Ardoyne plaque forges new link between present tensions and a terrible past.

This part of the Flora Bradley-Watson’s report in the Belfast Telegraph  of the commemoration of the bombing of Frizzell’s shop leapt out at me.

Charlie Butler, who lost three relatives in the attack – his niece Evelyn Baird, her partner Michael Morrison and their daughter Michelle – said that he had relied on the support of the Shankill community.

“It gives me strength to see the people are still behind us.”

Mr Butler said that he was offended by the unveiling of a plaque in Ardoyne for Thomas Begley, the IRA bomber who was also killed in the attack.

“I think what hurt us more than that was Thomas Begley’s father for attending it. He said that if he knew what his son had been doing he would have chained him to the bed,” he said.

It hurt us an awful lot to see him then hugging the Shankill bomber, Sean Kelly.

I wouldn’t dream of lecturing Mr Butler about how to react. But from my reading of the reports he has surely got it wrong .Very worryingly present tensions fed the atmosphere and contributed to the IRA ritual of the plaque unveiling at Ardoyne.  In the mix of motives a demonstration of pride in dead volunteers who risked their lives, a reaffirmation of the IRA cause and two fingers to loyalists were all present in this carefully planned and organised event.

For sure I don’t know what was all in the mind of Thomas Begley’s father apart from  his sense of devastating loss. But the evidence is persuasive.  There is no suggestion here that he gloried in the wretched act that killed his son and nine innocents while his friend and accomplice Sean Kelly lived.

Mr Butler might be reminded that Mr Begley was reported a few days ago that he didn’t want a plaque.

“If it had been us, we’d have just gone to the chapel and then up to the cemetery and that would have been it,” he told the Belfast Telegraph

Would it have been better to have stayed away from the unveiling?  The act of dissociation might have been too much for him. Might it not be that Begley’s father embraced Kelly his  son’s friend as the last person who talked to him alive – a way of recalling his dead son without any hint of approval, bearing  in mind also  his words of deep regret at the time? Parenthood is a dominant instinct most of us can understand. We can’t always expect parents  to be  politically correct all the time. For  me, Mr Begley had done enough.

No one is under the slightest obligation to accept Sean Kelly’s apology. It doesn’t help his reputation that he was returned to jail in 2005 for alleged rioting when Peter Hain revoked his parole licence. Gerry Kelly I seem to remember accused Hain of victimisation. As recently as February Kelly was questioned about a punishment shooting.

Any correction to the apparent misunderstanding of Mr Begley’s  position will be lost in the chorus of recrimination  that’s inevitably followed the dignified commemoration.  But it’s always worth trying to correct a misunderstanding and encouraging better thoughts if that’s at all possible  when terrible events are recalled. But who wants to listen along the few hundred yards  between Ardoyne and the lower Shankill?  The plaque unveiling was a political demonstration which only reinforces an unwelcome link between the present and the past.

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  • cynic2

    “If it had been us, we’d have just gone to the chapel”

    …… but sadly it wasn’t just them. SF needed a martyr to herd in the electoral sheep so they don’t seem to have been given a choice and the knife is turned again in those who lost loved ones

    I am genuinely sorry for their loss. Far better for all that it had never happened and the parents are as much victims of the evil men who sent these two bombers out to kill women and children as the dead on the Shankill. But still we tolerate these monsters in our society and laud them.

  • sherdy

    I got the impression, listening to Brian Rowan this morning on the Nolan show, that Saturday morning meetings of the UDA hierarchy were a regular occurrence.
    Was this upstairs room part of Mr Frizzell’s property, and did he give his permission for these meetings to take part?
    If so, how innocent was the property owner? If not, I apologise for the inference.

  • MrPMartin

    Sherdy

    That’s a question I’ve been asking too. If it was so well known a meeting place, where were the police?

  • The night before my first O level in 1968, I missed the last bus of the night and walked from Ardoyne Bus Depot along Crumlin Road, Tennant Street, Shankill Road and on to the falls Road and home.

    It would have been impossible to do that in 1973. The poison of sectarian assassination was already too strong.
    I think by 1993, even with an alleged Peace Process taking place there was already too much bad blood. The Shankill Bombing made that a certainty.
    In 2013, the legacy of 1973 AND 1993 remains.
    The Parades cant happen because of the legacy. And in my view…rightly.
    Sinn Fein or whoever had no real choice about NOT putting up a plaque to Volunteer Begley. They did not disown him in 1993…-and paid a political price…So they can hardly disown him in 2013. In some ways thats the same argument from 1993.

    I dont think they were unduly influenced by the presence of the Loyalist Civil Rights camp but certainly some within republicanism would have seen the opportunity.

    Things there will NEVER be ok. And frankly for those of us who have not experienced forty odd years along that interface, we cannot be making recommendations as to what people should or should not do.
    If they want to treat THEIR victims/martyrs in a certain way, we have not earned the right to criticise.

  • willieric

    what sort of idiots would use the same place and time for meetings? Local pubs would be the more likely venues.

  • sherdy

    MrPM, – You ask: ‘Where were the police?’
    Tonight’s Ch4 news eloquently answers that question.
    HET enquiries are indicating that the notorious Glenanne gang, made up of loyalists, RUC, UDR, British Army and Special Branch, were responsible for the murder of around 120 Catholics, of whom possibly one, had republican connections. As of now, virtually no convictions for any of these deaths.
    Are the PSNI any different from the RUC?

  • babyface finlayson

    Sherdy
    “did he give his permission for these meetings to take part?”
    Yes of course he should simply have told the UDA he would rather they didn’t hold their meetings in his property.

  • Can anyone explain the word “outreach” to me. I can’t find a suitable explanation in my dictionary.

  • tacapall

    Joe, Brian Feeny has an article in the Irish news today that would most likely answer your question.

  • tacapall

    Its going global now Sherdy, Im just waiting to hear the rush of Unionists to scream for prosecutions and the removal of the George Cross for this once again discredited excuse for a police force.

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/oct/23/ruc-cover-up-inquiry-documents-book

    “RUC commanders covered up killings by rogue officers, inquiry files allege

    A specialist police unit has accused senior commanders in the old Royal Ulster Constabulary of covering up a series of sectarian killings and attempted murders by rogue officers, according to a book on collusion between loyalist paramilitaries and security forces during the Troubles”

  • Morpheus

    RUC and collusion…it’s hardly news is it? Watch as feck all is done about it

  • Son of Strongbow

    Interestingly this story breaks on the anniversary of the Shankill Road mass murder. Who exactly is being protected?

    The allegations contained in the book (yes allegations, books don’t convict people unfortunately courts seem to desire something a trifle stronger) by a Pat Finucane Centre activist have been heard before.

    If there is evidence of wrongdoing I’m sure Ms Cadwallender will be hot footing it down to the local ‘barracks’ with it.

    If such evidence does exist then those identified as allegedly involved in criminal activity should be prosecuted.

    However with Channel 4 News and the Guardian leading the charge it doesn’t fill me with much confidence. I’ll just regard their ‘breaking’ the story on this particular day as an oversight. The Shankill bomb anniversary must have passed them by.

    On the bombing itself, it has already been implied on this thread that ‘they’ deserved it. After all ‘they’ ‘allowed’ a bunch of UDA thugs to meet in the same building that housed the fish shop. I mean the UDA are reasonable chaps aren’t they? A simple ‘excuse me, go away’ would have done the trick surely?

    Oh, of course the cops were colluding as per usual. They should have been there to scoop the UDA long before and the bhoys from Ardoyne wouldn’t have had to take the trouble to murder those men, women and children .

    I can imagine the scenario ‘I am an officer of the law and I arrest you for having a meeting in a built up area during the hours of daylight contrary to the Barbed Wire Act 1916.’

  • tacapall

    SOS obviously you never even opened the link or maybe you never read it. The HET, you know the Historical Enquiry Team, other police officers including former RUC special branch officers, it was they who discovered the evidence, but you walt away there with your wee rant.

  • Tacapall,

    Thanks for that but no Irish News here and the website is firewalled.

  • Morpheus
  • Dixie Elliott

    Reading Son of Strongbow just now was like reading a comment from various shinners in regards to Gerry Adams.

    “Historical Enquiries Team exposes Northern Ireland collusion ”

    Channel 4 News has had exclusive access to the book prior to publication as well as the HET reports themselves, hitherto unpublished beyond the immediate confines of the families of victims to whom the reports were delivered.

    Taken together, for the first time they pull into one place what so many have long suspected or just knew across Northern Ireland and on both sides of the divide, that elements of the police and the British army were working hand in glove with the UVF to murder people with no paramilitary connection whatsoever….”

    http://blogs.channel4.com/alex-thomsons-view/historical-enquiries-team-exposes-northern-ireland-collusion/6376

  • son of sam

    Can anyone point me to a link where M/s Cadwallader criticises the actions of the I R A during the Troubles?

  • Reader

    MrPMartin: That’s a question I’ve been asking too. If it was so well known a meeting place, where were the police?
    Never mind the police – where were the participants?
    (tacapall, sherdy: I think you are mixing up the UVF and UDA. The UVF had nothing to do with the target, the UDA were merely not present. In addition, the Glenanne gang seems to have been a rural grouping, and to have become inactive after 1980, so it is unlikely they were involved in the Shankill bombing 13 years later, even as prospective targets. When you are busy joining the dots, it is important to look at the numbers.)

  • cynic2

    Yeah the discredited senior RUC commanders covered up the killings by arresting and prosecuting Weir and various UDR men for the Miami Showband killings so they could keep it all secret

    Doh

  • between the bridges

    Apologies for engaging in whatabouttery but what about the topic…it would appear his father was put in a no win situation and if he didn’t give the plague his support are SF guilty of ignoring the families wishes?

  • between the bridges

    *plaque!!

  • Morpheus

    “When you are busy joining the dots, it is important to look at the numbers.”

    Meow

  • cynic2

    “Channel 4 News has had exclusive access to the book prior to publication as well as the HET reports themselves, hitherto unpublished beyond the immediate confines of the families of victims to whom the reports were delivered.”

    So lets all see them then.

    And that would be the HET who was so impartial that it had an active policy of not fully investigating soldiers involved in incidents but not applying the same standard to the RC.

    And if you read the Guardian piece you find that one critical piece of evidence is that the killers were wearing boots that looked like the sort of boots the police wore. Wow . Black leather boots? That will swing a Diplock Court wont it

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Lets cut past the crap, the commemoration in the republican part of Ardoyne on Sunday for Begley was a Sinn Fein/IRA militaristic commemoration.

    This was not a family commemoration, yes Begley’s father was there but that appears to have been only window dressing, a cloak of respectability.

    The Begley family who I assume were consulted by the local shinners/IRA as to the format of the event. The master of ceremonies the speaker and speech and the wording of the commemorative plaque.

    The Begley family obviously decided to go along with a shinner/IRA militaristic event. Which included an IRA colour party and guard of honour, a smattering of senior Sinn Fein/IRA personnel. As for the wording on the plaque, well that should leave no one in any doubt that this was a militaristic commemoration and not a family event.

    There is not one reference to or from his family on the plaque. There are references to the Belfast brigade, and this is not the Belfast brigade of the boys brigade, it’s the Belfast brigade of the IRA. It then goes on to mention Begley being a volunteer, and how he died on active service. It goes on to mention that Begley will always be remembered by his comrades and friends. It finishes with a quote form Seamus Towmey where it mentions courage and dedication.

    There is not one phrase, word or line to mention Begley as a son!!! Just his heroic daring actions to free Ireland of nine innocent Protestants. Nine innocent Protestants that don’t count. Nine innocent protestants that are to be air brushed out, in the shinner/provo rush to rewrite history. Were Begley is the real victim and the innocent victims are to be marginalized and ignored.

    Sundays event in Ardoyne was in no way the family and friends event that the shinners/provos in Gerry Kelly is trying to spin. But why let the facts get in the way of shinner/provo propaganda.

    Shredy:

    As for the UDA meeting above Frizzell’s fishmongers, there was a separate entrance on the Shankill road into their part of the building which was the first floor, Frizzells fishmongers occupying the ground floor.

    What I don’t know is if the UDA owned or rented this property, and who they rented the property from???

    There has never been any suggestion that the UDA rented this part of the building from Mr Frizzell.

    Mr Frizzell who was a born again Christian and regular church goer, as was his daughter and son-in-law Alan McBride. Mr McBride who works in the cross community sector, maybe he can enlighten us as to the ownership of the rooms the UDA met. But is that really relevant in the big scheme of things, well it appears it is and it matters to some on here.

    Maybe someone can ask Channel 4, if can find out who owned the place were the UDA met? As they seem to have little respect for the nine innocent victims of the Shankill bombing. And they seem to be very good at uncovering documents, and making allegations.

  • Charles_Gould

    There was a very good episode of UTV Live Tonight today.

    Victims articulating their thoughts.

    So far, victims have had so little attention.

    More attention to victims needs to come, going forward.

    More interviews, discussions, TV discussions, as anniversaries.

    These victims for the most part are far more eloquent than politicians.

  • mac tire

    “Maybe someone can ask Channel 4, if can find out who owned the place were the UDA met?”

    Good Lad, AU, you’ve just found yourself a job.

  • tomthumbuk

    Sherdy, Channel 4 news gives the lowdown on a book by the Pat Finucane centre and the Committee for the Administration of Justice.
    The name Finucane itself disqualifies it from any sense of impartiality, seeing as the family were up to their ears in Republican terrorism.
    As for the CFAJ, when did they ever address injustices from Republican terrorism?
    In propaganda terms they would make Josef Goebells look like an amateur.

  • “There is not one phrase, word or line to mention Begley as a son!!! Just his heroic daring actions to free Ireland of nine innocent Protestants. Nine innocent Protestants that don’t count. Nine innocent protestants that are to be air brushed out, in the shinner/provo rush to rewrite history.”

    @ArdoyneUnionist,

    Sinn Fein’s conduct here is not much different here than that of the other participants in The Troubles when forced to deal with a big screwup. Think of all those paratroop officers that were reprimanded for their treatment of Catholics in Belfast in 1971 and for Bloody Sunday a few months later. Or of the British squadie imprisoned for shooting joyriders who then rejoined the British army after his release. Think of the UVF after their first murders in 1966. Much more important to keep up the morale of the ordinary rank-and-file up by supporting them no matter what they do than to act responsibly and punish criminal conduct and screw ups.

    Obviously Sinn Fein still regards former paramilitaries as a key constituency.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Who distributes these get-out-of-jail cards and where can I get one?

    SF lets a known paedo-rapist work with kids: TA DAAA! *Produces “RUC f*cked up” card* – case closed

    A plaque to a dead paramilitary member is unveiled in an area that objects (rightly) to a band whose banner displays the names of dead (alleged) paramilitary members: TA DAA! *produces “Unrelated-security-force-collusion-card”* – case closed

    People criticise a club from an organisation that receives public funds for retaining the name of a dead paramilitary member: TA DAA! *produces the “f*ck-off!” card* – move swiftly on.

    Makes a fair enough point about not seeing the wood for the trees: TA DAA! *produces “odd-how-you-didn’t-give-loyalist-examples” card* – point ignored

    So if anybody has any spare cards could they please pass it onto my attorney as I have just this minute murdered a post man (worker for an arm the occupying state), done something unspeakable to a child, extorted money from her community and kicked a small dog really really hard*.

    And I’d like to blame it on Cromwell.

    But what I did is not important, because lots of other people did nasty stuff too, so lets shift the spotlight to them and quickly change topic “Did you see yer man’s goal last night?”…..

    *I have never murdered a post man , done something unspeakable to a child, extorted money from her community or kicked a small dog really really hard.

  • MonkDeWallyDeHonk

    TomThumbUk

    How brave of you – making comments about a dead man. Still we all know your view about where innocent Catholics sit on your hierarchy of victims.

    How it must pain you that the days of the taigs knowing their place or being kept in line by the B Specials, UDR or RUC are long gone. The poor old OO can no longer march wherever they want and the “fleg” will no longer fly 365 days a year over Belfast.

    Demographics and world events have moved on even if you and the “fleg” protestors have not. I’m delighted to tell you that Unionism ( or at least your brand of unionism) have little or no support outside a few parts of NI and Scotland.

    The discrimination against Catholics during the decades of Unionist misrule has been well documented as has the collusion of the B Specials UDR and RUC.

    I guess making spiteful comments about a Catholic murdered by “loyalist” terrorists on a web site are about all that’s left to you and your ilk.

    Pitiful really – as if this will bring back the “good old days” of Orange state.

  • Charles_Gould

    It would be good to hear more from the victims.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    The definition of victims.

    Go to 12mins 40secs to here how the shinners/provos deal with inquiries.

  • Son of Strongbow

    Dixie Elliot,

    As you seem to be having some difficulty with understanding the fourth paragraph in my post of yesterday I’ll reprise it just for you.

    If there is evidence of wrongdoing by any police officer or soldier then they should be prosecuted. That’s ‘evidence’ by the way as opposed to innuendo, allegation or bet’ya it’s right so it is.

    Now I’ve seen photographs of Gerry Adams wearing a beret. Whereas I have my own views about the Dear Leader even I don’t think the said photographs amount to evidence that Gerry bhoy was in the IRA.

    Now unless there is a massive ongoing collusion and coverup by everyone from the HET to the Attorney General and beyond ( a concept so beloved of so many nationalists) then the alleged evidence will have its day in court.

    However back to Ms Cadwallender’s book, if you’re into nationalist stories extrapolating wildly from some basic facts I believe a new book on the 1983 HMP Maze prison escape has just hit the shelves.

  • Bob998

    I am 17 and I disagree with this Plaque placed in Ardoyne I myself am a Catholic born in Dublin and moved to Ardoyne, That Plaque even if it was for Mr Begleys family to remember their loved one but what of those he Killed and Injured even those families who are still scared today emotionally and physically where is their plaque or statue they only got an empty apology. I think that plaque was like a dagger going through the Protestant Community I was not born around the time of Shankill Bombing and All the other disasters that happened in Belfast at the time but I have met and seen people from the Protestant and Catholic communities who have been involved in this tragedy and others and I have felt their Pain. I know both sides have added to the fire over the years and that fire still burns today, I know it is hard for Ardoyne and Shankill to take down the metaphoric boundaries and wipe away the tension and the pain of the past but what will come of the future for both of our community’s Our Cultures, I know myself if I ever have kids i know they wont be Catholic or Protestant they will be Neutral with a respectful view on both cultures, I myself have worked with kids, I have taken part on cross community events and have built relationships with both sides but back to the point I think we should take down the Plaque and just come together to remember all those we lost in ‘ The Troubles’ and rebuild Northern Ireland without that dream of a United Ireland that Sf blindly go on about and Build a better United Northern Ireland.

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    What I don’t understand, and excuse me if I appear innocent/simple/stupid, but in what kind of mind is it acceptable to put up a plaque to commemorate a man who, accidentally or otherwise killed a child?

  • foyle observer

    Droch, ‘loyalists’ commemorate many murderers in their communities. It happens in the North of Ireland, everyone should get over it and accept that this sort of thing is NEVER going to go away.

    Republicans differ from ‘Loyalists’ in that they hold their hands up and admit that they will remember their dead through commemorations and unveiling of plaques such as this, whereas ‘loyalists’ like to pretend that they do not in fact do any of this.

    Sure don’t they harp on ad nauseum about a ‘shrine’ in the Maze and then go and paint a mural of two masked gunmen firing shots over, wait for it, the Maze Prison.

    Someone should explain to ‘loyalism’ and Unionism what the word ‘hypocrisy’ means.

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    “Droch, ‘loyalists’ commemorate many murderers in their communities. It happens in the North of Ireland, everyone should get over it and accept that this sort of thing is NEVER going to go away.”

    Commemorating a botched operation which killed children is NEVER right.

  • foyle observer

    No one said it was right, Droch.

    My point is, there are hundreds of plaques all over the island which commemorate paramilitaries, why all of a sudden the outcry?

    It’s not a new thing and let’s face it, people can moan about it until the cows come home but it won’t change a thing. People have a right to remember their dead, loyalist AND Republican. I for one support this right.

    Insensitive, yes, but we will see that banner for Brian Robinson, year in, year out, being paraded around, won’t we? Will we have similar hysteria? I doubt it. It will be justified as ‘culture’.

  • tacapall

    “Insensitive, yes, but we will see that banner for Brian Robinson, year in, year out, being paraded around, won’t we? Will we have similar hysteria? I doubt it. It will be justified as ‘culture’.”

    Just like all those Unionist MPs and MLA’s including the Orange Order who fell over themselves in a frenzy in their outcry over the peace center in the MLK but seemed to unable to see or cry outrage at the shrine to loyalist murderers just outside the front gates of the same place.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “Insensitive, yes, but we will see that banner for Brian Robinson, year in, year out, being paraded around, won’t we? Will we have similar hysteria? I doubt it. It will be justified as ‘culture’.”

    If the DUP organised a memorial plaque for him and had a public ‘unveiling’ then you might hear an outcry.

    Loyalism is constantly being attacked from Unionist and moderate quarters with regards to it’s luv-in with scum.

    So much so that wee Seamie Bryson has been blogging about it on his own sqwackbox as well as QUB blog.

    The DUP are useless in this regard unfortunately but we’ll see what happens after election time.

    You must be aware that many people from the Unionist side of the fence support LAD’s highlighting of this hypocrisy?

    I do what I can but I’m just a bloke with too much time on his hands and an internet connection:

    http://amgobsmacked.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/the-truth-please-old-school-straight.html

    At the bottom there is an email link to the Orange Order, I encourage everyone to use it and email the OO and ask them why they tolerate the nonsense associated with their marches.

  • Son of Strongbow

    AG,

    LAD is indeed amusing at times in a sneery pseudo-clever kind of way in the style of some ‘alternative’ comedians (where often the ‘alternative’ is that they’re not basically very funny at all).

    However you quickly get past the ‘Disgusted of Malone’ vibe to recognise it as a partisan political project. I recently saw comments following a LAD mini foray onto the other side of the fence so to speak on a murder that read along the lines that the victim was a “drug dealer”. The implication being that he had it coming.

    The comments went unremarked upon. Obviously even the slightest lampooning of such mindsets didn’t fit with LAD editorial policy.

    Btw do you pay Slugger advertising fees for promoting your own site? I know you’re not the only one guilty but you do seem to be working your own (ego 😉 ) project it quite a lot recently.

  • Insensitive”
    Weeks after the shooting in Sean grahams bookmakers on the Ormeau Road:
    When a July 1992 Orange Order march passed the scene of the shooting, Orangemen shouted pro-UDA slogans and held aloft five fingers as a taunt to residents over the five deaths. The images of Orangemen and loyalist flute band members holding up five fingers as they passed the shop were beamed around the world and was a public relations disaster for the Order. Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that the actions of the marchers “would have disgraced a tribe of cannibals”.
    Watch it on this link:

  • Insensitive”
    A mural commemorating mass murderer of catholics Stephen (Top Gun) McKeag on Hopewell Crescent,Shankill Road Among his many innocent victims was the shooting dead Aidan Wallace and wounding an 8 year old boy who lost an eye in the 1991 UDA attack on the Devenish Bar, the gun was actually put right up to the 8 year olds face and fired.
    Or how about Johnny Adair and his mob and then Billy wright and his lot being clapped and cheered onto the field at the Dumbcree protest.

  • Insensitive”
    The OO letting one of the shankill butchers carry their standard along the catholic part of the Springfield road or mass murderer of innocents John Gregg battering hell out of a lambeg as the OO coat trailed through yet more catholic areas. Brian Robinson OO tribute march past the very spot were he murdered another innocent.
    Senior DUP member ,then a councillor, now a minister in Stormont asking Belfast city council to congratulate Loyalist paramilitaries on a good nights work the night before, when 3 Republicans were shot dead in Belfast by UVF. On and on I could go, but my point is this, I heard no condemnation from any unionist politicians when all of the above happened, not a word, no victims family should be re-traumatised by creating a hierarchy of victims as unionist /loyalist OO have done.
    re-traumatised

  • Charles_Gould

    Not the finest hour of SF.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    SoS

    “Btw do you pay Slugger advertising fees for promoting your own site? I know you’re not the only one guilty but you do seem to be working your own (ego 😉 ) project it quite a lot recently.”

    Not yet, I do expect to get a card for it some day though.

    Though to be fair, I do try to bring it up if it’s relevant or to counter a whataboutery:

    “well, you never hear unionists complaining about sushandsuch….”

    “Yes you do, here’s 5 pages of boring complaint with photos and poor grammar….”

  • Son of Strongbow

    AG,

    It was a cheap shot on my behalf. You do make a pleasing job of poking holes in things that badly need deflating. In that regard you’re a better man than me Gunga Din I’m inclined to admit.

  • paulG

    I suppose Begley is as entitled to a Plaque as any other combatant. It was a huge screw-up but he probably didn’t set the fuse or hatch the (unbelievably reckless) plan.

    I just wonder if Sinn Fein couldn’t have set an example by making some kind of gesture (more than the apology) to the innocent victims.

    Perhaps it’s a sign that the hardening of positions at Stormont are being played out on the streets.

  • babyface finlayson

    paulG
    “I suppose Begley is as entitled to a Plaque as any other combatant. ”
    It comes down to the difference between entitlement and necessity.
    Because we are entitled and within our rights to do something doesn’t mean we must do it.
    Too often, here, different factions do things because they are entitled to without ever asking if they really need to.

  • paulG

    Totally agree BF,

    Too many events seem to be planned with more intent to offend the others, than remember or commemorate.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    BF and PaulG

    As a not very wise man said:

    “As with many things, commemoration is a right, but not necessarily always ‘right’.”