DUP call on parade protests to be “peaceful and legal” and “within the law”

Ten months on from the beginning of the flag protests, it looks like DUP is finally applying foresight and making its position clear in advance of potential trouble.

Addressing the Orange Order’s plans to “up-scale [protests] right up to civil disobedience if that’s what it takes”, Arlene Foster told BBC NI’s Sunday Politics show:

We very much defend the right of people to protest on any issue. But what must happen, and I do make this very clear, is that people must remain within the law of the land when they engage in protest. Some people, during the flags protest, went out to protest and things went further than they should have gone and therefore those young people now have a criminal conviction. I do not want to see young people, whether in Belfast or anywhere else in Northern Ireland, blighted with a criminal conviction for something that they will regret for the rest of their lives.

Today, Nelson McCausland spoke out against the protest camp occupying Housing Executive land without permission clarified his understanding of what fellow Orangeman William Mawhinney meant in his statement – delivered while standing on the same platform as Nelson – on Saturday:

There are various options I am sure he is looking at but he has qualified that and explained that he meant everything, whether scaled up or not, should be peaceful and legal.

While Nelson’s appearance over the shoulder of an Orangeman contemplating the potential for civil disobedience may have rung alarm bells in his party leader’s head, the party’s position has now been clearly articulated. It feels like a deliberate attempt to keep party representatives on message and air-gapped from any future trouble, and a lot more organised than the piecemeal involvement in and attendance of flag protests last winter.

Peaceful and legal. Within the law.

Now to see whether protesters will heed the party’s analysis.

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  • redstar2011

    But the protest breaks the law every single night by having un notified parades

  • Morpheus

    It’s a start

  • Why would the protestors pay any attention to what any leading member of the DUP says when MLAs and MPs(?) ignored Party instructions not to attend those earlier protests. They were disciplined, of course. (It’s the way I tell ’em).

  • “Peaceful and legal. Within the law.”

    Alan, here’s a link to the Belfast County Secretary’s speech [12:30 mins in]:

    “As we come to the conclusion, may I make one special appeal to you all and that is in spite of the provocation, the emotion and the bitter, bitter disappointment of the state of our country today that we intend to keep all our protests within the law and entirely peaceful so that not by any act of ours will blame and smear be put upon us.”

    The County Secretary certainly isn’t short on emotion but whether or not all protesters will pay heed to these remarks is another matter. The DUP folks have highlighted these remarks. Perhaps the BelTel should have done likewise.

  • David Crookes

    They were disciplined, of course. (It’s the way I tell ‘em).

    LOL, Joe.

  • Nevin – thanks for pointing out his remarks earlier in the speech. His emotional ending certainly garnered all the attention.

    Joe – for pin head dancers, there’s a difference between attending (in case you need to help the PSNI restore calm) and participating in protests. October smells of Peter Robinson getting his ducks in a row before any egg are smashed.


  • “Nevin – thanks for pointing out his remarks earlier in the speech.”

    Alan, I hoped you might amend that final line so that some of the emotion could be deflated; otherwise you find yourself IMO in the same position as the BelTel report.

    For the Belfast County Secretary to mimic the confrontational style of Paisley from an earlier era is probably not the best way to go.

  • OOPS I meant to say ‘the confrontational style of Paisley and Hume from an earlier era’ 🙁

  • aquifer

    They tip the cat out of the red white and blue bag, set fire to its tail, and now it is nothing to do with them?


  • sherdy

    The DUP are just playing their joker in the pack as a get-out clause when the Orange shit hits the fan.
    Nelson McCausland speak with forked tongue!

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sorry Alan, but no.

    Back when the DUP circulated their leaflets they wrote all the inflammatory stuff in big print and then put a little barely-visible line at the bottom saying “please be nice”.

    The DUP think that if they go and stir up a crowd and have people use words like “escalate the protests” that they can turn around and cancel that out by saying “please don’t break the law”. I’m not buying it.

    Since the protests started back last December, and looking at the ongoing protests up in Twaddell, it is obvious that they are not peaceful or lawful and those participating in them have no intention of this being the case. Those who call for more protests or use words like “escalate” are culpable for whatever violence or disorder occurs as a consequence.

  • CS ‘use words like ‘escalate’ are culpable for whatever violence or disorder occurs….
    Clearly Nelson doesn’t concur with that, listening to his spurious dig at SDLP for bringing the concept of ‘civil disobedience into the NI lexicon. He’s conveniently confusing involved in CD when you’re NOT in govt [1968] and being in govt [2013]. Handy.

  • David Crookes

    CS: ‘Those who call for more protests or use words like “escalate” are culpable for whatever violence or disorder occurs as a consequence……’

    …..and should be brought to court. As long as we let them believe in their own impunity, they will foul the streets with their folly.

    At times the bottom line for civilization is coercion.

  • John Ó Néill

    Civil disobedience is (by definition) breaking the law, so it is impossible for it to stay legal. The only tactic visible here is semantics.

    The flags protests have already been a systematic campaign of civil disobedience (what else have they been?). The Orders repeated breaching of PC determinations is civil disobedience.

    The only thing this indicates is that whatever is being planned, the DUP are getting in their defence early (and, so, are clearly aware of what is in the offing). Which just doesn’t bode well for residents in interface areas, Catholic communities where they are a visible minority, Catholic schools like Holy Cross, city centre traders etc.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    As John O’Neill says, civil disobedience IS breaking the law. Over the past twenty years there has been a lot of sentimentality about the word “Dissenter,” used a bright accolade by most of those putting it in a sentence. This narcissistic drive to produce chaos if you cannot have your own way in everything is what “dissenter” actually implied in the 17th and 18th centuries, and what their descendants are still doing for those who can see through the rosy Victorian picture of the noble champion of Freedom. Usually Freedom is interpreted as their own self interest above everything else. As David Crookes says above, “At times the bottom line for civilization is coercion.” The only problem is that coercion is also the tool of the dissenter……

    When Bishop Ezekiel Hopkins told the apprentice boys to obey their King and the law on 7th December 1688 he was met with exactly the same response the DUP should expect today. The Dissenter “tradition” and its Orange offshoot were not forged by obedience to the law, and “loyalty” has always been conditional on the authorities doing exactly what they are told by their “Loyal” followers. Arlene and Nelson need to read a little history before asking the leopard to change its spots for their convenience.

  • Comrade Stalin

    John – “getting their defence in early” – that is exactly what the strategy is. They simultaneously want to take credit for forcing the issue in the way the local community expects, while ensuring they have hedged their bets over lawbreaking by distancing themselves from it in advance.

    It was a moment of clarity a while back when Mike Nesbitt called for the protests to stop shortly after they started. The DUP refused to make this call until some time later.

    Regarding the comparisons with the SDLP, I do not remember a nationalist corollary to Twaddell. The rent and rates strike was a huge civil disobedience campaign but I doubt the loyalists could pull it off.

  • Delphin

    The rule of law ultimately depends on the acquiescence of the people. If enough people are unwilling to toe the line then the state will become ungovernable. This was the fatal flaw in the concept of N. Ireland with no meaningful attempt to resolve this before the start of the troubles.
    Loyalism is now trying the ‘civil rights’ approach in an attempt to regain lost ground, but they are not fooling anybody with this, not even themselves.
    Loyalism is based on fear and loathing, so they just can’t grasp the fact that the best way to keep the union is not to be supremacist and not have a convicted murderer as head of their political party.
    The DUP have always provided succour rather than leadership to loyalism . That’s how Paisley started and that’s how they are now. They do what they need to do, to gain and retain political power.

  • “Arlene and Nelson need to read a little history”

    Seaan, the history of which you speak was a tad more complex that you portray it 🙂

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Actually Nevin, the history of 1688/9 was probably a lot more complex than you think. I’ve spent about twenty years researching it from primary sources meself.

    We argued this “Dissenters/Covenanters as Taliban” issue over some time ago, as I remember it. You were trying to affirm the truth of a Covenanter fairy tale about two women who were pardoned by James II, but who were represented as having been drowned at Wigtown in Whig propaganda worthy of the Taliban.

    Space forbids us all trying Micks patience with entire chapters, but please humour me a little and offer any fully supported example (not from internet sources, please!) of any actual variation on the immutable rule: “The Dissenter “tradition” and its Orange offshoot were not forged by obedience to the law, and “loyalty” has always been conditional on the authorities doing exactly what they are told by their “Loyal” followers.”

    And please, please do not quote Kirkpatrick’s Belfast printed “Loyalty of Presbyterians” of 1713 to me. I know the book inside out and have mined in the past in my published writings to point out the half truths and outright porkeys it contains.

    The dissenters have been many things, but unconditionally loyal is not one of them. They are just what it says on the tin, “Dissenters.”

  • Seaan, I certainly prefer primary sources to secondary ones but, from experience, I don’t take either at face value.

    As for Presbyterians, they’re more than capable of dissenting from one another; they suffer from a surfeit of democracy. To their credit, they are willing to challenge authority, something that, perhaps, other sects could and should be doing more often.

  • Delphin

    John Morrell from his chapter on the Stuarts in the ‘Oxford history of Britain’

    “James(II) was in fact a bigot. His government of Scotland in the early 1680s had seen a most severe repression and extensive use of judicial torture against Protestant Dissenters(‘conventiclers’) Worse still, James believed himself to be a moderate”.

    Being a professional historian Mr Morrell’s opinions would be based on original sources

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Delphin, I would be surprised if John Morrell, president of the Cromwell Association for ten years had anything good to say about James II!!!!

    This version of “James the Bigot”, dear as it is to the hearts of every flegger and their fellow travellers, is just not borne out by even a cursorary reading of primary sources. Here’s one I posted earlier:

    “The real cream of the jest however, is that the OOs vaunted “Civil and Religious Liberty” had been fully secured in James’s reign and the Presbyterian’s opportunistic support for the Dutch invasion put the full political emancipation of Presbyterians, just as much as that of their Catholic neighbours, back to the bad old days of persecution for another hundred years and drove both confessions together in 1798 in an attempt to secure those liberties the much maligned King James had secured for them in his all too short reign:


    Some people never seem to notice that they are engaged in hacking off their own legs until they try and stand up on their own two feet.”

    That’s just scratching the surface of a submerged history that was uncomfortable to those who wanted to boast of their “Loyalty.” History and political propaganda are two very different things, even of the propaganda has been repeated for hundreds of years by fools and rogues. As my grandfather (who commanded the 107th Brigade’s trench mortars at Theipval in 1916) used to say, “the truth does not stop being the truth even when the world chooses to believe lies.”

    James WAS a moderate who had granted Civil and Religious so his disadvantaged enemies told lies to the credulous and called over their tame Dutchman to restore Anglican privilege for yet another century, and thus we come to review the problem again in 1798, and we open another can of worms.

    Nevin, I know from your other work that you have a fine analytic mind. I agree, no-one sane takes anything at face value or we would all believe that Nelson and Arlene were slaving in the public interest! And I agree with your about some of the Presbyterians. I had an ancestor in the Second Volunteer Company of Belfast with William Drennan, and am not unfamiliar with the concept of Presbyterian Liberalism, which I value as an important part of my cultural inheritance (although, other than my poor sister, I cannot think of a Presbyterian in my own family since another ancestor was nominated to the See of Glasgow in 1603. But his father had been a close friend of Knox, so I can see both sides).

    Even so, it is important to remember that the Covenanters WERE an historical Taliban and their hatred of the Stuarts was a perfect example of the demand that their King did exactly what he was told in every particular, or else. Not so different from what we are confronting today. Much of what has been written about them was (and is) sentimental rubbish.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Actually, I should say, just for the record that Nelson has not only read but written some history.

    I’ve come across “A Protestant View of Patrick” in the British Israelite “Ensign Message” for June 2006:


    So perhaps I’m being unfair…..

  • Delphin[10.24] You’d think it would be logical for OO/DUP/loyalists to ‘upscale’ to revert to the then asuccessful weapon of bring their ‘wee country’ to astandstill as it worked so well in 1974, but the reason they know that’s not an option now is thanks to Paisley’s vain attempt to repeat the stunt three years later and nearly ended his political life. They know they’re beaten but have to keep up a pretence of winning so as to avoid giving satisfaction to ‘themmuns’ as they’re great entertainment for nationalists the way they’re going.

  • Delphin

    DM I would like to think that the day of the protestant bully boy is over but they are pasting them selves into a corner. It is difficult to see how they can get out of this without loosing face. I feel this could turn out badly.
    Below is his CV.I know who I would trust on James II
    John Morrill was educated at Altrincham Grammar School (Cheshire) and at Trinity College Oxford (BA 1967, DPhil 1971). He was a Research Fellow there (1970-4) and a Lecturer at Stirling University (1974-5) before moving to Cambridge in 1975 as Lecturer, Reader and now Professor. He has been a Fellow of Selwyn College since 1975 and was Director of Studies in History 1975-92, Tutor 1979-92, Admissions Tutor 1982-7, Senior Tutor 1987-92 and Vice Master 1992-2001. He was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy in 1995 and served as Vice President from 2001-9. He is also an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy and the Academy of Finland, and he holds honorary degrees from several universities and is an Hon. Fellow of Trinity College Oxford and Trinity College Dublin. He is also a permanent deacon in the Roman Catholic Church and holds several senior positions in the Diocese of East Anglia (eg Chair of the Commission for Evangelisation and Assistant Director for Diaconal Formation) and he teaches Church History and pastoral theology one weekend a month at St John’s Seminary, Wonersh.

  • David Crookes

    Daniel, the 1974 strikers set themselves the job of bringing down the new power-sharing executive. They succeeded.

    In 1977 Paisley set himself the job of bringing Stormont back and getting a tough new security policy. He failed. After promising that he would leave politics if his strike failed, he failed to keep his promise. But most intelligent unionists got the message. There will never be a 1974 Mark II.

    Eight years later, when the Anglo-Irish Agreement effectively ended the old union, we had a big rally, and lots of banners, and lots of sundry disruption, but it was recognized by most unionists that another 1974 was out of the question. The “why-bother?” attitude of many unionists was expressed in the pretty unimpressive set of results in the by-elections that were brought about by unionist MPs who resigned their seats.

    We are nearly forty years away from 1974 now. Many of the old certainties have died. Such dinosaurs as remain have only the Violet Elizabeth Bott card left to play: give us what we want, or we’ll thcweam and thcweam and thcweam till we’re sick.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Good heavens, Delphin, have you even read the link I posted above! So Morrell is a Catholic Cromwellian!!!! He may have all the gongs:


    but he’s still selling you unsupported lies in the section you quote!!!! The sheer amount of Presbyterian gratitude that can be found, in print and in manuscript, thanking James for removing penal strictures on his Presbyterian subjects in 1687 with his dispensing power, speaks eloquently for itself. And the gross Covenanter propaganda that Morrell seems to so readily believe about the so called “Killing times” was forensically dismantled by Mark Napier in the 1850s using cross-supporting primary sources, so Morrell has no possible excuse for such misleading statements in his work. Perhaps if you socialised with more academics you might be less starry eyed about their infallibility.

    And as Nevin tells us above:

    “I certainly prefer primary sources to secondary ones but, from experience, I don’t take either at face value.”

    So don’t take Morrell and his canonical Whigery at face value. Read Butterfield, perhaps, or simply go and research the material yourself properly, or, if you prefer, close the door and just go on believing the traditional lies, but please do not try and tell me that the Williamite calumnies of three hundred years ago are any more true under their mould of age, simply because they are trotted out again by an academic who has not bothered to take the trouble to digest the more innovative work of Eveline Crookshank, Jeremy Black and Breandan Ó Buachalla, simply because they would compel him to re-think the unstable ‘certainties’ of his very long career.

  • “digest the more innovative work of Eveline Crookshank”

    Seaan, presumably this is Dr Eveline Cruickshanks, Chairman of the Jacobite Studies Trust. Are you relying on similar sources? Was a Napier a Jacobean fan? There’s not much point in putting a question mark against John Morrill without doing the same about those whom you’ve named.

  • tacapall

    Like Nevin Delphin you need to do a lot more research into the so called glorious revolution and the illusion it was about religious liberty when in fact it was about money and power going back to Charlesl I. Like the modern day Arab uprisings in Iraq and Libya, the first thing they done for their masters after the battle of the Boyne, those quislings of London, those slave traders and their financial backers was to set up the first bank of England, they also secured property rights in the center of London that effectively give themselves a country of their own within the then four kingdoms. They then set into motion the repayment of the debts incurred during that so called glorious revolution onto the people of the then four kingdoms which took unknown decades to pay, and the profits from debt going to the private owners of the bank of England of which the Dutch dwarf and his wife being some of the first investors along with his foreign investors and this set up has survived even to this day. That bank of England £20 note you might have in your pocket, do you believe that the money called Sterling even belongs to the British people. We can thank people like the Orange order and the Descendants of those quislings, those slave traders from London, the Camerons and the Hurds, today’s British establishment for keeping that dark secret from all of us and ensuring that the status quo remains as it is.

  • David Crookes[1.57]At the time of the UWC, [for the first three days, at least, I was working as an apprentice on what became the Dunclug estate in Ballymena, and It was just that many days until we had to leave the site. The UVF bombed Dublin and Monaghan round that early strike period.
    Those at twaddell site must privately be thinking of a possible harsh winter and the futility of their case because they well know that what rights they’re losing are nothing more than bragging rights to strut around but of course they can’t openly admit the truth of that so they’re stranded really. When your cause depends on the leadership skills of the OO, and Jamie and wullie, the game’s up before it starts. Upscale indeed. UpPompeii more like.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh dear Nevin, you would not be commenting on north coast political issues without doing the back reading. Thats why most of what you have to say about these issues is worth reading. So, yes, put a question mark against my old friend Eveline Crookshank’s work, but READ IT to assess the correctness of that question mark, just as you usually do in getting your facts right for your other postings. Don’t just dismiss it because of its unfamiliarity.

    Now I offered a strong primary source as a correction to Morrell with the link:


    I did not simply say he (ya boo) was writing tosh like a bigoted flegger!

    Question historical research, please, but do not simply dismiss the painstaking research of others without honestly examining the work carefully and respectfully. The quote from Morrell hardly demands respect being only a reiteration of long inherited but unsupported Whig opinion, but it is easily absorbed by an Ulster audience as it conforms to their long held belief in the calumnies about James’s attempt to govern all his subjects with, what was for his time, a very unfamiliar attempt at impartial fairness. The real issue is that Presbyterians had by his actions the freedom to practice their forms of worship and serve in public office in 1687, and after they helped turf him out they were not as advantaged again for about a century. Work it out for yourself.

    And just a correction on terminology: Jacobite, not Jacobean. More familiarity with the period and you would never have made so obvious a slip. Jacobean is either the early Seventeenth Century (“Jacobean Drama ” such as Webster) or a very dark wood stain for oak. And a few other things….

    The real problem in our benighted country is that everyone seems to know everything they are ever going to think already without actually doing any serious off the shelf reading, let alone extended primary source personal research. I’d really like to think better of you than that.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Bravo, tacapall, the real issue that was facilitated by the Apprentice Boys jeu d’esprit against poor Bishop Hopkins WAS the banker’s take over of private control over many functions of the older personal state under the cover of “saving protestantism.” James ran all four kingdoms with two secretaries of state (one for ‘the North” and one for “the South”, and that included Foreign affairs) and a couple of privy councils who did not make expenses claims. The Civil Service blossomed under William (especially the Secret Service, who had all been sacked by James, who believed it was dishonourable for rulers to spy on their people).

    Only one bank in Britian, C. Hoare and Company (1672), pre-dates the Dutch Dwarf and Coutts (1692), the Bankers, I have been told, to many of the leaders of the present government, is actually owned by the RBS, who also own Ulster Bank. Now is the RBS still under public ownership and are we taxpayers subsidising……


  • Never mind the Jacobean slip, Seaan, I’m not familiar with all the partisan terminology 🙂

    FYI I’m not just commenting on north Antrim politics, I’m embedded in the stuff and I’ve also taken time to read some of the historical background. Partisan historians naturally are selective in their use of facts as they attempt to shore up the reputations of those groups that they emphasise with.

    Some Presbyterians obviously welcomed the new Catholic king whereas those like John Abernethy of Moneymore felt strongly enough to travel to London to welcome his replacement.

  • tacapall

    Hi Seaan nice to hear from you again. Yeah that then civil service now known as the Home office is the control arm of the secret government that really runs corporate UK, lets not get into the in’s and outs of the rememberencer, thon unelected entity that sits above all MPs and even the speaker in Westminster, whats his role and who does he answer to.

    Are you saying C Hoare and Company is now known as the RBS, the bank that was subsidised by public money, by money borrowed from the private investors of the bank of England, to fund the private investors of the RBS ?

  • David Crookes

    Daniel, I used to work in Ballymena. On the first day of the strike in 1977 I got as far as the Ballee roundabout, and had to drive back to Belfast.

    You and I can see the futility of the Twaddell twaddle, but I wonder if some of those involved see it as a bit of crack.

    In the new Ireland that I dream about, when nearly everyone has creative hobbies, plays rough games, and goes to night classes, we shan’t need so many band parades.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh Nevin, “Jacobite” (Ir. Seacaibíteachas) is not partisan terminology, simply general usage amongst ALL actual historians of the period, just as “Jacobean” is commonly used for the early part of the seventeenth century in all historical works refering to that period. A Jacobean drinking glass was made (and used) between 1603 and 1625, while a Jacobite Glass was made between 1688 and the death of Henry IX in 1807, probably with some political imagery or words engraved. Any auctioneer would hardly be called “partisan” in getting this important distinction right, but would be thought culpable by the buyers if he failed to make the distinction.



    Poor Abernethy was one of two men chosen by the February Presbyterian meeting at Connor in Antrim to pick representitives to (unconsciously) help re-forge the chains so lately struck off Presbyterians by James (see postings above). Not so much personal passion on Abernethy’s part as the lucky man picked to make a commissioned represention to the new administration by his fellow ministers.

    I told an audience a few months back how Abernethy travelled to London with the equivalent of about £80,000 expenses collected for him and his companion. Unfortunately William was busy seeing important people who would materially aid his bid to be made King during this period. The last thing on his mind (then as afterwards) was the fatye of the Presbyterians of Ulster and Abernethy and his pal sat in an outer chamber for over three weeks before getting their rather curt interview with the new “King”.

    The really significant issue in all this is that the general public of the time were told lies by Anglicans who represented James as attempting to compel the Kingdoms into conversion to Roman Catholicism. This was used to re-establish their Anglican monopoly over the army, the universities and any public office under the crown for a further century after James had sucessfully opened such careers to Anglican, Dissenter and Catholic equally. And Quaker, too, for that matter, and all the rest.

    The history I’m recommending that you should read first before making uninformed comment on that whicj h you have not yet read is not partisan as such, as you’d quickly find if you actually read it for yourself. It’s just an attempt to balance out a very inaccurate historical record that has mislead countless generations in our benighted island.

    I’ll just quote the part of my posting above that you don’t seem to have actually understood: “The real problem in our benighted country is that everyone seems to know everything they are ever going to think already without actually doing any serious off the shelf reading, let alone extended primary source personal research.” As long as such work as you are consulting simply serves to grossly mislead you, your reading “some of the historical background” is probably on balance rather worse than your reading none at all.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Sorry to be so vague in my posting above, tacapall, no, Hoares is the ONLY bank that is not actually part of the Whig conspiricy, having been founded before the arrival of the Dwarf! Still a private bank, though….

    COUTTS is the RSB owned bank that all the perennial elite use and my link raises the issue of such a bank being “secured” by public ownership. These troughers were reluctant to let the RSB go down as it would have taken Coutts with it like the bucket down the well in the first Tolkien Film!!!!!

    But the “haircuts” are coming we are told…….so no-one with more than £80,000 can be secure in their ill gotten wealth….I don’t think! The only people who will suffer are those who cannot afford the best advice. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose……

  • “which you have not yet read is not partisan as such”

    Of course, it’s partisan Seaan. Napier’s obsequious history of ‘Bloody Clavers’, an Episcopalian, is online and here’s a link to the ‘humane’ approach to the treatment of female Covenanters: label them traitors, find them guilty and then drown them. He refers to the pardon dated 30 April 1885 but not to the May 11 drowning [pdf file] recorded in local church records.

    I wonder what the ‘excitable women’ in our local loyalist and republican paramilitaries who ‘inflamed men to madness’ would make of Napier’s ‘history’ 😉

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Good Heavens Nevin, you seem to produce one piece of spurious evidence in this Wigtown business after another. Anyone would start to think you had a bet on with someone about it!

    “The events are recorded in the Kirk Session records of both Penninghame and Kirkinner parishes, vouched for by elders and ministers who were present on the day, and the records confirmed by the Presbytery of Wigtown.” What the source in your link does not go on to say is that their information is from Robert Wodrow’s book, an overt propaganda source put together thirty years after the event. We covered all this before, the “new” source is not presenting manuscript evidence from Kirk Session books, it is simply harking back to Wodrow’s spurious mention of these records in his book, which I gave you a link to months ago, along with Mark Napiers. Just one last point about Napier. The issue is not that he is a Jacobite sympathiser, it is what evidence he presents for his conclusions. Napier, a genuine historian, presents (and reproduces facsimiles of) real manuscript evidence, Wodrow makes his “evidence” up and your sources simply repeat these lies as “fact”.

    I cannot give too much emphasis on real painstaking research and the proper interrogation of all your sources. You should have taken the advice in this matter of the person who said “I certainly prefer primary sources to secondary ones but, from experience, I don’t take either at face value” at 11.47 today on this thread and not credulously taken this PDF you link to at face value.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Just noticed, Nevin, that you failed to read the last sentence of my 5.13 posting:

    “As long as such work as you are consulting simply serves to grossly mislead you, your reading ‘some of the historical background’ is probably on balance rather worse than your reading none at all.”

    Perhaps you should stick to contemporary issues….

  • David Crookes

    Alan, look at AF’s words THINGS WENT FURTHER THAN THEY SHOULD HAVE GONE. The “things” included an attempt to burn a policewoman alive. How appropriate is AF’s language? It’s not all that far away from the apocryphal line on an insurance form: I WAS REVERSED INTO BY A STATIONARY CAR.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I’m glad Nevin has posted a link (” here’s a link “) to the Napier account. Anyone actually reading all the pages around this link will get the true and entire story of the Wigtown affair. Although Napier has his own (yes, Jacobite!) reasons for telling this story still, as a responsible historian, he does not attempt to suppress issues such as the earlier “drowning” order, which reflects badly on James’s Edinburgh Privy council.

    What I cannot seem to get over to Nevin is the concept of the requirement for an objective assessment of historical data among professional historians. Eveline Crookshanks’ involvement with the Jacobite Studies Trust in no way affects her scrupulous professional objectivity. You might as well say that members of the Eighteenth Century Ireland Society (such as myself) are bitter enemies of the modern age!!! These are academic bodies concerned with researching historical themes, not political parties!!!!! This objectivity requirement is exactly why Morrell’s reiteration of an unquestioned “traditional” bias against James II, as quoted above, is so very, very culpable.

    A police investigation may consider someone innocent or guilty, but like any responsible historian with historical data, they must actually prove it. With pages on the net presenting the Wigtown drownings fairy tale, it must be impossibly hard for the layman to believe that the only actual “proofs” an historian may rely on all point to the “event” being a propaganda fabrication and having never actually happened. We must all remember the “black bags full of babies” in the Iraq war!

    Similarly, with a general perception throughout both traditions in the province of James II as incompetent or bigoted (“Seamus a caca” and the Orange bogey man) the surprising idea that he was tolerant and (in religious and even some social issues issues) “egalitarian” is going to burst the belts around most closed minds. Safer to fall back into the sentimentality of unexamined opinions inherited along with mother’s milk.

    But the very fact that Arlene and Nelson can ask the marchers to “break the law within the law” in effect is a symptom of a history that is cut and pasted chaotically to fit immediate political needs. A “full transparency” history is as important to our society as a “full transparency” political system. We have too little “real” history and too many local fairy tales similar to the “Wigtown drownings” that inflame the fleggers, and poison any possible move to mutual understandings.

    David Crookes’s quote of Arlene’s euphemisms in its proper context is a case in point, similar in its evasiveness to the insistence on a perennial protestant “loyalty” firmly rooted in false memories of a period where Quisling style behaviour, self interested bullying and open betrayal marked their ancestors behaviour towards of King James II.

  • Am Ghobsmacht


    Could I pick your brain for a minute (the rest of ye’s carry on, it’s not related in the slightest, but I’d like to corner Seaan while he’s here).

    What do you know about ‘bawns’?

    I was taught at school (or at least what I took from it was): “big fortified hooses to protect the settlers from the locals”

    BUT, I was thinking recently, was it that simple?
    East Antrim (if I understand correctly) was almost depopulated at the time of the plantation so how do we account for all the bawns built in that region?

    Were the planters just as likely to cattle raid and rustle as I’m given to understand that a lot of the border clans that were transported to Ireland were quite into that sort of carry on?

    Just wondering.


  • John Ó Néill

    Just happened to be passing Am_G: bawns are the fortified enclosures around tower houses (and castles). They were for sheltering cattle against the age-old substitute for was – cattle-raiding.
    The idea that anywhere in Antrim was depopulated in 1500-1600 is a myth – they mean there were no longer any English/Norman settlers present (this is persistently misread today). An UlsterScots body has continually been offering funding to show that Antrim and Down were completely de-populated at this time, but no serious academic has gone near it. The mid-1600 surveys etc show substantial ‘Irish’ (as opposed to planted) communities in Antrim and Down that undermines modern attempts to create an origin myth for unionism.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Cheers John!

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Am Ghobsmacht, John Ó Néill has set the facts out so very clearly that I’ll just have to add a bit of detail and historical “colour”. Bawn is from an irish word, the spelling I have is “bódhun”, combining “Bo” — a cow and “Dun” — an enclosure or fort.

    John is right, and although Chichester’s scorched earth/depopulation policies in the late 1590s (so chillingly described by Mountjoy’s secretary, Fynes Moryson) cleared some of the area of its native population, there were a number of families such as the Magees of Islandmagee who were chummy with the Carrickfergus town and Garrison (some of the Magees were burgesses of Carrickfergus in the late 16th century). It took the massacres of the Magee family by planters in 1641 to clear the peninsula of Gaelic influence. And the plantation throughout the area was just that, a plantation into an existing community, not a substitution of population at this time.

    The bawns were built by both the indigenious population and the planters. And the plantation of Antrim was not an organised plantation such as the plantation of confiscated lands across the Bann. There were many ad-hoc arrangements. For example land around Dalway’s Bawn, between Carrick and Ballycarry was brought to John Dalway by an O’Neill marriage as I understand it. The Clannaboye O’Neills continued to be nominal masters of the south-east Antrim area across the entire 16th century and continued to hold land until the Williamite Confiscations. Sir Neil O’Neill of Killelagh, for example, was the man who held up the encircling attack by Meinhard Schoenberg at a Boyne ford in 1690, and died in the action.

    Incidentally, the crude “artillery” fort at Ballycarry itself, which has been mis-described on the media as being an Ulster Scots fort of 1688, is actually from 1597 and was, almost certainly, constructed in the months after the English disaster at Alfracken. The clue for anyone who actually looks at the landscape properly is that this fort is on the “reverse slope” to Carrickfergus, ie: it faces Islandmagee and Larne Lough to observe possible future cattle raids from the north. If it were sited to observe the jacobite garrison in Carrickfergus castle in 1688, it would be sited about half a mile due south west where the small garrison would be on a rise that would offer a clear field of view and they could actually see Carrickfergus.

    The Border Reiver issue is interesting. Many riding family names have been long established in the area. I’d read M.Perceval Maxwell’s “Scottish Migration to Ulster in the Reign of James I” for a lot of more detailed information. But, in a nutshell, the cattle raiding was not brought over to this area on any scale. However, in Fermanagh, where there was a very heavy planting of entire border reiver communities (Catholic communities at that!!!) the genes seem to have re-surfaced in 1688/9 and anyone reading contemporary accounts of the Enniskilleners gets the impression that they were regimented not so much fight the Jacobites as to extensively raid the countryside for seventy miles around for “Black Cattle”.

    Rather more rambling “colour” than I’d first intended (sorry, Mick, for “deviation” and a wee bit of “repetition”) but, AmG, still glad to be of any help…..

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Many thanks Seaan

    That clears it up nicely.

    Cheers 🙂

  • PeterBrown

    “Daniel, I used to work in Ballymena”

    Well now DC I think that is stretching the truth….unless you actually did work in 1977? ;-p

  • David Crookes

    Thanks, Peter! What a reward for the work that I used to do for your own political party. But maybe you’ve “torned”, like me, and you don’t represent that party any more. Anyway, no more personalia.

    As Billy Simpson would say, you heff till leff. I was going to take a race up to Twaddell tonight, but now I fear that you may be there, along with one of Nevin’s “excitable women”…..