word? Eejits? So rather than claiming it is “your culture and tradition” you might want to scrap the thing. Everyone everywhere else with any sense has either done so or had the even better sense not to have the thing in the first instance.

  • Yes it is true the problem of violence in English history has not yet received the study it deserves, especially in the UK, but then I doubt few here will even wonder why the English seem so keen on bloodshed and abuse, much easier to look at the violence of the oppressed than question that.

    If we are not murdering people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, we are teaching our children to admire such crimes in a historical context. Is it any wonder our young men like nothing better than to go into town on a Saturday night and beat the shit out of each other.

  • keano10


    I will try and elaborate a little bit as you have requested.

    On Tuesday night (the second night of serious disorder), Short Strand saw an influx of between 80-150 people from outside of the area. It was clear from the outset that these were supporters of dissident organisations.

    Sinn Fein had earlier blocked access to the grounds of St Matthews Chapel at Seaforde Street in an attempt to stop Nationalist youths becoming involved in direct confrontation with loyalists on Newtownards Road (as had happened on the Monday Night). This is why virtually all of the trouble on Tuesday night consisted of a direct battle between Loyalists and The PSNI on Newtownards Road. For the most part, Nationalists were kept well back by Republican stewards and community workers.

    At one point, dissident outsiders tried to break through the corden at St Matthews Chapel entrance on Seaforde Street and were told by local residents in no uncertain terms where they could get off, so to speak…

    Throughout the evening there were several direct confrontations between local residents who were trying to hold the peace and dissident youths. In one bizarre incident a large group of these outside dissident elements actually fell out with each other and a melee ensued.

    Eventually as the night wore on, the message finally got across and the dissidents finally left the area in a variety of cars and some on foot across the Albert Bridge towards the City Centre.

  • Why do the great and the good look for all sorts of excuses for the violence, the Short Strand has been attacked by sectarian bigots since its inception. The reason for the attacks is simple, its pure unadulterated bigotry nothing else ! This bollox about attacks from the Short Strand area on Loyalists is a lie perpetrated to justify what has happened for century’s. Call it as it is and stop pussy footing around it !

  • Oh by the way, my monthly cheque from the peace dividend came this morning, Peter and Marty both rang to make sure I received it and to see if there is anything else I’d like and all because I live in the Strand eh !

  • Ah, we’re really getting through the usual phases (and phrases) at a rate of knots!

    There is, of course, the simple official explanation:

    The PSNI blamed much of the trouble on a resurgent UVF in east Belfast now understood to be under the control of a new and renegade local commander. Hundreds of marshalled men have attacked homes and police in and around the nationalist enclave of Short Strand.
    Loyalist sources said that the trouble was mainly motivated by the UVF leader in east Belfast who is known by the nickname the “Beast from the East”. The sources said he had resisted attempts by other UVF leaders to curb his powers…

    PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alistair Finlay again blamed most of the trouble on the UVF. “Whether they have lost the influence to stop it, I don’t know,” he said. “But there certainly seems to be nothing to suggest that our position has changed, that the bulk of this violence is coming from the loyalist community and the UVF in east Belfast does have a role to play in that.”

    Note, Mick Fealty @ 1:25 pm, a different “quality” paper.

    Self-evidently, that’s not good enough. It’s an “official” version, and the PSNI are a poisoned source. [irony alert!] So we insert the weaselling “allegedly” at will [thank you, AntrimObserver @ 10:13 am].

    So, it’s got to be suspect number 2, the loose cannon: “dissident elements who had come into the area” [keano @12:23 pm] or “a new and renegade local commander” [that Irish Times report]. “Events, dear boy, events” (provided it’s said in the proper tone) gets everyone off the hook: why am I thinking of Albert and the Lion:

    The manager wanted no trouble,
    He took out his purse right away,
    Saying ‘How much to settle the matter?’
    And Pa said “What do you usually pay?’…

    The Magistrate gave his opinion
    no one was really to blame
    And he hoped the Ramsbottoms
    Would add further sons to their name.

    At that Mother got proper blazing,
    ‘And thank you, sir, kindly,’ said she.
    ‘What waste all our lives raising children
    To feed ruddy Lions? Not bloody likely!’ said she.

    That quickly segues into the line Anne Dawson is peddling for the Spectator [via the Slugger side-bar]:

    It’s easy to dismiss the riots as sectarian violence — but that’s just a get-out clause for those who don’t want to make the effort to deal with what’s really going on in these dislocated and fractured communities. These are areas of high social and economic deprivation, inter-generational unemployment. Places where young people have no prospects, no hope. Paramilitaries are filling the vacuum that is left and intra-community feuding is rife.

    Yep, here comes the Gee, Officer Krupke defence [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pq28qCklEHc]. Take out your purses! Community centres and swimming-pools for all!

    The one “explanation” that’s not ever, anywhere accepted — perish the thought! — is the natural badness one. It couldn’t possibly be we have become so attuned to resident evil and mayhem, we cannot give them up? —

    Blood and destruction shall be so in use
    And dreadful objects so familiar
    That mothers shall but smile when they behold
    Their infants quarter’d with the hands of war;
    All pity choked with custom of fell deeds… [Julius Caesar III.ii.]

    However, slappymcgroundout @ 2:32 pm gives it a historical, and (to me) rather convincing run-out.

  • between the bridges

    slappymac. “Few states committed the imprudenc[e] of continuing to celebrate a victory in a civil war: in ancient times both the Greeks and Romans had been careful never to tolerate it.”
    Indeed. And we here in America don’t celebrate the Union’s victory over the Confederacy either. You all do the celebrating every summer. No surprise the result. What’s your word? Eejits?”

    What’s that you celebrate on the 4th July? Winning a civil war? Native Americans and colonists on both sides? And let’s not forget the Alamo! As a proportion of the population, the active participation of Hispanic native and immigrant residents in the struggle for independence of Texas from Spain and Mexico was equal to or greater in specific battles than that of resident immigrants from the United States of the North. http://www.celebratetexas.org/index.html

  • Brian

    Can someone help me out…

    Why are people attacking home and property in the first place?

    What is the point of all of this?

    Just some craic for the teenagers?

  • Easy one Brian pure naked Sectarianism by the UVF .

  • Joe Bloggs

    Easy one Brian pure naked sectarianism from the Short Strand.

  • Joe didn’t the PSNI point the finger directly at the UVF ? Don’t you accept their findings ?

  • Assistant Chief Constable Alistair Finlay today confirmed that the UVF had started the violence.

    “The UVF in East Belfast started this – there was no sense of anyone trying to finish that,” he said. “Their hands are upon this, whether by direction, by omission or commission.”

    As I stated Brian this is an easy one to solve !

  • Joe Bloggs

    Brian asked why homes were being attacked ‘in the first place’.

    It’s obvious to anyone who has been watching the news this week that Monday night was a result of previous (ie first) attacks from the Short Strand on protestant homes.

    As a Short Strand resident perhaps you can explain why your young people feel the need to attack the homes of protestant pensioners in Duke St, Susan St and Pitt Park?

  • I could answer you if it was true, but as it’s not I’m at a loss.

  • Brian

    Actually, I don’t care which side did it..I mean i more general terms.

    When one group vandalizes or attacks home and property of the other in a close urban setting like this what do they get out of it? A thrill? A sense of pride? respect among the other hoodlums running about? A release from boredom?

    There is nothing financial to be gained…

  • wild turkey

    Malcolm @3:42

    as ever sir, very astute and literary. a brief bright lighthouse flash round a circumference of darkness

    i’ve no comment on the current on the current situation as i have been re-reading some H L Mencken. Malcolm, may i humbly refer you to the mans brief essay on the “Anglo-Saxon” (american appalachian variety). sez it all really

  • Brian, there is financial gain, and the East Belfast UVF have obviously got their reward, keep watching for the West Belfast/North Belfast brigades finding a small nationalist community to get stuck into so they too can get a share of the 1st ministers pot of peace gold.

  • wild turkey @ 9;20 pm:

    Thank you,sir, for that kind steer.

    As one who never missed a classic “Letter from America”, I fully appreciate that guidance.

    Also as an Anglo-Irish-Dane (with good reasons to have it in for the Saxons) allow me to extract:

    What are the characters that I discern most clearly in the so-called Anglo-Saxon type of man? I may answer at once that two stick out above all others. One is his curious and apparently incurable incompetence — his congenital inability to do any difficult thing easily and well, whether it be isolating a bacillus or writing a sonata. The other is his astounding susceptibility to fears and alarms — in short, his hereditary cowardice….

    Ummm … yes, indeed. Fits nicely (proper sense) into this exchange.

  • slappy, the rights campaign was a smokescreen initiated by those in the early 60s who wanted to sweep away the conservative administrations in Belfast and Dublin.

    You can go back to earlier rioting:

    “The Belfast riots of 1857, 1864 and 1886, and the Londonderry riots of 1869 and 1883, were the subject of commissions of inquiry… the formula for tinkering with the police was tried after each successive outbreak, and always without the slightest effect. The Irish Constabulary, the Royal Irish Constabulary and the Royal Ulster Constabulary were each in turn criticized for allowing riots to develop, and failing to contain them when they did develop. If they were unarmed, it was recommended that they should be armed; if they used their arms, it was recommended that they be disarmed.” .. A T Q Stewart

  • slappymcgroundout

    “What’s that you celebrate on the 4th July? Winning a civil war? Native Americans and colonists on both sides? And let’s not forget the Alamo! As a proportion of the population, the active participation of Hispanic native and immigrant residents in the struggle for independence of Texas from Spain and Mexico was equal to or greater in specific battles than that of resident immigrants from the United States of the North. http://www.celebratetexas.org/index.html

    The 4th of July? There aren’t any “loyalists” here. The descendants of those who were at the time are now as American in mind, body and spirit as rebellious to all things monarch is me.

    Next, the Alamo. The other side probably joins the march seeing as how the Alamo was a defeat for those commemorating the Alamo. Re Texas independence, well, a far cry from your circumstance. And for the irony that you probably have never appreciated, the Orange that you celebrate isn’t local, it is the Orange worn by the Netherlands at the World Cup. King William of the House of Orange:


    Lastly, yours is a bank holiday. Not so in England, Scotland or Wales. And not even Her Majesty the Queen takes to her highway to celebrate her predecessor’s victory over themmuns…

  • slappymcgroundout

    “slappy, the rights campaign was a smokescreen initiated by those in the early 60s who wanted to sweep away the conservative administrations in Belfast and Dublin.”

    From the relevant Cameron Report:

    127. It will be convenient to deal first with the part which the sense of resentment and grievances unredressed played in the causation of these outbreaks. In order to assess this, it is necessary to consider whether and to what extent that sense was artificially engendered or stimulated, and also the degree to which it appears to have a substantial basis. The weight and extent of the evidence which was presented to us concerned with social and economic grievance or abuses of political power was such that we are compelled to conclude that they had substantial foundation in fact and were in a very real sense an immediate and operative cause of the demonstrations and consequent disorders after 5th October 1968. For this reason we took careful note of this very large body of evidence coming as it did from many individuals and organisations, and in a number of cases supported by statistics and documents themselves factual and not open to challenge on the score of their accuracy. At the same time we have to emphasise that it was not within our power or remit to conduct a detailed enquiry or form concluded judgments into or upon individual claims of discrimination or abuse of power by prevalent majorities in certain local authorities, and we seek to pass no judgment on the many specific and individual cases which were brought under our notice. These in so far as they relate to matters of genuine grievance would appear to fall appropriately within the jurisdiction of the proposed machinery for dealing with grievances against local authorities. We should record however that in the evidence presented to us from many responsible individuals and bodies, predominantly Protestant and non-Nationalist in purpose or outlook, there was a frank recognition that this widespread sense of grievance among Catholic people in Northern Ireland was justified in fact and called urgently for remedy.
    134. The basic complaint in these areas is that the present electoral arrangements are weighted against non-Unionists. In the table on page 57 we show that the complaint is abundantly justified. In each of the areas with Unionist majorities on their council the majority was far greater than the adult population balance would justify. In Londonderry County Borough, Armagh Urban District, Omagh Urban District and County Fermanagh a Catholic majority in the population was converted into a large Unionist majority on the Councils. In the two Dungannon councils a very small Protestant majority held two-thirds or over of the seats on the councils. The most glaring case was Londonderry County Borough, where sixty per cent of the adult population was Catholic but where sixty per cent of the seats on the Corporation were held by Unionists. These results were achieved by the use, for example, of ward areas in which Unionist representatives were returned by small majorities, whereas non-Unionist representatives were returned by very large majorities. In Londonderry County Borough there was the following extraordinary situation in 1967:

    North Ward:
    Catholic Voters – 2,530
    Other Voters – 3,946
    Seats – 8 Unionists

    Waterside Ward:
    Catholic Voters – 1,852
    Protestant Voters – 3,697
    Seats – 4 Unionists

    South Ward:
    Catholic Voters – 10,047
    Other Voters – 1,138
    Seats – 8 Non-Unionists

    Catholic Voters – 14,429
    Other Voters – 8,871
    Seats – 20 [12 Unionist, 8 Non-Unionist]

    135. The Commission asked several Unionist public representatives from the areas concerned to explain these electoral imbalances. They did not contest the general basis of the figures, but argued that the original arrangement of ward boundaries and local government had been based on rateable values as well as population, that population changes had upset arrangements which were originally fair, and that it was quite a frequent democratic situation (e.g., in United Kingdom national politics) for a small majority – or even a minority – to be translated by the electoral system into a large majority.

    136. These arguments however ignore the realities of the local situation in Northern Ireland. It is obvious that local politics in these areas have always turned on questions of sectarian control and influence. There has never been anything resembling electoral swings from Conservative to Labour and back again. This is an important consideration. The electoral arrangement of wards tends inevitably to sterotype political representation without prospect of a change in the balance of political power by the ‘swing of the pendulum’. The initial choice of ward areas effectively decided the permanent result of council elections. We note too that there have been times when other electoral systems and boundaries permitted non-Unionist majorities in Omagh Urban District, Armagh Urban District and Londonderry County Borough. Accordingly it is our view that the arguments used to justify the existing arrangements when they were introduced, mainly rationalised a determination to achieve and maintain Unionist electoral control. The Government’s dissolution of Londonderry Corporation, and its replacement by a nominated Commission, was thus the most tangible victory of the initial Civil Rights campaign.
    138. We are satisfied that all these Unionist controlled councils have used and use their power to make appointments in a way which benefited Protestants. In the figures available for October 1968 only thirty per cent of Londonderry Corporations administrative, clerical and technical employees were Catholics. Out of the ten best-paid posts only one was held by a Catholic. In Dungannon Urban District none of the Council’s administrative, clerical and technical employees was a Catholic. In County Fermanagh no senior council posts (and relatively few others) were held by Catholics: this was rationalised by reference to ‘proven loyalty’ as a necessary test for local authority appointments. In that County, among about seventy-five drivers of school buses, at most seven were Catholics. This would appear to be a very clear case of sectarian and political discrimination. Armagh Urban District employed very few Catholics in its salaried posts, but did not appear to discriminate at lower levels. Omagh Urban District showed no clearcut pattern of discrimination, though we have seen what would appear to be undoubted evidence of employment discrimination by Tyrone County Council.

    Lastly, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. The “radical overthrow” theory was bandied about here by the same lot who preached “Segregation Now, Segregation Forever!”. Most of us saw right through that and most see right through the late Mr. Stewart. So did the Cameron Report:

    146. This catalogue of grievance deserves, in our judgment, to be seriously regarded in any analysis of the immediate causes of the disturbances. We disagree profoundly, having heard much evidence, with the view which professes to see agitation for civil rights as a mere pretext for other and more subversive activities.

    Truly lastly, the humans you mean are those People’s Democracy folk. That would be Slugger’s hero Eamonn McCann. Why he’s Slugger’s hero simply escapes my comprehension. So we may be on common ground in his regard.

  • Reader

    slappymcgroundout: The 4th of July? There aren’t any “loyalists” here. The descendants of those who were at the time are now as American in mind, body and spirit as rebellious to all things monarch is me.
    Actually, the descendants are mostly Canadian, aren’t they?

  • april showers


    Yeah and thanks for that (not)

  • Dissident Unionist

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udsg6OvKM-g&feature=player_embedded < Un-reported footage of Republican attacks on Loyalist homes….

  • between the bridges

    Slappymac…orange is in holland gee never knew that!

    The 4th of July? There aren’t any “loyalists” here’.
    The loyal orange order of America may disagree with that view pick a state…

    ‘Lastly, yours is a bank holiday. Not so in England, Scotland or Wales. And not even Her Majesty the Queen takes to her highway to celebrate her predecessor’s victory over themmuns…’

    what’s your point is pat’s day a bank holiday anywhere else? As for ma am have you never heard of trooping the colour? quiet a few battles celebrated on that day….

  • “From the relevant Cameron Report:”

    Slappy, the Cameron Report was written in 1969 whereas the Desmond Greaves pamphlet was written about 1963. When you read O Comain’s article you can probably appreciate why the Irish political establishment, the Catholic hierarchy and John Hume were more than a little concerned.

  • lamhdearg

    interesting link nevin, thank you.

  • It crosses my (as indicated by other denizens of this domain) very limited mind that Northern Ireland is remarkable, if not unique, for enthusiastically celebrating conquest by a foreign power.

    The way I read it, the events of 1688-92 could be seen as the third-and-a-half of the Anglo-Dutch Wars — the one that the Dutch most decisively won. After all, the Dutch army kept London under “occupation” until 1690. It wasn’t just Willem III & II that we got. All his hangers-on (all those “English” gentry and nobility with Van- and Vander- in their surnames) came along for the ride — and stayed for the profits.

    For the back-story, and a racy romp through seventeenth-century doings, there’s Professor Lisa Jardine’s Going Dutch.

  • between the bridges

    ‘The way I read it,’ ‘ could be seen’
    indeed many a spin can change ‘conquest’ to ‘adventure’…


  • andnowwhat

    Malcolm, if what you say is true (and I have no reason to doubt you, can we declare Derry, for example, as New Amsterdam with all the fun that goes with it? LOL

  • Thank you, between the bridges @ 5:37 pm for that neat prompt. The link doesn’t work, but I got there all the same.

    Michael White? In the Torygraph? My, my! Still, it has some of the White sparkle. This for those who need persuasion:

    According to Sellar and Yeatman’s little book, which presumably still gets read under the desk in schools, 1066 and All That was a Good Thing that helped Britain to stop being conquered (as it had, until then, with some frequency) and become top nation. But the French think it a Good Thing for different reasons. And you don’t realise how different until you go to Normandy and do the full William the Conqueror experience: a thing the Normans are encouraging this year, to celebrate 1,100 years of their existence.

    On the way, there are some shifts in terminology you will need to master. It’s not William the Conqueror but Guillaume le Conquérant. And what he and his friends got up to isn’t anything so brutish as the Norman Invasion but La Fabuleuse Epopée – which sounds like a cabaret act but translates as the Epic Adventure.

    If this weren’t spin enough, at some point on the Guillaume trail you’ll file along the 231 feet of the Bayeux Tapestry and reach a scene that reads: HAROLD SACRAMENTUM FECIT (Harold swears an oath).

    And it’s this small but significant scene, with the Norman William looking blond and handsome while the English Harold looks as dodgy as a doorstep salesman, that explains a thousand or so years of Anglo-French mistrust.

    Yes, indeedy. And I did so enjoy Stephen Clarke’s book on how we have enjoyed the relationship ever since.

    On those occasions when this English teacher found he had to “cover” a history class, he revelled in gentle subversion — the kind of thing we all eschew in Sluggerdom. Ahem!

    Said English teacher found particular relish in noting that Guillaume-le-Bâtarde (to be fully enunciated, to the great delight of Year Seven) might have pressing reasons of personal esteem to become “William-the-Conqueror”. On a really good day, a parent might telephone to complain — cue the Sgt. Friday defence: “Just the facts, ma’am. Only the facts.”

  • fordprefect

    It’s the same old, same old, give us money to line our pockets with and f*** the people and area (just like in south east Antrim) only this time it’s the UVF. Giving money to them will save them the hassle of drug dealing or extortion. Brian Feeney hit the nail on the head the other night on a UTV interview.

  • gtm2011

    I have been reading this site annon now for quite some time and am very impressed with the articulation and genuine understanding form members from across the divide.

    My reasoning for posting now is this. The Short Shand attack was planned that is undisputable now ask yourself a question the UVF in general have been under the microscope now for some time at the very highest level and it’s fair to say that they are not flavour of the month. So do you really think that they would carry this and bring more attention and bad press upon them for no good reason over than sectarian bigotry and for kicks (what purpose does this serve) – Well I can say with absolute certainly is that they didn’t. Not that I’m a member but I am fully aware of the build-up that caused this.

    My mum lives at that interface and daily, weekly there is missiles being launched from the short strand matter of fact a ten year old girl was riding her bicycle recently and was struck on the head by a brick.
    Im not going to insult anyone’s intelligence here and say there’s been no attacks from the protestant side ie the paint bombing of the church etc but it is no way the same level at what’s been happening from the strand – this is orchestrated 100%

    The Provos and in particular Brendan Hughes ( I man I must admit have tremendous respect for) say they joined the movement after Bombay street to protect their community –So please explain to me what is the difference between protestants defending themselves and Bombay street??

    Jim Wilsons first interview was shambolic he basically came and said they these things happen because loyalist are left outside the process (more brains in a false face) but if anyone cared to listen to the minister on that same night after Jims interview he pointed out the real reasoning behind this and highlighted the on going attacks on protestant homes

    And as for this beast from the east –you have all seen what the Loyalist community feels with what’s happening at that interface so let’s be a bit more factual before pointing fingers at anyone individual – Not to mention the dissident bombings and shooting every chance they get so I guess there’s a few rogues element’s there which do not seem to be getting the same spotlight shown upon them – the mainstream republicans may feel they have peace but for unionists we are not so sure.
    For Alex Maskey to say three is a problem on the protestant side that is our responsibility and to show leadership is completely laughable given what Is going on his own side. Practice what you preach Alex the dogs in the street now your organisation could shut those dissidents down at the drop of a hat if you really really wanted to. Of course you will deny this and tell people to go to the police etc but we all know this is empty words and nothing more and anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.
    To be honest I don’t really care if people try and ridicule this – this is the truth as I know it simple coming that area.

    I hope it clears this up for anyone.

    And as for the PSNI reports pointing the finger completely as loyalists – just out of interest. How many republicanism have been trailed into the HET or Asset Bureaus in comparison with the loyalist side??
    With the exception of anyone who disagrees with the mainstream republicans (Gerry MeGeough for instance)
    This conflict is either over or its not if the government is going to go after ex combatants then at least have some degree of consistency or we will never move on.

  • gtm2011 I live on the other side of the interface barrier, I’m not going to insult anyone by making up stories. There may well be attacks from the Short Strand on a daily basis which is wrong if true, speaking from my own experience there is not a day goes by whereby some missile or other comes over the wall at my home or my neighbours, golf balls and marbles are a regular, I have seen more golf balls than Rory McIlroy yet never played golf in my life! But, heres the crux, I would in no way seek to get even with the other side by organised attacks. The scenes we witnessed by last week when the UVF organised mass destruction of the area, have in my opinion set community relations back 10 yrs. The mistrust now in the Short Strand will be very difficult to remove, and the young people of both areas have sampled violence which everyone had thought we would never see again. There are almost daily excuses emanating from Loyalist for the violence, none of which stand up to scrutiny or can be justified, what happened was wrong end of story. As for the HET and assets recovery, are you suggesting that Loyalists under investigation should be given immunity for their criminal acts ? and if the are not are we to witness more of the same by the UVF ? If thats the case we are destined to be forever in the mire of conflict, I wouldn’t wish that to be the case, do you ?

  • gtm2011

    Victor no-one wants to go back to what we had before I can honestly say that the area do feel under attack and it was simply a push to far – I do believe you when you say youre experiancing the same kind of issues on your side of the fence. After the talks things have settled down and hopefully people will pull their horns in and get back to living in peace. Both sides were wrecked and caused a lot of damage.

    My point being with HET and assest etc is that if there are investigations then it should also apply to republicans and I mean mainstream republicans also as it does seem to be all one way traffic both sides were and are involved in criminal acts but very very few from a republican background are being targeted in the same way as loyalists this cannot be disputed.

    We have government officals who are heading the state who we all know were involved in some sort of criminalty throughout the conflict so it does seem rather contradictory that some get a get out of jail free card while others are being pursured and held accountable it has to be more fair right across the board.

  • Brian

    What’s with all the golf balls? I doubt many people from that area have ever swung a golf club (except maybe to break a church window)

  • gtm2011 The HET issue is a perception, you miss the point that the vast majority of people convicted or imprisoned during the conflict were Republican maybe thats why those Loyalists who were given free reign during the conflict are being perused now. Besides that, what has that got to do with the people in the Short Strand ? attacking the Short strands going to stop HET enquiries is it ?

    Another issue regarding the HET is evidence, given that Loyalists were operated by Special branch and are overflowing with informers, the HET have little problems gaining information on those organisations, therefore pursuing them is a simple task, it may not be so on the Republican side.

  • gtm2011

    The HET is not a perception its a fact look at the figures, secondly the Provos were infiltrated at the highest level (even though they like to tell everyone they werent) so im sure theres evidence there if governmnet wish ti use it im sure the likes of Dennis Donaldson, Stakeknike must have given them quite more than car reg numbers over the years.

    Look im not saying that this is why the trouble flared I

  • UVF ATTACKS ON Short Strand
    Were due to the following:

    Attacks on Protestant homes? We have established that both sides suffered similar attacks, therefore it cannot be that.
    HET enquiries into Loyalist attacks? Nothing whatsoever to do with the Short Strand therefore it cannot be that!
    Assets recovery taking criminal assets from Loyalists? Nothing whatsoever to do with Short Strand residents, therefore it cannot be that!
    Financial reward to those in the UVF who organised the attacks? Hasn’t been established but is in the mix as the major factor!
    Pure unadulterated bigotry? Again another major factor, highly probable, but likely a partial excuse.
    UVF leadership in East Belfast seeking to gain control? Another probable and again likely to be partial rather than solely responsible!
    And the facts! Nothing can excuse the behaviour of the organised Loyalists assault on the Short Strand. Those seeking to excuse their vile behaviour are as guilty as those in the masks, there are no excuses, it’s that simple!

  • gtm2011

    that sent without finishing..

    Look Im not saying that HET etc is why the trouble flared im saying there seems to relentless blame, persecution on loyalists at every chance this being one of them the PSNI were all over the loyalists on this trouble but didnt once mention the constant attacks in the area leading up to the riots of whihc thye have been reported each and every time even when asked about the shooting they were very clear in saying it was the UVF who fired but when asked who fired from the strand they say they didint know – yeah right

    Look I think we’ve both got our own Ideas and thoughts here so im leaving this alone now.


  • The attacks were wrong! Vile! and totally unjustified, no excuses no matter how many are contrived can change that fact.