There’s a little patch of the Black Mountain (or Divis, I’m never sure which) that generations of trainee nurses in the City Hospital used to call ‘the smoothing iron’. Well, yesterday it was joined by a set of large letters saying “Eriu is our Queen” and a large Irish tricolour. Seamus is keeping an eye on the situation… now that a Loyalist counter protest has emerged…
The Guardian reports there was at least one injury in the fighting that ensure when the Loyalist group tried to remove the Irish flag… Potentially very nasty up on a mountain with difficult access.
But setting the legitmate concerns about public order, it’s also fascinating pyschological response to a British institution which can legitimately trace its origins to medieval times in the sense that Eriu is the idealised personification of Ireland.
It may all be a bit Sealed Knot (if potentially more lethal) but it also demonstrates that for some political activists this still not about the politics of enlightenment that drove the very first Irish Republicans to take their conspiracy to the Cave Hill just a mile or two further to the east.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty