Lord Mayor Attack: A Tale of Two Parks

Following on from the sectarian attack on Belfast Mayor Mairtin O’Muilleoir at Woodvale Park yesterday,  Jude Collins correctly fixes the spotlight on the unionist political leaders who, instead of leading from the front, have preferred to indulge the sectarian assumptions and fantastical notions behind the increasingly paranoid and utterly bogus loyalist grievance narrative (the subject of this thread, and this one.)

Collins captures the contradiction between the response afforded leading DUP figures, Nelson McCausland and Gavin Robinson, in Dunville Park, pictured smiling with the Sinn Fein Mayor, only a matter of hours before the latter was assaulted by loyalists at the opening of the renovated Woodvale Park.

It is worth pointing out that, as Mayor, Robinson signed the letter condemning the Parades Commission and effectively supporting the decision to openly defy the Parades Commission determination by playing loyalist songs outside St Patrick’s Church following the infamous ‘Famine Song’ incident. And last month he was left peddling the loyalist line following the loyalist violence on the 12th July in East Belfast which saw both Short Strand residents and PSNI officers in the firing line of the assembled loyalists.

Yet no protestors gathered to assault Gavin.

Nelson McCausland is rarely out of the news these days due to the series of controversies surrounding his conduct and decisions as Minister (not to mention Orange Order member, regularly participating in contentious parades in north Belfast.)

Yet no protestors gathered to assault Nelson. Indeed, Nelson returned to the Falls Road again today for another meeting.

Back to Jude Collins:

“Why did McCausland and Robinson receive a civilized reception in Dunville Park? Because the republican leadership had persuaded the people there that peaceful means are the best to follow, that bridging the chasm between communities makes more sense than attacks on fellow-Irishmen and women. Why did Mairtin O Muilleoir receive a violent reception at Woodvale? Because the unionist leadership has seen fit to let its people remain mired in the past, has in fact encouraged them to see moves towards equality as an attack on their ‘culture’. The DUP’s reaction to the attack, where they blamed the victim, said it all.”