That time again…

No doubt over the next few days there will be television and newspaper coverage (and not forgetting the boul Facebook of course) that will once again portray Orangemen as evil and wicked two headed demons from the netherworld, whose sole reason for existence is to tramp poor Catholics into the mud. It is the perspective of many that it pretty much is the media narrative all the time in truth, but it will get that little bit worse now for … Read more

“Rumours of its death are greatly exaggerated…”

It is the 11th of July, and tomorrow is not just the 12th; it’s the ‘Twelfth’. And with the Twelfth comes the annual reams of highly predictable media and social media commentary. The world will be told that the entire occasion is a sectarian hate fest. A ‘throw back’. An anachronism whose participants are nothing but unintelligent Neanderthals with a criminalist bent intent on tramping over all those that dare to disagree with them. The truth beyond the agenda driven … Read more

Insurrection 1916…… a Unionist perspective

The Insurrection in Dublin during Easter 1916 involved less than 1,700 men and women. It was the brainchild and initiative of a minority, of a minority of a minority- a small conspiratorial grouping within the leadership of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, who had itself been using and manipulating the Irish Volunteers behind the scenes, who in turn had themselves broken away from the populist Irish (later renamed the Irish National) Volunteers. A group of self-indulgent individuals unrepresentative of Irish society … Read more

Suck it up!!!!

‘Suck it up!!!’ That’s what us evil Orangemen have been once again told over the past few days. “Suck it up. Yes the painting does indeed show Orangemen be-decked in Ku Klux Klan garb. Yes it does indeed impose a direct connection and all the connotations of the ‘Klan’ onto the Orange Order with no doubt or ambiguity. Yes, thanks to modern media, it does bring to mind to even the most uninitiated on the Klan, racism, lynching’s and even … Read more

Chuid eile i síocháin

A general theme of ‘new’ political thinking is evolution. The concept is basically the view that society changes. So change with it. Old morals and systems have no intrinsic value or legitimacy, sometimes they have less value, and we should not shirk changing them. Traditions should change/ evolve, indeed some should disappear we are told. Society finds its ‘level’ if you like, and what it has chose and is choosing should be embraced without attempts to pull it back and … Read more

Ulster marching band numbers at record high…

As featured in today’s Belfast Newsletter, Irish News and Belfast Telegraph; tonight a new report is being launched by the Northern Ireland Youth Forum. The report has interviewed a cross section of bands people across Northern Ireland, looking at views and highlighting the levels of marginalisation felt. The responses to reports like this are close to predictable. Are the predictable (also read stereotypical) responses to this and other reports in any way useful? Of course not. For ALL areas of … Read more

Sinn Fein and selective hearing…

Balmoral Review poster

The upcoming Balmoral Review anniversary procession has been gaining some media attention lately. Primarily that attention has been via Sinn Fein, who some have accused of scaremongoring. All of the details of the event have been in the public domain for some time, however Sinn Fein have repeatedly appeared to be ‘confused’ and unable to grasp the simple facts both written and more worryingly actually told to them face to face. The Unionist Centenery Committee website tonight comments… On two … Read more

A victory…. for tolerance and respect

Cormeen Rising Sons of William press release following the success of their 8th annual band procession, this year held in Armagh City:- The Cormeen Rising Sons of William Flute Band sincerely thank all those who contributed to making their St Patrick’s evening band procession in Armagh a success. Despite certain groups attempting to ratchet up tensions the evening passed off peacefully and a great display of music and colour was enjoyed by all. The event started shortly after half past … Read more

Can racism only be against a minority?…

The Stephen Lawrence case has once again brought race issues to the forefront of the media. Over its many years of work, the campaign to bring convictions for the young man’s murder has raised many topics that it has deemed as being broadly related to making those convictions and for what it defines as racist offences.   Examined from a civil-rights perspective however it could be suggested that some of these issues actually run contrary to individual freedom and rights. … Read more

Outrage as British War machine send offensive Christmas card!…

Christmas week saw Newry and Mourne Sinn Fein Councillor Brendan Curran make another contribution to his party’s on-going attempts at ‘Unionist engagement’, endeavouring to understand the Unionist psyche, and of course creating a situation and atmosphere where Unionism will embrace and accept symbols, language and historical/ cultural expression important to Irish Republicanism. Brendan was reacting to the heinous and unforgivable act of receiving a charity Christmas card that dared to carry symbols and words directly relating to the charity it … Read more

Culture Night … tonight in London..

On the back of Alan in Belfast’s ‘Culture night’ topic, I thought I would share a relevant experience I had last weekend. On the morning of Friday 16th I left home to make my way to London, the occasion being the annual Lord Carson Memorial Parade organised by the London Somme Association. I’ve taken part several times in the past in my capacity as a member of the Apprentice Boys of Derry and a local branch of the Friends of … Read more

Alcoholic, Drug user, Thief = Justice?…

Latest reports on the now underway supergrass ‘show trial’ have revealed that a key witness has openly admitted he is ” an alcoholic and drug user who fled NI with money stolen from his parents.” His admissions, as reported by the BBC, include confessions of being a lifelong alcoholic and user of cocaine, LSD and cannabis (among others). His services to the judiciary are being given for the price of a reduced personal sentence for serious crime. Is there ANYTHING … Read more

Internet ‘news’ sourcing out of control…

There have been several prominent incidents of internet activity resulting in prosecution in the last few months. The Facebook threat cases of Gregory Campbell and Neil Lennon are particularly relevant to ‘our wee country’, but there are several others, including Facebook/ Twitter activity during the recent English riots. The incidents in question however seem to have opened a new door for what is seen as genuine news sourcing by several journalists. In the last few days alone there are two … Read more

Ireland unfree…….. shall never be at peace…

On Saturday I paid my first visit to Kilmainham Gaol. All I can say is wow. Is it any wonder we have supposed dissident republicans!!! Is it any wonder we still have young men queuing up to ‘fight for Ireland’!! Kilmainham front to back is a monument and appeal for blood sacrifice. It’s an overtly romantic homage to murder and destruction, and a legitimisation for it in the future. The entire historical narrative of ‘occupied’ Ireland since day dot, the … Read more

U.V.F. flags, banners and symbolism – historically and culturally legitimate (and legal)…

The issue of flags and emblems is a tricky one, and one with a phenomenal capacity for the famous ‘whataboutery. This post will avoid the ‘other side’. UVF flags and banners are carried and flown in Northern Ireland (and further afield incidently) today. Its raised continually as a bone of contention. I prepared text for a leaflet recently, produced in conjunction with Armagh City Community group R.E.A.C.T. and funded by the Community Relations Council (This leaflet was produced specifically for … Read more

It’s not Jerusalem, its Yerushalayim…

Last Saturday was my annual pilgrimage to the Maiden City to commemorate the Relief of Derry. Personally I have never been one of those Unionists who got overly hung up on the interchangeable use of the words Derry and Londonderry. I’ve been a member of the Apprentice Boys of Derry for 20 years this very month, and for as long as I can remember Saturday has always been ‘Derry Day’ to myself, my family, my friends and basically everyone I … Read more

GAA lacks sincerity…

The GAA and its members/ proponents (not always the same thing) on a regular basis continue to supply the air waves (and internet waves of course) with endless claims and assertions of how inclusive it is, with particular emphasis on how welcome the Unionist community is within the ranks. Recent events have however reinvigorated the Unionist assessment that the claims are simply a clever cloak. Put bluntly Unionism simply believes much of the murky truth is hidden by maximising ‘spin’ … Read more

Former R.O.I. boss acknowledges ‘picking’ National allegiance is unfair…

Brian Kerr, Republic of Ireland Football manager from 2003-2005, has admitted publically that the current conveyer belt of defections from Northern Ireland to the Republic doesn’t ‘sit right’ with him. He goes as far as saying that  It’s not a good situation and I hope it will change, because it’s not good for a lot of reasons Brian also professes a belief that the Republic is manipulating the Belfast Agreement for selfish disadvantage, and sympathy with the Irish Football Association. … Read more

Internment bonfire closes Westlink…

Given the preoccupation over the past month among many regarding the ill’s and evil’s of bonfires, its surprising that the events of last night have raised relatively few eyebrows. A Divis Street internment anniversary bonfire last night resulted in substantial chaos. One of the busiest thoroughfares in the Province (if not the busiest), the Westlink, was impassable for several hours. Several other surrounding roads were also closed. A relatively small crowd, reported as being a few hundred, was involved in … Read more

Blood and Thunder…

As a long time reader of Slugger, the old chestnut of ‘big bad bands’ (over 660 in Northern Ireland alone) has had a regular airing. What is blatantly obvious however is that broadly speaking, Irish Nationalism simply doesnt understand or comprehend what bands are about. Put simply, marching and parading is an alien concept to Catholic Ireland and as such Irish Nationalists just ‘cant get their head around it’. Its overtly simplified into a practise thats sole purpose is to … Read more