Sinn Fein reps will attend events during the visit of Prince Charles

A noteworthy announcement from the Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams tonight which confirms that party representatives will attend a number of events during Prince Charles visit to Ireland.

Speaking about how the party made its decision and the symbolism of it Adams said;

The Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle meeting in Kilkenny yesterday discussed the upcoming visit of the Prince Charles to Ireland.

At the time of the announcement of the visit I said that it should be an opportunity to promote reconciliation and build on the good work done by Martin McGuinness and the English Queen.

Prince Charles is the Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment. A regiment of the British Army that has been responsible for killing of many Irish citizens including in Derry, Ballymurphy, Springhill and other communities across the north.

But he also has been bereaved by the actions of republicans.


Thankfully the conflict is over. But there remains unresolved injustices. These must be rectified and a healing process developed.

There is a responsibility on us all to promote reconciliation and seek to promote healing.

It is with that in mind that the Ard Chomhairle decided that Sinn Féin representatives will attend a number of events during this visit.

I always like to see this type of engagement. I know they can be regarded with scepticism, but I think that these events in the long term do help ease tensions in some quarters and both sides deserve some credit for taking part in them.

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  • Granni Trixie

    Greater diversity in participation of this site is,I’m sure, welcomed by most.
    But surely the need to encourage perspectives of women and unionists ought not to trump expectations that such contributors express themselves less rudely than “Sharon”? BTW,part of the problem in assessing what “she” means in postings is an apparent absence of irony/humour. Or are they all a wind up/trolling exercise?

    I would also like to know precise examples of where misogyny is at play here for even as one who identifies as ‘feminist’ I honestly don’t see it.

  • victorvodka

    A quick handshake followed with a bounce on Gerrys trampoline.

  • PeterBrown

    Interesting that you have drawn a comparison with the Nazis not me but in any event it is tosh that is not just written in its rules but fundamental to the ethos and practices of the organisation and reflected throughout the rest of its rules and practices.

  • Alan N/Ards

    John, What I was trying to say was that if the GAA is a game for all religions then it makes it harder for Protestants in Tyrone to become involved, if the whole team and support staff are attending a special mass en route to the game. To be honest, I would love to see a lot of Protestants and Unionists getting involved with the sport. I watched the game on Sunday and enjoyed it. If religion and politics were kept out of it then hopefully PUL participation will be possible. Fingers crossed.

  • Jag

    So, both Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles have formally met with the leaders of Irish Republicanism.

    And yet, neither will meet with the Loyal Orange Order, an organisation the British monarch regards as sectarian and “ghastly”.

  • KMac

    Why do unionists/protestants find it so hard to become involved in GAA? Flags and anthems? How petty. There are flags and anthems at IFA games, both international and domestic, yet as someone stated above plenty of catholics/nationalists take part in those.

  • barnshee

    British state pensioner meets royalty can an MBE be far behind

  • KMac

    I suppose if the All Ireland final took place on Royal Ave and protestants were barred from taking part I could get behind your comparison.

  • barnshee

    Suggest U mug up on Venn Diagrams -useful teaching aid and er Establishments teach rather than learn spelling.
    We have already established that NI fails to pay its way The GAA-along with the IFA and IRFU are” bleeding the UK taxpayer”
    (PS I agreed not a red cent to any of them)

  • John Collins

    Well I think the ban on so called foreign games in Croke Park would have gone much earlier if it was not for the emotional history of the place in relation to its ‘Bloody Sunday’ history.

  • John Collins

    Not entirely true. The most famous trophy in the GAA is the Sam McGuire Cup and it commemorates a Protestant gentleman. Over the years a number of Protestants have played inter county football and Leitrim had four Protestants on their panel at one time in the nineties

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    And you’re incapable of defending your own views as they simply don’t stand up to scrutiny hence your reliance on man-playing, innuendo and faux-outrage.

    You came on here bemoaning the lack of unionist input, did very little to defend the unionist cause and will probably depart very shortly ‘satisfied’ that Slugger O’Toole is indeed a ‘cold house for unionists’, mission accomplished.

    FYI, I find arguing the cause of the Union on here rather easy, there are a significant number of people on here of a Catholic background who are/could be sold on the merits of remaining within the UK and SF are singularly unable to deliver a UI and with each year that passes the more apparent this becomes.

    I think it’s a question of whether one considers the OI more important than the union, or the union to be more important than the OI.

    It’s a question that too few unionists are willing to consider, hence they come unstuck and revert to ill-tempered name-calling, question-avoiding and point-dodging, just like yourself.

    Time for a re-think Sharon, Edwardian era unionism is a dead end.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Utterly irrelevant to the questions posed to you.

  • Am Ghobsmacht


    Would you go so far as to say that maybe I’m a bit ‘racist’, ‘obsessed’,’ dishonest’, ‘chauvinist’ and prone to talking ‘nonsense’….?
    Go on now, I asked outright and therefore have no right to play the man-playing card in this instance.
    You can simply say ‘yes’ and no need to expand if you don’t wish to.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Surely the Queen and Prince Charles are now ‘Lundies’?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Did you ever read Jeremy Paxman’s book on the royals? The opening chapter portrays their life as little more than a gilded cage, no way I’d swap places with them (well, maybe with some anonymous duke, but certainly not a big wig).

  • Alan N/Ards

    Hi Kmac, Thousands of us unionists have been travelling to Landsdowne/Aviva for decades and have stood for your anthem in a respectful manner. There’s nothing petty about us. We might not like it but we do it because we enjoy the game of rugger. The IRFU, unlike the GAA, is just a sporting organisation and that is the difference ( in my humble opinion).

    Hopefully things will change. The dropping of the ban on British Army servive men/women and police members in NI was a good move. Unfortunately, the refusal of 5 of the 6 counties in NI to meet the Queen a few years ago hasn’t endeared them to Unionists. Fair play to the Co. Down board on showing Unionists the hand of friendship. That’s the way to go. Looking forward to the day when all the counties in Ulster (9 counties) take a lead from Down, and shook, horror, Gerry Adams.

    BTW, I actually love the game of Gaelic football and it’s a shame I didn’t play it my youth, but hopefully some young lads from the PUL community will be able to give it a go when the time is right.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Hi Kmac
    Just a point of order here, the NI players tend to either be professional footballers or certainly have ambitions to be professional footballers.

    So Windsor is either a stepping stone for them or something that comes with the job.

    Asking a young fella, from a (usually) a Protestant school to join a club where he will be in the minority is a big step and no doubt very intimidating.

    NI Protestants tend to have lukewarm feelings about tricolours and the like (at best!).

    For what it’s worth, I feel that there should be no GSTQ at Northern Ireland games nor ‘Ulster Flags’, likewise I don’t see any need for tri-colours at GAA games up north (and indeed, such is my ignorance, their use may be minimal, I don’t know but that is the impression and it’s an off putting impression at that).

  • Sharon Robinson

    No, your solution for Unionism was to shore our support in behind the SDLP. Your analysis is flawed.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Yes Sharon, that was my proposal.

    I’m thinking about Northern Ireland’s LONG TERM future, not a measly five year term for a unionist MP.

    So Mr Elliot won this time around.

    He may win again if he is not caught publicly between a rock and an orange place in the meantime (though I’m sure there will be plenty of baiting for him over the next few years) but that’ll be about the extent of it.

    After that, back to a nationalist MP.

    To go crawling to the SDLP at that point after all the hullaballoo of unionism’s ‘big victory’ could be greeted with cynicism at the very least.

    Short term victory, long term price to pay.

    So it’s a bit too early to tell if my analysis is flawed, come back to me in twenty years…

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “Am Gobsmacked is clearly trolling and has nothing positive to say about Unionism”
    I’ve plenty of good to say about the Union and the pro-Northern Ireland stance, the problem is that you haughtily think that you have some sort of right to determine what ‘unionism’ is.

  • Robin Keogh

    I dunno if i agree with your line there at all. My Brother is a full on born again christian living with his wife in the Welsh valleys, I am a full on Gay Catholic Shinner, yet when i stay with my bro I dont have an issue with tagging along to church with him and his missus. Going to mass or church is just a thing people do sometimes, u can opt out without a word said or you can just go along and be a little part of it

  • Robin Keogh

    The Irish nation just like many other nations reaches across its legally recognised borders, the same is tru all over europe where a contry’s kin can be found located in a state other than their metroplitan

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Turgon, I have been attempting to follow your demand of me some weeks back not to address you personally in a posting. But after the personal attacks above, I find I must break the rule. Your two postings above are simply mendacious, as will be clear to any unpartisan reader. You accuse me and others of “illiberal and highly misogynistic” comments. For myself, I was simply pointing out some misunderstandings Sharon is displaying in her comments in those postings I in which I answered her. How, in the eyes of any reasonable person, can anything I have said here be construed as other than at most playful?

    Your comments on Am Ghobsmacht target him personally and are unquestionably man playing, of a kind seemingly resorted to to silence any opinion you dislike and would use the treat of moderation to censor. He has been, as I understand his comments, wittily attempting to show Sharon just how very far from serious and constructive comment her postings are! In this he is attempting to help her improve the standard of her comment, this from, I would feel, the very best of motives. I am deeply concerned that serious and informed comment supporting the Union should be posted on the site, so that balanced and adult debate can occur, but simply cluttering the site with a “not an inch” right wing Unionism that mirrors the habits of the worst SF apologists does nothing to encourage that honest, serious dialogue which is the sites most valuable contribution to the life of our community.

    I am simply a flâneur on the site myself, but Am Ghobsmacht is one of its most valuable contributors. He posts some of the best and wittiest comment of any poster here. I feel both he and I deserve some apology for the characterisation you have posted above.

  • Am Ghobsmacht


    “I would also like to know precise examples of where misogyny is at play here

    An excellent suggestion, a line-up of examples for the public to examine and condemn us who have transgressed would be useful.

  • Turgon

    Thank you for that. I had noted the “likes” thing myself along with the plaintive cries from the man players of, ironically enough, man playing.

    You are also correct on the moderation. In the past when Mick was less busy he moderated the thing pretty tightly helped by the likes of Pete Baker, Fair Deal and others.

    The new crop of moderators are simply inadequate.

    Furthermore I agree that they seem far too willing to go with the flow and allow anti unionists much more leeway. i do not know whether this is political bias or cowardice in not willing to censure posters whose views are manifestly popular. However, it is turning Slugger into a “progressive” nationalist / republican echo chamber. This is particularly ironic as it was initially set up with the express purpose of obtaining unionists’ views.

    If any of the moderators (Mick excepted as he has always been fair and supportive) were interested they could easily call or email me. I will not, however, be holding my breath. I get the impression my contributions on this site are not exactly appeciated by some of the team and some would rather see me go.

  • David McCann


    Your contributions are welcomed. You have at times made me pull my hair out and have got me annoyed but never would I ever ban you from this site. I always welcome your point of view and the fact that you have blogging rights and some of the ppl you mentioned don’t if proof of where we rate you.

    Moderation is tricky, as the sites readership grows we get more comments. You mention in the past Slugger had tigher moderation, our moderation policy and procedures have not changed at all, it’s just with more readers than ever before and commenters things are harder to moderate.

    I don’t do an all guns blazing approach, I sort things quietly, whilst Mick can be more forthright. Anytime anybody has alerted me to bullying etc, I have been straight in and will continue to do so.

  • Alan N/Ards

    Robin, There is a difference between you and I attending a church service and a sporting organisation which, is open to people of all religions and of none. The Tyrone team did not need to attend a mass on the way to the game in Dublin. As an Ulster Rugby fan I don’t want the non protestant players ( if there are non protestants in the squad) to feel that there is an “official” team religion. Keep religion out of sport. Keep politics out of it and keep nationalism ( all kinds) and jingoism out of it as well. I hope that makes sense.

  • submariner

    Absolute tosh. Sharon stated to personally attack other posters most notably AG within a day or so of first posting here. She accused him of being a troll a lundy and the wrong type of unionist among other things from the get go and would not engage with AG. I suggest you might want to check out her time line of posts and post the evidence of her positivelyengaging with any poster she either considered as being a nationalist of heaven forbid the wrong type of Unionist. As for your point about the mods a quick look at sharons time line would suggest she got more of a bye ball than some other posters.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Indeed, they are forced simply by accident of by birth into what those in the US call a”cruel and unusual” lifestyle. And they do not even appear to have the right to freedom of speech.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    In a very real sense, in that poor Robert Lundy was compelled by circumstance to negotiate with his opponents. And that this perfectly normal part of how any siege was conducted by any professional soldier was so utterly misunderstood by the people of Derry that we have been hearing of “Lundy the Traitor” for three hundred years and more.

    Charlie, too……..

  • SeaanUiNeill

    While I fully agree with Turgon over the unacceptable comments from USA, I cannot see how he can even think of associating my rather “fey” contributions with USA’s overt aggression. And how he links the exasperated but good humoured attempts by Am Ghobsmacht to show Sharon what may be considered comment and what is simply insult and counter insult with such abusive attacks.

    I’m tempted to start strongly posting a “liberal Unionist” case myself alongside AG, just for the sake of some balance on the site, its not as if the case is in any way unfamiliar to me, coming from a family with strong Unionist roots. Turgon appears to have some trouble discriminating between normal argument and personal attack, something Mick has recently admonished him for on another thread. He is very ready to throw about “robust” threats of adjudication at anyone who has stated something even a touch different from his own Ex Cathedra statements. I utterly agree that courtesy and mutual respect should be the rule here, but Turgon is so remiss in these matters himself, I was astonished to find his postings criticising these characteristics in others earlier today.

    One of the problems of having a liberal imagination is that one wants to see diversity of option expressed here, and would never ask for any other poster to be expelled from the site, nor would rush to accuse someone offering reasonable criticism of ones ideas as “trolling”. I value much of what Turgon posts and have strongly supported his lead articles and up voted him at times. However, I cannot for the life of me even begin to understand where he is coming from associating my comments and Am Ghobsmacht’s comments with USA’s.

  • mac tire

    Thanks for that info, Seaan. It never dawned on me negotiations would frequently take place during a siege. I guess when you think about it, it makes perfect sense.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Lundy is a much misunderstood man, mac tyre. The charges against him were rapidly dismissed at his trial in London. He was declared “traitor” by the Jacobite Parliament in Dublin. His story is not the only propaganda myth of that war, but the poor man deserves some credit for starting negotiations to avoid a massacre in the event of the walls being breeched.

  • mickfealty

    Ernekid, Go and look up the commenting rules? If you cannot be ‘assed’ to make a proper argument without resorting to cheap insults, then don’t comment at all.

  • Turgon

    I think submariner the critical point here is yours of “positively engaging”. Many unionists have no interest in what anti unionists of their varying shades (and indeed self defined liberal unionists) regard as “positive engagement”. We contend for our views. We have no interest in faux civility; pretended meetings of minds etc.To quote a well worn phrase in a different context: Here we stand we can do no other.

  • mickfealty

    Thanks T.

    One of the protections of free speech online is our lack of pre-moderation. So it is simplistic and misleading to assume that because something has been said it has the approval of the moderation team.

    If I don’t know about it I cannot deal with it. If you know about it and don’t tell, I still don’t know about it.

    One of the important things here is that we have well established rules and a culture of pluralist engagement. That should mean there is no need for no micromanaging good behaviour.

    I have neither the time nor the money to be spending half my life teaching grown ups how to behave civilly and properly towards one another.

    I welcome Sharon’s arrival. It is a good and joyous thing to see a woman and unionist enter the fray and take no prisoners. The “Are Sharn’ thing is largely a white flag of scunderedness on USA’s part.

    But whilst you are using the bully pulpit to tell some home truths, what exactly do you mean when you say Lundyite? If you mean something specific, fine, I’m happy to let it roll.

    But if you are just playing the man then, as we both know, you have form on that and blogging rights convey little privilege in that regard.

    Now, calm down all of you. Or I’ll come back with the ‘wooden spoon’ to tan yer hides with… If you catch my drift?

  • Turgon

    Although less overtly aggressive than USA your and AG’s behaviour towards Sharon and others was and is bullying. That it is a more upmarket form of bullying makes it no less a form of bullying.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Then please, Turgon, explain to the readers what you imagine to be my “bullying” and “misogyny” in some proper detail, and do not simply blacken my name, and Am Ghobsmacht’s, with vague innuendo. Dissenting comment is not “bullying” in most reasonable people’s book.

    Particularly, I would value learning which of my comments on this thread could in any manner be considered as “bullying Sharon” or as “highly misogynist when faced, by horror of horrors: a unionist woman.” I am at a loss to understand on what grounds these accusations have been made.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “We have no interest in faux civility”, Turgon, so on what moral grounds are you accusing others of “a more upmarket form of bullying”, pray? I would value some detailed explanation of how you are able to accuse others of this “upmarket form of bullying”, while having posted comments such as those to Jeffrey Peel eleven days ago:

    “Quit man playing. The principle is identical. You attacked not my views but who I am on this website. You are as I said before a hypocrite and utterly opporunistic. How exactly would knowing my real name advance this discussion. If you actually wanted it the email is real and you could ask for it.

    Instead after losing the argument you have degenerated to passive aggressive man playing. Keep going though the hole you are digging gets bigger by the sentence.”

    I’d value a clear explanation of what may be regarded as the significant difference between honestly contending “for our views” and what may be considered as “upmarket bullying.” I am at a loss to understand how what you are saying to Jeffery Peel here differs from what you so rightly are criticising in some others.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Mick, I fully agree with Turgon that Sharon Robinson has been attacked with considerable nastiness and some overt misogyny throughout this thread by USA, but why does this give him licence to associate perfectly innocuous comment such as those I’ve posted on this thread, which he describes as” highly misogynist when faced, by horror of horrors: a unionist woman” and below as “upmarket bullying” with those of USA? I cannot but see this insufferable “slur by association” as anything but a most unreasonable instance of man-playing. I have asked him to explain his comments about me, and await response.

  • mickfealty

    It doesn’t. And don’t like getting dragged into petty personal arguments that have no place on Slugger.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you Mick for that breath of sanity. I have no wish to waste time, that of mine and others, on such sterile exchanges. As you say, it has “no place on Slugger.”

    I cannot imagine that Turgon can substantiate his accusations, and would hope matters can all be left at that.

  • Am Ghobsmacht


    Perhaps you are surrounded with people so witless and numbed in their critical faculties that they are unable to spot Grima Wormtongue-esque blackguarding, but it doesn’t mean that the rest of the world can’t see through it.

    If I have said anything wrong, hurtful, insulting or whatever to Sharon then feel free to highlight it and we’ll then compare that to her list of derision, high-handedness, outright insults, question dodging and innuendo e.g. “your kind”.

    Then we’ll see who could be better described as a bully.

    I have pursued her when she ran from questions, but no more so than I have with others such as Mc Sleggart (another fan of one sentenced replies with a sting in the tail), Tacapall, Robin Keogh, Harry Flashman (whose contributions I
    miss) and others.

    Never before has it been suggested that this was bullying, indeed I recall you explaining the laws of the jungle to a newbie once upon a time who was whinging about his perceived rough treatment.

    But now that I’m involved, your stance has shifted from this pragmatic stance to a “poor diddums” one.

    As usual, you’ll not be able to back up any of your claims regarding myself (or Seaan either I imagine) and will instead leave it to the power of your dark-tinged suggestions to insinuate that I (and others) have done something wrong.

    It’s fine by me, I have a healthy regard for your typical S ‘OT reader and believe that most of them can see through your “I’m-not-saying-AG-is-Hitler-but-I’ve-never-seen-him-and-Hitler-in-the-same-room-at-the-same-time….just-saying”
    style of subtle character assassination.

    Sharon has ample material now with which to give me what-for.

    I dropped my guard a bit, if she wants to strike one for not-an-inch unionism then there’s plenty of rope there with
    which to hang me.

    A defence of unionism does not need insult, innuendo or subtle man playing to makes its case.

    Mainland Ulsterman is a good example of this and he should be applauded for his restraint when dealing with those who seek to goad him into losing his composure.

    Rather than offering a ‘there there Sharon, it’s those pesky Lundies’ support to Sharon perhaps you could encourage her to systematically de-construct my points rather than reverting to insult or high-handedness (and yes, I did notice your
    advice to her regarding language).

    I’m curious as to whether (in the event that you lower yourself to respond to me) your answer be a full and complete addressing of the points raised or a good old fashioned ‘fob-off’ or the ever more frequent ‘cherry picked’ answer revolving around a minor part of the post that makes a deflection look like an answer.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Out of curiosity, during Sharon’s brief stay on Slugger, how often was she called up for her high-handedness, derisory remarks or outright name-calling by the moderators?

    As far as I can see the only person urging her to use a more temperate tone was Turgon (though I’m open to correction).

    In effect the moderators too “let this pass”?

    She was given a great deal of latitude , possibly, just possibly because she was a new unionist poster.

    In which case (if true) then the moderators were giving her some sort of free pass which would then suggest that their own ‘prejudices’ might not be as stark as you are seemingly suggesting.

    In the interests of consistency should she also not have been warned about her tone (at the very least)?

  • Starviking

    She is officially the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – as England is not a sovereign nation.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I think the crucial point is that he has highlighted oversights in BE25’s post.

    Submariner pointed out that Sharon was aggressive almost from the word go.

    He also highlighted that she received little or no reprimanding for her tone, insults or man-playing. This would suggest some sort of leniency..

    Now, for the rest of us who do want to ‘engage’ can you clearly stipulate what satisfies your criteria for worthy engagement?

    What does it take to get you to address a point?

    I used to get annoyed at Martin McGuiness and his lot for never answering questions, faux outrage, MOPEry and feigned injury, it would now appear that SF have been eclipsed in this regard.

    “Here we stand, might as well answer a few questions while we’re at it…”

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Hi Robin, I appreciate your sentiment and would agree with it for most countries, but not in Northern Ireland.

    For many people such a thing is, like Ron Burgundy, “kind of a big deal”.

    But yes, in other parts of the world it’s not an issue at all.

  • Spike

    Cant a person from northern Ireland be a person but also hugely proud of being Irish and proud of their Irish culture which the GAA promotes (it does not promote Catholicism). Should people from NI yearn for the rest of Ireland to join them in the union rather than try to be little England?