Derry is different. The lessons for Belfast are limited

How different is Derry?  Dan Keenan in the Irish Times and  Steven McCaffery in the Detail are right to celebrate the huge success of  Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann under the broad banner of UK City of Culture. McCaffery draws an appropriate conclusion from the inclusive flavour evident in the Fleadh and the whole year so far. What a turn round for Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann as well as community relations in our time.

The Fleadh is an Irish event and will inevitably have a greater appeal to nationalists. But perhaps unionists, suspicious at the calls for the increased expression of Irish cultural identity in Northern Ireland, can glimpse how that can sit side-by-side with loyalist traditions without eroding British identity

Official figures confirmed that close to half a million people poured into stroke-city for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann – the annual pilgrimage of the Irish traditional music scene which drew to a close last night.

It is the first time in its 60 year history that the iconic event has come north of the Irish border and for that reason alone it was always going to be a big occasion.

But its importance to the wider political picture is that this quintessentially Irish celebration of identity and tradition was conducted under the banner of UK City of Culture and with the symbolic inclusion of members of the unionist community.

The headquarters of the loyalist Apprentice Boys was one of the venues, loyalist flute bands were included on the programme of events, and the Police Service of Northern Ireland pipe band was there.

And there was a huge Scottish contingent – nothing new for the Fleadh with its worldwide Celtic connections, but nevertheless providing another bridge to unionism’s Ulster-Scots tradition.

Just before the week-long Fleadh kicked off, thousands of Apprentice Boys took part in their biggest annual parade, which passed off without incident in the city.

Governor of the Apprentice Boys Jim Brownlee said that over the years people have learned to work together on issues such as parading and that dialogue has brought positive changes.

Lessons can be learned from Derry-Londonderry, even though there are no simple or easy answers to the problems facing the peace process.

McCaffery is right to acknowledge the absence  of simple or easy lessons.  While I yield to none  at my satisfaction with developments in  Derry, a few points of context should be added..   A City of Culture  programme with  the investment and tremendous effort that’s going into it  can’t happen every year . Derry will revert to a more mundane existence. I look forward to the legacy debate,

Second, remember that  Derry has an  80: 20 Catholic majority with the Protestants living mainly on the east bank of the Foyle. This is quite unlike the patchwork and pressure points of  Belfast. The prods quit the west bank in the storm of the IRA campaign on the 1970s. They are now in terms of sectarian strengths, basically harmless.

You can if you like depict Derry as the Jerusalem of unionism but with the Arabs as the protectors of the holy places. It was local opinion that ensured the return of the siege flag stolen from St Columb’s cathedral last week. A portrait of the Earl bishop was similarly stolen and  returned a couple of years ago. These sinister little acts together with attacks on the sad little Fountain ghetto behind its own high wall,  and paint spatterings on the  expensively restored Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall and First Derry Presbyterian Church, are perverted gestures designed to  show that the planter tradition survives by nationalist permission . They are part of the rejectionist republican strategy such as it is, and are generally deplored.  While  the dissidents’ capacity for malignity can’t be written off, it’s great  to see how they’ve contained in the city this year so far.

But these pathetic acts also serve as reminders that the nationalist majority have become the protectors of the unionist tradition in the city – as they should be, being the large majority. Active resentment at the gerrymander of another age seems  to have disappeared. A lot of blood and water has flowed under Craigavon Bridge since. It’s a sign of maturity and self confidence  that nationalists  including Sinn Fein  have embraced the heritage, restored Guildhall and all.. This is good community relations and sound economics too, because the sites are a tremendous tourist asset.

Londonderry then, is a success story. But it is not Belfast.

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  • Greenflag

    @ Barnshee

    You referenced AFM Roman Catholic Ireland above . Can you explain the acronym AFM for the benefit of those who might read your post ,?

    Anybody else out there who knows what it means ?

  • Barnshee

    AFM

    Showing my age.

  • Barnshee

    Which Protestant school in the Republic was ever bombed ?
    Which group of Protestant schoolchildren were ever taunted and/or spat at by adults anywhere in Dublin ?

    At 2% of the population they would be fairly hard to find

  • Barnshee

    “1 Home Rule set in motion to exclude prods from the UK”

    Nope. Home rule was set in motion to accede to the wishes of the overwhelming majority of Irish people, including some of the protestant faith for self-determination.”

    Against the wishes of the Northern Protestant who wished their own “self determination”
    Translation Roman Catholic self determination good Protestant self determination Bad

    “2 Prods form up to resist inclusion in Catholic republican Ireland.”

    Nope. Protestants form up to subvert democratic principles through the use of violence.”

    Translation Protestant form up to reject inclusion in ROI BAD

    Catholic/Irish form up to reject inclusion in UK -GOOD

    Now do you get it?

  • Greenflag

    ‘Which Protestant school in the Republic was ever bombed ?
    Which group of Protestant schoolchildren were ever taunted and/or spat at by adults anywhere in Dublin ?’

    If you can’t answer the question leave it to Harry Flashman . The question was directed at him anyway .

    Now if you’ll explain AFM and your age is irrelevant even if its in three digits .

  • Greenflag

    ‘At 2% of the population they would be fairly hard to find

    I’ve lived close to two Protestant national schools one in Dublin and one about 60 miles from Dublin and I’ve never heard of any attacks or bombings much less adults spitting at protestant schoolchildren .

  • Greenflag

    ‘Catholic/Irish form up to reject inclusion in UK -GOOD’

    The Catholic Irish were never ‘included ‘ in the UK .They were forced into it by imperial war and by a corrupt and bribed legislature in 1800. The same as happened to Scotland in 1707.

    The Irish were prepared to accept Home Rule . But when that was rejected they fought and won their independence .

    ‘Protestant form up to reject inclusion in ROI BAD ‘

    Not bad just factually incorrect and from a longer term perspective socially and politically stupid and self defeating . . Ulster’s Protestants rejected inclusion in a Home Rule Ireland which would still have been part of the UK & then Empire .

    Again have ago at AFM it’s the mystery of the day or should I ask FDM ?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Barnshee

    I won’t argue against you for the right of Northern Protestants to self determination (though we didn’t have to bring so many Catholics with us) but the idea of it being Catholic Home Rule is Edwardian era propaganda.

    Home rule was to be like that of Canada or Australia, not a swift exit from the Empire to a Vatican satellite state.

    As the PM at the time said “Canada did not get Home-rule because she was loyal and friendly, but became loyal and friendly because she got Home-rule”.

    On one hand we believed that we could rebel against the British Empire and all the various Nationalist paramilitaries (that the UVF inspired) yet propaganda tells us that we would be under the yoke of Rome.

    That doesn’t make sense.

    How could 1 million plus Protestants who controlled banking, industry, commerce, land, the UVF and sea ports as well as having tight links to the top brass of the Imperial army be subjugated to ‘Rome Rule’?
    It doesn’t make any sense, if they were that impotent then they wouldn’t be able to threaten war in the first place.
    (Obviously comprising 5-10% of a post war bitter population is a different story, hence the confessional state that emerged).

    The Easter Rising came about because they were so dismayed how ‘British’ Ireland had become.

    This bitter Republicanism that we think of is pretty much an offshoot of the Easter rising and its quelling.

    Had Home Rule been established it MAY not have happened (of course we can’t be sure).

    The eventual Republic only became possible pretty much thanks to Edward Carson and co.

    And lest ye disbelieve my Lundy-like words then take it from the man himself regarding him, ulster and Randy Churchill’s ‘big idea’:

    “At the time I did not know, as I know now, that I was a mere puppet in a political game. I was in earnest. I was not playing with politics – What a fool I was! I was only a puppet. So also was Ulster, and so was Ireland, in the political game that was to get the Conservative Party back into power.”

    Or, as Sulgger views it:http://sluggerotoole.com/2008/12/10/planting-the-tory-flag-to-sway-the-opposition/

    Greenflag: I think he means ‘Afore mentioned’.

  • Son of Strongbow

    I’m sure that my historical perspective will not accord with any held on the nationalist side (thankfully 😉 ).

    I don’t believe that unionists back in the day set out with partition as their grand plan. However events, dear boy, events…

    Given that, much as they do now, nationalists set their gaze in discussions outside the island and avoided dealing with their fellow Irish who quite obviously disagreed with Home Rule. The 1916 terror attack assisted in poisoning the well and after 1918 nationalists plumped for majoritism (something they would later mope about in NI).

    I suspect they believed that unionists would be reborn as nationalists in some weird alchemy process, or any northern state would very quickly wither on the vine (hence when NI did come about they refused to play, not taking up the 1/3 allotted places in the RUC etc).

    I believe that the ‘events’ born during the maelstrom years 1916 -1922 added to Carson’s bitterness and regrets.

    No doubt the character of the forming Free State did not enhance the possibilities that the now ‘two’ Irelands could hope to reconcile. W B Yeats, a Protestant and an Irish nationalist, saw clearly the way things were going and rightly observed the actions of the new state were placing a “wedge in the midst of the nation”.

    His people were indeed to be made “petty” by the shenanigans of the Dublin administration.

    ‘Home Rule equalling Rome Rule’ (with John Charles McQuaid the defacto Ayatollah of the Free State) proved even the wildest propaganda of northern unionism not far off the mark. In parallel to the south a northern laager was built. Both ‘statelets’ in their own way would reinforce partition.

    So much as I hate disagreeing with Am Ghobsmacht (who seems such a very nice person, so self deprecating, so very, well, nice) I have to conclude that the Republic was not solely the child of “Edward Carson and co.”.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Well, when you put it like that SoS…

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    FYI:

    “John Charles McQuaid the defacto Ayatollah of the Free State”

    I’ll be drilling with an Irish drilling company next week. I have no doubt drunken AG will parrot that very line at the most untimely point.

    As a result of my violent death I would like to bequeath my history books to AyeYerMa, my Tim Pat Coogan ‘door stop’ to Chris Donnelly and you SoS may have my MOPECOM status indicator.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    (it is still under guarantee but is also slightly sensitive, as displayed by my contribution to Chris Donnelly’s post and his ‘NoI acceptance’ blooper)

  • Barnshee

    t 2% of the population they would be fairly hard to find

    I’ve lived close to two Protestant national schools one in Dublin and one about 60 miles from Dublin and I’ve never heard of any attacks or bombings much less adults spitting at protestant schoolchildren .

    Given the stats you must have found them all! well done

  • Tochais Síoraí

    @AG – The worse that will happen you is that someone will say you’re exaggerating a bit. More likely they’ll agree with you. The vast bulk of Irish people acknowledge the malevolent power which Mc Quaid and his lackeys once held.

    @Barnshee – There are around 200 Protestant ethos primary schools in the Republic, not incl the growing no. of inter and non denom schools.

    Anyway, well done Derry! The fleadh usually goes back to the same place for the following two or three years so they should get it again next year.

  • Greenflag

    @ Am Ghobsmacht ,

    Thanks for the acronym explanation.

    As to

    ‘The Easter Rising came about because they were so dismayed how ‘British’ Ireland had become.’

    Not so much that per se as the Gaelic League and the GAA and the literary revival and ‘romantic ‘nationalism were all in vogue a kind of catch up with the earlier 1845 rise of national identity awareness which had spread through Europe and provided much instability to the Austro Hungarian Empire in particular.

    Much of this found political resonance among the rising RC middle class of the time . The Land League movement and the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland . The late 19th century saw continuing emigration and also the rise of the RC Church in the wake of the disestablishment of the COI to it’s acme of power in Ireland .

    The main impetus for the 1916 Rising came from the whole Covenant /UVF German arms etc . The rebellion leader Patrick Pearse the poet /teacher and son of an English stonemason told the mainstream Irish Nationalists and Home Rulers of the time (1914-1916) that instead of scoffing and laughing at the UVF for arming themselves that they too the Irish Volunteers should be doing the same . As both camps sent of thousands to die in the trenches one lot for the Empire King and country and the other lot for a mixture of the latter plus the promise of Home Rule the stage was set for a post war conflict over the constitutional future .

    The failure of HMG in implementing Home Rule & the Curragh mutiny put the kibosh on any fix and thus began the War of Independence /and finally the Irish Civil war in 1922/23.It was during this Civil War that ‘protestants ‘ in the South West suffered most because the Free State Forces could not protect them . As many were seen as Free State Government supporters they proved easy targets for the irregulars . Many left during this period but ’emigration for southern unionists had been on the rise since the 1870’s . Even so 10 times as many RC’s were emigrating as protestants .

    ‘This bitter Republicanism that we think of is pretty much an offshoot of the Easter rising and its quelling.”

    Partly true . There was also the aftermath of the Irish Civil War in which the Irregulars (Republicans ) were defeated . Many were forced into exile in America and were rejected for State employment in the Free State and it’s army /police and by employers generally . The RC church also condemned them as ‘communists ‘. Resentment and alienation among this group remained however and eventually they were to come to power in 1932 with De Valera and his FF party . The changeover of power in 1932 was fraught with mistrust on all sides and many FF TD’s from rural areas were reputed to have concealed weapons on their persons as many believed Cosgrave would not hand over power to Dev in accordance with the latter’s electoral mandate . The Souths former unionists in all of this sided mostly with the former government (Cosgrave’s ) as they just like the RC Church saw Dev and his party as potential socialists or even communists . Dev quickly ingratiated himself with the hierarchy of the RC Church by allowing them to have a major influence on the 1937 rewriting of the Constitution. From then on the RC Church enjoyed a kind of supremacy and power within the Irish State that it had never enjoyed before , and which it probably would not have enjoyed had Home Rule been implemented .It’s only since the 1960’s and more so in recent times that the RC Church has seen a major retrat from it’s power and influence over Irish society . Once upon a time not too long ago even in the early 1980’s a ‘belt from the crozier ‘ for any would be Dail candidate was enough to ensure electoral defeat . In 2013 the same ‘belt’ from a bishop would probably ensure a candidates election with a tidy surplus .

    ‘Had Home Rule been established it MAY not have happened ‘

    Or had WW1 not taken place until after Home Rule had been up and running . But events in Ireland had no influence on the outbreak of WW1 . It can be conjectured that despite the 1916 Rising 150,000 plus Irish had enlisted from Ireland North and South and probably more from if one includes Irish emigrants in Britain at the time . Whereas the 1916 Rising gathered only 3,000 and came close to being a damp squib but for the summary trial and execution of the leaders .

    One can also surmise that had Home Rule been implemented that Ireland would not have been neutral in WW2 and that that shared experience between North and South and with Britain would have brought Ireland closer to Britain ? The Social Welfare and Educational Reforms of successive British governments in the 1950’s would have benefitted the whole of Ireland and not just the north , We can envisage the above as an alternate history and at least it’s plausible .Ireland today could have been an example for Scotland to follow .As it is the Scots can only learn from Ireland ( in particular from the North -how not to do it )

    So again in an ironic way we have the bone headed stubborn anti catholic and anti all things irish cultural or otherwise loylaists and unionists for first our Free State (1922) and later the First Republic (1949) (Dev btw thought that was a mistake )and of coire in the not too distant future the Second Republic which will see a return to a closer and better relationship with the neighbouring island of Britain imo.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Given the stats you must have found them all! well done’

    If English is not your normal mode of expression you should say so – I trust it’s not Parkinsons or Alzheimers . BTW in case you are diagnosed with Waldheimers and don’t know what it is -it’s kinda like Parkinsons except it means you forget you were a nazi .

    As to the schools the one in Dublin was full to overflowing . But the country school had a 10% catholic intake and I know this because a relative of mine had her two kids on the waiting list for the protestant school as the catholic national school was further away . No big deal anymore which is how it might have been had Home Rule been implemented.

  • Greenflag

    @ Am Ghobsmacht ,

    ‘I won’t argue against you for the right of Northern Protestants to self determination (though we didn’t have to bring so many Catholics with us) ‘

    Neither would I given those times and the history to date and the then world economic structure and Ulsters place in the trading Empire /shipbuilding , engineering , textiles etc etc , A leap into a Home Rule Ireland might have seemed to some to put what little prosperity had been built up at risk .

    ‘but the idea of it being Catholic Home Rule is Edwardian era propaganda.’

    What was forgotten or more probably ignored was how much the RC Church of the time was wedded to it’s imperial role as missionaries to the Empire , Canada , Australia , New Zealand , South Africa and the Rhodesias as well as British East and West Africa provided huge opportunities for the Irish RC church to expand it’s power and influence . By default that role in the wider world outside Ireland would have become an issue had the RC Church tried to crowd out the 25% protestant minority largely concentrated in the north east of Ulster then as now . SO there would have been no 1937 Constitution -no Easter Rising -no Irish Civil War -and no Troubles and no Peace process and no Stormont .

    It’s beginning to sound like too pleasant a dream .

    Is that a brick I see coming at me ?

  • PaddyReilly

    The problem with Irish Independence is that we got it too soon, just after the 1st World War, whereas most of the Commonwealth countries got theirs after the 2nd World War. This meant that the old Imperial urge was still alive and kicking. In more recent independences, the garrison has realised that it has to co-operate with the new régime.

    The future is that we are going to have a province where most of the major conurbations: Belfast, Derry and Newry, possibly also Craigavon and Antrim, are majority CNR and a lot of smaller towns: Lisburn, Carrickfergus, Newtownards, Ballymena , Coleraine are still majority PUL. Can anyone come up with a plausible arrangement where these differences can be accommodated?

  • Greenflag

    @ paddy reilly ,

    ‘The problem with Irish Independence is that we got it too soon,’

    Some might say too late . Gladstones Second Home Rule was passed in the House of Commons in 1893 but the House of Lords (overwhelmingly Conservative ) rejected it .

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Government_Bill_1893

    The Third Home Rule Act in 1914 was passed by a majority of 77 in the Commons and the House of Lords was overruled having defeated the Bill a third time so it was law and had the royal assent .

    But then it was suspended because of the outbreak of WW1

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_Ireland_Act_1914 .

    It can be surmised that had WW1 not taken place that HMG would have had to put down the unionist and loyalist traitors to KIng and country . Would they have done it ?
    Probably if the LIberals or Labour were in power for no other reason than to show the rest of the world that Britain would keep it’s word and would bind Ireland to Britain in a new relationship in which past antagonisms would dissapate in the fullness of time . Had the Conservatives been in power ?

    Probably a bloodbath 🙁

  • Harry Flashman

    You have a question for me Greenflag?

    The previous comments seem to have disappeared but to remind you I was comparing the situation in 1970’s and 80’s Derry with Ireland in the 1919-23 period, two very specific and very similar scenarios in which random and wipespread violence, lawlessness and thuggery, often of a sectarian nature and frequently unreported, was commonplace.

  • Greenflag

    Yes Harry re your earlier post

    ‘Which Protestant school in the Free State (1922-1949) Republic (1949-2013 ) or during 1919-23 was ever bombed ?

    As to

    ‘I was comparing the situation in 1970′s and 80′s Derry with Ireland in the 1919-23 period, two very specific and very similar scenarios in which random and wipespread violence, lawlessness and thuggery, often of a sectarian nature and frequently unreported, was commonplace.’

    Thats true enough in a general sense but in case you haven’t noticed it the world changed quite a bit between 1919 and 1980 and the political and economic conditions as between both periods are vastly different . In 1919 Britain had emerged as still the world’s superpower . By 1970 the Empire was history and the French were denying the British entry to the then EEC.

    But then what would you expect to happen when the British Government attempted to totally ignore the wishes of the vast majority of Irish people for Home Rule in the earlier period and when faced with a powerful public boycott of all British administration let loose the dogs of war i.e the Black & Tans in a crude but ultimately failed attempt to intimidate and coerce the Irish people .

    It was no different in the Derry or NI of the 1970’s . The then NI Government simply followed the example of the Black & Tans earlier episode by sending in the drunken B specials on what were pogroms against the nationalist people . Just as well HMG intervened or the entire island would have descended to Balkan levels of carnage .

    You see Harry at some point thuggery has to be fought with thuggery .And Governments just like terrorists can be thugs just look at Egypt or Syria or Israel or North Korea. There are no Queensberry Rules in war and Civil war is never civil . So the best option or plan is to avoid starting war and resolve difficult political issues by negotiation and compromise where possible .

    Unfortunately HMG behaved like thugs from 1918 until 1922 and the NI Government 1969 -1973 despite Captain O’Neill’s efforts at moderation some of his Ministers preferred physical repression of civilians . In both cases overreaction directed against the Irish people north and south backfired on the perpetrators which is why there is a Republic today in Dublin and why SF are power sharing in Government in Belfast

    It isn’t rocket science .

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Greenflag

    ‘Which Protestant school in the Free State (1922-1949) Republic (1949-2013 ) or during 1919-23 was ever bombed ?”

    Maybe he knows of others but Clifden Orphanage is the most infamous example (well, not a bomb, but was still burned out).

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Greenflag

    I won’t quibble of most of your points except for one,

    “‘The Easter Rising came about because they were so dismayed how ‘British’ Ireland had become.’

    Not so much that per se as the Gaelic League and the GAA and the literary revival and ‘romantic ‘nationalism were all in vogue a kind of catch up with the earlier 1845 rise of national identity awareness which had spread through Europe and provided much instability to the Austro Hungarian Empire in particular.”

    I think you’re underplaying the mega-Brit aspect a bit, there is loads of evidence to show how pro-Britsh Ireland was during the war (courtesy of wartime propaganda).

    I recommend ‘The Rising: Ireland:1916, Fearghal McGarry ‘ to show just how much.

    Actually, I think had they pasted the footage of ‘Khaki Cork’ with all its red, white and blue bunting as the backdrop to the Irish soldiers marching off to the slaughterhouse for the Imperial Army it would have given ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’ a bit more perspective.

    But, that’s just me…

  • Harry Flashman

    If Clifden Orphanage was the school where a Royal Navy ship had to come to get the kids out and they mostly ended up in Australia then yes that was one incident I was thinking of but I was thinking more of a conversation I had back in the 80’s in Dublin.

    I was at Trinity and at a classmate’s house, she was a South Dublin protestant, and I got to chatting with an elderly lady, an aunt it may have been, she had heard my Northern accent and was interested in the situation there. She then told me about life in Dublin back in the original troubles, the sort of stuff that never got the attention of the newspapers or later historians.

    Threats to her teachers and parents of her classmates, an attack on her school’s church parade, sectarian catcalls at her and her schoolfriends. She was happy in the Republic and was a loyal citizen but just wanted to remind people that it wasn’t always sweetness and light being a protestant in the south. What she said certainly corresponded with what I knew of and had witnessed of sectarianism against protestants in Derry in my time.

    Just for the record GF, what I had said was “attacks and bombings of protestant schools and institutions”, not specifically bombings of schools (although I do recall a bomb in the grounds of a protestant school in Derry), in Derry in the 70’s and 80’s and Ireland in 1919-23, if my wording was ambiguous I apologise.

    However again I come back to my basic point, the peace in today’s Derry is the same as the peace in today’s Republic; the prods have been largely extirpated and shorn of their cultural, political and economic power, they got the shite kicked out of ’em and those who remain are a statistical minority who can be easily tolerated, provided they don’t get too “uber-prod” and remain unthreatening and go meekly along with what the majority want and express their own culture quietly in a token, non-controversial way.

    It works, there’s no doubt about that, but if you are a proud prod who feels he has nothing to be ashamed of about his heritage and would like to have the right to assert his allegiance and traditions on his own terms as a free citizen in his own home town without having to meekly ask for permission from the majority to do so, it might seem so appealing.

  • drmisery

    Hardly quiet and a token. How many parades in Derry yearly by the (pseudo) loyal orders? Hardly a Rossnowlagh single day out? Perhaps equality is difficult to swallow past that entitlement tumor stuck in the throat.

    Again anecdotal stories are great, I recommended some books earlier…. Enlightenment for all those who want to know something about southern Protestant experience

  • Greenflag

    @ Am Ghobsmacht ,

    ‘Maybe he knows of others but Clifden Orphanage is the most infamous example (well, not a bomb but was still burned out ) ‘

    I was being very specific re ‘bombing’
    in the question directed at Harry which is not to say I’m dismissive of lesser forms of intimidation such as burnings , threats , boycotts etc . . I’m aware of the ‘sufferings ‘ which some Protestants suffered during those times in the South and West and have referred to it several times in past slugger posts .

    Here’s BTW the whole story re the Protestant Orphanage outrage giving some background .from the Galway Advertiser of Nov 17th , 2011 which reminds people of how some of their ancestors
    behaved like true “Christians ‘ back in those turbulent times :(.
    http://www.advertiser.ie/galway/article/46546/civil-war-british-gunboat-sent-to-clifden

    The main story which is dragged out when discrimination against Southern Protestants is debated is the notorious Fethard on Sea scandal in Co Wexford in 1957 or so . It’s hard to imagine now in 2013 how appallingly ignorant and intolerant of ‘mixed ‘ marriages Irish society was back then although by 1957 Fethard was a bit of an anomaly . .
    . Irish politicians of all the main parties at the time did nothing to quell the hysteria unleashed by the local rabid Catholic cleric a Fr Stafford and later by Bishop Browne of Galway . A similar point could be made about the noticeable reticence of current Unionist politicians in NI in 2013 as loyalist mobs are unleashed on Belfast’s streets

    Plus ca change indeed 🙁

    But it was Dev who finally spoke out against what he termed “this deplorable affair ‘ using words which did not take the side of the embattled Protestants but took some of the wind out of the sail of the Catholic bigots .

    Dev’s Government had ignored the ‘affair ‘ even after Senator Owen Sheehy Skeffington raised it in the Senate But what sparked Dev to speak up was ironically a foretaste of what was to come in 1968/69 in NI . In mid July 1957 international journalists were descending on Fethard on Sea and reporting to the wider world of the ‘intolerance ‘ to be found in what was supposed to a modern western democracy . Dev was embarrassed by the scandal which cast a poor light on the Republic’s claim to be ‘less ‘ bigoted and more tolerant society than bigoted Northern Ireland .

    The ‘affair ‘ quickly disappeared from the news . By 1969 the media and TV had however a much wider spread worldwide than in 1957 a fact which did not enamour said media to the then NI Government . And of course they were unable to brush their societal intolerances under the carpet as the South was as the ‘intolerances ‘ conflagrated into the kind of outrages that the modern media were just getting hooked on back then . Nowadays it’s almost blase as we see the faces of gassed Syrian children on the front pages of the WSJ and on TV .:(

  • Greenflag

    @ Am Ghobsmacht ,

    ‘I think you’re underplaying the mega-Brit aspect a bit, there is loads of evidence to show how pro-Britsh Ireland was during the war (courtesy of wartime propaganda).’

    I did’nt think I was . I can see how that could be construed looking back at my post but that aspect was not the main point I was trying to make .

    Thanks for the McGarry referral -I haven’t read it and I can’t imagine it can throw further light on that added by Foster , Ferriter , McKee , Tanner , Patterson . Lee and others and my first ‘real ‘ history of Ireland a Secondary school tome by Edmund Curtis which was required reading for the Leaving Cert but I’ll have a gander as they say next time I’m in a bookstore .

    BTW that whole Fethard on Sea affair is told in much more detail in Marcus Tanner’s ‘Holy Ireland ‘ His chapter in the book for those interested in the sometimes oppressive Catholic atmosphere of the new Free State and the early Republic is titled ‘Most fruitful of Mothers ‘.

    In respect of the above had I been a protestant ‘Unionist ‘ back in 1918 or the from the 1880’s even in Dublin I too would have been leery of a Home Rule Ireland in which the power of the RC Church could be used arrogantly and insensitively against all religious minorities . Tanner describes this aspect when he relates how Archbishop Cullen an infamous anti Protestant , anti Fenian and pro Empire cleric used and abused his position to intimidate Irish Protestants and even those Irish Catholics like his predecessor Archbishop Murray who were more tolerant of their Protestant fellow countrymen . Cullen was a 19th century Archbishop McQuaid but a much more powerful presenter of the case against the ‘heretics’ a kind of Catholic Paisley except not having political office .There are those who would say such office would have been superfluous anyway . Tanner in his Chapter ‘ The Agitating Priest ‘ describes the antagonisms which Cullen brought to the heretofore tolerably good relations between the Protestant & Catholic Archbishops of Dublin.

    For a more personal take on ‘pro British ‘ attitudes at the time of WW1 I ‘d recommend Sebastian Barry’s ‘A Long Long Way’ .

  • Greenflag

    @ Harry Flashman ,

    ‘She was happy in the Republic and was a loyal citizen but just wanted to remind people that it wasn’t always sweetness and light being a protestant in the south. ‘

    I would’nt doubt it Harry but it was by no means as dangerous as being a Catholic in parts of Belfast around the 12th at any time during the 20th century or indeed up to the present time as we continuously see .

    She was happy in the Republic and was a loyal citizen but just wanted to remind people that it wasn’t always sweetness and light being a protestant in the south.

    ‘Just for the record GF, what I had said was “attacks and bombings of protestant schools and institutions”,

    Thats right Harry -thats what I thought you said and theres nothing ambiguous about your comment just as there was nothing ambiguous in my question

    ‘Which Protestant school in the Free State (1922-1949) Republic (1949-2013 ) or during 1919-23 was ever bombed ?”

    The unambiguous answer to which is NONE . As to your other points re ‘intimidation ‘ etc I’ve not denied them as you can see in my reply to AG above .

    As to

    ‘although I do recall a bomb in the grounds of a protestant school in Derry), in Derry in the 70′s and 80′s and Ireland in 1919-23, if my wording was ambiguous I apologise.’

    Whatever about you recalling a school bombing in Derry in the 1970’s or 1980’s you can’t recall any school bombing in Ireland 1919-1923 because there was’nt any . Thats just fact .

    Your apology is accepted not for your ‘ambiguity ‘ but for your historical factual error in this case . Don’t get too upset now . It could happen to a Bishop and even me 😉

    As to

    ‘if you are a proud prod who feels he has nothing to be ashamed of about his heritage and would like to have the right to assert his allegiance and traditions on his own terms as a free citizen in his own home town without having to meekly ask for permission from the majority to do so, it might NOT seem so appealing.’

    I added in that NOT to your last sentence as I think thats what you meant to convey ?

    All I would say here is that in a normal constitutional democracy as you might find in Britain or the USA or elsewhere your comment above is one I would agree with 100% based on freedom of association and freedom of speech and freedom of worship etc .

    The problem is that that normal constitutional democracy ( is not Northern Ireland -not yet anyway and perhaps not for a long time and the reasons for this situation developing would as you know fill and have filled tomes and HMG Government Reports too numerous to mention .

    So for now I think it behoves all sides Orange and Green to ask permission if they want to trample through each other’s bailiwick and thus avoid causing public disorder and general mayhem and police injuries and property damage and all the rest of the sorry and stupid shite associated with these parades .

    My preference as I’ve stated before several times is to have all parades Orange and Green banned for a decade with a week long exception in mid winter -at remote locations for both communities until the local indigenes learn to respect religious and cultural differences in their society .

    It may eventually have to come to that in a UI context .

    The good news about the Derry success is that at least some folk are getting their act together so as to protect and enhance cross communal respect for each other’s traditions in the future and that is as Brian Walker & Tochais Síoraí above have stated can only be good and an example for Belfast and other cities and towns across NI to follow .

  • neutralist

    Harry, the guts of the following has been posted before but it is worth repeating.
    This canard has already been done to death-deja vu all over again.
    To quote a WW2 general: ‘they came at us in the same old way and we stopped them in the same old way’.
    The claim has been made that the Protestant minority was alienated, humiliated and largely silenced.
    This is nonsense.
    With the setting up of the Irish Free State, the Protestant minority remained in as strong a position as ever and were, if anything, more secure.
    They retained their land and property rights and maintained a very much over-representative position in the law and the judiciary, banking and insurance and in the professions, commerce and industry.
    This was certainly very different to the treatment meted out by the winning side in the aftermath of the Elizabethan wars, the Cromwellian period, the Williamite wars and after 1798.Fourteen Protestants were elected to the Dail in 1927 and special appointments of Protestants – many of whom had been militant unionists – were made to the Seanad to ensure more substantial representation there.
    Proportional representation was retained and this provided a political voice for the small minority of Protestants.
    There were some 60 English peers who still held Irish titles and lands in Ireland.
    In later years Protestants went on to hold the position of President of Ireland.
    It’s worth pointing out ,even if it’s not mentioned here that the Ne Temere decree usually pops up at this stage in this specific debate.
    This decree was issued in 1908 and – while certainly insensitive – was intended more as a control measure for Catholics rather than an attack on Protestants.It also emanated from the Vatican and not the ROI.With this rule in force,over which the ROI had no control,it was Catholic pulchritude and not Catholic oppression that ate away at Protestant numbers -at least until about 1980.
    Insensitive it may have been, but it did not rate in the same realm of cruelty as did the Penal Laws introduced in the early 18th century after the Glorious Revolution.
    It is my contention that there was no mass-pogrom of Southern Protestants in the oft-quoted years of 1911-26. I contend that there was already a decline in Southern Protestantism from the late 19th century arising from the Land Acts in particular those of the Salisbury and Balfour governments, which broke up the aristocratic estates and gave loans to Irish tenants to buy out their landlords. This led to mainland British men (and their families) who had previously been sent over by absentee landlords in Britain to run their estates, returning to Britain. This accounts for a decline in the Protestant numbers from 356,000 in 1891 to 326,000 in 1911 (based on Census data). Then there is the Home Rule issue, brought to the fore by the Parliament Act’s removal of the House of Lords veto. This made it clear that Home Rule would pass at some stage. This lead to many more Southern Protestants leaving out of imagined fears of life under Home Rule. These fears had been drilled into them by irresponsible Unionist political leaders like Craig and Carson, evoking memories of wars like 1641 etc. to portray Catholics as enemies with slogans like “Home Rule is Rome Rule”. Then came WW1, partition, and the Boundary Commission. The latter two led to Southern Unionists mostly from border areas moving North. This was overwhelmingly simply because they were Unionists and wanted to live in the UK.
    During the same period following the setting up of the state the entire British army and the British government administration pulled out of Ireland – mostly, it appears from contemporary news coverage, in an orderly and in some cases a carnival atmosphere – which strongly influenced the religious statistics..
    The remainder had the choice of staying in the state where they were treated just like everybody else or going northwards where they were guaranteed preferential treatment in jobs,housing etc.. Not surprisingly many took the latter option.(cf Marcus Tanner’s ‘Ireland’s Holy War’)
    Census data also shows that since the foundation of the state that the population of Mayo has dropped dramatically, that the number of Irish speakers in the Gaeltacht has declined dramatically and that the number of farmers in the country has declined dramatically. I don`t think it could be argued that any of those groups suffered systematic abuse at the hands of the state.).
    The second most powerful politician in the state at its inception time was a Lisburn Presbyterian ,Ernest Blythe, which does to exactly tie in with the state-sponsored sectarianism model.
    I would suggest that most Protestants in the Republic perceive themselves as Irish and feel no need for the patronage of some of their more extreme co-religionists in NI. This would seem to be supported by a survey of Protestants in Donegal where most perceive their identity as Irish Protestants.
    Certainly the Irish Free State was no paradise for the first 50 years or so of its existence but arguably Protestants fared better economically than Catholics who left in their hundreds of thousands.
    However the stability developed during the years following independence was almost unique in western Europe and in recent years the Republic of Ireland is emerging as a prosperous and hopefully more tolerant and mature society.
    No Protestant family gets attacked here as happened in NI to a clergyman who wished a Happy Christmas to a Catholic priest and was forced to leave the country.
    No Protestant family gets attacked here as happened to the family of Eddie Ervine in the north when he went to live in Dublin.
    Irishmen of the Protestant denominations have not abandoned their faith and their country because they ceased to have the support of the English government.
    The decline in numbers of Protestants in the south in the early years had perfectly understandable reasons and has nothing to do with any fear of hostility.
    They possess almost the same amount of property which they had when the state was set up. Though they are less than five per cent of the population they retain 30 per cent of farms over 100 acres and some well known concerns, which were Freemason bailiwicks, did not employ a Catholic in administrative positions until after the second world war, a matter which was only remedied by the emergence of the trade unions. The state actually turned a blind eye to blatant anti-Catholic discrimination at he upper ecehelons of Guinness’s and the Bank of Ireland which went as recently as the 1980’s.
    Two of the first presidents of the state were Protestant. There have been two Protestant deputy Prime Ministers – Ernest Blythe and Erskine Childers. Contrast that with the record of the Stormont regime 1921-1971.
    In an article in the Irish Times published on 7th September 1996, Dr Garret FitzGerald explains that previously, nobody seemed to examine emigration from the south in religious terms. However he highlights a distorting factor, namely the higher rate of attrition in the early days of the state when life expectancy was not as long as it is now. The number of people dying before reaching their 30s or 40s was as high as 15%, half as great as emigration itself. It’s a lot smaller now, thanks mostly to improvements in medical care, hygeine, nutrition etc.
    As for the emigration rate, there was a significantly higher level of emigration by Protestants than by Catholic young people in the pre-war period. Since 1945 this has been reversed, the Protestant emigration rate is now much lower than that of Catholics. Dr FitzGerald continues:

    “It may be recalled that in this column of November 8th last year, I reported that the latest (1991) census data for religion shows that 40 per cent of Protestants here are engaged in higher-income employments, (viz. administration, management, the major professions, or ownership of large farms) as against 20 per cent of Catholics. It might be helpful if these facts were better known to unionists in Northern Ireland. “

    In other words, southern Protestants are actually prospering and doing very well for themselves. There is no evidence of any maltreatment in this day and age.
    A former fundamentalist Free Presbyterian, who used to contribute to the talkback board, once went tentatively to Dublin to examine the ‘plight’ of southern Protestants. He found no ‘plight,’ only a group of contented people who were living out their lives in peace.
    Here in the Republic no oppression of the Protestant population has occurred similar to that endured by Catholics in NI 1921-1972.. It is offensive to citizens of the State to suggest otherwise. The Republic has been based on equality from top to bottom. Hence, unlike Britain, a Catholic, Protestant, Hindu or Jew is free to seek election to the office of President. However look eastwards to Britain and a totally different state of affairs exist. Under the antiquated Act of Settlement a Catholic cannot inherit the throne. That is but one example of a state not completely purged of sectarianism.
    Concrete verifiable instances of anti-Protestant sectarianism in the southern state were so few and far between that they can be individually documented and have acquired, in no small measure following on unionist propagandising, a certain cult status; the time-honoured triad of Fethard, the Hyde funeral,and the Mayo librarian tend to be milked for all they are worth. The fact that you have to go back over five decades to find an instance of serious communal sectarianism speaks for itself.
    Thankfully we here in the South can say with not just a tad of pride, that since 1921 we have established a State that has made all feel welcome and valued.
    Since the early 1990’s the Protestant proportion of the ROI population has been rising and the Catholic proportion falling (Central Statistics Office, http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0214/1233867937744.html)
    The following is also worth looking at:
    http://www.cso.ie/census/census2006results/volume_13/volume_13_religion.pdf. The crux here is the overrepresentation of Protestants in the managerial/professional classes. I unearthed all of this with a few clicks of a mouse – something many who pontificate on this issue are too lazy to do.
    It looks, if you are a Protestant in Ireland, as if the ROI is the place to be.

  • neutralist,

    You have completely ignored a very important thing. It is not farmers, professional classes etc who are causing mayhem on the streets of Belfast and a few other places. It is the “working class” or perhaps more accurately, the unemployed class.
    At the turn of the 20th century, Belfast was an industrial powerhouse and young “Protestants” did not find much difficulty in finding employment. But, with globalization, most of those heavy industries have gone. The unemployed are angry but directing their anger inappropriately.

  • JH

    Right on Joe. The core issue is no different from the riots in Tottenham, etc.

    Maybe the agitated, unemployed youth from republican areas have always, and will always, blame the state. Agitated, unemployed young loyalists are still finding who to blame.

  • gendjinn

    Despite the Ne Temere decree mixed marriage families observed the tradition of the sons taking the father’s religion and the daughters the mother’s.

    I remember growing up in the 70s/80s and while walking to church we passed the protestant church each sunday. The cars in the protestant church parking lot were always really nice, BMWs, Mercedes, and/or very new. A drastic comparison to widely varying quality and age of those parked outside the catholic church.

  • Son of Strongbow

    The usual denials about the fate of Protestants south of the border are very understandable. It is important for nationalists that in order to portray the northern state as evil incarnate the south must have no shades of wicked grey; the south must be a Shangri La.

    Thus we have the reduction in Protestants being due to the British military withdrawal (of course everyone knows that every single British soldier is a Prod). Likewise every single RIC officer, civil servant etc were also of the reformed faith.

    Ne Temere was indeed a papal dictat. However in Ireland it was given the force of the law, by the south’s President of the High Court no less in the Tilson case. This ruling being based on the ‘special position’ accorded to the Roman Catholic Church in the state.

    The sectarian murders of Protestants in the 1920s are glossed over as simple house cleaning of ´Empire Loyalists’, and of course the old nationalist excuse for killing: ‘informers ‘.

    This ‘pudding’ view of life south of the border is now over-egged by the claims that Protestants had the biggest spoons to sup the milk and honey concoction!

    Why I’m surprised the Gardai weren’t beating the northern Prods off the border as they tried to get into this heaven on earth.

  • Harry Flashman

    You know if there was inter communal conflict between indigenous people and, let’s say for the sake of argument, Muslim immigrants which caused years of sectarian and racist violence and eventually ended with the mosques and Islamic schools and community centres empty, Muslim-owned businesses burned out and gutted, the Muslim population reduced by 90% to a couple of working-class ghettos or a few very wealthy individuals (always held up as examples of how tolerant the majority is) and celebrations of Islamic culture restricted to very specific dates and only after consultation with the non-Muslim population then you’d have peace wouldn’t you? Everyone would be happy, wouldn’t they?

    It happened in the Republic, it happened in Derry, hey why shouldn’t the same solution be repeated elsewhere? It’s obviously a sure-fire success.

    Can self-satisfied, smug Irish Nationalists not see past their own congratulatory back-slapping occasionally to realise how offensive they actually sound?

  • Neil

    The usual denials about the fate of Protestants south of the border are very understandable. It is important for nationalists that in order to portray the northern state as evil incarnate the south must have no shades of wicked grey; the south must be a Shangri La..

    Unionists really don’t do irony do they? They can’t deny their own atrocious behaviour in NI so they must attempt to project their own failings onto the south in an attempt to make the Protestant state for Protestant people seem slightly less odious by comparison. But then you’d never be able to paint the failed NI state as any kind of Shangri La because everyone knows what a discriminatory place it was so the only option is to slander your ‘enemy’.

    Is it any wonder your community is a global laughing stock? Revisionism, yeah good luck selling your story when the best you can do is attempt to make everyone else look as bad as you. It won’t work of course, because it’s bullshit.

  • Son of Strongbow

    …..and just to reinforce the message in your final paragraph Harry along comes Kneel. 🙂

  • Neil

    Hilarious SOS, I guess you win again. Nice touch with the kneel thing too, very clever. Hadn’t come across that before. Moron.

  • Son of Strongbow

    Gotcha! 🙂
    (You’re my first today by the way)

  • FDM

    This PUL grievance narrative and the current [laughable] civil rights campaign is very entertaining however.

    It is an expensive treat but hey they are paying.

    Nationalists are being accused of doing nothing to help.

    It really is hard to recover yourself when are laughing that hard.

    No more please, my sides are hurting.

    Oh all right then…

  • Greenflag

    @ SOS ,

    ‘The usual denials about the fate of Protestants south of the border are very understandable.’

    Indeed especially when they are based on half truths , misinformation and barefaced lies /propaganda in some case.

    ‘It is important for nationalists that in order to portray the northern state as evil incarnate the south must have no shades of wicked grey; the south must be a Shangri La.’

    For a few perhaps but I doubt you’d get many to believe that the Northern State was/is evil incarnate or that the South was ever /is or will ever be some kind of Shangri La.

    ‘Thus we have the reduction in Protestants being due to etc etc ‘

    The ‘reduction ‘ of the Protestant population had been underway in Ireland since Famine times and in fact even before in Ulster when large numbers left for the Americas .
    The main factors in the 19th century involved were economic just as they were for the Catholics . The famine , land reforms of the 1870;s and the disestablishment of the Church were the main factors . Not so much the land reforms themselves as most large Protestant farmers held on to their land but as on the economic impact of the loss of revenue for the established Church half of whose income was from ‘rent ‘ To be blunt the Church of Ireland could not maintain it’s structures and power/position/influence without Catholic tithes or rents from land which had now passed into the ownership of Irish farmers formerly mere tenants .

    ‘Ne Temere was indeed a papal dictat. However in Ireland it was given the force of the law, by the south’s President of the High Court no less in the Tilson case. This ruling being based on the ‘special position’ accorded to the Roman Catholic Church in the state.’

    True enough I agree , The South’s politicians were and a few remain who were craven cowards when it came to confronting the RC Church’s anti democratic ethos -and the best example of this was in the Dr Noel Browne /Archbishop McQuaid Mother & Child Scheme which was never legislated for because of the RC Church hierarchy’s opposition -despite the fact that it would have been of great benefit to the poorest sections of Irish society at the time in effect probably half the population .

    In a country which in the living memory of some of those alive at the time had lost a quarter of it’s population to famine and emigration and official Government imposed ‘sectarianism ‘ had been policy for centuries what else would you expect based on your understanding of human nature ?

    The Free State Government did everything it could to protect isolated communities at the time

    ‘This ‘pudding’ view of life south of the border is now over-egged by the claims that Protestants had the biggest spoons to sup the milk and honey concoction!’

    The ‘median ‘ protestant income in the Republic is still higher than the median Catholic income although both have risen enormously since the 1920’s . The median income of the small number of Irish Jews is probably higher than either Protestant or Catholic .Theres no information yet on Irish muslims but from what I see they seem to be doing well perhaps because they don’t waste any of their income on drink ditto for the small Mormon community.

    ‘Why I’m surprised the Gardai weren’t beating the northern Prods off the border as they tried to get into this heaven on earth.’

    Theres is as you know no heaven on Earth and theres no heaven in heaven either . In the name of the Father and of the Son and into the hole you go and that’s it for Catholic , Protestant , Jew , Muslim , Seventy Day Adventurers , Jehovah Witnesses etc .

    That would be my view anyway From one perpective all of the sectarian bullshit that goes on and has gone on in Ireland for centuries keeps political flames burning -from another perspective it’s all just a cloak (and no longer a big enough lie ) to keep people from facing the fact that the only heaven they’ll ever get to see is the one they may create themselves here on Earth .

    Too many of course are pre occupied with building a hell for themselves and others instead and in respect of that a ‘truth joke ‘coming up anon .

    tbc

  • Greenflag

    @ Harry Flashman ,

    Your post above re muslims ??? WTF was that all about .

    If I’m not mistaken the number of Irish Muslims now dwarfs the number of Irish Jews and Methodists (in the Republic ) and based on projections will outnumber Church of Ireland members within a decade . They appear to be thriving . Could it be because they are having children and are immigrants or is it because they are ‘discriminated ‘ against by the Republic’s authorities ?

    And while I would agree that the Republic was no Shangri La for protestants and even less of one for catholics I don’t think anybody from either community would compare their experience in modern times since WW2 anyway to that of the NI nationalist community in parts of Belfast .

  • Son of Strongbow

    Greenflag,

    I of course understand that human nature being what it is the reaction (by some) in the south to finding themselves holding the whip hand was to indulge themselves in what they most probably considered as ‘payback’.

    I set out only to illustrate that there were those on both sides who were happy to indulge their baser natures at the expense of those they, respectively, regarded as ‘themuns’.

    Ayatollah McQuaid indulged, and was indulged in return, in stamping his particular view of what Eire should be. It is a mildly interesting quirk of history that he passed away at roughly the same time as the old Stormont regime.

    Btw you do know that you have committed one of the (very many) sins against the Book of MOPE by linking the words ‘Protestant’, ‘victim’ and ‘Irish famine’ together?

    PS Regarding your comments on the existence, or not, of heaven, I strive to avoid discussing another’s take on theology; although God knows why.

  • Charles_Gould

    Another protestant who escaped: Graham Norton said being protestant was even more isolating than being gay in the Republic of Ireland.

  • Greenflag

    And now for the ‘truth ‘ joke to help restore some perspective to some of our denominational obsessives and to reassure them there is world and an economy beyond Ireland /Norhern Ireland

    Question :

    ‘Whats the difference between a 19th century African American plantation slave in deepest Mississippi , a Clinton era White House intern in the 20th century , and a Bank of America /Merril Lynch intern in the City of London in the 21st century ?

    Answer

    a) The 19th century African American slave gets screwed , exploited and worked to death slowly over a short lifespan -but is allowed to sleep .

    b) The 20th century White house intern gets screwed but gets to sleep on the job .

    c) The 21st Century Bank of America intern in this case a 21 year old male gets worked to death without any sleep 🙁

    I guess it’s progress in reverse 🙁 or just a return to indentured slavery as financial capitalism wreaks havoc on societies everywhere not excluding NI .

  • Comrade Stalin

    The early years of the republic were no shangri-la. But over time, the country grew up and filled out into a modern nation state.

    The intention here is to use revisionism to suggest that things south of the border were equivalent to, or just as bad as, things to the North. The comparison clearly has problems as neutralist pointed out; did NI ever get a Catholic governor, never mind a Catholic PM ? Hell, scrub that – how often did the government at Stormont change during the period it was in operation ? not once. This was a democracy so dysfunctional that there was no prospect, ever, of a different government being elected.

    The Irish state actively worked to demonstrate inclusiveness towards Protestants to a greater or lesser extent. The Stormont regimé completely rejected the idea of demonstrating any kind of inclusiveness towards Catholics, even of a tokenistic kind, and just as they began to do so we started seeing violent resistance to this from loyalists – led by Ian Paisley.

    Harry – the other argument you’re making up there is that the 12th in Derry is some sort of climbdown. This belligerent Kiplingesque nonsense which presents compromise and negotiation as some sort of pathetic kow-towing is thoroughly un-British by my estimation.

  • Greenflag

    SOS ,

    ‘I set out only to illustrate that there were those on both sides who were happy to indulge their baser natures at the expense of those they, respectively, regarded as ‘themuns’.

    Can’t disagree on that.

    ‘You have committed one of the (very many) sins against the Book of MOPE ‘

    The Book of MOPE is all very well as is the Book of Revelations and Deuteronomy and the Torah and the Koran and King James and the US Constitution and Magna Carta
    but I ‘ve always been a skeptic in those who profess that they have the whole truth and that God listens only to them . I prefer other books ,

    Note . When people tell me they pray or talk to God for hope I do not dissuade them , It’s only when they tell me that God has spoken to them that I move away quickly and find I’m late for an appointment . If I were rude I would recommend a psychiatric examination to the afflicted hearers of God’s voice but I don’t . Not cricket ye see .

    ‘I strive to avoid discussing another’s take on theology; although God knows why.’

    I used to be indecisive on that subject but now I’m not so sure 😉

    I can imagine . Living in NI that’s a discussion that has ‘eternity ‘ stamped all over it and ergo a fate worse than death 😉

  • Greenflag

    Well said Comrade Stalin thats it in a nutshell . They’re still working on that ‘democracy ‘ thing which worked fine when Prods were the majority but can’t be permitted /trusted when Catholics are the majority .

    And I’d add that based on the whole period 1920 through to 2013 that on balance the Republic has been more of an inclusive democracy . You could draw a simplistic deduction from this fact by deducing that Protestants can’t be trusted with democracy but I would’nt 😉

  • Barnshee

    “Unionists really don’t do irony do they? They can’t deny their own atrocious behaviour in NI so they must attempt to project their own failings onto the south in an attempt to make the Protestant state for Protestant people seem slightly less odious by comparison.”

    The usual claptrap

    Atrocious behavior produced Roman Catholics in every profession a gwoing population

  • Son of Strongbow

    Again I must pop up and challenge Uncle Joe, and the Three Cheers given to his argument by Greenflag.

    I’m afraid it was not just that simple. NI did set out with an intention to include local Catholics. However many didn’t want to play.

    The example I used earlier, one third of places in the RUC, were not taken up. The reasons for this are many, disappointment with the very existence of NI no doubt but also including the political hope espoused by nationalists that if they stood idly by the NI state would be stillborn.

    (Many of those places were taken up by southern Catholics who had served with the RIC – strangely many seemed uncomfortable remaining in the south – I wonder why?)

    It is hardly surprising that some unionists’ reaction was to regard the nationalist boycott as a validation of their caricature of nationalists as fifth columnists. The IRA’s regular forays into murder campaigns probably didn’t help; another feature absent south of the border.

    Contrast the northern nationalist approach with that of the unionists marooned in the Free State.

    Although many were not having a great time (I’m sorry but the testimony of the likes of Graham Norton can’t just be dissed), the attitudes of empowered bigots such as Archbishop McQuaid and the often official pettiness of the Government towards them.

    (I recall being told a story about a row over responses by Buckingham Palace to letters of condolence from southern Protestants on the death of the present monarch’s father – the Dublin Govt demanded that the letters be sent to it to be passed on as opposed to directly to the addressee – perhaps a way to keep tabs on Irish monarchists?)

    Despite this southern Prods played (quietly) along. I can remember being in several CoI churches in the south where prayers for the sovereign and the government (as they would be in the UK) were offered for the Irish President and Dail. So they obviously knew where they where and were reconciled to it.

  • Greenflag

    From a non Catholic and non Protestant non NI perspective this recent BBC piece from the retiring Chief Rabbi -Lord Sacks strikes a chord even in a hardened atheist like Greenflag as does the reply to same by Stephen Evans of the National Secular Society ..

    Chief Rabbi Sacks on losing the plot.

    “I think we’re losing the plot actually. I think we haven’t really noticed what’s happened in Britain.”

    He added: “If people work for the maximum possible benefit for themselves then we will not have trust in industry, in economics, in financial institutions, we will not see marriages last.”

    He also said institutions, including marriage, broke down “when you begin to lose faith and society becomes very, very secularised”.

    “It’s not the fault of one government or another, and it’s not even the fault of government,” he added.

    “It’s the fault of what we call culture, which is society talking to itself.”

    Perhaps the Chief Rabbi has forgotten that Mrs Thatcher abolished the non -existent “society ” back in the 1980’s ?

    On the other hand I feel a bit more comfortable with the reply to the Chief Rabbi by this spokesman

    Stephen Evans, a spokesman for the National Secular Society, said the importance Lord Sacks attached to religion was “vastly overblown”.

    “It’s not without good reason that most people no longer trust religious leaders or turn to them for ‘moral guidance’,” said Mr Evans.( well said Mr Evans -a view that a lot of Irish people both Unionist and Nationalist , North & South , Protestant and Catholic would concur with )

    “The decline of religious authority and its ability to influence society brings with it a more tolerant and equal society, and we’re perfectly capable of being decent and trustworthy people without it,” he said.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23825465

    Not that all Chief Rabbi’s are founts of wisdom and immune to human foibles just like their Catholic or Protestant or Islamic counterparts see below link .

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23005902

    And whoever thought that the reign of Mammon or Gordon Gecko would bring peace and contentment to the Earth by default has bloodbaths all over the globe to prove such an ideology as another false god .

    Somewhere between the Rabbi’s words and Mr Evans reply there is the golden truth and mean of the ages .

    I’ll assume that both the good Rabbi and the equally good Mr Evans would wish for all the tribes and the demented sectarians of NI to wise up and realise that they have more in common with each other than either might wish to admit .

    As I’m away for a week of non internet activities I’ll leave yiz all with this particular atheists prayer to the cosmic void of nothingness from which we all come and to which we will all return ,

    “Spare us poor humans from the ideological rule of religious theocrats of whatever denomination everywhere and from their kindred in the ideological world of financial sector led capitalist tyranny and from ideologues everywhere . A pox on all their houses !

  • Greenflag

    @ SOS,

    ‘I’m afraid it was not just that simple. ‘

    Nothing ever is .

    ‘NI did set out with an intention to include local Catholics. ‘

    True but they also included too many nationalists in their carved out mini Ulster . This simply undermined unionist claims that they were a ‘democracy ‘ from the outset . The NI State from 1920 up to quite recently (since mandatory power sharing ) has never had the kind of constitutional support for it’s continuing existence that would normally be the case in any modern functioning democracy .existence .The only reason the NI State has continued to exist is due to the financial subsidy and military and defence support provided by the neighbouring island .

    ‘However many didn’t want to play.’

    They had great foresight . They knew the game was rigged from the get go and would’nt work and even if it did for a while it would eventually become non viable both economically and politically .

    ‘I’m sorry but the testimony of the likes of Graham Norton can’t just be dissed),’

    The fact that there are more gays in the Republic than Protestants is just a numerical fact these days . Once upon a time most gays would emigrate or disappear under a clerical alb . GN btw is an entertainer somewhat more manic than Wogan ever was .

    Here’s Graham being further isolated in his role as a manic RC priest

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azyoGhQUOJI

    subtitles are in Danish or Norwegian for the non anglophones alas no subtitles in Irish yet anyway .

  • Harry Flashman

    “Harry – the other argument you’re making up there is that the 12th in Derry is some sort of climbdown. This belligerent Kiplingesque nonsense which presents compromise and negotiation as some sort of pathetic kow-towing is thoroughly un-British by my estimation.”

    No CS, I am making a much wider point than a march on the 12th.

    I’ll make it again as you seem to have difficulty understanding it.

    Derry in the 1970’s and 80’s and the South in the period 1919-23 (I have to use bold as people seem to have difficulty in understanding basic time frames, I am not talking about the Republic now) witnessed a period of massive violence and social conflict.

    Got that? Good, I shall proceed.

    The upshot of both conflicts was a defeat for one community and the victory for another, it did not end in a happy compromise, it ended in defeat for one particular side.

    At the end of both conflicts a once thriving community was all but wiped out, their schools, churches and cultural institutions emptied and most of their cultural, economic, social and political influence was destroyed.

    This happened in both scenarios.

    In both scenarios peace followed (as it does when one side loses) and the other side naturally took control of the society.

    Fine, in both cases the majority won and in both cases after the fighting was over they did not mistreat the community which lost.

    All well and good.

    However if you hold up the Republic and Derry as the future option for the protestant/loyalist community you are basically saying “look, just give up will you, accept defeat and we’ll be nice to you (up to a point, don’t get too uppity or anything).”

    Simple point, can’t understand why some people here have such difficulty in understanding it.

  • Erasmus

    Greenflag,
    Well-informed and articulate observations (as usual) but could you *please* find some way of clearly indicating which comments are yours and which are those that are being commented on.

  • Son of Strongbow

    GF,

    My last word on this.

    The economic argument (the only reason the NI state has continued to exist is due to the financial subsidy and military and defence support provided buy the neighbouring island) is a nonsense. The same could be said of Donegal or the Arran Islands.

    NI is part of the UK. I would hazard that within the internal borders of the majority of countries throughout the world the less well off cantons/counties/departments or whatever internal divisions are known by are supported by the better off areas.

    You can’t be so politically simplistic as to believe that physical features, whatever they may be: rivers, mountain ranges, seas, must be the defining boundaries of states?

    Perhaps if the wider nationalist people on the island had displayed some of that “foresight” you talked about thy would have negotiated a better settlement with their fellow Irish who were not comfortable with, or accepting of, Home Rule rather than concentrating on talking to the UK government or launching preemptive strikes as at Easter 1916?

  • Greenflag

    Erasmus ,

    Point taken , My punctuation is at the best times less than average . As a guide if it’s between ” — ” its a quote or extract from a source almost always a reliable one -BBC/RTE /WSJ etc . Sometimes I’ll use the “– ” around a word which I suppose can best be explained with reference to the Irish term mar dheadh pronounced mawrya which indicates the real meaning is the opposite of what a particular speaker means . A good example could be say when a Unionist politician talks of ” democracy ‘ or ‘democratic values ‘ what he/she really means may not be what the listener hears .

    But fair enough I’ll work on it . If you have any suggestions I won’t be too embarrassed to see them made here on slugger .As I’ve said before I’ve no pretensions as to literary style etc etc.

  • Erasmus

    Ah yes, Graham Norton. He was so disenchanted with his place of origin that he had to stop a statue being erected there in his honour:
    http://www.southernstar.ie/Community/Bandon/Graham-Norton-coming-to-Bandon-but-no-statue-09052013.htm

    I would hazard an educated guess that the openly gay and liberal GH would still have preferred the rural backwater of west Cork, warts and all, in the Church-dominated Ireland of the 60’s and 70’s to your average Ulster Protestant bailiwick.

  • Greenflag

    My last word on this.

    I hear you -again 😉

    And mine

    No problem with your first three paragraphs above . Obvious to all I would have thought bar a few ideological geographic fundamentalists who believe in water or Black Pigs Dyke or Drumlins as sacrosanct eternal borders . There are’nt any and indeed never were any . People have always been on the move .

    I’ll own up that the foresight comment was somewhat tongue in cheek . People en masse don’t do foresight . Its a talent reserved for the elite in any society be they political , religious or economic . Some elites have been influenced by the ramblings and thoughts of necromancers , astrologists and even economic experts examples that come to mind would include (Haiti , Ronald Reagan’s Whitehouse and even today’s Western Governments , We have seen and still see the foresight accuracy of the latter’s economic experts (reputedly based on hard data laced with theoretical models and a supposed grasp of the vagaries of human economic behaviour . ) has been to say the least not convincing.

    So what chance then the poor Irish Prod or Catholic back in 1912 or 1916 or 1880 or earlier forecasting the ‘future ‘ or even their leaders ? In any event the huge demographic upheavals and political agitations of the 100 years 1820 through 1920 did’nt leave much scope for anything else other than ‘muddling ‘ through .

    So I guess we all ended up with a muddle some of course more muddled than others .

    We can’t change the past . But we can at least try to avoid repeating it or at least those elements of the past which in Ireland were destructive of freedom , democracy , equal civil and religious liberties etc . It has to be said that amongst those elements Unionism stands out like a sore thumb , but to be fair it does’nt stand alone .You can lump in the RC Church , and the historical established Church and indeed the close minded and bigoted from all communities . And then theres ‘economics ‘

    We can’t predict the future but if there ever was a case for throwing the baby out with the bathwater and even the bath itself I think a case could be made for same in Northern Ireland today.

    Perhaps Loyalists of the thinking variety can look back to the mid 1950’s which though not a golden age for NI was certainly a silver one in comparison to the then Republic’s existential crisis . Southern ‘intellectuals ‘ those who had left and a few who stayed and were’nt censored wrote despairingly of the failings of the Republic and iirc a Catholic cleric suggested that given it’s financial situation the Republic should consider joining a larger economy -no prizes for guessing where .

    That it never came to that is due to the Republic lucking out in having a more pragmatic Taoiseach come to the helm backed up by T.K.Whitaker who was btw a Co Down native.

    Who is at the helm in NI and no matter who does it really matter given that Westminster pulls the strings ?

    Whatever -I’m sure you’ll agree or I would hope so that whatever constitutional format the future brings that it’s not worth another drop of loyalist or republican blood
    , Geography and economics will ensure more than any political band aid that relations with the neighbouring island will always be signiifcant for all in Ireland ,

    And on that note I’ ll finish and will return come September . But I will read any replies and /or comments on this thread at least up to tomorrow noon GMT,

  • looneygas

    Given the points regarding human nature, ratios, people “not wanting to play along” raised by Strongbow, Flashman and Greenflag, why not give up on parity of esteem? It seems that as long as the ratios are relatively equal, which they will be for some time, there will only be parity of fear, mistrust and anger.
    If Antrim, Down and northern Armagh re-partitioned, the Loyalists could have a solid majority, under which the could just as gracious to the minority Nats as the Derry Nats are to the minority Loys. Or maybe they would feel freer to wave their flags and bang their drums, etc. and the Nats would now have 29 and a half counties to go to if they didn’t like it.
    Any Loyalists unhappy in the 3 and a half formerly British counties could move to the United Kingdon of Great Britain and North-Northeastern Ireland.
    Might sound silly, but the stalemate/logjam/standoff that currently exists is pretty silly just the same.

  • neutralist

    Looneygas,
    Greenflag, who has featured prominently in this thread, used to be a great man for repartition..

  • looneygas

    Maybe it’s worth re-considering. I agree that Greenflag is worth reading.

  • C’mon guys. It took a few of us over many months to convince Greenflag that re-partition was simply not practical. What do you do about Belfast, for example?

  • looneygas

    Give it the Unionists. That oughta shut them up for a while. It’s a cold, grey Imperial city. It would do the Nat working/not-working class some good to be done with the place and go live in the countryside. Half-kidding.

  • neutralist

    Derry in the 1970′s and 80′s and the South in the period 1919-23 (I have to use bold as people seem to have difficulty in understanding basic time frames, I am not talking about the Republic now) witnessed a period of massive violence and social conflict

    I’ve got new for you: Peter ‘the medium’ Hart has been completely discredited. Read up History Ireland or do a search for his name on indymedia.ie.
    I’ve noticed a tendency among northerners to instinctively retrofit their own ‘Troubles’ experience to the Southern mayhem of 1919 to 1923 and assume that ‘Catholic’ equalled nationalist/republican and ‘Protestant’ equalled loyalist.
    There were a good many pro-British government Catholics and nationalist Protestants. Accordingly a lot of Catholics ‘lost’ and a lot of Protestants ‘won’.
    I have to say I’m inclined to look askance at you comments having read down through the years your somewhat lame attempts to whitewash unionist bad behaviour in Derry 1921-1969.

  • Greenflag

    @ Mister Joe ,

    ‘It took a few of us over many months to convince Greenflag that re-partition was simply not practical.’

    Probably longer than that MJ . Got a few posters to support but was outnumbered iirc about 10 to 1 by those against .While I recall being half persuaded by some slugger posters, in the end it was Ian Livingston a Co Sligo Protestant whose number crunching , honest arguments and detailed demographic analysis and political read who convinced me that ‘repartition ‘ had become impractical given the changing demographic profiles not just west of the Bann but also in the east and in particular among the youngest cohorts of the population . Mr Livingston passed away a couple of years ago but his contribution is still to be seen on his website

    http://ulstersdoomed.blogspot.com/search/label/Demography

    The fact that it’s impractical doesn’t of course mean that it could’nt happen . NI & the Irish Free State happened . Both were considered at the time ‘impractical ‘ by the ‘cognoscenti ‘ those with a wider view of the then world .

    Thats it cheers till Sept .

  • Barnshee

    “I’ve got new for you: Peter ‘the medium’ Hart has been completely discredited. Read up History Ireland”

    Really?

    Murphy made it up too?

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/archives/2010/1105/ireland/ieoghan-harrisi-looks-at-a-new-book-by-gerard-murphy-that-describes-the-descent-into-savagery-by-the-cork-no-1-brigade-of-the-ira-in-1920-and-1921-135785.html

    “facts are stubborn things” — Lenin quoting John Adams

    Facts

    1 There was universal suffrage in N Ireland -despite republican propaganda to the contrary.

    2 There was a “property” qualification for votes in Local election one of the “beneficiaries” was the former ROI presidents publican father. More protestants were “disenfranchised” by the property qualification than Roman Catholics.

    3 All citizens had full access to Health service, social security (the sainted Gerald spent half his life on the dole) and education services. In the case of education Roman Catholics structured their sector of the education system to ensure that no Protestant could be employed in it.

    4 The research indicated that the largest imbalance in allocation of public housing occurred in Roman Catholic controlled Newry

    http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/discrimination/gudgin99.htm

    Facts are stubborn things

  • neutralist

    Ah yes Graham Norton. This raises the issue of the disaffected Southern celebrity Protestant. And that is exactly what he is: *the* (unique) disaffected (or, more accurately, *formerly* disaffected) Southern celebrity Protestant.
    Because of his uniqueness the usual ROI-phobics, when trying to indulge their fantasies, tend to close their eyes and think of Graham. What they cannot ignore is how un’Graham Norton’like is the broad mass of the Southern Protestant population.
    In any case, if you do any serious reading about GN it becomes clear that the whole thing has been twisted and distorted out of all recognition by the usual suspects; he is a great deal more nuanced, restrained and circumspect with respect to this issue than is generally presented. He uses the term ‘isolated’ – and makes this specific to his childhood — but tends to be presented as adopting a standpoint more consistent with adjectives like ‘oppressed’, ‘brutalised’ and ‘persecuted’.
    I agree with a previous poster: Norton would still in all probability have preferred his home place – imperfect as it may have been in those days then a bastion of liberalism and tolerance of sexual preferences such as would have been found in places dominated by his co-religionists north of the border.

    Let us address the Tilson saga:

    Tilson v. Tilson [1951] I.R. 1 (I.R. = Irish Reports) was a case about the custody of the children of a mixed marriage. The father was Protestant, the mum, Catholic.

    Marital strife arose and the father abducted the children and deposited them in Protestant residential institution.

    The mother sought Habeas Corpus – with a view to getting (an order for the release of the children) in the High Court; this was financed by some catholic charity.

    The mother was challenging a common law rule derived from English law, which said that the Father got custody of the children – in essence because married women were viewed “one with their husband” in the 1800’s..

    In the High Court, Gavan Duffy suggested that the provision of Article 44 of the Constitution which gave the Catholic Church a special position might facilitate non-compliance of the Father’s wishes, while avowing ‘Pater Patestas’ rule (‘Father knows best’).

    On appeal, the Supreme Court avowed:

    1.’Pater Patestas’ is against the constitution – being out of step with societal requirements.
    2. The religious background of the parents is irrelevant.
    3. The article 44 was another day’s work — the Court was quite lucid on this point — saying that it would require much argument to convince it that the provision had any definite legal consequences– that is legalese for ‘forget it’.

    On the facts, the Father had pretty well dumped the children in a home and gone off to either England or Scotland working – leaving mum to care for them.
    In essence the Supreme Court’s reasoning cut both ways; if the religions in Tilson had been reversed, the result would have been identical.

    As for Murphy, he a spoofer just like Hart. He is part of a coterie who have taken root in southern academe and who think they are ‘on to a good thing’. His work has been torn to shreds by serious historians:

    http://www.theirishstory.com/2011/03/09/book-review-the-year-of-disappearances-political-killings-in-cork-1921-1922/#.Uh09JdKsg6Y

    http://www.academia.edu/485160/History_Ireland_Book_Review_Gerard_Murphy_The_Year_of_Disappearances

    http://www.academia.edu/1068287/History_Ireland_letter_on_second_edition_of_Gerard_Murphys_The_Year_of_Disappearances

  • Barnshee

    “His work has been torn to shreds by serious historians:”
    LOL– apologists for Republican murder gangs more likely

    Facts are stubborn things -where did all the prods go- fortunately there are those with direct family experience of the ROI and its treatment of the Protestant who can spell it out.

    My family had relations all across the 26 at partition Cork to Donegal, Dublin to Galway -a mix small farmers shopkeepers tradesmen and the odd “professional”. Their descendants all live North of the Border or GB. Their stories are of Boycott, Intimidation and murder.

    In Derry history repeats itself —those family members “encouraged” out of Letterkenny to Derry are then subsequently “encouraged” out of the city side.

    Of course their was NO selective bombing campaign in Derry which concentrated on Protestant property, the Protestant residents of Northland , Duncreggan and Meadowbank did NOT get anonymous telephone calls “advising” them to get out. 17000 Protestants left the city from “choice” and their property reappeared in “more appropriate” hands

    Facts are stubborn things

  • PaddyReilly

    It isn’t the facts, Barnshee, it’s the way you distort them.

    1) Universal Suffrage is a marvellous thing, but if the other side have the right to draw the borders so that they are going to win, it isn’t worth a straw;
    2) More Prods than Caths may have been disqualified by the property qualification, but this still allowed Unionists to win in Derry, which they didn’t as soon as the property qualification was abolished;
    3) The access of all citizens to benefits has more to do with the Westminster government, particularly when Labour controlled, than it does with Stormont Unionists, who would have been happy to limit it;
    4) The need to provide disproportionate employment for Catholics in the Education sector and Newry District was due to these being the only sector and district which were no Unionist controlled and already subject to Unionist discrimination.

  • Barnshee

    “Universal Suffrage is a marvellous thing”

    Why then was there so much of the propaganda that “catholics” were denied the vote pushed out?

    “More Prods than Caths may have been disqualified by the property qualification, but this still allowed Unionists to win in Derry, which they didn’t as soon as the property qualification was abolished”

    The property vote was based on the “no taxation without representation” principle -the business man had to pay twice so he got two votes. The abolition of the property vote was supposed to be the precursor of change to a local income tax/poll tax system where everyone in a local authority would contribute to its upkeep — and we all know what happened that.( The UK system of council tax is based on 2 or more adults living in a household.and has yet to arrive in NI)

    Other than provide jobs for SF and their familiars I can see no real change or diminution of the demand from Derry for housing and jobs.

    “The access of all citizens to benefits has more to do with the Westminster government, particularly when Labour controlled, than it does with Stormont Unionists, who would have been happy to limit it;

    Any evidencee for this??

    “The need to provide disproportionate employment for Catholics in the Education sector and Newry District was due to these being the only sector and district which were no Unionist controlled and already subject to Unionist discrimination.”

    1 We are talking about the rampant discrimination against the prod in housing allocation in Newry .The employment discrimination is already well documented.

    2 Roman catholic teachers had and have full access to the state system and were/are employed in it. No such reciprocation existed (or exists) in the Roman Catholic System

    Roman Catholics had the same access to the professions as the prod turning up as doctors dentists solicitors etc.. Roman Catholics were/are Tradesmen, Customs Officers .Tax Inspectors —the list is comprehensive-

    Maybe they were the wrong sort of catholics

    One third of the police force was set aside for them -no questions asked ( a fact that became obvious if one ever came across them) sadly an offer largely declined.

    There were (and are ) more job seekers than jobs. If the unemployed pool contains more of one category than the others this will be reflected by the “pool” If there are more Roman Catholics in the pool than prods then they are not (as the innumerate suggest ) “more”likely to be unemployed. They are equally likely to be unemployed in the same proportions as the exist in of the total cohort. Its arithmetic.not discrimination.

    If their rate is outside their cohort rate -THAT would be a cause for further examination.

    It is interesting to note that after years of the most draconian “equality” legislation in Western Europe (and probably the world ) were are still getting the same nonsense. claims about groups being “more likely to be unemployed ” We have had over 40 years where there has been no “unionist control” to blame Whose fault is it then?

    (I note you carefully avoid the rest of my post)

    “Facts are stubborn things”

  • neutralist

    Calling something a fact does not make it a fact.

  • PaddyReilly

    1) Catholics notoriously had more children than Protestants throughout most of the 20th Century;
    2) The Northern Ireland State was constructed so that only 66% of the population were actually Protestant, while nearly a third were Catholic;
    3) These percentages are more indicative of a colonial set up than a democratic one;
    4) The only way these proportions could be maintained throughout the first 40 years of the state was by discrimination;
    5) Discrimination was thus a necessity for the maintenance of the state, the denial of which is pointless;
    6) The moment anti-discrimination laws were brought into being, the Catholic percentage of the population and the Nationalist vote began to rise, and is now threatening to surpass the Protestant/Unionist percentage/vote;
    7) At this rate the Protestant population of Northern Ireland will decline into insignificance (Less than Muslims) by the end of the Century, and Unionism will have ceased to be a viable option long before that;
    8) National minorities are ordinarily absorbed in the host nation within 3 generations. The Irish in Britain consist only of recent immigrants: long term immigrants are indistinguishable from the host population;
    9) Maintaining the existence of a separate PUL people is neither desirable nor feasible. In the long term, these people are irrelevant: one might as well try writing Irish history from the point of view of the Cruithne, or some other disappeared people.

  • Barnshee

    “6) The moment anti-discrimination laws were brought into being, the Catholic percentage of the population and the Nationalist vote began to rise, and is now threatening to surpass the Protestant/Unionist percentage/vote;”

    Incorrect Roman Catholic family size has been declining since the 1970s and in now approaching parity with the protestant family size

    http://www.nisra.gov.uk/Census/2011_results_detailed_characteristics.html

    Better get a move on then

  • Barnshee

    “Calling something a fact does not make it a fact.”

    The way to dispute a fact is to demonstrate via an evidential process that it is invalid or untrue

    I await your rebuttal

  • PaddyReilly

    Wrong. The size of Catholic families has indeed been falling, but the number of Nationalist held seats and the Catholic percentage of the population continues to rise.

  • Barnshee

    “Nationalist held seats and the Catholic percentage of the population continues to rise.”

    We are taking about the same thing

    Over time the protestant birth rate has been constant ( at roughly 2.2 per family)The roman catholic birth rate has been in decline (from 6.6 in the 50`s 60`s) and the two birth rates (according to the last census) are converging.

    So -the higher birth rate in the roman catholic community produces /produced more people over time and that growth is now reflected in the increase in the proportion of roman catholics in the population.That RATE of increase is now declining as family size declines.

    Hint—- check the arithmetic if family size continues to fall between generations population growth slows and tends to stabilise around the average/replacement mean or ( as in France for example ) actually decline.

  • PaddyReilly

    Not at all. In the 20s, the size of Catholic families was huge but there was no increase in the Catholic percentage of the population, because all the surplus Papes had to immigrate. In 1964 all Westminster seats were won by the Unionist party.

    After Fair Employment Act in 1976 Catholic employment began to rise. Catholics now outnumber Protestants for all age groups up to 40. So the size of family is irrelevant: we are just waiting for the olduns to die off.

  • neutralist

    ‘The way to dispute a fact is to demonstrate via an evidential process that it is invalid or untrue

    I await your rebuttal

    The way to present a statement as a fact is to demonstrate via an evidential process that it is valid and true.

  • neutralist

    The way to dispute a fact is to demonstrate via an evidential process that it is invalid or untrue

    I await your rebuttal

    The way to present a statement as a fact is to demonstrate via an evidential process that it is valid and true.

    I remain singularly unconvinced.

  • Barnshee

    “Not at all. In the 20s, the size of Catholic families was huge but there was no increase in the Catholic percentage of the population, because all the surplus Papes had to immigrate. In 1964 all Westminster seats were won by the Unionist party.”

    Look at my last post— we are in agreement— the roman catholic pop -based on a higher birth rate has increased That birth RATE is in decline (as is common across the western world)

    “I remain singularly unconvinced.”
    Which part of for example-see above-of my family`s direct experience would you like to dispute?

  • PaddyReilly

    the roman catholic pop -based on a higher birth rate has increased

    Wrong. The increase is caused by Fair Employment practices, not the higher birth rate, which had no effect for 40 years.

    That birth RATE is in decline

    It is currently in decline, but this has no effect on the increase of the Catholic percentage of the population, because Catholics are a majority of the population under 40. So at the moment, it is not that Catholics are increasing through their higher birthrate, but Protestants decreasing through their greater deathrate. The disproportionately Protestant part of the population is all over 60: as the over 60s die off there will cease to be a Protestant majority.

    However, this is only one way in which the Protestant majority is under attack; intermarriage, emigration and immigration also play a role. Unionism, being a bandwagon ideology, only survives where Unionists are in power. Otherwise, even its own adherents cannot see the use of it.

    So the future is that Belfast, and perhaps Craigavon and Antrim will follow the path taken by Derry. Unionism will be a viable force only in small towns like Lisburn, Carrick and Ards.

  • PaddyReilly

    However if you hold up the Republic and Derry as the future option for the protestant/loyalist community you are basically saying “look, just give up will you, accept defeat and we’ll be nice to you (up to a point, don’t get too uppity or anything).”

    What you are complaining about is actually Majoritarian Democracy. It works like this: we have an election, A & B stand, A gets more votes than B. After that, A determines what will happen, B does not. If adherents of B persist in trying to rule the roost after the election, they have to be jailed. This is what happens all over the world, it is not some Fenian torture-plan.

    However, knowing full well the capacity of the “the protestant/loyalist community” to argue that night is day, and defeat is victory, I doubt that this is how they would proceed. We would just move into a new paradigm, with Sinn Féin continuing as the enemy, and the “the protestant/loyalist community” allying themselves with all the other Irish political parties in a bid to defeat them, and still claiming victory.

    In order to be victorious, it is probably a good idea not to be too specific what you are fighting for, then no-one will be able to say you haven’t achieved it. So, DUP brethren, just forget this “preserve the Union” gunk and make your aim keeping SF out of office. Then, if you manage to achieve this for 4 years out of every 40 you can go home happy.

  • Barnshee

    “What you are complaining about is actually Majoritarian Democracy. It works like this: we have an election, A & B stand, A gets more votes than B. After that, A determines what will happen, B does not. If adherents of B persist in trying to rule the roost after the election, they have to be jailed. This is what happens all over the world, it is not some Fenian torture-plan.”

    Sounds ok what about implementing it now in NI?

  • Barnshee

    “Wrong. The increase is caused by Fair Employment practices”

    I have heard the “fair employment industry” accused of a lot but promoting the non use of birth control. that`s a first.

    The increasing size of the roman catholic population and its impact on the political landscape is entirely down to roman catholic family size -and nothing else.

  • Barnshee,

    You seem to be somewhat upset at the size of Catholic families. Others have been in the past. I highly recommend you read
    http://art-bin.com/art/omodest.html

  • Comrade Stalin

    Barnshee,

    I think we’ve been seeing a boom in Catholic births for the past decade or so. It’s not big families, I think there’s more to it than that. AFAIK, certainly at the tertiary education level, there is a trend where Protestants tend to go to university elsewhere in the UK and they generally stay there, whereas Catholics are more likely to go to university here and stay here.

    Big families are a thing of the past, have been for quite some time. There are Catholics who take seriously the prohibition on contraception (one MLA in particular I can think of counts as one of them) but these are very rare now. People are no longer prepared to deal with the expenses and all the other problems associated with raising a large family.

  • PaddyReilly

    Sounds ok what about implementing it now in NI?

    What we have in NI is a clash between the insular majority, the Pseudo-Provincial Majority, and the Local Majority, with each party claiming it is the one which should be followed. NI is just about unique in the world in that there is a party which thinks it can draw itself into a majority. The current system is a compromise between the three.

  • Barnshee

    “Sounds ok what about implementing it now in NI?”

    “What we have in NI is a clash between the insular majority, the Pseudo-Provincial Majority, and the Local Majority, with each party claiming it is the one which should be followed. NI is just about unique in the world in that there is a party which thinks it can draw itself into a majority. The current system is a compromise between the three.”

    I take it that a no then

  • PaddyReilly

    I think the system delivers what the DUP wants fairly well on all important matters.

  • Barnshee

    “Barnshee,

    You seem to be somewhat upset at the size of Catholic families. Others have been in the past. I highly recommend you read”

    Absolutely no problem with the size of families roman catholic or otherwise just trying to draw attention to their effect on scarce resources -particularly where the paymaster (the UK taxpayer) is losing patience

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