Ulster Still Stands at a Crossroads 1968 – 2013

2 leopards

Ulster Unionists say NO to Dr Haass
paisley 4
before and after flag
same old
We are standing at a crossroads in Northern Ireland” the Haass blueprint argues.
This is a remarkable opportunity to make bold choices to address the issues that hold us back from meeting our society’s full potential”.
45 years ago Capt Terence O’Neill, then Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, made a similar speech – appealing to the same people.

He got nowhere. Here’s what happened afterwards from 1969 to 1998
• 3,725 people were killed
• People were killed where they socialised, lived and worked. They were killed at sports events, in hospitals, in prison, leaving churches and even inside places of worship.

Civilians were the largest group (54%) of the deaths
kevin Mc daid
People aged 18 .23.7 were the largest age group (25% or 898 people)
• 1,533 of the deaths were people under the age of 25.

gavin brett
257 were under the age of 18.6
Approximately 47,541 people were injured
wounded in belfast
More witnessed the horror of violent death.
• There were 36,923 shootings and
• 16,209 bombings
• Tens of thousands joined the paramilitaries and went to priso
prison 2
NB Every day of the year marks the anniversary of someone who died in the Northern Ireland conflict
omagh memorial
What can we now look forward to in 2014?

arrested development

Happy New Year Ulster!!
sectarian graffitti



Click to access fact_sheet_on_the_conflict_in_and_about_northern_ireland_2.pdf



The Leopard Doesn’t Change its Spots – Hallmarks of Orange Loyalism (1795-2013)

“There has been an organised attempt to deprive Catholic men of their work, and to drive Catholic families from their homes.
“The rioters wave the flag and shout, * We are loyalists’.” Daily Mail 1st September, 1920

Compare and Contrast

Hundreds of people driven out of their homes by paramilitary and sectarian intimidation in Northern Ireland True figures may be higher” – The Guardian. 27th December 2013

Orange/Loyalist anti-Catholicism

english hallmarks


Orangemen/Loyalists Drive Catholics from their Homes

The policy of clearing Catholics from Protestant districts was initiated by the founder of the Orange Order, ‘Orange Jimmy’ Verner in 1794, kept up by his successors in the Orange Order all through the 19th and 20th centuries, and seemingly into the 21st
wrecked house

Armagh 1795: After the battle of the Diamond, the Protestants of the county of Armagh, and of part of the adjoining counties, determined to drive the Catholics from the country. Their cabins were placarded with Cromwell’s motto *To hell or Connaught’ . If the occupants did not leave at once, they were attacked at night by an armed mob. Every article of furniture was shattered or burnt (wrecking). The houses were often set on fire, and the inmates were driven homeless into the world. 12-14 houses were sometimes wrecked in a single night.
18th comeless mother and children
By the end of 1796 an estimated 700 Catholic families, about 4,000 people in all, had been forced out of their homes by the ‘Orange Boys’.

Belfast 1920: At least 2,000 Catholics were driven out of their homes in mixed areas.
Many were given a shelter in the already congested Nationalist areas, hundreds had to lodge in schoolhouses, stores and even stables. Several slept in tents on ground

Belfast 1935: Violence after an Orange Order parade decided to return to the city centre through a Catholic area instead of its usual route left nine people dead. Over 2,000 Catholics were forced to leave their homes across Northern Ireland
18th comeless mother and children

Belfast 1969: https://archive.org/details/gov.archives.arc.1633583


Bombay Street: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUKy29ZhP5Q&list=PL4D622E8822FDFD46&index=13



7 people were killed and hundreds more wounded. Streets of Catholic houses were burned-out,
burning belfast houses
In the greatest movement of people in Europe since WW2, thousands of mostly Catholic families were driven from their homes.

18th comeless mother and children

One story, later recounted by Jimmy Burns, from Ballymurphy, would encompass much of the haplessness that awaited them:
One of the most harrowing sights I remember was up in St Aiden’s. I went up there to find out where we could get provisions. There was an old man and an old woman in the school and they were in shock. They couldn’t speak. In their lifetime it was the fifth time they had been burned out of their home by loyalists. If there had been a photographer to take a picture of yon grey-haired old woman … She had been burned out as a child; she had been burned out along with her own children; and she was now burned out again after her children had their children.
This was her whole life”


Antrim 2001-2: Catholics living in Antrim have been subjected to a vicious campaign of sectarian intimidation in which loyalist paramilitaries have repeatedly targeted families in their homes, workers at their place of employment, children and their parents at school and even relatives attending a local cemetery.
Loyalist violence in Antrim has already resulted in almost 60 families being forced to flee from their homes, over ten children being withdrawn from school and a number of workers leaving their jobs. After a number of brutal assaults, many Catholic families no longer feel safe to shop or pursue leisure activities in the town.

We are being ghettoised,” said a resident.
Belfast 2013: 411 cases of individuals and families informing the Northern Ireland Housing Executive that they were homeless because they had been driven from their properties but the true figure may be three times as high

english hallmarks


Orangemen/Loyalists Destroy Catholic Livelihoods

Armagh 1795: The webs and looms of Catholic weavers were cut and destroyed, farm animals were hobbled/killed and implements broken.
Belfast 1912: all Catholics were temporarily driven out of Workman and Clark shipyard
kick out
Belfast 1920-22: over 8,000 Catholic workers were expelled from the shipyards, nearly all the engineering works, most large factories, warehouses, shops etc.,
1,225 of the expelled were ex-service men.

Over 2,000 women and girls were expelled from employment in factories, warehouses, etc.
factory girls
All but a very few of the business premises of Belfast Catholics, except those in the very heart of the city, or in the Catholic stronghold known as the Falls, were destroyed. £i,ooo,ooo worth of damage done
burning belfast houses
1923-1973- Widespread discrimination against Catholic workers
orange state
Belfast 1969: Scores of business were destroyed, 83% were Catholic-owned
2012-13Loyalist Flag Protests
“The cost of policing the union flag protests exceeded £15m” confirmed the PSNI chief constable .
2013: Catholics in Northern Ireland are more likely than Protestants to be unemployed, live in larger households and regard themselves as in poorer health.( 2011 census)


english hallmarks


Orangemen/Loyalists Attack Catholic church property

Armagh 1795:Catholic chapels and churches were attacked

Portadown 1900: Orangemen attacked St. Patrick’s Hall,
st-pats hall portadown
a Catholic social club, a priest’s house, Catholic homes and businesses, and the home of an allegedly Catholic Justice of the Peace,
Motivation: they claimed they had been enraged at the failure of the English to relieve the town of Ladysmith, in South Africa, which was under siege by the Boers.

belfat-rioters1920s ammunition
Belfast1920-2: repeated attacks on the Nuns of the Cross and Passion Convent and
st matthews church
St. Matthew’s Church (built 1831) in Ballymacarrett
Belfast July 1920: Military fired several rounds into the Catholic quarters in the Falls district
clonard monastery
and upon the Redemptorist Monastery (Clonard). 7 dead,
including 1 monk,several religious wounded. The total casualties for the day were 12 dead and 46 wounded
June 1970 “Battle of Saint Matthew’s” was a gun battle between republicans and loyalists, who were accused of attacking the church.

Motivation: Claims that 3 Orange Order members were killed after returning from a parade.
27 June 1970: Provisional IRA volunteers defend Clonard Monastery in Belfast from a Loyalist assault. One IRA volunteer and 5 Loyalists are killed.

joemccann poster
July 2012: Orange Order play Famine Song outside St Patrick’s Church, Belfast


english hallmarks

HALLMARK No 4  Sectarian killings 

Orangemen and Loyalists murder Catholics  simply because of their religion

Armagh 1795: 2 unoffending Catholics were murdered in a bog.
Belfast 1920-2: 465 killed; 1,034 wounded.
Belfast 1975-1982: The Shankill Butchers, an Ulster loyalist gang—many of whom were members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), was responsible for the deaths of at least 23 people, most of whom were killed in sectarian attacks. The gang was notorious for kidnapping and murdering random civilians from the Catholic community; each was beaten ferociously and had their throat hacked with a butcher’s knife.
shankhill butcher victim
Some were also tortured and attacked with a hatchet. The gang also killed six Protestants over personal disputes, and two other Protestants whom it mistook for Catholics.

As far as regards the activities of the UDA, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Ulster_Defence_Association_actions
Some examples:
2001 Protestant Gavin Brett was murdered in Newtownabbey by the UDA
Motivation: They thought he was a Catholic
gavin brett
July 2001 19-year-old Catholic Ciaran Cummings was shot dead in a killing that police described as “professional and well organised“.
Motivation: The Northern Ireland parades commission reviewed a decision to block the Portadown Orangemen from marching down the nationalist Garvaghy Road in Drumcree
Ballymena May 2006:Michael McIlveen, 15, was attacked by a gang of youths after buying a takeaway pizza on Saturday night.
The youths trapped him in an alley, struck him repeatedly and stamped on his head. He staggered home and was taken to hospital. His family remained at his bedside until his life support machine was switched off at 8pm on Monday.
The depths of sectarian hatred that underpin the annual Orange Twelfth of July activities was exposed in full when Orange supporters in Ahoghill, County Antrim placed a Tricolour mocking Ballymena teenager and sectarian murder victim Michael McIlveen on a bonfire. In a sickening display, not untypical at Orange bonfires, the flag with the words, ‘Fuck Mickey Bo’, was hoisted on the Ahoghill fire.

May 2009:Kevin Brendan McDaid
kevin Mc daid
was “brutally beaten by a sectarian mob” and killed yards from his home in the Somerset Drive area after Rangers beat Celtic to the Scottish league title on Sunday.
Witness Kelly Whittaker claimed around 15 men arrived in the area declaring: “We’re here from the UDA and we’re here to kick some fenians heads in.
“I went over and said ‘Leave him alone, he’s only an auld drunk man’ and all I got was
Motivation: ‘He’s a f****** fenian, he’s getting what he deserves’.”


english hallmarks


Orangemen and Loylists Attack Catholic Children

BELFAST, 1920-21: A 6-year-old girl was knocked down and kicked by a full-grown member of the Orange crowd.
child in 1920s
A bottle of petrol was poured over her and an attempt made to set her on fire.
One  of about 20 Orange hooligans shot dead a 4-month old Catholic child  in its mother’s arms  at  10, Castlereagh Road
baby iand mother 1920

13 -year old Catholic Mary McGowan,
13 year old girl in 1920s
was fatally shot by in Derby Street, by the Special Constabulary,
An Orange gang threw bombs into Catholic children
children playing in belfast street
playing in Milewater Street and Weaver Street.

For full details of the Weaver St attack see https://treasonfelony.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/awful-bomb-outrage-on-belfast-children

Children of Milltown (Catholic) Industrial School were attacked and stoned by gang of men from Sandy Row.

school children in the 1920s
Orange attack on Conway Street Catholic school wounded a female teacher and two children. The school closed the next day because of the danger to teachers and children.
Children of Catholic Richardson Street School were attacked

Belfast 2001: Holy Cross Protest
holy cross2

Belfast 2013: Red Hand Defenders issues threat to three Catholic schools in Belfast

english hallmarks


Crown Forces Murder Catholics


Belfast1920-22: 3 men were dragged from their beds and murdered in cold blood by members of the R.I.C who took little or no pains to hide their identity.
Patrick and Daniel Duffin, two Catholic young men, were brutally murdered in their homes by members of the local R.I.C.
Catholics Alexander McBride (30), publican; Malachy Halfpenny (22), ex-soldier; William Kerr (26), hairdresser were taken from their beds, brought off some distance in motors, shot dead and then left lying by the wayside.
2 Catholics, John Milligan (24) and Joe Millar, were murdered in their own homes by Specials with bayonets on rifles
1 Catholic and 1 Protestant killed in York Street area. 5 wounded.
David Morrison, Catholic ex-soldier, murdered by the Special Police with six bullets in his head, on Oldpark Road.
Portadown 1935: The RUC fatally wounded 56 year old Hugh Faloon who was standing by his second floor bedroom window.
Belfast August 1969: the RUC fired machine guns at Catholic flats killing a six year old boy and a soldier who was home on leave
rooney plaque
and let Protestants burn out two Catholic streets.
burning belfast houses


Orange Loyalists bomb pubs that Catholics frequent
english hallmarks


Orange Loyalists bomb pubs that Catholics frequent

4 December 1971, the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), a loyalist paramilitary group, exploded a bomb at McGurk’s Bar in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The pub was frequented by members of the Irish Catholic and nationalist community.

McGurks bomb
The explosion caused the building to collapse, killing fifteen Catholic civilians and wounding seventeen more. It was the highest death toll from a single incident in Belfast during the Troubles

13th May 1972 a no warning Loyalist car bomb exploded he pub was crowded with men watching the football match between England and West Germany on colour television, killing 3 and injuring 66 people
18 June 1973: The UFF claimed responsibility for throwing a bomb into the Meeting Of The Waters pub on Manor Street, Belfast.
30 October 1993 Greysteel, County Londonderry.
greysteel plaque
Three members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), a loyalist paramilitary group, opened fire in a crowded Irish Catholic and nationalist pub during a Halloween party, killing 8 civilians and wounding 13.

18 June 1994, about 24 people were gathered in The Heights Bar watching the Republic of Ireland v Italy World Cup football match.At 10:10pm, two UVF members wearing boiler suits and balaclavas, and armed with assault rifles walked into the pub and opened fire on the crowd.
heights bar
Six men were killed outright, and five other people were wounded. Witnesses said the gunmen then ran to a getaway car, “laughing”.

A memorial plaque in the room where six men were murdered at the Heights Bar in Loughinisland


Orange Loyalists justify their actions using these Motivations:
1)Orangemen seem to live and to thrive on slogans (rem 1960, No Surrender).

2) His most reliable  catch-cries  throughout  all the atrocities he has been committing on his Catholic neighbours are: *’ Sinn Fein Gunmen ” and ” the fearful provocation they are receiving from Catholics.”

3) The Catholics of Belfast and environs have only themselves to blame for the horrors;

4) The trouble is chiefly due to the fact that Catholics refused to recognise the Northern Parliament.

5) Why worry? You’re lucky to survive! In the wake of loyalist attacks, nationalists are often described as ‘lucky to be alive‘. Instead of anger and outrage, the victim is encouraged to feel ‘fortunate‘, in having ‘escaped‘ certain death or injury. As if being ‘lucky to be alive‘ should suffice.

Comment: Catholics aren’t second-class citizens, they are non-citizens, and as such, like the beasts in the fields, loyalists believe they should be content with being ‘lucky to be alive‘.

6) Denial: Referring to the burnings of 161 Catholic houses, on July 10th 1921 the next morning’s News Letter characteristically wrote ” Fires broke out at a number of dwelling-houses and much damage was done by the flames.”
The Northern Whig told its readers that * the attack on the convent on Newtownards Road last night was the work of one or two lads/’

Comment: Not a hint that Orange mobs publicly burned them all !

Background reading
Lecky History of Ireland in the Nineteenth Century (vol. iii., p. 429),

Belfast Riots – A Short History


http://www.irlandinit-hd.de/sub_archiv_en/bap18.htm#Sectarian pogrom forces Antrim Catholics to flee


We are suffocating


Haass Talks: Disagreement on more than 20 points
Dr Haass will not conduct a post mortem

“as the patient is still alive”.
naomi long
Ms Naomi Long Alliance Party MP for East Belfast says talks
life support
are on life-support”
Northern Ireland is suffocating under the weight of Loyalist bigotry,
rem 1690
sectarian graffitti
the Somme. Unionists’ and Loyalists’ 1916
UVF_mural somme
the rotting flesh of dying power.
orange state
The living are gripped in the iron will of a dead leader
old ministers — god-fearing or god-less
paisley 4
self-inflated Mervyn Gibson,
mervyn gibson
Orange Order Grand Chaplain,
orange no surrender
member of the RUC for 18 years (and we’ve seen their submission to Dr Haass) https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/the-rucs-submission-to-dr-haass/
quitting in 1994, just days after the IRA ceasefire,
non-elected member of the DUP negotiating team, representing politicians past

dofaulkner and internment
and present
dodds orangeman
jeffrey donaldson
Forever braying sectarianism,

public and power.
Enough of our servility
Away with them all! Joint Sovreignty/Governance Now!
Before any more of the years they are tearing from us create more layers of hatred and bitterness!


319/365 A Suffocating feeling

Festive Greetings to All of You

Merry Christmas
Nollaig Shona Duit
animated-christmas town
Καλά Χριστούγεννα
Buon Natale
Joyeux Noel
Feliz Navidad
merry christmas
Fröhliche Weihnachten!
חַג מוֹלָד שָׂמֵח!
С Рождеством!
god jul!
christmas picture

PS Click on pictures to animate!!


Minds are fixed on self and place

Just to get you all in the holiday mood here are the three tenors singing a traditional German Christmas song

The tune might remind you of something else

It was sung at the end of every Labour Party Conference until 1999 when
tony blair
Prime Minister Blair and his New Labour colleagues decided the old socialist anthem had to go. Post-WWII, the father of the Welfare state
Prime Minister Clement Attlee loved The Red Flag.
George Bernard Shaw called it “a funeral dirge”
Who wrote the words?
jim connell cover
Jim Connell (27 March 1852 – February 1929) in December 1889. On a train journey from Charing Cross railway station to his home in Honor Oak, south London, he gained inspiration as he watched
signal flags
the train guard raise and lower the red signal flag on the platform.
Was he an Englishman?

No, he was born in the townland of Rathniska, the eldest of 13 children, near the village of Kilskyre, to the north of Kells, County Meath when Ireland was still suffering the consequences of the great Famine (1845-1850)
during which over 1,000,000 people died on their farms or on the roads and millions emigrated

His education amounted to little more than a few weeks “under a hedge” and he
hedge school
learned little more than reading and writing
As a teenager became involved in
land league
land agitation (the Land league) and joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Aged 18 Jim signed the Fenian Oath,

I, Jim Connell, do solemnly swear, in the presence of Almighty God, that I will do my utmost, at any risk, while life lasts, to make Ireland an Independent Democratic Republic; that I will yield implicit obedience, in all things not contrary to the law of God, to the commands of my superior officers; and that I shall preserve inviolable secrecy regarding all transactions of the secret society that may be confided to me. So help me God! Amen.

The Connell family moved to Dublin where Jim worked as a docker
dublin docker badge
until he became blacklisted for attempting to unionise the workers. In 1875, he moved to London. He held a variety of jobs, including time as a staff journalist on
keir hardie
Keir Hardie’s newspaper The Labour Leader, and was secretary of the Workingmen’s Legal Aid Society during the last 20 years of his life.
While writing the words to the Red Flag, Jim Connell hummed the tune “The White Cockade” which he preferred for his lyrics

“The White Cockade” was a traditional Scottish tune that celebrated the attempt by “Bonnie Prince Charlie” to reclaim the throne of Britain for the House of Stuart. “The White Cockade” was well-known in the colonies at the time of the American Revolution, as a country dance tune and a fife and drum piece. It is also used for the state song of Maryland, the wealthiest state in the USA

This Christmas a tidal wave of austerity threatens all the progressive advances of recent decades
The Red Flag looks tattered and torn and trampled into the dust by the relentless rush of the new right levelling whatever stands in its path. Or does it?

redflag coffin
Mr Joe Cusker, 59, of Cambuslang, near Glasgow was inside the Clutha pub when a police helicopter crashed through the roof on November 29.
His coffin was draped with a red socialist flag and a single white rose was placed on top.



This is the USA, UK, Ireland

The Great Recession that began in 2007 is provoking a sharp rise in newly-homeless people around the world.
homeless family
As supportive public services in many cities have become overburdened, more people have abandoned the shelter system altogether and move to tent cities.
Jackie tent city resident
58-year-old Jackie has lived in a tent city, 30 miles outside Detroit, since last June. She’s a middle-class, New York Times-reading laboratory technician from the upmarket town of Saline, Michigan.She lost her job, then her home, and with no social services net to save her, ended up on the streets.A local shelter organisation referred her to Camp Take Notice.


Up to 300 people will sleep rough on the streets of London tonight, many of them skilled, intelligent and likeable people, and many of whom want to work.People end up homeless because of redundancy, a relationship breakdown, poor mental health, alcohol/substance addiction, domestic abuse.
The streets are a dangerous place to be – homeless people are 13 times more likely to be a victim of violent crime than the general public, and 47 times more likely to be a victim of theft.
Homeless people have a right to being treated with the same respect as anyone else. In a recent study though, almost two thirds of rough sleepers said they had been insulted by a member of the public, and shockingly, one in ten said that they had been urinated on.

homeless in london
Hundreds of children sleeping rough in London are at risk of being driven into crime and prostitution because officially they do not exist.Homelessness affects many more people than simply those sleeping rough. There are around 400,000 ‘hidden homeless’ in the UK, living out of sight in hostels, ‘sofa-surfing’ or squatting.

facts and figures
3,808 homeless in Ireland recorded in census 2011.
6 new presentations of homelessness in Dublin per day.(2013)
Just over 30 of homeless are women
139 people sleeping rough in Dublin on November 12th (Winter Rough Sleeper Count 2013)
307 Girls aged 19 or under recorded as homeless in the 2011 census.

homeless inDublin
I came from a very stable, well-liked family here in Tallaght. Never did I think I would end up on the streets of the same part of Dublin where I grew up.”
Until late autumn Quigley camped out each night below the sheltered entrance to a Catholic priory in the heart of Tallaght village. He has since moved into the subterranean car park for the winter although there are some nights when he gets a room in one of the city’s hostels.

Mark has had frequent spells of sleeping rough and has faced physical and verbal abuse in Belfast.

homeless in belfast
Many times I have been spat at, kicked in the face and in the stomach. I don’t know how many times I have been in hospital,” he said.

homeless in derry
Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson on Derry City Council, Cllr, Tony Hassan said,
Over the last number of weeks I had more people in my constituency office presenting themselves homeless because of repossessions than in the whole of the 2011.And the Housing Executive cannot get any temporary accommodation for them.Figures are showing that almost 1800 people are homeless in the Derry City Council area and growing each day“.

homeless in galway


What Fleggers Want – 1 year on

happy 1
A new descriptive paper* by Dr Jonny Byrne investigated the background to the Flag protests.
Since the decision had been taken to‘remove’ the Union Flag from flying 365 days a year over Belfast City Hall,

before and after flag
protestors said there was a ‘strong sense of loss’, which was often difficult to articulate.
women crying
The removal of the flag is an illustration of where our society is going, a place that doesn’t accommodate a Unionist tradition”

Comment: Protesters seem unable to distinguish between Unionism (a desire to maintain the union with the UK) and human/civil rights in a modern democracy.

The protests were “about the preservation of the rights of the Protestant people”.
Q. What exactly are they? How and why do they differ from the rights of other people living in NI?

The protests were about telling those in power and wider society that the Protestant, Unionist and Loyalist people were not going to let their sense of ‘Britishness’, be airbrushed from the ‘new’ Northern Ireland“.
chippingthey pick, pick, pick and pick away at our culture until all we are left with is scraps’.
Sir John Major
john major
has described this as a “phantom fear”.
kkk in bedsheets
Comment: Diagnosis, or naming the phobia, needs to be followed by therapy to overcome it

Respondents felt that over the last decade it was becoming more difficult to express their identity, celebrate their culture and acknowledge their past
We are under threat…you have seen it with the bands were we cant even play music in certain places

and with the bonfires were we are being told what we can and cannot burn

bonfire fuck
Malachi O’Doherty,”The DUP certainly regards it as a culture war: conflict by other means. I don’t know who first viewed it this way“,

Comment: They object to conforming to modern Health, Safety, Environmental laws. There appears to be no awareness that aspects of their culture are sectarian and offensive. Many non-Catholics were appalled by the behaviour of the band at St Patrick’s Church. And by the pitiful excuses produced in court.
they were unaware that only a single drum beat was to be played on the contentious stretch of their route along Donegal Street. Eyesight and reading limitations formed part of the defence case.”
Many more non-Catholics were aghast by what was said at Twadell Avenue


Respondents find it difficult to articulate what is meant by Loyalism, especially those that claim to be a Loyalist.
There was agreement that historically the word was associated with paramilitary activity and had recently become demonised as a term because of criminals claiming to be Loyalists.
uvf gunmen
pitying yourself
Essentially, it incorporated a number of things:
“You are loyal to the crown”
duties uk 3
and your Britishness…and your history and identity
sectarian graffitti
orange march
and the people that made it possible for you to be here now”

Comment:We already knew all that, didn’t we?
Brian John Spencer: Loyalists want to run large with no opposition, no counter-narrative, no resistance. By their false doctrine of loyalist exceptionalism, they hold a special privilege in society – They are beyond reproach and rebuff.This is a hideous state of affairs. Their iron band of total reign leaves no space for other views and voices. Anything in dissent is automatically branded either as snobbish, or as a malign and malevolent “Fenian”/”IRA”/”taigy” intervention. Failing that, the person or persons will get beat up.By this formula, their violent and extremist grip endures in a negative feedback loop. Simply by abolishing, silencing and censoring the unwelcome voice. Loyalism is sending Northern Ireland to hell in a handcart and you can’t do anything about it. By their formula, they have the whip-hand over you and you can say absolutely nothing.. This is abhorrent, nauseating and grotesque and must be opposed
Coment:There is apparently no awareness that these slogans and symbols no longer mean anything. How would respondents react to some of the arguments being put forward by English Republicans? For example,
The Crown currently gives our government huge powers that it can use without needing parliament’s permission. Getting rid of the Crown would give our elected parliament more power and control over the government.”
english republicans
According to respondents in the Byrne study, the equality agenda was a Republican
Agenda and parity of esteem was simply a myth being peddled by Sinn Féin,

sf new republic
Comment: Apparently no understanding of what these terms mean.

Proposals for the Stormont Administration:
1)A capillary Human Rights education programme will help these peopleunderstand the concepts “equality” and parity of esteem”. Meetings will need to be held in practically every community building to explain the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights, the EU charter, modern UK and ROI legislation and so on and so forth.
night class
Conducting this educational programme will provide work for unemployed teachers, young law graduates, human rights activists etc
2) All public buildings should be obliged and shops encouraged/given incentives to display appropriate relevant posters.
anti sect poster
Drawing up and producing posters will provide work for young graphic artists and printing companies
3) Soap operas exploring the concepts in the Ulster setting should be commissioned for local TV

soap opera
thus providing work for local script writers, actors, directors, producers etc. They could also be sold as our leaders traipse round the world promoting the peace process.
are you serious

*Flags and Protests: Exploring the views, perceptions and experiences of people directly and indirectly affected by the flag protests INTERCOMM & Dr.Jonny Byrne December 2013


The RUC’s Submission to Dr Haass

Yesterday’s Men

The Northern Ireland Retired Police Officers’ Association (NIRPOA) believe that the present institutional arrangements for dealing with the past are unsatisfactory.
They help “facilitate, often at public expense, a continual campaign of baseless denigration of the members of the RUC George Cross
Comment: Hardly surprising since you were replaced because you were a politicized police force. Mr Patten said that his key objective was to “depoliticise” policing.
Policing in Northern Ireland has suffered, often with disastrous consequences, from being a political issue, and from being associated with the dispute about the state itself,”

NIRPOA wants
1) NO Amnesty
“A proper criminal justice system and a rule of law culture require that crimes do not cease to matter simply because they took place long ago”.


2) NO Truth and Reconciliation Commissions
Truth may be incompatible with reconciliation“.

There is much that would come out of such a process that could indeed be highly damaging – not to our members, but to some of our current crop of politicians as well as to local communities in which the true role of some of their members has so far remained secret”“.
Q:Is that a veiled threat?

3) NO Truth Commission
“Terrorists will not tell the truth. Nor do we have any confidence that anyone other than our members would actually tell the truth”

Comment: The RUC certainly told the truth about the McGurk’s Bar Massacre

4) NO Police Ombudsman
This institution is not fit for purpose. It has lost the confidence of our organisation

Comment: The Police Ombudsman concluded that
*the RUC investigation of the murder of 61-year-old Sean Brown from Bellaghy in County Derry/Londonderry in 1997 was incomplete and inadequate.
*The RUC failed identify and deal properly with all available forensic evidential opportunities.
*They did not search properly for witnesses. Although an eye witness said he approached the police on the night and provided information along with his details to an unknown uniformed officer, his details do not appear in the investigative file and his information was not followed up.

*The RUC did not fulfil their duty to protect the public
*They did did not warn residents in Londonderry that an IRA bomb that later killed three people had been left in a house on their estate.The booby-trap device exploded at 38 Kildrum Gardens in the Creggan on 31 August 1988.

same old
NIRPOA wrote to Justice Minister David Ford to lodge a complaint about the Ombudsman’s report, saying that, until certain conditions were met, it could no longer encourage its members to engage with the Ombudsman in the investigation of historical incidents.
Two of the Police Ombudsman post-holders have been abetted by those politicians and pressure groups who seek to denigrate the RUCGC and those politicians who have failed to understand, or have colluded in, the agenda of such groups”.

tin foil hat

5)NO to HET
het team
NIRPOA have serious concerns about the work of the HET. Reasons include “a disproportionate allocation of resources and effort in pursuing matters in which they believe that there may be an opportunity to criticise the RUC George Cross”
tin foil hat
The report by HM Inspectorate was triggered by “criticisms which had been levied by the non-statutory republican pressure groups”
Comment: Upon the request of the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) in 2012, the Minister of Justice for Northern Ireland commissioned Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) to inspect the role and function of the Historical Enquiries Team (HET).

6) NO Republican propaganda “It is apparent that republican propagandists are desperate to ensure that their narrative should predominate. They are therefore using all their political muscle to skew the work of the relevant institutions in Northern Ireland in order to create a false narrative and the myth of “collusion”.

NIRPOA says NO to Inquests
“Many of the so-called “contentious inquests” relate to events which took place thirty or more years ago. Our members, many of whom are elderly and some of whom are frail, are being asked to come out of retirement in order to face a barrage of hostile questions. Terrorist organisations seek to use such public hearings as a vehicle not only for discrediting the security forces but also, crucially, for exposing secret methodology”.
tin foil hat
“A new tactic of the pressure groups appears to be emerging, namely to seek to “profile” police officers who may appear in more than one inquest. The implication which the pressure groups are seeking to develop is that the involvement of such officers demonstrates some sort of “shoot to kill” policy on the part of the police or HMG”.

NIRPOA: “Such allegations are manifest nonsense“.

Q: What do you want from the Hasss Talks?
It is time for our members to enjoy the retirement which their public service has earned.
Financial support for the welfare arrangements which are in place for retired police officers and police dependents should be guaranteed; they should not be vulnerable to changes in the political climate in Northern Ireland

Comment: Peter Mandelson, the Northern Ireland secretary, unveiled a £200m redundancy package for Royal Ulster Constabulary officers, declaring it the most generous scheme ever available to public sector workers in the UK. A chief superintendent, aged 50, with 30 years’ enhanced pensionable service,
got a lump sum of more than £300,000 and an annual pension of more than £27,000. A constable of the same age and service
ruc constable2
got nearly £134,000, with an annual pension of more than £13,000.

2)NIRPOA wants to change the definition of victims. “We believe the current definition to be unsatisfactory and ill thought-through“.
jeffrey donaldson
DUP MP Mr Jeffery Donaldson told the House of Commons he hoped to change the law regarding the definition of victims with a private member’s bill. Like the NIRPO he agreed that “You cannot equate the perpetrators of terrorist violence with their innocent victims.
A similar bill was brought to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2010 but did not become law.
if at first you dont succeeed

Q. What else does the NIRPOA want?
3) An Inquiry
All these inquests should be rolled into one inquiry. Although we are opposed in principle to any further public inquiries, this one inquiry may be necessary in order to discharge the UK’s obligations under Article 2 in relation to full and open investigations into relevant deaths.

Comment:I do wish the NIRPOA would pay attention and keep up! They’re just like the UPC! Our lovely SOS
said “The Government does not believe that selecting a further series of cases for public inquiries is the best way to deal with the past in Northern Ireland.”
4) Establishing an agreed record of the past from lawyers, politicians and other polemicists to professional historians and academics.
Comment: Excluding all the ordinary people from working class areas who bore the brunt of the conflict? But then as we saw above the NIRPOA don’t believe they tell the truth
pot kettle
NIRPOA: We hope that the initiative led by Dr Haass will recognise the merits of our arguments and take steps to secure their implementation.
Comment: You may have to prepare for disappointment

RUC retirement offer up to £300,000 – Telegraph

Click to access inspection-of-the-police-service-of-northern-ireland-historical-enquiries-team-20130703.pdf


Ulster Protestant Coalition’s Submission to Dr Haass: “It is imperative that . . .”

hass task
Dr Haass at work

Former UK prime minister Sir John Major
john major
has said he has no sympathy for loyalists who
claim the political process is eroding their British identity.

I think it’s a phantom fear,” he said.
kkk in bedsheets
Will Dr Haass agree?
He is probably wading through the submission from the Ulster Protestant Coalition (almost 10,000 members, who proclaim “our voice will be heard” )

Let’s look at what they want.
NB Disclaimer: all punctuation, grammar, ambiguities and errors in syntax are they’re (there, thar?) own a loan

The 16-page letter to Dr Haass opens with The Flag
no surrender2
Comment. Halt right there, Dr Haass
We as a community group, will not agree to our nation’s flag being negotiated away, there are no monies, promises of investment or forums that will be agreeable
UPC advice to Dr Haass: Wear your national flag on your lapel on a daily basis

Comment: How come you never thought of this, Dr Haass? This will really help you resolve the issues in Northern Ireland.

The Past
A long tirade against Noraid’s roll in gun-running (denied by Noraid) and Mr Michael Flannery (acquitted in a US court in 1982).
Comment:Here’s a picture of their argument.
no noraid
The US “government fully allowed this organisation to operate unrestricted and through there fundraising aided and abet it in the murder of incident civilians
Another long tirade about Senator Ted Kennedy
ted kennedy
Comment: All this is really going to endear them to Dr Haass, USA citizen and diplomat
Tirade about the 1970s Arms Trial etc, with claims that the Irish Govt formed, armed and used the PIRA for financial profit. Report cited which “what not penned by the UPV. But it demonstrates the involvement of the Irish State and Irish business and need to be recognised and resolved within this process”
Comment: Good luck with understanding that Dr Haass

On history
Observing history is like looking upon a painting from a great Impressionist master. It is only when one step’s back and views the whole blend of colour that it’s true form can be understood”
Comment: They no there/they’re/ thar art history

On the Civil Rights movement
The Civil Rights plan was, as Emanon McCann (Q.anyone ever heard of him/her?) related it “a simple one” – “a conscious, if unspoken, strategy was to provoke the police into over-reaction and thus spark off mass reaction against the authorities
Comment: It was all Themmuns fault, a dastardly unspoken and unwritten strategy. Work away, Dr Haass, with no evidence of anything but the mindset of the UPC.

The UPC want a series of “official public apologises
From Martin McGuiness

To the families of all victims and all those who served within the British Army, UDR, RUC, NI Prison Service, Garda, Irish Prison Service
From the US Government
that have publically allowed member of congress to openly support a terrorist organisation, namely PIRA
From the Irish Government
For the roll played in supporting PIRA and other Republican terrorist group
UPC also want a full public inquiry “to establish the exact roll of Dublin in the Troubles and a process of evaluating how much remuneration should be paid to Dublin’s victims in Northern Ireland’s killing times”

Comment:I am getting curious about this “roll” myself. What service did the unfortunate people of Dublin do to deserve a payment of money, salary or bonus? Just be in the wrong place at the wrong time? And what about the Monaghan victims? Sorry you don’t count

Our Culture
Comment:By no means original work from the UPC. Compare and contrast http://www.docstoc.com/docs/163697542/Hass_Letter__Public_
with the Orange order Website
parading orange order
The 12th is described as a “cultural extravaganza”
Comment: Talk about self-deluded. They should all read https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/northern-ireland-how-much-do-your-obsessions-cost
To justify Orange Order parades the UPC cite other parades – St Patrick’s Day in Dublin and New York, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, 4th July in the USA and Bastille Day in France
Comment: They don’t seem to grasp the difference between a 1 day parade once a year and 3,000-odd parades in 6 months, with 500 on the 12th alone. Let’s hope Dr Haass has a good maths teacher on his team!!
They want their Lodges and bands to be allowed to parade on the Queen’s Highway
Comment: A stretch of isolated road could conceivably be renamed the “Queen’s Highway” and they could parade up and down it to their heart’s content

They also want the hospital and prison towers at Long Kesh/The Maze
bird on the wire
to be demolished because they don’t want the peace centre there. It can go in the Titanic Quarter or the Old Crumlin Road Courthouse
old courthouse belfast
Comment: I do wish the UPC would try and keep up! The hospital and part of the H-Blocks are currently listed buildings, and would remain as part of the proposed site redevelopment. The Courthouse is a Grade B+ listed building.Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland
is planning to spend £12 million on re-roofing and basic refurbishment of the ground and first floors for a combination of uses such as office space, performance space or cafe, parking etc.

They insist Sinn Fein promote peace and development at interfaces while it is imperative the Protestant community and its culture is respected.
Comment: The day is long past when the UPC can tell Sinn Fein or anyone else what they have to do. Imperatives no longer exist. The Empire is long gone. Respect has to be gained. Talk about self-deluded and self-inflated. But we knew that, didn’t we?



Acht na Gaeilge: The Non-Appearance of the Irish Language Act

Case report
An Irish language speaker, Caoimhin Mac Giolla Cathain, a member of the Shaws Road Gaeltacht in west Belfast, was informed that his application in Irish for a drinks licence could not be considered.
what part no
Court staff said the reason was that the Administration of Justice (Language) Act of 1737 stipulated that “all proceedings in courts of justice within this kingdom shall be in the English language”.
all legal
judge treacy
Mr Justice Treacy dismissed Mr Cathain’s contention that the 1737 Act was incompatible with the European Charter for Regional and Minorities Language and secondly that the Act was in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Solicitor Michael Flanagan said “We find it difficult to accept that legislation created in 1773 is still fit for purpose in a modern and diverse society and especially so in the light of the Good Friday Agreement’s commitment to promoting minority and regional languages.
eamon phoenix
Historian Dr Eamon Phoenix concluded: “The 1737 Act can be viewed as a piece of discriminatory legislation directed at the mother tongue of the mass of the Irish population at that time.It is therefore the cultural equivalent of the penal laws.”
penal laws
On the contrary” said Dr McBride, King’s College, London. He stated: “I cannot find any evidence to suggest that the Act was ever regarded as part of the ‘penal laws,’ that it was intended as (an) anti-Catholic measure, or that it was intended to weaken the position of the Irish language in Ireland.
According to the Judgment approved by the Court for handing down
judge treacy
“The 1737 Act was intended to prevent people being misled or in the language of Section 1 “ensnared” by writs and formal documents formulated in Latin, French or other foreign languages. It was a statute intended to reform the then prevailing antiquated and linguistically cumbersome court procedures to remove some of the procedural complexities arising from ancient writs and procedures formulated in legal language no longer comprehensible to ordinary litigants. There is nothing to suggest that those who could only speak Irish were prevented from giving their evidence in Irish subject to translation. English was the common working language of the higher courts in Ireland, a consequence of the imposition of English common law on Ireland. Whatever may be said of the adverse consequence of that linguistic policy to the Irish language the present position is that English is not merely the working language of the courts. It is now clearly the working language of nearly the entire population”
Alien speaks latin

How many people in Northern Ireland understand spoken Irish?
watch out
An average of 1% can understand complicated spoken sentences and radio or TV programmes in Irish. A mean of 1% use Irish at home, conversing with family or housemates, on a daily basis and 3% occasionally(7% Catholics vs <0.5% Protestants). Another 2% understand a simple conversation in Irish. A further 3% can understand simple spoken sentences or phrases, e.g. ‘It’s half past three
Another 4% can understand single spoken words or simple phrases, e.g. ‘Hello’ or ‘How are you?

Age, health status, level of deprivation of the area they live in and if they live in an urban or rural location are all related to the likelihood of having knowledge of Irish. More Catholics know Irish than Protestants (29% and 2% respectively). Overall, 18% of the population in Northern Ireland are interested in learning more about Irish (29% Catholics and 8% Protestants).
irish tricolour
According to Article 8 of the 1937 Constitution of Ireland (Irish: Bunreacht na hÉireann) Irish is the first language of the country, with English – in theory – enjoying a supplementary function.
Article 8 of the Constitution of Ireland

1. Ós í an Ghaeilge an teanga náisiúnta is í an phríomhtheanga oifigiúil í. 2. Glactar leis an Sacs-Bhéarla mar theanga oifigiúil eile. (‘1. Because Irish is the national language, it is the main official language. 2. English is accepted as another official language’, translation RH).
Despite this constitutional support, English is in effect the language of public life and around 99% of Ireland’s four million people speak it as a native language. Nonetheless, Irish has a special status in Ireland.

The St Andrews Agreement
In October 2006, in Appendix B st andrews agreement
Both governments agreed the UK Government would introduce an Irish Language Act and work with the incoming Executive to enhance and protect the development of the Irish Language.
are you serious
The British and the Irish Governments actually agreed that?

no way
The agreement is between the British Government and the Irish
Government and not the Belfast Government in Stormont

nice try
The unionist political parties issued public statements stating their intention to veto any Irish language legislation
dup banner
Democratic Unionist Party Ministers for Culture, Arts and Leisure at the NI Assembly have stated publicly that they will not enact the Irish Language Act.
paisley 4

16th October 2007: Minister Edwin Poots
poots and god
stated that he ‘was not persuaded of the need for Irish Language legislation.’
4th December 2008: Minister Gregory Campbell
in response to the question
When does the Minister intend to introduce an Irish language Act, so that there is parity
between Wales, Scotland and the North of Ireland?
’ stated, ‘I do not intend to do so.’

Minister Nelson McCausland,
made a number of negative comments about the Irish Language Act and he stated that he would continue to implement the same approach as his predecessors.
uup banner
David McNarry (originally UUP, now UKIP) Past Assistant Grand Master Orange Order,
orange gloves
reaffirmed the unionist will to veto an Irish language act.
Not being satisfied with attempting to stymie the proposed act, he now essentially seeks to ban the Irish language from Stormont,
out damned spot
as it offends Unionist bigoted sensibilities.
The same hostility towards the Irish language persists in other Departments and throughout some of the structures of the devolved institutions. Peter Quinn, Chairman of Irish broadcaster TG4,
accused senior NI civil servants of bias against the Irish language.
Since 2007 international bodies have noted the intolerance and sectarianism
prevalent in discussions at Assembly level around the Irish language
The Council of Europe Committee of Experts on the European Charter for Regional or Minority
Languages (2010) raises the issue of the resistance of some unionists.
as things currently stand, legislation on the protection and promotion of the Irish language is unlikely to be made by the NI Assembly. It could however be made by the UK Parliament under its parallel competence.’

The Experts urge the UK authorities, ‘to provide an appropriate legislative base for the protection and promotion of Irish in NI’.

Calling all Unionists!

Does this frighten you?

As a native English speaker does this terrify you? If so, care to explain why?

cultural racism in stormont

PS For all further info about the status of the Irish language please see the expert: http://ansionnachfionn.com/

Click to access Aighneacht-POBAL-Gaeilge.pdf

Click to access POBAL-submission-English.pdf

Click to access irish_language_chs_2011-12_bulletin.pdf

Click to access irish_language_speech.pdf