Is it time for unionists to make peace with Ireland’s Patriot Dead?

Undoubtedly the most notable feature of Queen Elizabeth II’s state visit to Dublin last year was her laying of a wreath at the Garden of Remembrance, honouring those Irish republicans who had given their lives in the cause of Irish freedom throughout the centuries.

Whilst such practice may be expected by Heads of State on official trips abroad, the symbolic importance of the act was not lost on those in Ireland, north and south, who have been much closer to the fall out from the constitutional arrangements which divided the country between a sovereign southern state and a northern state still within British jurisdiction.

It was an interesting development because it also posed a challenge to unionists to begin on a journey which could in time reciprocate that undertaken by Nationalist Ireland in the past several decades, when the role of Irish men and women who have served in Britain’s armed forces has been acknowledged and written into the developing post-conflict nationalist narrative.

This journey has seen all strands of nationalism acknowledge the role of Irish soldiers in World War I in particular, though the widespread support (including from Sinn Fein) for a pardon to be given to those Irish Army soldiers absconding in order to join the British Army and fight in World War II illustrates how far we have come in a matter of years.

Yet, as the recent political unionist outcry (including this from Peter Robinson) at the prospect of funding for a republican memorial in Crossmaglen indicates, the reciprocal journey is not yet one which any strand of unionism has been willing to undertake- something which underscores the points I made in an earlier thread regarding the slightly conciliatory nature of Peter Robinson’s fledgling outreach initiative.

Both unionist parties expressed outrage at the prospect of funding for the republican memorial, incorrectly labelling it an IRA memorial when, in fact, the wording on the monument makes no reference to the IRA.

Ironically, no such criticism was evident from unionist politicians when they recently voted to ensure that Lisburn Council donate land so that a UDR memorial could be erected in the centre of Lisburn.

Indeed, the recent Dublin speech by the DUP Leader highlights just why such a journey will be required if Robinson is to successfully make a go of his stated desire to attract to the cause of unionism people traditionally from a catholic/ nationalist background.

In his Dublin speech Robinson, whilst seeking to contextualise unionism’s actions one hundred years ago in sympathetic terms, essentially conceded that they were acting in an anti-democratic manner, striving to frustrate the democratically expressed desires of the overwhelming majority of Irish people whilst also plotting against the government to which they professed loyalty.

Given this, would it not be a politically astute move to concede that the descent into militancy by Irish nationalism was precipitated by unionism’s actions, and that consequently unionists should begin to reconsider the black and white manner with which they have sought to portray the history of both the tumultuous decade preceding partition and the ninety years since.

Ironically, plotting such a course would surely lead to unionist leaders not going apoplectic at the prospect of public funding for an Irish republican monument, but rather embracing it as an acknowledgment that the republican tradition deserves the same degree of legitimacy and respect which has been afforded unionism within the northern state.

We are but a few months into the Decade of Centenaries, but it is already clear that the coming years will see increasing demands within the northern state for Irish nationalist and republican commemorations to be given parity of esteem with those traditionally associated with the British and unionist identity which defined the State and its institutions in the pre-peace process period.

In this sense, making peace with Ireland’s Patriot Dead is the flip side of Irish nationalism recognising and providing a place in the nationalist narrative for Britain’s war dead throughout the generations.

The latter journey remains a painful one for nationalists and republicans, and there is little doubt it would be similarly painful for unionism were the political leadership of unionism to signal their intention of beginning that journey. However, it certainly would indicate a desire to articulate a progressive unionism capable of broadening its narrative to incorporate ‘the other’ in a manner which has been missing to date.

  • Blue Hammer

    Chris

    In short, not while our arses point downwards.

    To compare the dead of the UK’s Armed Forces with the sectarian rabble that comprised (then and now) the “Republican Movement” is just another example of the Orwellian re-writing of history that republicans engage in. There was no parallel in the 1910s-20s, and most certainly none in the 1969-present murder-fest.

    Just you keep peddling that line though – it’ll keep the old Patriot Brain-Deads happy.

    Meanwhile, the Patriot Un-Dead quietly continue to administer British rule in Northern Ireland. Maybe you/they need to make peace with your dead rabble/army. That whirring sound so often to be heard over west Belfast isn’t a Brit chopper, it’s the Patriots spinning in their graves in Milltown.

  • SK

    They will never accept that the men of 1916 were merely following through on what Carson himself threatened to do in 1912. The default position is demonisation, because any less than that and they run the risk of having to engage in a bit of self-criticism.

    And as we can see in the post above, Unionists don’t do self-criticism.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Chris, before the tread goes down its ineviable “whataboutery” route, can you you put a time period of Patriot dead you want us to make peace with? I think we have moved on from the United Irishmen phase and right up to the turn of the last century is not overly controversial, so is it limited to 1900 till 1922 say, or 1939, or 1968, or the ceasefires? My personal view is up to 1939 would be a good cut off point, after that it is too controversial to even consider a discussion on the issue.

  • Mike the First

    Chris, I note like DR that you’re being rather coy about who these “Patriot dead” actually are.

    This particular unionist is more than content to give equality of attitude towards the dead servicemen and women of the UK armed forces and of the Irish Defence Forces, and equality of attitude towards the terrorist thugs of the various republican and loyalist “paramilitary” groups we’re all too familiar with from the Troubles.

  • Pete Baker

    DR

    The more appropriate question would be whether Chris believes that “Irish republicans who had given their lives in the cause of Irish freedom” includes those within the Provisional IRA.

    That would answer his questions about the “republican memorial in Crossmaglen”.

    As for the “descent into militancy by Irish nationalism…”

    We’ve been here before – “Hatred as an element of the struggle…”

  • Drumlins Rock

    Pete, I am trying to make it easy for Chris, I think we could have a discussion with regards those commerated in Dublin, but I suspect he is seeking to justify the more recent butchers he is an apologist for, thats not saying many of those “patriots” wern’t butchers too, but there is at least the merits of a discussion there.

    So I’m pretty sure your impression is correct, but lets give him a chance to show otherwise…

  • weidm7

    Nice bit of rabble-rousing and shit-stirring presented as thoughtful inquiry, Chris. Does it get lonely on your pedestal?

  • Jimmy Sands

    I’m curious as to whether any SF representative has ever advocated the use of public funds to commemorate loyalist paramilitaries and if not why not.

  • Brian

    Neutral observers would recognize the Republicans of the revolutionary era as patriots fighting for their country’s long denied right to self determination against an intransigent Empire who never delivered on promises and ignored democratic results.

    To suggest that Unionists, or others, should make peace with the Provos and their fellow travelers is insulting to us all. They fought against the wishes of the majority of the nationalists within the 6 counties, let alone the whole country. They ran criminal rackets, slaughtered civilians, and disgraced the Irish flag they claimed to represent.

  • Lionel Hutz

    I would ask when will Sinn Fein stay the hell out of using the easter memorials as a way of promoting their party. Apart from being simply crass, the effect is that many Irishmen, myself included, would feel too uncomfortable to commemorate the dead of the easter rising because Sinn Fein seek to join the provo into it. Indeed if a dissident were to die for their cause, are we commemorate them too. No-one can deny that they are patriotic

  • tacapall

    This is a highly emotive issue that Unionism cannot come to terms with once again. All those who died for Ireland should be remembered, the majority acted and carried out the orders of others, no different than those members of the security forces who in the past carried out acts that were no different than those who Unionists would label terrorists but who Unionism believes we should all pay to commemorate. Even Mrs Windsor accepts that fact and rightfully acknowledged those patriots who give their lives for Ireland without cherry picking only those who she believed were worthy. Unionism must come to terms with the reality that no one side has the moral high ground with regard to the past, I can remember the thousands who lined the route and attended the Shankill butcher Lenny Murphy’s funeral including some Unionist politicians who had no problem honouring him or with the inscription on his grave “Here lies a soldier”

  • andnowwhat

    Lionel

    I don’t think so much now but when I was growing up on the Falls, there wasn’t much that the chucks didn’t try to hijack.

    I’ll work on the assumption that we’re talking pre partition here and ion the light, the men who fought for Irish self rule should be seen in the light of others who went on the same path such as George Washingtlon.

    Whereas the Irish should celebrate their freedom as the French do, the intelligentsia of Dublin have meant that it is more like the tone of German perennial guilt.

    From pre history, to the vikings, to the Normans, to Cromwell and even to the period of 1912-1922, all are parts of Irish history which are reflected in the history and cullture of all on this whole island. History is only harmfuil when it’s perverted and the best way to stop that is for all to embrace it, just look at how the Boyne is regarded in the south.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Whatandnow, I would like Chris to comfirm you assumption, he has had 12hrs to do so.

    Working on that I would regard the “Patriots” as a mixed bag, even accepting the merits of their aims, the methods used were often brutal, barbaric and plainly sectarian. Many historian believe that Ireland would have achieved full independance without the need for voilence, and a much more prosperous nation would have evolved, eventually bringing Northern Ireland on board.

    We all know the barbarity of the French Revoloution, and unfortunately Washington and his army were not the saints they are protrayed as, however to the victors the spoils and I don’t find monuments to their exploits offensive, just as I do not find the Garden of Remembrance in dublin offensive, however if anything associated with PIRA and and the like is still sickening.

  • andnowwhat

    DR

    All revolutions are savage affairs, no less the American War of Independence where neighbours and relatives fought and betrayed eachother.

    Even in dear old blighty, there was the Glorious Revolustion which did not want for savagery. War and revolution is never a John Wayne movie

  • Drumlins Rock

    Nownowwhat!
    The Glorious Revoloution was one of the least savage wars in English history, just someone forgot to tell the Scots & Irish! Even then it was was a mere shadow of the Civil War still fresh in many memories at the time.

    One thing I think we should not forget in our looking back, bad as some things were the worst did not happen, without casting blame or taking credit on either side that is something we should all give thanks for, maybe that is common ground worth building on.

  • Blue Hammer

    Tacapall

    You’ve still to clarify who you consider falls within the definition of “died for Ireland”.

    Michael Collins? Frank Stagg? Patrick Pearce? Bobby Sands? Denis Donaldson? Jean McConville?

    HM the Queen did her duty on a state visit. As she would in Germany, Japan, USA or elsewhere. This does not give any retrospective legitimacy to Patriots, dead, undead or otherwise.

  • carl marks

    Its interesting to compare the reaction to this thread from unionists with the plan to march loyalist terror groups past the short strand.
    Perhaps some of the commentators could explain how they square this circle seems like the most blatant hypocrisy to me to complain about glorifying republican terror groups and then plan to march loyalist terror groups past a area where they have reeked havoc.

  • carl marks

    May i point out that D.R is the only unionist to come out against the short strand parade.

  • Blue Hammer

    Carl

    Can’t speak for anyone else, but I offer no support whatsoever to Loyalist terrorists walking anywhere save straight to Maghaberry. They are representatives of no-one but themselves and their murderous drug dealing mates.

  • salgado

    carl – I think it sounds like a bad idea, but I have no interest in parading anyway.

    Back to the topic, as DR has said it would depend on the era of “patriotism”. I don’t think there’s much problems with stuff over fifty years old, but the more recent stuff would be a bit more controversial.

  • Mike the First

    “Even Mrs Windsor accepts that fact and rightfully acknowledged those patriots who give their lives for Ireland without cherry picking only those who she believed were worthy. ”

    The Queen acknowledged those commemorated by the Irish state. So if you’re trying to imply any sort of association with latter-day PIRA/INLA/etc terrorists, you’re wrong.

    And what’s the point of the juvenile “Mrs Windsor” bit?

  • Jimmy Sands

    This is a highly emotive issue that Unionism cannot come to terms with once again.

    You really do believe only unionists find this idea offensive don’t you?

  • I think that one of the big problems that Unionists would have with honouring the Republicans is that their cause, which was about Independence, would have succeeded through democratic evolution if the violence had not occurred. There would have been a period of devolution, probably lasting until after the second World war, followed by outright independence.

    There is, of course, another way of looking at it. Had the 1916 rising not happened, partition might not have occurred and Northern Ireland might now be part of a Republic of Ireland. Perhaps the Unionists should celebrate the 1916 insurgents for preseving Northern Ireland in the Union.

  • tacapall

    Blue Hammer all means all, im sure its not that long ago that Unionists called those who died in the Easter Rising terrorists too. Mrs Windsor spoke and apoligised on behalf of the British establishment for past wrongs, then those who died opposing it were right, only Unionists would interpret it differently.

    Mike the First is that not her name ? Unlike yourself I dont believe anyone can be born with privledge. If you want to call her by some fancy title thats up to you but dont expect the rest of society to follow suit.

    Jimmy Sands No I dont but I do believe Unionism can be hypocritical and blinkered when it comes to defining terrorism.

    I note those who took issue with what I said had nothing to say about Unionists honouring the Shankill Butcher Lenny Murphy.

  • Mark

    There’s been a lot of talk about loyalty and leadership recently in light of Mike Nesbitt etc and follow the leader etc …..

    So would any UUP members past or present like to shed some light on what David Trimble , Billy Wright and Mark Fulton were discussing during the Drumcree riots. .

    I realise that’s classic whataboutery but posters have balked at the idea of comparing the British army’s dead with that of Republicans . Brian Nelson was British army …is he a hero ? . What’s the difference between Tom Begley and Tom Williams ? Was Ronan McLaughlin not a patriot ? Is Brian Robinson a loyalist hero ?

    How can you have a cut off point for how people feel and act ? Just a question ……

  • Drumlins Rock

    “I realise that’s classic whataboutery”

    Mark, we havn’t got near whataboutery yet, try not to get too excited and interject prematurely.

    This thread is about “Ireland’s Patriot Dead”, we are still trying to establish what Chris actualy meant by this, in the meantime some good relevant points have been made.

    Maybe you can come back about 6 pm and we will have the “whataboutery” in full flow by then.

  • Mike the First

    tacapall

    “Mike the First is that not her name ?”

    No, it isn’t your name.

    It doesn’t even make sense even in its own limited, juvenile way – Mrs, follwed by her “maiden name”?

    “Unlike yourself I dont believe anyone can be born with privledge. If you want to call her by some fancy title thats up to you but dont expect the rest of society to follow suit.”

    Yes, apparently you can’t even spell privilege, so alien is it to you. The Queen is head of state of the United Kingdom – the system of government relies on the consent of the governed, and if the people voted for a republic, a republic there would be. Do you refuse to call other monarchs by their titles? What other titles do you refuse to use? All very childish.

    And I note that you completely, conveniently ignored the substance of my point – namely that the Queen was acknowledging those commemorated by the Irish state, which certainly does not include PIRA and INLA terrorists.

  • Mike the First

    Ah balls…”her name”, not “your name”!

  • salgado

    Mark – you’re correct, you can’t really have an exact cut off but things do change. 1922 isn’t the same as 1972, which isn’t the same as 2012.

    I wouldn’t really consider any of them heroes*.

    * (I’m not sure who Ronan McLaughlin is – from Google he appears to be an Irish cyclist. He may be a patriot, but it doesn’t really seem relevant.)

  • tacapall

    Mike the First. In a bit of a hissy fit aren’t you but never mind I understand what you mean and for the record I dont believe in Kings, Queens, Princesses, Princes, Barons, Knights, Dames, Pixies, leprechauns, Popes, fairytales or the like so forgive me for being ignorant and not kowtowing to your idea of etiquette.

    Mrs Windsor or should I address her by her former name, never defined who she was acknowledging when she laid the wreath as far as she was concerned it was for Irelands patriot dead. To most Irish people this was an acknowledgement of past wrongs and honouring those who died for Ireland up until her visit. But like I said Unionists would interpret it differently if you have any proof she meant only those who died during the Easter Rising then please feel free to disagree.

  • Mark

    So you’re running this thread DR ? Little piece of advice , try calling people by their correct moniker and I might take you more seriously .

    Btw , don’t tell me when I can and can’t post on this or any other thread …..there’s a good chap .

  • Mark

    Salgado ,

    Re Ronan McLoughlin , my mistake , McLoughlin should have been spelt with an o .

  • Jimmy Sands

    I note those who took issue with what I said had nothing to say about Unionists honouring the Shankill Butcher Lenny Murphy.

    How would you feel about subsidising it?

  • tacapall

    Jimmy Sands how about commenting on Unionist honouring someone who tortured his Catholic victims to death before slitting their throats rather than asking me would I subsidise it.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Mark, Chris seems to have deserted it, and I spelt your name right I believe, if andnowwhat has problems with me having some fun with his moniker he hasn’t said.

    As for telling you when telling you when to post… I was winding you up because your comment was so patheticly out of place.

    Taca, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth is the correct title of the current UK head of state when acting in that role, and during a formal state visit she is in the role throughout the visit. Please pay your head of state some respect.

  • tacapall

    DR I respect your views on the monarchy but I wont be paying any respect to any head of state who believe they were born with privlege, this is not the middle ages anymore, you wont sail off the end of the world and the earth is not the centre of the universe and im pretty sure you wont find any frogs that can be turned into handsome princes with a kiss.

  • Blue Hammer

    Tacapall

    I condemn unreservedly the attendance of anyone who claimed to be a representative of the people at the funeral of Lenny Murphy. Murphy and his cohorts were guilty of crimes against humanity. Anyone who even tries to condone their actions should take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror.

    I class Murphy and his ilk the same as I do the murderers on the republican side. Beyond the pale forever.

    Neither grouping should ever get public support let alone finding for their memorials. Best we forget this vermin ever polluted our air at all.

  • Mark

    My my DR , who got out of bed the wrong side this morning …..

    As for my comment been so pathetically ( ahem ) out of place , that’s your opinion etc etc …….as for you winding me up , please get real .

    Down in Marbella last night for the Spanish Inquisition celebrations , you would have had a ball ….

    I’m an hour ahead down here so I might pop back at seven local time to see how you’re getting on seen as you think you’ve frightened Christ from his thread .

  • Mark

    Christ / Chris all the same to me ….lol

  • Brian

    “There is, of course, another way of looking at it. Had the 1916 rising not happened, partition might not have occurred and Northern Ireland might now be part of a Republic of Ireland. Perhaps the Unionists should celebrate the 1916 insurgents for preseving Northern Ireland in the Union.”

    Laughable. The Irish played the democratic game by London’s stacked rules for decades, and finally when their overwhelming will was recognized and Home Rule was passed and signed into the law by the King, the Unionists formed an army and vowed to resist it to the last. The British establishment looked the other way as they armed themselvse to the teeth, and the British military refused to stand up to them. This effectively doomed any settlement without partition, which was the whole point of the Unionist rebellion.

    It’s a bit much to blame partition on the men of 1916. The seminal moment in Irish history was not the Rising, but the 1912 unionists rebellion. Without that, which brought the gun into Irish politics, 1916 never would have happened.

    And here we are today, 100 years later.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Brian, in essence the border was decided before the rising, it was strengthened by the rising, and made permanent by the policies of the like of Dev who took advantage of the rising. Without the rising many cross border institutions would have remained, it would have been a much weaker border, which together with a friendlier relationship with the UK could have actually seen Ireland united today, sometihng similar to the status Canda holds. So maybe it is the unionist that should be celebrating this Easter?

  • Mike the First

    tacapall

    “Mrs Windsor or should I address her by her former name, never defined who she was acknowledging when she laid the wreath as far as she was concerned it was for Irelands patriot dead. To most Irish people this was an acknowledgement of past wrongs and honouring those who died for Ireland up until her visit.”

    If you’re suggesting that “most Irish people” thought the Queen was honouring the likes of Thomas Begley or Patrick Kelly, then I would say you’re completely wrong. Particularly stupid people, perhaps. Myopic provisional republicans, at a push.

    “But like I said Unionists would interpret it differently if you have any proof she meant only those who died during the Easter Rising then please feel free to disagree.”

    That’s not what I said, now, is it?

    The Queen was acknowledging those commemorated by the Irish state in the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin, namely the republican dead of 1798, 1803, 1848, 1867, 1916, and 1919-21.

  • babyface finlayson

    tacapall
    The Mrs Windsor stuff is childish and I’m sure you know it.
    If any nation chooses to have a King or Queen that’s up to them. Referring to the Queen of Denmark say, does not suddenly make you a monarchist. It’s just simple manners.
    Calling the Pope Mr Ratzinger would be equally childish and pointless. Student Union stuff.

  • cynic2

    Making peace with the dead is specious nonsense. What does it really mean? Forgive? Praise?

    And making peace is usually a two way process – so how do we do that with the dead? OFMDFM sponsored Ouija Boards?

    And why just Unionists? Should Republicans make peace with them too? After all as many nationalists were murdered by them as by loyalists.

    The Hunger Strikers conned by their leadership into continuing a hunger strike for a political advantage when there was a deal on the table that would have saved their lives?

    Sadistic murderers and child killers who ‘eliminated’ as many of their own community as they did Loyalists? Who buried people in bogs

    And do we forgive the loyalist killers too? King Rat and all to rest easy for their many and terrible crimes?

    Chris, this is all pious nonsense.

  • tacapall

    Mike the First

    “The Queen was acknowledging those commemorated by the Irish state in the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin, namely the republican dead of 1798, 1803, 1848, 1867, 1916, and 1919-21”

    Whats the difference between those Irishmen who give their lives for Ireland during the periods you mentioned above and those who died from 1921 until the present day ? Did they have popular support ? Did they use any different tactics ? Were they fighting the same enemy ? and lastly weren’t they once labelled terrorists.

    Babyface I would have called her by her proper name but I’d get a yellow card for it and yes I would call the Pope Mr Ratzinger as that is his name.

  • Mike the First

    Tacapall

    I’ll happily answer your questions – once you do me the courtesy of admitting that you’re dropping your claim that the Queen was acknowledging PIRA and INLA terrorists and have moved on to another argument. I’m all for having discussion and debate, but not if it’s going to be a goalpost-shifting exercise. If you want to play into other goalposts, a least admit it’s a different match.

  • WindsorRocker

    When Her Majesty laid the wreath, she laid it for all those who died PRE 1921.
    The monument itself is clear where the legitimacy line ends and that is at the Anglo Irish Treaty of 1921.

    So asking unionists to stand shoulder to shoulder with people who have been active POST 1921 in physical force republicanism is not the same as asking Her Majesty to lay a wreath at the Garden of Remembrance.

    There is also the point that HM represented a state that had settled its differences with its neighbour and accepted its legitimacy. Unionists could not say the same about the notion of a 32 county republic.

    As a slight aside, in terms of the centenaries, I find it bizarre that the “get alongerists” talk of common commemorations. What has a northern nationalist to look to in the Ulster Covenant and the anti Home Rule campaign of 1912-1920? Mind, the same question could be asked about northern nationalists and the Easter Rising as that didn’t do much for them either…….

  • Jimmy Sands

    Tacapall,

    You’re asking for my views of those who would glorify the Shankill Butchers? Seriously?

    Take a wild guess.

  • Big Boss

    Id like to point out another group that still haven’t been won around to the idea of wearing a Lily and that’s the wider nationalist people in N.Ireland.

    Why would those who have been intimidated by PIRA over the last 40 years take to wearing a symbol that SF are using to celebrate them?

  • Barnshee

    I prefer to remember the patriot undead.

    The ones who set up Sammy Brush that dangerous er postman and fled brown stained trousers intact when he returned fire.

    or the hero who ,on the pretence of buying power tools shot a shopkeeper who was dangerously earning a crust in the RNVR

    or the brave volunteer who er crept up behind two policemen in a holiday resort and confronted them? er no shot them in the back

    Best we concentrate on ” Ireland’s Patriot UNDead and recgnise them and their position in the long line of “Irish Patriots”

  • Jimmy Sands

    Taca, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth is the correct title of the current UK head of state,

    Not using correct titles is at the very core of the modern republican post-physical force strategy (qv Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland etc…).

  • Scáth Shéamais

    When Her Majesty laid the wreath, she laid it for all those who died PRE 1921.
    The monument itself is clear where the legitimacy line ends and that is at the Anglo Irish Treaty of 1921.

    It’s been a while since I’ve been to the Garden of Remembrance, but I don’t recall ever seeing an end date for who’s remembered in it.

  • BluesJazz

    Great documentary on BBC NI about the real peacemakers tonight, The Long Walk.
    The ones who saved lives rather than extinguished them.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eod_technician_ireland.jpg

  • tacapall

    Barnshee your breaking my heart, Do you remember the undead who handed back weapons to the UDA that were later used to murder innocent people in the Ormeau Road bookies or those same undead who paid and protected a loyalist agent provocateur who was involved in up to 15 murders of innocent people both Catholic and Protestant.

  • Harry Flashman

    Who left the lid off the italics jar?

  • Barnshee

    taca

    “Do you remember the undead who handed back weapons to the UDA that were later used to murder innocent people in the Ormeau Road bookies or those same undead who paid and protected a loyalist agent provocateur who was involved in up to 15 murders of innocent people both Catholic and Protestant.”

    Sure do —add them to my list of scum “to be remembered”

  • tacapall

    Barnshee fair play to you for acknowledging that the RUC had terrorists among its ranks but Im sure Unionists could make a Machiavellian excuse for them.

  • Tomas Gorman

    “We all know the barbarity of the French Revoloution”

    Yes but it’s not as prevalent in our minds as the barbarity used in squashing the Paris Commune and therein lies the core contradiction for me in this little back and forth.

  • salgado

    “Barnshee fair play to you for acknowledging that the RUC had terrorists among its ranks but Im sure Unionists could make a Machiavellian excuse for them”

    I’m sure most unionists wouldn’t excuse them, but at the same time they wouldn’t write off the entire organisation as terrorists based on a small minority.

  • babyface finlayson

    tacapall
    “…but Im sure Unionists could make a Machiavellian excuse for them”
    If an actual Unionist has made an actual excuse for them, then I say go for it name them and shame them, but if not then it’s a bit of a straw man..

  • TwilightoftheProds

    Has there still been no reply to DR’s appropriate question of who are the patriot dead?

    Thats important. If a Belfast unionist were to leave a floral tribute- should it be done at the Co. Antrim memorial, The Provisional plot, socialist republican plot?

    If a unionist is to wear an easter lily is it bad form to have one that sticks on or pins on?

    If Republicans have real difficulties with legitimacy and political genealogy that needs to be aired, how can Unionists respond appropriately if Republicans don’t engage – if we don’t know what it is we are commemorating in time, how can we commemorate it?

  • DC

    ‘Yet, as the recent political unionist outcry (including this from Peter Robinson) at the prospect of funding for a republican memorial in Crossmaglen indicates’

    Probably because the monument is linked to an illegal organisation, one which broke from the mass-movement which the Queen honoured recently.

  • tacapall

    Probably didn’t notice this then DC.

    “Last year, anger greeted a decision to reward £70,000 of public money to fund the paramilitary memorial garden in the notorious estate when the then Ulster Unionist MP Lady Sylvia Hermon (now Independent) told of her outrage after discovering the Department of Social Development (DSD) itself had funded a loyalist memorial garden in Kilcooley.”

  • DC

    No I didn’t, but as you can see it was greeted with anger, so you should be able to draw your own conclusions as to the public opinion on the Crossmaglen one.

  • tacapall

    DC it was greeted with anger by one independent Unionist politician that’s hardly a public outcry from Unionism.

  • DC

    It is a public outcry, she is the MP for the area.

  • tacapall

    Yeah right DC how come you knew nothing about it until I pointed it out to you ?

  • DC

    Because i don’t pay attention to these things, perhaps I am more immersed in popular culture than the political? TV and drinking and nights out etc.

  • tacapall

    Perhaps DC you’re just interested in knowing what Republicans are supposedly doing wrong.

  • Reader

    tacapall: “Last year, anger greeted a decision to reward £70,000 of public money to fund the paramilitary memorial garden”
    You didn’t say what source you were quoting. However, 10 seconds on Google turns up the report that the Loyalist symbols placed in the Garden of Reflection came as a complete surprise to body that funded the garden – Margaret Ritchie’s DSD!
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/community-telegraph/north-down/government-funded-loyalist-memorial-garden-in-kilcooley-14523803.html

  • harpo

    Chris:

    Surley a reciprocal journey for unionists would be for them to forgive some members of their own tribe who were seen as traitors because of actions that they took.

    That’s what nationalism (or part of it did) in deciding to forgive those Irish people who took the side of the Allies in WW1 and WW2. They forgave members of their own tribe, not members of the enemy tribe. And I don’t think that all nationalists have forgiven those people. There are still plenty of snide remarks made about them by certain republicans.

    If you want unionists to respect ‘Irish patriots’ (including the likes of the PIRA and the INLA) then on a reciprocal basis you and other republicans would need to respect those who opposed those Irish patriots through the ages and right up to the present day. Do you respect those people? The British Army, the RIC, the RUC, the UDR, not to mention the unofficial outfits like the UDA and the UVF?

  • harpo

    “Given this, would it not be a politically astute move to concede that the descent into militancy by Irish nationalism was precipitated by unionism’s actions”

    Chris:

    No. That isn’t what happened. Irish nationalism had taken the militant (violent) path a number of times before unionism ever came into being.

    Your piece is simply another cry by ‘mainstream republicans’ of ‘won’t somebody respect if not love us?”.

    Why should unionists respect the likes of the PIRA when most of society in the Republic Of Ireland doesn’t do so? In case you’ve forgotten the PIRA was outlawed in the ROI. Most of Irish nationalism refuses to respect the PIRA yet you think that unionists – the enemy – should?

    I don’t see any logic in your proposal. Most of the world saw the PIRA as terrorists and unionists certainly did so. Yet you think that unionists should start to respect the PIRA? On what basis should they do so?

    You need to face reality Chris – the PIRA is never going to get any respect from unionists.