Maybe SDLP leadership “got in wrong” Alban?

The SDLP is in a bit of a pickle at the moment with its council members in Newry and Mourne appearing to have refused the party whip over the naming of a park after local man and IRA Hunger Striker Raymond McCreesh.

The history of the park, the SDLP’s original support for its naming and the reaction to it has been well-documented elsewhere and I do not intend to revisit those issues in this column. What is interesting in this context is what appears to be the gaping chasm between the Head Office position of the party on the matter – it now supports renaming the park – and local representatives who voted with their feet and didn’t attend a meeting where such a re-naming might have taken place.

All politics is local. We all know this. The SDLP’s councillors in Newry and Mourne are the ones that are canvassing for the party on the ground day and daily, who know that a second preference vote is better than an outright no. In the communities where they canvass and work as public representatives, the McCreesh family are well-known and respected and anything that hints at disrespect for them would be a huge blow to the SDLP’s electoral results. There is no gaping chasm ideologically between Nationalism and Republicanism in an area like South Armagh, merely different shades of opinion – everyone is sound on the national question but differ on the best approach to achieving the same ultimate objective.

What’s most startling is that the position of the SDLP party HQ has the effect of making the party appear not to be nationalist at all and to be bowing to Unionist pressure, to not recognise that its roots, its policies and its identity has, in the past, been one of aspirational reunification of Ireland. If that’s no longer the case, then they need to have the guts to say so.

Alban Maginness on BBC’s The View last night said that the position of the Councillors in failing to attend the meeting, and in the case of the one member who did attend and abstained from the vote, had damaged the party. He said that it was “contrary to the position the party had established on this particular issue.” He said “they got it wrong.”

Maginness and party leader Alastair McDonnell might want to have a wee think about that. They might want to consider whether party HQ are the ones who’ve got it wrong and whose position is, in fact, more damaging to the party.

There is a huge difference between a diktat on how to vote handed down from head office and public opinion in the area – that is glaringly obvious from the mass non-attendance of councillors. Parties need to rely on their activists locally to gauge local opinion and if the SDLP’s councillors in Newry and Mourne have done that (one has spoken of her position in support of maintaining the name) then more fool the leadership for not listening.

But then again, perhaps it’s a lack of listening from the leadership that’s led to the continuing decline in the party’s electoral fortunes in the first place.

I’m fairly sure Margaret Ritchie and Justin McNulty weren’t anticipating having to deal with this as an electoral issue on the doorsteps of South Down and Newry-Armagh.

  • aber1991

    Perhaps the same could be said of Sinn Fein. It seems to me that a handful of loony Lefties in Connolly House are dictating policy without regard to the views of Sinn Fein supporters in the rural communities of South Armagh, Mid-Ulster or Fermanagh and Tyrone. How many people in the Sinn Fein heartlands support the party’s line on immigration, gay marriage, the gay cake or any of the party’s left-wing agenda?

    The SDLP leadership in Belfast lost contact with its rural hinterland more than 30 years ago. Hence the SDLP decline.

  • Ernekid

    I’ve no idea what the SDLP’s logic was behind this. Any slight consideration would have told them that this was in quite poor taste and would create a greater headache for them down the line as they alienate their Unionist colleagues.

    Maybe the should listen to the local base but if the base was totally off the wall in the first place, its best to have a real leadiership strategy.

  • Julius

    “making the party appear not to be Nationalist at all”

    Is the author suggesting that support for terrorism or for the glorification of terrorists is a necessary element of Irish nationalism?

  • barnshee


  • chrisjones2

    “the position of the SDLP party HQ has the effect of making the party appear not to be nationalist at all and to be bowing to Unionist pressure, ”

    When he was arrested McCreesh was holding an Armalite used at Kingsmill. He was a murderer and sectarian killer. The SDLP locally want to commemorate him with a children’s park. Let them.

    At every election they crawl in to the gutter of sectarian politics.

    Voters in South Down and South Belfast should note the aspirations and true colours of the SDLP and vote accordingly – even voting SF if it gets them out. If Alban is embarassed – and he should be – then he should have a think if he wants to be in the SDLP

  • chrisjones2

    …so climb into the gutter with the rest

  • eiregain

    A surprising amount in sf are liberal minded aber, especially when it comes to immigration and equal human rights. Sf always champion equal rights where it benefits the people of Eire. The Stoops tend to be more in line with Irish Catholic Church and it’s middle class donors.

    The irsp dirtbags and 32 cunty sovereignty bowel movements will cater for you conservative and extreme beliefs on women, lgbt, immigration and more, sounds like you would fit right in. Or just join ukip or the bnp. Even your pope has a more modern view On lgbt, atheism, women’s rights, equality than you, is he promoting a left wing agenda?

    I would say the more tolerant we are of differences, the more peacefull our society will become.

    you once again reflect the old school unionists view as some righteous path of Catholicism and that is just not true.

    Catholic means universal or better put “indiscriminate” so you simply couldn’t be a Catholic.

  • Newton Emerson

    The answer this gives to the “national question” is “we’re comfortable with the Kingsmill Massacre.”
    If the SDLP no longer distinguishes itself from Sinn Fein on that then there’s not much of a separate point to it.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    If politics is about winning hearts & minds (among other things) then that requires the process of changing hearts and minds. Tottering weakness at the leadership level and cowardice at the LA level in not confronting the question head on. Have the Stoops given up on out-greening the Dog’s Dinners? Are they now content with just pastel tone limitation?

  • aber1991

    “Should”. Why do you tell other people what they should or should not do?
    Would you prefer that their places be taken on the Council by representatives of Sinn Fein?

    What did YOU do to protect Catholics from Prod murder gangs? If you did nothing, why pass judgement on a person who did something?

    Are you a Stater?

  • aber1991

    I vote Sinn Fein because it is the party my enemies hate most.

    There may be some lefties like yourself in Sinn Fein but I do not believe that you represent Sinn Fein supporters in general.

  • aber1991


    Are YOU comfortable with the murder of the Dowds and Reaveys?

  • aber1991

    What have you done to protect Catholics?

  • eiregain

    “I vote Sinn Fein because it’s the party my enemies hate the most”

    Another example of you sounding like a loyalist troll get a grip man.

    Stop generalising aber. I think that’s where your going wrong, even within republicanism you will find diversity. To ignore it as simply liberal without understanding the motivations behind such beliefs is detremental to your cause as you will over time exclude yourself from whatever politically movement you claim to support.

  • eiregain

    P.S. Sinn Fein followers/supporters facepalm every time you open your mouth. I get more angered by your intolerance than any orangemans.

  • Newton Emerson

    No, of course not – and the idea of naming a playground after their murderers would be incomprehensible.

  • chrisjones2

    Did ‘something’ ie machine gun Protestants and take part in a pogrom to drive them out of South Armagh. Yeah that is something.

  • chrisjones2

    Have you not realized that he is a troll?

  • eiregain

    Your not much better Chris. we all have different opinions and whether we respect a person or not we can still challenge their beliefs publically even if it’s what they want , even if they feed off your aggro (like a proper troll… Like you mate ?)

  • Ernekid

    Wise up and troll elsewhere

  • notimetoshine

    I can’t held wondering if this is a sly electoral strategy to help Justin McNulty, in what is quite a republican constituency. It will backfire I would imagine because realistically they can’t out sinn fein sinn fein in that particular constituency. They risk alienating their south down core however, places like warrenpoint, where there is incredulity amongst many people I have spoken to who are traditionally SDLP all the way. I don’t know if this is part of an overall strategy to counter SF in the area, but realistically parts of newry for instance ate only ever going to become more Republican and frankly the SDLP may risk alienating their core chasing a pipe dream.

  • barnshee

    Just peeping in at the moment
    I would bet that after the election and (depending on SDLP score) the name will go quitely

  • “not to be nationalist at all and to be bowing to Unionist pressure”

    Whilst I understand the grievances within the area, your synonymous use of the two suggests you don’t. More specifically, you seem oblivious to the fact that the only party in Stormont to abstain from the common ‘bowing’ to corporate pressure is the SDLP. Take today for example, SF and DUP are covering the newspapers with a ‘historic’ meeting in West Belfast to mask their plans to lower corporation tax. Whilst the incident you have described may have some electoral implications for the SDLP, there’s a bigger, much more sinister picture to look at that doesn’t discriminate along nationalist or unionist lines; the selling out of the working class in favour of big business.

  • Robin Keogh

    The park name is not going to be changed so i think people should just get over it and move on. In any event all sides have a habit of refusing to accept the other sides version of events. Everybody seems to feel that their own narrative is the only one that counts. Republicans will commemorate Republicans, loyalists and Unionists the same. We already commemorate Dev and collins as do Unionists commemorate those who swore to defend Ulster with the bullet, so save the pontificating and get on with your day everybody.

  • Jay

    I vote SF and it is this attitude that I fear for the party. Granted hard resistance must be met with hard pressure, but that must be purely political. The way in which aber speaks it is clear he has a deep loathing for all things protestant. Believe it or not people, we don’t all think like that!

  • Jay

    Remember when I fell down that well Morph! If it hadn’t been for you and that rope, I’d have been there till this day!

  • aber1991

    Incomprehensible? Really now! Cromwell Road. Twadell Avenue. Craigavon.

  • aber1991

    Please learn some manners and please have less of your arrogance. You are not the only person who has a right to an opinion.

  • aber1991

    “You could say ‘by their ‘heroes’ shall ye know them’.”

    Indeed. Basher Bates, the Shankill Butcher was a hero to the Belfast Prods.

  • aber1991

    WHY are you angered? Have I no right to have a reason for voting the way I do?

  • mjh

    If the SDLP councillors think that they are helping their chances of re-election by attempting to evade the party line then they are the ones who are “getting it wrong”.

    Sinn Fein voters will give them no credit for ducking and dodging on the issue. Why should they? So it won’t win them any votes from that quarter. And its not as if the SDLP stand to lose a lot of transfers from Sinn Fein. The best evidence suggests that already around half of Sinn Fein’s voters in Newry and Armagh do not transfer to the SDLP even if they are the last nationalist left.

    For the sake of a handful of transfers they are prepared to sacrifice:
    1) party unity. Time and again history shows that voters punish disunited parties. And the price for that would be paid by SDLP candidates everywhere – including Newry and Armagh.

    2) tactical votes in South Down, Foyle and South Belfast. It’s not impossible that tactical votes from unionists, Alliance and Greens might be the only thing standing between retaining or losing one or all of these Westminster seats. If the party drops one of these seats the damage to its political credibility will cost all SDLP candidates everywhere votes in 2016 and beyond.

    3) transfers from Alliance, Greens and unionists in the later stages of PR elections everywhere.

    4) disillusion and disaffection from the substantial proportion of SDLP voters who dislike Sinn Fein as much as a substantial proportion of SF voters dislike the SDLP.

    The councillors have put their party in the position where either the Newry and Armagh councillors will have to totally back down or else the leadership and the rest of the party will have to totally back down.

    In politics the old maxim of hang together or hang apart still applies.

  • eiregain

    Your just the worst kind of person! just be quiet man your doing yourself no favours.

    With every word you support my hypothesis, that your an awful loyalist troll with zero imagination. you stand for the very thing our parents fought and died to prevent. Segregation-sectarianism-hatred-prejudice all hidden behind the veil of fake religion and BS entitlement.

  • Ernekid

    You lose the right of civil discourse when you continually post moronic and sectarian bile.

  • Jay

    Lol. If you’re going to feed the troll, do it properly man. Play along next time 😉

  • chrisjones2

    Was it something I said that annoyed you? Or my existence? Or all the smoking and vaping you claim to do??

    Other known side effects, according to the NIH, include:

    Feelings of panic, anxiety and fear (paranoia)
    Increased heart rate
    Trouble concentrating
    Decreased ability to perform tasks that require coordination
    Decreased interest in completing tasks

    When coming down from the high, users may feel depressed or extremely tired.

    While marijuana use produces a mellow experience ,,,,,,,,,,,,,, it can heighten agitation, anxiety, insomnia and irritability, according to the NIH.

  • chrisjones2

    The park name is not going to be changed so i think people should just get over it and move on.

    No thanks We will pass on that one

  • Catcher in the Rye

    you’re being trolled (again).

  • Catcher in the Rye

    The park name is not going to be changed so i think people should just get over it and move on

    Actually it might.

    Someone might sue the council under equality legislation (which naming a park after an IRA man must surely violate). If they do, the councillors will be told that if they don’t vote to change the name of the park, they’ll be liable for the legal costs in the event that the litigant is successful.

  • Guest

    I don’t partake on a regular basis in either tobacco alcohol or cannabis, i have a birthday that i celebrate wit some recreational use of these 3 and that’s about it. im just liberal and have friends that regularly use and have none of these side effects.
    Paranoia is as a result of illegality.
    Anxiety is an illness that has been proven to be lessened with measured cannabis levels, with none of the side effect related to anti depressants or anti anxiety medication, (which btw the list would go on for day the side effects of those) read up on uses for medical cannabis.

    increased heart rate is also a side effect of doing 5 press ups, whats your point… Your first drink of alcohol, was your Heart below 80 bpm? i doubt it.

    Concentration levels are hindered in some people and you shouldn’t drive or work under influence of any drug (including nicotine and caffeine as they distort our perceptions and stress levels)

    I have 2 friends that are young docters, a friend that is a body builder, at least 4 friends that do combat sports and many more that work 40 hour minimum weeks without ever smelling of it, looking like they have smoked, or talk about it like jay and silent bob.

    Ability to perform complex tasks is also not hindered, computer gamers, accountants, Sportsmen, programmers, teachers and IT support technicians, all with complex jobs that require high levels of concentration for long periods of time, All examples of friends of mine that smoke cannabis.

    It CAN heighten agitation anxiety and insomnia in those already suffering from such conditions. It certainly does not directly cause them. All the evidence if witnessed has shown it helps regulate diet and sleep for the ill. It helps with insomnia and stress whilst off-putting anxiety (it is not a cure) enabling people to function fully in society.

    Apathy is another non starter along with laziness. When taken into account that the people im talking about i could go on and on but i wont.

    No link to cancer, no link to any physical illness, loose correlation to mental illness (the same as every other recreational drug)

  • eiregain

    This is my second attempt at a reply to your comment. My first attempt was simply listing all the ways you are wrong. Its not a personal thing chris, (it honestly isnt, im sure your good craic… when your drunken). its the nonsense you speak

    Instead i only wish to say this…again

    “Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”

  • eiregain

    You can vote however you want. Its the crap you come out with to justify it angers me.

  • Jack Stone

    Do you have any actual evidence that McCreesh was actually involved in Kingsmill and that the weapon involved was his own? Except for some rumors from British Army “documents, Raymond McCreesh has never actually been linked to the crime. And even if he was, McCreesh became the third hunger-striker to die in the 1981 H-Block Hunger Strikes. Which made him a martyr to both Republicanism and to republicans in the local area. I’m confused. How is naming the playpark for McCreesh wrong when the public consultation showed overwhelming support within the community.

  • SDLP supporter

    The action of the nine SDLP councillors was gutless and was obviously pre-planned and co-ordinated cute hoorism. They weren’t ignoring a headquarters directive, they were flouting party policy as determined at Conference, and they will be made to pay the price.Three of them are retiring as from the end of March, one of them didn’t get elected to the new Council set-up. That leaves five-Carr, Donnelly, Fitzpatrick, Quinn and McAteer-and I sincerely hope, and expect, that none of them will go any further politically.

  • aber1991

    When the Prods are sectarian towards us, what could be wrong with us being sectarian towards them?

  • aber1991

    “just be quiet man”

    Is that an order? Please mind your manners. And please stop using the possessive adjective “your” when you mean “you are.”
    What is wrong with segregation when it keeps Catholics safe?
    What is wrong with meeting sectarianism with sectarianism?
    What is wrong with hating evil?
    What is wrong with being prejudiced against evil?

  • Zeno

    Twadell Avenue?

  • eiregain

    Safe? You have said that in a few posts. Safe from…?
    Prejudice is never ok.

    Seggregating our population into walled ghettos added turf wars to the list of things we have to fight over. integration is the only way to progress.

    It’s also inevitable.

    Forgiveness, atonement and tolerance is the order not fear, hate and ignorance.

  • Zeno

    Maye the SDLP got it wrong?

    The got it wrong when they elected Margaret Ritchie as Leader.

    They got it wrong when they elected Alastair McDonnell.

    If they get it right sometime it would be a bit of a shock to be honest.
    By naming the park SF are eye poking the Unionists……….. they will eye poke back. It’s standard politics in NI. Why is anyone even remotely surprised?

  • aber1991

    “Segregating our population into walled ghettos added turf wars to the list of things we have to fight over.”

    I approve of segregation. It says in the Bible “Come ye out from among them.”

    “Integration is the only way to progress”

    It is the best way to progress to a sectarian Armageddon.

  • pat mac giolla iosa

    morpheus your a self righteous twat!!!

  • Kevin Breslin

    Named after an unarmed unionist politican who was killed by the IRA. Very provocative that instead of instantaneously becoming republican he was treated as a marytr and honoured instead. Hardly worth comparison with Cromwell.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Who protected the 400 Catholics murdered by the IRA, other than perhaps the righteous among the wicked in the RUC and the SDLP. Who in the IRA was there to protect Irish nationalism when the Enniskillen bomb killed the legacy of the Hunger Strikers for a decade. Who in the IRA suggested the SDLP join Sinn Féin supporting the arm struggle and not the peace process if violence was giving Catholics back their rights.

  • Kevin Breslin

    400 Catholics killed by the IRA as well, nearly half of them were in the IRA.

  • Kevin Breslin

    No one thinks of or cares about the two unionist politicians, even if they did Sinn Féin voted in Derry to name the telehouse after unionist politician William Thompson. Aka Lord Kelvin. Craigavon and Twadell are failures of the Orange State, McCreesh park is a failure of the Green State.

    Bit less senative to name a place after someone who attempted to kill someone currently alive isn’t it?

    McCreesh can be remembered in other ways rather than driving another person to suicide.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Incidentially Cromwell street is occupied by Catholics and foreigners, no loyalists at all. Personally I think it should and could have its name changed easily by BCC if SF Alliance and the SDLP supported a change but no will in SF to support that one. Mecca Street perhaps?

  • aber1991

    “No one thinks of or cares about the two unionist politicians”
    How do you know? Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander.
    If it is all right to name public property after Protestant bigots, why could it be wrong to name public parks after Catholic freedom fighters? As Austin Currie put it in 1968, after the first Civil Rights march was stopped from entering the centre of Dungannon, “Why should town centres be reserved for Unionist parades?”
    The basic issue concerning this controversy about the naming of the play park is that most Protestants just cannot accept parity of esteem. We saw in in 1986 when a Catholic parade was banned from the centre of Portadown. A Protestant parade was allowed to march there a few weeks later. Blatant Prod privilege. Not content with that, the Prods then marched down the Garvaghy Road – an act of war by Prods against Catholics.
    So we are still at the basic question – are we going to have parity of esteem or continued Prod privilege? How much longer is the 12th July going to be a public holiday while the 15th August is not?

  • aber1991

    Twadell was a Unionist politician who was waging a hate campaign against Catholics. He was murdering with his tongue.

  • aber1991

    “Who protected the 400 Catholics murdered by the IRA”

    The same people who did not protect the 800 Catholics murdered by the Protestants.

  • Zig70

    Anything that points out unionist hypocrisy is a vote winner. The problem is the SDLP Leadership doesn’t have the ability to puff chests and point to the glass houses. Whataboutery isn’t fashionable here but it is a main stay of NI politics. It demonstrates why the SDLP lost government as they fall to mumbling under critic and couldn’t be trusted to stand up to the dup. I don’t agree with the naming but I’ll not suffer any finger pointing from unionists.

  • aber1991

    “It’s a public, taxpayer funded, playpark and as such should be neutral”

    I agree with you BUT the Prods do not – except when public property is named after a Catholic. Taxpayer funded property in Northern Ireland has often been named after anti-Catholics. And State-owned schools are controlled by the Protestant Churches.

  • Jack Stone

    There are streets named after plenty of offensive people with things named after them (Cromwell, Chichester, Queen Victoria, Nelson Mandela who led a a successful hunger strike on Robben Island, Sir Henry Havelock). I am confused. Penny Lane (from the Beatles song) is named after a slave trader. They did the leg work, during the public consultation on the review of the naming of Raymond McCreesh Park, the people of the council spoke and only a fraction wanted the name changed. What percentage of people does it have to offend for them to be forced to change a name? 2% of the people living there? Less? Does it take just one person?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Killing Catholics did not stop killing of Catholics, just as killing Protestants did not stop killing of Catholics. Maybe you should get a job rather than pretending you are the pro-union defender of the faith, no faith is defended when fear and anger drives you to kill. SDLP’s passifist stance scared a few loyalists into killing two members, neither paramilitary aggression achieved much until they surrendered arms.

  • Kevin Breslin

    There is no greater arguement being made for the Union than that the IRA who had killed many unionists (quite a few nationalists and others too) both civilian and state will be in charge of the means of abusing power in the state.

    History lessons where Enniskillen is seen as a good thing and unarmed people being killed to seize power in Ireland is a nightmare that destroys even a diplomatic meeting of the minds.

    That’s why some say Sinn Féin is the strongest pro-union political force there is, they are a bigger push factor against unity than the unionists parties are a pull factor to the union.

    Even acknowledging the humanity of the enemies of the republican movement can be a visceral problem to them, so why shouldn’t Sinn Féin be seen as a green version of Carson’s Orange state with the same need to discriminate against opposition?

    Yet it is really easy not to be this way.

  • Kevin Breslin

    You can’t kill with your tongue. End of argument.

  • Kevin Breslin

    How is it a parity to put those who died on both side at the bottom and those who killed at the top. The amount of collateral damage of the Troubles alone will segregate, agitate and impoverish people for generations to come until people get fed up with the inertia and take up arms again.

    One cohesive state in troll to the defence of collective bitterness.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Holylands, keep it in the Middle East. Bit ridiculous Cromwell or Cameron was included anyway, neither had any connection to the Holylands … India in some ways does.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I’m fairly sure Twadell was a random unionist politician when any unionist politician would do. Similar logic existed on the loyalist side… “can’t get a RA-man, get a Taig”

  • Kevin Breslin

    India Street, Palestine Street, Jerusalem Street, Damascus etc. … Cromwell Road and Cameron Street are pretty much in the Botanic/Holylands region.

  • Croiteir

    No – the opposition of terrorism from a foreign state

  • Kevin Breslin

    I disagree he was a murderer because I believe in due process, he certainly has been proven to be a murderer simply because at one stage he handled a murder weapon. Ballybot named the playpark and whether there is a sign up or not they can call it what they want. I myself could call this forum Slugger O Fools if I wanted. I just find it odd that the SDLP in some lightweight attempt to appear nationalistic surrendered principle to milk the hunger strikers like Sinn Féin or play Poncious Pilate here, is there no room in any Irish nation for IRA victims even UDR or British Army ones, in the peace process era. Didn’t republicans like Connoly go from following British orders to Irish nation building?

    Wasn’t the IRA’s own Séan Mac Stiofan from that ilk?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Or perhaps privatize the park to the people of the area.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Sinn Féin have been relying on unionist hypocricy for 12 years and they haven’t gotten more than 29 out of 108 MLAs as a result. Irish unity exclusively in the Sinn Féin manner requires another 25 seats when the party barely gains a seat per election.

    Tiofaidh Ár Change of Strategy perhaps?

  • Kevin Breslin

    The IRA were an anti-socialist movement, Séan Mac Stiofan despised not only the SDLP, but People’s Democracy and Irish Labour, he hated the left wing direction both the officials and the IRSP were taking.

    He also managed to recruit the Claudy bomber from the Catholic clergy. Don’t give me this IRA were left wing rubbish, vast majority of civilians killed by the IRA weren’t rich middle class politicians and legal people, never once did they kill a banker or a property speculator but they did kill working class shopkeepers and public sector workers, and kill working class people in loyalist areas which only escalated the Troubles … Victims of a stupid economic war on random highly occupied commercial centres the revisionists pretend never happened.

  • Croiteir

    It is perfectly valid for people to name their public spaces as they see fit – I do not care if there is a Lenny Murphy St in the Shankill. Just move on. Unfortunately unionism is wanting to dictate again.

  • Zeno

    You can’t change the name of Cromwell St , republicans would be offended.

  • Zeno

    SF are about as far to the left as Franco.

  • carl marks

    what’s it like down there.

  • carl marks

    well you did say something that annoyed me and I am sure shocked everybody who read it,
    remember you claimed the nail bomb thrown at primary schoolgirls as a narrative as “it was thrown at the police protecting and beside the girls” so excuse us when we are amazed at your concern for innocent victims (it doesn’t seem to be as strong when its innocent Catholic’s), back in the day the phrase; more faces than the albert clock would be used.

  • carl marks

    what have you done to protect Catholic’s!

  • tmitch57

    Maybe its time to appoint a commission with representatives from both ethnic communities to discuss the renaming of a number of public sites–parks, bridges, streets, etc. The idea would be to examine if names are offensive and why. Guidelines could be created for naming of future public spaces and which present sites should be renamed.

  • chrisjones2

    What I said is exactly true. Go back and look at the reports at the time and stop relying on SF propaganda.

    If you don’t believe me read that well known bastion of Loyalist propaganda The Guardian

    And by the way what the Prods did at Holy Cross was terrible / awful / whatever else you want to call it . But your allegations aren’t true and the problem is that repeating all the mindless lies and propaganda like that just makes it harder to find any solutions to problems

    The very fact that you are ‘;shocked’ to hear me say this shows how much you have conned!

    Now when you have read that ask yourself this. Why were you so shocked and so keen to believe one narrative and not another?

    Then when you look at the edjits standing at Twaddell ( and their fellow knuckle draggers in Ardoyne) you may start to understand the problem in getting agreement in North Belfast. They dont want to agree. They all want to believe their own versions just – I suspect – like you, but no doubt you will tell me if I am wrong and we can have a civilised discussion about it

  • aber1991

    I disagree.

  • chrisjones2

    why just Catholics…dont Prods, Jews, Hindus, Gay People all deserve protecting too

  • chrisjones2

    Who is us? Is you Catholicism all you have to define your life? Like some refugee from a Father Ted Seminary

  • chrisjones2

    Do you have any actual evidence that McCreesh was actually involved in Kingsmill and that the weapon involved was his own?

    No He was just part of the IRA unit that did it and was caught on another job a short distance away holding one of the guns that was used in it. So there is no evidence at all

  • chrisjones2

    Yeah…… SF knock your door. We want to rename this park after our well known local hero and murderer sir. Would you like to (dare) object? No.Good. Sign here

  • chrisjones2

    State-owned schools are controlled by the Protestant Churches.

    Really? Which ones?

  • chrisjones2

    Sf always champion equal rights where it benefits the people of Eire.

    DOes that include the right to be poisoned by the waste from fuel laundering? Although I suppose as we all share the water it may well do

  • Am Ghobsmacht


    You seem like a reasonable chap so I’ll ask you as cordially as I can:

    Your party of choice (SF) have openly stated the following:

    “We need to respect the right of all citizens to celebrate one’s culture and identity in an acceptable manner, while recognising and respecting the perceptions of those who may view such displays as overtly sectarian, intimidating and indeed threatening in nature.

    Failure to do so, perpetuates division and instability.”


    “2. No paramilitary flags, displaying symbols or names, and regimental military flags (e.g. Parachute Regiment) on display in public places….”

    The following is the definition of the word ‘paramilitary’:

    ” paramilitary



    adjective: paramilitary; adjective: para-military


    organized similarly to a military force.

    “illegal paramilitary groups”


    noun: paramilitary; plural noun: paramilitaries; noun: para-military; plural noun: para-militaries


    a member of a paramilitary organization.”

    Raymond McCreesh clearly fits the 2nd part of the definition.

    How can you sincerely recommend that we ‘just get over it’ when your party of choice clearly violates their own code?

    Should you not be demanding that they stick to their ‘principles’?

    This always descends into a ‘well what about unionists?’ row, so let me point out that I don’t support any of the main unionist parties so don’t try and dump their crap at my door.

    The only way out of this is to concede that they have clearly breached their own principles or start some sort of lawyer-like argument about the definition of ‘paramilitary’ vs ‘paramilitarist’ or the even flimsier ground that it is fully fledged sign and not a ‘flag’.

    But if you have to take the Lionel Hutz route then you’re obviously on thin ice which in itself should be a cause of reflection.

  • chrisjones2

    “the selling out of the working class in favour of big business”

    yes …by trying to get them jobs and cutting benefits if they wont work. Shocking

  • chrisjones2

    On your logic how do we know the Pope is Catholic? Hes just been seen in the Vatican dressed as the Pope and behaving like Pope’s do

    You are just wriggling to try and avoid the issue. He was a sectarian killer

  • chrisjones2

    There are no ethnic groups. We are all the same ethanicity

  • chrisjones2

    But Marty promised a UI in 2016 at one stage

  • chrisjones2

    Yeah but Gerry claims he has a trampolining dog.

  • chrisjones2

    Sf always champion equal rights where it benefits the people of Eire.

    Does that include all the ones they buried on beaches and in bogs or shot down on the streets like Gerry McCabe

  • Jack Stone

    Ray McCreesh was not the only man linked to that firearm.Right? I mean the same evidence which linked that firearm to Kingsmill also linked that firearm to two other men. According to the HET, there are three people linked to that firearm. So what evidence do you have that it was not one of those two other men?

  • Jack Stone

    I think you underestimate the respect of the Hunger Strikers (while perhaps not Ray McCreesh in particular). Remember over 4,000 people attended McCreesh’s funeral in Camlough (including 60 priests). Ray McCreesh died during non-violent protest and I think you underestimate the affection for that act among SDLP voters. Sure Bobby Sands is much easier to support but Ray McCreesh, the local boy, has plenty of local support. I find it interesting that McCreesh died protesting the criminalization of his arrest and today nationalists are still fighting now against the criminalization.

  • Jack Stone

    Not all that long ago. Things got named after convicted terrorist (and Sinn Fein supporter) Nelson Mandela pretty recently. Public funding goes to Orange Marchers with bands that have clearly sectarian names or who, in the past, have done sectarian acts. Is your argument that all state funding goes to causes that are neutral and welcoming to all?

  • Jack Stone

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary.

    Ethnicity: (N) – The fact or state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition

  • tmitch57

    I’m surprised to see you drinking the republican kool-aid. Ethnicity is defined by three things: a common past, a common religion, and a common language. The two main political communities in NI are divided by 2.5 of these three things: unionists and nationalists have separate historical narratives stemming from different geographic origins and separate religious denominations, and although they both use English as their common language the debates over Irish reveal starkly different attitudes towards it. Many nationalists regard English as a language forced upon them, whereas unionists regard Irish as either a republican weapon or a waste of public funds or both.