Fifty Questions For Irish Republicans:

William Ennis, a Progressive Unionist activist in East Belfast puts a number of questions to republicans. His pieced appeared earlier in Long Kesh Inside Out.

The Proclamation

  1. Do you disagree with the media practice of referring to Republicans who oppose the peace process as dissidents, a reference which cleanly divorces them from pro-peace Republicans, given that this courtesy is not extended to pro-peace Loyalists?
  2. Is Sinn Fein’s desire to slash corporation tax, arguably to the cost of public services, a betrayal of James Connolly?
  3. With the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) acknowledging the British identity of those within our communities who cherish it is Brits out still an appropriate slogan?
  4. Many Irish Republicans supported the Scottish Yes campaign.  Is this an acknowledgement that two states can be a peaceful solution upon One Island?
  5. Can you think of a campaign you’d like Loyalists and Republicans to undertake together?
  6. Do the differing attitudes toward Loyalist culture in the Republic of Ireland (where opposition to orange parades is almost unheard of) and Northern Ireland (were many Loyalists understand it to be cultural within Republicanism) deepen partition?
  7. Is ringing the bell to start trading at the New York Stock Exchange consistent with a Socialist Republic?
  8. To what degree do the reasons cited by dissident Republicans for splitting from main stream Republicanism differ from the reasons cited by the Provisional IRA (PIRA) for doing so in the 1970’s?
  9. Re-read question 5…  Can you name another?
  10. Should trustees of a building/organisation to which rent is being paid from the public purse be aware of such transactions?
  11.  If Irish Republicans oppose hierarchy of victimhood why don’t they campaign on behalf of PIRA victims too?
  12. Why did the PIRA not accept power-sharing in the 1970’s given that its format was very similar to our power-sharing arrangement today?
  13. How much consideration was given within the Catholic/Nationalist/Republican community to the effect the Belfast City Hall flag removal would have upon w/c Protestant areas before that action was undertaken?
  14. Does the Republican understanding of a shared future refer to a future shared between Catholics, Protestants and other faiths, or between Nationalist, Unionist and other ideologies?
  15. Any theories as to why so few Ulster Protestants have been recruited to the Irish Republican cause in Northern Ireland?
  16. During the conflict as Irish Republicanism battled what it considered British oppression of the Irish people, what steps did it take to combat the now clear oppression which was perpetrated upon the Irish people by the Church (via laundry prisons for young women and clerical child abuse)?
  17. With almost unanimous agreement that the Irish language should not be politicised, does it belong in the manifesto of any political party?
  18. Does Irish Republicanism advocate separation of church and state?  If so, given the special position De Valera gave to one religious faith above all others, when did that policy change?
  19. What things would you, as a Republican, like to see happen in Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist areas which aren’t happening at the moment?
  20. Why have SF agreed to implement the austerity plan of the Conservative party?
  21. Do you believe Loyalism has a right to exist?
  22. Do you believe Loyalism has a right to practice its parading tradition?
  23. Do you believe Loyalism has a right to practice its parading tradition in areas which are not Protestant?
  24. Do you support segregated living as two separate communities?
  25. Why are some Republicans still engaged in armed struggle?
  26. To what extent do currently violent Republicans (known in the media as dissidents) influence the policies of Sinn Fein?
  27. With Scotland coming within six per-cent of leaving the UK without a bullet fired, a bomb planted or a prisoner self-starved, has any reconsideration been cast upon Irish Republicanism’s past tactics?
  28. Why is partition a blight of Ireland but a goal in Spain?
  29. Are the Irish people who fought in the two world wars less Irish than those who didn’t?
  30. Was De Valera correct to refuse Churchill’s offer of Irish re-unification in exchange for Ireland’s official recruitment against Nazism?
  31. Is it credible for a party to be anti-austerity in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) whilst implementing austerity in Northern Ireland?
  32. Did the Enniskillen bomb benefit Ireland?  If so, how?
  33. Any theories as to why the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) focused their enquiries overwhelmingly on ex-Loyalist paramilitaries and anti-SF Republicans but very rarely on PIRA paramilitaries?
  34. With the EU bringing together states through trade and dialogue doesn’t this render the 32 county state arguments obsolete?
  35. Would a SF government in the ROI withdraw Ireland from the EU, or set in motion the referendum to do so?
  36. Was the conflict here a legitimate war, or a terrorist campaign?  If the former, why complain when your enemy fired back?  If the latter, why support terrorism?
  37. Why didn’t the PIRA apologise to all innocent victims at the calling of its ceasefire, as Loyalists did?
  38. Loyalist protesters were recently fired upon by police using rubber bullets.  Is it fair to say that Republican protest at their use is not as vociferous as was the case in past generations when the same tactics were deployed against protesting members of the Catholic/Nationalist/Republican section of the community?
  39. If South Africa and India (to name two) can rejoin the commonwealth why not Ireland?  Would it not be the ultimate olive branch to the British section of the community in Ulster?
  40. If you could change one thing (just the one mind) about Loyalism, what would it be?
  41. Would the Parades Commission be legal in the Republic of Ireland?  (see article 40.6.1.ii of the Irish constitution)
  42. If you could change anything about Irish Republicanism, what would it be?
  43. Is mocking the pronunciation of certain words by another working class section of the community consistent with the Socialist Republic?
  44. Is it wrong to say that Sinn Fein’s opposition to super-grass trials is much weaker today that the targets of the tactic are usually Loyalists, than it was in the 1980’s, when the targets were often Republicans?
  45. If Northern Ireland is an occupation then presumably as a Unionist I must be a collaborator of some sort.  In the event of the Republican Ideal of a thirty-two county sovereign Island state, how would my charge sheet read?
  46. Considering the petition of concern facility at Stormont, what are the chances of legislating for a united Ireland referendum?
  47. Is the creation of companies for the purpose of acquiring invoices to draw expense claims from the public purse in keeping with a Socialist Republic?
  48. Will the re-emerging tactics of bombing banks, shooting policemen etc benefit Ireland?  If so, how?
  49. Why did Sinn Fein capitulate to the DUP on the recent budget?
  50. I don’t mean to embarrass the guy, but on the several occasions I have met and conversed with Connor Maskey I found him to be genuinely engaging and progressive.  Have you ever engaged with a Loyalist were the exchange became hopeful rather than adversarial?
Some Unionists may find this list tame or lacking in venom, as some Republicans may find some of the questions cheap and predictable, yet picking a row is not their purpose.  Some of the questions came from frustrations I sense within the Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist section of our community and others were born solely of my own curiosity.

Dialogue is never a bad thing.



  1. Republicanism doesn't know if it is socialist or nationalist, secular or catholic; republicanism doesn't know if unionists are 'deluded Irishmen' or 'fucking Planters'; republicanism doesn't know if its driving force is love of Mother Ireland or hatred of Perfidious Albion. If republicanism doesn't know what it is, or who speaks for it, then how can it answer those questions?

  2. That should keep the 1916 societies busy for a day or two.

  3. 1 No, I agree with differentiating between pro and anti-peace Republicans. The fact the media have not extended distinguishing labels to pro and anti-peace Loyalists is irrelevant to this view.
    2 Not at all.
    3 Not at all.
    4 Of course two states can be a peaceful solution upon one island, but (a) that does not mean that just because two nations can be peaceful with one another, they should remain separate countries or remain together in one country and (b) the situation in Scotland is/was/has been very different to the situation in Ireland – continually drawing parallels is either lazy or ignorant.
    5 Yes, millions. One would be to agree on facts relating to history. What actions were taken, by whom, why, and what the reaction was, by whom, why, and what the reaction to this reaction was etc. etc. How religion and social depravation played a part. Then teach this history to “mixed” audiences full of 8-16 year olds. Educating the young as to why there was and still is so much bitterness while showing that there is no longer any need for it would be incredibly positive for the majority of people in Northern Ireland.
    6 No. Not everyone in one country has to have the same attitude on one issue for them to be the same nationality. That they all must share the same thoughts on any issue to be fellow Irishmen and women would be a moronic idea. On this particular topic, parades south of the border never played out like they did north of the border. The triumphalism, deliberate “rubbing it in” and use of parades to remind Catholics they were second class citizens and keep Catholics in their place never materialised in the Republic.
    7 Not at all.
    8 Many degrees. The main one being appetite. An oppressed people can only see peaceful human rights equality marches destroyed by off duty police officers in cahoots with opposition illegal paramilitary forces for so long without thinking the only way to achieve anything to is to fight back.
    9 Yes, I could name millions. Summer camps for kids. Specifically designed to promote teamwork and trust building. Show children at an early age PUL’s and CNR’s are no different to one another.
    10 Of course.

  4. 11 Primarily out of embarrassment and selfishness. Not having to hear so many personal tragedies and the effects actions in war had on others. A secondary reason would be that others already to that job, i.e. Willie Frazer and FAIR. He and they campaigns only for victims of Republican actions. I am sure they oppose a hierarchy of victimhood.
    12 For the same reason the majority of unionists rejected it – a lack of appetite among so many. Things were too raw. Too many had died too soon. Not continuing to fight would have felt like a betrayal.
    13 Some. But the thought that a rampant mob should put you off making fair, compromised, cross party, cross ideological decisions would be anathema to what democracy is supposed to be about. There was also a misjudgement in how unionist political parties would use it to their own ends and whip up bitterness and hatred not seen in years. There was possibly an overestimation of the intellect of working class loyalists to see through any such whipping up.
    14 Surely it is not one or the other. But religion would not be at the forefront of republican thought.
    15 For the same reasons so few Irish Catholics have been recruited to the British Loyalist cause I would imagine. It is somewhat sad however, given that many Protestants, some from Ulster, played such a pivotal role and are heroes in Irish Republican history.
    16 Many leaders of Irish Republicanism over the centuries detested religion and detested the Catholic Church. They would undoubtedly have smashed its influence if ever in position to. After all, most were Marxists. Unfortunately, they never lived long enough to do anything about it. Anti-treaty IRA forces during the Civil War were denounced by the Church, for example. Ironic given the role of de Valera, as he would outlast them all and protect the Church with every fibre of his being. Later, the PIRA were too focused on defeating one enemy (the British security forces) before any possibility of moving on to another (maybe the Church).
    17 If any party wishes to use it in a manifesto it is up to them. Does that automatically politicise it? Do Plaid Cymru politicise the welsh language? The Irish language has been politicised for centuries, starting with its prohibition by the British after conquering Ireland. It dwindled to such low numbers because of successful cultural warfare by a foreign entity. Spoken on these islands long before English ever was, it should be granted the respect it deserves.
    18 Most Irish Republican leaders were anti religion and definitely for the separation of Church and State. De Valera wasn’t. But when he died the Republic underwent a prolonged period of secularization in the 1970s and 1980s. De Valera was a ****.
    19 A realisation that they are not under any attack from any number of bogeymen, despite the TUV, DUP, UUP and geniuses like Jamie Bryson telling them otherwise. A realisation the union is as safe as it ever has been at any stage of its near century old existence. CRN’s are too proud to admit they’ve lost, PUL’s too thick to realise they’ve won.
    20 To stop Stormont from collapsing.

  5. 21 Yes.
    22 No, given what “tradition” involves. Triumphalism only stirs up hatred and bitterness of which there is no need. If parades were simply a commemoration of one usurper’s victory over a rightful monarch for the purposes of greater liberty, social freedoms and less religious domination then there would be no issue. The drinking culture that promotes, but is not the sole cause of, “the hangers on,” sectarian songs and other gratuitous offensive actions like urinating against Catholic Church property etc., which were once all done to remind Catholics they were second class citizens & only reminds people of dark days are where the problems lie.
    23 If they could behave with dignity, of course.
    24 Not at all. Few things sicken me more.
    25 For a number of reasons. Inability to move on. Personal loss. Nothing better to do. Stupidity. Delusions of grandeur.
    26 Not at all. Not even a little bit. Sinn Fein has an unshakable support base. Unlike unionist parties Sinn Fein can’t be outflanked so have no need to “out Republican” other parties in the way the UUP feel the need to “out DUP” the DUP. Sinn Fein’s political threat has and will continue to be the SDLP – so they’ve moved more to the centre. The DUP and UUP’s political threat comes from the far right – so they move further to the right. Thus Sinn Fein policies being influences by a few dozen people with no widespread support is a fanciful idea.
    27 No. As said in answer 4, any parallels being drawn between the quest for independence in Ireland and the quest for independence in Scotland is either lazy or ignorant. There are a million differences, all of which allowed Scottish nationalists to almost achieve their aim peacefully in a way Irish nationalists never could. For example, in 1912 the British government was going to grant Ireland home rule, not even independence, and what happened? Loyalists threatened war against the British. The Ulster Volunteers were formed, and these men were so “loyal” they purchased 25,000 weapons and 3 million bullets from the British Empire’s enemy, Germany, who within months were at war with each other in World War I. Another example would be the Irish General Election of 1918 - only 25% of the Irish people voted to continue to be ruled by London. And what happened? The results were ignored and the War of Independence broke out. These things never happened in Scotland. Nor did the denial of basic rights in employment and housing to people of a certain religion all the way up the 1970s. There is and never has been a comparison with Scotland.
    28 For any multitude of reasons, chief one among them being Irish/British history is different to Spanish/Basque/Catalonian history.
    29 Not at all.
    30 Not at all. De Valera was a ****.

  6. 31 Yes. Two different countries with two different currencies and two different sets of problems economically.
    32 Not at all. Few things sickened me more.
    33 Yes. The HET focused mainly on loyalist paramilitaries as they carried many atrocities out with the help of the state. Unless you want to morally equivocate the PIRA and the British government this is the right path to go down.
    34 Not at all. Does it render the UK obsolete? Germany? France? Why not have a united Europe if it did?
    35 No. There are too many benefits of staying within the EU.
    36 It was a legitimate war. Nobody is complaining the enemy fired back, unless by firing back you mean interning innocent Catholics without trial or any evidence on the off chance they are in the PIRA, or butchering innocent Catholics for no other reason than they were Catholic.
    37 I don’t accept the premise of your question. The PIRA did apologise, and on a number of occasions. But for the purposes of this answer, you only need one. Tuesday July 16th 2002. Do your research.
    38 Yes. Just as loyalist protests against the use of rubber bullets is more vociferous now than it was when they were fired upon CNR’s.
    39 South Africa and India were free to make their own decision. As is the Republic of Ireland. The government in the south would take all things into consideration when thinking about joining the commonwealth. I doubt an olive branch to PUL’s would be at the top of those considerations. How could it possibly be seen as an olive branch? Wasn’t rolling out the red carpet for Queen Elizabeth II enough? Or commemorating all servants of the British Army? Would joining the commonwealth be enough? If they did, would it then be asked that they simply re-join the UK as a further olive branch? What does the commonwealth offer that staying out of it doesn’t already? Incredibly little if anything at all.
    40 The level of intellect.

  7. 41 Yes. The Irish constitution “guarantees liberty for the exercise of the following rights, subject to public order and morality.” I suggest the last bit is important. It also states “Provision may be made by law to prevent or control meetings which are determined in accordance with law to be calculated to cause a breach of the peace or to be a danger or nuisance to the general public.”
    42 The level of intellect.
    43 As far as I am aware, mocking has never been made illegal in a socialist republic so it would not be inconsistent.
    44 No.
    45 There would be no charge sheet as well you know. The Irish constitution recognises Northern Ireland as part of the UK. In any case you would not be guilty of collaborationism as you are not working against your country in wartime, given we are neither at war nor are you Irish by law.
    46 The chances of legislating a referendum on Irish unity are poor right now, but the petition of concern facility, as shamefully abused as it has been, has little to do with this.
    47 Not at all.
    48 No.
    49 Because the Dup capitulated on some other, yet-to-be-announced policy. That’s how it works.
    50 Yes, about a decade ago I had many conversations with a UDA man served time for killing an innocent Catholic. He didn’t have to tell me his regret, it was obvious. He said he would tell his story to anyone who would listen about why he felt the need to do what he did and why it was so heinously wrong.

  8. Peter

    Totally agree with you...'shock-horror'. Republicanism became the holy grail in a single word. It is meaningless and at the same time everything to those who espouse it without having a fucking clue what it actually is.

    Republicans here want a 32 county socialist republic .. or so they say... and democracy has bog all to do with it. Republicans (or whatever they are) don't care for democracy they think they know what is needed and are going to give it to the people for their own good, whether they want it or not. Evidence to date says NOT. That is a some Latin American or Cambodian form of government I'm inclined to think.

    That is why republicans are latching onto any and every issue that gets off the ground. They even think the water charges in the south are a new civil rights opportunity at the minute and are the trying to claim it's all the fault of the Brits. I kid you not. Jesus wept!


    with utmost respect, don't know why ye bothered yer arse.

  9. Sorry, the answer to 2 is Yes, of course it is.

  10. Larry,

    I bothered for a number of reasons. Because dialogue and greater understanding of different points of view is vital. Because I wanted to show that the idea everyone within Republicanism has the same thoughts and feelings is moronic. Because some of the questions are important. Because some of the questions are stupid. Because Peter is completely wrong when he says "Republicanism" doesn't know this, or doesn't know that. Because Republicans can admit inconsistencies and bad decisions. Because there is not the level of hatred in Republicans many PUL's think there is.

  11. Chris

    Fair play to you for taking the time to do it.

    There is from what I see regarding republicanism and republicans, an incredible level of self delusion and an inability to accept reality within the ranks of those still espousing traditional republican values and tactics (sic). I know that much. There is a refusal to accept any mandate other than the 1918 all Ireland election.

    The question that struck me as the most interesting was the one regarding Scottish independence and republicans support for it. Two nations...(3 actually) on one island.

    Republicans need to stop dismissing loyalists as misguided Irish men and thinking of them as all mindless ill educated drug dealing bigoted sectarian murderers. There were and are some very intelligent lads amongst them. Make no mistake about that.

    I still agree with Peter on this one.

  12. "the consitution (of the U.S.) is Indian Law and thats why i love it" -
    Russell Means, defender of the republic of Lakota.

    Up the republic. ur all getting very parochial here. that constitution is under attack now from the people the founding fathers of the u.s. feared most - the banking cabal. what are all you smartarses who have a bee in ur bonnets over the word 'republican' doing or saying about this. i mean who gives a shit about devalera and churchill. really.

    on another level, the word and idea of the 'republic' that came to these shores at the end of the 18th century, gave for the first time hope to a people who had been through 200 years of HELL. Not just the educated prods like tone, but the gaels like the wicklow chief. up until that, a once harmonious and colourful tribe were utterly hopeless. i want to live in a sovereign republic and not a corporate concentration camp, whats ur fucking problem.

  13. Grouch

    Is there unrest in Saerdonia? I live in a 3 bedroom republic complete with oil and coal central heating and a Jacuzzi bath. I have a park with a beautiful meadow outside my front door for my wee doggy and it costs me fuck all. There's even a few native peasants employed (not by me - are ye mad!?)full time to keep the grass trim and the place wonderfully tidy. All at no expense. My wee dog shits on the grass twice a day just for laughs. It all comes for free because us dole-ites fly under the radar of the IMF. Life is what you make it. Had I been middle class or better off I may well have been traumatised since 2008, driven to twitching my wee tootsies at the end of a rope out of the attic. But as it happens, not so.

    Up the republic...of telly.

  14. Well now I wonder what Harry Hill would say in response to those 50?s, FIGHT!.

  15. sorry larry, but i fear for you. you are doing exactly what the technocrats who saw the unbelievable power of the new medium of tv back in the 30's want you to do.

    predictive programming

    you will never see - Russell Means, welcome to the Reservation - on your republic of telly but thank God you can watch it on Youtube, one hour thirty six minutes. that is my christmas present to you actually. and bres frankie tain and the other headers here, and my new prod mates peter and the legendary wolfesbane too. happy christmas from the president-for-life of saordonia. God bless you all. we're all fucked anyway. im going down like a true marxist-lennonist - with a song in my heart and a laugh on my lips. and a whole load of gaelic hope for the next generation of corporate controlled consumers (be they prods taigs hare krishnas muslims etc), or bottom feeders as our overlords call us. there is more food for thought after spending an hour and a half with russell (coz its just him talking) than 15 years of 'education'. God bless Russell Means, leader of the only tribe to beat the U.S. on the field of battle. bres, i really hope u have a look at this, get one of his tribe over here for 2016. the young people would be very drawn to this stuff.

    chuckle ar la.

  16. Grouch
    Look at Spain and the new socialist party Podemos. The usual leftist party Izquerda Unida has been flatlining on 10% for years then along comes Podemos inspired by the Indignados campaign. They are almost level with IU and have surpassed them in membership. While IU rabbit on about 'revolution' and 'the proleteriat' Podemos are speaking plainly to the young, unemployed and disenfranchised in terms that are relevant to today. In Ireland republicans are babbling on about "what the proclamation means to me' and Loyalists are having Fleg protests while the politicians fleece us all. Talking about the past in terms from the past inspires only the converted and does nothing to improve today.

  17. Peter

    matter of interest are you a deluded Irish man or a fucking planter....or neither or both?

  18. Grouch what is it with the Sioux? Why not The Apache? They never formed an alliance with another nation,they where kicked off their land, spent 27 years as POW's...decimated, almost starved out of existence.. Why the Sioux?

  19. Larry
    A fucking deluded Irish planter! I can see Caledonia from my living room window and I feel more at home there than I do in the 26.

  20. frankie, i honestly dont know what your on about. u sound pissed off man. are you a belfast mohican or a belfast rockabilly. peter, not trying to be smart,re the proclamation, but watch Means and what he has to say about the constitution of the U.S. and you wont say hes harping on about the past. i will check out those dudes in spain now. people are sick of right wing lies and left wing marxist doublespeak , things are shit in spain alright but at least they have great weather there. and women and wine.

  21. i hope u watch it too mackers. im going on holiday for couple weeks so hapi xmas to you and urs too.

  22. Same to you Grouch and your family. Enjoy

  23. Peter

    Aren't we all....if truth be told?

    to be honest I feel at home anywhere in these islands, except stab capital of Europe Glasgow, where I feel nervous. The politics here on this island is pathetic...I have got to the stage I think it is an addiction to the lot of them and a solution is a fate worse than death to all of them.

    Loyalists cannot from a position of tradition live with anyone else it seems and republicans want to give us all the benefit of their imaginative political solution of back to Dev's isolationist Ireland and wooly sweaters and jigs at the crossroads...we'll be shit poor without a pot to pish in but FREE. Don't believe any of them are for is old habit and an absence of vision that keeps them all in the past. Or is it the gravy train of local government?

    My wife loves it here, otherwise I would be gone. It may come to that yet, with or without a PHD.

  24. 19. What things would you, as a Republican, like to see happen in Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist areas which aren't happening at the moment?

    William, though I no longer consider myself an Irish Republican, I'd encourage you to heed Chris's reply to this particular question.
    Responsible sections of the PUL community would be well advised to make whatever efforts they can to accurately measure the strength of the treat to the Union. You owe it to us all, CNR's, PUL's and the rest.
    If you can't measure something you can't manage it. If the fuel gauge in your car is broken perhaps you can guesstimate how things are going; however no one will be terribly surprised if you find yourself with an empty tank.
    What's at stake is far greater than the inconvenience of running out of juice, a damn sight more painful and a damned greater problem to have to remedy again!

    As Chris says, it seems as if the PUL's don't want to accept they've won and CRN's can't admit they've lost.

    That's the stalemate we find ourselves in. In fairness, or at least so it seems to me, it's up to each side to fess up to the actuality of outcomes, and to do so independently of how the other side are calling it.

    To that end surely the resources or leverage exists somewhere with the PUL community to research the ongoing likelihood of a majority choosing to exit the Union. The centre has gained mass and is more likely to hold than it is to disintegrate ... but it needs to be nurtured and minded. Surely a reputable polling company can consistently deliver voting intentions to within plus or minus 3 accuracy which can be publicly or privately circulated within your community.

    PUL's at this time need to re-assured of their position within the Union. It is guaranteed in international law and old 26 county aspirational claims discarded after all. A responsible PUL leadership ought deliver that. Please use whatever influence you might have to encourage your leadership to step up to the plate.

    Then some of your other questions will be become irrelevant and the rest answerable and achievable.

  25. Larry
    I remember reading 'Killing Rage' by Eamon Collins I think. When he was expelled from the wee 6 he went to Dublin and hated it. He then went to Scotland and felt right at home. The north has links with Scotland going back millennia and has more in common with Strathclyde than Munster, from Dalraiada and the Lords of the Isles to the Old Firm and a love of Buckfast! Having said that I spent some time in Wexford in August and had a great time.

    Henry JoY
    I wish we had some leadership in the PUL community to address your concerns. Peter is a reactionary disgrace, Mike TV is useless and although I like Billy H he is not a leader unfortunately. McCallister is a fine man but not a leader either. Unionism is fucked. I would like to see Arlene get a shot as the least bad option but apparently the rank and file don't like her cos she's C of I. Says it all really.

  26. Question 6 about loyalist parades in the south compared to the north and question 23 about loyalist parades in non loyalist areas are connected. Parades in the south don't go through town centres or areas where they are an infringement. Parade organisers have a degree of common sense which is missing in the north. In the north the parades too often are designed to deliberately give offence in one up-mans-hip by going where they know they are unwelcome. Do loyalists think the proposed love Ulster parade to Dublin is a responsible idea?

    One thing I'd like loyalists to do...and republicans too, is live in this century and try looking forward instead of back.

  27. William

    is there any particular reason the loyalists have such an evil appearance and would fit very well within Nazism? Is that how unionism/loyalism perceives itself?

  28. I can't believe that anyone actually ascertained that there was a point to answering these questions!!!!!!

  29. Nial

    I can't believe Bres hasn't been on here with a 10,000 word reply. Or is all that Tone shite exactly that....SHITE.

  30. Peter

    People in Sligo asked me that often was I from the north...then are ye from Donegal!! It got to the stage I said aye a wee place in Donegal called Armagh. I believe the schools had maps of Ireland on the walls with the 6 counties omitted. FOR REAL!!

  31. Peter thanks for your response.

    We're all fucked not just Unionism if we don't individually and collectively own up to the actualities of the situation as with regards to the Union.

    Its a fact, not withstanding subsequent amendments at St Andrews and Hillsborough Castle (the nuances of which may be way over the heads of most of the Southern citizenry anyway), that 90% of the Southern State who exercised their franchise relinquished existing territorial claims to the North. That situation has not changed nor is it likely too.

    That along with the internationally accepted agreement that the Union will remain in place and cannot be changed without the consent of a majority of citizens of the Northern State is as good as it can get for Unionism. The BBC Spotlight Poll in early 2013 suggested a 80/20 split in favour of the Union at that time, with even some 25% of declared Sinn Féin supporters indicating that they would vote to retain the Union if a vote where to be held the following day!

    If I'm understanding your position correctly Peter we're both equally frustrated by Unionism's somewhat delusional besieged mentality.

    On the other hand, are some PUL's finding it just a bit hard to re-adjust from old supremacist positions?

    The old 'Croppies lie down' tune could be the death march for all yet!

  32. Is a federal Ireland back in the Commonwealth a viable option? Would unionists be interested in that? A nine county Ulster in a federal Ireland ran by Stormont would certainly do Cavan Monaghan and Donegal no harm. They have been forgotten by Dublin for a century and there is a sizeable unionist Protestant population in those counties. Not to mention the fact that the majority of our talented young people are all in the Commonwealth or in the process of flocking to it as it is, where they do exceptionally well by the way. What harm?

  33. Henry JoY
    Yes I am pissed off at unionism's aggrieved siege mentality. I believe Trimble got us the best deal possible and will eternally thank him for it. That victory (for that is what it was) should have opened the way for unionism to be magnanamous and compromise. The case for the union is strong economically and (arguably) culturally, what is to fear of making NI successful and an attractive place for all to live? But the parties are only interested in being top dog at Stormont and no good will is shown. I had high hopes for NI21 and briefly joined them but alas Basil is rather too fond of himself and is politely clueless. I went to an NI21 event in North Down and more than half of the attendees were from catholic backgrounds, that cheered my heart. I hate the DUP, they are doing the union much harm with their bigoted brand of politics.

  34. grouch said:
    'and bres frankie tain and the other headers here, and my new prod mates peter and the legendary wolfesbane too. happy christmas from the president-for-life of saordonia. God bless you all.'

    A very happy Christmas and 2015 to you too, Mr. President!

  35. Some Unionists may find this list tame or lacking in venom, as some Republicans may find some of the questions cheap and predictable, yet picking a row is not their purpose. Some of the questions came from frustrations I sense within the Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist section of our community and others were born solely of my own curiosity.

    Why 50 questions, why not 100 or 1000 or indeed why any at all, reading through the list there is no “one” direct answer. The framework of this questionnaire is seeking to find agreement with something it is disagreeable with and that is before anyone may answer the rudimentary questions.

    The last paragraph is more interesting as you reveal the answer that would beg the republican question,
    Why is the venom so engrained in the loyalist mindset, it is that mindset that is the foundation of your questions. Then you assume an offset imbalance that republicans may find your questions predictable and cheap.
    When the opposite is applied I find the unionist unmovable in many respects and their own complicated relationship with the union is slavish but not predictable.

    Dialogue when balanced can be healthy though when confronted with 50 questions the dialogue is stifled by the complexity of 50 questions each has more than one answer.

    I could simply answer yes, no, indifferent, and so on or I could approach the questions in order from one through fifty at length which you may find something agreeable or something disagreeable and if you question my answers dialogue begins.

    Dialogue is never a bad thing.

    Chris answered your questions will you respond and engage in dialogue?

  36. Nollaig Shona Dhuit Sardonia Uachtarán Grouch

  37. Progressive Unionism? Now wouldn't that be a novel idea
    If they ever do progress, I wonder what that progression would look like?

    Curry my yogurt is probably the best answer to most of it,
    except the Einiskillen one of course!
    That would be answered by asking, was all their progressive murders worth it, just to stay in a Union that is going to screw Protestants on equal terms with taigs?

    Peter we know we're not planters. Maybe you should have read a bit of history before you start telling others what they don't know?

  38. Kind of missed this one as i've been flat out with other things but after reading the most of that all I can say is Larry Hughes you are honestly getting worse! Great to see a post like this on TPQ but it's a bit all-over-the-place to give it a serious analysis. What might be a better way to look at moving such a debate forward would be for William or a group of others like him or affiliated with his organisation to get together with those like ourselves in the 1916 Societies in person and have an open and frank discussion. I know for a fact that we would be up for that and we are willing to meet and discuss anything with anyone at any time.

    Contrary to the insane rantings of young Hughes the Societies are a progressive organisation looking to the future and not the past, I honestly think you just interpret things as you choose to fit your own prism Larry and your jumping from one position to another is almost on a level with my old adversity 'HJ'. It was no time ago you were on here lambasting 'the Prods' and telling us it was long-past time to ready ourselves for one last push, to stick it up to 'em good this time, no holds barred. Thankfully most of us realise that while you're an extremely intelligent man and an astute analyst, when you want to be, most of your contributions are just designed to piss someone off! That's from a friend to a friend and no offence intended! Have to admit though it was great to see 'groucho' put you in your place, you had it coming. Happy Christmas to you all by the way, up the quill!

  39. The idea of the 'What the Proclamation means to me' series is not to be harking after the past but to demonstrate that republicanism is not reactionary but based on a progressive set of principles that emerge from the rights of man and that type of politics. We need to be getting back to that and moving our analysis into the 21st century. Larry already knows this is the thinking of the 1916 Societies because we've discussed it endlessly elsewhere

  40. Larry,

    ' there any particular reason the loyalists have such an evil appearance and would fit very well within Nazism?'

    I suspect that it is the animus of the questioner in this instance that feeds the perception. Physically, loyalists like any other group in society are pretty much a mixed bag. What physical attributes do you believe loyalists possess that you associate with being evil?

  41. Robert,
    I know the question is to Larry but due to his new tempered moderation, I will answer, if I may.

    Wind back to the anti internment rally in August and watch the spectacle that greeted an anti internment rally in Royal Avenue.
    Look at the spectacle that greeted O Millionaire when he quite foolishly ventured into the Woodvale, a notorious no go, since I was a child.
    Look at the Flegg demonstrations and the peace camp fiasco and think, where else in the world you get people like this?

  42. Unfortunately Nuala, the world is filled with those sort of people. We had them outside our own front door in Springhill. Express an opinion contrary to what those with muscle want expressed and you will find that very person unleashed on you - anywhere in the world.

  43. Fionnuala
    The original Irish settlers came from abroad, we are all planters on this isle.

  44. Peter,
    Between work, drink and fifa i haven't had much time to comment on here but i would like to pick up on one point. This republicans don't know who they are shite i can't understand what you mean. For me the definition of a republican is very simple anyone who believes in a 32 county republic is a republican after that everything is up for debate. By your definition does that mean every democrat should have mirror beliefs? Republicanism is to broad a concept to have one ideology, particuarly considering that as republicans we couldn't agree on the colour of shite.

  45. That's a nonsense statement! The plantation was a deliberate exercise, whereby people were forced off their land, then the lands were handed over to paid settlers/ planters.
    It was underpinned by theft and control, and cannot be reduced to a theory whereby people simply moving to a country get that label.

  46. Mackers,
    I know what happened outside your home was disgraceful and it remains their shame.

    However, I am speaking from my experience and I have never come across the type of behaviour I have witnessed from Loyalist/ Fundamentalist Protestants anywhere.
    That's why I think the contradictory term of progressive Unionist is a joke.

    Experiences I had a child run very deep, and I remember sitting with my friend on a red/white and blue kerb trying to work out why she had just been burned out of her home.

    We were only kids, and we sat there heartbroken, because they had thrown petrol bombs into the pigeon shed even though her dad had pleaded with them to release them?

    A cruel evilness that I have never witnessed anywhere else and hopefully never will.

    Fifty one questions, I could ask Five hundred and one,
    All pointless of course as I already know the answers.

  47. Nuala,

    but even what happened at our home pales into insignificance when sat against other examples of hatred throughout the world: where genocide was inflicted, or mass rape, torture etc. I recall wondering as a young child growing up why there was so much hatred of Catholics by young Protestants. But the type of hatred witnessed in the North exists everywhere in the world and to considerably worse degrees. I think given the nature of circumstances most people are capable of most things, the good and the bad.

  48. David,

    never trust a man who does not like a drink. So you have been doing no wrong,

    How would your definition of republican differ from nationalist?

  49. Anthony,
    I think the differance between republicanism and nationalism again is simple, partition. Republicans adhere to indisputable right of Irish unity and liberation once that is breached and you accept partition how then can you be descibe yourself as a republican. Irish history is saturated in complexities but i try to keep things simple if you are a republican you are opposed to and therefore cannot accept partition. As far as the drink goes i am afraid i like it too much! if you think we are bad you should see these Scots! Celts and the drink how did it start where will it end ha ha

  50. Nuala,

    "To hell with the future,
    Long live the past,
    And may the Lord in his mercy,
    Look down on Belfast"

    You and the fleggers may not be on exactly the same sheet but you're each singing your same old partisan songs.

    When you finally 'get it' that (that) didn't work in the past then will you learn a new song?

    Peter's, Larry's and my own positions are ones of co-operation and possibility while yours and the fleggers entrenched positions only, in all probability, detract from such possibilities.

    Nuala I hope you can get over all your hurts and can contemplate something better ... something better that's measured, realistic and achievable.

  51. Mackers,
    Awful things happen and they happen to good, good people.

    I never knew why they hated us either, I certainly never hated them.

    What the UVF/ UDA/ UFF unleashed, and unleashed on a totally innocent population is right up there in terms of atrocities.
    The Butchers are right there with all the other psychopaths that made their mark for he most hideous of reasons.

    Genocide was their intent had they been left un confronted, that's what would have taken place.

    Now it's poor us! Why did the Provos fight back, instead of letting us murder wholesale?

  52. Nuala,

    this debate has been had more than once on TPQ with nobody seemingly changing their position as a result.

    I think the overall loyalist strategy of targeting a civilian population was a war crime perpetrated at the command level. The Butchers in my view were unmitigated war criminals.

    But at the same time when republicans deliberately targeted civilians as in Kingsmill or Darkley, we were also culpable for war crimes. And in actions of that type lie the seeds of genocide.

  53. Could one not be a republican and hold to a 26 County republic, a 6 County republic or a 32 Country republic? Seems to me one has to be a Irish nationalist republican to demand only the latter.

    If it's republicanism you are interested in rather than nationalism, then you might appreciate the the irony of this:

    'The plate says, in Latin: "Here is buried Oliver Protector of the Republic of England, Scotland and Ireland."'

  54. There is no reasoning with the likes of Fionnuala who see there own side as sainted and the other as evil. There were/are phsycos on both sides, both sides made bad choices. I refuse to get into whataboutery but surely from a position of hindsight any reasonable person can see both sides as bad as each other.

    What type of 32 county republic? A socialist one or a democratic one? One were protestants are welcome or one were we are fucking planters who must be driven into the sea? I believe republicanism failed because it doesn't know what it is. It is incoherent, fractured. As you said you can't agree on anything. There have been splits between Dublin and Belfast, rural and urban, secular and catholic, pro crime and anti crime, the list goes on...

  55. The important thing at this point perhaps is to do our utmost to ensure the horrible happenings of the past are consigned to just that - the past. That probably means talking to each other and opening up channels for meaningful dialogue - not the sham 'Unionist outreach' some within the nationalist community are peddling and which has recently been shown as agenda-laden in the extreme. Such a dialogue should have no agenda other than to create a better understanding between what remain polar opposites.

    When Billy Hutchinson and the like say 'we are the British presence' and ask what we mean by terms and phrases such as 'British withdrawal' and 'removing the British presence' then maybe we should consider approaching him and having the conversation and actually explaining what it is we mean and what kind of Ireland we'd like to see - can we work together and can we build it together. This is something Brendan and others firmly believed in - no matter if our underlying politics seem at fundamenatal odds or not, no matter if we were on opposite sides on the battlefield or not.

    But the enduring problem in this society and the greatest barrier to a rapproachment between the two communities in Ireland remains in my opinion the continuing partition of the country. It's a divisive measure that promotes sectarianism and conflict and we should not imagine for a second this is anything other than as deliberate British state strategy. A partitioned Ireland, divided and unable to figure itself out, is an Ireland that remains wide open to the domination of the imperial interest - and not just in the Six Counties but across the board.

    While it might seem outdated for some, in my view we cannot move to a republican Ireland, one built on the philosophy of those great thinkers like Tone, Lalor and Connolly, until we achieve Irish reunification. Such a freedom would give us the freedom to really build an Ireland worthy of those great patriots but more importantly worthy of the Irish people themselves - all of them and oblivious of carefully fostered divisions designed to divide a minority from the majority as in the past

  56. We must take no steps backward, our steps must be onward - for if we don't, the martyrs that died for you, for me, for this country will haunt us forever

  57. "What type of 32 county republic? A socialist one or a democratic one?"

    Asking this in 2014 is ridiculous.

    "One were protestants are welcome or one were we are fucking planters who must be driven into the sea? "

    Asking this is even more ridiculous. Peter, you seem to think that most or a substantial minority of Republicans are devout extreme right wing Roman Catholics who want nothing more than to be ruled from the Vatican. Id love to know where you get this idea. At no time since Marx's influence became widespread have the vast majority of Republicans ever felt that Irish Protestants were any less Irish than Irish Catholics. Even before then it could easily be argued that the feeling among most of its leaders and the rank and file of Republicanism bared no ill feeling to ordinary Protestants. The world has moved on and the vast majority of Republicans with it.

    "I believe republicanism failed because it doesn't know what it is. It is incoherent, fractured. As you said you can't agree on anything. There have been splits between Dublin and Belfast, rural and urban, secular and catholic, pro crime and anti crime, the list goes on..."

    Republicans disagree on many things, of course. This is healthy. If this was not the case, you'd be looking at the Bolsheviks or Nazism.

    But one thing we agree on is to not to implement the 6000 year old idiotic idea of monarchy, which in the UK means having ordinary workers who struggle to make ends meat pay tax so that one family can live the lifestyle of millionaires for no other reason than their surname and in which one of their number becomes the non elected hereditary head of state who has powers to interfere in the running of the country no matter how unqualified they are, which also ensures the impossibility of church and state as they are head of the nation's religion despite, again, a lack of qualifications.

  58. Sean
    "But the enduring problem in this society and the greatest barrier to a rapproachment between the two communities in Ireland remains in my opinion the continuing partition of the country"

    Wrong Sean. If you take down the border the peace walls will still remain. We are divided as much in our heads as by a line on a map which is increasingly less important. Republicanism played its part in partitioning the people, the remaining border is a symptom of that division. Hume convinced Adams in the 80s that PIRA violence was forestalling any Ui not helping to achieve it. When republicans keep harping on about a UI without offering anything to unionism and without articulating what it will be like you keep unionism determined to hang on. There are too many risks for unionism and a large number of catholics don't care if London or Dublin sign the cheques. If you want a UI you are going to have to try harder, this is one of the most conservative places in western Europe. Change is hard to achieve.

  59. Sean,

    I think it'd be no bad thing for you to initiate a dialogue with Billy Hutchinson. It's always useful to hear the other's perspective.

    I'd support your efforts to that end in any way I could.

    Beir bua

  60. Peter,
    The contradictions that you outlined exist within every society, every political organisation or movement has members who disagree on fundamental issues but there is one issue that holds them together, in republicans case it is the reunification of our country. I have no intention of driving anybody to the sea. If the people of the 32 voted for partition i would exept it. They didn't. In 1918 our people were told that democracy wasn't for us and that might was right. There has been non stop violence since, you say republicanism failed well so did partition and it has left us with this hate filled, childish, agenda driven, mistrustful statelet.
    For what it worth Peter if hypothetically, we had won, and now lived in a united Ireland and in this hypothetical land unionist were being oppressed I and most republicans I know would campaign for the rights of unionists otherwise we would have missed the point of the proclomation. We are not all the orange hating mad men you think we are. I am not going to insult your intelligence by suggesting there is no sectarianism within republicanism, however it is the duty of any republican or unionist for that matter to speak out against such behaviour. Now there is not as much heirachy of the gun mentality there is no excuse for not speaking out against sectarianism.

  61. Peter,

    The original Irish settlers came from abroad, we are all planters on this isle.

    Is the original Irish an agreement of your Irishness or just an over simplification of settlement and resettlement by that logic you eliminate the grievance of the original dispossessed and fortify the arrival of the new settlers with we are all planters which in turn would suggest that the march out of Africa makes the world full of planters. And on that note Columbus discovered the America’s but we can ignore the original planters there as the new planters had arrived.

    How do you arrive at there is no reasoning with, “the likes” of Nuala her posts are individual and not a collective of the likes that in itself is unreasonable as you attach her to the imaginary likes of and unless the likes of are in agreement with Nuala which we can’t determine as the likes of are not heard from nor represented by an individual’s point of view, that leaves you wide open to the same as you have a predetermined unreasonable fixed position of the likes of.

    Why shut down dialogue on the grounds you find one unreasonable either address the person as an individual or ignore the person rather than add the opinion to a preformed assumption of the likes of

  62. Nuala,

    Off topic, sorry, I have been meaning to get in touch about the accounts from the Kesh. That is if you don’t mind me trying to make an article out of it probably by January. I will get in touch sometime this week if that suits you?

  63. Fionnuala,

    Thank you for your response in Larry's absence - given his uncharacteristic moderation I wonder if he is on the lash with Ban Ki-Moon?

    '..where else in the world you get people like this?'

    Everywhere there is conflict I expect. I concur with what Anthony said about human behaviour, good or bad being universal. I appreciate that your perception is one of living at the epicentre of global evil and that Loyalists are it's sole merchants. I know many people who regard Republicans similarly. My own experience of enmity and partisan passions is of them providing poor lenses with which to view the world given their tendency to distort rather than illuminate.

  64. David Higgins
    I don't think you are all orange haters or pious catholics, though there are a good few of those in your ranks. We could argue around in circles about who started what but it would be futile, we are where we are (to use a cliche). The thing is that it is republicans who are demanding change and republicans who have failed to force change. Republicans have failed to convince unionists and many nationalists that change is needed or what it would look like. Look at things from a unionist perspective, what would have happened had the IRA won? What would happen to us? Republicans, year after year, appealed to unionists to embrace their Irishness and allow a UI while at the same time commit massacres at La Mon, Enniskillen etc I don't believe republicans knew what type of UI there would be because you have such a wide variety of opinions within the movement. A 32 county republic is too vague a notion. There is no trust between the communities so we resist unity. Even today there is no effort to convince unionists. We see the Druids being cheered to the rafters and a concerted attempt to reduce parading and wonder how we will be treated in a UI.

    Tain Bo
    "The likes of" Fionnuala and her similar "likes of" in the loyalist community look back on the Troubles and see only one "bad" side. That, for me, shows a basic lack of honesty or rational thought.
    History shows Ireland was planted by many tribes over the years. Firstly celtic and later by norse, norman and finally scots, so what is a true gael?

  65. Just back from North Korea there today...It was much safer than your average American street.

    Sean Bres

    no idea what you are on about regarding Grouch. Must have missed that. Good to see your time machine has brought you back to 2014 .... be a nice break from 1916 I suspect. If you think I merely intend to piss people off by pointing out some realities I can hardly be more guilty than yourself waffling away endlessly about 1916. Brain numbing, no offence like. No one wants that option today but sure don't let that enter your considerations.


    my comments about the Commonwealth etc are something people should consider. The majority of Irish people emigrate to countries within it. America is no longer the answer...the 'dream' is nothing but a nightmare for many illegals stuck there. Of course republicans determined to force a 32 county republic upon everyone are hardly likely to consider the realities of the real world. They don't reside in it. Where Grouch lives is a much closer place to us in reality.

  66. Regards loyalism the likes of the mature men screaming at kiddies going to school kind of typifies the mind-set. These are the people desperate to get past RC houses with flute bands and their elected counterparts would collapse a government to ensure they do so.

  67. Peter,
    Our arguments about a united Ireland will always be hypothetical for it is not happening, but, i just feel it is important to propagate the sentiment that republicans had no intention of ethnic cleansing the unionist community. Now I know will point to the horrors your community faced at the hands of republicans, and of course I understand it, but for me the actions in war time were done out of desperation rather than hatred. I know to you I will be just another provie apologist but I say the circumstances made non sectarian people sectarian if that makes any sense.

  68. Larry,

    'Regards loyalism the likes of the mature men screaming at kiddies going to school kind of typifies the mind-set.'

    Disgraceful as Holy Cross was, I think this type of critique only works where Republicans can demonstrate an unblemished record in respect to the ethical failings it sees in others.

  69. Robert

    I think you try to equate pure evil with unintended mistakes. Horrendous as La Mon and Enniskillen were what occurred was not planned. The pure evil on show at Holly Cross was deliberate and from the heart. Like the butchers murders or those of wee girls in a mobile shop. The true evil is in the intent. Kingsmill was a reaction to such ugliness in the early stage of the conflict but was quickly shelved as an option.

  70. What makes them anymore or less dishonest and irrational than the rest of us; Governments are notorious for the same qualities. The pack mentality is not the same as individual behaviours; individuals are susceptible to following the pack instinctively that does not mean they will not start lagging behind or just drift away for any other reason.

    Would the Butchers have evolved without the sociopathic mind of Murphy? I am convinced with or without the conflict as a cover he would have went on to satisfy his own bloodlust. Can we look back at that or indeed the atrocities Anthony pointed out and find anything good within?

    Nuala was speaking for herself so there is no direct associations with the likes and when we start attaching indirect labels then the likes of can be applied to everything.

    It is the synthetic argument of who came first the answer is definitively we don’t know but we can date settlement of Ireland to the Neolithic period much evidence still stands in the form of burial stones and mounds like Newgrange. They also brought agriculture as Ireland was a fertile land, when the Celts arrived somewhere between the Bronze Age and the Iron Age they brought their language with them and debatably also introduced the knowledge of Iron Working.

    The stones don’t lie Celtic stones are intricately carved so we could argue they assimilated or just gained control by having more knowledge than the locals at the time. Either way they established Celtic Ireland which would become the last great Celtic stronghold something the English repeatedly failed to eradicate.

    If I follow your logic then I may as well say the Americans own the Moon as they planted a flag on it and the international space station means America and Russia own space.

    The plantation of Ulster was not about creating a happy utopia for unionists it was about forcing the locals out of that region and to use the planters as a weapon to protect English interests.

    I am in agreement with Robert on this one as deconstructing the conflict should not be defined by what is good and right as we can’t reach a conclusion unless we examine what is wrong and evil.
    We can’t conclude just because we think the likes of are wrong or even necessarily evil, as there is truth and reason behind the grievances which can’t be canceled out by adopting the moral high ground:

    That, for me, shows a basic lack of honesty or rational thought.

    That would only frustrate those you find unreasonable, it is unreasonable to suggest they cannot be reasoned with and we do not have a monopoly on what is or isn’t reasonable.

    I think you will find in Larry’s latest comment how disassociated reasoning works as there is a denial of (A) not being planned and a self-agreement that (B) was not only planned but was more evil.

    (A) Was planed and unless the exploding bomb is in an empty field somewhere we can assume in a built up area there will be a certain number of human casualties.

    (B) Is a result of engrained hatred motivated by sectarianism and orchestrated by sectarians in a shameful display of terror on little children and their parents denying them their basic rights forcing them to run the gauntlet of sectarian hatred.

    (c) The butchers distinctly pure evil.

    Both (A) & (B) were eventually reasoned with or “the likes of” though not fully resolved as the underlying issues have been avoided and things could blow up again, as what is reasonable does not mean it is accepted as agreeable so at best we have a tentative agreement as long as we don’t have to reason too much which usually isn’t determined by the likes of but by the leaders of.

  71. Larry,

    'I think you try to equate pure evil with unintended mistakes.'

    It seems to me that there is a much stronger case to be made for the universality of malevolence than the drawing of a distinction that requires continual reference to mitigating circumstances, the methodology of killing or the selection of victims.

  72. It seems that almost two decades on many people still find it difficult to take a wider position and examine the different competing needs and interests of all parties to the conflict.

    Some prefer instead to blindly fall back on old belief systems in a retarded attempt to avoid addressing current decisions that ought more properly and fruitfully be considered in terms of ethical and moral choices.

    Yes, these old beliefs live on from generation to generation yet are of themselves essentially dead things. Dead things that putrefy cognitive, social and political development.

    Choosing to bang on with outdated and dysfunctional belief systems is much like sending your family pet to the taxidermist.

    Though your stuffed pet is very unlikely to jump up and bite you on the arse!

  73. Robert

    so do away with the distinction between Murder and manslaughter for example?

  74. Robert.
    I am not sure what you are trying to say.
    At the risk of been accused of whatabouttery.
    If you think violence is wrong than How about Blair/Bush years for example?
    Surely then anyone who indentifies with been British..Has to take ownership of that. And the arms dealing that the Brits are addicted to.
    Or the fact that the Brits pummelled Afghan villages with heavy artillery and Harrier Jump Jets. How many have they killed? God alone knows.
    I am merely trying to see things through to the logical conclusion.
    If you look at things in totallity.
    Ireland has Blue Berets UN missions.The Brits are Imperialists in a Foreign Legion of American exceptionalism.
    Ergo. Ireland trumps the Brits Morally.

  75. Henry,

    you keep suggesting that singing on the dotted line of the GFA somehow brought us into a new enlightenment and we should all follow the new system which is remarkably similar to the old system.

    It seems that almost two decades on many people still find it difficult to take a wider position and examine the different competing needs and interests of all parties to the conflict.

    Even your wider-position like the many, returns to the conflict so whether position is wider or narrow it is still funneled back to the conflict. A hasty agreement didn’t incorporate resolution so the many are entitled to form whatever agreement or disagreement they have on the conflict.

    Even from the agreement a subset of new/old disagreements arose conflict is still here in 2014 well, almost 15. Can we escape the past or as your wider view suggests we throw a blanket over it and hope no one gets any wiser.

  76. Táin,

    In all probability no-one will be killed or maimed tonight in Ireland over their political, religious or ethnic allegiances.

    In the previous thirty years to the agreement almost three and a half thousand did.

    You and whoever can form whatever agreements (or disagreements) you wish. Those figures are hard facts.

  77. Henry,

    I can always tell when you are out of snuff but I hope you are on the mend and feeling better.

    In all probability no-one will be killed or maimed tonight in Ireland over their political, religious or ethnic allegiances.

    Your thought is confined to one possibility but still open for other possibilities.

    Did I argue about the factualness of victims and on that you left out the maimed, the walking wounded, and even the mentally scared for life, facts. On victimhood how many suffered at the hands of the State as that blanket you cast covers more questions than you answer by denying individuals the right to formulate their own opinion(s) once you were in agreement with those hard facts and now you tend to whimper in guilt laden tones seeking some sort of false redemption. What was right or wrong is still very much right and wrong only slightly quieter.

    Can you accuse me of doing what you and everyone does form opinions your intellectualisms are amusing though lack complexity if I wish to read complicated thought, I will grab one of my copies of Heidegger’s works.

    I smell predictability in your next response

  78. Your scent is most reliable Táin.

    And your observations are all right too.
    "What was right or wrong is still very much right and wrong only slightly quieter."

    On a night where reports of fundamentalist thugs having butchered 140 children are coming through there's not much more that can be added to your observations of our situation.

    My condolences to those who mourn.

  79. Henry,

    I rely on my nose as my eyes are shot.

    That extremist slaughter is pure evil although they (the extremists) set their own value on what is evil.

    By the way I was being sincere when I said I hope you are on the mend.

  80. Larry,

    There is of course a legal distinction between murder and manslaughter based on the absence of malicious aforethought. It is a determining factor that those responsible for Enniskillen, for example, can hardly claim as a defence.


    Your measure of morality may create more problems for you than it resolves.
    Laudable as Ireland's contribution to peace keeping is, it is substantially dwarfed by America and the UK who currently provide 35% of the UN's peace keeping budget

  81. Robert

    'Rick O' Shae' can hardly be convicted of murder surely?

  82. A Federation of the Isles comprising of self-administering nine county Ulster, Mann, Wales Munster,etc. A common currency and travel area. All fish caught offshore to be landed in Island ports. All gas and oil to be managed as per Norway.

  83. @ Robert.
    You say the Brits and yanks pay 35 % of the UN bill.
    Well good for them.
    But again, I'm afraid that doesn't cut much ice with me.
    Both of those gangsters are responsible for 90+ % of the World's political problems.
    Israel/ Palestine.
    India/ Pakistan.
    Nato expansion in Ukraine/ Russian response to same.
    Once again, They come up short.
    They should be paying 300% of the UN costs. Every year.

  84. @ john Morgan.
    Thanks but no thanx.
    The Wee 6 Counties and Wales are both taking turns in propping up the bottom of the league table in the UK.
    I have no wish for Dublin or any of the other 25 Free State Counties joining that circus.
    The Union isn't working.
    For the truth.
    See Welsh coal mines.
    Welsh steel industry.
    See Britain having the lowest productivity in the entire EU.
    See the low wage economic model of the UK.
    See the lowest pension of the entire EU.
    I think only Albania has lower pensions!!!!!!!
    Please tell me why I would condemn Ireland to this.
    Why not just issue each Sean ans Sile citizen with a cynaide pill and get it over with.
    In short... Ireland needs to distance itself from Britain..It's a black hole economically..Waiting to suck the blood out of anyone who goes near.