The Siege of New Forge: Unionism’s latest pyrrhic triumph.

In the great tradition of unionist pyrrhic victories, the RUC Athletic Association has decided against following the policing service in the state and moving towards becoming a body reflective and representative of its new membership and the political future heralded in by the respective political agreements of Good Friday, Hillsborough and the Patten Reforms.

The political unionist campaign perfectly illustrates the central flaw in the argument of those who would contend that either unionist political party is capable of remodelling itself in a manner which could ultimately attract electoral support from outside the PUL community in which it has remained perpetually entrenched.

The involvement of First Minister, Peter Robinson, in the row is particularly noteworthy, if not surprising. After all, Robinson did threaten to resign his post as First Minister unless British Royal symbols were retained within the Prison Service. (Yup, a resigning offence, well worth plunging the state into political crisis….)

Robinson’s much lauded (well, on Slugger at least….) intimations that the DUP would like to extend its support base outside of the PUL core have yet to be followed up with substantive actions. Yet this is hardly surprising, given that it is most likely that the DUP’s partial rhetorical shift (slightly reconciliatory….?) has more to do with the campaign to extend its dominance within the broad unionist family at a time when its primary electoral opponent remains in the doldrums, seeking a messiah figure to rescue the once-dominant Official Unionists from political oblivion.

In his press release on the issue today, DUP MLA Jimmy Spratt has called on the Chairman of the Association, AA Will Kerr, to resign over the matter:

“I welcome the decision taken today to withdraw this highly offensive motion to change the name of the RUC Athletic Association. I am pleased that the proposer and seconder of the motion made this decision and that common sense has prevailed. I sincerely hope this is now the end of the matter and I would call on ACC Will Kerr to do the decent thing and resign immediately as Chairman of the Association.”

What an intriguing proposition. For the crime of seeking to make the Association reflective of the policing service that exists today in the north of Ireland, the DUP would have this ‘Lundy’ character forced from office!

But the pronouncements of the probable new leader of the ‘moderate’ brand of unionism, Mike Nesbitt, betray unionism’s inability to date to fully embrace the implications of a truly shared future, where the legitimacy of both political traditions is respected and reflected in the institutions of the state.

Here’s Mike Nesbitt as quoted in the Belfast Newsletter today:

He said: “At a time when it appears a government department is allowing an application for European funding for a shrine to the IRA in south Armagh, this is just another example of how we are in danger of rewriting history, and disrespecting the sacrifices of the men and women who put themselves in harm’s way to defend their families, communities and society.”

Ironically, Lundy ACC Will Kerr invoked the words of the British Queen, so humbly addressed by DUP North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds in the House of Commons earlier this week, in support  of his case:

Again, from the Newsletter:

….Mr Kerr has quoted the Queen, speaking on her visit to Dublin last year, saying she provided “profound guidance” when speaking of the need to “bow to the past but not be bound by it”.

The police chief said: “It is grossly unfair to suggest that this proposal is an attempt to airbrush former RUC officers’ contributions. This is not about symbolism or signs, and it is not about politics or disrespecting the past.”

He said the proposal was a recognition that the sporting association of the police family needs to reflect the transition to the PSNI more than 10 years since its formation.

Mr Kerr said: “Therefore, the [News Letter] article’s assertion that the vote is being put on the agenda in ‘undue haste’ is frankly absurd.”

Describing the new name as “a more generic and inclusive title”, the chairman said it would make the association “more comfortable for all colleagues and friends, officers and staff, past present and future”.

Ever vigilant, they crouch in the foxholes…..

  • Mick Fealty

    Do we know who (if anyone) threatened the chair with funding cuts?

  • lamhdearg2

    you would think a man in kerr’s position would have learned that to threaten Ulster folk, is the best way to ensure a fight,(or maybe he wanted this outcome) he should still be forced to explain his comments.

  • between the bridges

    hmmm an Athletic Association with a name/s/symbolism that hankers back to the good old days? whatabout…

  • Chris Donnelly

    That’d be missing the wood for the trees, wouldn’t it. Though, naturally, I can understand why you’d prefer that ‘angle’ to the story.

  • Mick Fealty

    And why you might prefer to ignore it? 😉

  • WindsorRocker

    The Association is open to present and former police officers. For the foreseeable future it is natural that a majority of members will want the name to remain. For many it is a link with what they rightly consider to be a proud and glorious past and unlike the force name change, this is one thing they can have some control over as their professionalism and sense of duty precluded them from registering any overt protest at the decisions made over a decade ago.

    Maybe in a decade or two, the demographics will be such that a majority of members, having only served in the PSNI might want to change the name then if they can secure a majority amongst themselves…. (that might not be a foregone conclusion contrary to the perceptions of some here)

    I only remember political unionism getting involved in this when a senior leader of a public body scaremongered members of a private club with threats that were viewed by those in the highest echelons of government to be unsubstantiated.

  • Mick Fealty


    Still no names, and no pack drill?

  • lamhdearg2

    WR, if the name has been published and is not subject to a court gagging order then,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • BluesJazz

    When are you starting your campaign to rid ‘Royal’ Portrush Golf Club of its prefix in time to host the Irish Open? Where thousands of spectators from the Irish Republic will be aghast that this sectarian nameplate remains in place.
    And the ‘Royal Mail’ many of whose customers are horrified at receiving their (many) benefits from Crown servants delivering their cheques?
    And the RNLI?? Surely any decent Irish republican, in trouble at sea, would be telling these imperialist dogs to get lost.

    I could go on….

    But I suspect your mopery is neverending. I hope you find the green, green grass of home someday.

  • WindsorRocker

    Sorry Mick, ld2,

    I’m simply stating the fact that Will Kerr included that threat in a letter he wrote to RUCAA members. I’m unaware whether he or anyone else was the source of that threat and was merely trying to counter Chris’ assertion of unionist jungle drum beating by arguing that this was not a political unionist campaign until Executive members saw fit to contradict an ACC of the PSNI regarding the eligibility for funding of a private member’s club.

  • WindsorRocker


    and on the same vein, I suppose when Chris and co mention Dublin waterways that the Royal Canal does not get mentioned…..

  • London_Irish


    It isn’t just the ‘Royal’ part of the RUC’s name that is an issue – I can’t for the life of me recall the Royal ULSTER Constabulary ever having a station in Cavan, Donegal or Monaghan 😉

  • WindsorRocker


    It wouldn’t have mattered if the RUC had been called An Garda Siochana Thuiscart (sp)…….

    Its name became a casualty of the breakdown in relations that happened with the two sections of nationalism due to the anti terrorist work the force had to do which had one of two effects on the nationalist community:

    1. It stopped those who hoped that violence would have had a greater impact on policy and society and change here
    2. Those who were caught up as “collateral damage” in that anti terrorist work (family members as informants, etc)

    Given that the terrorist campaigns and by definition the anti terrorist work went on for so long, the RUC became a symbolic scalp to have.

  • Obelisk

    The name change is inevitable in the long term. Chris’s more important point is that these sorts of issues expose the lie at the heart of Peter Robinson’s outreach that some like Turgon have made much comment on.

    Robinson can talk the talk, but when it comes to concrete action, like supporting the name change to reflect reality or creating an appropriate balance of symbolism, Robinson is always there defending the status quo.

    Like the Good Friday Agreement the interpretation of the name change is different on both sides. For Unionists I imagine the new name and badge are just a lick of paint and that underneath is the same old organisation. Doubtless many hardline Republicans agree with that assessment.

    As for myself (and I believe many Nationalists), in order to buy into the police service in the modern era I have CHOSEN to believe that the Patten Reforms mark an entirely new departure on policing and that the pre-Patten RUC and the post-Patten PSNI are distinct and separate eras, and that the PSNI is not so much the RUC after a spruce up, but an entirely new edifice constructed partly from the institutional debris of what went before and what has been swept away.

    On a side note, like many Nationalists I don’t like uttering the phrase ‘Northern Ireland’. There’s many historical and emotional reasons I don’t. I prefer to say ‘North of Ireland’. But on an occasion I mentioned this, the response was basically I should face up to political reality. I point this out that so that I can say, in one of the few instances I feel I can, that I understand somewhat the Unionist perspective on this issue. I mean by any standard, the organisation should be called the PSNI AA, but it ideologically easier for Unionists to maintain this last link with the vanished RUC.
    I do understand that, even if I do disagree with it.

    Just please afford us the same courtesy and don’t harp on about our creative use of terms to describe the North here, especially when as circumstances dictate you can indulge the same conceit amongst yourselves.

  • BluesJazz

    So how does obelisk presume to change the names of the Irish Regiments of the British Army?
    presumably the Irish Guards become An Garda Saxonia? and surely we cannot have the Royal Irish Rangers? ‘Irish Celtic’?

    The PSNI contains the British Crown in its badge. And it is a UK police force subject to Westminster rules.
    So the name change was similar to the UDR/RIR name change. But the fundamentals, then and now are no different. Westminster Rules OK.

  • If the unionist argument is to keep the name RUC alive they are saying that the Stormont of ’22-72 should be kept going and never should have been abolished because the mentality of the RUC was part and parcel of the orange police state overseen and approved by Craig/Brookeborough etc. Robinson is ok with beating civil rights marchers off the streets, beating Sammy Devenney to death and battering burntollet marchers and stoning tem. That’s the ethic of the RUC. That’s why Patten was brought in.

  • WindsorRocker


    the “ethic” of the RUC was whatever the government of the day wanted it to be whether that be 1969 or in 1985 when Anglo Irish Agreement protests were policed.

    No different from the “ethic” of the PSNI being the law of today and of those who make it and decide on it, despite any charade of separation of police and state.

  • IJP


    Your second paragraph is very important.

    A senior Ulster Unionist wrote on my blog a few weeks ago, no doubt in all seriousness, about “making Catholics comfortable within the Union”.

    In which case, his party would instantly have backed the Justice Minister on Prison Symbols, instantly advocated moving on with all PSNI-linked names, and instantly promoted the Alliance Party’s proposal to fly the Union Flag on civic buildings only on designated days (in line with Britain, as it happens).

    It is more that Unionist parties are incapable of advocating and promoting progress than anything else.

  • tacapall


    “the “ethic” of the RUC was whatever the government of the day wanted it to be whether that be 1969 or in 1985 when Anglo Irish Agreement protests were policed.”

    Just like all those PIRA members who done what they were asked to do. The one thing they had in common with RUC officers was they had a choice. They both broke the law and they both used methods that were unjustified and wrong. You cannot in a civilised society, knowing it is wrong, murder or allow murder to prevent murder, nor can you carry out acts of terrorism to prevent terrorism. Which one is the more evil when you consider those who are employed to make the law and impose the law commit the same crimes as those who they were employed to thwart and bring to justice.

    Unionist politicians and the old guard who control the RUC AA who see no wrong in their actions or their fellow officers of the RUC, whose actions can be described as unethical and unjustifiable and was at odds with the ideals of what a police force is supposed to be are squatting in New Forge Lane, refusing to budge or stand aside for those who wish to start again and bring trust and honour back to the ideals of what a police force should be without being shackled to the actions of past the previous tenants.

    This victory will surely be short lived.

  • BluesJazz

    It is a UK police force like any other
    (Avon and Somerset)
    The British Crown resides on its badge.
    That’s just the way it is, so it is.

    The ‘Technical Support’ and special reconnaisance is supplied by ? army?

    Acceptance is the key to happiness.

  • dwatch

    “Do we know who (if anyone) threatened the chair with funding cuts?”

    Good question Mick, I think this may have been a red herring without any substance.

    Another question. What were they going to do with this “Morrision suite” and its magnificent “RUC George Cross stained” glass window which meets all those who use the club over the outside front door at the entrance to the club. Where were they going to shift it to? If those who want to change the name to eradicate all reference to the “RUC GC ” from the new club and its name.

    The RUC GC association (civilian & still serving ex RUC officers) and other organisations have there meetings here
    in this room.

  • PaulT

    gotta say the lack of detail on where the initial idea that funding would be stopped is interesting.

    Can’t help but think you have all be played like mugs.

    Its amazing that in the current climate a large wedge of cash is handed over to provide a top class private sports club to a load of middle class wage earners, with lots of little extras also provided by the taxpayer.

    If I said I deserved a million quid but them Fenians didn’t want me to have it, could I also count on your support.

  • dwatch

    For those readers of slugger who may not already know the reason for the GC stained glass in the Morrison room. The Queen presented the “George Cross” to the RUC in 2002.

    Likewise all RUC members who served for 18 months from 1969 to when the RUC was renamed the PSNI i 2000 were awarded an RUC GC medal: See here:

  • John Ó Néill

    If this is the police service’s athletic association that it’s not the RUC AA. There *is no* RUC, sorry lads. If any PSNI money, resources or premises goes into it or are used by it, it must stop. Anyone who wants to form a RUC AA can apply for grants etc like any other private club.

    And if unionism wants to continue to depress with Great British Sausage moments, I am sure that will keep exciting their electorate again and again and again, won’t it? I mean, their voters are never going to bore of this, are they?

  • Dec

    If you visit the RUC AA’s website and click on the ‘Sports Club’ tab you’re presented with a list of clubs that operate out of Newforge.
    Here’s a small sample: PSNI Basketball, PSNI Athletic Club, PSNI Cricket Club, PSNI Golf society, PSNI Football Club, PSNI Ski & Snowboard section, Pipes and Drums of the PSNI etc etc. There’s not a ‘Royal’ or ‘Ulster’ about the place. But don’t tell Jim Allister!

  • sonofstrongbow

    The RUC AA is primarily funded by voluntary contributions from its membership. The membership is made up of both serving and retired police officers. Should it apply for grant funding it does so as an independent body and not as a department of the PSNI.

    Given the age of the AA most of its assets, including New Forge, have been accrued by those associated with the RUC. The AA is also a democratic body and the membership can vote to make changes to its constitution. I can understand the membership’s reaction to attempts to strong-arm it by Will Kerr. Kerr has questions to answer. If he does provide answers they may give an insight into the culture at senior level within the PSNI.

    The RUC AA provides facilities and funding for the PSNI GAA team. I doubt they avoid New Forge because of the name above the door. However those who advocate forming catholic police officer associations do a great disservice to the future of the PSNI. An internally fractured organisation will not survive.

    But as with do many of these attacks on ‘unionist’ culture it’s not about the RUC AA per se. It is yet another attempt to airbrush the past in green whilst proclaiming ‘equality’ and ‘parity of esteem’.

    Those who joked about a name change to Royal Portrush or the Royal Mail touched on the truth of it. Look South to see the outworking of the Republican agenda where PUL culture has been all but eradicated from the civic space. Best illustrated by the near derelict Protestant churches in the landscape.

    Talking of things Southern, that’s worked out well. How’d have thought a ‘green’ future in 1922 was destined to be a greenback one?

  • dwatch

    Very good points sonofstrongbow, likewise the Newforge Country Club (another name) has nine other functions as well as sport. Conferencing, weddings, events, health & fitness,car sales, insurance, travel, restaurant, and financial.

  • At least we know now what Robinson really wants and his gestures have been shown up as empty ones. He might as well call for the stations to be renamed as pre Patten because for catholics, his credibility is shot to pieces. He threw a bone to allisterr and his croniesa and now they’ll not stop until they have red meat. Nice work Peter.

  • HeinzGuderian

    BTH made the most telling point.

    If it’s name changes you want,there are quite a few others a long way up the list……..

  • changeisneeded

    BuesJazz (profile) 23 March 2012 at 2:17 am

    tacapall It is a UK police force like any other (Avon and Somerset) The British Crown resides on its badge. That’s just the way it is, so it is.

    The ‘Technical Support’ and special reconnaisance is supplied by ? army?

    Acceptance is the key to happiness

    Croppie lie down.

    Do you bigots want more bloodshed?

  • HeinzGuderian

    ‘Describing the new name as “a more generic and inclusive title”, the chairman said it would make the association “more comfortable for all colleagues and friends, officers and staff, past present and future”.

    Unfortunately,our nat/rep chums insist on keeping the names of failed terrorists.

    Ever hypocritical,the crouch with stones in hand,and wonder at all the broken glass……….

  • changeisneeded

    And our unionists neighbours wiping they hands stating they had nothing to do with the conflict. The above postings from unionists shows up exactly why there was a conflict. Sure lads you did nothing wrong I mean if the state is paying and protecting you then you must have been right?

  • sonofstrongbow

    On the contrary unionists can accept the failings and mistakes of their community. They also recognise government errors and support the prosecution of those within the security forces who broke the law.

    What I and others challenge is Irish Republican myth-making about a ‘war’ in NI. A necessary part of sustaining this myth is the need to demonise the “toxic” RUC amongst others and portray them as the opposing ‘combatants’ in the ‘war’. A sectarian motive for their alleged actions is just added for pure MOPEry purposes.

    Whilst understanding that it is futile attempting to have Republicans embrace even a modicum of reality perhaps they could take off those green-tinted specs for a few moments and take a look at, oh I don’t know but let’s say Homs in Syria, to see what it actually looks like when a government, its army and police declare war on a section of its population.

  • Chris: That’d be missing the wood for the trees, wouldn’t it. Though, naturally, I can understand why you’d prefer that ‘angle’ to the story.

    Mick: And why you might prefer to ignore it?

    Seems like only yesterday … 🙂 🙂 🙂

    and the Slugger sledging continues, this time in ‘pyrrhic’ and ‘Lundy’ style!

    Why has this name ‘crisis’ just arisen now? Has Martin been asleep at his desk?

    And if I can wield the sledge and angle grinder, Chris, if Gerry can dine and speak (on policing) on the premises of the Royal Dublin Society what’s to stop Martin dining and speaking at the premises of the Royal Ulster Constabulary Athletic Association? Would it make him a Lundy in your eyes?

  • lamhdearg2

    Can anyone provide slugger with evidence that some of the great investigative journalists we have in Ulster are pursuing Kerr over his claims,of threats to cut funding.

  • PaulT

    “oh I don’t know but let’s say Homs in Syria, to see what it actually looks like when a government, its army and police declare war on a section of its population.”

    Army invades residential areas in military operation …..Tick
    Police lock people up without trial…….Tick
    Gov stages rigged courts………Tick
    Army fires on demonstration…..Tick
    Gov uses agents to spread fear ….Tick

    I think the only real difference is that recruitment into the Police and Army in Syria is from both communities (Sunni & Shia) which has resulted in Sunni security forces been largely confined to barracks, with a news blackout.

    Perhaps it was the Syrians who needed to look around for examples, bad show, considering their good relations with the UK.

  • lamhdearg2

    i was once told (by a catholic unicorn) that the best way the brits could have avoided the fuse over bloody sunday, would have been for there to have been hundereds of them. maybe syria was watching.

  • andnowwhat

    Just heard Jeffrey Donaldson on Talkback. He seemed to be more interested in attacking the GAA. He also intimated that there’s a PSNI GAA team for the keffliks to knock about in.

    Incredible given the attacks on GAA playing PSNI officers

  • tacapall

    Its amazing Unionist believe its about the “Royal” part of the title rather than the Integrity of those old guard who pull the strings of the association who’s actions and beliefs in the past have and are having a negative effect on the image of those new PSNI officers who are making an effort to put the past behind them. For those Unionists who believe its just about name change – The Royal Victoria Hospital is on the Falls Road and I’ve never heard anyone call it by any other or calling for a change of name.

  • sonofstrongbow

    Note to self: yes it is futile. Things are very weird in the United Dronedom of Mopery.

  • Flip

    Any thoughts on where Mike Nesbitt actually stands on anything? He is flip flopping all over the place trying to appeal to every single section within unionism.

    To be considered a moderate you actually have to do something tangible to back it up. McCallister has taken risks, reached way beyond the traditional base of the UUP and is not “owned” by anyone in order to guarantee their support for his leadership campaign. He is his own man, with a plan. What is Nesbitt for? Who is he? Is he a moderate or is he not? This was pure political opportunism on his part to complain about what is a practical name change, but it highlights the fact that he doesn’t know where he stands on issues from one day to the next

  • Flip. Very true. If MNesbitt really believed in anything he surely wouldn’t only now be entering politics after all these years.I think he’ll just about scrape in as UUP leader, but with no real mandate.

  • PaulT

    Seem to have been a flood of bad news and divisive sports related stories on Slugger over the past few weeks.

    At the same time the Irish Cricket team was calmly stringing together 8 straight victories in the ICC T20 qualifiers and are now only 1 game (against Namibia either 6am or 2pm) from yet another Cricket World Cup.

    I wonder if independence would in any way help Scottish cricket, it worked wonders for here and the other colonies

  • PaulT

    whoops, 6am or 2pm tomorrow, cricinfo is the best commentary and scorecard.

    are you watching Eoin!

  • WindsorRocker

    “I wonder if independence would in any way help Scottish cricket, it worked wonders for here and the other colonies”

    Hmm did Independence work for Andrew White, Boyd Rankin, Kyle McCallan etc…., not all of the area that Ireland cricket covers left the UK so your analysis doesn’t quite stack up.

    In fact, the Ireland cricket team regularly plays home games in the United Kingdom (Stormont..)

  • tacapall

    Strongbow your constant use of the word mopery defines your inability to engage in honest adult debate about any subject. Unionism is incapable of understanding the reasons why officers within the PSNI, yes the PSNI, not the Nationalist population or republicanism, wish to modernise and put the stigma attached to the RUC in the dustbin where it belongs. Instead you stick your head in the sand ostrich like popping up now and again screaming mopery while pretending you dont see that the past actions of the RUC were not lawful, were not honourable and are a reminder of all that was wrong since this state was formed.

  • dwatch

    “that the past actions of the RUC were not lawful, were not honourable and are a reminder of all that was wrong since this state was formed.”

    Indeed tacapall, thats why HM The Queen awarded the RUC with the ” George Cross”

  • The George Cross award was obviously only a patronising sop prior to placing the RUC in the dustbin of history. If the govt really thought they deserved the award wouldn’t they have kept it?

  • ardmajel55, the alteration to the name was the ‘patronising sop’. The police still have the same roles to fulfil – and they’re still subject to political direction.

  • tacapall

    dwatch yeah like a good politician she plays both sides –

    “The Queen offered Ireland the nearest the royal family has ever come to an apology for Britain’s actions in the tortured relations between the two countries, in a speech at a state banquet Dublin.”

    Lester Piggott was awarded a Knighthood and look what happened after the truth was revealed !

  • PaulT

    “Hmm did Independence work for Andrew White, Boyd Rankin, Kyle McCallan etc…., not all of the area that Ireland cricket covers left the UK so your analysis doesn’t quite stack up.”

    Yet Ed Joyce and Eoin Morgan have gone on to play for England (alongside various Indians and South Africans etc) so maybe some players are hampered by a partitionist mindset!

    “In fact, the Ireland cricket team regularly plays home games in the United Kingdom (Stormont..)”

    Indeed they do, at the last ‘home game’ Gregory Campbell cheered on England instead of the *ahem* homeside

  • dwatch

    tacapall, WTF has Lester Piggott got to do with the RUC AA?

  • Nevin. You’re seriously saying that Chris Patten would have allowed himself to be associated with a purely cosmetic exercise and leaving the force as it was? If it gives you false comfort to delude yourdseltf with that, go ahead.

  • tacapall

    dwatch, Nothing, the Queen knighted him for his talents and he lost it for his actions. As time goes by and more truth emerges as to the wrongdoings committed by the RUC that George Cross award is going to be very embarrassing for the Queen and the British government.

  • I believe it was an OBE which was granted and removed from Lester Piggott.

  • tacapall

    You’re right Joe, Right replace Lester Piggott with Fred Goodwin. How’s that Joe, does that make the point any different ?

  • sonofstrongbow

    Herr tacapall,

    I know I really shouldn’t feed a troll: but what the hell here’s a light snack just for you.

    Humming the Horst Wessel song and awaiting for your ‘truth’ just won’t cut it. You see the system needs evidence,; that’s evidence lad, not innuendo or fragments from your history (a little advice here, avoid history that begins ‘once upon a time’).

    Evidence leads to people going to court and even the robustly anti RUC first Police Ombudsman was singularly unsuccessful in that regard, despite all the generic allegations that were pedalled (and please don’t go to Weir and the so-called ‘Glenanne Gang again – it’s very old news and someone might ask who made the arrests in the case and brought the matter before a court).

    But in the end I’ve no doubt you’ll continue awaiting the outing of your ‘truth’, tough I imagine though it is to continue with your head buried in merde. However I have a feeling that the RUC’s George Cross is safe.

  • Hopping The Border


    Before commenting on the “plight” of Protestants in the South, perhaps you would actually visit it, or at least provide some evidence to prove your ridiculous claims. It’s quite annoying to hear all the rubbish that is spouted by Northern Unionists about how “terrible” the Republic is for Protestants when they clearly have no notion of what they are talking about, apart from what I can only assume has been taught in State schools in Northern Ireland as “history”.

    On your point on the Churches:

    And here in Cavan:

  • cynic2

    So far i have avoided this thread as the drool dripping down from some posts has really been offputting. But now here’s my tuppenceworth.

    The real problem for Chris and the acolytes here is simple. The RUC and MI5 won the war. Neutered his beloved movement and corralled it in to accepting seats in a British Parliament in a province guaranteed to remain in the UK while her people vote to remain so.

    They also face the humbling fact that its estimated that quite a high % of Catholics (who they would seek to label as Nationalists) are no such thing and turn out to be closet Brits. Quelle horreur – the wrong type of Catholic, we assume.

    So they not only found military defeat but political defeat too. Still there’s all those comfy chairs and well polished back seats of Ministerial Cars and all those £20 notes (with LIz’s head on them still) to console them as they trundle up the Falls to explain again to a single mother of 5 why her kids schools are crap and their life chances are being destroyed.

    Of course, they say, its all the fault of the Brits. They are robbing us blind. And we have to pay for all those subsidies to farmers and retirement homes for horse mussels. Its all very hard you know. Still, here have a wee flag to wave and enjoy life. We are on your side.

    And after this full and challenging day many of them scoot up the road to spend their hard earned money at their holiday home in Donegal. If you are careful you can make the average industrial; wage stretch a long way these days – usually to at least 2 houses and a decent car or as we sometimes say in Belfast, it now stretches from the Murph to Raphoe.

    Meanwhile the ex RUC cops sit on cozy pensions fondly remembering the good old days, savouring their success and doing the odd wee bit of lucrative work for PSNI or countries far afield.. Soon too perhaps prosperity may even come to West Belfast, once someone finds a way to harness the Hunger Strikers spinning in their graves to generate electricity.

    Even then they will say, its all for the cause. We found a letter Bobby Sands wrote advocating this as a good thing for republicanism. Its ecological and therefore Green. Our day will come. One day. Honest. Promise. Cross my heart and hope to …..errr ….no…not quite that far….. by the way did you know we are building a hotel near the Maze for the American tourists. Sure it will be great ….

  • ForkHandles

    Chris, many of us know what you are really like after reading your draw droppingly sectarian posts from your early days on slugger many years ago. Personally i think you need a great deal of counsilling to get over your hatred of protestants and anything you think is realted to protestants. Seriously, you have a major problem with this sort of hatred.
    But on the point of the post, what has the RUC Athletic Association got to do with the present day police service? Isn’t it up to them what they want to call themselves?

  • CoisteBodhar

    Talkin of winning and losing ‘the war’ is really quite depressing and borderline childish.

  • tacapall

    Spot on Cynic2 and quite nicely put by the way the spanner in the works is those Catholic Unicorns the more well off it seems who were innocent of the term “The shoe fits all” belief among Unionism when describing Catholic support for violence. These people are witnesses to the past who will not forget the RUC arming loyalist and allowing them to murder.

  • HeinzGuderian

    …….nor the Garda arming republican,and allowing them to murder……..only on a much grander scale.

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    probably not a million miles away cynic. Well put…

  • sonofstrongbow


    I too can dry the drool and applaud your post. Measured and thoughtful.

    You’re a better man than me Gunga Din………

  • ranger1640

    The stating whistle has been blown for a nationalist/republican campaign to get the media to a line up in nationalist/republican areas. This is the kick off (not wishing to offend some nationalist/republican sensitivities, throw in) for the media to massage their never ending victim hood, and to listen (again) to their collective moans and cries of “foul”.

    This is because those nasty not so sporting people in the RUC Athletic Association won’t change their name??? The ever increasing cries of “foul” and “this is just not cricket” form the Felons Club and Connolly House (now there’s a few names that should go) drones could be heard all over pitch and media outlets.

    They are claiming that the RUC Athletic Association were off side, in the nationalist/republican attempt to rewrite history, to fit in with their 32 county narrative of we won the title.
    However the truth as always with nationalists/republicans is more complicated. In fact during a long match, it was the RUC along with their colleagues in the front row in the guises of Special Branch, the SAS and MI5. That infiltrated the republican project from its lowest to its highest ranks to nullify their sectarian murderous terror campaign and kept the final score 26-6.

  • changeisneeded

    Yup, us dirty fenians really are lesser beings lads. I mean we lost the war and are now put in our rightful place, we shall keep our heads down now we accept your moral and military superiority.
    As bluesjazz said”, acceptance is the key to happiness ”

    I predict the future and it smells of cordite and blood if that’s the way our unionist neighbours are going to treat and view us.
    Have you learned nothing ?

  • galloglaigh

    The George Cross might be safe (and who cares anyway), but is it a deserving award? Many many recent reports say no!

  • babyface finlayson

    “Yup, us dirty fenians really are lesser beings lads.”
    Pull yourself together for gods sake. When has anyone on Slugger used such terminology?
    That nonsense just weakens your argument
    A rump group from the RUC are clinging to the past and from this you predict cordite and blood?
    I despair.

  • changeisneeded

    Babyface, I am giving you a realist impression of what I feel is being conveyed in the above posts. I see little tolerance or understanding.
    The words I use are the translation of this mindset on the street. You know where the dogs are…

  • orly

    A better idea would be to rename the real bit to the RUC again.

  • ranger1640

    Now now orly, that would send some sections of Northern Ireland into professional victim hood overdrive!!!

    My goodness changeisneeded,what has happened to that confident nationalist/republican community we hear so much about from Sinn Fein??? Are they so fragile that the name of the RUC Athletic Association is enough to send them back to “cordite and blood”?

  • babyface finlayson

    Fair enough if that is what you really see. We all know such sentiments still exist here.
    No one arguing on this issue has used that kind of abuse though.
    I just think it is better to argue the point without such hyperbole.
    How much did the RUC AA bother you before Chris highlighted it?
    Let the baby have its bottle I say.
    Now I’m off for a bath. Have to get the coal out of it first though.

  • lamhdearg2

    why are the press not camped outside knock, asking Kerr to explain his comments, in any other country, or even in this one where the shoe on the other foot, the press would smell blood (or a rat, or both) and pursue , I can only conclude that the rump of the press are sympathetic to Mr Kerr, and what’s left to them too yellow to rock the boat.

  • “us dirty fenians really are lesser beings lads”

    changeisneeded, is the above quote – borrowing from a recent cricket reference in a GAA context – an example of the reverse sweep, reverse sledging?

  • Hopping The Border

    why is my comment still awaiting moderation?