Autumn Leaves

Here’s this week’s Saturday night film

Set in Scotland on Referendum night

You may remember most older voters in Scotland voted NO


Password for film is: scotland

Note the lower case ‘s’.

This short film  was partially financed by Wings over Scotland



Theobald Wolfe Tone (20 June 1763-19 November 1798)


wolfe tone

Father of Irish Republicanism
Missing the anniversary by a day because I have unexpectedly been away for a bit and have been (still am) a bit sick

Theobald Wolfe Tone died at the age of 35 in Provost’s Prison, Dublin, not far from where he was born.

wt tomb

He is buried in Bodenstown, Co. Kildare , Ireland

wolfe tone's grave


Wolfe Tone  was one of the founding members of the Society of  United Irishmen.

cavehill and castle
At the summit of Cavehill , Belfast, Tone made the famous Cavehill compact with fellow United Irishmen, Russel and McCracken, promising “never to desist in our efforts until we subvert the authority of England over our country and asserted our independence“.
Modern republicans often quote him:
To subvert the tyranny of our execrable government, to break the connection with England, the never failing source of all our political evils, and to assert the independence of my country—these were my objects. To unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of all past dissentions, and to substitute the common name of Irishman, in the place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic, and Dissenter—these were my means.”
“To unite Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter under the common name of Irishmen in order break the connection with England, the never failing source of all our political evils, that was my aim”.
“If the men of property will not support us, they must fall. Our strength shall come from that great and respectable class, the men of no property”.

Tone was captured by British forces at Lough Swilly in Donegal and taken prisoner. His one request at his trial was to be shot as a soldier, as he was a commissioned officer in the French Revolutionary Army. Instead he was sentenced to be hanged as a traitor.
Before he was to be executed, Wolfe Tone attempted suicide. He subsequently died from mortal wounds eight days afterwards, thus avoiding being hanged as a convicted traitor to the British Crown for his involvement in the 1798 Irish Rebellion.
He took his own life to spite his enemies and deny them the satisfaction of hanging him.

He is our political ancestor, and his message still rings clear and true.

This is the background to the Societies of the United irishmen, the foundation of the Orange Order, Loyalism

the 1916 Uprising, theTreaty,Civil war and Tone’s legacy

This is Tone’s Legacy

And here’s something about his friends William Brennan and William Orr in Belfast and the 1798 rebellion in the north

And finally, just to show you what it’s all about  really, in the final analysis, when you come down to basics


NB: Remember Orr: The Protestant/Loyalist minority have no answer to give   if and when the Catholics/Nationalists/Republicans  of Ireland demand their rights

Shambolic Northern Ireland Talks?

While we’re waiting for the results of the Catalonia Referendum

yes catalonia
(out tomorrow, Monday 1oth)
let’s have a look at what’s happening in NI with the famous 2nd set of talks

gary hart

involving a senior US  Statesman as American Envoy

Who started these talks?
The UK government


Our lovely SOS said

There is a general recognition that we can’t go on as we are.


robinson and mcguinness

Like last year?

No. This year it’s different

Is it really?

Probably not. Unionists who scuppered the Haass talks are quite capable of scuppering these too.

They have a history of doing what they want, not what the UK government wants.

What are the talks for?
Finding a consensus on Orange Order-induced wrangles such as flags, parades and the legacy of the past.
Addressing Orange Order-stalled implementation of the GFA and following treaties.

So what’s happened?
The American Envoy’s gone back home!
dont believe

He spoke to everyone and made non-committal remarks about the USA

not being able to impose a solution to the deadlock.

He suggested he might be back to say

'I've studied the issues, reviewed the facts, considered all the alternatives and decided 'The hell with it'.'


'I'm sorry...what other options are there?'

If things stalemated something like that might be helpful” he said

What do other people think?

naomi long
Alliance MP Ms Naomi Long
the whole business is shambolic”

What’s the problem?

There is no more money for NI but Mr Cameron would look favourably on any proposals

The UK government is worried about several EU developments.


1) Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights insisted the UK Government had a responsibility to pay for effective investigations of killings involving the security forces.

“Failure to do so would be in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR)”.

Under the terms of Article 2 of the ECHR, the UK authorities have a duty to ensure that the investigations of deaths are independent, effective and prompt.

That’s not been happening, has it?
No, and now the Historical Enquiries Team,

which wasn’t a great success anyway, is being shut down

What else are they worried about?
2) Several potential legal challenges from relatives bereaved during the Troubles for allegedly failing to properly investigate historic killings.

3) A major EU report on its funding to Northern Ireland bemoaned Peter Robinson’s U-turn on the Maze peace centre, which has scuppered what senior European officials believed could have become a major EU initiative.

What did our lovely SOS say?
not my problem
These are matters of policing and justice, they are devolved, so the first call for funding any new institutions should be Northern Ireland’s block grant, which continues to be higher per head in Northern Ireland than it is anywhere else in the UK, so it continues to recognise the particular circumstances faced in Northern Ireland,” .

What do the Unionists think?

They’re jetting off to Brussels to whip up support for the Unionist cause

robinson and nesbit

They said that they would brief leaders at the European Parliament on “the state of play in Northern Ireland

and issues which are of concern to unionists.


I look forward to presenting a unionist perspective and engaging with those who have an interest in Northern Ireland.
“There are times when unionists have underestimated the need to spread our message around the world.

We have a great story to tell”.
I will emphasise that unionism “does not stand as an opponent of progress”.

impossible dream

Mike Nesbitt Spoof pic
Mr Nesbitt

Unionism must go the extra mile to ensure our position is both understood and accepted”

no matter how hopeless

We go with two closely tied objectives:

1)  to make the pro-Union case, in a positive and confident manner;

Comment: We’ll tell the EU themmuns get everything and we gat nahim

“2) to counter the propaganda of Sinn Fein, a party that signed an agreement to respect Northern Ireland’s constitutional status as part of the United Kingdom,  but then cannot even manage to afford the courtesy of using the country’s name”

the horror

What does Sinn Fein want?

i wish

for a  timetable to implement the outstanding issues of the Good Friday Agreement.

 for the British government to become part of the solution rather than part of the problem”


Meanwhile back in NI


Theresa Villiers insisted “the Stormont talks are progressing”.

next week we will be intensifying the process. There was a shared recognition that we should intensify things next week”.


Queries: When the Unionists are all off on a jaunt to Brussels?
                    Is she hoping to sort things out behind their backs?