Christian Politics – A Force For Good

Political commentator and evangelical Christian, Dr John Coulter, writing for Political Mind Fields, calls for the formation of a Christian party. Follow Dr John Coulter on Twitter @JohnAHCoulter

The Christian Church in Ireland, north and south, is facing a theological relevance problem as it loses society’s support on core Biblical issues, such as abortion, homosexuality, divorce, assisted suicide and relations with Islam.

If the Churches cannot hold back the secular, pluralist, agnostic, atheist tide sweeping the island – or maybe it’s just apathy in religion – by getting pro-Christian candidates elected in various parties, then perhaps the Church should grab the demon by the horns and form its own movement.

This island urgently needs the formation of an Irish Christian Party to combat the potentially fatal crisis which has befallen many churches.

The time is nigh for Christians of all denominations to set aside their theological differences, launch the ICP as an interest group and get candidates elected to the Dail in February and to Stormont in May.

ICP activists must show the same zeal to succeed in getting elected as their forefathers in the Spanish Inquisition and the Puritan Witchfinders.

The ICP is not a movement for pussy-footing whimps, who seem to dominate many churches in modern Ireland.

The depth of the crisis facing Irish Christianity cannot be swept behind the pulpit.

If the slide continues, within a generation there will be more people in Ireland who are non-Christians or non-worshippers than currently exist in the pews.

Practically, when – not if – this becomes a religious reality, Catholic chapels will close and the smaller Protestant denominations will cease to exist.

The clerical abuse scandals within Catholicism have created the false stereotype that only predator homosexuals and child molesters want to become priests or join Holy Orders.

At one time, Ireland was one of the Vatican’s beacons of Catholicism in Western Europe. Families saw it as a badge of honour when they proudly declared a son was entering the priesthood or a daughter becoming a nun.

Has it become a case that folk who feel called to religious orders prefer to conduct their vocation overseas away from Irish eyes for fear of being falsely branded a pervert?

Many Protestant churches find themselves in an equally precarious position.

There are more than two dozen different denominations all claiming to be the one, true Protestant faith!

The Irish Catholic Bishops got a right kick in the theological teeth when the Republic voted in favour of same-sex marriage.

The island’s largest Protestant denomination, the Church of Ireland, is at war with itself over same-sex marriage.

The gay debate is about to split Presbyterianism as liberals and evangelicals lock horns, with some clerics supporting same-sex marriage; others vehemently opposing it.

Some clerics in many churches need to get a large dose of sensible courage when it comes to dealing with the problems of young people, as they are more interested in their image in the community than helping folk.

Among the fundamentalist churches, they are more interested in fighting over types of worship, women’s hats, men’s ties, what translation of the Bible to read, going to the cinema, heavy metal, and when, where and how to have sex!

Christians of whatever faith need to face the bitter reality that to survive as an influential community in Ireland, they must unite and organise politically. The IPC must copy the tactics and zeal of their opponents.
In less than a generation, the gay community has gone from having homosexual acts branded as a crime to being the most vocal and powerful lobby on the island.

The IPC must adopt this strategy. It must dispel the myth that it is a bunch of fringe religious nutcases to becoming the majority voice of order, reason and control in parliament and council chambers.

The IPC must instil in its membership the same discipline for Christian devotion as Islam has created among moderate muslims.

Just as thousands now flock to gay pride events across Ireland, the IPC must sell its message through a series of massive Christian Pride Festivals.

The IPC must rekindle the spirit of the famous 1859 religious Revival which swept across Ireland.
Forget denominational rituals and traditions. When Catholic and Protestants get together under the banner of the Irish Christian Party, they will find there are more issues which unite them than divide them.

The island’s largest Christian denomination – Catholicism – faces the biggest challenge if its voice is to be heard in the corridors of Dublin’s Leinster House and Belfast’s Parliament Buildings

The Catholic Church in Ireland needs to be reborn spiritually – otherwise it will become a meaningless fringe cult in less than a decade.

The abuse scandals, coupled with a secular society, have rocked confidence in the Church leadership, with Mass attendances collapsing nationwide.

Ireland was once the great bastion of the Church-State relationship, especially in the Eamon de Valera era.

But now Irish Catholics need a new set of beliefs, which will see the pews overflowing as they did in the Swinging Sixties.

The Vatican’s Irish office has been axed and outgoing Taoiseach Enda Kenny once publicly used a Dáil speech to lambast the Catholic hierarchy.

That represents the depth of the rot. And the calls to quit for any Catholic clergy suspected of being allegedly involved in sexual abuse or allegedly covering up sexual abuse will not go away.

But there is light at the end of this very dark tunnel for Irish Catholics. The question is, do they have the faith and conviction to follow that path?

A new faith – Pentecostal Catholicism – is slowly, but surely sweeping across the island. If Irish Catholics take this spiritual route, their faith will blossom as never before.

This should not be misinterpreted as Catholics converting to Protestantism. But it does mean Irish Catholicism institutionally cutting its Vatican ties.

Even in the Protestant community, the mainstream and many fringe churches are faced with falling attendances. And Pentecostal Protestantism is on the rise, too.

The power of the Pentecostal movement is that it does not distinguish between Catholics and Protestants. All are what is classified by faith as ‘born again believers’.

In worship terms, a Pentecostal Catholic can feel just as comfortable at a gathering of Pentecostal Protestants.
The perfect example of this growing Pentecostal Catholic movement can be found in West Belfast.

It’s in the Falls Community Fellowship church, based near the Royal Victoria Hospital .

It is led by Pastor Tony Meehan, who once wanted to be a Jesuit-trained priest and was in the Irish Army.

He is also a married man with a family. That’s another benefit the new Pentecostal Catholic movement has for any Catholic male wanting to become a pastor – celibacy is optional.

The general Irish Pentecostal movement began in Monaghan in the early 1900s, but such was the Vatican’s grip on Catholicism in Ireland that bishops have always been able to cleverly dismiss Pentecostalism as Protestantism under another name.

The modern-day Pentecostal Catholic movement is taking the Biblical Old Testament text of Ezekiel chapter 36, verse 26 as its inspiration: “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”

The Irish Catholic leadership, as well as dumping Vatican rule and going independent, should also follow the words of Jesus when He told people to sell their riches and give to the poor.

With austerity cuts biting deep across Ireland, the Church has vast riches in its chapels, monasteries, convents and cathedrals.

Poverty will be the social scourge of the next decade and the Irish Catholic Church must sell, sell, sell to help the poor and needy. It should immediately cut its funding to the Vatican.

But money will not buy salvation for the Catholic Church as an institution. It must turn to Pentecostalism as a faith, otherwise Catholicism in Ireland as a religious influence will be dead in a decade, too.
Likewise, if the Catholic and Protestant Churches can become politically relevant, the Christian faith will flourish, but do clerics have the courage of their convictions to save the faith or are they quite content to become religious ostriches and bury their heads in the social sands and pretend the rot is not happening?


  1. Because, y'know, religion has brought so much peace to Ireland for the passed 2000 years.

    A 'Christian' political party in Ireland will invariably get taken over by those who's faith contradicts proven fields of science, and a shoehorn strategy of giving biblical gibberish equal prominence in schools will follow. Do any of us really want our kids heads filled full of that shite?

    I can never figure out if Coulter is a parody skit, is he?

  2. Steve,

    he likes to push buttons and send people into a frenzy!!

    He is a very strong advocate of free speech.

    I think his religious views are away with the fairies and the notion of a Christian religious party is frightening. They will tell the kids that evolution and gravity are only theories not facts. People generally send their kids to school to have them educated not indoctrinated. The Dover controversy back about 2005 was instructive insofar as it showed Christian parents rebelling against their children being taught that evolution did not happen. Intelligent Design ended up admitting that ID was a science on a par with astrology. It was laughed out of court. People have a right to believe in as many creationist myths as they wish to but they can hardly expect that their myth be taught in schools as a factual account of the universe.

  3. So much for no religion or discussion of religion on the blog. Notwithstanding that JC's article itself is heavily predicated on religious discussion in the first instance, you two seem more than content to discuss it among yourselves, albeit as a means to rubbish the legitimate beliefs of others (unaware all the while, it would seem, that it is indeed yourselves who hold the minority view on this subject and who in truth have an ignorant understanding of what the Christian Gospel truly teaches). To exclude some from discussing religion while doing just that yourselves is surely a tad hypocritical and is ultimately censorship.

    That aside, both of you seem to assert there is no correlation between a scientific understanding of the universe and what we might describe as a spiritual understanding of that same universe. If so then it only goes to show how closed your minds are and the depth of your ignorance. Science and religion ultimately assert the same thing: that everything in the universe, known and unknown, physical and beyond, is connected to everything else, in part because all derives from the one source, call it the 'singularity', as is the want of scientific theory, or the 'One True God', as proponents of religious understanding would have it instead. If either of you deny that then I suggest you look again at how science explains the origins of the physical universe.

    Rather than dismiss people wily-nily, as seems the way of it on here as soon as a divergent opinion to your own appears on this subject, you might instead explore the possibility that religion can not only help us understand who we are and the purpose of our existence, it is ultimately the only thing that can. If scientific understanding agrees that all derives from the singularity then it essentially admits the universe, the sum of all that exists, is both eternal and infinite. It is not bound by the limited understanding of the human mind but is born of a higher power beyond the limits of our comprehension. That's not 'religious gunk' but scientific fact.

  4. Sean,

    no point in bearing grudges when the rest of us have long since forgot even what it was we were arguing over!

    John Coulter's piece is very much a political piece and as loathsome as the idea might be it is far from religious gunk. That hardly makes it anymore palatable to a secular mind. It is about trying to coalesce around a powerful institution for the purpose of making a political intervention. It is the sort of perspective we are open to here in terms of giving it an airing even though the bulk of us find it very unappealing.

    And if you are thinking about praying for me, save yourself the bother. Sacrifice a goat instead. At least we can all eat the goat after !!

    Your opinion is welcome but we are allowed to laugh at it just as you are allowed to laugh at ours. There is no right to go unoffended for any of us although some seem to think that because their opinion is religious it should be afforded a higher status.

    Do spare us the theological gunk about higher powers and the like. Stick that on Bates and Wilkes with the funny medicine people. But if you choose not to, that is a matter for yourself. We'll just go to sleep

    No one was censored. We don't do it here. It is a record we can stand on. Despite our preferences we give an airing to just about anything that comes along, religious bollix included.

  5. I wouldn't go as far as to say 'bearing grudges' feeds into my comment, it's just a point worth noting that religion, it would seem, is fair game to be bashed while those who would defend it are ostracised and told to go to Wilkes and Bates. If there was a consistency to that then surely you and Steve should be having the conversation over there rather than where it appears, insulting the legitimate beliefs of others as though they were 'gibberish', 'shite', 'frightening' and 'away with the fairies'. That we should hold up the above as though it were progressive thinking, regardless of Coulter's beliefs and opinions, is, well, I'm not sure how to describe it but I think you get the point. I'll consider that you concede the point about the origins of the universe given your neat side-step on that matter, we both know it cannot be disputed but if you intend to suggest otherwise then I advise you dig out that Neil De Grasse Tyson series again, well worth the watch

  6. Steve
    Of course it is a comedy skit, did, "ICP activists must show the same zeal to succeed in getting elected as their forefathers in the Spanish Inquisition and the Puritan Witchfinders" not give it away!

    I'll keep this brief lest AM fall asleep. Your idea of a singularity is interesting to this atheist insofar as it correlates with pantheism and deism. We (neither religious or scientist) have no idea how our universe started and a creator of some description is as good an explanation as any. Once you start bringing religion, Jesus, heaven, hell, churches and holy books into it then you have entered the realm of bollix. We don't mean to offend it is just that we feel the whole thing is so obviously ridiculous it is perplexing how inteligent people can believe it.

  7. Sean,

    given that my exchange with Steve was not religious gibberish, or about magic potions, unicornology and the like I think we can stay here. You can too but few if us are gonna pay you any attention. Just don't go too gunky on us otherwise we will have to send you over to Batesy and the boys! They love all that over there.

    I'm off to Dublin so the rest of the comments that might come in will have to go up later. Bless you my son!!

  8. Batesy and boys hahaha! Gee's you wouldn't send a sinner there lol. Enjoy the rest of the day old hand

  9. Peter, science asserts that all that exists, has existed or will ever exist derive in their totality from 'the singularity', whose origins it cannot account for, it seemingly just always 'was' and thus is eternal - without beginning or end. Religion, likewise, asserts that all that exists, has existed or will ever exist derives from Yahweh, or God, who likewise has just always 'been'. One is described as the singularity, one is described as God; either way, from here all creation is said to emanate, or in other words is born. Quantum mechanics now presents a radical notion whereby not only do the properties of the universe, both physical and otherwise, all derive from the one origin, it likewise asserts that these properties in their totality remain connected to the source and to each other. It states that all of this, what we might term 'existence', is of itself 'alive' and 'conscious' at a level as yet beyond our comprehension. The idea that there is no connection between these discoveries and the guiding principles of religious understanding is for those who have a closed mind and remain consumed by their own ignorance, itself often born of a need to reject something in their lives or upbringing which finds form in an outright rejection of religion. That they dress this up and imagine themselves as progressive in the doing is only the sadder and certainly nothing worth laughing at. Laugh at what I've said if you's please but you'll do well to argue it's not grounded in reality. Indeed it is considered by science as established and proven fact.

  10. Sean,

    It is gibberish. What is the Old Testament cure for leprosy? Why is the Christian god such capricious prick that would happily order the slaughter of infants? I could go on and on and on picking obvious massive flaws with your cosmological argument too but what is the point?

    Invoking a 'creator' as a first cause solves nothing, and flies in the face of many different scientific fields, all of which understand the basic premise that things started out simple and became complex (1+1=2). A 'creator' would inherently need to be complex to create everything...then who created the creator ad infinitum... and I won't even get started with the whole notion of deity gender!!

    Bullshit is still bullshit no matter how many people believe it. My point to Coulters post was that a 'Christian' party in Ireland would get taken over by the cranks. For fuck's sake just look at the lunatic DUP and what utter bollocks that moron Poots and the 'Caleb' Foundation actually believe in, it is as far removed from science (and common sense) as Adams grasp of the truth.

    Have all the religion you want, just keep it out of schools, out of my kids heads and Government, it has NEVER worked well on this planet to mix faith and social governance. It creates divisions, attracts perverts and leads to wars.

    And as de Grasse said,

    "Every account of a higher power that I've seen described, of all religions that I've seen, include many statements with regard to the benevolence of that power. When I look at the universe and all the ways the universe wants to kill us, I find it hard to reconcile that with statements of beneficence."

    The religious right cannot wait for the Annihilation of Earth, and would see the silver lining in many mushroom clouds over it to achieve their aim. Letting them govern and putting them in charge of the military is a sure way to find out what lays in the Great Beyond.

  11. Peter,

    thanks for keeping it brief. Religion is a bore. I trust the rest of them not to say anything libellous because I simply see the old regulars and just hit "publish" without reading it. I know I should not but life is too short

  12. 'I could go on and on and on picking obvious massive flaws with your cosmological argument too but what is the point?'

    Steve, rather than discuss what I've actually said you employ instead the time-honoured trick of dismissing it out of hand. Smacks of poor form. Regardless, the point would be because I've presented an argument which you don't agree with. That you feel it's enough just to say, 'no you're wrong and because I say so' hardly makes you right and if the flaws in what I've said are so obvious and massive then it would have been easier just to state them. If you're saying quantum physics does not assert the universe is interconnected or that science does not assert its entirety derived from the singularity then well and good. Just don't expect that it's good enough to simply say 'you're wrong' without giving a countering argument. I'm not saying science and religion are a seamless match but that there are important areas to their understanding where they converge. Where there is disagreement relates, as you intimate, to whether the universe is benevolent or not but there is as much to say it is, at a level beyond our comprehension, as there is to say it isn't. None of that changes the emerging and indeed exciting scientific research and findings on the nature of the universe and indeed the very idea that there is a 'consciousness' behind all things. You can steer the conversation towards the Old Testament and all the rest - even the New Testament if it suits you better - but that's not what we're talking about and we both know it.

  13. Ok Sean,

    " None of that changes the emerging and indeed exciting scientific research and findings on the nature of the universe and indeed the very idea that there is a 'consciousness' behind all things"

    Can you please elaborate on this extraordinary claim? I have never heard any scientist make such a claim, can you please provide links?

  14. Steve, offhand a good place to begin would be the work of Thomas Campbell, a physicist and quantum theorist who forwards the idea everything is 'infinite consciousness', even where derivative forms of consciousness, such as our own, manifest internal to the wider 'network'. I'll try and find some good links tomorrow but I forget the technique used to add them directly into a comment

  15. Sean,

    one of the few comments on this thread which I actually dis read - brevity helps. You are probably referring to My Big Toe, his three volume work on putting together a theory of everything. I haven't read it but it seems an interesting work. Even though he is an evolutionist it does not appear to have been well received within the scientific community. Dennett's work on consciousness has survived serious peer review which I suppose is what counts in the scientific community. Intelligent Design failed for that reason - an inability to get past peer review. Anybody interested in both the history and demolition of Intelligent Design's claim to be a science should read Barbara Forrest's work, Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design

  16. Yes Tony, that's the same man but I think his book is called 'the theory of everything' (I can't remember for sure and indeed that could be the name of a movie). What it boils down to for me is that cutting-edge science speaks about a unified universe, where our 'reality' is 'experienced' or 'created' by ourselves, the conscious whole. The idea is that everything, that being the conscious whole or unified universe, is vibrational waves which form intricate patterns feeding into an infinite loop, looping back onto and into themselves with infinite permutations. Our experience of this manifests in time and space, which do not in fact exist but are constructs of our consciousness, which is itself derived from 'infinite consciousness', which is unified and of which all, ourselves included, is part. We might describe this as the unified nature of all being. These ideas are not new but appear throughout human history, from the Indus Tribes of Northern India to the Gaelic people of Pagan Ireland.

    'The little space within the heart is as great as the vast universe. The heavens and the earth are there, and the sun and the moon and the stars. Fire and lightening and winds are there, and all that now is and all that is not' - Swami Prabhavananda

  17. Thanks Sean,

    I actually quite like Thomas Campbell....but he would be the first to admit that he has proven nothing. As AM points out, he (Campbell) is an evolutionist and it's quite clear in his works that he is transposing in parts the theory of evolution onto quantum mechanics, which is why I and those who understand evolutionary theory have alarm bells ringing upon reading his TOE.

    That's not to say he may have some general points but that's more that even a fucked clock is right twice a day. 'Consciousness' is a PRODUCT of evolution, not a driver of. That goes back to my earlier point of all that has been observed in the Universe has started out simple and became complex, which I showed in basic form by the elementary equation of 1+1=2. A more sophisticated algorithm is used to plot the trajectory of the planets, but the premise is exactly the same. Simple,before complex.

    Dawkins lays bare evolution in his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth', a brilliant work, and one I recommend.

    As you were the first to highlight de Grasse's series, read again his comment I posted. You may think he believes in a universal 'conscience', but if he does he sure as shit does not believe it is benevolent!

    But regardless, this still does not make Christianity in any way shape or form a good idea to hold governance, and in fact Christianity and the works of de Grasse, and Campbell are quite incompatible with Christianity anyway.

    Religion is just a coat that some wear to give the impression of moral superiority, when more often than not they have severe character faults of their own, and asking one of these people about cosmology and abiogenesis, well, it's like playing chess with your dog. It knows something is going on in front of it but hasn't a fucking clue what it is.

    And it's pointless.

  18. Steve,

    I found Sean's reference to Tyson as odd although I glossed over it. My ten year old is a great fan and that is how I end up watching him. Tyson has no faith in god "I remain unconvinced by any claims anyone has ever made about the existence or the power of a divine force operating in the universe." Nor any belief that religion and science might converge "I have essentially zero confidence, near zero confidence, that there will be fruitful things to emerge from the effort to reconcile them."

  19. Steve, I don't think there's any way we can fully prove anything when it comes to these matters, whether from a scientific or a religious perspective. I just get the intuitive feel that there's more to our 'being' than what we experience through the lens of our human existence. The only reason I mentioned Tyson was because of the assertion the universe in its entirety stemmed from the singularity, which is not much different from the Christian notion that all derives from God. I think there is much in religion once you scratch the surface that can help speed our understanding of the 'Oneness' of all things. That's what I'm after and not means to control things. Religious institutions have committed horrible wrongs and used a supposed moral authority awarded them by the Bible to do so. We're on the one page when it comes to that. I don't even think we're that far apart on the rest other than how we choose to interpret things. By the same reckoning I could be totally wrong and we could be miles apart

  20. Sean,

    while there are many Christians who hold that the theory of evolution is compatible with religion, I think evolution's logic is that, as Steve says, bottom up, from small to big, simple to complex. That has been our experience. Religion gets it back to front and starts off with the big.

  21. Not necessarily Anthony. The essence of both religion and science, at least to my understanding, is that all things, whether visible or invisible belong to a unified whole, which is held to be unborn, eternal and infinite. It is from here where all creation emanates, evolved or expanded - however we might describe it. That this unified whole is not only there but is itself to some extent 'conscious', most likely at a level or form that transcends our current ability to comprehend, suggests to me that religion and science do converge, once you take out the 'unicornology'

  22. Sean,

    all religion is unicornology - that is the problem with it, at least in my view

  23. Different strokes for different folks. Enjoy the weekend regardless, whatever you's are up to

  24. Mackers,
    you have allowed my Unicorn to be dragged into areas of upturned dialectics,
    collective consciousness, and holograms self constructed. My Unicorn is atheist
    and bemused on his new popularity. Very enjoyable conversation on here.

  25. Sean
    When you say "religion and science do converge" do you mean religion as in theism? If so then I don't agree. In my personal ascent to atheism I came across Giordano Bruno, the great pantheist, who asserted that the creator is in every particle in the universe so is also in us. A nice thought if hard to prove. The Catholic church didn't think so, they burnt him alive in front of a baying mob of Jesus freaks. Once you move into theism then you have lost the argument here. Religion is man made and a illogical way of reasoning man's existence.
    Have a great weekend.

  26. Kevin,

    unicorns are very important. I could never have got thru the hard times without it!!


    theism is often a fallback position when the notion of a personal interventionist god overturning the laws of the universe and nature becomes too absurd. Then theism moves back behind the big bang and all we end up with is a god of the gaps. Gaps in human understanding are filled with the god thing

  27. Maybe Sean, have a good weekend yerself.

    AM- I know De Grasse's work pretty well, but I thought I'd be charitable and let that one slide. Very un-Christian of me I know lol

  28. Kevin, glad you appreciated the conversation - as did I. I know it's a no-go area on here but I enjoy these types of discussions as they help develop my own ultimately feeble understanding. It's always a risk as you can be seen as a bit of a looper.

    I think Pete is very close with his reference to Giordano Bruno, whose concepts I find myself not only in agreement with but see reflected in the words of Christ Himself, when he told us, according to Luke, that 'the Kingdom of God is within you'. So that the Catholic Church persecuted Giordano as a heretic is a reflection on that institution and not the message it purports to uphold.

    Indeed it has often suppressed that message for its own material end, as I believe is the case with a collection of historical texts dating to the time of Jesus, found in caves at Qumran and known as 'The Dead Sea Scrolls'. The revelations in these documents purportedly subvert the foundational logic of the Roman Church and thus have been classified and kept secret.

    One of the texts found in the caves has been titled the 'Thomas Gospel' and is said to be the only Gospel written at the time it reports on. The others, the Synoptic Gospels, are said to have been written at least a century later. According to the Thomas Gospel the essential message of Jesus' ministry was that 'the Kingdom of God is inside you and all around you; not in buildings of wood and stone. Split a piece of wood and I am there; lift a stone and you will find me.'

    That sounds about right to me and echoes Bruno's notion that God is in us and we are in God, that God and the universe are all-encompassing or 'One' and that all existence is His immanent presence. We must look beyond the corrupt application of religion by human institutions and to its core message itself. It is there and always has been if we would only dare to find it.

    Giordano Bruno dared and was murdered but they could not kill the ideas he left behind. That it's now emerging he was right and they were wrong only further illustrates the ignorance of man and his institutions.

    On a separate point completely, I was in Galbally last night for a 'Night of Reflection' in memory of the Cappagh Martyrs, who were shot dead 25 years ago this weekend at Boyle's Bar. I took home a spare copy of the Relatives for Justice report and was thinking of you Peter last night when I got home, I know it might be of interest to you with us having discussed it before. If you would like a copy I could try and get it to you but you might be able to access it online.

    There are obviously limited ways we could interact on this as I'm sure you don't want me having your address, or anyone else on the site for that matter - including the host - but if there's a way it can be done while ensuring the safety of all concerned, if it can't be got online that is, I'll gladly send it on.

    Connla Young based his article in yesterday's Irish News on it I believe. The article itself would make a good piece for TPQ but I'd imagine that's not permissible with him under contract. Maybe I'll try and write something on it myself once I'm done reading the report but his style is objective (he's a professional journalist) whereas mine is 'polemic'. It probably wouldn't read the same.

  29. Sean
    I am deeply touched to know that you were thinking of me;-) I'm sure it is available online somewhere or in pdf. I'd love to read it as the removal of the ET Brigade from the battlefield is my fave pet project. I'm looking forward to your polemic too.

  30. Peter, I'll try and write the article and cover the main points of the pamphlet but if I come across an online version I'll post it to the site. The main commemoration is being held this afternoon and no doubt the crowd will reflect the esteem in which these lads were held by the local community. All I can say is we remember them with pride and may they rest in peace

  31. Here you go Sean/Peter. Found it online very quickly last night after reading your post... Collusion in Cappagh Killings

  32. Peter....Why do you keep having a pop?

    "I am deeply touched to know that you were thinking of me;-) I'm sure it is available online somewhere or in pdf. I'd love to read it as the removal of the ET Brigade from the battlefield is my fave pet project."

    What Sean was..."Peter, I was at a talk about the Cappagh murders and while I was listening, my thoughts went of in a tangent and I figured it would be of interest to you"

    Your response Peter IMO was very poor. I was able to locate the PDF of the ROJ report within a min...

    For the record do I believe the ROJ report.. Short answer is yes.

  33. Frankie,

    spot on. Having a pop tends to lose the argument for the popper. Peter has the ability to do better.

  34. Who was having a pop? The wink or ;-) at the end of the sentence shows that I was jesting with Sean. Absolutely no pop intended. I am grateful for him thinking of me. I didn't look for the report online because I go out every Sunday morning and was only online for a few moments while having my porridge. "Peter has the ability to do better"-pompous twat;-)

  35. Peter,

    you have the ability to do better than opt for the pompous pop. You might not like hearing it but we don't set out to please here.

  36. Peter I am not going to get into a 'tit for tat' squibble over what you said or meant. But what you said...well the maths don't add up..

    You said today at 1.24pm 06/03/2016

    'I didn't look for the report online because I go out every Sunday morning and was only online for a few moments while having my porridge.'

    Why didn't you try looking for the PDF before Sunday? You directly replied to Sean approx. 8hrs after he mentioned 'Cappagh'. Then you had porridge 24hrs later telling whoever what you did this morning. As I said it took me a few keystrokes to locate and bookmark it..(until I had to read it}.

  37. Getting back to this thread.. Either we are a freak of nature or Alien intervention. As for mixing religion with politics, education, health & well being or other.... Well as a man once said.....

  38. WTF is this? The Spanish Inquisition? I saw Sean's message this morning. I didn't have time to look for a report as I only had 10 mins. I replied to him and now this shit? Maybe you old codgers don't understand what the wink ;-) is about but I'm sure Sean does and took no offence by me having a light hearted jest at him. I appreciate his taking a report for me as we talked a long time ago about East Tyrone just as I was prepping to give a presentation on collusion in East Tyrone to my MA class. Frankie asks why I didn't respond before Sunday? Maybe because I didn't see the message until Sunday. Doh!

  39. Peter,

    a mild rebuke hardly amounts to a Spanish Inquisition unless you have a persecution complex which I doubt.

    Both Henry Joy and myself commented on an earlier post about a change of tone which you also pleaded innocent to.

    That's about as much time as I intend spending on it

  40. Peter, I did think of our previous exchange about collusion, I believe it was after a piece I wrote on the killing of Liam Ryan and Mickey Devlin at the Battery Bar in Moortown. Part of the conversation was about the shootings at Cappagh and thus why I thought the pamphlet might be of interest. Thanks to Frankie btw for finding and publishing the link. I wasn't sure how to take your response this morning if I'm honest but chose to let it pass in case I was picking up something that wasn't there. The part I'd have objected to though was not if your 'thanks for thinking of me' was sarcasm but the implied statement that East Tyrone was successfully 'removed from the battlefield'. They might have tried but they did not succeed. The British sent their murderers to Cappagh that evening in an attempt to tame the community but it did not work. A resilient people are the folk in Galbally-Cappagh, who despite enduring unspeakable suffering remain a proud and unbroken community, yes, even to this day. The republican community in Tyrone were prepared to back a new phase of struggle, as spoken of by the Adams leadership, because we believed it could succeed and could get the best reward from the years of sacrifice offered by those who had the courage to stand up and fight back, many who paid with their lives. It might not have worked out as we were told but that's another matter. That is the only reason Tyrone 'left the battlefield', because it was the right thing to do to advance the struggle at that time and not because the movement here was beaten into surrender by those who wished the croppy to lie down. They tried and they failed. For every man they shot and killed there were those prepared to take their place. They could not defeat the people here but it was not for want of trying

  41. Sean
    If you remember back to your article on the Battery murders my presentation was on the clear evidence that the securocrats took a decision to remove ET from the Provo's order of battle. 26 Provos (I think that is right) were shot dead between 87 and 92 including some prolific operators. In that the securocrats did successfully remove them from the battlefield. Maybe in your reflective state that phraseology was a little insensitive. I spoke to Tommy McKearney about it and he said there were other loses too. I think he told me one guy died of cancer and others drifted away. I think that this is the big untold story of the peace process. The onslaught on the ETB was unprecedented throughout the Troubles and surely needed a lot of int from inside the PRM. Dark days indeed, let's hope it never happens again.

  42. Peter, if you are saying that a conscious decision was taken by the state to remove certain people then of course there can be no argument. That is clearly what happened at Loughgall, Drumnakilly, Coagh and Clonoe. No doubt it fed into the reckoning at the Battery and Malachy Boyle's also. But if the assertion is that East Tyrone was militarily routed then that's another matter. There were heavy casualties, yes, but the war was not ended for that reason. And yet none of that precludes that this was nevertheless the goal of the state. But we should never lose sight that it went beyond hitting at the Army and its structures, that there was also a wider goal, the 'breaking' of the community and here we are effectively talking terrorism, where the goal of the state was to terrorise. And at this they were in their element, orchestrating a series of brutal murders of ordinary nationalists from the Loughshore to Kildress to Dungannon and beyond. They did not though succeed, on either count, no matter the pain and suffering they managed to inflict along the way. That the Brits were being fed information from a prolific source would seem obvious. No doubt that traitor still walks among us while the brave and the bold lie dead. I wonder do the memories of those they put in the ground haunt them on a day like today...