False rage and that cult of victimhood…

It has been intriguing to watch the outplaying of what is clearly an orchestrated unionist political strategy in Belfast Council over the Duke of Edinburgh award ceremony saga. False rage that has involved calls for the Mayor’s resignation and even a return to loyalist street blockades.

But what is most noteworthy is the contrast in reactions to the comments attributed to the Finance Minister, Sammy Wilson, during his party conference, and the actions and utterances of the Belfast Mayor.

Regarding nationalist reaction to Sammy’s Sectarian Satire Show, words of condemnation accompanied rolled eyes, with Conor Murphy delivering a sufficiently dignified rebuke in the Assembly chamber to the DUP figure.

After all, those who have watched previous episodes in Sammy’s conference series will know that he has form in deriding the appearance of catholic Irish sounding names like Seamus in the public eye. Not only did the Finance Minister refuse the opportunity to apologise for his insulting remarks when challenged in the Assembly chamber, he instead chose to further expose himself by stating that he revelled in the fact that he’d annoyed republicans.

Yet there were no calls for resignation from the Executive Minister nor street blockades.

Contrast that with the actions of unionist representatives in Belfast City Hall, who have attempted to make the Duke of Edinburgh awards saga into a resignation matter, bringing several hundred loyalists onto the streets of Belfast city centre to block the road.

What was that about refuelling a pre-existing culture of victimhood, chiming neatly with Robinson’s own resignation threat over British symbols and emblems and the Prison Service?

An interesting aside from Mick’s welcome commentary on the city council meeting tonight. Mick quotes Bob Stoker as saying:  “You and any future SF Lord Mayors need to set aside your principles to do the job properly.”

Given that the veteran UUP politician is clearly implying that doing the job properly involves respecting the legitimacy of the ‘other tradition,’ when exactly can we expect unionist politicians to pay their respects to the Irish republican war dead (including many protestants amongst their number) in reciprocation to the republican gesture of laying a wreath to remember British army casualties from the city?

  • keano10

    Could’nt agree more and it must be remembered that Niall has been given the warmest of welcomes in places such as The Shankill Road and Ballysillan during his short tenure.

    In addition his public persona during high profile events such as the recent EMA Awards has shown him to be a fantastic ambassador for the city of Belfast as a whole. He is a very young guy and we all make errors of judgement in life, but Niall is a decent guy at heart and does’nt deserve the hysteria from all of the oh-so-familiar suspects…

  • Mick Fealty

    Thanks Chris, it wasn’t universally admired…

    Fascinating to see some real tensions played out albeit very civilly in public… (does anyone know if Cllr Smith got his illuminated Christmas sign for the east entrance of City Hall?)…

    Obstructionism though still seems to be the order of the day… SF motion blocking the booking of Ormeau Park until routes were confirmed… DUP objecting to billingual Christmas signs…

    All, as the historian Marc Mullholland noted on Twitter, very depressing: “I have had enough of this place nothing ever changes..”

    The only light relief was a nice piece of good humoured revenge from SF towards the end with the Nollaig Shona sign getting in under the wire (or so it looks)..

  • Chris Donnelly

    keano10
    I was glad to hear him express remorse for the incident as it was the appropriate thing to do, regardless of personal and political opinion on the Cadet organisation.

    But it’s ridiculous to hear unionist politicians preaching tolerance to Niall from a council which sought to exclude catholics and nationalists for virtually the entire first century of its existence.

    And, as my closing paragraph notes, in the relatively short time in which non-unionists have gained the ascendant positon within the council, the outreach initiatives by nationalists who have gained the Mayoral position remain largely unreciprocated by political unionism.

  • alan56

    Feel a bit sorry for the young Mayor. It was a gaffe and a political mistake. However the reaction is now becoming disproportionate. With regard to unionists paying tribute to republican fallen surely Queen Elizabeth was acting partly in their name (as UK Head of State) when she joined Irish President at Garden of Remberance in Dublin?

  • Decimus

    Irish republican war dead

    Chris,

    Presumably you are referring to Sean Russell? If so it hardly seems appropriate to pay respects to someone who sided with Nazi Germany. The very people who blitzed Belfast and killed hundreds of its inhabitants. Not to mention their murderous activities in Europe and beyond.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Mick
    The one positive that can be taken is that this really is a noteworthy story precisely because of the positive changes that have occurred in Belfast Council chamber in the past decade.

    A lot of heat will have been dispensed, but there really is no desire nor threat to return Belfast to the Dome of Delight days so colourfully written about by Big Jim McDowell.

  • Mick Fealty

    I thought Tom Hartley made a good point (though not the most fulsome defence of the Lord Mayor), during Bob Stoker’s recollection of the sheer numbers of Belfast Catholics who went to war in 14-18 when he read out the street names of the addresses of those who had volunteered, that many of them travelled many miles to join the Connaught Rangers rather than fight beside their fellow Belfastians in the 36th…

    Therein lies the problem for any future cross community commemoration of republican war dead by the BCC… There’s no where near as many of them and most of the people killed in those wars were fellow Irishmen (well, in Belfast anyway)…

    There are cenotaphs all over the Vosges region of what is now France which are headed Pro Patria Mori. Unusually for that country it does not record which country they killed and died for… Alsace was part of Germany… a fact too problematic even all these years later to mention in any public way…

    If the council cannot deal with Christmas signs or the booking of a public park in an open handed way… what chance of moving into the difficult question of memorialising a civil war?

  • Chris Donnelly

    With regard to unionists paying tribute to republican fallen surely Queen Elizabeth was acting partly in their name (as UK Head of State) when she joined Irish President at Garden of Remberance in Dublin?

    alan56
    You are absolutely correct with that observation, and her actions should hopefully signal a change to unionist attitudes to Irish republican remembrance.

  • Cynic2

    “most of the people killed in those wars were fellow Irishmen…”

    …why should it matter what regiment they fought in or what their politics were. They fought and died and Unionists should have no problem whatsoever acknowledging that and commemorating them

  • Reader

    keano10: Could’nt agree more and it must be remembered that Niall has been given the warmest of welcomes in places such as The Shankill Road and Ballysillan during his short tenure.
    And yet now everything has changed. It’s almost as though unionist favour or disfavour is conditional on republican behaviour. Why would that be surprising?

  • Cynic2

    “False rage” that’s just man playing on sectarian ethnic lines and just as offensive.

    Where is the evidence that it is false. Are unionists not allowed to be enraged by a cheap, knuckle-dragging political shambles?

    Many people are genuinely outraged and think the Mayor has shown his true colours. Other just assume he’s a fool.

  • keano10

    I agree Chris and I find it a little bemusing at times to be honest. The record of all of The Unionist Parties within Belfast City Council is hardly an epitome of cross-community recognition and understanding.

    Though in all truth, many of the current Unionist councillors seem to live in almost permanent fear of losing their seats and perhaps seeing SF take over all control in the short to medium term. As a result many Unionist Councillors still relish the opportunity to pander to the lowest common denominator.

    Ultimately it’s a futile strategy but old habits seem to die very hard within our (in)famous chambers…

  • Cynic2

    ” It’s almost as though unionist favour or disfavour is conditional on republican behaviour”

    Reader

    If you abuse me, insult me or spit in my face (physically or metaphorically) then I will form some views on your character and judgement

  • Chris Donnelly

    Mick
    It should not be that difficult, to be honest, if the will was there.

    The proliferation and location of war memorials is primarily a legacy of who has had the whip hand in our society in the same way that the prominent location of Orange Halls in village and town centres is a legacy of that era.

    There is nothing to stop Belfast City Council from permitting a republican war memorial to be sited in the grounds of City Hall.

    In any case, there is absolutely nothing preventing unionist politicians from laying wreaths at memorials commemorating the United Irishmen regardless of location if the desire to reciprocate the initiative was present.

    There are significant places of republican remembrance right across predominantly unionist areas of Antrim and Down. William Orr, Jimmy Hope, the McCrackens and other United Irish leaders spring immediately to mind.

    The number of people killed is not particularly relevant.

    It is the significance of the gesture (or absence thereof) which is important.

  • Mick Fealty

    That’s a tad one eyed Keano…

  • Decimus

    In any case, there is absolutely nothing preventing unionist politicians from laying wreaths at memorials commemorating the United Irishmen regardless of location if the desire to reciprocate the initiative was present.

    There are significant places of republican remembrance right across predominantly unionist areas of Antrim and Down. William Orr, Jimmy Hope, the McCrackens and other United Irish leaders spring immediately to mind.

    Chris,

    The United Irishmen were Presbyterians who allied themselves somewhat disatrously with the Catholic Defenders. It is a testament to the divisive power of 20th century Irish republicanism that they managed to turn modern day Presbyterians against their own ancestors. Yet what real claim do modern day republicans have to the memory of McCracken etc? Beyond the fact that they have claimed them for their own I would suggest none. If McCracken had been born in the 1950s he would very likely have been active in opposing the modern version of republicanism.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Cynic2
    The ‘false rage’ relates to the road blocking protest and calls for resignation, actions and words which contrast markedly with those of nationalists following Sammy Wilson’s outburst (as indeed did the subsequent remarks of the Belfast Mayor contrast with the unapologetic stance of the Executive Minister.)

    False rage is an entirely appropriate charge.

  • Pigeon Toes

    I have a twelve year old son whom has recently joined the army cadets, and I have really struggled with the idea of brainwashing my child.
    Then again I struggled with sending him to Catholic Schools at the age of 4.

    I’m happy to say he remains an atheistic pacifist.

    How, I will feel when he puts on a pretendy army uniform , I don’t know. That’s my history. Not his.

  • Mick Fealty

    Chris why not a cenotaph dedicated to all who lost their lives in our latest conflict? Lost lives to provide the base text? Vietnam war memorial by the Lincoln in DC is powerful example of its type. Why not follow something like that?

  • Yes, the Mayor made a very bad error of judgement (we all do) but, at least, he has realized it and apologized. The future will judge him on the totality of his tenure.
    It is noteworthy that he attended the Duke awards (a noteworthy initiative) at all. I think that that could never have happened a few short years ago.

  • Decimus

    Chris why not a cenotaph dedicated to all who lost their lives in our latest conflict?

    Mick,

    I would suggest a giant granite question mark with all the names inscribed on it.

  • Into the west

    cynic2
    “Are unionists not allowed to be enraged by a cheap, knuckle-dragging political shambles?”

    yes but it wasn’t that was it?
    the mayor faltered at the ceremony. he was unsure of himself, that’s it , no more no less.

    there’s a world of difference between turning up at an innocent sing-song with a few tricolours draped around the place as ruth patteson did, and the politically sensitive symbolism of the British Army

    the mayor has conducted himself with dignity, offering an apology; but what was on show tonite from the rat-pack in City Hall was contemptuoushatred, as indeed an alliance lady pointed out.
    It was cry-baby unionism at its worst, extracting as much capital as possible for the “poor wee girl” that’s why the fake outrage is noted by chris.
    such a pampered harsh people .. truly frightening.
    They would have crucified him if they could have.

    It’s be great if the lass came out with a statement saying she understood the mayors difficulty, and objected to being used in this way.
    That would really shut all the nonsense up.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Mick
    That’s not a bad idea- perhaps even locating it in the grounds of Stormont to illustrate and remind all of the importance of devising and working shared institutions in a divided society.

    However, that’s not incompatible with seeking reciprocity from political unionism with regard to appreciating the place and importance of Irish nationalist remembrance in the time ahead, not least given the decade of centenaries that is now upon us.

  • Reader

    Chris Donnelly: In any case, there is absolutely nothing preventing unionist politicians from laying wreaths at memorials commemorating the United Irishmen regardless of location if the desire to reciprocate the initiative was present.
    The memorials already at City Hall commemorate both unionists and nationalists. The ones you are proposing only commemorate nationalists. So you’re nowhere near in a position to look for reciprocation.

  • “There are significant places of republican remembrance right across predominantly unionist areas of Antrim and Down.”

    Chris, I think the PRM had more in common with the Catholic Defenders in Co Armagh than the largely (New Light) Presbyterian Republicans of Antrim and Down. John Nevin, a cousin of one of my ancestors, was a UI captain and a member of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. You can see from this link what Loughguile Catholics thought of the disloyal UI folks and from this link that pressure for change had been building up over several generations. Two hundred years on and Loughguile and Derrykeighan have changed places.

  • Toastedpuffin

    “False rage is an entirely appropriate charge.”

    And also a false (and uninformed) one.

    The biggest gripe I have with the Lord Mayor is that he’s a lighweight branded as a heavyweight. He hasn’t lived up to the Republican hype, and that’s been his downfall, not any poor judgement per se.

    However, dismissing any anger at his actions as “false” simply because the angry people are mainly (though far from exclusively) unionists just makes this another republican propaganda piece aimed at damage limitation.

  • Alias

    No society respects its criminal class. In showing that they are not respectable, Mr Wilson is bringing NI toward normality.

  • between the bridges

    False rage and that cult of victimhood…all an matter of opinion isn’t it…

    http://sluggerotoole.com/2011/07/31/ballyclare-riot-arrest-charge-watch-day-22/

  • Mick Fealty

    You needed to see the feed to get what Chris meant. One text I got this evening suggested that from the point of view of the young girl:

    “Our Lord Mayor does not appreciate that it would be a big step for an Army Cadet to shake his hand.”

  • jthree

    V dignified crowd. Certainly not a half cut, masked up rabble.

  • Mike the First

    What (and who) do you mean by “republican war dead”, Chris?

  • between the bridges

    Mick,if it’s all the same with you i can form my own opinion of what CD meant.

  • aquifer

    Not mayoral and therefore not republican.

    Provisionalism disappearing up its own sad one.

  • Red Lion

    What Chris, an ‘orchestrated unionist political strategy’ to challenge sinn fein orchestrated political strategy (against things British/unionist) is hardly surprising.

    If the unionists were orchestrated then they got there orchestration together pretty quickly, not really like them – perhaps this issue really did cause widespread annoyance and u dont grasp that. The armed forces and young people serving tthe Armed Forces is an important inate part of unionist heritage in NI, im not sue your essay reflects that nor the overall disgust felt at an achieving teenager being so badly treated by someone in such an official postion. Just think if a unionist politician had acted simarly to a kid winning a GAA award or something.

    And excellent insight passed on by Mick – it may take a lot for an Army Cadet and her family to shake hands and accept an award from A SinnFein Lord Mayor, but perhaps they were prepared to put history behind us.

  • antoinmaccomhain

    @Presumably you are referring to Sean Russell? If so it hardly seems appropriate to pay respects to someone who sided with Nazi Germany. The very people who blitzed Belfast and killed hundreds of its inhabitants. Not to mention their murderous activities in Europe and beyond.

    Sean Russell was a ‘Militant Republican’,because he had little interest in the ‘politics’ of Republicanism doesn’t make him a ‘Nazi’.Frank Ryan,Republican Congress,died a very lonely death in Dresden,that doen’t make him a ‘Nazi’,nor a believer in ‘National Socialism’.He left Ireland to fight against ‘Facism’.

  • Decimus

    Sean Russell was a ‘Militant Republican’,because he had little interest in the ‘politics’ of Republicanism doesn’t make him a ‘Nazi’.Frank Ryan,Republican Congress,died a very lonely death in Dresden,that doen’t make him a ‘Nazi’,nor a believer in ‘National Socialism’.He left Ireland to fight against ‘Facism’.

    They just sort of blindly stumbled into supporting Hitler’s Germany in WW2 then? Why did Frank travel to the centre of fascism and work directly with the SS if he wanted to fight it?

  • Chris Donnelly

    I’m only catching up with BBC Newsline from 6pm now, so readers can forgive me for missing the quote of the week- Sammy Wilson standing up in the House of Commons and condemning the Belfast Mayor’s “breathtaking display of bigotry.”

    You couldn’t make it up!

  • Munsterview

    Dec : “….. It is a testament to the divisive power of 20th century Irish republicanism that they managed to turn modern day Presbyterians against their own ancestors……”

    Is this a piss take or do you actually believe it?

    Most of those fine progressive Presbyterians who survived the UI uprising and who could do so hightailed it out to the US where as Republicans, they were able to live in and contribute to a real Republic. Same for the Southern C of I types like Emmett’s extended family, many of them too could took to the States where they had no problems being both good protestants and Irish Patriots.

    To the victors the spoils, what were left behind were in the main, the Loyalist Presbyterians, who were of the same kind as their North American ilk who joined with their Anglican Aristocratic overlords and trooped across the border to Canada to live as Crown subjects rather than democratic citizens of a free Republic!

    The UI Leaders may have had an overarching shared ideology, but on the ground it was a patchwork of different forces, each with their own agenda. Just like the Pope and King Billy being allies on the Boyne and the Pope rejoicing in William’s victory, so also there is also a lot of myth to be stripped away from 98.

    The great Fr Murphy of Bulavouge was in fact a Loyalist, he was from a wealthy family and in common with most privilliged Catholics at that time, he looked past the Irish Ascendency Class to the Crown to protect such limited Civil Rights as he had. He was also vehemently opposed to the anti-clerical ideals of the French Revolution and he would have been apoplectic at the thought of universal democracy and the ‘great unwashed’ having an equal say in society.

    Shortly before the rising he had build a fine new church from his own private funds and he had cultivated good relations with the local protestant gentry. He also knocked the’ Rising nonsense’ firmly in the head by organizing a petition of Loyalty to the King and insisting that anything that could be used as a weapon be handed over to the authorities.

    Hardly the makings of a rebel, a man of very strong passion and intemperate views that was full of the righteousness of his own opinions and he did not tolerate any opposition, heal or imagined.

    The sectarian North Cork Yeoman Calvary ( who could make ranger tugs look like altar boys) were assigned to Wexford, they did not know the local situation, if a church was a Catholic one, that was good enough for them….. to burn. The bold FR Murphy came back after an arms roundup in outlying areas to not find ‘the heather blazing’ as the song has it but his Church, home, stables, stores and all the good life he had made for himself there going up in smoke.

    H lost the head and immediately began to incite the very same people he had exhorted and bullied into peace all those weeks before, and disarmed, to war. Had a local Calvary regiment come by there they would have known he was a loyalist and would have deployed to protect his person and property.

    There is much of the popular narrative history of 98 to debunk North and South as they are from other periods before we can have a true common heritage we can relate to. Many Planters and Protestants have made an effort to understand the country and culture they found themselves in.

    It was very easy for those in the Masonic Jacobite Lodges to unite and have common purpose, they were aware and had a shared philosophy, Catholic Clergy such as Fr Murphy were an affront to other Catholic true UI Patriots like O’Connor, yet few outside Republican core circles know who O’Connor is whereas FR Murphy who only lost the head and came out when his church and property was burned around his ears, is now the personification of 98 in poplar culture!

    We need a new historical narrative on this island and the sooner the better.

  • antoinmaccomhain

    @They just sort of blindly stumbled into supporting Hitler’s Germany in WW2 then? Why did Frank travel to the centre of fascism and work directly with the SS if he wanted to fight it?

    At one point Frank Ryan and his comrades found themselves protecting a church in Spain against ‘Anarchists’,iirc,not exactly the reason they went to fight,just the way things panned out.Irishmen getting caught up in wars which had nothing to do with them.Blindly stumbled,yes.’Supporting Hitler’,is stretching it to say the least.In WW1 55 Irish POWs,out of 2,000 volunteered to leave Germany and return to Ireland to fight against England,having fought the good fight for England against Germany,iirc.What would that make them?

  • Toastedpuffin

    “Most of those fine progressive Presbyterians who survived the UI uprising and who could do so hightailed it out to the US where as Republicans, they were able to live in and contribute to a real Republic”

    By conquering the Native Americans, perhaps, or keeping a slave or ten… ah, the joys of a “real” Republic. But I’d be interested in your source for the claim that “most” of those Presbyterians left for the good ol US of A.

  • antamadan

    Munsterview. Interesting post. can you give us a link ref re Fr. Murphy as I certainly hadn’t heard he was a loyalist.

    Toasted Puffin: Try http://www.history.com for a good take on the U.S. war of independence. Interesting issues
    * 33% of the U.S. were British Loyalists. New York raised something like 24,000 volunteers to fight for the British.
    * The loyalists were treated very badly (as in any post independence situation I’m afraid) after independence, with land confiscated etc. And the legal situation for them only improved after 1812.
    * Ships left NY for Canada on a continuing circle after independence as something like 200,000 ‘British Empire Loyalists’ left for Canada. The population of the US was only about 2.5 million at the time.
    * The Scots-Irish, many of whom e.g. the Gorrells had fought for the united irishmen in 1798 were exceptional in their volunteering for Washington.

  • Toastedpuffin

    antamadan:

    Sorry, I was referring to the UI Presbyterians: Musterview is claiming that post-rebellion most left for the USA. I have my doubts about that…

  • Munsterview

    Toasted…: “… But I’d be interested in your source for the claim that “most” of those Presbyterians left for the good ol US of A…..”

    There is an old Munster saying, ” If you meet a man coming down the road and he do not know where he is coming from it is a good bet that he do not know where he is going either ”

    It is not incumbent on me to convince you of anything, if you can post here you are also capable of referencing these things for your self on the net and finding your own answers.

    I posited something as a general statement of fact, take it or leave it, I am not out to convince you or others of anything here on an argumentative basis. If you disagree and feel strongly enough on the matter, it is up to you to assemble the facts to prove me wrong.

    http://www.answers.com/topic/irish-american

    Abstract……

    Between 250,000 and 500,000 Protestant Irish arrived in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. While some were southern Irish Anglicans and Quakers, over three-fourths were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians from Ulster. In search of land and religious freedom, these “Wild Irish” settled in New England, New York, and Pennsylvania, later migrating to the wilderness backcountries of Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Known for their hatred of the British and their rugged individualism, many fought bravely in the American Revolution. More came in the early 1800s to settle Kentucky and Tennessee, becoming the nation’s first “Indian fighters” and producing such American heroes as President Andrew Jackson (1767–1845) and frontiersman Davy Crockett (1786–1836).

    “ Known for their hatred of the British…..” Where do you think that came from ?

    Just like Irish Catholic America have horror stories passed down from the famine period, so also an earlier exedous of Presbetarians have their own horror stories of dragooning, pitch capping, scourging etc from the 98 period.

    Try getting your head around the fact that it is possible to be true to Presbetarian beliefs and yet anti a dyspotic political system. For much of the History of Prespetartianism in this Island the faith and those who followed it suffered almost the same repression as Roman Catholics.

  • JH

    “The United Irishmen were Presbyterians who allied themselves somewhat disatrously with the Catholic Defenders. It is a testament to the divisive power of 20th century Irish republicanism that they managed to turn modern day Presbyterians against their own ancestors. Yet what real claim do modern day republicans have to the memory of McCracken etc? Beyond the fact that they have claimed them for their own I would suggest none. If McCracken had been born in the 1950s he would very likely have been active in opposing the modern version of republicanism.”

    Errr what?

    As a Hope all I can say is read Jemmy’s autobiography. It clearly describes how the movement associated themselves with several organisations; from the Catholic defenders, to the freemasons to even some of the Peep O’ Day boys if they could turn them towards a non-sectarian, egalitarian struggle for self-determination. Several of the leaders were headstrong enough that I suspect they would have supported the 1950’s IRA.

    It’s moot anyways because it’s ridiculous to take them out of context like that. All you can do is look at their views and see how they align now. There certainly would be a range, Jemmy was an avowed socialist and organiser of the working classes. McCracken was a land-owning revolutionary.

    Anyways. My only concern here is that this nonsense will cost us the best Mayor we’ve ever had.

  • Munsterview

    ant : I can recall reading a very good essay on this around the time of the 98 commemorations, but I cannot remember now off the top of my head what it was in. I may be meeting up with someone to-morrow who is an expert in this period.

    Please also bear in mind that when I use the term Loyalist, I do so in the context of relatively prosperous Catholics like his family who see their class interests tied up with the Crown and stability rather than disorder and revolution. Their loyalty to the Crown was ambiguous and qualified and not the same as that of, for instance, The North Cork Yeos.

    Daniel O’Connell’s relative was the last Colonel of the Irish Brigade in the service of the French. The Brigade prided itself for its victories over the British, they were in the main Catholic and most of the officer core, like O’Connell were connected to what remained of the Catholic gentry in Ireland. Yet when the revolution erupted on the Continent, class interests prevailed and O’Connell and his Brigade was given refuge in England. More they were maintained from both the Crown and State purse.

    Post the French Revolution both the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, The Crown and the Protestant Establishment of the day in these Islands had a common interest in opposing the forces unleashed by the French Revolution and the cooperative developments between all in the first quarter of the 19th century only formalized a situation that de facto existed for a lot of instances in the last quarter of the 18th.

    That is why if you go to Manooth Library in the present time, in the hallway leading up stairs there is a one and one third size marble statue of King George that every priest ordained in Manooth had to pass daily for seven years of their lives and almost 100 years after the Easter Rising and the war of Independence, priests and pupils are still passing it on a daily basis..

    The history of this Island is far more subtle and complex when you start digging beneath the surface than it appears to be when painted in broad brush strokes..

  • Cynic2

    “False rage is an entirely appropriate charge”

    No it isnt. Used as it was it was an attempt, conscious or unconscious, to paint Unionists, as a collective group of people, as some form of “untermensch” whose concerns or beliefs are false and unworthy of concern. You made no atempt at all to address the real issue of the behaviour of the Lord Mayor

  • Cynic2

    JH

    “My only concern here is that this nonsense will cost us the best Mayor we’ve ever had.”

    The nonsense isnt nonsense when it offends so many people

    As for ‘the best Mayor we ever had” – last week showed that he isnt and, with those attitudes and behaviours, never could be. Sadly, its time for a change.

    Never mind though. His vote will go up among ‘his own’ community. reassiured on his ‘republican values’ and brave confrontation with a 15 year old girl

  • Cynic2

    “cry-baby unionism at its worst”

    Into the west

    Infantile twaddle, I am afraid. Unionists have a right to freedom of expression even if they dont need so many lawyers on legal aid to help them express it. The Lord Mayor’s behaviour wasa disgrace and he didnt just falter. We now know that he called Party Hqs for advice from his controller. He therefore also exposed himeslf as a puppet

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    I am glad to see that a benchmark for behaviour and ‘setting aside principles’ in order to represent ‘all’ the people has been made at Belfast City Hall. I have a feeling that this will be revisited on a regular basis.

  • thethoughtfulone

    “Given that the veteran UUP politician is clearly implying that doing the job properly involves respecting the legitimacy of the ‘other tradition,’ when exactly can we expect unionist politicians to pay their respects to the Irish republican war dead (including many protestants amongst their number) in reciprocation to the republican gesture of laying a wreath to remember British army casualties from the city?”

    So are you seriously equating a young female member of the army cadets with a member of a terrorist organisation?

    If so, it’s sick.

    If not, it’s a totally irrelevant point.

  • ayeYerMa

    “False rage and that cult of victimhood…”

    Funny, that’s how I’d describe the content of 99% of Chris Donnelly’s blog posts. Sounds like a case of being able to give it out but not being able to take it when criticism of a member one of the most zealous cults in Europe comes under the spotlight of the media; a media who are normally too complicit in the Appeasement Process TM to dare upset the Provos in their daily shenanigans of bigotry.

    … What’s that … I think that’s a message I overheard from cult HQ at Connelly house … Reception doesn’t sound so good on that old Gadaffi-supplied equipment, but it sounds like a message to tell Chris to start the next reply with something about “800 years of oppression” and something about a conspiracy to blame the Brits next week for Globsal warming and the cancellation of Top of The Pops….

  • Reader

    Munsterview: Most of those fine progressive Presbyterians who survived the UI uprising and who could do so hightailed it out to the US where as Republicans, they were able to live in and contribute to a real Republic.
    Which makes it that much more likely that I don’t have UI ancesters. Cheers. If only I believed you.
    And where did the Catholic UIs go?

  • Reader

    Chris Donnelly: Sammy Wilson standing up in the House of Commons and condemning the Belfast Mayor’s “breathtaking display of bigotry.” You couldn’t make it up!
    You have to wonder at the monumental incompetence from SF that would give Sammy the opportunity.
    Is it really true that Niall Ó Donnghaile took advice from SF back office before deciding what to do?

  • Harry Flashman

    “And where did the Catholic UIs go?”

    Into big burial pits, mostly.

  • Eddie (Eamonn) Mac Bhloscaidh

    Niall made a poor decision and has apoligised.

    I respect him all the more for it.

    It is very refreshing.

    He was ‘guilty’ of a little bad manners, nothing more.

    I have to be frank, when I was in university, the Unionist Students involved in POLITICS went out of their way to be bad mannered and to express disrespect for the Catholic religon and Irish culture and made it absolutely clear that they did not regard the other side as equals.

    Things seem to have moved on from then but you will have to forgive me if I am not overly concerned about Unionist bleating on this issue.

  • john

    Pat McLarnon

    ”I am glad to see that a benchmark for behaviour and ‘setting aside principles’ in order to represent ‘all’ the people has been made at Belfast City Hall. I have a feeling that this will be revisited on a regular basis.”

    Yes couldnt agree more no doubt in the near future a DUP mayor will find themselves in such a position maybe they should be asked to lead the gay pride parade or something to represent all the people

  • thethoughtfulone

    “Yes couldnt agree more no doubt in the near future a DUP mayor will find themselves in such a position maybe they should be asked to lead the gay pride parade or something to represent all the people”

    Totally missing the point, which it appears most people are in relation to this.

    That would have been a fair point IF he had refused to do the honours at the entire event, a stance which there could probably have been a reasonable defense of. But no, he singled out one particular individual that he seemingly had a problem with. Was this person an orangeman perhaps, an ex-para, a loyalist paramilitary?, no, it was a young girl who had the audacity to not only participate in this scheme but to do it under the auspices of an organisation which doesn’t conform obviously to his measure of what can be tolerated.

    It was a disgrace which I can’t imagine would have been tolerated never mind defended anywhere else in these islands.

  • john

    thethoughtfulone
    He made a stupid mistake which he has now apologised for and from what I gather he will meet with the young cadet in question. He quite rightly has been given a bit if a bruising on the matter but Im only making my point to highlight the over the top hysteria and hypocrisy from several of the councillors throwing the punches.

  • Reader

    Harry Flashman: Into big burial pits, mostly.
    So, all in all, most of us on both sides are descended from the stay at homes or the winners of the UI rebellion.

  • thethoughtfulone

    “Im only making my point to highlight the over the top hysteria and hypocrisy from several of the councillors throwing the punches.”

    OK, fair point.

    Probably worth noting that many of those “prosecuting” in this case don’t really seem any more concerned about the wee lass involved than many of those “defending”.

  • Decimus

    The history of this Island is far more subtle and complex when you start digging beneath the surface than it appears to be when painted in broad brush strokes..

    Munsterview,

    Very true and you bring up some excellent points re 1798. It is probably not widely know that the Cork Militia which fought for the British, and which had a hundred men killed at Oulart Hill were Catholics.

    However you appear to have missed the point that I was making, which is that the divisive nature of 20th century republicanism is all the more evident when you consider that they managed to turn modern day Presbyterians against their own ancestors. Your suggestion that all the rebellious Presbyterians left Ireland for America is of course nonsense.

  • Harry Flashman

    “So, all in all, most of us on both sides are descended from the stay at homes or the winners of the UI rebellion.”

    To a certain extent yes. I often say the same, perhaps rather callously, about the Famine; if we’re in Ireland talking about it today our own ancestors must have got through it OK.

    An unimportant quasi-historical point useful only for winding folks up in pubs after 11pm.

  • Reader

    Harry Flashman: An unimportant quasi-historical point useful only for winding folks up in pubs after 11pm.
    I disagree. It’s key to understanding our place (all our places) in history that we are descended from a long line of survivors. Maybe our ancestors were hardy, or lucky, or clever, or cautious, or treacherous, or privileged, or victorious or at least lived just long enough to bear surviving children; but here we (all) are.
    The real victims were left behind in the dirt. We don’t have inherited victim status.

  • Harry Flashman

    “We don’t have inherited victim status.”

    An interesting point, but true only if we limit victimhood to deaths in our immediate ancestry, if we’re talking about genocide, invasion, expropriation etc we can surely claim a generalized grievance.

    Otherwise you’d simply have to say to Jews, Armenians, survivors of Communist oppression, slavery among other things, “look you obviously came through it OK so what’s your beef?”

    But I take aboard your point that inherited victimhood often leads to claims against culprits by inheritance and none of us are responsible for the actions of previous generations.

  • john

    Bit simplistic to consider only victims as those that perished even if the comment is tongue in cheek

  • john

    You beat me to it Harry answering your own question – must type faster!

  • Reader

    Harry Flashman: An interesting point, but true only if we limit victimhood to deaths in our immediate ancestry, if we’re talking about genocide, invasion, expropriation etc we can surely claim a generalized grievance.
    Then I would have to worry *how* my ancestors got through it, and how did they behave when the boot was on the other foot.
    If I knew the victim and can point to the perp then OK. But for anything in the long term I’m perfectly willing to dismiss inherited victimhood as the price for dismissing inherited survivor guilt.

  • Harry Flashman

    “Then I would have to worry *how* my ancestors got through it”

    I doubt if there’s a single one of us on this island who can claim a single, consistent, honourable line of ancestors all lining up and doing the historically correct thing at the right time.

    I know for a fact that within my circle of direct ancestors in the Twentieth Century alone were IRA, British Army and policemen, some heroes, some villains, some both depending on your analysis.

    All humans, all trying to get through the hellish mess of Irish life at the time.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Does a shared future mean a recognition and respect for all traditions, their symbols and culture? Is there going to be an across the board equality in seeing this through?

    I suspect we will continue to have lip serivce paid to such semtiment while in reality some symbols and traditions will be more equal than others.

  • Cynic2

    “He was ‘guilty’ of a little bad manners, nothing more”

    Surely that is a matter of opinion. Aw well.

    By next week the Lord Mayor (Robo Mayor as he now known) will have been up to Party HQs to be reprogrammed on the new ‘lines to take’ on this and will be back in Town churning out glib one liners in accodance with his controller’s bidding

  • sonofstrongbow

    Seems Deep Thought has activated the Drones to repair the breach in the Shinner Space Time Continuum.

    The intriguing aspect to all this is the glimpse inside the mindset of the average Shinner. Cast adrift from the Connolly House Hive, and faced with a situation without having a directional brief on how to deal with it, the Shinner is unable to compute what is the correct response; and just like a Class M-3 B9 robot a short-circuit occurs and irrational behaviour follows.

    Iron will is fine as long as the will is willing 24/7.

  • Decimus

    I suspect we will continue to have lip serivce paid to such semtiment while in reality some symbols and traditions will be more equal than others.

    Pat,

    It stands to reason that symbols and traditions which are supportive of either loyalist or republican murder campaigns will never be on a par with symbols and traditions which were based on lawful activity.

  • MonkDeWallyDeHonk

    AyeYerMa

    Personally I thought that this action was a mistake by the mayor and I welcome his reaction.

    However, I’m really not interested in the outrage from you, the mob at the City Hall, or many of the usual Unionist posters on here.

    I didn’t see Unionist protestors when BCC were spending many thousands of pounds (taxpayers money) on legal bills when they tried (and failed) to defend the blatent discrimination within BCC gainst Catholics.

    I don’t remember them protesting when a Unionist deputy mayor stood on a platform with UDA gunmen shooting weapons.

    As usual, it’s an outrage from Catholics/Nationalists but totally acceptable when Protestants/Unionists/”Loyalists” do it.

    It’s hardly surprising that, beyond the backwoods of NI, NI Unionism is viewed as hypocritical and narrow minded.

    No wonder, it’s PR image (like the OO) is simply abysmal.

  • Cynic2

    Monk

    ” I didn’t see Unionist protestors when BCC ….” and the rest of the rant

    You have evdiently been locked up in your cell for too long. I similarly didnt see SF protesting when their colleagues were blowing up buildings, maiming and killing civilians and children in the city and abusing children by recruiting them as child soliders

    That is all nsupposed to be part of our past. What the Lord Mayor showed us is that he’s up to his uxters in that bitter sectarian twaddle and cannot move on

  • aquifer

    “I was referring to the UI Presbyterians: Musterview is claiming that post-rebellion most left for the USA. I have my doubts about that…”

    Well founded. Perhaps 200,000 Presbyterians had emigrated PRE-rebellion, spurred by famine in 1730, droughts, and the Marquis of Donegal raising rents with new leases from 1771. Presbyterian participation in the rebellion looks more like a desperate last gasp than a viable revolution, making their fear of later Catholic risings more understandable.

  • aquifer

    Sorry that famine was 1740

  • MonkDeWallyDeHonk

    Cynic

    Hardly a rant but then the truth hurts doesn’t it? I simply pointed out the hypocrisy of the mob at City Hall.

    The current mayor has both Unionist and Nationalist symbols in his office (as did Alex Maskey). Unionist mayors have made no such gestures so they’re in no position to lecture anyone about outreach.

    As I said, I didn’t approve of the mayor’s actons.

    As for it all being in the past, clearly hasn’t sunk in with the DUP deputy mayor and her refusal to deal with the mayor from day 1 – don’t see anyone protesting about that do you?

    What about the blatent sectarian stitch up on Castlereagh council – don’t see them protesting about that either.

    I’m afraid the days where Unionists can criticise Nationalists without fear of their blatent hypocrisy being pointed out are long gone – sorry to disappoint you.

    If you want a blog where the old “croppie lie down” mentality still prevails, I can suggest a couple. If you can’t handle Unionist hypocrisy being clearly pointed out on this site – that’s your problem.

  • Cynic2

    Monk

    It was a rant and you have still not addressed the issue just descended into whataboutery

    My point was clear. the Lord Mayor demonstrated a sectarian mindset . We now also know that he was ‘only obeying orders’ from Party HQ – so we have to assume that that backward looking, knuckledragging sectariansim is party policy

    I dont care if the Prods are equally guilty. Read my other posts and you will see what I think of that behaviour too.

    But two wrongs dont make a right.