To remember or not to remember…

Last year on Remembrance Sunday I called into Joanmount Methodist Church in North Belfast a short time before the service was to start.  The church was filling up with most of the congregation wearing poppies.   After a brief conversation with the minister, I then drove less than a mile to the nearest Catholic Church which is in Sacred Heart Parish where I am the parish priest.  The contrast on that particular day could not have been more startling. The congregation … Read more

High Time Media Moved on from Indulging Pseudo-Controversy Surrounding James McClean and “Poppy Issue”

The media don’t half like flogging dead horses. Right on cue, James McClean‘s move to West Bromwich Albion last week prompted talk in the Belfast Telegraph (not for the first time) of his repeated eschewing of the wearing of a political poppy on his various past clubs’ football jerseys around Britain’s celebration of its Remembrance Sunday each year. This was despite the fact we are half a year on (or away from) November, when the reporting of such a trivial item might have … Read more

QUB Student’s Union show signs of “Old Guard” mentality

Queen’s University Students’ Union from the 1970s until at least the mid 1990s suffered from extremely divided student politics. It even reached the stage that the Northern Bank was excluded from Freshers’ Fair; whilst assorted IRA members were made honorary life members and a number of members of the executive went on after graduation to gaol for IRA terrorist offences.(one popped back up again recently as a Deputy Headteacher) Bizarrely they also voted to ban Nestle products from the Students’ … Read more

Poppy Appeal blues

Is this fair? British public opinion supports the troops but not necessarily the wars. However the Guardian makes a story out of the branding that goes with the Poppy Appeal like everything else these days.  I still get can’t get the infernal pin in right… The Poppy Appeal is once again subverting Armistice Day. A day that should be about peace and remembrance is turned into a month-long drum roll of support for current wars. This year’s campaign has been launched … Read more

An Irishman reasons why not to wear a Poppy…

Fergus O’Rourke on his non fanatical reasoning as to why he won’t be wearing a poppy this or in any other year… What was Britain’s purpose in WW1? That is a question routinely evaded, but whatever it was, it did not include granting self-determination to Ireland. We had been duped. (Two decades later, it was entirely understandable that we should have been resistant to a reprise of the dupe rôle.) Why should we “honour” as a body of men those … Read more