“encouraged by a small number of people opposed to the peace process…”

Twenty-six people were arrested during last night’s rioting in nationalist areas of north and south Belfast and Londonderry.  There were also reports of public disorder in Armagh, and the Dunclug estate in Ballymena.  RTÉ lists Strabane, Newry, Ballymena and Armagh city, as well as Belfast and Londonderry.

In Londonderry, we are told

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Martina Anderson said the violence was “orchestrated” and described it as “an orgy of destruction”.

“Let’s be clear the vandalism and wanton destruction in the Bogside last night was just that,” she said.

“They are vandals pure and simple, they are an embarrassment to the nationalist people, there is no political motivation for these activities.

“While the orchestration of the trouble in the Bogside is encouraged by a small number of people opposed to the peace process and anti-community elements coming together no political progress can be made by burning a number of vehicles and holding the community they come from hostage”, she added.

And in Armagh, from the same UTV report

Sinn Féin MLA for Newry and Armagh, Cathal Boylan said: “Contrary to the will of the local community and for no justifiable reason, a group of 20 or so youths, directed by a small number of adults, burnt a number of tyres before stealing and burning a car.”

“The message to those who participate in this rioting from the communities here is that they are not wanted, they have no support and they certainly have no mandate for their actions”, he added.

The police’s official line is reported as “those involved in the violence were mindless thugs and there was no evidence that it had been orchestrated.”  Although this UTV report suggests he may only have been refering to Ardoyne where

About 200 nationalist youths – mainly young men, some of whom masked and wearing surgical gloves – threw petrol bombs, fireworks, bricks and other missiles during the disorder in Brompton and Estoril Park.

“I cannot say that any particular organisation had a part in this, this was thuggery with no apparent control or direction and no one apparently able to bring any influence to it,” Assistant Chief Constable Alistair Finlay said.

On the violence on Monday night, in Belfast, before Robert McClenaghan, from the Falls Residents Association, said that the violence was organised by nationalist youths, Sinn Féin’s Jennifer McCann was being quoted in an earlier BBC report

“What I witnessed last night was a disorganised mob attacking police lines.”

And on last night’s violence in Ardoyne, in contrast to the party statements from Londonderry and Armagh, [former] Northern Ireland Junior Minister, Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly, also fails to mention the ‘d’ word.

“The principle reason why tensions are raised here each summer is entirely down to the continuing failure of the Orange Order to sit down and enter dialogue with their neighbours. Instead they arrogantly insist on marching through communities where they are not wanted.

“The residents of Ardoyne held a dignified and peaceful protest against the unnecessary and unwanted Orange parade. There were others who decided to apply for an additional parade to enter the Crumlin Road at the same time as the Orange parade was scheduled to pass. This provided a focus for mainly young people from outside Ardoyne to travel to this area yesterday. A small number decided to engage in rioting.”

In his statement, Gerry Kelly goes on to complain about “the premature use of water cannon” and “the use of plastic bullets”.

Others take a different view, as the Guardian reports

North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds has blamed “militant republicans” opposed to the peace process for organising a sustained riot in the Ardoyne area that lasted into the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The Democratic Unionist MP said the violence, which lasted for more than six hours, had nothing to do with an Orange Order march past the area. Dodds pointed out there had also been a peaceful protest against the parade.

And in a Guardian article yesterday, Henry McDonald identified some important factors behind the violence

Sinn Féin, for example, denounced the trouble that erupted on Monday night in west Belfast, most of it directed at the embattled Police Service of Northern Ireland, as nothing more than social vandalism.

The party’s assembly member for the area, Jennifer McCann, claimed she had identified some of the rioters as serial antisocial hooligans. Less than a decade ago, her party was deploying a similar type of young people to physically oppose loyalist marches through or close by republican districts, albeit before Sinn Féin entered a powersharing arrangement with the Democratic Unionist party and went into power with unionism.

Of course, much of the violence and the mayhem over the past 24 hours, particularly on the republican side of Northern Ireland’s sectarian fault line, has been seemingly mindless destruction and nihilist in spirit.

However, this is to ignore two important factors as to why hundreds have come on to the streets to confront a heavily armed and protected PSNI.

The first of these is ideology: many of those young republicans taking part in street violence across the city and beyond have little or no investment in the current political settlement at Stormont. Unemployed and with little prospect of long-term, fulfilling jobs, this social group is alienated from the political process. They see all politicians and especially those from “their side” as part of the establishment, aloof and indifferent to them.

Add to this historic mistrust of the police – much of it engendered by the very people who now condemn them while encouraging their peers to join the PSNI – and you have a lethal cocktail of resentment towards any force of authority in society.

Sprinkle on top the influence of ideologically-fired republican dissident organisations from the Real IRA to the Continuity IRA and you have an explosive mix ready to detonate at any time but in particular during the marching season.

He also identifies a “second major impetus”, “the [recent] behaviour of loyalist paramilitaries – the Ulster Volunteer Force and Ulster Defence Association.”  But read the whole thing.

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  • AntrimObserver

    How many loyalist riots have there been over the last few weeks, and how many arrests have there been as a result? You could count the arrests on one hand.

    And yet, in the space of a few hours, the PSNI is able to lift 26 nationalist rioters.

    There seems to be a clear bias in the PSNI’s approach to riot situations here.

    Even the PSNI’s tactics when they arrive on the scene are completely different. A loyalist riot: stay in the landrover and have a chat with the ‘community representatives’. A nationalist riot: helmets, shields, batons charges, full power water cannon and as many arrests as possible.

    We now even the disgusting spectacle of the police making excuses for their actions to calm the loyalists down in Ballyclare.

    The nationalists, on the other hand, are told by Alaistar Finlay,
    “There will be a follow up operation like last year and people will be brought before the courts.”

    Loyalists have rioted en masse recently. There is no excuse at all for the PSNI’s inactivity against them.

    If we see more mass arrests from Ardoyne whilst loyalist rioters go unpunished then the only explanation can be bias. Pure and simple pro-loyalist bias.

  • Reader

    AntrimObserver: If we see more mass arrests from Ardoyne whilst loyalist rioters go unpunished then the only explanation can be bias. Pure and simple pro-loyalist bias.
    Surely the Ardoyne residents matter more than the rioters, and they benefit from the scale of the arrests?
    AntrimObserver: A loyalist riot: stay in the landrover and have a chat with the ‘community representatives
    I suspect the police were on the phone with community representatives in Ardoyne from a very early stage, and that may have helped to beef up the arrest stats. It’s not as simple as ‘us and them’ anymore. You need to throw out your old scorecard.

  • son of sam

    Henry Mc Donalds assessment seems about right.Interesting to listen to Martina Andersons comments from her now establishment position.What was orchestrated and encouraged by Sinn Fein years ago is now wrong!Once again the Shinners claim monopoly of the “Peace Process”-O tempora,O mores!

  • RyanAdams

    AntrimObserver; the loyalist riots of this year have been erratic, unexpected and hopefully one offs. Ardoyne happens like clock work every year – you can’t expect the psni not to have become much more experienced at dealing with the annual ground hog day down the crumlin road.

  • Dec


    Nice try but given your thesis that the PSNI have to study behaviour at leisure before reacting, it doesn’t explain the complete absence of arrests,on the 2nd night of the loyalist assault on Short Strand.

    Has to be said that Henry McDonald does a useful job here explaining the underlying reasons for the rioting. It saves Peter Robinson having to dispatch a senior civil servant to Ardoyne to find out why people are so unhappy. And taxpayer cash, obvs.

    To conclude and to emphasise with Pete’s point (and solitary hobbyhorse) – Sinn fucking Fein, eh?

  • lamhdearg

    anti irish nat rioters bias by psni?, look up baton rounds fired (various press reports to many to link), two nights east belfast 115, two nights broadway/ardoyne 79.

  • 6crealist

    A lucid piece of analysis from McDonald that gets past usual “Peace Process” propaganda crap.

    The disorder at Ardoyne did, however, seem much less intense than what occurred there over the last couple of years.

  • lamhdearg

    From the link,
    “The action of the UVF in east Belfast and latterly the UDA in places such as Ballyclare set the agenda for this marching season.” did i not read that the trouble in ballyclare was after union and “somme”ie u.v.f. flags where taken down, is henry mc telling us that the u.d.a. went out rioting because u.v.f. flags where taken down, if so his analysis of loyalists groups is badly flawed.

  • tacapall

    lamhdearg what does a modern day UVF flag look like ? Maybe the UDA went out rioting because the “union” flag was taken down, dont want the UVF to get all the glory you know as there’s potential young drug dealers to consider ya know out with the old and in with the new.

  • RyanAdams


    The second night in Short Strand was something of a mystery. Something someone needs to be called to account for – I would speculate reasons may include not aggrivating certain loyalist paramilitaries any further.

    You would also have to take into consideration the riot jumped from Mountpottinger to Lower Newtownards road.

  • lamhdearg

    Mick can i remove the commendation of tacapall, i gave earlier on, as in my view his last (see above) is crap. ps i can see how you may preceive that as trolling.

  • keano10

    I wouldnt read too much into Henry McDonald’s lifelong pursuit of Sinn Fein. Long before Henry entered the world of journalism he was a big supporter of The Workers Party in his nativeMarketsvArea. Ironically that particular party was involved in criminality on a large scale.

  • lamhdearg

    is that the word on the (markets) street.

  • ranger1640

    Living as I do in North Belfast, I pass this area of the Crumlin road shops everyday going to and returning home from work, usually at the same times that any Loyal Order parade would be going down or returning home.

    In the mornings you have the usual commuter traffic, and even on a school day only 6 or so people at any one time standing at the bus stop, facing the library, adjacent to the ambulance station. At the weekends there are less people around than a week day, only 1 or 2 people again at the bus stop. At night there are again only 6 or 7 people going to and from the fast food out lets.

    It always surprises me that in the morning and again in the evening the protests there have around several dozen protesting, notwithstanding the hot headed republican youth element, in the background at Estoril and Brompton Park and on top of the shops ready to do battle with the PSNI.

    If the ground swell of opposition to the Loyal Order parades at Ardoyne was as vehement as we are all lead to believe by Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly. Would it be fair to say that with the lack of large numbers at the protests, by the Sinn Fein backed grouping the Crumlin Ardoyne Residents Association.

    It is possible that Kelly and the shinners are exaggerating the alleged level of actual opposition and opinion they say they represent on this issue?

    I didn’t see Sinn Fein Minister Carol Cullen there this year. Cullen of course is now Northern Ireland’s Culture, Arts and Leisure Minister. Is it not bit ironic and funny she wasn’t there? With all of her ministerial responsibilities there on view at the Ardoyne shops, you would have thought she would have made an appearance.

    The Orange Order with their Culture and the Art and grace of keeping in step with no music, and then there was the republicans indulging in their annual summer Leisure activity of riotous destruction.

    Or did she not what to be there in case she would have been see in her ministerial roll as attending her first official DCAL Orange Order Parade.

    It’s not like Sinn Fein missing a photo op and a chance for some positive outreach cross community exposure, and peace advancement.

    Now that Sinn Fein have let the protest gene is out of the bottle, the other more militant grouping the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective, seem to have their own agenda and appear to be perusing it with great enthusiasm. But that is for them and Sinn Fein in Ardoyne and rest of the country.

    Parades and the Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist culture is being used as a vehicle by various republicans who want to indulge in “recreational rioting”.

    And with the interesting juxtaposition within republicanism over power and control in these areas I can’t see a happy resolution to this one.

    I find it worrying that the Loyal Orders are being used a by opposing republican groupings in a power and control struggle and this does not bode well for the future.

    Jennifer McCann, claimed she had identified some of the rioters as serial antisocial hooligans.

    Another Sinn Fein person (sorry no link) said on the radio on the 12th morning, that the rioters on the Oldpark area were fuelled by drink and drugs.
    For those not familiar with the topography, the republican part of the Oldpark is an area of North Belfast that backs onto the republican part of Ardoyne.

    Mr McClenaghan said the violence was “nothing but thuggery”.
    “There was no provocation. There was nothing from the Protestant, loyalist, unionist community. Broadway interface was quiet,” he said

    Republicans have now set up the strange tradition of wreaking havoc in republican areas namely the republican parts of Ardoyne and Broadway and inconveniencing the rest of society.
    Having on republican political aspect to this republican rioting I do anticipate republican parties’ ether mainstream or not to use the riots for their own political gain or attempt to use the rioting to influence parades commission???

    I think Henry McDonald makes in interesting point.
    They (republican youths) see all politicians and especially those from “their side” as part of the establishment, aloof and indifferent to them.

    To all those who vote Sinn Fein it appears that:

    “All Pigs are equal but some pigs are more equal than others”! George Orwell.

    “Power is not alluring to pure minds”! Thomas Jefferson.

  • ranger1640

    Keano10, and no Sinn Fein members have never been found guilty of criminal activity???

  • lamhdearg

    Ranger, i walked down with the parade on the 12th morning, i visited my dad in the mater then walked back up past the shop fronts,on my walk up past the shop fronts there was one and only one person an elderly man at the bus stop(i did not have the heart to tell him there was little chance of a bus), all of the people that where there being offended an hour and a half previous had gone, the shops all bar one where not open, and i was passed by only three cars as i walked from the roundabout to mountianview place. The whole “disruption” line is a fabrication put out by irish nationalist republicans, and it could be so easily disproved by the media if only the media chose to disprove it, but they do not do that, in my mind i am caught between them being on the side of the irish nats and them wanting a story as to their reason for not disproving the lie.

  • Brian


    I think you will find that SF would lose a lot of the more “respectable” vote they now command if don’t condemn in no uncertain terms these riots.

    Also, as for your Animal Farms reference I don’t think it applies. The majority of catholic people in those areas are satisfied with SF’s leadership. The vast majority of people stand squarely with SF against the rioters.

    Unfortunately, it will take a long time for old habits to die old in areas as divided as that.

  • Nunoftheabove


    “Parades and the Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist culture is being used as a vehicle by various republicans who want to indulge in “recreational rioting””

    So if it’s genuinely recreational then logically it’s not political. As such, by what definition ought they to be considered republicans – or their actions considered consistent with any political opinion or other (or none) – as opposed to just being uneducated lumpen petty criminals, drunken hoods and sociopaths who just so happen to like to consider themselves Celtic rather than Rangers supporters ?

    Surely ‘vehicle’ is over-stating it also – isn’t ‘excuse’ a bit nearer the mark ?

  • ranger1640

    Nun, If alleged community associations are alleged to be representative, why are the majority non Ardoyne residents and Sinn Fein party members form wherever?

    Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of CARA’s protest were NOT Greater Ardoyne residents at all, but members of Provisional Sinn Fein members. Some of who were very senior members of that Political Party! After opposing the unwelcome march, GARC and their supporters made their way along the footpath toward Brompton Park.

    On the other point Nun, In this report they took part in GARC march and protest. This alleged residents group is a republican political pressure group so these taking part must surly make them republican.

    Fast forward to 6.30pm in the evening, where some 500 local residents assembled on the Berwick Road to partake in a GARC march through the area to assert the rights of local people! The residents were joined by a small number of Political Activists from various Republican Groups who came along to express their solidarity. Just prior to leaving on their planned route, scores of riot-cladd RUC/PSNI men, ten armoured Land Rovers and a Water Cannon stormed into the top of Estorial Park. Where they immeidately attacked number of local people waiting on the GARC demonstration. This provaction was witnessed by Fr. Gary Donegan and Alban McGuinness of the SDLP, who both later condemned the behavoiur of the Political Police. The youth responded with a few stones and bottles and the top of Estorial was completely sealed off with access refused to everyone!

  • Scáth Shéamais

    Lamhdhearg: anti irish nat rioters bias by psni?, look up baton rounds fired (various press reports to many to link), two nights east belfast 115, two nights broadway/ardoyne 79.

    But how many of those East Belfast batons were fired at nationalists?

  • ranger1640

    Nun, I will agree with you on this issue that these under 10’s are non political just, abused children taken advantage of by adults. But that has been the case in the last 40 odd years at various locations putting children in the front line.


  • Comrade Stalin

    As I said before the contrast here is fascinating. republicans are moving to disown the violence as recreational and non-political. If unionists would simply do the same, then we would have a foundation upon which an anti rioting strategy could be constructed.


    Nice try but given your thesis that the PSNI have to study behaviour at leisure before reacting, it doesn’t explain the complete absence of arrests,on the 2nd night of the loyalist assault on Short Strand.

    It does explain the absence of arrests during the Broadway trouble on Monday night though.

  • lamhdearg


  • Nunoftheabove


    “the vast majority of CARA’s protest were NOT Greater Ardoyne residents at all, but members of Provisional Sinn Fein members”.

    – Are they mutually exclusive or do you mean that they’re SF members who are not also Greater Ardoyne residents ? How come you’re so au fait with their membership and their membership’s residency details if you don’t mind me asking ?

    “In this report they took part in GARC march and protest. This alleged residents group is a republican political pressure group so these taking part must surly make them republican”.

    – Possibly but in that case you need to be clear that it’s not recreational rioting but political protest in riot form ? Are you therefore saying that it was a GARC-orchestrated/managed/facilitated/perpetrated riot by GARC members ?

  • ranger1640

    Comrade how are the riots in Ardoyne not political?

    The republican pressure group Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective, are part of the Republican Network for Unity. Therefor those who attended their march and threw “stones and bottles”! Must surely have had a political motive.

    If you attend a demonstration by a political pressure group. You must surely be supportive of their aims, and therefor de-facto making a political statement when you engage in rioting. To deny this fact is pure delusion.

    I am very concerned that there seems to be some sort of turf war developing in republican areas with Sinn Fein and RNU.

    Here is escalation in this situation by Sinn Fein and their network of community activists.

    Community leaders in West Belfast are threatening that families whose children take part in riots could be at risk of being evicted from their homes by the Housing Executive.

    Sinn Féin and many local community activists are working hard to try to stop nationalist youths engaging in protests against Orange marches or riots over the Twelfth.

    A leaflet delivered in the Falls Road area from ‘Beechmount Residents Association’ warned that families of any youths who misbehaved could potentially lose their homes.

  • ranger1640

    Nun, I’m convinced you don’t read my posts. I did not say they were form anywhere. I reported it from Martin Meehan’s site, who I believe is an Ardoyne resident and should know. That is why I put up the link, so just for you Nun here it is again

    “Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of CARA’s protest were NOT Greater Ardoyne residents at all, but members of Provisional Sinn Fein members. Some of who were very senior members of that Political Party”!

    Here is the link, read it for yourself. http://ardoynerepublican.blogspot.com/

    If you have an issue with his comment you make it on his blog.

    Are they mutually exclusive or do you mean that they’re SF members who are not also Greater Ardoyne residents ?

  • Scáth Shéamais

    lamh, what’s your source for that? The reports I’ve seen stated that 66 plastic bullets were fired in East Belfast, and none suggested they were fired at only one side.

  • lamhdearg

    my source is someone i know through work, they live on the pitt park interface, they told be that all the psni units where on the newtonards road side, with no active units on the short strand side, no baton rounds where fired at the irisn nats on the roofs of the pensioners house from the newtownards road side, so how would any of the baton rounds have been discharged at irish nats this person also said to me the they wish the rioters (the loyalist ones) would all F**K off, so i assume they have no axe to grind, maybe someone who lives on the short strand side of the divide can tell us differant. please do not take from my comments that i am saying the police are harder on loyalists, i am just countering the anti irish nats line being put out by some.

  • grandimarkey

    “Parades and the Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist culture is being used as a vehicle by various republicans who want to indulge in “recreational rioting”.”

    “Comrade how are the riots in Ardoyne not political?”

    Those two definitions are at odds with each other. Recreational rioting is just that, rioting for the ‘kicks’. It is by its definition non-political.

  • fordprefect

    you are spot on! I wonder if the PSNI will apologise to the people of Ardoyne for hemming them in like animals (you know, just like they apologised to the morons in Ballyclare!). On the Henry McDonald thing, he wasn’t just a supporter of the WP, he was a member (maybe he regrets that now, but I don’t know, or care either). SF used to actively encourage people to go to the Lower Ormeau in support of the local residents, but now it’s a fault (in their eyes) if people go to support the residents of Ardoyne (I know quite a few people who went up to support them, and no they didn’t riot!). In my area, as a whole, the people rioting are nothing but local scumbags, but at least it gave the people here a break from their usual activities!

  • Nunoftheabove


    I am more accustomed to the use of quotation marks; old fashioned that way, I’m afraid. Incidentally you seem to place a good deal more stock in some of what appears on some of those links than some would. Or necessarily should.

  • Nunoftheabove


    Fair point re. PSF reaping what they’ve sown on the residents groups solidarity front. Their 80s strategy of what they – and some others – used to consider local democracy, some of it up front, some of it fifth column style re. establishing/infiltrating all manner of local residents and housing action groups etc, is now starting to bite them on this isue particularly. Just so I’m clear though, are you saying that this particular outbreak of rioting would have happened whether the PSNI had hemmed in local residents or not ?

  • redstar2011

    I am convinced that if you look up “hypocrites” in the dictionary there will be a pic of the Shinners

    These people made their way to their career politician posts on the backs of young Republicans taking on the British security forces and now that they are well set up in their highly paid and priviliged positions in the political establishment they sneer and deride others .

    Their decision to not only settle for an internal “agreement” and support the British security forces-and lets not fall into the trap of the PSNI being honest coppers helping old ladies across the road-their special branch is still going strong and their leader tells us they fully support and assist MI5/MI6 so lets have no tosh about Nationalist kids joining up solely to help in their community- assists in the growing alenation between Republican youth and those in the leather chairs and limos up at stormont.

  • fordprefect

    I’m saying that in the area where I live, there was no call for rioting of any kind. As I pointed out it was the local scumbags that were carrying it out. We weren’t hemmed in or anything like that. I can’t speak for Ardoyne as I don’t live there, but maybe some people felt that they were treated unfairly.

  • fordprefect

    Also, if the scumbags I’ve referred to hadn’t have had the cops to throw things at, they would have thrown them at buses, cars and anything else going past the area. With SF it wasn’t just the 80’s it went on until the 90’s and the Noughties.

  • Nunoftheabove


    Oh sure but it was a particular feature of the 80s initially under the broad bracket of ‘local activism’; combination of their grassroots H Block committee lessons learned and of course the initial electoral surge. AP/RN used to be filled to the brim with all manner of these associations, action committes and single issue protest groups of one sort or another with a comical SWP-ish tendency for the same names and faces to appear with impressive regularity. If anything the residents/orange tended to come into play slightly later. Yes my sense is as yours which is that the presence of the cops this week was only an excuse for the rioting and that it would have happened anyway – just toerag hoods with too much testosterone, cider and pills in them, very little education in them, not a political bone in their body and not a glimmer of a care in their heart for decent citizens of any description. Utter strangers to the concept of personal moral responsibility for their actions either. This is unpromising.

  • fordprefect

    At least the anti-H Block/ Armagh campaign was to try to get republican prisoners their basic rights. The morons I seen rioting have not, nor ever will have, a republican bone in their bodies! As I said in the post before last, these “people” couldn’t give a shit about their local communities, they torture their own people. In fact, the same “people” caused mayhem in this area over the last few weeks! It wasn’t the PSNI, Loyalists, Protestants or anyone else, (excuse the language) it was these scumbag bastards that had people up all night while they did what they do best, i.e. drinking, drugging and whatever else and shouting at the top of their cretinous mouths!

  • redstar2011

    Ford so only the Shinners are Republicans???

    I reckon THEY are the dissidents as they have moved so far from Republicanism its hard to distinguish them from their british masters.

    Mcguinness et al were bloody glad of Republican youths taking on the British Security forces-Martys landed himself a nice cushy wee earner through turning his back on his principles

    SFs position is laughable-according to their mantra to be a Republican you should support and serve in the British Security forces!!!!

  • fordprefect

    Could you please point out to me where I ever said that SF were Republicans? I actually agree with your analysis that SF are the “dissentents” as they ditched any semblance of Republicanism and/or socialism years ago! Did you actually read what I wrote?

  • fordprefect

    Sorry, I meant “dissidents”

  • redstar2011

    I have got mixed up in my “post flicking”. Apologies to you.

  • fordprefect

    No probs Redstar.

  • Nunoftheabove


    As a matter of fact I agree with you; those doing the dissenting are the Provos, those adhering to the traditional line are the (misecellaneous) others.

    Thing is, they copped on later than most that not only was their approach was futile. More to the point, once they did so they revealed what some of us knew/suspected all along – while the republican ‘family’ was/is a broad church for such a small organization/movement, at heart the provisional movement took its core support from a communities that – with some exceptions – hadn’t been terribly ‘traditionally’ republican on a widespread basis to begin with. West Belfast being one such. The genuine grievances held by that constituency were not ultimately about the denial of national rights, they were more to do with parity of esteem, about achieving a reversal of socio-economic unfairness within the northern state, about achieving a sense of themselves with which they were comfortable. To move the northern catholic experience from being regarded as controversial ial to being considered ….normal.

    They were about getting the bigots off their back, the British army (back) off their streets and the B Specials and RUC consigned to history, formal political recognition of their existence and legitimacy within the northern state. And so forth. For none of those ills was Irish reunification in and of itself necessarily a cure, still less the only one or the best one. It was certainly the most difficult one to achieve. Once critical mass was established whereby a fair crack of the whip within the north could be fairly securely guaranteed, they signed up. They didn’t do that to fool or trick their supporters, they did that because they understood their supporters.

    Traditional republicanism has failed in Ireland. Again and again. It effectively exists today and tomorrow only because it existed and failed yesterday. I’d suggest that you save yourself the bother of failing again tomorrow and the day after (and spare us the spectacle of the endless droning self-pity for grievances which no longer for the most part exist) and instead spend the time thinking a lot more about what the objective would actually materially achieve for the people of the island – that’ll be the catholics, protestants and dissenters you’ll be fond of citing, just to be clear (not just the traditional republican ones though…). And spare a thought for whether they actually want it or not too if you want anyone to be impressed by your claims to adherence to democratic principles.

    SF’s position may well be argued to be laughable, I won’t disagree with you to some extent there. Trouble is, a great many more people agree with them than do with you. And they would all regard themselves as fairly principled – and patriotic – as you do.

  • Brian


    Good post.

  • tacapall

    “I’d suggest that you save yourself the bother of failing again tomorrow and the day after (and spare us the spectacle of the endless droning self-pity for grievances which no longer for the most part exist)”

    So tell me Nun why should I an Irishman pay a levy to someone born with privledge, who cares nothing for me or indeed anyone except their own privledged lifestyle that circles around money and power, Why should I abide by British laws that force the religious beliefs of others down my throat, Why should I vote for a politician in a British parliament where democracy is decided by barons and lords unelected by the people. I believe theres plenty of issues still not resolved and as to your belief that republicanism has failed again and again well thats a paradox as we are where we are because of republicanism.

  • fordprefect

    I have to agree with Tacapall, why should we, as Irish people pay for the privilege of the royal family? They move about all over the world opening things (it must be a real effort pulling all those curtains open!).

  • Nunoftheabove


    Don’t pay your taxes if you don’t want to, I didn’t insist that you did. I’d slightly resent it if you didn’t but that rather depends on what you earn, to be crassly materialist about it. I don’t particularly welcome paying mine for that particular purpose either to be fair but have the cop-on to not resent the fact that the north gets a hell of a lot more tax out than it’ll ever put in, asked for or not, begrudged or not, resented or not.

    You’re pushing against an open door on religion. Anyone – and I mean anyone – who forces my door religiously ends up with lot more phlegm in their eye than they had beforehand. Haven’t had too many such knocks any time recently though. Have you ?

    Didn’t ask you to vote for any British politician either, come to think of it. Depending on where you live and assuming your eligibility to vote at all, generally you do have the option of doing so. If you live in the part of Ireland under British jurisdiction, you normally have the option of voting for an Irish person too. Don’t vote if you don’t want to, you appear somewhat iffy on the democratic principle and not much of a citizen either judging by your position on taxation but hey, knock yourself out.

    It’s fairly obvious that you’re not entirely au fait with how the legislative process works in the UK but by all means campaign for whatever alternative you feel we/you ought to have. You do, after all, have the right so to do.

    “as to your belief that republicanism has failed again and again well thats a paradox as we are where we are because of republicanism”.

    It’s a pity you don’t seem to quite grasp what a paradox is either but if you’re thrilled by where you/we “are” then by all means pay tribute to those you feel made that happen (just for you). I can’t bring myself to be sentimentally grateful about it, if I’m honest.

    I don’t and won’t see how genuine (sic)republicans can feel anything other than that their stated project has failed. Again. And again. And again. I don’t condemn them for their failure necessarily, I’m merely observing it.
    You can assess the achievements of the PRM by many standards and locate successes of different types if you wish. I don’t doubt it for a moment. The one standard against which you will locate a substantial – indeed absolute – track record of zero success (like, none at all, of any description of any kind whatsoever) is, as it happens, the stated organizing principle for armed republicanism – the very raison d’être of the PRM and its forerunners and, so to say, successors. You can describe the extent of their success in relation to that using whatever word in the language you can care to imagine or dare to contemplate. No matter how you’d choose to look at it you wouldn’t come across a straighter clearer more honest word for it than failure.

  • tacapall

    Well you took that bad Nun did you feel I insulted you ? First of all I take great pride in avoiding paying the levy and as far as Im concerned the more it costs the British establishment to lay claim to this part of Ireland the better as I believe that was the republican movements biggest mistake, bodybags serve no purpose is wrong and counterproductive. On the other hand, well money makes the world go round and people get all annoyed when they get no return on their investments.

    no-one comes to my door about religion, if they did I would probably be more polite than yourself, Im talking about other annual issues which continue to embarrass well just about everyone except the British.

    I dont register to vote, why should I, why should the British decide if Im even entitled to vote and why should I vote for anyone be they British or Irish who administers British rule in Ireland.

    As for the paradox, well I believe the British were dumped out of 26 counties in Ireland, and hopefully sometime in the future a similar scenario will happen here – peacefully of course.

  • Nunoftheabove


    Investments ? The floor’s yours. Investors, investments and projected timing and scale of any dividends and/or profits if you please – a straight ROI calc will probably cover it if it’s easier for you; I’ll give you a margin of 25%, even a self-confessed tax-resister such as yourself can appreciate the tremendous generosity of that, right ? Might spare a few of your blushes too which is pretty darned decent of me. Purpose of investment could be informative – and not unentertaining – too.

    Still fairly clear that you don’t understand what a paradox is however I’ll park that as I fear it’ll be a long emotional journey for those not quite yet entirely free of the self-pity, self-righteousness and self-loathing right slap bang at the very heart of the modern traditionalist republican ‘movement’ and sadly still fairly thickly bubbling through the veins of some of its less authentically republican predecessors.

  • Nunoftheabove


    I loathe the idea of sponsoring the royal family too; a preposterous institution, insulting to the intelligence of a great number of moral principled people everywhere. I am, in the global sense, a republican.

    That’s the thing about taxes though, there’re credits and debits mate. I don’t want a brass farthing going to subsidizing religious education either, say, or much of the waste at Stormont and many many other places, but I’m content to pay for other aspects of education and health and what not, not just because I’m a nice guy but because I benefit from some of them and can afford to pay it. It’s a give and a take. Refusing to pay taxes is not dishonourable if you go all the way and refuse any of the benefits to which citizens are entitled out of the public purse funded by those who do pay taxes, that’s dignified at least; theoretically, anyway. There’s are a variety of names though for those who take all and give none, I figure you could probably guess quite a number of them.

  • tacapall

    Ah well an obviously educated man like yourself cant read between the lines, ah well I suppose I’ll have to spell it out for you, Baltic exchange, Canary Wharf, get my drift now ? Who cares about margins of profit for investors of colonialism. I only care about the loss, and as long as that stays above 99% thats a good investment from my point of view.

    Dont go near the water untill you can swim Nun !

  • Nunoftheabove


    If by spelling out you mean using semi-structured sentences vaguely acquainted with the point you’re attempting to make then yeah, that’d be more to my level of education – thanks for adapting. And you’d see those incidents as victimless crimes would you, financially speaking I mean ?

    Wasn’t quite sure before whether you were waving or not. Now it’s clear you’re drowning, splashing about in that cold dark deep menacing sea. Probably the sea with all of the self-pity, the self-righteousness and the self-loathing in it.

    The boat’s not great but it floats mate. Lifejackets for tax-payers only though I’m afraid.

  • tacapall

    Nun its a pity you have to resort to petty point scoring dont you know anything about creative writing. No I dont see financial loss as victimless but money talks all languages and big losses for the right people make stubborn minds more attentive.

    Im not in the sea, Im here on land enjoying the fruits of the British exchequer no self pity at all just the knowledge that if Im to live in the animal farm, well I’ll just take like the royal family.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Creative writing, let’s say a work of fiction, and willful fabrication are not the same thing tapacall. It’s possible that not everyone, say on this thread, recognizes the distinction. The expression “money talks all languages and big losses for the right people make stubborn minds more attentive” is about as creative as it is politically insightful. I’d be prepared to bet that Andy McNab’s publishers would curl their lips up at that line mo chara. More Grange Hill than George Orwell.

    Interesting that you purport to hate the royal family specifically because they’re spongers, something you’re very obviously content to be also. That’s pretty much all I need learn about you and it speaks very very loudly and clearly to the depth of your political convictions and the moral value of the principles you live by. Unsurprised by just how unsurprised I am to have that confirmed that easily and to have those points conceded quite that readily. Thanks for the clarity.

  • Comrade Stalin


    Comrade how are the riots in Ardoyne not political?

    It’s a bunch of drunken, glue sniffing spides throwing things (badly) at the cops, who have been totally disowned by the local political representatives.

    Do you remember the trouble a couple of years back from that organization calling itself the “Divis Hoods Liberation Army” (enlighten yourself) ? It’s the same people. These are a group of anti-social, handbag snatching, joyriding gluesniffers and they terrorize the community they live in all year round.

    Do you remember not long ago – might have been around the same time as the above – when there was a riot among young people who were hanging out at St Patrick’s Day in the city centre ? The whole thing had been organized by the wee bastards on bebo and their mobile phones.

    So when said shower of shitheads turn up at an Orange parade and start chucking bricks and petrol bombs instead of stealing cars and breaking into houses, you must surely be able to see why it’s going a bit too far to call it a political act. It’s a bunch of shitheads, being shitheads.

    The republican pressure group Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective, are part of the Republican Network for Unity. Therefor those who attended their march and threw “stones and bottles”! Must surely have had a political motive.

    They did, but given that they failed to get anyone elected, even to the council, it is reasonably safe to assume that they are not representative of nationalists in general.

    That doesn’t mean that it’s correct for unionism to simply wallpaper over the concerns that people have about marching. Just because the people who are rioting are dickheads does not mean that the residents should be ignored. A great deal of progress could be made by the OO talking directly to residents and, yes, agreeing to back away from the marches for a couple of years. In tandem like that we need, quite simply, a strategy for rounding up the anti-social underclass element who are terrorizing neighbourhoods across this country.

    If you attend a demonstration by a political pressure group. You must surely be supportive of their aims, and therefor de-facto making a political statement when you engage in rioting. To deny this fact is pure delusion.

    It’s not quite as simple as that, as is the case for the Orange Order and the “hangers on”.

    I am very concerned that there seems to be some sort of turf war developing in republican areas with Sinn Fein and RNU.

    Developing ? It’s been in progress for some time. If you’re concerned about it, maybe you could do the sensible thing and stop painting as “republicans” the moron element who are engaged in this anti-social behaviour in a way that suggests the whole community support it. Maybe you could also have a word with your pals and suggest to them that it might be a sensible idea for Orange marchers to try to underpin the sensible side of nationalism by – it’s such a radical concept – TALKING to them, rather than steamrollering through Ardoyne in a way that does nothing to counter the notion that the community there is being systematically insulted.

  • lamhdearg

    the north and west belfast parades forum, have been meeting ardoyne residents groups for years now, they have reach agreements with ardoyne residents groups, then the ardoyne residents group spilts and the new group says no parades without our say so, farc/garc the ardoyne resident group who where behind the counter demo on the 12th which turned nasty say”no parade’s full stop” (A.R. has said it on this very site) how can the O.O. talk to a group that says no parades full stop. ps this comment is adressed to you Comrade, but you know all this already, so its really for those that don’t,

  • tacapall


    ” Creative writing, let’s say a work of fiction, and willful fabrication are not the same thing tapacal”

    What is this nonsence – a work of fiction. willful fabrication.

    Hate the royal family, I never said I did I said why should I pay a levy to them, instead of judging me on my having an opinion and leading a life that you dont agree with why dont you focus that on those who have been doing it for centuries.

  • Nunoftheabove


    So you withold all of your taxes as a protest against the halfpenny of whatever you’d pay going to them. But yet you take all the benefits coming from it, every dime – all gratis to you personally courtesy of the sucker Irish and/or British (and other) citizens who live on the same street as you who work for their living and who do so honestly and do their bit – reservations and all as they have about the state and how it’s run. That might be a lot of things my friend but principled isn’t one of them and to suggest that it is is a work of fiction which takes an impressive imagination, I’ll give you that much.

    No, let’s not focus on what everyone already knows about the monarchy, let’s focus on the redundancy of what you appear to regard as an ethical stance against it and is nothing other than an act of hypocrisy and of solipsism. With an entitlement outlook like that and such slippery opportunist morals you’d be right at home at Buckingham palace comrade – fit right in.

  • tacapall

    Nun now your twisting words and using your own imagination, who said it was all just about the royal family and when did I ever mention anything about fiction.

    Ethics, morals in the world we now live in, please spare me the lecture

    When in Rome do as the Romans do.

  • Nunoftheabove


    You mentioned creative writing mon brave; you have a flair for imagination, I’ll grant you that. Distinguishing fantasy from reality though, not quite so sure that’s your strong suit.

    Not sure what you’re saying about morals and ethics either, seems like you feel that those have no place in the world that we live in perhaps but that’s for you to counter or develop as you wish to or dare to.

    As for “when in Rome” etc, in the circumstances of this exchange that sounds like a textbook relativist cop out. It’s OK for you to do it because…other people do it. Fits the pattern I think you’ve established about the quality of your citizenship and the apparent contempt with which you regard the majority of your fellow Irish citizens. Thanks again for the clarity.

  • Comrade Stalin


    There is no excuse for not holding talks. Despite appearances to the contrary, the outcome of any negotiation process is never predetermined. This happens all the time, eg trade unions always go into negotiations with excessive demands which they expect to have to give ground on.

  • lamhdearg

    “eg trade unions”, there have been talks there will be more talks, but just as in the work place disputes, when one side has an unreasonable demand (g.a.r.c.s often stated no parades full stop) then talks break down and there is a impasse, but there is an other aspect to the ardoyne parades talks problem, in that on the irish nationlist side there are at least two groups for the non irish nats to talk to, and one of them has links to groups that are not on ceasefire, this group are not wanting an resolution, but wants the company to close down

  • Nunoftheabove

    Comrade Stalin, lamdearg

    Rather difficult to meaningfully negotiate with anyone believing that God – by some distance the most meaningful influence on their or anyone else’s life (like, ever) – backs their position and will disapprove of – and perhaps taking grave and highly consequential, indeed, conceivably infinitesimal exception to – any negotiation on certain points, particularly when the other side is godless and, as such, are damned in any case. Rather an uneven playing surface upon which to hope to hold any sensible expectation of a fair 11 -v- 11 contest with a settlement agreeable to all.

    At least some of the OO higher-ups and grassroots believe quite literally that the military victories being celebrated were/are attributable specifically and exclusively to divine providence. That being the case, be rather a slap in the face to the chap upstairs to abuse that by conceding on the right to march to celebrate the very freedoms which the Almighty Himself brought about – as they say he did – on the battle field. It would, to say the very least of it, signal the perception of some willingness to publicly express doubt about this particular episode of divine providence and, not too further along the trail, cast doubt on the very idea of divine providence itself. Who among the genuinely faithful wants to volunteer to traverse a road given where that might take them to ?

    If the reasonable exercise of civil and religious liberty is to be mediated solely through a prism which is itself at least slightly religious and/or which takes account of religious beliefs, then there’s really no objective basis for resolving this outside of the theological debating chamber. For as long as the state continues to refuse to separate itself from matters of religious conviction and considerations, we will continue to have matters regarding human rights – and responsibilities – muddied and needlessly compromised upon within a framework which is only partially, if at all, secular and pluralistic.

  • lamhdearg

    have you ever writen for monty pyton, some of your comments read like dennis the constitutional peasent, with class replaced by religion.

  • Nunoftheabove


    We can do both class and religion if you like my old sword-throwing watery tart, today I’m majoring on the innate immorality of religion though.

  • tacapall

    Nun just home from a good days scrounging I see your still rambling about imagination, fantasy and reality again, please take your pills.

    My lack of morals and ethics (financially) which you abhor are minor misdemeanors compared to those who claim sovereignty over this part of Ireland. Does the British Government have morals when it comes to Libya, Iraq, Afganistan using deplated urainium munitions to delibrately contaminate the populations of those countries with cancers, birth defects, ill health for thousands of years and lo and behold the British Royal family privately owns investments in uranium holdings worth over $6 billion. Yeah they really give a fk about human life morals or ethics.

    As for my citizenship well Im in a bit of a limbo there because Im an Irishman who lives under British rule, I dont agree with using violence but will happily let Britain pay for the privledge of passing British laws on Irish people, so whats your problem with that.

  • Nunoftheabove


    Yeah well you’ve used the appropriate word for it – scrounging. My problems with it are twofold; one – you’re guilty of precisely what you accuse the loathesome monarchy of, and two, I’m one of the Irish schmucks who has to subsidize your selfish choices. The difference is, I earn the right to complain about the state I live in, my dues are paid. I contribute part of whatever it costs to keep your income propped up to unreasonable levels given the market value of whatever you do for a living – and I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt that you are gainfully employed at all here, which is pretty big of me. Plus of course all of the other benefits you enjoy, however much you appears to resent enjoying them. Again, the idea that it’s not Irish people kicking in their cash for those choices is the stuff of fiction. A cheap attempt at a cheap deceit on your part. An immoral position, objectively speaking.

    I think you’ll find that limbo is a place that exists only in the world of the fantastic, even the profoundly immoral vatican admits that it made that up now. Appropriate choice of words on your part therefore, that being the case.

    Selfish and self-pitying about covers my main criticisms I think.

  • tacapall

    Nun you obviously have no issues with the state you live in which I very much doubt is Ireland are you third generation Irish from a w.a.s.p family background why the hostility to the way I feel about making Britain subsidise as much money as possible enforcing its sovereignty in this part of Ireland. Should I become part of the democratic process and beg for Britain to leave, have they listened to reason in the last 1000 years, did they listen to the democratic wishes of the majority of of Ireland in 1918. I’ll just live my life by my own morals and ethics and I really dont care what you think. nuf said.

  • Nunoftheabove


    Thanks very much indeed for the ultra bright light you’ve just shone on the almost micro-surgical narrowness of your perspective. You don’t know me and yet – based on no evidence of any description – indeed contrary to what I actually very clearly said – you now suggest that I have no issues with the state. That is factually untrue. Third generation wasp family ?! Quite the parochial altogether, and very very wide of the mark again factually. Puerile name-calling – pathetic.

    I have made my objection to your sponging, selfishness, self-pity and your self-righteousness plain enough. You have yet to defend your position in relation to them or to mount a robust defence of yourself in relation to any of them. I’m guessing you won’t simply because you are unable to.

    I really don’t mind what morals you or anyone else live by so long as they don’t interfere with my rights and what I regard to be fair. In your case, albeit to a small degree – yours do interfere with mine, our interests conflict. I kick in my share – you don’t. We both get the same benefits, mine are covered. Stop pretending that it’s just ‘the bastard brits’ that pay for it so it’s not a tab you worry about who picks up. It’s actually nothing remotely like a political point you make, it’s just personal gain – cornerboy dole-cheating fag-smuggling greed. It’d be a little more honest – to say nothing of being a little more civil – of you to admit what those values were rather than denying them and making some lame attempt to justify what you do with reference to what happened several hundred years ago in Ireland and some eirgi-esque bollocks about the make-believe colonial exploitation of Afghanistan.

    You’re entitled to not care what I think; it’s entirely obvious to me that you don’t give a shit about any other Irish citizen either. As such, your values are essentially those of a twopenny- halfpenny tory wide boy judging by what you’ve contributed to this thread.