“There’s a statue of Mary on there”

“I’m struggling to see how that could be a positive celebration of anything….in any other place people would think that would be some kind of a hate crime.”

If you do nothing else today or tomorrow, make sure you catch the powerfully emotive contribution of Pastor Lucas Parks to today’s BBC Radio Ulster The Sunday News programme (9 mins in.)

Pastor of Village Church Belfast, Lucas was speaking about the Chobham Street bonfire, which was sited in close proximity to his church.

Powerful words that deserve a wide airing in a society in which the ordinary 11th Night antics continue to pass as normality.

 

  • Gareth Murray

    The Pastor was clearly emotional and I’m glad like him that the Chobham St, bonfire passed without any serious damage to property. Having watched the spectacle on Periscope, it has to be said that the presence of firefighters at the scene most likely prevented serious damage.
    When you look at the site and it’s proximity to houses, cycle lanes, trees etc. you have to wonder why this bonfire was permitted and that’s even before you question the burning of effigies etc.
    Does anyone know where Gavin Robinson is?

  • james

    One would have to commend the author for seemingly being interested exclusively in the health of the participants and the safety of the general public, and apparently in no way whatsoever merely writing about all this to score cheap political points or to sneer at the ‘plebs’ on the other side of the argument.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    James, do you think it’s possible that unionists might ever take any kind of criticism without trying to deflect it by pointing to the supposed motivations of the critic ?

  • james

    Of course. Why do you doubt the sincerity of my comment? Do you think it’s possible that some Republicans are privately embarassed by the transparent attempts by some of their number to goad the Orange Order and the various spectators into misbehaviour or even violence. We see this with the likes of Dee Fennel trying to recruit as many thugs as possible to turn up in protest, hoping desperately to get incite breaches of the Parades Commission determinations. Moral high ground indeed.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    James, if elements of the unionist community are going to offer SF and nationalism in general easy political fodder on a silver platter then it’s only sensible that they take full advantage of it, they’d be nuts not to.

    I’m not annoyed at Chris Donnelly in the slightest for writing about the topic so often rather I am annoyed at the unionist politicians for facilitating the conveyor belt of criticism with their spineless responses and sloppy shoulders.

    If every unionist on here would outright condemn the bonfires without anywhataboutery or deflection or blaming other people then the silent unionists who read this blog may no longer sit on the fence and see that it’s actually ‘okay’ to criticise elements of unionist culture.

    Furthermore if we all wrote independently to our various unionist representatives then maybe a sudden surge (well, trickle) of interest might finally push some of them into manning-up and doing something.
    #IMSPARTACUS!

    Jeffrey Donaldson is not averse to mentioning how he put his life on the line to ‘fight for Ulster’ when he was in the UDR, if only he and a few others would continue to ‘fight for Ulster’ by standing up to the loyalist bully boys then we wouldn’t have these problems or these blogs.

    Chris Donnelly would have to find something else to write about.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    #WHEREISGAV

  • james

    Actually, I agree with you. My comment was not to defend the bonfires, nor to say I feel that the fringe elements don’t need clamping down on – I think they do, and anti-social behaviour should and must be punished. I think that various gaffes (eagerly siezed upon and magnified, of course) are a PR nightmare and paint us in the eyes of the World at latge as savages – on both sides, mind, as anyone with any sense can see Dee Fennel and his ilk for what they are.

    My point was different. What I’m saying is that various Republican commentators on this issue hide behind the illusion that they care about the health and safety of the Protestant community (indeed one has the feeling quite a few would be privately jubilant if the Shankhill burned down) in order to take potshots. I just cannot stand hypocrisy.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I see your point, the crocodile concern does sometimes scream of “WON’T SOMEBODY PLEEEEEEAAASEEEEE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!!!”

  • Jane2

    The most amazing part of the interview was the individual who commended Danny Kennedy for being willing to come from his home to view the bonfire if things got out of hand.

    Really? A government Minister who can/will do nothing about the thing on public land, but is willing to view it is commendable? “Normal” in Northern Ireland is not normal at all.

  • Granni Trixie

    James

    Believe it or not it is possible to sense and express the (in)humanity of the situation and not use that to mask glee for all the usual NI reasons.

    When I saw images of some huge fires right beside people’s .”wee palaces” my heart went out to the residents and I felt disgust at the bonfire builders who seemed oblivious to how they were encroaching on the residents peace of mind not to mention safety. Put another way:who would like one of these towers beside their home or their loved ones home?

    There has to be a way to get through to the fire builders. What age group are they …if youngish then why are parents not teaching them responsibility (sorry if sound agest here).

    I also wonder where class fits in …there are no large fires on the Malone Road.

  • Paddy Reilly

    I would agree that Republican concern for the poor residents of Chobham Street, (like Protestant invocation of ‘RC Paedophile priests’) is largely crocodile tears. The matter is not one that affects those outside the community that inflicts it. Therefore, I refrain. However, elsewhere, particularly in South Belfast, there are places where 12th related activities are burdensome to the Catholic populace.

    But one positive aspect of these conflagrations is the burning of election posters of the Sinn Féin, SDLP and Alliance parties. The boney makers seem to be painting themselves into a corner rather, where they become the minority community. An alliance of these three ‘Ould Combustibles’ would be a move forward: certainly powerful enough to control Belfast Council. Next year maybe even Stormont.

    As I start I would recommend that the 12th day, in Belfast, should start by alternating between different parades: next year we could have a Samba Carnival Rainbow parade on the public holiday, to cater for the majority (SF/SDLP/All) population in Belfast. It’s only democratic. The Orangemen’s events could continue in Scarva, Lisburn etc.

  • james

    Why either/or? If you want a samba festival for the SDLP, why not on July 18 or 20?

  • Paddy Reilly

    Because these are not public holidays.

  • james

    What, just out of interest, would your take be on every second 25th December being given over to an alternative holiday? After all, a huge chunk of the British people are not Christian and a large majority non-practising Christian. Let’s be clear here: do you actually feel we should have, say, an Immigrant’s Day where we celebrate all of thr newcomers to our wee country and have events to showcase Latvian, Polish, Nigerian, Chinese etc etc etc cultures? I’m all for this – we should. But I don’t feel we should hold it on March 17th. Nor would I suggest such unless I wanted to make a slimy, anti-Irish point. I’m all for throwing out new ideas to improve things here, but not if the true purpose is to put down one or other of the two main groups represented here (or indeed any other group). Let’s speak straight or not at all. Kipling wrote “what need of further lies?” in one of his most poignant efforts. I’m with big Rudyard on this one.

  • james
  • Paddy Reilly

    I would consider replacing St Patrick’s with Immigrant’s Day if it were in a city with only a minority of Irish, where St Patrick’s had got out of order due to excessive alcohol consumption.

    I did get the impression that this might have happened in America, but it is a long time since I was there so I cannot really comment. I would feel that the festival would be better celebrated by going to Mass than in drinking to excess or consuming green-coloured bagels, and all the other American nonsense.

    Belfast is a city with a majority of ‘combustibles’, where the only summer Bank Holiday is on the 12th July. It is not historically linked with the Orange Lodge: Scarva and other places in County Armagh are more appropriate. Belfast was more connected with Henry Joy McCracken and the United men. I think a Rainbow Parade for Nationalists /Alliance voters/Chinese and Poles/Gay Pride would be a more representative use of this slot. It is quite wrong that an abusive minority should presume to shut the city down to construct bonfires offensive to the voting majority on the City Council.

    Lisburn and Carrickfergus would still be available for Orange parades. This is the shape of things to come, as I see it. You are free to propose to the council a separate festival for Kipling Day, or Dark Eleventh Hour Day, but I should warn you that as the Council is presently constituted these proposals are unlikely to be successful.

  • chrisjones2

    We do!!! Whether its training them at bonfires or with replica guns at displays in community centres in South Armagh we think of them all the time. We corrupt them, train them to hate and even name their play parks after sectarian murderers.

  • chrisjones2

    See it as a step forward. This year they are burning the posters not the Alliance offices

  • Paddy Reilly

    As for the Christmas slot, I have to report that a Chinese
    who visited the U.S. and was much taken with the Christmas festivities, was amazed to find after 5 years residence that the festival also had a religious significance. To him it seemed to be about snow, eating to excess and giving presents.

    In no place I have ever lived has there been a Christmas
    parade, so I suppose the slot is open for creative suggestions. Bit parky though for outside events I would have thought.

  • james

    Oh I see. So the majority rules and to hell with the minority. So all that Civil Rights stuff was nonsense, was it?

  • Robin Keogh

    Ultimately its all about choice. The organisers dont give a dam about the safety concerns of the local residents. They dont give a dam about the offence caused by burning the flag of Ireland. They don’t give a dam about how sinister it looks burning election posters and they don’t give a dam about offending the Norths majority religious by burning a statue of Our Blessed Lady. They choose to maximise the potential for offense for no other reason but sheer blind hate. The pastor is correct in his sentiments, it is a shocking indictment of that section of society who have absolutely no interest in peace with their neighbours.

  • Paddy Reilly

    The power to close down the city and endanger the residents is not a Civil Right. The Civil Rights Movement was partially, especially in Derry, about transferring power from a minority to the majority. It is not a matter of ‘to hell’, only ‘to Lisburn and Scarva’.

  • Slater

    Belfast is a ghost town in middle class areas today. Those inhabitants have fled to defend their own territory and second homes in Donegal and Tuscany, and to avoid having to see working class people enjoying themselves nearby.

  • sk

    The other side of the argument being what, exactly?

    “Dis iz our kulchure so it is, No Surrender, QS, FGAU, KAT”.

    There is no credible “other side of the argument” when it comes to these practices and you know it. I’d go so far as to suggest that it’s just as disturbing to most unionists, and all the more embarrassing because they’re claiming to do it in your name.

    And yet the only people who are in any position to really challenge these atavistic practices are unionists like yourself. The Loyalists who engage in this kind of behaviour would be far more receptive to a fellow unionist who tells it like it is, than to an outsider looking in, “ulterior motive” or no.

    So why not do that? Rather than attacking the people who merely point out the problem- and there is a problem here- why not give us your take and how such self-defeating behaviours can be tackled in the future?

  • Robin Keogh

    Dublin was crammedlast night, I was out for dinner with some friends and the tables either side of us were refugees from the North. On the left was a couple from Bangor in county Down on the right were two couples from Est Belfast. We had a good night chatting – all were Protestants who depise the occasion of the twelfth and what it has become. In fact, I would venture that the Orange festival is probably unique in western civilisation in that it drives more people away than it brings in.

  • sk

    As a working class person myself, assembling a pile of trash next to someone’s house and then getting shitfaced while watching it burn wouldn’t be my idea of fun either.

  • Robin Keogh

    Honestly James. Poorly veiled attemts to justify the hate fest just do not work anymore. The post is spot on and the sentiments of the Pastor should embarass anyone who would try to deflect the argument.

  • ranger1640

    I would like to add my condemnation along with that of Jim Rodgers’. At times like this it’s hard to understand the thinking of some people a statue of the virgin Mary at a bonfire, the small tribute to 3 soldiers murdered by the IRA attacked over 20 times, a war memorial attacked and flags removed, Orange Halls burnt to the ground, bonfires attacked and the most sinister of all several Orange Men getting death threats and bullets in the post.

  • james

    Which residents are endangered by a parade? And the city is hardly shut down, any more than for a rugby or GAA match

  • eireanne

    very dated sentiments there james. – i mean compare and contrast signatures in blood with a tweet!! some people in NI must find it very hard to cope with the gap between 19th century imperialist sentiments and present-day reality of the 21st century.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Off topic but I heard from a man who knows a man that there was a shopping mall in China with an effigy of Santa Claus nailed to a cross…

  • LighterSide…

    Christ have mercy.

  • Zig70

    My kids told me that Braniel was doing the rounds on facebook as a bonfire that refused to burn effigies and tricolours.

  • barnshee

    Every try to work out how the “hate” got burnished?

  • barnshee

    You are quite in the sense “They dont give a dam” They are in a sense the “cutting edge” of the prod attitude The prods will fall in behind them at election time -welcome to reality

  • barnshee

    Minority or not they will continue with their attitude to “the ould Combustibles’ is unlikely to change

  • Robin Keogh

    What ?

  • Robin Keogh

    Why? Are the bonfire organisers standing for election?

  • Deke Thornton

    “a statue of Our Blessed Lady”,,,,ffs I take it Science and Rationality are not top of you’re agenda? Was it a ‘weeping statue’? Or a piece of plastic kitsch? Did she look ‘Palestinian’ enough for the SF vanguard, or pale and European as per Irish catholic colleen standard. Catch a grip.

  • Robin Keogh

    Nice

  • james

    Refugees? Really, Robin? Did you share with them your calf-like adoration for the political wing of the ‘armed struggle’?

  • james

    Yes, I think they do. And not only Republicans, but some unionists, too.

  • james

    “There is no credible “other side of the argument” ”

    Very little point even trying to have the argument with you, then, given that you feel there is no merit in anything which contradicts your received opinion. So I shan’t waste time trying.

  • james

    What exactly is the ‘hate fest’? Is that the official, approved SF term for the twelfth these days? So hard to keep up with the terminology.

  • notimetoshine

    I’m not sure about anyone else but all these bonfire stuff is just getting tiresome. The same criticisms are rolled out and the same retorts. The same nonsense goes on at these bonfires every year with bigger and more unpleasant expressions of ‘culture’.

    If from what I have heard from many people is true, I would say a lot of folks here just sigh, roll their eyes and hope that the cultural celebrations pass as quickly and painlessly as possible, while resigned to the inevitable cost, sectarianism and stupidity.

    We may just leave them be because these people are not going to listen. They are part of what is really a cross community demographic of unpleasant, backwards, never forget, not an inch cretins that inflict their nonsense on the people of NI.

    Can they seriously not just have a nice big open field (the maze) where bonfires parades and all the other hoopla that gets people riled up can be held. Then they can burn religious symbols, flags, build their bonfires as high as they like and fight it out with the other side. I would imagine that removing these types whatever side they are on would increase the collective IQ of the places they were removed from.

  • Paddy Reilly

    I could throw the floor open for personal anecdotes, but that would be pointless as such accounts would only be met with sneers. The general format of such exchanges is, we tell you what our concerns are, and you tell us why they are wholly ludicrous, whiningly trivial and unworthy of consideration.

    But not here: the combustible majority in Belfast does not need to justify its wholly irrational aversion to being burnt in effigy and cooped up indoors to the parading and bonfire making minority: it is the majority and so its prejudices must be implemented.

    A Rainbow parade expressing inclusive themes would, in Belfast, be a better and more popular use of a public holiday.

  • james

    Well, no one is ‘cooping up’ nationalist residents in their homes for a start. You may as well save that whopper for the Americans.

    As to ‘replacing’the twelfth: would you plan to outlaw it or how would you enforce the rainbow parade substitute?

  • james

    ‘Also, you write of (presumably) the Nationalist community: “It is the majority and so its prejudices must be implemented.”

    There are no words….How fortunate we are not to be the minority in a UI, then. You make a most compelling case for the continuance of partition.

  • ranger1640

    As this post is reporting incidents at bonfires, the bonfire on the Shankill road was attacked by a republican mob last night throwing petrol bombs from the Springfield road over the ironically named peace wall. Republican petrol bombs that are obviously designed to kill or mame. These republicans would obviously not have any of the spirit of Mary about them.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Japan, AG, Japan! It was part of the Christmas display of a large mall in Tokyo in the 1990s, proving that even today not every aspect of Western culture is fully understood. But then, as many of the postings on the “England’s Revolutionary Coyness” thread so clearly show, many of our community do not even begin to understand important aspects of our own history, and mistake rhetoric for reality!

  • Robin Keogh

    Thats because you have no argument

  • Robin Keogh

    No james, clearly i was referring to the OP.

  • Paddy Reilly

    As I see it the permission to hold a parade, in Belfast,
    should be given to a more representative organisation than the orangey lot. It would not be possible to ‘outlaw’ the bonfires, as that does not lie in the remit of local government, but certain of them should be moved. The use of palettes should be outlawed, but whether a local government body would have the power to
    enforce such a bye-law is doubtful.

  • Zig70

    Though I don’t believe Jim when he says he didn’t see it. Why was he there? To see the bonfire.

  • Robin Keogh

    Yes i told them i was a Shinner, which amused them as I was drinking champagne. Its sheep James not calf

  • Paddy Reilly

    You presume wrong, I refer not to the Nationalist community, but to the majority on Belfast Council of political parties whose posters are burnt in effigy on East Belfast bonfires, which includes the Alliance Party.

  • To be honest, I think there are some red herrings here. Massive bonfires take place every year in Valencia, a much more compact urban environment than Belfast, without any damage to property or major environmental impact. So I don’t think those are the real issues. The only controversy in Valencia has been the cost of construction and maintenance at a time of public austerity. The issue with the Belfast ones is the divisive political nature of them and the burning of flags and religious and political symbols, which have no aim other than to wind up the other community. Drop a lot of that from it all and the controversy would lessen.

  • Janos Bingham

    I’m intrigued by the dinner party conversation dynamic.

    How was the subject of your fellow diners’ religion introduced? Did you just come right out and ask them what foot they kicked with? Did they volunteer the information; perhaps wanting to highlight themselves as something a little more exotic than common or garden ‘themuns’ “refugees”? Does that imply that they hoped that you as the random Dubliner they came across would celebrate them as ‘good’ northern Prods and therefore acceptable to interact with?

    Or was it simply something about the set of their eyes that you detected?

    I’m a frequent visitor to Dublin. Happily, although from ‘de Nort’, I’ve never been quizzed about my religion, political opinion, shoe size etc. Perhaps I’ve just been fortunate? That being the case I’d appreciate a heads-up on the location of the restaurants you frequent in order that I may continue in my happy state. Thanks.

    The sectarian question aside, you may be confusing correlation with causation. The ’12th Fortnight’ has by default become a popular holiday period with many businesses closed. It’s hardly a surprise therefore that people are compelled to take their summer holiday during that period. Individual holidaymakers’ attitudes to the ‘marching season’ may have little or no impact whatsoever. And anyway given that parades now seem to occur for most of the year “refugees” would need to stay away a very long time.

  • Robin Keogh

    You are absolutely correct. Whoever was throwing those petrol bombs were not doing so in my name and have no right to call themselves republicans.

  • Robin Keogh

    In short. Myself and my fellow diners ordered champagne. The man beside me asked what we were celebrating. I explained i had just passed my UCD final exams. He asked what i studied, i told him politics…….and away we went on a chat, the folk on the other table heard his accent and got drawn into the conversation…..

  • Mirrorballman

    It was for most of the day until they added flags just before it was burned…

  • No1celt

    was in a traffic jam on the M1 north of Dublin on Saturday when my wife noticed that all the cars she could see were northern reg, maybe that answers your question

  • No1celt

    I come from the agnostic side of the debate on religions but Deke you reveal much about yourself with that little tirade, including for me, not one worth debating with.

  • Brian O’Neill

    Congrats on passing your exams 🙂

  • ranger1640

    Who are they if they are not republicans and what do they represent ??? And how come one bonfire can stereotype one community but republicans throwing petrol bombs are not stereotypical or representative of republicanism???

  • ranger1640

    I don’t believe McGuinness when he aledgedly condemns the burning of Orange Halls.
    Maybe Jim was there trying to give leadership., is he to be condemned for that now.

  • james

    And then they’d tell you that all this sniping is just an attempt to do away with culture……

  • james

    Well, one Darren Litter has just contributed a fine argument on this very site which I would refer you to.

  • james

    Is that what’s meant by champagne socialism? 🙂

  • Tochais Siorai

    I think many if not most people celebrate Christmas as an alternative holiday already, James. Indeed as it was originally meant to be celebrated i.e. as a party designed to counteract the mid winter blues and / or celebrate the winter solstice. The whole notion of Christmas as a commemoration of the birth of the Christian ‘saviour’ is a relatively modern phenomenon designed to hijack the original pagan celebration (Jesus Christ was born around April as we all know…..). So not such a big deal really.

  • Robin Keogh

    Who are they? They are the lowest form of human life. They may call themselves republicans, they might even vote republican but their behaviour in no way reflects the true ideals of Irish republicanism. Apparently it never happenned anyway ! If the psni are to be believed?

    Do u think the people responsible for burning irish flags, posters of elected reps and symbols of catholicism are Unionists? Loyalists? No they are not. They might vote for unionist and loyalist parties they may even describe themselves as such. But true unionism as far as i am concerned has no tolerance for such behaviour, as shown by the thousands who drive south to get away from it.

    Who is stereotying? The thread is about a specific bonfire and the reaction of the pastor; who in my mind is a far more accurate representation of true protestantism and unionism.

  • Robin Keogh

    You should be able to lean on your own opinion James and not that of others.

  • Robin Keogh

    Yes possibly, I amalso dubbed a Champagne Shinner sometimes 😉

  • james

    Oh, I do Robin. I also work 2 jobs, like my sport and raise my 2 nephews. I’d like to write my own articles on here but simply haven’t the time. Hence the shorthand of referring you to an article in which I see a lot of good sense.

  • james

    All of that may be true, but it’d be a brave man to be the Grinch..people like their traditions, and why not.

  • james

    I can see that

  • You may find that next year will be different. A lot of the hoo-ha only started once the bonfire was well under construction, by which time, nobody wants to intervene for fear of a major backlash. There will be pressure within the Loyalist community to sort this out next year before it gets to this stage. Loyalists aren’t ignorant to the annual criticism about these things, and significant efforts have been made in terms of getting rid of tyres to combat the pollution criticism, and to make sure fires are a safe distance from houses. (obviously there are a number of exceptions, but the situation has improved.)

    I have no doubt though that no matter what is done, people will still object. Once every tyre, tri colour and sinn fein poster has been removed, people will still find something. I wish that a lot of the criticisms were sorted out, and that loyalism gave the anti orange/loyalist bigots one less opportunity for a week of ranting on the Nolan show and talkback every July.

  • So basically, we should celebrate everything and anything as long as it has nothing to do with Unionism. “Put the Unionists out in the cold, see how they like it, eh”. Also, talking about a SDLP/SF/Alliance majority is just ludicrous. You could just as easily say UUP/DUP/Alliance majority. Alliance are unaligned. Belfast is a pluralistic city. You can’t add in the fence sitters to get your wet dream of a Nationalist majority.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Yes, congrats!

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    ONE bonfire? Ok, which bonfire?

  • barnshee

    They are in a sense the “cutting edge” of the prod attitude scratch a prod hard enough and and the cutting edge will come through

  • Paddy Reilly

    It is true that Alliance are not Nationalists, but they have a common concern with Nationalists in that they would wish to outlaw Unionist (or more accurately, Loyalist) intimidation, as this now includes Alliance electoral candidates and offices.

    In the past Alliance has joined UUP and DUP to censure Sinn Féin, I forget exactly what over. (The SF mayor was censured without being removed.)

    The idea is to replace the current Orange Parade with a Rainbow one. That would include Gay Pride, Chinese dragon dancers and floats from other causes. I don’t see that it would totally exclude Unionist causes—I doubt that what you call the ‘fence-sitters’ of Alliance would sign up to this—but there would be sufficient of other sorts to outnumber them and consequently it would be possible to cross the road without fear of life and limb.

    It is an alliance of combustibles, not of Nationalists.

  • Paddy Reilly
  • Deke Thornton

    probably because your parents and siblings were (and are) *good* religious people who don’t fixate on the bible…at least the nasty parts. And regard science as something belonging to ‘themmuns’ . That’s ok , so is astrology. The good thing is you never have to grow up! I’m Pisces btw.

  • james

    When I hear the word culture…I reach for my revolver. Hmmm….new SF slogan?

  • Paddy Reilly

    Sorry, I’m not a member of SF.

  • Paddy Reilly

    This sense of unease, even of outrage is not particular to
    Ireland. If, in the course of building bonfires in England, a EDL inspired clique were to burn symbols of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal parties, the majority on the local council, one would hardly expect that council to be enthusiastic about licensing said bonfire and any associated parades.

    In fact, I think the Lib/Lab/Con majority would be within their rights to regard this as an attempt to subvert democratic rule and replace it by bonfire centred mob violence; and would act accordingly in discouraging such bonfires and parades.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    James, as I’ve so often said to other Unionist posters here, this is your opportunity to actually present a “credible other side of the argument” and disprove the point. Two things are going on here (more, yes but….). While there is a posting, response, response back pattern of scoring points, there is also the opportunity to actually outline what is not being said (in my case in considerable length usually). This is for all those people who do not comment but who make up the (as I write) 3912 views and are the audience who might be influenced by what you present if it is strong and compelling. “Trying” is never a waste of time……

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Half right about Civil Rights, Paddy, certainly right concerning Derry. For myself and most of those I met in NICRA or the PD it was about ensuring that all of the community could access full civil rights equally and were equally treated under the law. I’m still a one community man, even in the face of all this artificial polarisation.

  • Paddy Reilly

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-33531083

    Interesting case here: but my sectarian radar does not allow
    me to work out exactly what has happened. At a guess, I would say that a man with a sick wife to attend to and a medical condition himself has behaved badly when confronted by obstruction caused by the 12th/13th day parading.

  • james

    Perhaps, but there are many other potential obstructions he may have met with on any other day. He could have hit heavy traffic, or been stuck in a tailback behind a slow-moving vehicle, a funeral cortege, or indeed some other summer event or festivity.