“We have a very developed flag flying policy here in the borough”

Loyalist paramilitaries seem to have been behind rioting in the County Antrim town of Ballyclare last night. The disturbances occurred after loyalists had blocked roads earlier in the day around the village to protest at the PSNI’s removal of a small number of loyalist flags erected in the village. Violence was also reported in nearby loyalist estates in Carrickfergus and Newtownabbey.

Perhaps there needs to be an urgent meeting at Stormont to clarify the price being demanded the issues causing such deep alienation in the, ahem, cold house and deprived region that is Ballyclare?

Carrick-based DUP MLA, David Hilditch, made this comment on the violence,

“We have a very developed flag flying policy here in the borough and so it was very disappointing to have this last night when such a process is going on in the town, and it is disappointing that an incident in another town has actually sparked an incident here in Carrickfergus.”

Hilditch’s reference to a “very developed flag flying policy” in Carrickfergus borough is a rather interesting remark as anyone who has been through Carrick, in recent weeks, will have noted the sheer volume of loyalist flags flying in and around the town centre- including Union Flag bunting along the pedestrian streets in the centre.

Very developed, indeed….

  • lamhdearg

    Looks to me that the local police commander in ballyclare wants some of that lovely overtime loot for his units.

  • If your going to start a thread at least be factual – the police removed legal flags

  • “PSNI’s removal of a small number of loyalist flags erected in the village”

    Ballyclare is a TOWN not a village, Chris 🙂

    Can you provide a bit more nuance please? There’s a difference between the Union flag, the Northern Ireland flag, the Scotland flag, the (Republic of) Ireland flag and the various flags associated with loyalist and republican paramilitary organisations. It was also my impression that some Government agencies provided funding for the former style of flag as a means of reducing not only the number of paramilitary flags but also the influence of paramilitaries in local communities.

  • lamhdearg

    Chris
    “Loyalist paramilitaries seem to have been behind”, i dont see this in your link, i was following the story as the press released info on it yesterday, it seemed to me a local people issue.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Nevin
    Flags identified with the loyalist community= loyalist flags. That encompasses a range of flags, just as ‘republican’ flags as a term covers the breadth of flags associated with republicans.

    As I noted in yesterday’s thread, some unionist politicians clearly believe that it should not be permissible to fly the Irish National flag in the Six Counties- and, of course, legislation used to support such a sectarian and repressive perspective.

    If we are to make a distinction between ‘National’ and other flags, then wither the Ulster Banner, Orange Order flag and other assorted flags which make an appearance but are not National flags per se?

    Unionist politicians and loyalists clearly enjoy playing the game of pretending the ‘UVF’ flag is merely a reference to the ‘old’ UVF, as if that was a credible distinction.

    Of course, an eager journalist could enquire as to who ordered, distributed and erected the hundreds of UVF flags on display across the north today as a means of (in all probability) linking the present day UVF with the flag.

  • Nunoftheabove

    What notional/actual legal enforecability does a local borough flag policy have and can the local cops be enlisted to apply it and administer any penalties established at local level to deter transgression from such a policy ?

  • Chris Donnelly

    Lamh Dearg

    Yes, I can quite see how up to 100 “local people” in Ballyclare decided to block roads to express their rage at the republican PSNI removing loyalist flags.

    And, clearly, “local people” in Carrick and Newtownabbey just decided to express their solidarity with their oppressed brothers in Ballyclare by rioting without any input from loyalist paramilitaries.

  • chewnicked

    The usual apologists for violence crawl out from under their stones again…..

  • Reader

    Chris: Hilditch’s reference to a “very developed flag flying policy” in Carrickfergus borough is a rather interesting remark as anyone who has been through Carrick, in recent weeks, will have noted the sheer volume of loyalist flags flying in and around the town centre- including Union Flag bunting along the pedestrian streets in the centre.
    Chris – your refusal to identify the flags that were removed is utterly unhelpful. Will you at least tell us what you saw in Carrick town centre? I would hope unionist councillors would complain about paramilitary flags, but if you want complaints about the Union flag or the Stormont flag during July, you probably need a nationalist councillor – if you can find one.
    The issue is different in a more mixed area – so I’ll assume the PSNI were doing exactly the right thing. Needless to say, I condemn the rioting, whatever the excuse given.

  • Nevin,

    Can you provide a bit more nuance please

    From the Beeb:
    http://tinyurl.com/6boak46

    DUP MLA Paul Girvan said about ten flags were taken down by police on Friday night.

    “There was a number of loyalist paramilitary flags removed, but as well as that there was union flags and an ulster flag (removed),” Mr Girvan added.

    “As a result there was a bit of a backlash from the community and those who put the flags up.”

    As regards that euphemistic, “bit of a backlash”, that was yesterday before the trouble, in fairness to Girvan.

  • PJ Maybe

    I can only gape in awestruck wonderment at Chris Donnelly’s seemingly detailed knowledge of the machinations of loyalist paramilitaries, their motivations and operations. I can’t help but contrast this with his equal lack of knowledge as to the machinations of republican paramilitaries and their motivations and operations. Given your seeming expertise perhaps a career as a Loyalist spokesman awaits?

  • Cynic2

    Chris

    I appreciate the sarcasm, so may we assume that when ‘local people’ who are simply outraged at OO Parades in Ardoyne / Wherever vent their fury in rioting it is organised by PIRA or SF or is there a different standard for the Loyalist thugs?

    ON second thoughts, don’t bother to answer. I know the answer already and was just indulging in a bit of sectarian tickling

  • lamhdearg

    chris,
    at the risk of whatabout,
    then by that local people logic. then “it seems” s.f. and p.i.r.a. where behind the violence of the short strand defenders.

  • Cynic2

    Dear Paul Girvan

    In some cases the flying of the Union Flag and the Ulster Flag may themselves provoke a breach of the peace or amount to intimidation eg when erected outside the home of Catholics or a chapel. In those circumstances I hope you will agree that they SHOULD be taken down

    I also haven’t heard your fulsome support yet for the PSNI trying to sytop the Ballyclare Loyalist Dogs pissing on lampposts to mark their territory

  • Chris Donnelly

    Lamh dearg
    The analogy doesn’t hold up.

    Loyalist paramilitaries orchestrated a sectarian attack on Short Strand.

    Ballyclare is a mere 4% catholic so there would be few targets in the locality for the local loyalists to get exercised about.

    Secondly, were there to have been secondary rioting in the Markets area and other nationalist districts immediately following the loyalist attack on Short Strand, then it is likely that violence would have been orchestrated- you’ll recall how mainstream republicans labelled the orchestrated violence across Belfast last 12th July in nationalist districts as being orchestrated by dissidents.

    Reader
    I’m in Carrick quite regularly, actually. There’s a nice Orange Order flag flying from the roundabout and many other flags in the locality.

    BTW
    There is no such thing as a “Stormont” flag. If you are referring to the Ulster Banner, then it is important for you to know it has no legal standing.

    Oh, and I don’t think issues should be deemed as valid only and if raised by elected representatives. In any case, never mind a local councillor, Carrick nationalists now have a Sinn Fein MLA to raise such matters….;>

  • Mark McGregor

    Cynic,

    You have identified the root of the problem:

    “In some cases the flying of the Union Flag and the Ulster Flag may themselves provoke a breach of the peace or amount to intimidation eg when erected outside the home of Catholics or a chapel. In those circumstances I hope you will agree that they SHOULD be taken down”

    The loyalist flag raising, PSNI action and the riots all took place within feet of the Sacred Heart church.

    This seems to have been overlooked by the DUP rep for the area when even a rare visitor to Ballyclare like me knew.

  • Chris, I was making a distinction between flags clearly associated with paramilitary organisations and other flags even if the ‘friends’ of Jacky McDonald and Gerry Adams fly the other flags too. Those who are apologists for one set of ‘friends’ leave themselves open to the ‘pot, kettle and black’ charge when they finger-point at ‘themuns’.

    Flags bring a bit of colour to the place but they can also arouse dangerous passions; they need to be handled with a degree of sensitivity, especially in a place like this where the constitutional question never leaves the stage.

  • carnmoney.guy

    There has been a notable increase in the number of flags on display aorund Carnmoney area, I note that the largest paramilitary ones have been picked for display around the Catholic church. The marking of territory just encourages the middle classes to flee the ‘celebrations’

  • Thanks, oneill and Mark, for providing the link and the additional detail.

    London and Dublin have put out mixed messages to loyalist and republican paramilitaries; their appeasement policies have created an impression that the respective godfathers can do what they like, that they are likely to have immunity from the justice system.

  • lamhdearg

    Chris,
    i am not claiming the two things are the same(short strand and ballyclare) just pointing out that local people can react to something that has happened without the paramilitartaries, your “seems the loyalist” where is it from, as it seems to me reading yesterdays build up to the trouble, it was a grass roots local people reaction to the flags being removed, of course it may have been the uvf/uda working hand in hand with the psni, just to get in some practice for ardoyne come tuesday.

  • lamhdearg

    mark
    as an even less frequent visitor to ballyclare, could you enlighten me as to where the sacred heart church is.

  • iluvni

    “In any case, never mind a local councillor, Carrick nationalists now have a Sinn Fein MLA to raise such matters….;>”
    He wasnt too quick in removing the election posters with his ugly bake on them either.

    On the main topic, those who leave a Union flag to rot on a lamp-post for 12 months, or who tape up a UVF flag alongside it over the 12fth, have no business crying about anyone disrespecting the flag or the community.
    Full force of the law please on the thugs.

  • dennis the menace

    i am not claiming the two things are the same(short strand and ballyclare)

    quite right, short strand has access to a bus service which runs almost every 10 mins, it is within a few miles of many train stations, at least 3 hospitals, numerous schools, and the largest number of jobs anywhere in the province.

    Ballyclare is indeed deprived in comparison

  • Chris Donnelly

    Dennis
    Check the NISRA multiple deprivation rankings and I’ll think you’ll find Ballyclare doesn’t exactly top the charts…..though I accept you’re completely correct to point out that, in terms of proximity to services, it loses out somewhat.

    Don’t think that was the rioter’s focus though…..

  • Mark McGregor

    lamdearg,

    I told you, at the heart of the area the flag raising and rioting took place:

    here

  • lamhdearg

    thank you mark,
    i see one lamp post outside the gates of the church and one on the corner, i think the people of ballyclare should not put and flags on these lamp posts, if on the other hand the guist of this church line is, there should be no flags put up in a town that has a roman catholic church in it, then we are seeing the lie of “just a few contentious parade” put on display.

  • Mark McGregor

    lamhdearg,

    The church did nothing. The loyalists did, then the PSNI, then the loyalists again.

    Though nice and typical attempt to cast some blame at the people being intimidated by thugs.

  • Reader

    Chris Donnelly: There’s a nice Orange Order flag flying from the roundabout and many other flags in the locality. BTW
    There is no such thing as a “Stormont” flag. If you are referring to the Ulster Banner, then it is important for you to know it has no legal standing.

    Wrong – the important thing to know about it is that it is not a paramilitary flag. Same applies to the OO flag you mentioned.

  • lamhdearg

    mark,
    it seems my comment is misleading, by “this church line” i do not mean a line being put out by the church, but the church being used by yourself and others as a reason/excuse for the suppression of all things non irish nat.
    “i think the people of ballyclare should not put and flags on these lamp posts,” did you miss this part of my comment.

  • Isn’t it time to design some new flags? A flag to show pride in Belfast, a flag to show pride in Ballyclare, …

    Then we can fly those flags everywhere, and ban those used to mark out unofficial territories, as examples of littering.

  • UlsterScotty

    What am I missing here? Public disorder around the 12th July, decades and indeed, centuries old. Why is this news?Concerning flag, have some people gotten their wires crossed?
    The problem ain’t the flag(s) but the use of publicly owned (and hence “neutral”) street furniture for this purpose. I am almost sure this is illegal, irrespective of the branding.
    Back in the day, flags were flown from houses of private individuals, not necessarlity private homes. There may even have been flagholders on some houses for precisely this purpose. The problem for some elements of loyalism is that many citizens no longer do this. It is possible to speculate about the reasons for this but not the fact. Yes a tiny minority still do but certainly not the numbers that did. The possible reasons are scary to some people.
    Similarly, bonfires. Try and burn a tyre in front of your residence or in a public place and the chances are Plod will be at your door to feel your collar.
    Pile them high on a boney, in full public view of the Federales and not a squeak from the authorities. Children in the area with asthma? Tough. Emphysema sufferer? Get over it.
    Why not do it outside a hospital, like the City Hospital. No reaction from the authorities. Why should anyone complain? Certainly not because there’s a possibility your name might be provided to local “community activists”.
    I am reliably informed the Ballybeen bonfire has a plethora of tyres and a lovely banner proclaiming “Fuck the Green Party”.
    When people talk about moving on, do they mean emigration?

  • lamhdearg

    On flags, someone i know (wink wink) phoned the p.s.n.i. last nov to ask if the tattered remains of a union flag, which was flapping in the wind against my oops i mean their wall could be removed, the nice officer on the other end of the line alluded to it being a community matter (he/they where not comming out to take it down) what has changed since then, as taking down union flags in a 96% unionist town 3 days before the 12th of july without community support, seems a sure fire way of starting a riot to me.

  • tuatha

    FFS, parochialism, thigh name is NI. The Eu was about a Europe of nations, even a nation of peoples, living harmoniously, flying whatever bits of coloured cloth they wished but NOT resorting to violence and especially not waving/flying them specifically to annoy the bejasus out of someone else.
    Ones freedom stops at another person’s nose, or sensibility.

  • Nunoftheabove

    I know of a fairly up and coming area in suburban Lisburn – by objective standards not undesirable, where some of the residents, who happened to be British army folks and such like (some English, some local), having consulted with most of the residents on the quiet, borrowed a ladder and a landrover – from Thiepval I think – when off duty and went around and took the array of union and other flags down themselves in the very early hours of the morning – didn’t like what it was doing for the neighbourhood. Property prices, particularly. Made a lot of friends – of all denominations and none – in the process.

  • ranger1640

    Now that we have full whataboutery, and I can’t start a thread on the matter.

    Chris, can you start a thread and give us your undoubted intimate knowledge on the workings and thinking of republicans.

    Why did the visit of David Ford to Lurgan, cause 3 days of republican violence in exclusivity republican areas of Lurgan and Craigavon???

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/violence-hits-lurgan-for-third-night-in-row-16021450.html

    As for them there flegs, they should not be up unless community requested and removed after an allotted time.
    As for the PSNI it seems they could have handled the situation better. Did they consult with community representatives? And if not why not?

    After all they consult with community representatives on many more controversial issues, like illegal white line protests on the Crumlin road!!!

  • ranger1640

    Correction: It wasn’t the visit of David Ford as reported above it was the visit of Ford Transit.

    http://www.u.tv/News/Second-vehicle-torched-in-Co-Armagh/8c1fba2f-9cf1-483f-8e3b-e9d6cf71c1f1

  • Comrade Stalin

    It is clear that we need regulations governing whether flags may or may not be flown from street furniture. What you’re going to end up with here is a body like the Parades Commission which is set up to adjudicate.

    Despite what some people are saying, it is illegal to erect anything on streetlamps, telephone poles or anything else without the permission of the owner, which is the DRD. The DRD legally have the right/responsibility to remove such flags. It doesn’t matter whether it is the Union Jack, the Ulster banner or anything else, it’s not legal to fly it.

    There is no justification for anyone rioting in the response to any perceived slight by the police. And there is no question that this rioting was orchestrated by loyalist paramilitaries who simply phoned around their pals in Carrick and Ballyduff to get this kicked off. Unionist politicians need to get off the fence about loyalist violence and stop adbdicating their own role as community representative to these thugs.

    lamhdearg:

    as taking down union flags in a 96% unionist town 3 days before the 12th of july without community support, seems a sure fire way of starting a riot to me.

    Why can’t unionists just condemn violence instead of making excuses for it ? The only way to properly address “community support” issues is through democratic means, not rioting.

    Maybe my memory is going a bit funny here, but didn’t unionists insist that full and unconditional support of the police and the courts was a fundamental prerequisite for the return of devolution ? I don’t seem to remember any of them saying that allowances would be made in circumstances such as these ?

    UlsterScotty:

    I am reliably informed the Ballybeen bonfire has a plethora of tyres and a lovely banner proclaiming “Fuck the Green Party”.

    The Green Party MLA is a native of Ballybeen. I wonder if the usual fuckwits are annoyed about that.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Nunoftheabove,

    I liked that story and I have no doubt that it is true. I doubt that anyone coming from elsewhere in the UK would recognize the benefit of having streets festooned with union flags.

  • otto

    “when off duty and went around and took the array of union and other flags down themselves in the very early hours of the morning”

    Best time of day.

    Two policies (pick your preference)

    1. No flags on public property

    2. No criminal flags ever and no national flags on public property after sunset (it’s disrespectful towards our national flags and they get tatty)

    I’d be happy enough with the second as it would cut the numbers and improve the look – and removing them at dawn might help enforce it.

  • Nunoftheabove

    otto

    1’s better. Simpler, clearer, less unbecoming to the eye, more grown up and more readily enforced in a shared public interest.

  • keano10

    Glengormley/Newtownabbey is another area where Loyalists have been significantly upping the ante in relation to flags this year. Many flags being erected either close to or within mixed housing developments. Quite provacative and quite deliberate.

  • ranger1640

    Comrade Stalin states “There is no justification for anyone rioting in the response to any perceived slight by the police, And there is no question that this rioting was orchestrated by loyalist paramilitaries who simply phoned around their pals in Carrick and Ballyduff to get this kicked off.”!

    Two questions? Does that slight apply equally across the board or just to Unionist/Loyalists???

    And do you have proof comrade, that there was paramilitary involvement in the disturbances???

    I would be very happy with no flags of any description form street furniture at any time of year.

    However if flegs are put up they should not be up unless they are community requested and should be removed after an agreed allotted time.

    As for the PSNI it seems they could have handled the situation a tad better. Did they consult with community representatives? And if not why not? Or did the district or local PSNI commander not realize that his or her actions were likely to raise tensions were no tension possibly existed before??

    After all they consult with community representatives on many more controversial issues, like illegal white line protests on the Crumlin road!!!

    On the disturbances all they are doing is destroying their own community, just like republicans in Lurgan and Craigavon.

  • Cynic2

    Ranger

    Ah yes. The Community Representatives.

    PSNI Officer “Now Mr Scumbag Mc Drugdealer. Would you kindly remove your flag please sir. It is causing offence to your neighbours”

    McDrugdealer “Only the fenian ones. Now son you leave that flague alone or I’ll set the DUP. The Equality Commission, Police Ombudsman and Policing Board on yer”

    PSNI Officer “Certainly sir? Now would you like chips on that?”

  • lamhdearg

    Comrade,
    i am not a unionist, in that union with britian is not my prefered option. “Why can’t unionists just condemn violence instead of making excuses for it ?”,also if i where to say to you (after the event) that hitting someone would lead to them hitting you back, would i be making excuses them hitting you, No, then why by pointing out that ” taking down union flags in a 96% unionist town 3 days before the 12th of july without community support, seems a sure fire way of starting a riot to me” is preceive by you as me making excuse’s for the riot..

  • Munsterview

    While on the subject of flags, I was invited to Mid Ulster in the recent past to take part in a cross cultural event. Passing through Omagh, it seemed to me that there were many more Loyalist flags on display than usual some years back.

    Perhaps someone could enlighten me as to what the situation there is. Admittedly the ‘other side’ that I associated up there would not have been considered quite kosher by the flag-wavers but it was interesting to see that the Loyalist ‘ flag erectors’ had little sympathy or support from Unionists in the cross cultural event that I attended.

    Neither incidently had those erecting Republican flags from the Nationalists there . In fact the whole parading season, the reaction to it and the local disruption that it caused seemed to be genuinely regarded by all there as a damm nuisance they well could do without.

    In the brief discussion on the issue there was none of the guarded ‘careful what you are saying approach’ of other years in discussing the inconvenience caused by the paraders or the polarization caused by the flags. Things may indeed be finally moving on ( at least in some areas) !

  • ranger1640

    Cynic,

    By your reply the PSNI should not speak to community representatives.

    Interesting position, I take it this applies equally across the board???

  • Comrade Stalin

    By your reply the PSNI should not speak to community representatives.

    There is no problem with the PSNI speaking to elected politicians (councillors or MLAs), or to anyone they appoint or employ.

    Why would there be justification in speaking to anyone else ?

    And do you have proof comrade, that there was paramilitary involvement in the disturbances???

    I have about as much proof of that as I have proof that Gerry Adams was in the IRA.

    On the disturbances all they are doing is destroying their own community, just like republicans in Lurgan and Craigavon.

    That’s right, and we need the police to be tougher on them. We do not need to make excuses for it.

  • ranger1640

    Comrade, we find ourselves in agreement.

  • eddie poole

    Keano,
    The flags in Glengormley and Newtownabbey were there before the mixed housing developments. If people can’t tolerate the flags, then they shouldn’t have moved there in the first place.

  • UlsterScotty

    Ranger 1640, cuppla questions. Who would identify these “community representatives”? Who would validate their right to speak on behalf of a community? How long would your “allotted time” be? Would you agree it with anyone or will you just advise the rest of us, like some sort of Grand Master (with or without your Furious Five)?
    Who would remove the offending items, when they became offensive? Police? Council workers, perhaps as part of the 11th night bonfires clean up? I do take your main point that if the police do a stupid thing in one place, they should, of course, do the same stupid thing in other places. That makes everything alright then, doesn’t it? That’s not whataboutery, is it? I applaud the strategy of opening the Twelfth to wider scrutiny and am certain that riots will affect the popularity and perception of “OrangeFest” though not perhaps in the way intended. Ballyclare follows the Newtownards Road and Bangor in becoming “cold houses” for loyalists.
    “Cold houses” for violent thugs more like.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Chris,

    I think we all agree the “street furniture” issue of causing offence could well do with being sorted out. Would you therefore join in a call for the removal of all offensive street furniture – flags & emblems (whether paramilitary or other) or say streetnames (whether Gaelic or Ulster Scots)?

  • lamhdearg

    http://www.u.tv/news.
    police admit they got it wrong.

  • chewnicked

    Indeed Congall-Let’s get rid of all of the offensive street names, that’ll solve the problem. Personally I find My’Lady’s Road a wee bit sexist and Knock Road is a bit ooh err missus….

  • lamhdearg

    this also from utv, a reader/viewers view,

    At 15:01 on 10 July 2011, Glenn wrote:
    The media are again at it. Yesterday UTV reported that a paint attack on a roman catholic church in Ballymena, was sectarian. Contrast that with the description in this report of the attack on the Orange Hall in County Londonderry Quote: Meanwhile, a Co Londonderry Orange Hall has come under attack over the weekend. Sometime between 8.30pm on Friday and 9am on Sunday the drain pipes were removed from the Coolafinny Road hall. In what is thought to be a possible arson attack, a lighter was also found in the area. Why did UTV not describe the more serious possible arson attack on the Orange Hall as sectarian? Could it be that the anti Unionist/Orange Order media want to play down attacks on Unionist/Loyalist community while highlighting and over emphasizing attacks on the republican/nationalist community???? The extensive republican violence in Lurgan and Craigavon don’t seem to be getting the air time or the Column inch’s that the violence warrants.

  • chewnicked

    Ulster loyalists must be very proud of their culture, putting bits of cloth on lamp-posts and burning car tyres -not exactly Ancient Greece, is it??

  • Mark McGregor

    lamdearg,

    You’re gas – trying to spin that UTV link as the PSNI admitting being at fault.

    The only people at fault are loyalists.

  • lamhdearg

    ancient greece,
    where they not into slavery, and child sex (men and boys) and the fair sex, fair they had no rights at all. all in all chewnicked, ya can keep it.

  • chewnicked

    Kincora?

  • lamhdearg

    just providing a service Mark, the link.

  • carnmoney.guy

    The police apologise, thats just great, if the cops do anything that upsets loyalism, they have the right to riot at will.

  • andnowwhat

    I wonder if the FM got on the blower to the CC after a call from his community worker friends he had tea with last week?

  • carnmoney.guy

    Here Lamh, is it so hard to use capitals to indicate the religion of the church that was attacked??

    You missed a trick, normally it is demeaned by being called a chapel.

  • Comrade Stalin

    lamhdearg,

    The police apologizing in public after a group of people decide to mount an orchestrated riot and attempt to kill police officers is totally fucked up. No person who believes in the primacy of law and order should take any kind of comfort from it.

    And no, the police did not admit they were wrong. They conceded they incorrectly took down the wrong flags. They also said there was no excuse for the rioting that happened.

  • carnmoney.guy

    In the good old days the officers would have known which flags were which….sic

  • Munsterview

    For goodness sake Lamhdearg ‘ finding a lighter’ in the vicinity of an Orange Hall is hardly conclusive proof of an arson attempt !

    I have just come back after a stretching my legs to a supermarket over a quarter of a mile away. By your logic and given the number of discarded lighters I stepped over, along my route there was attempted arson on a large hotel, a filling station, several private houses and at least two cars along my route in the recent past.

    The most serious attempt however apparently involved a local field open to the street and used for soccer matches and other games. Given the number of lighters scattered around the road perimeter that I walked past ( and your logic) there must have been a very determined effort to set the field on fire by the same failed arsonists!

    As for removing drain pipes; that smacks more of juvenile mentality mischief than attempted arson. In fact in my sixty odd years experience this is the first time I have heard of a potential arsonists beginning the job by removing the drainpipes. Bizarre to say the least !

  • andnowwhat

    I feel awful for thinking the rioting was a bad thing now.

    Obviously. damage limitation.

  • lamhdearg

    carnmoney. i did not even know a church was attacked, i did not know it was demeaning to refer to a church as a chapel,(puts a whole new slant on Elvis singing crying in the chapel) dont care which church it was as all property should be respected, that includes peoples cars, which rules out me being in support of the riots. Comrade, if they conceded they incorrectly took down the wrong flags, is that not saying they got it wrong, they/we all can get it wrong sometimes, and last but not least “The police apologizing in public after a group of people decide to mount an orchestrated riot and attempt to kill police officers is totally fucked up.” two words bloody sunday.

  • ranger1640
  • lamhdearg

    “For goodness sake Lamhdearg ‘ finding a lighter’ in the vicinity of an Orange Hall is hardly conclusive proof of an arson attempt !” i agree Munsterview, i only printed what is being reported on u.t.v.”In what is thought to be a possible arson attack, a lighter was also found in the area.” as for the drains there removal helps excess to the roof space, a common (in the past) place to start fires. The point of my comment was to draw attention to the quickness of the press and p.s.n.i. to use the word sectarian when reporting attacks by non irish nats, in comparision to their lack of the word when the attack is coming from the other direction. Side line. Munster as i commented on Marks 12th walkabout post my computer kept freezing (while on slugger and only slugger) and had to be switched off at power source, since i mentioned it, it has stopped doing it. Putting this here as i am boycotting M.P.s posts.

  • andnowwhat

    According to Mark Simpson, David Ford said that the police acted correctly.

  • Zig70

    Do the DUP ever criticise the paramilitary flags flying from lampposts? Do they ever call for them to be removed? Or the UUP for that matter. It’s a pretty poor indictment of the area they fly in, which in the case of Newtownabbey seems to be the most of the borough. Will it even come up at a council meeting? What do I tell my kids about the area they drive through that supports paramilitaries? Never mind explaining why everyone is in Donegal or Galway.

  • Mark McGregor

    So, have:….Lamhdearg, Ranger1640, Belfastjj, Nevin and Cynic2 etc. managed to provide enough ‘context’ yet?

    Is it agreed it’s either the fenians or the pigs to blame for the riots across Antrim? And another example of Prods being oppressed?

  • lamhdearg

    Have you not set off for clougher yet mark, or as penitents are you only walking the return leg bearfoot,

  • ranger1640

    Would they be the same oppressed people in Lurgan and Craigavon Mark???

    Or is oppression only the preserve of republicans????

    By the way Mark, just in case you missed it I don’t want any flags up anywhere. And if a bit of PSNI and community engagement can stop this type of thing before it gets out of control then I’m for it.

  • andnowwhat

    Seems there’s more trouble in Carrick at the moment. Reports of car burning.

  • lamhdearg

    water cannon and green dye, let them spend the 12th looking like goblins.

  • lamhdearg

    Reports/rumor of no room at the inn, in ardoyne, so in the interest of parity of esteem, the orange dye should be put on ice for the 12th.

  • ayeYerMa

    The tiny (but vocal) extremist minority kicking up offence at the UK flag flying in the UK (such as on city hall) are only causing more of the Unionist siege mentality to kick-in and yet more flags to be erected. Fair play I say, though there as absolutely no place to put up paramilitary regalia absolutely anywhere in Northern Ireland – now THAT should be offensive to everyone.

    Regarding flying the RoI flag in NI, it is highly disliked by Unionists because it being also the RoI flag repeats the divisive and aggressive desire of Republicans to destroy Northern Ireland, and annex it into a separatist Republic that was defined as monoculturally Gaelic and Catholic. I highly doubt Unionists would have problems with Catholics flying St. Patrick’s cross to express an all-island identity, as it they before the creation of the Republic in the 1940s and before the wave of imagery from the faux American version of St. Patrick’s Day. E.g. take a look at this St. Patrick’s Cross use by the Catholic church on a St. Patrick’s Day leaflet from 1932:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3110/2792626568_530fa939ef_b.jpg

    To re-post what I said yesterday:

    Highly vocal Republicans like Chris and his Sinn Fein pals here are fooling no one (bar maybe a few naive low IQ do-gooders) with their unrepresentative “offense” at the symbol of the country in which they live – it’s nothing more than a lack of respect for democracy. Putting aside the issue of flags on streets, Sinn Fein’s recent antics such as trying to launch so called “equality assessments” in attempts to remove the flag of the country from where it is respectful and correct to ALWAYS be flown such as on City Hall (as is the case in democracies all over the world) are extremist minority attitudes that only egg-on the situation on the streets.

    This is backed up by further more in-depth analysis of NILT survey data which shows clearly, and overwhelmingly, that people have benign attitudes towards the United Kingdom status quo:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/60/NILT2010_FUTURE2_pie.png

    Translating the above pie chart into symbols we then get this:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1d/NILT2010_FUTURE2_pie_unionjack.png

    Those being “offended” at the symbol of the country can be no more than an extremist minority of 0.5%, perhaps, being very very generous, up to 9%. Such a tiny minority cannot continually hold the community to ransom by continually stoking division and tension. Using this flawed and disingenuous agenda-driven Sinn Fein “equality” logic, the Union Jack should also be flying from Dublin city council. Peter Robinson earlier this summer said that he wanted to make Unionism more inclusive to Catholics – that is Catholics, not the tiny extremist Republican nutter minority element who will never be satisfied until the complete destruction of Northern Ireland.

    A good thread on this also at:
    http://www.politics.ie/forum/northern-ireland/164469-equality-assessment-dome-delight-union-flag-go-7.html

  • babyface finlayson

    All flags are a tiresome eyesore here in my opinion. None can ever be anything but divisive given our history.
    Mark I don’t see anyone saying that fenians are to blame. That is not helpful.

  • andnowwhat

    Easy answer Lamhderg;

    Only spides riot. The only thing that spides are afraid of is gays.

    We need a special riot squad of gay police armed with rampant rabbits,

    The rioters will run a mile

  • andnowwhat

    Ayerma

    Since you’re talking about P.ie. check out the photos from Rossnowlough where they were able to fly the union flag all over the joint without any problems.

    No flag is an issue. It;s the intention of those who fly it that is.

  • lamhdearg

    Dont send them up (no pun) the newtownards road, there are still some of doris days gang about, them rampant rabbits only run on duracell not nuclear power.

  • andnowwhat

    But Lamhderg, they could make Greek style mosaics rather than ugly murals.

    Make love, not war.

  • lamhdearg

    Putting aside, every little helps.
    Bonfires
    1 tyre emits less that 1 pound of co2 if burnt,
    1 coal powered power station (u.s.) produces 4 million “us” tons (2000 lb per ton) per year.

    Question, how many 11th night bonfires (average 20 tyres per bonfire) would it take to match the co2 put out by 1 coal powered power station in one day.

  • lamhdearg

    whatever turns You on andnowwhat,

  • iluvni

    What sort of shite is that from the DUP on that UTV report….where’s their condemnation of UVF flags being erected in the first place?

  • Neil

    Question, how many 11th night bonfires (average 20 tyres per bonfire) would it take to match the co2 put out by 1 coal powered power station in one day.

    Of course that’s a pretty good illustration of someone comparing apples and oranges. How much electricity do bonfires produce? And how many homes get destroyed by fire spreading from power plants? How many people get the shite kicked out of them at power plants? And how much damage to public property is caused at what expense to taxpayers by power stations.

    No, I think anyone with half an iota of sense can see that power stations perform a function, bonfires do not. And as we can see from the picture linked:

    http://sluggerotoole.com/2011/07/11/potd-tyres-pallets-and-a-flag/ballysillanimg_3100/

    20 might be a bit under the mark. However it’s good to see that some people think it’s worth defending these anti social violent piss ups centred on a burning rubbish tip.

  • Reader

    Neil: Of course that’s a pretty good illustration of someone comparing apples and oranges.
    I can’t see any problem with him suggesting that the seasonal wailing over the environment be subjected to a bit of arithmetic. And since Malcolm Redfellow has contributed figures for the carbon tax; those inclined to quantify their outrage could go to town on the figures.
    It doesn’t help, I suppose, that the major republican incendiary projects happened before the environment, and carbon tax, was invented.

  • SK

    “Regarding flying the RoI flag in NI, it is highly disliked by Unionists because it being also the RoI flag repeats the divisive and aggressive desire of Republicans to destroy Northern Ireland, and annex it into a separatist Republic that was defined as monoculturally Gaelic and Catholic.”

    AyeYerMa,

    You work from the premise that nationalists are somehow immoral for having aspirations that differ from your own. Because nationalist aspirations are immoral, then their symbols must be immoral too. The internal logic is spot on, but your starting point is not.

    Nationalists are entitled to disagree with unionists. Get your head around that.

    If you’re not willing to respect nationalist symbolism, then there is no point in getting your knickers in a twist every time a Shinner gives you a taste of your own medicine.