Martina Anderson reprises her Unionist Outreach role

Previously Ms. Anderson had a less than successful outing as Unionist Outreach Officer (or successful dependent on what one feels SF were trying to achieve). On this occasion she was present at cross-a border “reconciliation” event held in the Gateway Hotel in Co. Donegal. Around 140 young people were attending the dinner on Saturday night as part of a year-long cross-border, cross-community project involved various youth and community groups coming together to explore the joint sacrifice of the Irish and Ulster divisions during the First World War.

From the News Letter:

According to east Belfast woman Gwen Ferguson, who attended Saturday’s dinner as a member of the Cregagh Community Association (CCA) in east Belfast, the group was “shocked and disgusted” that Ms Anderson had been invited to speak.
Ms Ferguson has been involved in youth work for eight years and said that while there are certain cross-community projects addressing political differences, the Inishowen Development Partnership initiative had taken place in a “politically neutral” environment.
“At this type of event this is totally unacceptable. There were groups there from the Shankill, Tullycarnet, Cregagh and Braniel and we knew nothing about Martina Anderson being there and making herself out to be a hero,” Ms Ferguson said.
“It’s a big thing within our communities to get parents to agree to their children taking part in cross-border events.
“We have to justify taking the young people along so this speech was totally out of order.”
The Inishowen Development Partnership had labelled the initiative as looking at “Ireland’s experience in World War One, and the brotherhood that arose between Irishmen on the Western Front to forge new relationships and new hope for our common future”.
Ms Ferguson said her whole party felt they had no option but to walk out during the junior minister’s address: “The groups got on so well so it would be a shame if this destroyed everything. I don’t know what’s going to happen. The whole project has been all about the history of the Irish and Ulster soldiers who fought in the war, and nothing else.
“She started off speaking in Irish and then started going on about how proud she was to be a republican and that she had served time in jail.
“That ended up causing a divide and ruined the whole night for the kids. I even had a youth leader from west Belfast coming up to me saying it was totally inappropriate,”

The Community Relations Council told the News Letter that it would be “surprising for a speaker of such a political nature to suddenly use the platform to walk over a fairly sensitive area”, unless pre-arranged with all concerned.

Sinn Fein have been unrepentant, a spokesperson stating:

“Unionist/loyalist groups need to realise that if they are going to participate in these cross-community projects they are going to hear opinions and accounts of the conflict that they may not like or agree with…. if they expect to hear republicans apologise for their past or to stop being republicans then they are going to be disappointed.”

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  • Reader

    year-long cross-border, cross-community project involved various youth and community groups coming together to explore the joint sacrifice of the Irish and Ulster divisions during the First World War.
    So, what on earth has that to do with Martina and the Provos? They are normally very selective over the parts of our common heritage they want to remember. Though, of course, there was the Enniskillen bomb.

  • john

    Who ever asked Martina Anderson to speak at the dinner needs their head examined. I would be interested though to read her exact speech. Was it offensive inappropriate Republican rubbish or was it just a case of some Unionists leaving just because she was a shinner. Note to organisers in future if you do insist on guest speakers make sure there is one of each to keep everyone happy

  • Obelisk

    Can we just copy and paste all the responses to the Mayor saga from last week, replacing the Mayor’s name with Martina and the Army Cadet with Protestant Youth Groups and save ourselves a lot of time and effort?

    No?

    Well then I’ve read the article, I’ve read the Sinn Fein response and the main question I have to ask is why on earth did they invite her if she was going to prove so divisive? It seems to have damaged whatever work they were doing.

    Everyone knows what Martina’s opinions are and it wasn’t too much of a stretch to expect her to express them at the event. I’m not saying she’s wrong to express her opinions, just that the organisers really should have known better and maybe tried a different speaker.

  • quality

    Obelisk

    Without wanting to join in some sort of witch hunt here, MLAs speak at numerous events throughout the year. It is not unreasonable to expect them to talk about the topic at hand (Irishmen who died during WWI) rather than going off on her own agenda.

    You’re essentially blaming the organisers for expecting Martina Anderson to be reasonable and rational. Actually, maybe you have a point.

  • quality

    More generally, she should be able to distinguish between her position as a Junior Minister (and the duties that entails) and her duties as a gob shite.

  • Obelisk

    I think learning about the shared experience of Irishmen and Ulstermen who died in the first world war was more a means to an end to bring the two communities closer together.

    In which case, Martina Anderson’s speech was perfectly logical from her perspective because she probably thought she was relaying her own journey with the underlying message ‘We all have to live together’. The problem is, as Sinn Fein later noted, Martina’s version of her life journey is not really acceptable to Unionists due to the assumptions she has that underpin, i.e her struggle was legitimate.

    Now her version of her life story isn’t exactly a well kept secret. We all know her perspective on the conflict, and yet she was invited to come and talk to this group about it. So I don’t think I am placing too much blame on the organisers for causing this.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Must save that SF quote for the next Royal or Armed forces event they refuse to attend. Its a disgusting attitude to take, these groups of young people are the brave ones considering the communities they come. I presuming Martina was there in her role as a Juinor minister, and possibly as funders was entitled to be there. But she abused that postion disgracefully, at least verging on a breach of her ministerial oath possibly.

  • Unionist/loyalist groups need to realise that if they are going to participate in these cross-community projects they are going to hear opinions and accounts of the conflict that they may not like or agree with…. if they expect to hear republicans apologise for their past or to stop being republicans then they are going to be disappointed

    Absolutely dripping in arrogance but also kinda misses the point. They should have been pre-informed that Anderson was going to be speaker and then decide for themselves if they wished to hear a justification of her movement’s crimes. However, that’s as much the fault of the organisers.

    I wonder what Inishowen Development Partnership’s next attempt at “reconciliation” will involve? A group from the Bogside to hear a lecture from a representative of the Paras as to why they aren’t going to apologise for their past or to stop being British soldiers?

  • Neil

    A number of things spring to mind. A TUVite using the word outreach, even ironically, is in itself spectacularly ironic. This wasn’t anything to do with SF ‘outreach’ clearly, it was a Shinner making a speech at a cross community event. I suppose one could criticise her, but it would be better in terms of the whole ‘outreach’ theme if it weren’t someone who’s politician of choice didn’t use terms like leprechaun language for example.

    Martina talks about her own experiences, whereas Allister denigrates the other sides culture. I prefer Martina’s approach, Allister’s deliberately offensive terms used against Irish speakers rankles me you see – I have to assume Turgon finds it amusing.

    You see, I can handle hearing an opinion different to my own – Unlike the TUV. Free speech is for WASPs only. Faggots and fenians need not apply.

    Finally I’d point out that in response to someone you disagree with, one could certainly take the option to tuck tail and run, or one could participate in a debate. One might even learn to understand your neighbours a bit better. Or one could stick to the usual line that the Unionist/Loyalist experience is the only relevant one, the only legitimate one, that the IRA came into existence because of the inherent murderousness of Catholics and that the best way to move on is to ignore Republicanism until such times as it just goes away.

    Of course the leprechaun language hating, Torrens Knight loving people in the TUV don’t really want to move on, no they want to go right back to the good ole days when Unionism could pretty much rule as they saw fit. Which of course had nothing to do with the outbreak of the troubles as mentioned – that was just us murderous fenians, murdering away for the fun of it.

  • Neil

    I wonder what Inishowen Development Partnership’s next attempt at “reconciliation” will involve? A group from the Bogside to hear a lecture from a representative of the Paras as to why they aren’t going to apologise for their past or to stop being British soldiers?

    That’s actually a good idea though. Why not? It’s harder to hate an actual living breathing (seems like a decent guy) human being, rather than an abstract historical figure.

    Why would it not be good to have a former or serving squadie come along and point out that there were (Christ knows how many) soldiers in NI who didn’t kill anyone.

    No one’s saying that the Republican kids have to agree (just like the Protestant ones didn’t) but it wouldn’t hurt to hear a little bit of the other point of view.

    Or we could all just pretend the other side doesn’t exist and continue with the theme that a) all soldiers, cops and Unionists were heroes who behaved impeccably or b) the IRA made no mistakes and re heroes while every single cop, soldier and Loyalist in Ireland is filth.

    That would be a good idea. It’s the healthy and sensible response – keep bottling it all up, say nothing, ignore it and it’ll go away. /sarcasm

  • More contrived outrage (or false rage as Chris put it) from the Newsletter. One of the Gardai who organised the programme was on the radio this morning and said:
    (i) the walkout happened before Anderson even began to speak

    (ii) far from glorifying the IRA as this youth worker and the Newsletter claim, the IRA was not even mentioned in the speech

    (iii) the youth workers claimed they were protesting that the British army cadet row which happened in Belfast the week before.

    Of course coming from the paper that brought us the school poppy ban that never was, it seems it’s a little too much to expect accurate reporting from the Newsletter. On the protest itself, IMO it was the height of bad manners, those concerned could have at least waited to hear what she had to say before ruining the event for the children by dragging them out. Still at least they got their free meal before staging this principled protest.

  • It would be helpful to have an online copy of Martina’s speech. Can anyone here help to arrange that? It could then be assessed it in the context of these remarks from Glen Barr:

    Messines was selected because it was at the battle of Messines on 7th June 1917 that the Nationalist 16th Irish Div. and the Unionist 36th Ulster Div. fought and died together for the first time and where the young John Meeke of the 36th Div. risked his life to retrieve the badly wounded Major Willie Redmond of the 16th Div. from the battlefield. Two men from different traditions, both there for different political reasons, sworn enemies in Ireland, brothers in arms on a foreign battlefield fighting a common enemy.

    Why was I not taught this in my history class at school? Why was it kept from me? It was the story that was to transform my life and when the JORT decided that its work was completed with the official opening of the Peace Park on 11th November 1998 I decided to set up the International School for Peace Studies to tell the story to others, especially our young people.

  • Obelisk

    What a tawdry little story this has devolved into.

  • iluvni

    How much is spent every year funding the ‘community outreach’ industry?

  • Drumlins Rock

    Neil, play the ball not the name,

  • sonofstrongbow

    Anderson seems a strange choice for this event given that her gang’s earlier version avoided the trenches to stay in the safety of Dublin and proceeded to see off post office clerks at gunpoint. They then went on to mirror the Huns’ by killing Irish soldiers (albeit not toe to toe on the battlefield but from the safety of a country hedgerow).

    That being said it was very remiss of the organisers to have her deliver a no-warning speech that sent some running for cover.

    Btw Slugger admin how long will you tolerate posts by Turgon being met by totally off-subject anti-TUV rants?

  • Alan N/Ards

    Neil
    It’s good to see you saying nice things about the army. Is that because they didn’t kill as many catholics as the republican movement did during the troubles? Maybe next year they could invite Jonny Adair to speak.

    I personally wouldn’t have walked out of the meeting. I wouldn’t necessary have applauded her after she had spoken but I would have had the maturity to endure it. It’s a bit like the unionist councillors who where in the states a few years ago ( not quite sure when and why} and were invited to a school. The kids had bedecked the assembly hall in tricolours in honour of their guests. They said nothing and kept smiling at the kids rather than be rude.

  • “it’s a little too much to expect accurate reporting from the Newsletter.”

    Few of our MSM outlets cover themselves in glory when it comes to accuracy and content, Ulick. However, in this instance, it appears that the NL made an effort to get a wide range of views:

    Despite several attempts to contact the event organisers at the Inishowen Development Partnership, no one was available for comment.

  • jthree

    Oh dear, the DUP C-team on BCC appear to have let a genie out of the bottle.

    All this protesting and walking out is probably very bracing but meanwhile Peter still has do this business with Martin et al

  • “Anderson seems a strange choice for this event given that her gang’s earlier version avoided the trenches to stay in the safety of Dublin and proceeded to see off post office clerks at gunpoint. They then went on to mirror the Huns’ by killing Irish soldiers (albeit not toe to toe on the battlefield but from the safety of a country hedgerow).”

    Interesting point considering the Orange Order had to call a halt to their marches for the duration lest they be embarrassed by the swarming ranks of young “loyalist” manhood marching up and down the street rather than go fight the “Hun”. It’s no surprise then that almost three times as many nationalists volunteered to fight (per percentage of population) than the loyal Ulster unionists.

    Then there is Chruchill’s view on the loyal Protestants of Ulster 20 odd years later, who when again granted an exemption from conscription, chose to lie in their beds rather than put on a night shift in the shipyard or aircraft factories, lest they be bombed by the “Hun”.

    You can say a lot about the Irish volunteers of the period, both those who fought for the British and fought against, at least they were no cowards, like the loyal Ulster brethren up north.

  • sonofstrongbow

    “no cowards” indeed.

    It takes a brave man to shoot in the back an unarmed DMP or RIC officer at church or at home. Or to murder officers’ family members for daring to be related to police, or Protestant Boy Scouts as ‘informers’.

    These fine traditions were carried forward into the modern era with ‘brave’ under-car booby trap, and incidents such as Enniskillen.

    Need I go on? I expect not, Irish Republicans’ attachment to their mythic ‘soldiery’ amounts to a psychosis that I hazard could not be broken no matter how many years of reality therapy they undertook.

  • I dont think we can take Sinn Féin or DUP “outreach” in isolation………….and we must be in a political silly season to take either seriously.
    Let me emphasise that there is nothing……… in itself……… “sectarian” about Republicanism. Or unionism. And many genuine Republicans and Unionists find it difficult to accept that the “other sort” dont see this as clearly as they do.
    To a certain extent most people…..certainly those on the vol au vent circuit in the Long Gallery have accepted the good faith…..or suspended judgement …..on the meeting and greeting by SF and DUP Ministers in the Executive. So perhaps its inevitable that they get into a bubble where they think they are more acceptable to “themmuns” than they actually are.
    But its still an unusual coincidence that the great new buzzword is outreach…………for both the DUP and SF.
    If I recall correctly “Turgon” has argued that the DUP “outreach” is more about appearing acceptable to “moderate unionism”…….giving the bedrock voters of UUP a reason or fig leaf to get on board with DUP without holding their noses. And surely thats what SF “outreach” is about also.
    And I think there is a genuine attempt by politicians to give their own personal histories a new narrative.

    Of course SDLP and UUP continue a downward spiral. Although it might be reasonable to say that SF and DUP to might have to work harder tha they have done so far……as the 2011 crop of SDLP and UUP voters might well be a hard core.
    But the rhetoric of “outreach” doesnt quite square with other attitudes in DUP-SF……..the seeming isolation of Ministers outside those Parties…..boundary changes…….centenary commemorations……local council re-organisation…….
    It would appear that the Big Two are not so much interested in outreach than advancing their own positions.

    Theres two aspects…….the Outreach itself……..needs to be matched by a willingness to be approached ……….and this is variable. A sort of pragmatic attitude that Michelle O’Neill is in Agriculture and that Edwin Poots is in Health.
    But it stretches things to think that Protestant farmers and Catholic social workers in the Long Gallery actually feel great about that.
    Perhaps the pragmatic politeness has led the people in the Sinn Féin and DUP back-rooms to mis-read this as a thawing of relations. Game Changers.
    Hardly.
    Undoubtedly there IS a reservoir of “good will” to be tapped into……….and there will be many in the Golden Circle of quango-istas and potential quango-istas who would love a good excuse to “hug an ex-prisoner” or “cuddle up to a fundamentalist” and Outreach seems to be the key to their hearts.
    The surprising……or maybe it isnt surprising……is that shrewd observers of these things seem to be blind to it……….rather like they went along with things 1994-1998.

  • michael-mcivor

    Sinn Fein outreach is hard to beat- but it must be hard to talk peace whilst the brit army is killing and being killed around the world- will the brits ever learn-

  • Neil,

    No one’s saying that the Republican kids have to agree (just like the Protestant ones didn’t) but it wouldn’t hurt to hear a little bit of the other point of view

    Would you inform them beforehand that a Para was going to speak to them?

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    Too funny – what a cock-up. Shame though that the kids’ evening was ruined by this sectarian ghoul appearing in front of them.

  • socaire

    Yeah – and a Fenian to boot. Is it any wonder that the baby goats had to get out. It would have been a bitter ‘pill’ to swallow.

  • @sonofstrongbow
    Go on if you like, but we’ll hear no more of this nonsense about avoiding “the trenches”, unless, as we have established you are referring to those hundreds of thousands of “loyal” Ulster unionists avoided the trenches and the beaches.

  • JR

    Reminds me a bit of the Row in Kilkeel a few years back when the AOH were goint to be allowed to march past the War memorial on St Patricks day. The Unionists were enraged at this disrespect of the war dead despite the fact a number of the AOH members had lost brothers in WW2.

    It may come as a surprise to Unionists but many SF members and voters lost family members in both wars. Also if the South was so Anti british, Why did they monitor all air and sea movment along the atlantic coast for the full duration of the war and secretly send the information to the British?

  • JR

    “She started off speaking in Irish” Imagine having to hear Irish in Ireland! Especially in Donegal, the county with the largest Gaeltacht population in Ireland. Shock Horror!!

    It is a disgrace that good young impressionable loyalist kids should be exposed to language full of F-words (words with fada’s).

  • andnowwhat

    T’would appear that the walkout was arranged before as a response to what happened in the dome of delight last week.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b017vjzx/The_Nolan_Show_07_12_2011/

    As the caller to the show points out, a member of a cross community group who has attended before, it was normal for loyalists and republicans to attend such events and speek of their past.

    There wouldn’t be much point in Sadie or Sid from Cultra speaking, would there

  • andnowwhat

    A question for Turgon.

    How would you have felt if, in the very early 70’s, you lived in Derry and you knew that people like Daniel Heggarty, Billy Mc Greanery, the Bloody Sunday victims etc. were innocents who were killed by state forces and yet, not only did the perpetrators not stand trial, but with the help of the state, they lied and defamed the victims?

  • Red Lion

    JR,
    But at a cross community event , aimed at children, where those kids and groups are placing themselves outside a comfort zone for the good of cross community work, its not the most friendly welcoming or inclusive thing to do in the circumstances is it – to address these kids in a language they dont understand???? Its completely inappropriate in the circumstances. Not to mention rude and condescending.

    Everyone in the room speaks English, why not just stick to that, and keep a neutural and inclusive environment???

  • JR

    I understand part of the trip went to France. I am sure shock horror they experianced people speaking french, despite the fact those pepole may have had english too.

    When that tour was in France at Messene does a tourguide speaking a little french detract from the nutrality of the event or the inclusivity of the environment? Is it Rude and condecending to sprinkle a few french words in there?

    Personally I don’t think so.

  • unicorn

    Having Sinn Fein unionist outreach to persuade for a united Ireland through peaceful consent is a bit like having a campaign to lower the age of consent to 14, in line with some European countries, so as not to criminalise young people and provide easier access to contraception, then choosing to have the media campaign fronted by Jonathan King and Gary Glitter. Then when someone objects the campaigning group releases a statement saying,

    “The public need to realise that if they are going to participate in a debate on the age of consent then they are going to hear opinions and accounts that they may not like or agree with…. if they expect to hear Gary or Jonathan apologise for their past then they are going to be disappointed.”

    Brilliant!

    Not.

  • separatesix

    Irish republicans have every right to express their views however I can’t understand why the protestant youth in question were so shocked and overwhelmed by what they heard from Anderson, if you go to an event like that it’s natural you’re going to hear a lot of Sinn Fein revisionist history. Why protestants allow themselves to be used as pawns and useful idiots like Reverand Latimer for the all-Ireland agenda is beyond me.

  • sliabhluachra

    The Inishowen Development Partnership had labelled the initiative as looking at “Ireland’s experience in World War One, and the brotherhood that arose between Irishmen on the Western Front to forge new relationships and new hope for our common future”.

    Sinn Fein have been unrepentant, a spokesperson stating:

    ::::::::::::::::
    As Ms Anderson is not a historian of note and is not even a local historian, she should have had the grace to stay away.
    Some have argued here that members of the Provisional Alliance has family who fought for THEIR king in both world wars. Maybe so, but it should have been the job of a professional historian or a well informed local one to bring those points out.
    Of course, Sinn Fein is unrepetent as all their new war plan is to bore the opposition to death with their tales of how they have suffered by not getting on the unearned gravy train earlier in life.

  • Red Lion

    JR

    your comparison with France is strained and absurd. I think a cross community group from Ireland expects to hear French in France. But Protestant kids going to the ROI on a cross community schemme is a somewhat different context than heading off to Paris.

    Of course when us wee prods go across the border we might expect to hear irish being spoken, thats fine, though actually ive been on several trips for days on end and cant remember hearing irish in a spontaneous conversation not even once.

    In the context of a cross community group, where protestant kids have attended with the best of cross community intentions, in the ROI, then in my view it is rude, superior, discourteous and against the spirit of cross community, for the first part of the speech to be held in irish.

    Im not saying that learning about the Gaelic irish language shouldnt have a part in cross community work, it obviously does when learning about each others cultures. But in the context described at the start of this thread, it is an abuse of cross community spirit, and sounds like Anderson was abusing the occasion, the cross community group present, and the use of the irish language, for her own narrow ends.

  • JR

    I’s kind of Ironic don’t you think that others would have had similar atitudes to the speaking of Hebrew in certain european countries pre WW2?

    English-just a language, French- just a language, Irish- just a language.

  • Turgon

    JR,
    “Irish- just a language.”

    And being a language which at least half the children in this cross community event would not understand it was at best idiotic to use it. The purpose of making a speech in a language is to communicate. Seeing as Anderson would have known both that few in her audience would have understood her and that some would have been annoyed, she was indeed communicating: in a very negative fashion; hence the problems / complaints.

  • Red Lion

    Where did i mention hebrew?? youve gone off on one there JR

    English French and Gaelic are all just languages, youve got that simplistically right. The difference is ‘context’ JR, and ive explained that above regarding the use of Gaelic language and certain cross community settings. Ive made my point you disagree, am just glad that most cross community work is run by sensitive people whose only agenda is, er, cross community, and nowt else – certainly not making dumbed down arguments which would very quickly unravel the cross community ethos.

  • JR

    Turgon,
    For a start they left before she spoke. Secondly we have established that unionists would have had no problems with a French person using a few words of French, Why is speaking a few words in Irish in donegal any diferent, given the fact that Irish in West Donegel has exactly the same linguistic context as French in Paris.

  • JR,

    As far as I know it was Yiddish which was the mother tongue spoken by the Jewish communities in pre-war Europe, the revival of Hebrew tied in with the emigration of the Diaspora to Palestine and was as much part of the Zionist ethno-nationalist movement as a linguistic one.

    Which brings us to Anderson’s use of Irish to a young audience that she knew was more than likely not fluent in the language.

    If there was a simultaneous translation avaialble, then fine. If not, she was making a none too subtle, communalist point at what was supposed to be, after all, a cross-community event.

  • Comrade Stalin

    And being a language which at least half the children in this cross community event would not understand it was at best idiotic to use it.

    I’d say considerably less than half would understand it, but I guess it is a point which is lost on certain people – thankfully it is not lost on others such as the Queen.

    And given that the kids in question left before Anderson even began speaking, exactly what language it is in hardly matters.

    The children at this event chose to take their lead, as children do, from the behaviour of the “adults” – on both sides – down at City Hall. It’s depressing.

  • Comrade Stalin

    given the fact that Irish in West Donegel has exactly the same linguistic context as French in Paris.

    Er, let’s not take the piss please.

  • JR
  • separatesix

    JR don’t even mention the French in the same breath as yourself they’re light years ahead of a narrow-minded backwoodsman like you, they invented human rights and democracy.

  • separatesix

    As largely disinterested observers the French probably favour a united Ireland from afar, but they would find cowardly acts of murder by republicans as deplorable, they are a civilised society that’s the difference.

  • Decimus

    Finally I’d point out that in response to someone you disagree with, one could certainly take the option to tuck tail and run, or one could participate in a debate.

    Neil,

    Hmm. Catholic and Protestant youths spend twelve years engaging with each other and learning about the shared experiences of their ancestors in WW1. Presumably at the end of which they might have gained a bit of respect for each other and perhaps made a few friends from the other community.

    They finish the year off by having a dinner together with the intention presumably of celebrating what they have achieved over the preceeding twelve months.

    Are you seriously suggesting that this would be a good time to introduce a convicted PIRA bomber and kick off a debate about the rights and wrongs of the PIRA murder campaign?

  • Decimus

    Interesting point considering the Orange Order had to call a halt to their marches for the duration lest they be embarrassed by the swarming ranks of young “loyalist” manhood marching up and down the street rather than go fight the “Hun”.

    Who started that myth in the first place. It has the whiff of Brian Feeney about it.

    http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa143/Campsie_2007/8thBelfast_Orangemen.gif

    I don’t know if the link will work or not, but it shows orangemen ‘on parade’ for the 12th in Burma during WW2.

  • Zig70

    cross community so nearly half would have been taught Irish in primary school. Why are some so afraid of Irish? Do they stupidly think they’ll turn on the tv one day and not understand. Slugger is great for motivating me to learn a bit more Irish and indoctrinate my kids. Poor things will have to spend their day off school tomorrow listening to me gurning in Irish.

  • babyface finlayson

    Any chance of reading what she actually said yet?

  • Obelisk

    “Any chance of reading what she actually said yet?”

    After a full day of bashing her in this comment thread why spoil the fun by knowing what she actually said?

  • Neil

    Decimus,

    Are you seriously suggesting that this would be a good time to introduce a convicted PIRA bomber and kick off a debate about the rights and wrongs of the PIRA murder campaign?

    I haven’t offered an opinion on the wisdom or content of the speech. If what is written on the thread is true, her being a convicted IRA bomber would have had little relevance if the group had a UDA man involved. As for the content of the speech, I’m not in much of a position to comment as I don’t know the content, much like he offended unionists who like me didn’t hear a word of it.

    Though to reiterate, my main thrust is my amusement at the idea of TUVite post ironicly titled threads regarding SF ‘Outreach’ (his term not SF’s) while openly declaring his support for a party and a man that openly denigrates the culture of the opposing community.

    Is it bad to have SF attend cross community events? Or Loyalists, soldiers etc? I think it’s a good idea personally. But break it down to simple terms Turgon has a problem with Martina relating her own personal views to Unionists but has no problem with big Jim using terms like ‘leprechaun language’.

    If you want to talk about outreach let’s hear your opinion on Jim’s ‘outreach’, or rather his amusing use of insults to a significant portion of the population.