Belfast Politics as petulant childsplay (while Ballymurphy langours in deprivation) Redux…

Somethings only start to look truly absurd when you look at them in conjunction with some other things…

Here’s one thing, a DUP councillor being barracked for temporarily donning a Linfield scarf whilst the council body was discussing a motion calling on the council to honour out-going Linfield manager David Jeffrey.

And here’s another thing:

Fast forward to Friday Saturday – after hours for the Leisure Centre in question. Pictures start appearing on user @patrickmul7 ‘s twitter profile. “Whiterock Leisure Centre Murph Colour Party’, was the headline for one. As you can see, it shows a colour party, normally associated with events honouring IRA volunteers – past and present – and lined up behind are more people in uniform. Adorning the walls of the Leisure Centre are banners of IRA personel. Alcohol can clearly be seen being consumed on the premises.

Belfast City Ratepayers pick up the tab for these centres. Those rates fund running costs like electricty etc and staff wages. So, are Belfast ratepayers paying for the privilege of an event commemorating the IRA on a premises which should be inclusive to all? Is the city for everyone really promoting inclusivity by allowing its premises to be used for events like these? How many non republicans are going to feel confident going to Whiterock now, after its hosting of an IRA event?

Yesterday, some twitter users started to question the use of the hall. Patrick Mulvenna, who was still tweeting from the event, responded “Up da Provies!” He followed it with a tweet to Loyalist Group UPRG “Its our city hall if you want to be a part of it, on behave (meaning behalf) of the council we remember our dead #TAL (Tiochfaidh Ar Lá)” It is this ignorance, this “rub it in your face” attitude which causes outrage amongst those opposed to or on the receiving end of IRA actions. It’s republican triumphalism in its rawest form.

In the meantime, in the real world of Fivemiletown, the local creamery is on life support, and it’s award winning cheese business is struggling to find a buyer. And in Ballymurphy, according to Save the Children, more than 80% of people have no or low educational qualifications and long-term unemployment is 45%.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty