Was the ‘Virgin in the Bonfire’ posed to inflict maximum political damage on the Orange?

Screen Shot 2013-07-17 at 07.20.53Interesting piece in the Belfast Telegraph which throws a little more light on the Virgin Statue on the Bonfire story, which was one of the many Orange sins recounted by Chris the other day…

Fr Donegan, the parish priest of Ardoyne, who said it seemed that the statue was only on the bonfire at Lanark Way for 10 minutes before it was removed, said he believed “hoods” from both sides of the divide had swapped stolen cars and the statue was left in the car afterwards.

The piece was written on the heel of an account given by William Humphrey, who claimed that in fact the statue was put there by nationalist youths. He received a lot of derision from the nationalist side for the mere suggestion. So you take your pick?

If it was the work of nationalists, it has done its job. Gerry Kelly’s retort on the matter was to “ask Mr Humphrey to explain how, if the statue was thrown on the bonfire, in photographs it was clearly sitting upright on a plinth”.

Indeed. Not only sitting upright, but with an empty bottle of Budweiser carefully placed by its side. Almost as though it was put there in order to take an incriminating photograph…

Hmmmm… Certainly, at the very least, some sort of mutual arrangement does seem likely…

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  • John Ó Néill

    Seriously? It’s not like the statue was inconsistent with the hanging priest effigy, tricolours and other flags, pictures of various people and KAT signs. Did William Humphreys explain how they all got there (or Paul Girvan)?

  • Scáth Shéamais

    Seriously, Mick?

  • Mick Fealty

    Take it up with Father Donegan lads… At the very least this does seem to have been a cross community enterprise…

  • babyface finlayson

    Are there not usually a bunch of local lads keeping an eye on bonfires, even through the night?
    It seems unlikely that such a daring raid would have been unobserved.

  • Alanbrooke

    The whole who is most insulted and aggrieved malarkey is now just getting plain tiresome. This is Ulster at it’s worst with political eejits and their hangers on trying to outdo each other in finding the most pointless example of who did what to who.

    Give it a rest. Take the good weather and go and sit on Cranfield beach or the North Coast or the Fermanagh lakes. This country you all allegedly love is at it’s best now and the best you can do is pick your scabs for fear they might heal over. Get out and see it – you’ll feel better for it. In a few weeks it will be back to the rain, wind and grey clouds and you’ll have time aplenty to wallow in self pity and say poor wee me.

  • Ulster Press Centre

    1, The statue was placed on the bonfire for only 10 minutes.
    2, Within that 10 minutes someone was able to take a photo of it.
    3, After 10 minutes someone at the bonfire removed the statue and arranged for it to be given to Donegan.
    4, Within minutes of that the photo was circulating on dozens of anti-protestant and pro-IRA social media sites, forums and among the twitter bigot fraternity.

    I think it’s pretty obvious this was some kind of set-up to make Loyalists look bad – much like the dozens of ‘fake’ Loyalist Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, etc which popped up after our national flag was ripped down from Belfast city hall.

    Looks like they’ve been caught out this time though.

  • boondock

    If some young Republican spide got so close to the bonfire then Im pretty sure he would have lit it rather than come up with this great plan to tarnish the good name of the Orange order I mean as John already pointed out their reputation is already in tatters with so many things being burnt on the bonfires all in the name of culture

  • John Ó Néill

    Here is the actual quote from same BelTel piece:

    There were loud jeers when Mr Humphrey, who interrupted Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt, said: “The icon was thrown into the bonfire at Lanark Way by people from Divis in the lower Falls.”

    That is clearly not what Fr Donegan is saying he thinks may have happened. He is quoted on the BBC as saying the statue’s face was missing, it had several large cracks and had scorch marks on the back. So this is possibly even weaker than last year’s Catholics burn tricolours rubbish.

    If anyone wants to know why troubles slips across from year to year then there is no better illustration than this.

  • boondock

    UPC very good what next Willie Frazer and Jamie Bryson are secret Republican agents to make loyalists look like eejits.

  • Jack2

    As John has said above, it isnt consistent with the narrative of the huge disrespect to the R.C religion around bonfires.Gallows with priests, “Mickey-Bo” & “Ardoyne Bungee jumpers” incident, pictures of priests, tri colours, Polish Flags etcc……but this one time those pesky fenians sneaked up and put a statue on the bonfire. Burnt it, defaced it, posed it along with a bottle of Bud then took a picture.
    They done all that this time but none of that other stuff.

    If Nationalist youths were brave enough to get near a large bonfire there would only be one thing they’d try to do and thats light it before the 12th.
    Quicker and easier to throw a bottle of petrol and some Sunny Jims than to start messing about posing a statue.

  • Ulster Press Centre

    boondock: If some young Republican spide got so close to the bonfire then Im pretty sure he would have lit it rather than come up with this great plan to tarnish the good name of the Orange order I mean as John already pointed out their reputation is already in tatters with so many things being burnt on the bonfires all in the name of culture

    Who said it would have been a ‘young Republican (sic) spide?

    The infamous Squinter had no problem infiltrating the crowd at the recent Covenant parade in Stormont.

  • Mick Fealty

    John, the question is justified on the basis that there appears to be a context to this story that was previously unseen.

  • boondock

    UPC
    Who said it would have been a ‘young Republican (sic) spide?

    Er William Humphrey! hence this article.

  • Dec

    Themmun’s from Divis have form for chucking staues on bonfires. Here’s last year’s effort:

    http://www.demotix.com/news/1328288/loyalists-put-final-touches-bonfire-structure-belfast#media-1328260

  • Morpheus

    Let me get this straight:

    1. Republican hoods from Divis stole a statue from Holy Cross, Ardoyne and put it into a stolen car.
    2. They then traveled from the Church to Lanark Way bonfire
    3. The Republican hoods then took the statue from the car, walked past the bonfire guards in broad daylight with a 3-foot statue of the Virgin Mary and posed, burnt and defaced it before taking pictures.
    4. They then put the statue back in the car then handed the car over to their bed buds, loyalist hoods, right before the 12th when tensions were sky high.
    5. After handing over the car the Republican hoods then managed to take the statue out of the car and put the statue back on the bonfire so the community worker could remove it from the bonfire and return it.

    Hmmmmm….

  • Son of Strongbow

    It does appear to be a rather unbelievably sophisticated false flag operation to be conjured in the minds of “hoods”.

    In any case how was the statue acquired in the first place? A carload of Prods arriving at a church and walking off unchallenged with a four foot statue under their arms also seems a bit odd.

  • boondock

    Dec
    All those pictures have been photoshoped to make loyalists look bad there is no way that any statue, flags (Irish Polish Vatican, Palestinian etc), effigies or anything else for that that matter would be placed on the bonfires that would cause any offense obviously.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    UPC

    “I think it’s pretty obvious this was some kind of set-up to make Loyalists look bad…”

    Look bad?

    You had very few problems with the statue’s place on the pyre when it was believed to placed there by ‘our lot’.

    Now that it might be ‘themuns’ you think that it’s a bad image?

    Squirm….

    BTW, now that you’re here, could you answer that question I asked you a couple of times already?

    ” would it be detrimental to the Belfast parade if bands voluntarily took breaks outside Roman Catholic churches?”

    ————————–

    If this is the work of ‘cross community hoods’ is it not sad that even our scum can get on better with each other than the ‘everyday folk’ can?

  • Mick Fealty

    Thanks Dec, Morph and SoS! All good scenario busting stuff…

  • Morpheus

    “In any case how was the statue acquired in the first place? A carload of Prods arriving at a church and walking off unchallenged with a four foot statue under their arms also seems a bit odd.”

    Never mind the statue, when was the last time you heard of Republican Hoods handing over a stolen car to Loyalist Hoods so they can have a turn right before the 12th when tensions were sky-high?

    If the statue was not taken from the Church to which it was returned then how does the priest know that it was on the bonfire for just 10 minutes?

    Regardless, it was a really good gesture to take it from the bonfire and return it. The community worker deserves a big pat on the back.

  • megatron

    Mick,

    I have on opinion on this. It is however extremely unimportant.

    What sort of hope has this site got to have a reasonable discussion about anything when in the midst of serious threads we have this nonsense.

    Really really tried hard to see what your point could possibly be here and struggling big time.

    I mostly sympathise with your efforts to create discussion amidst the crazy people that post from all sids but this sort of provoked discussion does not help matters at all.

    Crazy stuff. Colour me dissapointed.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Truly a ‘You can not be serious’ John McEnroe-esque moment.

    The appearance of a similar statue at a loyalist bonfire in the region this time last year (complete with a Kill All Taigs Tricolour) suggests little concern for public relations amongst said bonfire builders and revellers. Not at all consistent with burning effigies of the Pope, suicide victims, National Flags and football jerseys….

    But, hey, if it helps avoid seeing the elephant, then speculate away!

  • cynic2

    “suggests little concern for public relations amongst said bonfire builders and revellers”

    …or hoods in Catholic Ardoyne or other areas bof the city ravaged by byears of neglect under SF’s benign leadership.

    It reminds me of the way Unionist Leaders treated Protestant workers in the 50s and 60s. You never had it so good boys and themuns over there is worse off so count your blessings

  • cynic2

    Macinroesque?

    Remember Chris ….MCEnroe was wrong!

  • Sp12

    jesus christ

  • Paulk

    Well for the stated reasons, i’d be extremely sceptical that this was a posed photo, also it appears this bonfire has form when it comes to statues… see the front page of the Irish News for last years photo (statue along with various national flags).

  • Reader

    Am Ghobsmacht: If this is the work of ‘cross community hoods’ is it not sad that even our scum can get on better with each other than the ‘everyday folk’ can?
    Well, ‘UTH’ is probably the most widespread bit of graffiti round here, and may represent the most widespread cross community activity we have after golf and ahead of drug-dealing.

  • Chris Donnelly

    cynic2

    Ha Ha!

    In our household, John McEnroe was never wrong…;)

  • Gingray

    Wow –25 blogs in July Mick, most of which ignore the fact that a significant minority of the protestant/unionist/loyalist community feel that destroying catholic/nationalist/republican/foreign symbols is part of their culture, but with a series of unsubstantiated misquotes from the Belfast Telegraph and the rantings of a DUP MLA, you can run a misinformation campaign. Bravo.

    Putting it into a context that appears to have been missed by the blogger, but one faced by the people living in Northern Ireland, is that a large number of people celebrate by destroying a raft of symbols related to the “other side” – these include flags, GAA shirts, posters of politicians, effigies of the pope and, as recent as last year, a statue of the Virgin Mary. Throw in the gallows humour and you have substantial precedent for this behaviour, all of which appears to have been forgotten in an attempt to divert blame.

    Rather than shine a light on the raw sectarian hatred that is displayed on an annual basis, this blog prefers to obfuscate and engage in whataboutary. Is this the whimper of slugger losing the plot?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    UPC meet Gingray

    Gingray meet UPC

    You two will have a blast.

  • Big Island Exile

    If the Divis hoods didn’t move her, and the bonfire builders deny it, then the only conclusion to come to is that she moved there herself. She has form on this sort of thing. Maybe her weeping caused her face to come of at the same time. Seriously though people, occam’s razor, what’s the simplest explanation?

  • Sp12

    “She has form on this sort of thing”

  • Mc Slaggart

    Mick

    Remember

    “The audience also own the frames which surround your ‘social data’…”

  • DC

    No blog on Willie Frazer’s arrest? The man’s hounded.

  • Son of Strongbow

    The most likely scenario is that the statue was placed on the bonfire by those involved in building it. They do indeed “have form” for all manner of purposefully offensive displays.

    The bonfire builders’ unquestioning closed minds display their sectarian hatred for all to see without guile or subtlety.

    Of course there are those from the other tribe who do employ those more refined approaches. Their closed sectarian minds will not even take a moment to pause for reflection on the mere suggestion that other possibilities exist, no matter how outlandish they may seem.

    No their sectarian frame of reference simply concludes that ‘themuns’ must have done it, no other possibility can be entertained not even for a moment; ‘sure what else do you expect from the likes of that lot’ as they might say to themselves as they bash out their Pavlovian responses on they keyboard.

  • Dec

    Quite right, DC. Surely the PSNI have better things to be doing than going round and arresting a man for multiple public breaches of his bail conditions.

  • DC

    Yeah Dec, it’s a sad day whenever bail conditions make it illegal to take part in democracy.

    Protesting for willie is illegal and now too taking part in democracy.

  • Mr Beach

    Whoever placed the statue on the bonfire needs their head examined.

    That being said, surely it is better to focus on the fact that organisers saw the good sense to remove and return it.

  • Gingray

    DC

    Willie Frazier accepted his bail conditions 100% – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-21788932.

    Looks like he made a democratic choice and he then made the decision to change his mind.

    Democracy is not the same as libertarianism, an easy mistake to make, there are rules and there are consequences.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Is that an Orange Man being hosted on top of the Divis Street bonfire, with Union flags, Ulster flag and various other Loyalist flags and stolen Loyalist banners 2012?

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5qSVJugRcd4/UCPZGfSUvQI/AAAAAAAAVIk/A-6mJTD62Pg/s1600/divb22.jpg

  • Jack2

    ArdoyneUnionist – it sure looks like it. ^^

    Watch this for a difference though:
    From someone raised from that side of the fence – the people who build that and do those types of things are the dregs of society. The bottom rung on the intellectual ladder.
    They will have seen more of Corporation St dole office than the inside of a Catholic Church within the past year.
    Knuckle dragging handout kings, contributing nothing to nobody and only existing because the govt hands them money.

    There we go.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Dito.

  • Alias

    The empty beer bottled placed beside the statue is the clincher. The messages is supposed to read “Look at this for a display of ‘culture’: drunken sectarian louts.”

    That said, it’s heartening that Catholics who have deserted the Church in droves are suddenly rediscovering a profound faith and respect for that Church now that they have a staged opportunity for another MOPE about the other tribe.

  • qwerty12345

    Alias wrote: The messages is supposed to read “Look at this for a display of ‘culture’: drunken sectarian louts.”

    Um, Virgin Mary statue or not, yeah that’s exactly what we have seen in the past days, drunken sectarian louts running amok because they dont get their way.

    No one has to invent a bad side for PUL “culture” – it’s actually bending over backwards to confirm all of our worst fears and prejudices.

  • WorkInProgress

    Such an act would be the work of high-politics conspiracy theorists, not that of drunken hoods. I think someone has been watching too many Aaron Sorkin shows…

  • carl marks

    ArdoyneUnionist (profile)
    17 July 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Dito.

    .
    Does that mean that you think that the bonfire builders on the unionist side are the same type of scum as those who build them on the nationalist side?
    Because the post you were agreeing with was pointing out the different attitude among the majority of nationalists to these sectarian activities compared to what seems to be the attitude among unionists to them?
    just askin.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Bonfires should be the regulated council type with no flags no drink and over by 1230.

  • Sp12

    “That said, it’s heartening that Catholics who have deserted the Church in droves are suddenly rediscovering a profound faith and respect for that Church now that they have a staged opportunity for another MOPE about the other tribe.”

    Almost as heartening to discover that you’ve found the silver lining in the last few days events to have a go at nationalists in the north again.

    I was starting to worry you might burst. 🙂

  • UserAinm

    This is pretty embarrassing stuff Mick.

    So the indisputable facts are:

    There is a history of posing symbols belonging to the other side at bonfires. Pictorial evidence can be found for this.

    There is overwhelming evidence that this is done by those building the bonfires. Pictorial evidence can be found for this.

    A statue of Mary was placed upright in the middle of the bonfire at Lanark Way. Pictorial evidence can be found of this.

    A statue of Mary has been placed on a previous bonfire in this community. Pictorial evidence can be found of this.

    The statue was removed and returned. Pictorial evidence can be found of this.

    Those are the facts that can be shown.

    The rest is hearsay and conjecture. So apply Occam’s razor. What’s more likely? What is the simplest explanation?

    A crack team of daring political satirists stole the statue, targeted this bonfire, set the statue up after evading the guards at the bonfire (despite either being strangers in the area, or known tea eggs), snapped a pic and took to their heels? Or that someone at the bonfire thought it would be quite the jape to put it there and record it for posterity?

    If you put this up as a bit of levity then ok Mick, but whatever some people have around here must be catching if you thought this bore serious consideration.

    (Disclaimer, burning of symbols ANY community holds dear is the work of idiots and is indefensible by right thinking non-sectarian, non-fundamentalists.)

  • Paulk

    Alias,

    “That said, it’s heartening that Catholics who have deserted the Church in droves are suddenly rediscovering a profound faith and respect for that Church now that they have a staged opportunity for another MOPE about the other tribe.”

    And it could be that just because they don’t attend the church anymore doesn’t mean they instantly lose respect for the symbols of that faith, in the same way that it would be equally disgusting to see anything from any faith: muslim, jewish, buddhist etc…. being burnt on a bonfire.

  • Ruarai

    Mick,

    there were many disgusting displays of bigotry and hatred adorning these bonfires that you could have highlighted. By choosing one of many that gives raise to your suggestion that it was a “cross-community” activity, do you think this helps or hurts and understanding of these seasonal festivities?

    In a week where the usual effigies of Catholic figures set alight included the depiction of a local priest who committed suicide, suggesting that this sort of thing is a “cross-community” exercises does real harm to the community’s ability to deal with its sicknesses.

    In an age where people get arrested and investigated merely for tweeting perceived messages of hate, how burning effigies like those set alight every year in Belfast is tolerated, defended and distracted from is a bit of an outlier, to put it mildly.

    Burning effigies of your neighbors, their flags and so on is so frequently an occurrence with this seasonal jamboree that its long become an ingrained cultural practice. Something that makes it worse not better.

  • mac tire

    No point in getting worked up by the OP. Mick has obviously come up with a way to try and get more people to his site – a little controversy always helps, eh?

    So, to the question posed: “Was the ‘Virgin in the Bonfire’ posed to inflict maximum political damage on the Orange?”

    Answer: No. Don’t be so ridiculous. The Orange (in Belfast at least) are doing a perfectly good job of that themselves.

    /thread closed.

  • Dec

    Another crucial difference between loyalists bonfires and the Divis Hoods’ beacon is that you won’t find a single Nationalist politician defending the latter as ‘culture’ nor give political cover to those responsible.

  • Big Island Exile

    Ruarai
    “Burning effigies of your neighbors, their flags and so on is so frequently an occurrence with this seasonal jamboree that its long become an ingrained cultural practice. Something that makes it worse not better.”

    I can see the argument that burning effigies of ‘traitors’ such as Lundy or Guy Fawkes can be an expression of culture and tradition, But burning icons of someone’s religion is stepping over the mark.

  • tacapall

    Mick its unbelievable that you would even put this load of b……. up for debate especially when last year, I cant find the actual posting, but the same type of statue and other Catholic religious icons, stolen from the memorial garden at Clonard were put on the same bonfire. Are we to believe sectarian bigots who annually do this type of thing on loyalist bonfires throughout the six counties have been fooled by some type of republican, nationalist plot to discredit the loyalist community and the Orange order. Im at a loss to understand why you give these bigots a platform to deflect their bigotry on to others when they have been doing it annually for centuries.

  • Sweetcheeks

    Mick Fealty has gone to strange and great lengths in recent days to negate the despicable violence instigated and, in some cases, carried out by, Orange Order members.

    From his tenuous grip on the ‘sectarian’ geographic dynamics of north Belfast – which was comprehensively debunked by another contributor – to his continual harping on about republican violence in recent years (“they were smoking spliffs, so they were”): just last night he tweeted a youtube video showing dissident violence in Ardoyne some years ago.

    Why? And why add to the speculation without knowing the fats on a bizarre conspiracy theory, with all of its sensitivities: is this a desperate attempt to increase visitor/contributor numbers?

    Alias:
    ‘The messages is supposed to read “Look at this for a display of ‘culture’: drunken sectarian louts.”’

    Yeah, ‘cos they’re incapable of appearing like that based on their own behaviour. Jog on.

  • michael-mcivor

    Like the supposed 15 minutes that it takes a orange march
    to walk over a area where they they are not wanted nobody should take offence- because the statue was only on the bonfires for 10 minutes nobody should take offence–thats a good one-

    No Celtic tops in belfast city centre for a few seconds today-just in case any orange orrder members take offence-

  • Submariner

    Mick you really are scraping the barrel here by giving the rantings of a sectarian clown like William Humphrey any credence. A quick look at the front of today’s Irish news would have put you straight which shows last year’s bonfire at the same location complete with religious statue and the obligatory KAT sign proving that this is not a one off occurrence. You can’t polish a third so quit trying

  • Barnshee

    Sad — the only appearance of a guaranteed virgin at a bonfire and its gone

  • MrPMartin

    This is virgin on the ridiculous

  • Rory Carr

    COMING ATTRACTION !!!

    The startling TRUE ! revelation of the role of AOH !! trained assassins !! on that fateful day in Dallas in 1963 !!!

    A story so bizarre that only the insertion of multiple exclamation marks can lend it credibility.

  • DC

    dregs of society. The bottom rung on the intellectual ladder.
    They will have seen more of Corporation St dole office than the inside of a Catholic Church within the past year.
    Knuckle dragging handout kings, contributing nothing to nobody and only existing because the govt hands them money.

    Snob.

  • Old Mortality

    Thank you to Mr Martin for the most sensible comment on this thread so far.
    What’s wrong with a bit of bad taste, anyway? Does anybody remember the Dead Kennedys, an American punk band from the 1980s, for example? How they must have outraged Irish sensitivities.

  • DC

    Old Mortality – i guess everyone’s a critic when it comes to bonfire art – Irish News in particular.

  • Alias

    Maybe she had a Bud too many and lost her way?

    I’ll wager a bet that not one of the folks commenting on this thread is one iota offended by this statue’s impromptu tour of Belfast. Instead, it’s just another gleeful opportunity to attack the other tribe – which, with no dramatic irony, is the only demonstrable sectarianism here.

    In practice the only difference in sectarianism between the two tribe’s lower orders is that one has more media savvy than the other.

    A lot of these “Oh look how awful they are to us” antics are aimed at outsiders who, it is hoped, will see how awful things are and put pressure on the internal government to put things right. It is legacy antics from the American civil rights leaders as imported into NI by John Hume and ilk. There is ‘shared’ government now so these antics don’t serve any practical purpose – unless, of course, the theory of powersharing doesn’t chime with the practice of it.

  • DC

    Just to add – the enlightened – Deputy District Judge, Bonita Boyd, has freed Willie.

  • goalsboyce

    Amazing the lengths some people will go to find reason to justify hateful bigotry. I blame the Catholic shools.

  • Davy McFaul

    A lot of these “Oh look how awful they are to us” antics are aimed at outsiders who, it is hoped, will see how awful things are and put pressure on the internal government to put things right

    See? Those dastardly nationalists and their wily ways again. First they place aCatholic religious icon on a bonfire to discredit loyalism then they appeal to ‘outsiders’ to admonish their respective govs to become involved in the cultural war against loyalism. They can’t be trusted I tells you.

    Alias, being right at the front line of everything that is happening, obviously has his ear to the ground and has finally cracked the plot. (cue Atheboy?)

  • Sweetcheeks

    ‘Just to add – the enlightened – Deputy District Judge, Bonita Boyd, has freed Willie.’

    He’s been arrested again tonight. Someone wants to be a martyr.

  • DC

    Where was he arrested this time?

  • Sweetcheeks

    Apologies DC, I’ve been misinformed.

  • tacapall

    Yep Willies human rights are being violated, he wants to stay in prison but the authorities keep throwing him out.

    So Alias you obviously believe it should be a right to be able to insult people in order to incite a reaction?

    The orange order is history, they will eventually be either banned or highly curbed, a bit like Islam4uk, things are moving on and while the Orange order and some loyalists are still trying to invent the time machine, the new kids on the block are getting their heads around the new show in town, “the pooling of sovereignty”

  • Rory Carr

    Slugger’s resident savant, Alias has once again demonstrated his keenness of observation – the nationalist/republican community have cleverly won for themselves the reputation of being less sectarian than the PUL community by the sneaky tactic of behaving in a …er…less sectarian manner having been taught this sneaky maneuver by John Hume who had observed African-Americans, during agitation for civil rights, win sympathy for their cause by sneakily allowing themselves to be thrown off buses and out of restaurants and whipped and fire-hosed by sensitive white policemen and attacked by poor frightened police dogs, some African-Americans even going so far as to resort to being shot or having their homes and churches bombed such was the extent of their deviousness.

    Fortunately Alias wasn’t fooled – our hero was on hand to point out that, as with Irish Catholics, African-Americans are a crafty lot and one can’t believe a word that passes their lips.

  • Sweetcheeks

    Orangeism and Zionism: two sides of the same occupying, supremacist coin.

  • Alias

    Rory, all the poor farmers complaining of a dire shortage of hay – and there you are building giant strawmen out of it…

  • Rory Carr

    No wonder the farmers are complaining, Alias after you made much use of their straw with this nonsense at 5.02pm today:

    A lot of these “Oh look how awful they are to us” antics are aimed at outsiders who, it is hoped, will see how awful things are and put pressure on the internal government to put things right. It is legacy antics from the American civil rights leaders as imported into NI by John Hume and ilk.

    That was you, Alias, was it not ? Surely you can not have forgotten so soon ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    The claim that the statue was put there by nationalists is extraordinary on several levels and not much more than a sliver of proof has been offered to support it.

    It is difficult to believe that people are even trying to lend it credibility. In particular, the idea that setting up bad PR for the Orange Order or the whole bonfire culture is necessary seems superfluous – they do a perfectly fine job of this by themselves.

  • Zig70

    The real story here is that social media means that naked acts like this get amplified and along with it the attitudes of some sections our communities. For me, the real suffer was hearing every unionist politician blaming the short strand or parades commission for every evil rather than highlighting the fact that a criminal element has the run of several areas in north and east Belfast. Well, the nutters vote and the rest of us stay at home.

  • Mick Fealty

    Sorry guys, I was away on personal business for most of yesterday… Two things strike me:

    – This does still look to me like it could be a publicity stunt. Why take the statue to Ardoyne? If they had taken it to Clonard or St Peters, there would have been no news.

    – Dec’s pic (which was also on the front page of yesterday’s Irish News) does indeed prove this Lanark Way bonfire has form with regard to holy statues.

    Both of these throw some considerable doubt on the original Good Samaritan story, as well as the Catholic Hoods story.

  • aquifer

    Sounds like some young lads have successfully wound up their elders, yanking the tail of the grumpy old beasts that dwell in these parts. Adolescent pleas for attention and status, duly rewarded.

    Never mind the water cannon, just take a cold bath and careful you don’t slip getting out.

  • aquifer

    Well composed picture, with the hard square red and blue pallets beneath the others, picking up the wee flash of wounded red on the white sculpted Holy Mary. Very creative.

  • Gingray

    So Mick, in your view the Catholics in West Belfast know their place and wouldn’t make a fuss, so our intrepid nationalists knew to take it to Holy Cross.

    It’s pretty unrealistic to believe that despite the fact that symbols of the other side have been burnt at bonfires for years, the one time it makes the news you think, despite a lack of evidence other than misquotes and gossip, that it was a setup. Beggars belief actually.

    I’ve lived in this city, and in other developed nations, and if you think the destruction of religious or political symbols is viewed as anything other a hate crime, then you are wrong. Yet you don’t want to acknowledge this – so how about you tell us where in the world it is acceptable to call it an expression of your culture to destroy religious and political symbols of the other side. Up to the challenge?

  • Kensei

    http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/clapping-gif

    Congratulations Mick. This is the greatest troll I’ve ever seen on the site. It’s magnificent, so close to real sort of the disappeared up your own backside getalongerism that you can’t even seem the join.

    Bravo!

  • wee buns

    Key to the OO’s struggle ever since the late 90s, is to convince the world that the protestant people are victims – more sinned against than sinning – as part of their fundamentalist attachment to such ideas. Not only is there a lack of evidence to support nationalist statue stealing, but there are numerous incidents of the ‘more sinned against’ narrative. Among the most memorable examples is when the protestant community blamed Chrissie Quinn for blackening the name of the OO.

  • derrydave

    Mick, I’m really quite amazed that you’ve seen fit to post such tripe. So utterly unbelievable that I can scarcely imagine what possessed you to embarrass yourself by putting it in ‘print’. Honestly speechless. Think it’s time I took a break from Slugger.

  • Neil

    Well that’s one of the most ridiculous threads in slugger history. Well done. Ruth Patterson style. I’m off to burn my own flag here while devising ways to make orangeism look bad here, they clearly can’t manage it on their own.

  • Sweetcheeks
  • DC