Some People Just Want To Watch The World Burn

One of these images is a view from my apartment block on bonfire night 2014… one of these is a scene from 2004 zombie-flick Dawn of the Dead…

Bonfire 2 dawn-of-the-dead-sequel

 

The entire area becomes uninhabitable for the night, you physically cannot leave your house unless you’re willing to navigate your way through crowds of overly-intoxicated, often threatening bonfire attendees, if a resident was to have a medical emergency, the consequence doesn’t bear thinking about. This isn’t culture. This is a riot.

The bonfire site itself is on private land which until last year was a surface car park, prior to the 2014 event the car park ceased trading, with concrete blocks placed at the entrances and exits. I asked the driver of a lorry delivering the blocks what had happened as the car park always seemed busy, he told me that the company wouldn’t put up with the damage to the facility each year and giving up around one third of its property for the summer months.

The bonfire has year on year damaged my apartment building, the heat cracking panes of glass in apartments and in the foyer of the building, the building management agent has to hire private security for the apartment building after one year when a large group of drunken revellers followed a resident through the front entrance and caused not insignificant damage to the lobby, the lifts and in the internal garage.

Here is a picture of that glorious moment that elicits raucous cheers from those attending and fear from those in nearby properties. I believe if memory serves that this is from 2012, and here’s a video of the same year.

Bonfire 2013b 

This is what bonfire night is to me.

It isn’t a celebration of culture. It is an excuse to run amok, knowing full well that the police dare not fully intervene unless absolutely necessary for fear of causing a much bigger issue to develop. Last year I had someone selling drugs underneath my balcony and no end of people urinating against the building directly underneath my and every other window in the building… when the police were called, nothing was being done for fear of exacerbating the situation, and if we’re honest… how would they know which reveller to arrest if they did arrive.

This site in particular is directly next to Days Hotel, and within full view of at least 2 other large-occupancy hotels, it is probably the closest bonfire to Belfast city centre, and what a way to promote our city. within 60 seconds of arriving at Northern Ireland’s busiest railway station, you are currently faced with this:

Bonfire 4

 

Which, if last year is anything to go by, will very shortly come to look like this, 2014’s bonfire.

Bonfire 3

 

This is from 2013,

Bonfire 2013

 

Anyone heading to the south of the city on Great Victoria Street will see this wonderful display of culture.

We are constantly being berated with the soundbite of the PUL community being under attack, feeling like the culture isn’t being respected, that the PSNI/assembly/council/parades commission/insert other offender here [delete as appropriate] are oppressing the right to express culture and history. Well isn’t that nice and ironic.

This isn’t a case of me being a NIMBY, I feel it should not be in ANYONE’s backyard. If bonfires are culturally and historically significant (something I’ve yet to come to understand) then hold them on land that the bonfire operators own, not on public land or someone else’s private land.

This is an excuse for drunken sectarianism for the most part and criminal damage en masse. I suppose the PUL community who do undertake this “tradition” feel it’s fine to pollute through burning wood/furniture/tyres etc because if they didn’t, they would be considered green.

It’s because of events like this that I find it harder and harder to see anything with that community that I recognise. That community that I grew up in, I remember playing amongst the pallets and the giant wooden cable spindles in orangefield park before the bonfire was assembled, and it mortifies me how that may have made people feel. There was an assisted living community just over the dual carriageway from the bonfire site, how did the actions of 10 year old me and everyone else involved contribute to vulnerable people not feeling safe in their own homes. I’m neither frail or infirm but I don’t feel safe in my own home on bonfire night. Last year when I attempted to take this picture

Bonfire 1

 

I was politely informed by a drunken local below that, and I’m paraphrasing here, it might be preferable for me to return inside my apartment or perhaps I would be on the receiving end of a gunshot wound. How wonderful this culture is, we should definitely all rally round and support those in the community who perpetrate this mass civil disorder.

If the PUL community want wider society to stop viewing them as miscreants with little better to do than protest/riot/rinse/repeat, perhaps they should get their own house in order first.

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  • Zeno

    It’s a bit like their version of the Ardoyne Fleadh, only bigger.

  • Sp12

    Much much bigger yes, and longer, and much more widespread.
    But that’s what I mean by a central tenet.

  • Thomas Girvan

    In my recollection of bonfires in the 1960s and living in Bryson street in what is now a part of Short Strand the bonfire was an activity that involved the kids of both Protestant, and Catholic.
    We collected the wood together and had the bonfire on the street.
    It wasn’t mega big and there was no burning of tricolours, but it was a night that all the street enjoyed.
    Not so now, I wonder what happened in between?

  • Trevorabh

    This sounds a familiar complaint that recent movers into an area come up with. The arch at Glengormley, parade in Crumlin, flags on Ormeau Road are some examples.

  • fortunetellersee

    St. John’s Eve in old Ireland
    by Bridget Haggerty

    At sunset on June 23rd, another of the ancient fire festivals begins. This midsummer festival was known as St. John’s Eve, or Bonfire Night, and not that long ago, it was a wide-spread tradition throughout Ireland.

    The following description is edited from a piece written in 1943 by an old schoolmaster who lived in West Limerick:

    “…old people of thirty years ago and more remembered how the fire used to be lit exactly at sunset and had to be watched and tended until long after midnight. Prayers use to be said to obtain God’s blessing on the crops, then at the peak-point of summer bloom.

    Round the fire gathered young and old. There was much fun and music; a dance was started and games were played while some young men competed in casting weights or in feats of strength, speed or agility. I gathered that it was mostly women who shared in the prayers for the gardens and for good weather. Neglect in this respect might lead to a bad harvest or cause “the white trout not to come up the river” as they usually did with the mid-summer floods.

    Unless the weather proved too cold, summer swimming in the river began on St. John’s Day and the observance of the festival was supposed to eliminate all danger of drowning.

    …in my early youth near Knockaderry, County Limerick, I remember a curious custom repeated each St. John’s Eve. The young people used to gather from the marshy ground near the river Deel the large leaf and strong stem the hocusfian as it was called and each youth armed with one of these went around lightly striking each person that he or she met. This was supposed to protect those who were struck from illness and evil influences during the coming year. Afterwards, the hocus stems were thrown into the fire. Here, too, people threw into the fire specimens of the most troublesome weeds in the district – this was supposed to protect the fields from these weeds.

    Old people told me that it was customary to jump over the fire from side to side. Some wise elder claimed to be able to tell, from the manner of jumping and the flickering of the fire, whether the jumpers were guilty or not of certain misdemeanors, such as theft or misbehavior with women.

    Some people used to take the ashes from the fire then extinct on St. John’s morning to scatter them on their fields. At the close of the festival too about after midnight any man who had built a new house or had nearly completed it took from the bonfire a shovel of red hot sods to his new home so that the very first fire there would be started by the ceremonial bonfire.

    About the year 1905 a very old man told me that his grandfather had told him that in his young day – in the late 18th century – the young men used to walk through the fields with lighted torches and then cast these into the fire. This was supposed to bring a blessing on the fields and protect the crops from harm.

    It was widely believed that a house built on a path frequented by the fairies and other such uncanny travellers would suffer from midnight noises or supernatural manifestations. Perhaps too, ill luck in the farm or personal illness might afflict the family. One remedy for these evils was to bring on St. John’s Eve portion of the blessed fire and to build with them on the path in several places small fires which would be left burning until morning.

    It was also customary that small objects of piety, such as rosary beads, little statues or scapulars, when they became broken or worn out were destroyed without disrespect by being burned in the Midsummer Fire.”

    While this very-much abbreviated description of St. John’s Eve still captures this writer’s imagination, it overlooks the fact that there used to be two very distinctive fire traditions. The first was the one the old school master mentions – the large communal bonfire assembled and lit by the residents of an entire townland or village – and sometimes the whole parish! But, the equally as important tradition that he doesn’t mention is the one where small fires were lit by individual households. In contrast to the revelries of the community event, these were quiet occasions where the main concern was in observing the protective rituals. About the only merry-making one might have witnessed was younger children playing around the fire.

    But, enough of the peace and quiet. Back to the fun and frolic of a community festival!

    For several days beforehand, children and young people went from house to house asking for donations for the blessed fire. It was considered very unlucky to refuse. In fact, at some fires, the names of generous donors were called out and the crowd would cheer. But then, the names of the miserly were also announced and these were greeted with jeers and catcalls.

    Imagine what it must have been like. Around the fire were assembled all the people of the locality – from the smallest children to the oldest men and women. As the sun set, the fire was lit. Usually, this honor was given to a knowledgeable elderly man who would say the traditional prayer for the occasion. One verse of this prayer is:

    In the honor of God and St. John, to the fruitfulness and profit of our planting and our work, in the the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

    In many places, the older people continued the preliminary proceedings with more prayers. Afterwards, the merry-making began. As the flames and sparks shot up, loud cheers would arise from the crowd, horns were blown and some people beat on tin cans. The musicians struck up and the young men asked their partners to dance. In-between sets, songs were sung, storys were told, and soloists – musician or dancer – demonstrated their talents. By now the fire would be well ablaze. People leapt through the flames for luck in a new venture, or marriage, when trying for a baby, for good health and for self-purification. Farmers leapt high so their crops would grow tall. In many places, a young woman and man would join hands and jump together. Often, this was nothing more than a mere flirtation, but onlookers took it for granted that there was some intention of marriage between the pair. Some observers would even go as far as to predicting the outcome of such a union by the way the flames flickered as the couple jumped!

    It was indeed, a grand time enjoyed by all. But, perhaps the best part of celebrating a Celtic festival is that it continues until sunset the next day. So, for more on the traditions and customs of Midsummer in old Ireland, click for St. John’s Eve, Part Two.

    http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/StJohnsEve.html

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Trevor, maybe you’ll be able to come up with a response that isn’t whataboutery. There’s a perfectly reasonable response to brothel keeping – call the police. And unlike this business with bonfires, the police will enforce the law. Brothels in blocks like this are raided all the time.

    Of course it probably doesn’t help that the representatives elected by the loyal people of Sandy Row pushed through a prohibition on prostitution rather than exploring ways to regulate it to ensure that it can be taken out of communities such as this one. But hey.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    ortunately, loyalists don’t support murderous movements on the scale, historically or currently, that republicans do.

    Oh, of course they don’t. That’s why unionist politicians pursue the removal of UVF, UDA and UFF flags and murals adorning loyalist neighbourhoods with such energetic zeal.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    I was referring to your complaint about the apartment block overshadowing the houses.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    It’s not a strawman. Both you and barnshee above argued that atttitudes to the flag are because of the IRA. Here are your words from a few short hours ago :

    I believe peoples attitudes towards the Irish Language and the Flag have been effected by 30 years of murder.

    So it isn’t a strawman. There is no excuse for burning another country’s flag because a paramilitary organisation asserted ownership over it.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Gusty Spence held an Irish passport. Some traitor.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    There is already a ban (on burning tyres). It isn’t being enforced because the people who support bonfires are intimidating the authorities out of enforcing the law.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    the arch at Glengormley has been controversial for several decades, hardly “recent”. I seem to recall SF blocking it from being erected in the past.

    I’ve seen this kind of revisionism and misdirection from a certain loyalist commentors around the June/July period in the past. You sound awfully familiar …

  • Catcher in the Rye

    The UVF started shooting Catholic civilians (and mistaken Protestants) starting in 1966.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    there is an issue with how this has evolved over time.

    The bonfires are getting bigger and bigger and posing greater and greater danger to properties. Also, increasingly, more people own their own properties and can’t go to the Housing Executive to get warped windows or other damage repaired.

    As such I suspect there is a silent subsection within the loyalist community – I won’t call it a majority but it must exist – who are very unhappy with the bonfires but who must stay silent or will face intimidation themselves.

  • Robin Keogh

    Neither the police nor the politicians (even if they were willing ) can do very much about it. The scenes of various unionists acting out extreme and agressive cultural viloence is symptomatic of a population in decline and a people whose culture is anathema to modern civilised understanding. Such expressions cannot be shared or turned into international welcoming events such as St Patricks day etc. They are rejected as reflections of a dark and sinister mood that sadly isolates unionism not only at home but also abroad. The burning of flags including the tricolour and the raucous nastiness which exudes from that ignorant and deluded mindset, damages the North internationally and gives the world a sense of the type of bedfellow irish Catholics have had to endure for years.

  • james

    I mean Protestants, though yes there is an important distinction. I find the PUL label to be irritating and inaccurate, and rather sectarian in its way.

  • james

    Would you consider the IRA campaign of ethnic cleansing which Protestants had to endure for decades to be similarly extreme and aggressive? And Sinn Fein’s attempts to make idols out of those, like Raymond McCreesh and Bobby Sands, who participated in such acts as part of the same ignorant and deluded mindset?

  • Robin Keogh

    And as usual zeno u just ignore the central tenet of my comment and go off on the usual unrelated tantrum

  • Trevorabh

    I can’t wait to see paul maskey painting over the weightwatcher mural or gerry kelly mounting artillery flats with his bonnet-vaulting skills to sort out the starry plough when it makes its annual appearance.

  • Trevorabh

    I have no information to share with the police, unless het are interested?

  • Trevorabh

    Iirc there were representations made to planning service which were deemed too weak to change their minds. Classic case of civil servants with all the power affecting the lives of others. The building of those apartments were concurrent with the rebuild of landsdowne road, which had a happier outcome on a similar issue for the much richer neighbours

  • Trevorabh

    And what a great guy he wasn’t, murdering innocents. You can keep him in the pantheon if you wish. We’ll hold on to the Duke of Wellington instead.

  • Trevorabh

    It should be enforced if it can’t be arranged by agreement. And I think the agreement must be this. The individual car owner can reclaim the vat on each tyre if it is disposed of and accounted for, removing the potential fiddle that may be the case. Self-interest when it comes to cash is a great way to boost environmental responsibility.

  • Trevorabh

    Recent movers. Not recent events. Do try to read.

  • sk

    “Ethnic cleansing”.

    Remember when it was unionists who used to chastise nationalists for melodramatic language? Now it’s unionists who wax lyrical about “ethnic cleansing” and “cultural genocide” as if they’re about two election cycles away from being loaded onto cattle trucks.

    Dry your eyes, and try to retain whatever dignity you have left.

  • sk

    You’re an Irish citizen then

  • anne

    am sure HET would have been interested in your views – before they were disbanded for a series of malpractice policies according to HM Inspectorate . See this post and following https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/the-het-report/

  • Trevorabh

    Been there and done that. Since 1922 altnaveigh, city of derry, grosvenor rd, lenadoon, ardoyne and every border area.

  • Trevorabh

    Cheers for that!

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Trevor, I’m afraid you’ve lost me, what would I be agreeing with exactly?

  • mac tire

    Are you seriously trying to suggest that there should be no Irish Protestants? That there can be no Irish Protestants? Because Irish + Protestant = “Traitor” to you.
    Before you answer, would you allow me time to go out and replenish my popcorn? Thanks.

  • Trevorabh

    If they are loyalists (and you’ll notice they became prods with carl’s contribution, shows how the pul labels are interchangeable) then they shouldn’t have irish passport

  • Carl Mark

    since the foundation of the OO it has been involved in sectarian violence, that is a historical fact that you chose to ignore.
    I am no spring chicken and cannot remember a time when the little catholic kid helped build the Bonfires.
    And pray tell, why should someone just moved into a area have less rights than anyone else, they pay rates, have the vote etc so why are they not allowed to object to something they find offensive!

  • Carl Mark

    I think catcher got it right, that and the house burnings, attacks on marchers and the OO close links to loyalist murder squads.

  • Carl Mark

    Very good, when cornered try to change debate from annual hate fest to blaming nationalists.

  • Carl Mark

    come on, are you claiming that no tyres will be burnt on Bonfires (the one in the pic is not the only bonfire in town) no sofas or other pollutants!
    I do notice the “KAT” thing (KILL ALL TAIGS) just the healthy mind-set we want for our children and no reason at all for Nationalists to complain.

  • Carl Mark

    How many turned out with Billy Hutchinson (of the UVF)to celebrate the forming of the UVF, remind me please!

  • Carl Mark

    Traitors, really but then you don’t know them and a bit of a shock coming up for you so sit down, they are not the only one’s
    (must tell the Two ex Para’s that you called their sister the Minister a traitor)
    And please no lectures from someone from a culture who will try to kill British policemen when British democracy does something it doesn’t like!

  • Carl Mark

    there is a difference between Prods and loyalists,

  • Carl Mark

    the Duke was Irish mate, sorry!

  • Trevorabh

    So you believe smily Hutchinson organised that?

  • Trevorabh

    I did not claim that no tyres would be burnt on bonfires, look at my post and quote rather than stretching/making things up.

    And complaining against kat is far more worthwhile than the roundabout approach to bonfires, where every part is picked at the edges (we’ve had zombie and orphan statements from the op, we’ve had hyperbole, we have drunkenness and illegal carpark licensing).
    I will more than happily support any poster on here who states that their issue with bonfires revolves around the burning of the flag of our neighbouring foreign country or any other foreign national flag and the display of any concrete sectarian slogans such as kat. And this I outright condemn.

  • Trevorabh

    We Brits during the Union have taken on board the more civilised aspects of Irish culture and incorporated them into our British identity. Shamrocks, celtic crosses, music to name just three you’ll notice in hated places such as Trooping the Colour in front of our monarch or on the Twelfth of July.

  • Trevorabh

    It’s called cultural awareness. I wouldn’t fancy popping down to ballybeen with my Linfield scarf, never mind living there!

  • Trevorabh

    If I’m cornered this must be a pretty accommodating circle! What i won’t do is bow down to lecturing, perception instead of fact and an uncompromising hatred of loyalist culture.

    There are those on here who cannot see parallels between how loyalism does things and how their own community (either race/class/nationality) does things and therefore presumes that this is not culture. This misunderstanding leads to the need to tell others how todo things.

    And while there are elements that can be modernised and improved, the constant kulturkampf will not all evolution and is clearly a targeted attempt to destroy our cultural heritage.

    If the gael has learnt anything, it’s that this current approach will not work and loyalism on this island will survive.

  • Robin Keogh

    He is trying to point out James that u are misusing the term ethnic cleansing. Whatever your feelings on the past; they wont solve the issues we face in the now and into the future. We can all ‘what about’ back as far as the 17th century if u like but it does no good.

  • Robin Keogh

    No he didnt. U contradicted urself.

  • Robin Keogh

    You need to take a closer look at the census stats mate

  • barnshee

    A range of feeling from distaste to hatred —-of “Irish” depending on how directly they have been effected by the efforts of the “Irish”

  • Trevorabh

    Selective history from a sinn feiner? Sure you don’t want to use the 800 years line or does that not suit your current argument and party’s how shall we put it, flexible morals?

  • barnshee

    Not according to the O Connell

    No, he is not an Irishman. He was born in Ireland; but being born in a stable does not make a man a horse.

    Daniel O’Connell during a speech (16 October 1843), as quoted in Reports of State Trials: New Series Volume V, 1843 to 1844 (1893) “The Queen Against O’Connell and Others”, p. 206

  • Robin Keogh

    Your selective moralising and efforts to deflect away from the thread topic merely reflects your own shortcomings.

  • Robin Keogh

    If u are born on the island of ireland u are irish by birth, whatever u choose after that is ur own business

  • barnshee

    Ah the old enthusiast for the one eyed trouser snake

    Most of NI`s problems -housing, pressure on education and health resources, can be traced to the effects of the unbridled effects of the snake.

  • Trevorabh

    What nonsense are you on about two ex paras sisters? Uncle Tom Cobbler’s granny could have an Irish passport for all i care after a lifetime of service with the Royal Navy but accepting the papers of another nation renders you a traitor.

  • Trevorabh

    Stable and horse, old chap.

  • Trevorabh

    There are more females than males in Northern Ireland? Are you denying that men have rights?

    What am I looking at in the British organised census that you are so keen on all of a sudden? I guess you don’t remember the days when census enumerators were legitimate targets of your cohorts?

  • Trevorabh

    Believe me, the op was as tight as a holed dinghy when it came to a thread topic. Was it a plea for help from a resident that was surrounded by zombies or was it an environmentalist call to arms, a shot across the bows of car park closers or a fullblown attack on loyalist culture?

    And pray tell, how have you addressed the thread topic directly? I’ve recently posted a retort about the census that I’m supposed to check for something that will no doubt prove how right you are to support a party riddled with convicted criminals.
    If you don’t like people calling out your support for a murderous organisation’s political wing, then follow Mairtin omullieur around for some amnesiac gladhandling from businesses who would have been checking for firebombs not too long ago thanks to your ideology.

  • Thomas Girvan

    II think you will find that the wood was stored against the walls, but was subsequently moved to the middle of the road before being lit.
    I know that there is a problem with educational underachievement but I don’t think anyone would be so daft as to build a bonfire against a house.

  • Trevorabh

    Nonsense. I’m quite happy to state that I was born and live ON the island of Ireland but I’m pretty sure that my born in West Germany brother is not German.

  • Trevorabh

    Thanks for that. Where can I pay my taxes and doctor’s fees? I’d absolutely love to vote for the next Republic of Ireland President to occupy the Viceregal Lodge. Can you point me in the direction of the polling booth when that comes along?

    Many thanks, Trev, the Irish citizen according to sk.

    All that power without responsibility has gone to my head. Think I’ll drown a shamrock or suchlike.

  • Thomas Girvan

    They obviously did not respond positively to the Provos’
    “Outreach to Protestants Policy”.
    Oh well at least they tried!

  • Sp12

    Boohoo, they made us hate them 🙁
    Like the immigrants and lispians and mooslims are doing now.

  • james

    Sorry Robin, but it doesn’t wash. What you say is reasonable, but you are not consistent with it. Either the past is important and contains lessons that are vital for the future, or it isn’t and doesn’t. Your habits of political commentary are akin to trying to have your cake, and eat it, and get a full refund, and sue the bakery because it gave you indigestion – all whilst claiming you were never in the bakery at all. This seems to be typical of the Irish Republican movement generally, and the feeling that you and yours can never be wrong is practically a guarantee that the future will be no better than the present.

  • james

    And yet you’ve just tartly responded to a different comment of mine (as it suits your purposes in that instance) with a sad shaking of the head and a “dwelling on the past gets us nowhere”. I’m a little confused Robin….

  • Mirrorballman

    I shared this post on another forum for a group discussing how to rid Northern Ireland of sectarianism and was kicked after I was accused of being “sectarian” against “loyalist culture”. I feel like I’m living in an alternate universe

  • james

    And yet, just yesterday, you wrote: “Long before the RA entered the fray, unionist laws etc. Banned the flying of the Irish flag. The language was rejected by unionism for centuries too so the hatred for irish symbols was well engrained long before the troubles”

  • submariner

    It’s not culture it’s sectarian bigotry. There is nothing cultural about painting a child’s face with the word KAT there is nothing cultural about going round in a circle outside a chapel playing a sectarian song or having the names of dead loyalist terrorists on the shirt of your band uniform. There is nothing cultural about plastering lampposts with the flags of various terrorist organizations.

  • Robin Keogh

    En no James. I responding to zeno’s claim that loyalists burning of flags etc might be associated with the recent conflict and i was pointing out that this behaviour existed long before the conflict. James, need to try and get your head around the notion of ‘context’. try to stick to topic. If u insist on defending the actions of today by comparing them to seperate incidents in the past, it makes u look like an apologist for sectarianism.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Ah, i wholeheartedly agree and enthusiastically evangelize about such matters quite often.

    It’s nice to find some support from big ‘U’ unionists on here regarding such matters, normally they ignore my highlighting of such things and fob me off as a ‘non unionist’…

    Cheers!

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    That’s not correct robin, most of the Irish language hostility came about after partition when the ‘battle for irishness’ was lost.

    Simple examples of this would be Irish unionist slogans such as ‘Erin go bragh’ which was used during the anti home rule campaign and possibly made its way into the Belfast mayoral chain.

    Even George chittick pointed out that a Belfast OO district secretary took down lodge minutes in arran Irish.

    The red hand commando have their motto in Irish too.

    I’m afraid there’s a tractor trailer load of examples to the contrary of your claim.

    (Though you are correct about the flag though, but whatever hostility there may have been in the beginning it’s undoubtedly been compounded by the Provos).

  • james

    You wrote, and I agree with you, that “If you insist on defending the actions of today by comparing them to seperate incidents in the past, it makes u look like an apologist for sectarianism”….but than you wrote “Long before the RA entered the fray, unionist laws etc. Banned the flying of the Irish flag. The language was rejected by unionism for centuries too so the hatred for irish symbols was well engrained long before the troubles.” It seems that you resist references to the past when it suits the interests of Irish Republicanism to forget, yet draw lustily upon it when you feel it can mitigate the actions of said Republicans. In the strange eel-like world of queasy morality you seem to inhabit the decades of terrorism were justified by unionist oppressions of yesteryear, and the entire Republican project is rightly fuelled by immigration four centuries ago – and the presumable perpetual illegitimacy of the descendants of the plantation, yet reference to illegal actions carried out within the lifetime of much of the current front rank of Sinn Fein is dismissable as ‘living in the past’. Which is it you wish to be, Robin: Irish eel or green-white-and-goldfish?

  • Robin Keogh

    I honestly have absolutely no idea what you are talking about

  • Trevorabh

    Selective amnesia from you too?

  • sk

    I know, you’ll actually get to vote for your head of state, like an actual proper democracy! Mental!

  • Carl Mark

    that is nonsense, Cultural awareness eh, care to tell me what exactly is cultural about making a mess of the area you live in.
    if you think people are going to put up with this sort of silliness just because you have been doing it for years and calling it culture then your mistaken.

  • Carl Mark

    yep true, but they as a rule don’t go out of their way to offend their neighbours and destroy the place where they live.

  • Carl Mark

    I’m sorry but KAT is not culture its a expression of hatred.
    burning other peoples flags is also not culture it is hatred,
    polluting and defacing your neighbourhood, damaging public and private property is not culture it is stupid.
    blaming it on nationalists is predictable but pointless.

  • Carl Mark

    well he was dressed up as carson.

  • Carl Mark

    read my post,

    (must tell the Two ex Para’s that you called their sister the Minister a traitor)

    nothing there about two Para sisters,
    now that should be simple enough for you. and treason is a offence under the law and as such very clearly defined (in other words you don’t get to make it up) so would you care to show the section of law that says changing passports is treason!#Now Lundy would have suited better than treason as you can call anybody you want a Lundy as it is a term of abuse not a legal definition.

  • Carl Mark

    He was when he was born in Germany (unless on a non German forces base or embassy) then his parents made a call after that.
    would be eligible for a German passport according to international law.

  • Sp12

    You can’t see the difference between what your selling and Trvorabh’s trolling? 🙂

    “more civilised aspects of Irish culture”
    “the real Irish”

    Ohh dear.

  • Korhomme

    You are probably correct—it was all a very long time ago.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Utilising Irish culture. He may give it barbed labels but I agree with incorporating aspects of Irish culture.

  • Sp12

    Barbed labels 🙂
    Hehe, yes.
    Lovely middle class liberal/working class white van unionist interaction though, it was very, cliched 🙂

  • kalista63

    Well, the fire was lit and local property was damaged, windows cracked with the Herat and it wasn’t even complete.

  • John Collins

    ‘Protestant victory’ so true. Presbyterian defeat. They were second class citizens after 1690, hence the large amount of emigration from their community in the eighteenth Century and their involvement in the 1798 rising

  • John Collins

    And it was also rejected by successive British Governments. As late as the early 1900s a person who put there name in Irish on their property in Irish speaking areas could be and indeed were prosecuted. Apart from that under British rule children were viciously beaten in schools if they were caught speaking Irish. Sadly corporal punishment was used in the same way in an attempt to restore the language after independence and turned many people off the language

  • John Collins

    Well the old sliddery loyalist reptile must be doing OK as it continues over the past century years to keep the Loyalist population over 1 million. I even remember Paisley exhorting Protestants, with biblical zeal, ‘to breed for Ulster’ once. He never lowered himself to use ‘the trouser snake’ term however. He probably had too much respect for snakes.

  • hurdy gurdy man

    There are over 1 million loyalists??

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    But yet people think I’m just making a fuss. A few people tweeted me saying “bet you’re happy”. Happy!?? I had to sit at work watching my home being threatened with fire.

  • Zeno

    Sorry Robin, are you claiming that the 30 year murder campaign carried out by the IRA while brandishing the Tricolour didn’t put anyone off it? Surely all that disappearing people, kidnap, sectarian murder, torture and using people as human bombs had some effect?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Indeed John, and those Presbyterians of the three kingdoms not insanely paranoid with the hatred of Catholics were some of the strongest supporters of James II & VII during his short reign:

    http://www.jacobite.ca/documents/1687presby.htm

    Just one example amongst many such addresses.

    An interesting irony is that one of the Jacobite officers wounded at Newtownbutler who went to France with the Wild Geese was refused a billet in old age in les Invalades in 1712…as a Presbyterian.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Could someone write a methodology or a list of instructions for how some one could criticise aspects of loyalist culture in a manner that would not automatically trigger the defences?

    Seriously:

    Every time someone (no matter what their background e.g. unionist, republican, ex-Crown forces, legitimist royalist etc) highlights things that are generally considered bad there is seldom a conversation that follows this line.

    “I don’t like the risk of fire damage to my building” – “What about the IRA?”

    “I think having banners calling for the deaths of everyone of a certain religion is a bit uncool” – “Why are you sectarian?”

    “I’m all for Orange marches and don’t want to see them banned but could we tone it down a bit” – “What about the GAA?”

    How can we discuss topics by their own merits?

    We have this habit of attaching a false reference point to a topic. Rather than analysing a topic for what it’s worth we hijack the term ‘context’ in the hope of finding a parallel that would let the object of criticism off the hook.

    If my house is a midden then I should view it from the point of view of a dirty house with poor housekeeping.

    I should not think to myself “Well, Wayne and Waynetta slob, people whom I have no time or respect for and whom I rarely interact with have a WORSE standard of housekeeping, therefore my house is no longer a pig sty…”

    If it’s boggin, it’s bogging – end of.

    So, without further ado, here’s my two cents on the matter (in general, not specifically this bonfire):

    ————————-
    No need for tyres or noxious materials.
    No need to endanger lives or property.
    No need to have flags, religious icons or banners calling for religious based genocide on the bonfire.
    No need for underage drinking.
    ———————————–

    If you agree with these four points, then feel free to say so.

    If you disagree with any of these four points then please explain why.

    These four points do not qualify me as a ‘hater’ of loyalist and/or Orange culture.

    They are not a call for a smothering and final annihilation of loyalist or Orange culture

    They do not reveal an inner urge for a united Ireland and a driving into the sea the Protestant people.

    They do not make me blind to what the IRA did for decades.

    They do not betray a hatred of working class people.

    They do not qualify me as a nationalist or a republican.

    They are not filled with ‘bile’.

    They are to my mind four reasonable points which should be judged on their own merits not whataboutery or ‘context’ (better known as a strawman defence).

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    Fantastic post!

  • barnshee

    Blollocks produce a picture of tricolour burning prior to 1968

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    What’s your Twitter mirrorballman?

  • barnshee

    Yea the prod pop basicallymaintains its level

  • Shar

    A bonfire has been built on a site which was not previously used for fires. On Prince Andrew Way, Carrickfergus, on a narrow strip of grass bounded by two public footpaths, across the road from a petrol station and a nursing home. There was an old hawthorn hedgerow along the back of the grassed area, beside one of the paths, backing on to the golf course.

    The grass wasn’t wide enough to build the fire on, so last week the builders built it in a semi-circle, against the hedge. Then they cut the hedge down to allow them to complete the bonfire circle. Then they cut 10-15m of the hedge down and added the cuttings to the bonfire. There are 2 “dump wood” signs, one of which quite clearly has PAF written on it. And among the flags on nearby lampposts are ones for the UVF and UDA.

    When I contacted a local MLA they said they have been speaking out against the paramilitary flags on display in East Antrim. And they were working with the PSNI and local community leaders to try and resolve matters.

    The NIFRS have said, in response to a UUP councillor’s query, “It isn’t currently a risk to life or limb & will monitor it.”

    The Policing and Community Safety Partnership said they have received many complaints about the site which came “out of the blue” as far as they were concerned. They say they’re working with PSNI, NIFRS, and community leaders to resolve the situation. They also asked that members of the public not approach the bonfire builders as someone who did got an aggressive reception.

    I feel let down by MLAs, councillors, NIFRS, and PSNI. They’ve abandoned the community, just like they abandoned the Upper Ormeau Road and more, to put up with destruction and sectarian displays, because of the threat of violence from the flag flyers and bonfire builders.

  • Shar

    Today’s addition to the bonfire site: a sign that says “If you don’t like it, move”.